Scene Last Night: J. Michael Evans, Hank Paulson, Miranda’s Rap

Asia Society
Lise Evans and J. Michael Evans, a vice chairman of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

J. Michael Evans, a vice chairman of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., took the spotlight as a dinner-leadership chairman at the Asia Society gala last night.

Evans joined the organization’s board last year, after returning to New York from a seven-year stint in Asia.

His first official duty: introducing a former chairman of both the Asia Society and Goldman Sachs, John Whitehead, as the recipient of the Asia Society Award “in honor and celebration of his 90th birthday,” according to the program.

Evans told a well-worn anecdote about Whitehead offering a ride to Henry Ford in his Chevy. He also said he hopes to have half the energy Whitehead has now at the age of 89.

“My wife says that’s impossible because I don’t have that much energy now,” Evans, 54, said.

Whitehead’s observation for Evans: “I’ve found it’s much easier to advance in rank at a nonprofit organization than at a for-profit organization,” he said.

Also present at the event: one of Whitehead’s successors as chief of Goldman Sachs, Hank Paulson, Goldman veterans Robert N. Downey, Don Gant and Fred Weintz, and Lulu Wang, chairman and chief executive of Tupelo Capital Management LLC.

The menu was skewered prawns, sesame-crusted tuna and a mixed berry mousse bar. The parting gift: a travel set of chopsticks.

Hamilton Rap

George Washington appealed to Alexander Hamilton for help against British forces last night -- in rap and hip-hop.

“I was down,” sang Christopher Jackson in the Allen Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center, his brawny physique suited to the role of an ambitious Revolutionary War general. “I was out-manned/Out-numbered, out-planned/We gotta make an all-out stand/I’m gonna need a right-hand man.”

The historical story-song was part of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s one-night engagement in the “American Songbook” series at Lincoln Center.

Miranda, composer, lyricist and star of Broadway’s “In the Heights,” played a street-wise Hamilton. A sample: “I’m just like my country/I’m young, scrappy and hungry/I’m not givin’ up my shot.”

Miranda would like to eventually turn his Alexander Hamilton songs into a musical. “When you write hip-hop for the theater, it’s your job to make sure every lyric is heard in real time,” Miranda said in a dressing room after the show. “The hip-hop I love is dense.”

Not every song falls into that vernacular. As King George III, Gavin Creel, in a paper Burger King crown, sang ballads with a dainty English accent.

(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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