Although GO Girl is loathe to leave the tres chic shores of Brooklyn, an irresistible invitation from the Brooklyn Philharmonic drew her to the Rainbow Room at Rockefeller Center on Monday for the orchestra’s spring gala.
Of course, GO Girl is a Brooklynite through and through, so she obviously has an aversion to tourist traps. But when the country bumpkins congregating in front of the door at 49th Street and Sixth Avenue wondered aloud if she was Renee Zellweger, she came to believe that the benefit’s location was absolutely inspired.
Taking pity on the horde, she pointed their cameras toward Oscar-, Tony- and Grammy-winning Marvin Hamlisch — who would soon perform at the philharmonic’s fundraiser.
Doubt clouded their doe-like eyes. They looked to GO Girl for an explanation.
“He worked with Barbra Streisand, the ultimate Brooklynite,” explained GO Girl. “ ‘The Way We Were?’ ”
“He did the score for ‘A Chorus Line,’” she urged.
More blank stares.
“He was in ‘How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days,’ ” explained GO Girl.
“Ohhh,” said one, finally heaving up his camera for a shot.
While they were distracted, GO Girl hurried inside.
The Rainbow Room, 65 floors above the riff-raff, lived up to its hype. Philharmonic supporters — including Harvey Lichtenstein, Bloomberg President Dan Doctoroff, Councilman Bill DeBlasio, Brooklyn Borough President Markowitz and wife Jamie — murmured with pleasure over the breathtaking views of the city, while they bid on the silent auction, nibbled on passed hors d’oeuvres and sipped cocktails in the intimate rooms.
GO Girl was then ushered into the stunning Rainbow Room, glittering with chandeliers, where WQXR’s Elliott Forrest took the helm as master of ceremonies. Hamlisch crooned for the crowd of 380 guests, and offered up witty banter. He was soon joined by a surprise guest, Broadway star Mark McVey, who sang his heart out in “Bring Him Home” — his signature song from “Les Miserables.”
GO Girl couldn’t help but giggle with the rest of the audience as Marvin put the “ham” in Hamlisch, bringing the house down with the world premiere of a new song, “Catherine, Don’t Go!,” a hilarious plea to Brooklyn Philharmonic President and CEO Catherine Cahill to not abandon her post of seven years for a new job as head honcho of Philadelphia’s Mann Center.
Cahill later told GO Girl she was moved by the serenade and wished her parents could have been there to see it, but she wasn’t about to unpack her bags.
Markowitz also took the podium and chided Cahill for leaving the land of cheesecakes for cheese steaks, but she stood firm. It was clear that the blonde dynamo was not to be dissuaded.
Brooklyn’s number one cheerleader also presented one of his trademark, irrepressible proclamations to Stanley Kriegel, commending the founding Brooklyn Philharmonic board member for 54 years of service.
Other titans of industry honored at the gala, which raised $550,000 for the organization, were real estate mogul Robert Nelson, CNBC’s Charles Gasparino and Downtown Brooklyn Partnership President Joe Chan.
But what was really getting GO Girl’s toe tapping was the live auction, expertly directed by Sotheby’s own Marsha Malinowski. Sadly, the trip to Australia — homeland of absent but adorable baton-waving Michael Christie — slipped past GO Girl’s grasp when she bent to check Jamie’s pocketbook for pilfered placemats. No swag was found, and it looks like GO Girl will be vacationing on the Vineyard again.
With her holiday down under whisked away by a faster paddle, and the thought of her fellow blonde party girl moving on to the greener pastures of Philadelphia, GO Girl was miraculously able to muster an enthusiastic toast to Cahill and all the women in the world who are able to get rich men to part with their money … and get them to donate their bucks to the arts, no less!
With the city lit up like a Christmas tree 65 floors below and the tourists all tucked into their crisp hotel sheets, it was time for GO Girl to grab a gift bag with one hand and the elbow of her Arm Candy with her other, and totter back to Brooklyn.