What with all the Weiner jokes, the humor almost upstaged the cause at the Bowery Residents Committee’s inaugural gala at the Mandarin Oriental on Monday night.
Emcee Rosie O’Donnell established that it would be standup-meets-charity auction at the outset, frequently returning to jokes about the New York representative’s admission earlier in the day. She then kicked off the auction by saying, “If I have anything nasty to say, I’ll just say Anthony Weiner.”
That did not prevent her from berating a man for five minutes to bid more on a Costa Rican vacation, often questioning his manhood since it would be the only time he’d ever get to outbid James Gandolfini, aka Tony Soprano. The man eventually did, and promptly received a standing ovation.
Gandolfini, who introduced honoree Sheila Nevins, did not limit himself to Weiner, quipping, “What was it Rosie wanted to say instead of fuck?”
When Nevins accepted her award, she sang “On the Street Where You Live” — a brave feat considering that she admitted to being kicked out of a chorus early in her life.
That was the second such performance of the night, as Nevins persuaded Elaine Stritch to not only attend the gala but also sing. Stritch, who beforehand admitted to having no idea what BRC stood for, sang Stephen Sondheim’s “Everybody Says Don’t” from “Anyone Can Whistle.” It’s the first time La Stritch ever followed an auction.