Scene Last Night: John Paulson, Russell Carson, Sloth, Greed

New York City Ballet
Jenny and John Paulson, president and co-fund manager, Paulson & Co. Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

The DJ put on Katy Perry, and John Paulson, president of Paulson & Co., and his wife, Jenny, danced with friends. It was the final hour of New York City Ballet’s Spring Gala, and the 850 guests were letting loose.

The evening started with cocktails, shrimp and dumplings on the terrace of the David H. Koch Theater overlooking the fountain at Lincoln Center.

High up on the list of attention-getters was Daniel Brodsky, a real-estate developer and New York City Ballet board member who earlier this week was named chairman of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Other guests included Sarah Jessica Parker, Brooke Shields, Russell Carson, co-founder of Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe, and National Basketball Association Commissioner David Stern.

On stage was an unusual piece once choreographed by George Balanchine in Paris in 1933 -- “The Seven Deadly Sins” by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht. You may remember the duo had a bigger hit with “Three Penny Opera,” which also illustrates a slight disdain for the capitalistic enterprise.

This one is called a ballet chante, meaning that Patti LuPone and Wendy Whelan shared the role of Anna, who encounters sloth, pride, anger, gluttony, lust, greed and envy in a tour of seven American cities.

LuPone chewed a gigantic drumstick in Philadelphia. In a park in San Francisco (Beowulf Boritt’s most cheerful and elaborate set), Whelan stole a baby from its carriage, jealous of the tanned Californians all dressed in green.

Tattered Scanties

LuPone got to wear a power suit, while Whelan spent most of the night attired in tattered undergarments, a kind of anti-ballerina, lazily pulling socks from clothes lines and embracing ugly old men with paunches.

High couture and happy days returned with Balanchine’s “Vienna Waltzes” featuring ballerinas in pink tutus and ball gowns.

As for the Paulsons, they danced admirably too.

The event raised slightly more than $2 million, a record for the company’s galas, said Executive Director Katherine Brown.

(Amanda Gordon 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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