Events / Insights

A Traveling Art Party

The Lincoln Center List Art Collection travels from New York to Miami for a special tour.

March 01, 2011

Munisha Underhill, Jorge Plasencia and Adrienne Arsht at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts’ fifth anniversary gal

For its fifth anniversary season, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts miraculously nabbed the Lincoln Center List Art Collection, importing super-works by the likes of Jim Dine and Howard Hodgkin. A celebratory VIP cocktail reception and walking tour seemed appropriate, so Bombay Sapphire concoctions were shaken, art appreciators were summoned and civility ensued against a backdrop of twinkling lights. Lincoln Center’s Karen Davidson provided context before Barry Fellman deftly guided us through the Arsht’s fantabulous two buildings, thoughtfully explaining each work as if his very life depended on it.

The tour ended with a killer Chuck Close piece, and everyone was delightfully more enriched. Among the herd? Arsht Center CEO John Richard and wife Lynne, Ralph and Cookie Gazitua, Ricky Arriola, former Mayor Manny Diaz, Beth Boone of the Miami Light Project, Kevin and Kathy Doran, Yrak Saenz and Diane Lieberman.


Night At the Museum

Cirque du Soleil’s Kooza lights up the stage at the Miami Art Museum.

March 01, 2011

Cirque du Soleil’s Kooza

Cirque du Soleil’s Kooza temporarily installed itself on the future site of the Miami Art Museum, yellow tents soaring to the sky. The multicolored rooftop hinted at the whimsical production inside.

In a town preoccupied with cool posturing and fake laughter, Kooza elicited genuine emotions from the crowd: giggles, chortles, gasps and screams. During the danger-rific Wheel of Death—two guys running on giant revolving hamster wheels—you could see onlookers sweat with disbelief.


Bentley Bash

The 2012 Bentley Continental GT gets a champagne toast at The Raleigh.

March 01, 2011

Theresa Heron, Coco Lee and Candice Jarquin at the 2012 Bentley Continental GT unveiling at The Raleigh

On a “Lights, camera, action!”-type night at the forever-chic Raleigh, Bentley Motors presented the 2012 Bentley Continental GT, a $189,000 sex magnet rolling on 20s. The ubiquitous Saun Lightbourne, of Keith Menin’s Shelborne Hotel, buzzed around as host.

The lights reflected off his perfectly shaved pate while 200 partiers craned their lusciously moisturized necks at the metallic beast. Dapper Bentley Motors COO Christophe Georges strode to the fore for the great reveal, uncloaking a totally money metallic cappuccino GT.

Sundry hotties ebbed and flowed, legs everywhere. The night was not without its surreal moments, including a sequin-bedazzled six-year-old posing and pouting, cameras snapping like a Disney test shoot. Nearby, her bulletproof-blonde mommy sipped Champagne, beaming with pride. In the crowd? Steve Rosenthal, Hugo Lopez, Demi Toleutayeva, José-Antonio Valencia Peralta and Ruben Campbell


Fantastic Voyage

On-board at Officine Panerai’s VIP only yacht party.

February 13, 2011

PHOTO CAPTION: Alexandra Zoller, Linda Fuld, Simon Dahan and Matthew Solinger at Panerai

On a 116-foot-long Lazzara yacht stocked with hot stewardesses, equally delectable lobsters and not least a bottomless supply of Veuve Clicquot, Officine Panerai—the venerable Italian purveyors of chunkily luxurious, nautical-themed timepieces that men of a certain income drool over—held an opulent seagoing soirée.

Panerai’s intimate gathering celebrated the opening of its new boutique at Boca Raton’s Mizner Park. Onboard? Panerai’s Michelle Gallagher, watch collector and financier John Cormierand boutique owner Simon Dahan. Turns out, my trusty Montblanc is a corporate sister to Panerai. Embarrassment averted.

By Dirk DeSouza


Brits Rock Miami

Crowd surfing at the Massive Attack concert.

February 08, 2011

Massive Attack performing at the Bayfront Park Ampitheater

British trip-hop masters Massive Attack took Miami on an aural journey as their set surreally built in intensity, and then ultimately burned Miami’s Bayfront Park Amphitheater to the ground.

Touring on their latest masterful release, Heligoland, core members Robert del Naja and Grant Evan Marshallproved to be bona fide sonic gurus as they tore through songs like “Paradise Circus” and “Angel.”

Walls of LED lights flickered hypnotically behind the band, whose silhouettes were framed by a sea of epileptic seizure-inducing white lights. In the crowd? Artist and interior designer Mark Diaz(who recently redesigned the Electric Pickle nightclub), TV reporter Vanessa Ruiz, music aficionado Albert Primoand banker Chad Turner. Traveling from South Beach to Bayfront Park by boat? Mandatory.

By Dirk DeSouza


A Winning Oscar Party

Don’t miss the Oscar Night America, Miami Beach party at Miami Beach Cinematheque.

