David Rubenstein offered up the healing power of music to “soothe” Washington’s fiscal discord.
“Before a shutdown might occur, we’d like to invite all members of Congress to come tomorrow night for a concert,” said the chairman of the Carlyle Group LP and the Kennedy Center, scene of last night’s National Symphony Orchestra Season Opening Ball. “Hopefully afterward something good would come of it.”
Organist Cameron Carpenter wore a mohawk and gothic attire as he warmed up the center’s newly installed organ, funded by Rubenstein.
One guest remarked that Cameron looked like Edward Scissorhands. He didn’t lack for dance partners after the post-performance dinner.
Chief Justice John Roberts gave a hearing to Yo-Yo Ma on Tchaikovsky’s “Variations on a Rococo Theme.” Ma dined with the ball’s chairman, Sydney McNiff Johnson, who wore a white Greek-column dress. The NSO raised $1.3 million.
Kevin Spacey was miffed. No one had bid on a tennis date with him, part of the first gala for his Kevin Spacey Foundation, which awards scholarships and grants to budding artists worldwide.
Then journalist Andrea Mitchell, wife of Alan Greenspan, served up a $10,000 contribution, part of the $150,000 raised during the Saturday night event at the Mandarin Oriental.
Spacey, 54, who plays the majority whip on the Netflix series “House of Cards,” was joined by the real thing: Representative Kevin McCarthy, the California Republican. They compared socks with pollster Frank Luntz.
The room was decorated with posters from the films of Jack Lemmon, who inspired Spacey to help young people with his motto that if you do well in life “you should send the elevator back down.” Spacey will travel the world for his Elevator Initiative, choosing and molding aspiring actors.
The posters, Spacey said, added “a twist of Lemmon” to the evening.
MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc. bought a table for $10,000. “Oh, I love Ron Perelman,” Spacey told Christine Taylor, the executive vice president for corporate communications at the firm, where Perelman is chairman and chief executive officer.
Also present were Congressman Steny Hoyer, Maryland Democrat, Ron Klain, whom Spacey portrayed in the film “Recount,” Spacey’s on-camera chief of staff, actor Michael Kelly, and Chris Lemmon, the late actor’s son.
Spacey’s scholarships started this year at the Regent’s University London, where he is artistic director of the Old Vic. He’s also giving $120,000 in grants to fund creative projects in the U.K. and U.S.
As for his next film project, Spacey said he’s campaigning hard to finally work with Woody Allen. “I sent him a Netflix subscription,” he said.
(Stephanie Green is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)
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