Victoria’s Secrets: Spectacular celebrations

Gerri and Jerry (r.) brought together an extraordinary group of people for an afternoon of tea and conversation.

Being in Palm Beach is an opportunity to see friends from the “Golden Triangle” — the Hamptons, Palm Beach and New York —  and this week featured spectacular events with friends from those “worlds.”

Having been introduced to the elegant and brilliant Cornelia and Ralph Heins by a dear friend and Hamptonite, world class landscape designer Frederico Azevedo, a few years ago, I was delighted to be invited again to Ralph’s birthday party.

Cornelia Heins with her husband Ralph

The party was held at the exclusive Everglades Club on Worth Avenue only minutes from the Colony Hotel in Palm Beach. Frederico came into town for the party and stayed at my hotel, so we went together.

The magical evening began with cocktails in the space that was gently lit by what seemed like floating white globes that swayed in the breeze coming from the surrounding garden doors. It was good to see friends from last year’s party, as well as locals who I’ve seen at other Heins parties, like the ones she hosted last summer at their Sagaponack home.

Frederico Azevedo & Catherine Loevner
With Phillip White & Frederico Azevedo

After an hour of passed hors d’oeuvres of pâté, smoked salmon and champagne, we were summoned by a xylophone-playing staff member to the dining room. A band playing my favorite Elvis songs greeted us as we got our seating places at the two long tables set with stunning floral arrangements.

Mark & Susan Harrison

The Everglades Club is famous for its fine food and synchronized service of the courses. A troop of waiters and waitresses dramatically placed everyone’s dish on the table at the same moment.

The first course of Everglades Caviar was presented in what appeared to be a glowing blue-lit plate. Then, my choice of veal loin was presented, followed by a crisp kale salad and then a pretty-as-a-picture dessert of parfait covered with a woven pastry shell.

Each course was beautifully presented by the young smiling waiters as the music filled the candlelit room. The conversations, dancing and dining to celebrate Ralph’s birthday made for a picture-perfect night.

An afternoon tea-party

It was a treat to spend an afternoon at friends Jerry Cammarata and Gerri Kroner’s home for a tea party. Gerri is a recognized expert psychologist and Jerry is Ambassador to the United Nations of the World Safety Organization. Their party turned out to be an extraordinary “talkfest” with their fascinating friends.

I arrived with dear friend Donna Schneier to see standing in the doorway the remarkably talented Tovah Feldshuh talking with Jane Rothchild. Tovah, an old friend, just completed a successful run at several southern Florida venues of her critically acclaimed one-woman show “Aging is Optional.”

Brilliant Tovah Feldshuh & Producer Fran Weissler, who has the longest running show on Broadway, “Chicago,” as well as 34 other shows she has produced

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing the remarkable Emmy-Award winning Tovah. She has, over her 50 years of performing, become one of the greatest actresses of our time, and I was so happy to see her again. 

Tovah holds the record for the longest running one-woman show on Broadway, “Golda’s Balcony,” which is based on the extraordinary life of iconic Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir. Her career also includes roles in many TV series.

The guests took seats in a circle and shared many of their life experiences. When it was Tovah’s turn to talk, she passionately spoke about her fear of the growing antisemitism in our country and the need of other minority groups in the Black and Christian communities to speak out against it.

Sadly, she told us about a public school in Brooklyn that uses a map that does not include Israel!

The room full of successful, informed guests agreed with her concern. The point from some of them was that what happened in Nazi Germany can happen here, too. 

Donna raised her voice in disagreement, saying that this could never happen again because Jews in America will never allow it to happen, but grave concerns were raised by both Jews and non-Jews in attendance.

It was an honor to meet Fran Weissler, the prolific Broadway producer behind “Chicago” and dozens of other hit shows. 

Each guest was engaged in a variety of worlds, but I was fascinated to meet a couple who were working for 10 years to create a movie about the Bible coming out based on guest Pete Nielsen’s book, “Passport Please.”

Author Pete Nielsen

He read a portion from the Bible that speaks to the division of Israelites and how a crisis brought them together. Hopefully that will happen and informed people learn the truth of Hamas, Hezbollah and other terrorist groups that can impact us in America and we can unite against terrorism.

The insightful discussions came to a close too quickly!