411: Destination Fashion, Best Buddies, ORCHID, Opera and Barton G.

Destination Fashion

Destination Fashion took over Bal Harbour Shops on November 10, with a star-studded, over-the-top party three years in the making. NFL Hall of Famer Nick Buoniconti and his son Marc of the The Buoniconti Fund (the fundraising arm of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis)hosted the fantastic event, for which Barton G. transformed the luxury mall into a themed celebration, spotlighting “The Destinations” of locations from around the world such as Asia, Africa and the Americas, for over 2, 000 fashion-forward VIPs including celebrities, sports stars and philanthropists. Guests enjoyed an Emilio Pucci’s Spring 2013 Fashion Show designed by Peter Dundas, a gourmet dinner, interactive destination party experience and private concert by Enrique Iglesias. The successful fundraiser got off to a running start when long-time Buoniconti Fund Board Member and supporter, Christine E. Lynn, who was being presented with the Humanitarian Award, announced a gift of $25 million. This staggering amount contributed in large part to the $31 million raised throughout the evening. Micky and Madeleine Arison, received the Inspiration Award; Edie Laquer and the Laquer Foundation, received the Champion for a Cure Award; The Buoniconti Fund Award was granted to Paul and Swanee DiMare, and the Philanthropist Award was presented to Beatrice and Dr. Sanford Ziff. Following the awards presentations, tribute was paid to The Buoniconti Fund’s notable 2012 Women of Substance and Style, who walked down the runway accompanied by celebrity presenters. The evening continued with guests dancing to the musical stylings of DJ Irie as they “travelled” through the shops, which stayed open late in order to allow for some final bidding on auction items. The night culminated with an hour-long concert by Enrique Iglesias.

Destination Fashion at Bal Harbour shops brought out celebs including: event chairs Tommy Lee Jones and Nacho Figueras; Helio Castronoves, Jeff Conine, Wayne Newton, Emilio and Gloria Estefan, Tico Torres, host Tom Brokaw and designer Peter Dundas, who presented the Emilio Pucci Spring 2013 Collection. Other notable celebrities and presenters included: Joe Manganiello and James Lafferty;Steve Alaimo, Moises Alou, Stanley Bahnsen, Rick Barry, Bob Beamon, Woody Bennett, Bruce Bowen, Miguel Cabrera, Channing Crowder, Christopher Cuomo, Gil de Ferran, Colin Egglesfield, Todd English, Scott Erickson, Mike Eruzione, Rod Gilbert, Dorothy Hamill,Tim Hardaway, Randall Hill, Marvin Jones, Brad Leland, Danell Levya, Rex Linn, Mercury Morris, Alonzo Mourning, Tony Nathan, Wayne Newton, John Offerdahl, Louis Oliver, Tony Perez, Mike Piazza, Errict Rhett, Brett Romberg, Mark Rypien, Matthew Settle, Dwight Stephenson, Aiden Turner, EJ Viso and Jed Weaver.

Best Buddies Bash

Another fun gala (not an oxymoron) to which we look forward every year is the Best Buddies Miami Gala, which was celebrated on November 16 at Marlins Park. Sponsored by Zenith watches, the grand Russian-themed affair (in honor of the organization’s expansion into Russia) drew over 800 guests to the ballpark which was transformed into a gorgeous ballroom with larger-than-life centerpieces of red roses that decorated the already ornate tables. Actors James Caan, Christian Slater, Verne Troyer and Erik Valdez; Lauren Potter, Glee; famed multi-sport Olympian (10 medals) Carl Lewis joined galaco-chairs Andy Abboud, Romero Britto, Marc Leder, May Liang & Jim Lintott, Tom Murphy, Anthony K. &Alina M. Shriver, and Don Soffer; and VIP guests: Rick De La Croix with Ares Distributors; Philip Levine with Royal Media Partners; Ronald Book, who also received Best Buddies’ Spirit of the year award; Katherine Schwarzenegger; Penney & Gerry Klingman; Sara & Ugo Colombo; Candido Villeya; Sandra & Tony Tamer; Christina & George Lindemann; Brett Overman; Linda Coll; Real Housewives of Miami’s Lea Black; Miss Teen USA, Logan West; Miss USA, Olivia Culpo; and Miss Florida, Michelle Aguirre. Partygoers enjoyed a gourmet dinner followed by a live performance by energetic musical guests Far East Movement and SkyBlu of LMFAO, who got guests on their feet and dancing until late in the evening.

ORCHID and the Pleasure Garden- a “Must See”

Exotic, erotic, pop-culture theatrical experience, ORCHID, made its U.S. debut at The Pleasure Garden, a one-of-a-kind entertainment destination, in the Miami Design District on November 14 to the who’s who in Miami. Actor, Christian Slater and former “Bond Girl,”Olga Kurylenko, mingled with the excited crowd during the VIP premier, for director, William Baker’s (best known for his work with Rihanna, Britney Spears and Kylie Minogue) seductive show that blends original and contemporary songs such as Rihanna’s “Umbrella” and Madonna’s “Like A Virgin” with dance, burlesque, aerial acrobatics, contortionists, fire breathing, nipple pasties, pyrotechnics (combined with pasties), water works and drama.

