Say Good Night, Alice, As Construction Work Starts

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As Mike Bloomberg, Jerry Speyer, Mercedes Bass, and other boldfaced billionaires toasted the reconstruction of Alice Tully Hall, waiters were dressed as construction workers. (Get it? Ha! Good help is so hard to find.) Photo: Patrick McMullan

It's been a big few days for the reconstruction of Lincoln Center, and last night Center president Reynold Levy and emcee Tom Brokaw hosted a "Good Night, Alice" party to mark the closure of Alice Tully Hall for renovation. Wynton Marsalis, Philip Glass, and Kelli O'Hara performed, and there were fireworks, but otherwise this was simply a dressed-up version of college kids hosting one last blowout before they moved out of their rented apartment. There were flasks of cosmopolitans and dirty martinis distributed — and even allowed (gasp!) inside the theater — plus appetizers served in construction-themed lunch pails. (Surprisingly, the general letting-down-of-hair resulted in the audible shattering of only four martini glasses.) Over the next two years, crews will install fancy glass walls overlooking Broadway, weather-protected bleachers, and even a bar, which led Levy to pledge Lincoln Center wouldn't "close it until you do" each night. One important thing won't change about the hall, though: its cushy leg room. The six-foot-two Tully ensured there'd be at least one theater in Manhattan where she'd be comfortable, Levy promised. "Some people want Alice Tully back so she can design airplanes," he added. "Especially coach class." —Jocelyn Guest

Earlier: Lincoln Center Holds a Press Conference on Overhaul, Tells Us Mostly What We Already Knew; Also: LEDs!