Jon Bon Jovi with Jonelle Procope, president & CEO, The Apollo Foundation

*The magic of The Creeks can be compared to Disneyland sans rides and cartoon characters.  The 57 acres, replete with 12 guest houses and 2,000 feet of Georgica Pond front and a congenial but “no nonsense” security staff easily identifiable in polo shirts that say “The Creeks,” reminds me of a wonderful place filled with joy, laughter and love.

It’s the East Hampton estate of billionaire Revlon chairman, Ron Perelman, who opened his house on Saturday August 14, 2010 for “A Night of Legends” to benefit the Apollo Theater Foundation.

Themed “The Apollo In The Hamptons,” the magical evening was co-hosted by Perelman along with the Foundation’s chairman, Richard D. Parsons, and rocker Jon Bon Jovi.

Partygoers dug deep into their pockets to attend this exciting concert dinner that ranged from $50,000 for a table to $1,500 for individual tickets.  The ticket amount included dinner, open bars and a slammin’ concert.

The sold out event raised $1 million in proceeds and gifts.  Perelman keeps kosher so guests dined on a kosher menu that included soul food (fried chicken made with soy milk) by Marcus SamuelssonDee-lish!

Perelman, who was joined onstage by Citigroup CEO Parsons, greeted his guests in chic Hampton attire and thanked them for attending the blowout fundraiser that will benefit the Apollo Foundation and its stellar programs for underserved children.

Apollo Foundation board members Richard Parsons (r) and Ron Perelman (l)

During his glowing remarks, the Apollo’s newest board member described Parsons as “my pal, my buddy, and my hero.”  He then had guests laughing out loud when sizing up his friend.  “He may be taller, but who’s better looking?”

The cosmetic mogul then turned to Parsons and thanked him for getting him personally involved in the historic Harlem-based venue and went on to pledge his continued support for the Apollo.

“What we know as music today got its start at the Apollo,” stated Revlon’s top man.  “It’s not just a theater, it’s a cathedral of music.”  Ironically, the event took place in Perelman’s own cathedral of music — a cavernous barn theater with a circular viewing balcony that regularly shows first-run movies and has floors originally paint-splattered by Jackson Pollock.

Jon Bon Jovi getting down with Sam Moore

John Legend performs with The Roots

Mary J. Blige sings her heart out

At “A Night of Legends,” Perelman brought the essence of The Apollo Theater to the Hot Hamptons featuring soulful performances by John Legend and the Roots, John Legend, Chuck Jackson, Mary J. Blige and legendary soulman Sam Moore who jammed with chief rocker, Bon Jovi, with Perelman on drums.  “I love music and I’m sometimes a really crappy musician,” Perelman told excited guests.

Audrey J. Bernard

Bon Jovi, who confessed to guests that his first date with wife Dorothea was at a Moore and Dave Prater concert at Asbury Park in New Jersey, ruminated “… and 21 years later we’re still married.”

An ebullient Bon Jovi added that he was flattered that Moore “even knows my name.”  The rock star told me that he’s been a fan of the famous R&B singer for many, many years.  “I personally reached out to Moore to invite him to this event and even paid for him to attend,” he said.  “This was an important event and I really wanted him here.”

All good things do come to an end.  And as the beautiful people left this beauteous estate, each guest was presented with a fabulous swag bag filled with Revlon gifts and a glossy book about the history of the famous Apollo Theater with a note of thanks from Jonelle Procope, president & CEO, Apollo Theater Foundation.

Kudos to event planners Christine Taylor who heads up global communication for Perelman’s company, MacAndrews & Forbes, and Nina Flowers, associate director, marketing & communications, Apollo Theater Foundation, Inc. The dynamic duo did a superb job.  (Photos by L. Bennet, Kevin Kane/Wire Images)

Audrey J. Bernard is an established chronicler of Black society and Urban happenings based in the New York City area.