×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Nora Ephron Saluted at Public Theater Gala in Central Park

Kevin Kline, Glenn Close, Eric Idle performed at benefit

The Public Theater’s annual gala in Central Park was rained out June 10, but a lot of theater people, still recovering from the June 9 Tonycast and its annual round of parties, didn’t much mind. Everyone was much fresher for the gala’s rain date June 11.

With the likes of Kevin Kline, Glenn Close, Eric Idle, Jonathan Groff and Anika Noni Rose lined up to star in a concert staging of “The Pirates of Penzance” that night, talk at the pre-show cocktail party, held backstage at the Delacorte Theater, ranged from a Broadway producer reminiscing about being a swing in the national tour of Joseph Papp’s 1980 production to a stage manager recalling how the first prepubescent stirrings of her loins were felt at the sight of a young Kline, who starred in that 1980 staging on Broadway, in purple pirate tights.

The evening, where the crowd was full of the Public’s major supporters, was also a tribute to the late Nora Ephron, a former Public board member and an on-the-record lover of Shakespeare in the Park.

After Public a.d. Oskar Eustis announced a cherry tree near the Delacorte would be dedicated to Ephron and a proclamation was read in which Mayor Michael Bloomberg (referring to himself, in true Gilbert and Sullivan fashion, as a “modern mayor general”) dedicated the day to Ephron, Meryl Streep, who starred in Ephron’s “Julie and Julia,” told a true story about the genesis of that film project at the Public gala several years ago.

Streep was sitting at the table Ephron purchased every year at that gala when, as Streep recalled, “I burbled to my tablemates,” — here she affected a pitch-perfect Julia Childs voice — “ ‘Bon appetit!’ ”
Streep took a long pause for effect. “Nora gave me a sideways look and said, ‘I have a thought.’ ”

Popular on Variety

More Scene

  • Cara Delevingne'Carnival Row' TV show premiere,

    Cara Delevingne Talks Immigration, Taylor Swift's Battle With Scooter Braun

    Cara Delevingne, whose faerie character in “Carnival Row” finds herself washed ashore as a refugee in a foreign land, said she was immediately drawn by the show’s fantastical take on issues of immigration and assimilation. “It’s a cause that I have been involved in for a long time,” Delevingne told Variety at the premiere of [...]

  • John Travolta, Fred Durst. John Travolta,

    John Travolta Recalls Fans Breaking Into His House: 'I Was Scared the First Time'

    Nobody can accuse John Travolta of not being gracious to his fans, whether it’s an autograph, a selfie or, you know, a home invasion or two. “I’ve only had two people that actually invaded my house,” Travolta told Variety at the premiere of “The Fanatic” at the Egyptian Theater on Thursday night. “They were just [...]

  • Sublime Primetime

    How Emmy-Nominated Writers’ Rooms Keep Politics in Mind

    In a world filled with elections, social movements and national tragedies, how open should the doors of a writers’ room actually be? For some of this year’s Emmy-nominated shows, those doors are wide open. Before the 71st annual Primetime Emmy Awards air on Sept. 22, the Writers Guild of America West and Writers Guild Foundation, [...]

  • 50 Cent Power S6 Premiere

    50 Cent, Snoop Dogg & Trey Songz 'Power' Up New York City for Massive Season 6 Premiere

    “Power” is entering its final season, but you would never know if you walked by Madison Square Garden in Manhattan on Tuesday night. Starz pulled out all the stops for its ratings powerhouse “Power,” throwing a massive premiere event, complete with a full-length concert at Madison Square Garden from Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and a [...]

  • Diane Warren'Late Night' Film Premiere, Arrivals,

    Songs of Hope to Honor Diane Warren, Marc Shaiman, Boi-1da, More at 15th Annual Event

    Cancer research and treatment center City of Hope today announced the initial lineup of presenters and honorees who will celebrate the song and songwriter at its 15th annual Songs of Hope event. Among the music and entertainment industry VIPs in attendance will be veteran executive and producer Clive Davis, producer Boi-1da (Drake, Kendrick Lamar), award-winning [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content