Socialites Reduced to Mere NumbersRomeo + Juliet opened at the New York City Ballet earlier this week, and guests at the black-tie dinner afterward were handed not seating cards but rather a sprawling seating chart. Odd: Instead of being shown their seats, society girls with tiny clutches were forced to grapple with 25 pages of table assignments. But the usual system was fortunate for folks like us, providing insights into the inner workings of high society. For example:
• VIPs get triple-digit table numbers. Double-digit tables seemed to have a maximum of one celebrity each, while single digits went to the teeming masses.
• Designer Alice Roi does not seem to count as a VIP. Neither did MoMA bigwig Agnes Gund.
• Former mayoral candidate Carl McCall won this round by sitting at table 55, right next to the bar.
• Lost’s Michelle Rodriguez, no longer serving time, was sentenced to table 8. (Or maybe not: Turned out to be a civilian with the same name.)
• Nicole Miller, whose husband works in national security (who knew?), was supposed to be at table 109 with fellow designer Thom Browne. Instead, she was a little disappointed to have been moved to table 114 with Gilles Mendel, Byrdie Bell, and Mary Alice Stephenson. How do we know? Because she got stuck sitting next to us and borrowed our seating chart to check out where all her friends were. Jada Yuan
Everything Was Beautiful at the Ballet — and Tasty, Too
New York City Ballet principal dancer Jock Soto retired recently, but on Thursday he’ll already be returning to Lincoln Center. This time, though, he’ll be the caterer — or, at least, his company will be. “I’m Jock of all trades,” says the dancer, clearly rehearsing a line he’s used before. His catering outfit will serve food at a ladies-who-lunch luncheon following a special rehearsal of the company’s benefit performance of Ecstatic Orange, in which he originated a lead twenty years ago. Soto has long had a passion for food — he co-wrote a cookbook with fellow City Ballet retiree Heather Watts, and he catered his longtime dance partner Wendy Whelan’s wedding — but it’s an admittedly odd one for a dancer. “All my career I had to watch what I ate,” he says. “Now, I don’t really have to. I can eat butter and cream and all the good things. No more unitards for me! As long as I look good in a suit, that’s all that matters.”
— Rebecca Milzoff