The brainchild of David Schwarz and Marty LaSalle, ORCHID combines elements from 21st century European burlesque shows within an American pleasure garden from the early 20th century, and is set inside one of the largest and most ornate performance tents in the world. During the opening party, celebrity chef, Michelle Bernstein, The Pleasure Garden’s exclusive food and beverage provider, served tantalizing passed hors d’oeuvres, including addicting truffle popcorn. On-hand for the celebration were special guests including: Kelly Lynch, Suzy Buckley, John Lin, Jennie Yip, Glenn Albin, Jackie Soffer, Craig Robins, Micky Wolfson, Cathy Leff, Ingrid Hoffman and Paul Bacardi; Christina Getty-Maercks and Arin Maercks; Daniela Swaebe and Michael Comras; Diane and Alan Lieberman; James Davis (Elaine Lancaster); Carole and Oscar Seikaly, Marcella and Daniel Novela, Nina Johnson, Anthony Spinello, Frederic Dechnik, Jilian Sanz, Sarah Harrelson, Ivana Jermoluk,Greg Lotus, Frederic Valentine, David Martinez, Amanda and Mark Tamis, David Grutman, Kathryn and Bruce Orosz; Alan Randolph, Michelle Areces and Nima Vandy and Michael Leondas Kirkland.

Tickets for ORCHID (299 NE 38 Street) range from $49 to $119 per person. Recommended age for patrons is 16 and older. Tickets may be purchased online at www.orchidtheshow.com. Regular performance schedule: Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8:00 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. and Sundays at 6:00 p.m.

Barton G’s Up Top is Over the Top

To quote famed event planner Barton G. Weiss, “Find the top and then go over it.” This mantra sums up just about every event he’s produced and is especially prevalent at his eponymous restaurant, which just turned ten this month. During the VIP celebration, Weiss unveiled Up Top, a new private event space on the second floor of the restaurant. The stylish venue features the same attention to detail for which Weiss is well known, and includes a private bar, private dining areas, a sleek lounge and terrace overlooking the bay. To celebrate the big anniversary, inauguration and the expansion of Barton G. to Los Angeles, Weiss threw a street party featuring live music, an open bar, creative décor and gourmet samplings from the new menu by Chef Jeff O’Neil . Vice Mayor, Michael Gongora presented Weiss with a Proclamation, designating November 15, Barton G. Day. The decadent dessert bar, complimented by Barton G.’s signature wheelbarrow of gigantic chocolate chip cookies, ended the night on a high note.

Florida Grand Opera’s Annual Gala

Miami’s opera supporters gathered at the Adrienne Arsht Center on November 17 to celebrate the start of the opera season with Florida Grand Opera’s annual gala, on the Lynn Wolfson stage. Entitled “An Evening at the Café Momus,” this themed event welcomed patrons into the world of Puccini’s La Bohème as they dined and danced amidst the production’s scenery and cast, including opera stars Ailyn Pérez and Arturo Chacón-Cruz. As an official start to the dinner, the company’s new CEO and General Director, Susan T. Danis, took the podium to recognize special guests, including Gala Co-Chairs Charlene and Ronald Esserman and Martaligia and Carlos Lopez-Cantera; Ellen and Louis Wolfson III, son of the late Lynn Wolfson; Randi Wolfson and fiancé Chris Adamo; as well as and Isa and Marvin Leibowitz.

Celebrity Sightings

The Variety Power of Comedy event took place last week at Avalon Hollywood brought out quite the celeb roster. The event celebrated honoree Seth MacFarlane, was hosted by Joel McHale, and featured comedic performances by Bill Maher, Giovanni Ribisi, Chris D’Elia, Eric Andre, Max Greenfield, Nick Kroll, Paul Scheer and Anthony Jeselnik just to name a few. Seth MacFarlane angry about a leaked Star Trek video shown during the Variety Power of Comedy defied his publicist and brought a glass of Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey on stage, giggling and noting that that they should not feed comedians whiskey and expect them to be able to read off of a teleprompter. Entourage’s Turtle and Sloan, aka Jerry Ferrara and Emmanuelle Chriqui beamed as they enjoyed cocktails and each other throughout the night.

Gorgeous and hilarious celeb chef Nadia G (more Tony Soprano than Giada) of the Cooking Channel’s Bitchin’ Kitchen brought her irreverent attitude to Miami whipping up bold bites for select VIPs at the funky Awarehouse space in Wynwood for A Bitchin’ Evening with Nadia G and Apothic Wines. While there, she showed fans how to make her chicken skewers with walnut pesto and a decadent apple crumble topped with candied bacon. She also served up chocolate mousse sprinkled with cayenne pepper and fleur de sel–a crowd favorite–paired with Apothic Red. As she cooked, she regaled the crowd with comedic anecdotes about some of her famous tattoos and her take on men in skinny jeans. After bringing the Bitchin’ Kitchen experience to the event, Nadia autographed copies of her cookbook, Cookin’ for Trouble.

Michael Jordan dined at Villa Azur on Sunday night with his fiancé. He ordered his favorites and was so pleased with his meal he went into the kitchen to personally thank the chef.

While in town for two nights of concerts last week, Madonna held a private after party for her back-up dancers, crew and close friends at FDR at the Delano on Wednesday night.

Hunky Gerard Butler was at the Soho Beach House on Monday to promote his new movie, Playing for Keeps.

Actor, Tyler Ritter, lead singer of the All American Rejects dined at SUGARCANE raw bar and grill with an unidentified woman on Sunday November 25. Ritter enjoyed some of our SUGARCANE favorites including bacon-wrapped dates, sliders, goat cheese croquettes and skirt steak with his date. The couple arrived late and spent the rest of night fully engrossed in conversation.

Kanye West was spotted at Wood Tavern on Sunday for Backyard Boogie.

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