Rose’s View – Cherry Grove
By Bob Levine
On Saturday evening, Aug.15, Hollywood superstar Debbie Reynolds, “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” performed in the Grove at the Community House. She arrived on the dock in a private ferry, along with her personal assistant, Donald Light, and her pianist of 30 years, Joey Singer.
Somehow the downtown area was filled with people waiting and lined up to give her a royal welcome. Bobbie Green drove Reynolds through the walks on our celebrity vehicle. She is one of the biggest celebrities to ever step into Cherry Grove, or appear on our Community Theatre stage. She is a rarity, since she comes from the Golden Age of Hollywood.
Through the years we have had people visit or entertain like Liz Claiborne, Perry Ellis, Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, Bette Midler, Chita Rivera, Linda Eder, Carol Channing, Liza Minnelli, Alan Cummings, Margaret Cho, Christine Ebersole, Linda Lavin, Cherry Jones, Tony Roberts, Donna Karen, Herschel Bernardi, Ralph Bellamy, Tommy Tune, Jerry Herman, Milton Berle, Ethel Merman, Arlene Francis, Farley Granger, Hermione Gingold, Mel Brooks, Anne Bancroft, Margaret Truman, Dionne Warwick, Sarah Vaughn, Barbara Cook, Paul Lynde, Della Reese, Rosie O’Donnell, Sandra Bernhard, Bruce Vilanch, Melissa Manchester, Sylvia Simms, Ann Hampton Callaway, Liz Callaway, Sam Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, Peter Allen and Jane Powell, to name a few.
Fire Island Pines’ Daniel Nardiccio has been responsible for bringing many of these names for his Icon Series to perform at The Ice Palace. Thanks to the talented George McGarvey, who invited Reynolds, produced this magical event and worked many long hours to make our historic Theatre look perfect for Hollywood royalty. Thanks to everyone who was involved to make this occasion so special, and the patrons for supporting it.
The 10th Annual Cherry Grove Honors Dinner was held on Saturday, Aug. 22, at Heaven ‘N Earth. The weather once again was perfect for an outdoor poolside party to celebrate the 2015 honorees who included Troy Files and Brian Clark, introduced by Roland Michely, Suzanne Rayson, and Bud Henriksen; Richard Schack was introduced by Bobbie Green and Doreen Rollo; Gina Garan was introduced by Jackie and her son, Carpenter. Then Andi Porzio spoke and introduced Meryl Facterman, the long time partner of Lois MacIntosh, who was posthumously honored with a spotlight award. Diane Romano opened the program with a wonderful introduction to all. The food and drinks were served into the evening. It was another friendly and warm party in the Grove.
Somehow Alaska has become very popular with many Cherry Grove residents. Gay Nathan, Julie Paradise, Jack Quinn, Curtis Strohl and Barbara Cerrone have just returned from different cruises. Bobbie Green and Doreen Rallo are also on a cruise at the present time. They raved about the scenery and of course the food served on the ships.
Two parties were held to honor Betty Nathan’s 100th Birthday, on Aug. 15. She loved the Grove and made many friends. Betty died at 96 years young. Her daughter, Gay, and partner, Julie, had a wonderful brunch for all of Betty’s men friends from the Grove. Betty’s favorite recipe of Matzo Brie was served along with bagels, smoked salmon and all the trimmings. The desserts were delicious. The guest list included: Garry, Gunner, George, Bruce, Michael Abdis, Philomena, Bud Henriksen, Michael, Jay and me. Missing were her other friends including Ken Lewis who is recovering from an accident, but has returned to the Grove since; as well as Mel and Don who were out of town. Betty’s good friend Vente Strong was present as well. A dinner party was given for Betty at Patricia and Diane’s home for the lady friends she had in the Grove. They included: Jan, Edrie, Bobbie, Doreen, Joyce Yaeger, Patricia’s sister Bobbie and of course Gay and Julie. Bobbie’s teenage daughters, Jordan and Delany, were also present and they performed a musical show during the five-course dinner.
A frequent visitor from London, William Loschert had a cocktail party at his rental home on the bay. The guest included Evelyn Danko, Valerie Perez, Andrew Gertzman, Michael and me. Kathy and Patrick Le Vardi, with their children, Trevor and Sophia, from Hazelton, Pennsylvania, spent a few days in the Grove visiting with Kathy’s brother, Tim Murphy, and his husband, Richard Toda, who were also at the cocktail party.
Strut Your Mutt, an annual event sponsored by Valerie Perez and PAWS, was fun at the Ice Palace pool. Joey and his doggy, Bella, won first prize; second prize went to Lynn Lewis and third prize went to Beach Debree. Hosted by Ariel Sinclair, it was another big money day.
Our condolences to Kathie Howe on the recent passing of her husband, John. They lived in the Grove for many years.
• Saturday, Aug. 29 — Vivian Justin Bond will perform at the Community House.
• Sept. 4-6 — “La Cage aux Folles” will be presented at Whyte Hall in the Pines, all showings 8 p.m.
• Saturday, Sept. 5, at 4:30 p.m. — The Cherry Grove Garden Club and Fire Island National Seashore, which is celebrating its 50th Anniversary, will sponsor a tour conducted by Ranger Dave Raymond. The tour will leave from the center of Cherry Grove and all will walk to Sunken Forest.
• Saturday, Sept. 5 — The Arts Project will present “Legends V1: Hullabaloo,” with an all-star Homecoming Queen cast.
• Sunday, Sept. 6, from 10 a.m.-noon — The Cherry Grove Garden Club will have their 2nd Annual Cake Sale on the front deck of the Community House. Last year the cakes sold very quickly so get there early.
• Sunday, Sept. 6 — “The En Gaygment,” a new musical written by David Auxier-Loyola, will have its premier performance at the Community House.
• Saturday, Sept.19, from 4-7 p.m. — The Arts Project will sponsor a High Tea on The Sea, at 273 Lewis Walk, hosted by Richard and Stanley. Donation: $20.
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