Richard D. Parsons, Ronald O. Perelman

Richard D. Parsons, Ronald O. Perelman

*What has become the most anticipated and star-studded Hamptons Haute Happening is the ultimate dinner and private concert hosted and underwritten by Apollo Theater Trustee Ronald O. Perelman at his East Hampton 60-acre estate, The Creeks, to benefit the distinguished and legendary landmark Apollo Theater located in Harlem, New York.

The fourth annual East Hampton fundraiser took place on Saturday, August 24, 2013 and raised $3 million to support the non-profit Apollo’s artistic, educational and outreach programs building on the theater’s rich history as an iconic cultural and economic anchor to Harlem and as a nurturer of emerging talent.

The elegant event featured a cocktail party in which The Roots front man “Questlove” pumped up the affluent assemblage of one-percenters by spinning hot tunes on the magnificent veranda overlooking the beauteous Georgica Pond.  As guests gathered together inside the luxurious home and ambled about the estate grounds, butlers served tasty finger foods and premium libations.  Of the many things that separate this event from others of this grandeur is the accessibility of Perelman and his pack of mogul millionaires.  There’s no VIP section or roped off areas.  Everyone mixed and mingled and dropped it like it was hot on the dance floor.

At the start of the program, Perelman had everyone acknowledge his dad’s birthday which has become a fabulous feature of the annual gathering.  Then Apollo Board Chairman Richard D. Parsons thanked the crowd for their continued support and kissed Perelman on the chick for outdoing last year’s one million raised amount.  He joked that if the amount continues to go up, that he might have to kiss his buddy on the lips next time to the roar of the crowd.  He also thanked Jonelle Procope, president & CEO of the Apollo Theater Foundation, for her powerful leadership; and Chris Taylor, senior vice president, corporate communications, MacAndrews & Forbes, for her assiduous work in organizing this event along with a village of hard-workers including the Apollo’s Nina Flowers, director of public relations and communications.

Colin Powell, Jamie Foxx, Ellen DeGeneres, Katie Holmes, Pharrell Williams

Jammin’ on stage: Colin Powell, Jamie Foxx, Ellen DeGeneres, Katie Holmes, Pharrell Williams

Then it was show time for the Apollo and guests were entertained with special performances by celebrated rock stars Jon Bon Jovi and Lenny Kravitz and R&B artist Ciara as well as the legendary Darlene Love, with surprise performances by Jamie Foxx and Mary J. Blige under the dynamic direction of fêted producer and artist Pharrell Williams who served as creative director and the popular live group The Roots as the house band.  And while jammin’ on stage, Foxx coaxed Ellen DeGeneres, Katie Holmes and General Colin Powell to join him on stage with Kravitz and Williams and they collectively brought the house down.

This jammed out jamboree was co-chaired by Ronald O. Perelman; Apollo Board Chairman Richard D. Parsons; Chairman and CEO of the Kraft Group and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft; and uber rocker Jon Bon Jovi.  The exceptionally delicious dinner – guests kept going back for the fried chicken — was prepared by renowned chef and Apollo Trustee Marcus Samuelsson.

Other notable guests included:  Kathryn & Ken Chenault, Antonio “L.A.” Reid, Calvin Klein, Howard & Beth Stern, Harvey Weinstein,  Billy Joel, Matt Lauer, Penny Marshall, Angelica Houston, Fran Lebowitz, Savannah Guthrie, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly Lorne Michaels, Donna Karen, Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Bill O’Reilly, Don Johnson, Ronald & Jo Carol Lauder, Mary Kate Olsen & Olivier Sarkozy, Yolanda Terrell Brown, Fred Terrell, and couture designer b michael & Mark-Anthony Edwards.

And as guests danced off into the hour of darkness headed to various after parties, they were gifted with generous swag bags containing Green Mountain Coffee Keurig packs, Runa Mint Guayusa tea, Apollo At The Creeks T-shirt featuring all four years of this now famous “A Night Of Legends” event, Apollo Theater coffee mug and a chic “Johnnie-O” West Coast preppy shirt with Apollo Theater on the sleeve.  (Photo Credit:  Shahar Azran)

About Apollo Education and Community Programs
The iconic Apollo Theater is one of Harlem’s most distinguished and enduring institutions.  The Apollo is committed to enhancing the life of its community through a variety of arts, education and community programs designed to engage children, adults, schools, families, artists, and local organizations.  Apollo education programs provide nearly 4,000 New York City students, many from undeserved backgrounds, with unique opportunities for career development, mentorship and exposure to high-quality arts programs in their community.  The Apollo Theater Academy cultivates the next generation of arts professionals through in-school seminars, arts management internships, technical theater apprenticeships, and other programs focused on careers in arts and entertainment; while the nationally-recognized Apollo Oral History Project works directly in Harlem public schools to engage students with a sequential, standards-based curriculum that transforms oral histories into original theater and video works.  Other Apollo education programs including School Tours, Family Showtime and School Day Live engage New York City students and their families with world-class arts programming on the legendary Apollo stage.

About the Apollo Theater
Celebrating its 80th Anniversary in 2014, Apollo is a national treasure that has had significant impact on the development of American culture and its popularity around the world.  Since introducing the first Amateur Night contests in 1934, the Apollo Theater has played a major role in cultivating artists and in the emergence of innovative musical genres including jazz, swing, bebop, R&B, gospel, blues, soul, and hip-hop. Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, Sammy Davis, Jr., James Brown, Michael Jackson, Bill Cosby, Gladys Knight, Luther Vandross, D’Angelo, Lauryn Hill, and countless others began their road to stardom on the Apollo’s stage.  Now, as a nonprofit arts institution, the Apollo Theater’s new artistic vision builds on its legacy. New Apollo programming has music as its core, driving large scale and more intimate music, dance and theater presentations.  The Apollo will continue to present historically relevant presentations, as well as more forward-looking, contemporary work.  Based on its cultural significance and architecture, the Apollo Theater received state and city landmark designation in 1983 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  For more information, visit www.apollotheater.org.

About Ronald O. Perelman
Ronald O. Perelman is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc., a diversified holding company with interests in consumer products, entertainment, financial services, biotechnology and gaming.  Among the principal interests of MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc. are: Revlon, Inc., AM General, Scientific Games Corporation, TransTech Pharma, Inc., SIGA Technologies, Inc., Deluxe Entertainment Services Group Inc., Harland Clarke, Harland Financial Solutions, Scantron and Global Scholar.  In addition to his extensive business interests, Perelman is an active philanthropist who believes powerful results can be achieved when financial resources are leveraged with human resolve.  He has established the Revlon/UCLA Women’s Cancer Research Program, the Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology at New York University Langone Medical Center, the Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute at New York Presbyterian Hospital and the Ronald O. Perelman and Claudia Cohen Center for Reproductive Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical Center.  He is vice chairman of Carnegie Hall and serves on the boards of University of Pennsylvania, New York University Langone Medical Center, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical Center, Columbia University, Ford’s Theater and the Apollo Theater.  He is a member of the French Legion of Honor.  Perelman holds a BS in Economics and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, and the father of eight children resides in New York City.

Audrey J. Bernard is an established chronicler of Black society and Urban happenings based in the New York City area. Contact her via: [email protected]

audrey bernard

Audrey J. Bernard