Parties & Openings
March 16 - Williamstown
WCMA Season Celebration
March 3 - Lenox
Andrew DeVries Benefit Party
Feb. 23 - Pittsfield
Real Art Party
Marge Champion’s Birthday Party at Jacob’s Pillow
Cultural correspondent Bess Hochstein reports from Becket: Membership does have its privileges, at least at Jacob’s Pillow, where members were invited on June 14 to celebrate the 90th birthday of legendary Marge Champion, the part-time Berkshires resident and star, with her late husband, Gower, of classic films such as Show Boat, Lovely to Look At, and Three for the Show. Like the Champion she is, Marge still dances twice a week with Donald Saddler, the choreographer, actor, and original member of American Ballet Theatre who first performed at the Pillow in 1941. The still-spry dance partners sat side-by-side in the Ted Shawn Theatre during a rough-cut screening of the documentary Still Dancing, which chronicles their biweekly dance sessions. Afterwards, they addressed the appreciative audience, as did filmmakers Douglas Turnbaugh and Gregory Vander Veer, who are looking for funding to complete the film. Then everyone moved onto a reception in Blake’s Barn which Champion, a director emeritus of Jacob’s Pillow, donated to the Pillow in 1992 in memory of her son, Blake. No one seemed to mind that the birthday party was a bit premature; Champion actually turns 90 in September.
Lawyer Charles Mirotznik of Tyringham with not-quite birthday girl, Marge Champion.
Mark Vanden Bosch, chair of the Department of Anesthesiology and Medical Director of the Operating Rooms at Berkshire Health Systems, and Hunter Kerr Runnette, a Pillow board member and chairman of the opening night gala on June 20.
Jo Humphrey of New York City, and her sister Shirley Miller of Stockbridge, who introduced themselves as “The Franz Sisters,” daughters of Joseph Franz, the architect of the Ted Shawn Theatre; Norton Owen, the Pillow’s director of preservation and Dave Barrett, director of development
Donald Saddler, an original member of American Ballet Theatre, who first danced at Jacob’s Pillow in 1941, with Sharon MacDonald, director of the American Dance Institute, and former Broadway dancer & choreographer Antony De Vecchi, founder, artistic director, and ballet master of the Northeast American School of Dance.
Pillow board member Nancy Kalodner and Tom Jones, the co-creator of America’s longest-running musical, The Fantasticks, whose score is featured in Keep Dancing; the ever-dapper Arthur Collins with operatic couple Maureen O’Flynn and Claude Corbeil