February 03, 2011

The 83rd annual Academy Awards on February 27 will be the usual display of red-carpet glamour. If you haven’t received your invite from the academy, fret not: You can attend an official Oscar Night America party right here in Miami. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has selected the Miami Beach Film Society to host the local fête. Miami Beach Film Society founder Dana Keith will host the Oscar Night America, Miami Beach red carpet and silent auction at the new Miami Beach Cinematheque. Red carpet arrivals will begin at 6:30 PM followed by a Champagne reception. Attendees will toast Oscar winners while enjoying organic Italian hors d’oeuvres from Escopazzo along with Bombay Sapphire gin’s signature cocktails and wines by Coppola Wines. And Oscar fans will also have the opportunity to cast their own predictions as to who will be the night’s big winners. Miami Beach Cinematheque, 1130 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; visit for tickets ($125)



Mingling with the charity circuit set at the annual Make-A-Wish Ball.

February 02, 2011

Loren and JR Ridinger, Marc Ashley and Maria Checa at the InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball

The diminutive but oh-so-perky Paula Abdulpositively sparkled while hosting the Asian-themed InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball, the annual black-tie fundraiser benefiting very ill children held at the downtown Miami hotel.

The Scene
An amazing cause “Forged” an opulent night, with restaurateur and gala chairman Shareef Malnikon hand, whose regal presence was overshadowed only by the metronome-precise, elevated tribal drum teams, gargantuan ice sculptures and massive white feather curtains floating downward from the ceiling. It was a setting so dreamy even Björkwould have shortcircuited.

The Players
Mingling? Buzzy Sklarwith fiancée Rebecca Brock, Jeff Berkwith fiancée Michelle Braun, lumber titan Tom Sullivan, Make-A-Wish president/CEO Norm Wedderburnand the cast of Jersey Boys, who performed onstage as filets mignons rained down onto the plates of dining do-gooders inside the football-field-size ballroom. The night raised a ton of noble scratch via donated items, including a John Mayer-autographed guitar and a walk-on part in an upcoming Brett Ratner film. The sexiest prize was courtesy of The Collection’s Ken Gorin, who auctioned off a Ferrari. It was philanthropy at its best, decked out and unjaded.

By Dirk DeSouza


Up Late

Aboard the Pisco Party Bus

January 18, 2011

Sasha Liaison and Cindy Borjas aboard the Pisco Party Bus

The greatest way to scam-blast into a column like “Up Late” was masterminded by Gran Sierpe Pisco: an invitation aboard the Pisco Party Bus. It was a perfect-storm cocktail of manipulation: four parts deviously décor-ed, partly evil school bus; three parts disco; two parts drunk girl; one part indie dance music blasting through strained woofers; a dozen cheese pizzas; and four pit stops (The Tides South Beach, Townhouse Miami, The Bar and Cafeina) over the course of a debaucherous eve. Bribery convinced the driver to reroute/divert/dump the columnist onto a red carpet premiere of the quite cool Bombay Sapphire Lounge at the Adrienne Arsht Center. A civilized coda indeed.

Speaking of civility, Casa Tua—the intimate members-only club/ restaurant/hotel and genuine bastion of romanticism nestled behind a perfect hedge—recently presented “Disportraits,” an extremely cool spacesuit-themed photographic art installation by the thoughtful, charming, wacky, NASA-oven-mitt-clad German-born Matthias Schaller. Thanks to hosts Miky Grendene and radiant wife Leticia, the prosecco was icy, the crowd warm, the room perfectly lit, and the USA/CCCP-suit photography transported us Major Tom-style to wit, history and Cold Wars gone by.

By Dirk DeSouza


Up Late

At the SoBe Arts Fundraiser

January 11, 2011

South Beach is the land of the free (on many levels): Where else can the in-the-know shoo velvet ropes aside just because they’re gorgeous and connected 24/7/52? But not on this balmy evening on Palm Island, at the waterfront manse of Miro Viglianesi for the SoBe Arts Fundraiser, where people actually dove into their Bottega Veneta bags to help a music-licious cause.

A sea of 400 genetically blessed locals formed a pheromone-laden armada around the moonlit jazz performance with Montserrat Franco on vocals, Kiki Sanchezon keyboards and Tara Santiagoon cello, before DJ Crossbarreled through some hits.

Mammary craftsman Lenny Roudner, chef Bernard Matz, Groove Cruiser Careli Campos and Bob Seger’s sax-man Alto Reed hung poolside, Jason and Theresa Dimond, Stacie Motyl and Cecilia Renes inside, while host Jason Voigt glad-handed.

By Dirk DeSouza


Food & Wine

Ocean Drive and Bobby Flay celebrate the SoBe Wine & Food Fest

July 28, 2010

Ocean Drive magazine celebrated the South Beach Wine & Food Festival with a sunset event at The Standard hosted by Bobby Flay. Guests enjoyed BBQ bites by executive chef Mark Zeitouni and chic drinks courtesy of Grey Goose, McWilliams wine and Stella Artois. On the stunning deck attendees mixed and mingled under the stars, warming themselves with Nespresso coffees and the company of good friends.

Bobby Flay and Maryel Epps
Ali and Daryl Sweben

Miguel and Cuki Haddad and Giovana and Michael Hoeflinger
Flay and Michelle McFaul
Karlee Velasquez and Holly Pacheco

Mark Zeitouni
Neal and Becki Litman
Morten and Stephanie Sayfie Aagaard


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