“The Roundabout, it’s a good name,” actor and comedian Martin Short said last night at the nonprofit theater company’s benefit. “I don’t know why. It’s better than the Bernard Jacobs.”
The crack was at the expense of a theater named after a man who helped run the Schubert Organization. The musical “Once” opens at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on Sunday.
Of course, the Roundabout Theatre Company’s venues are also named for people: there’s the Stephen Sondheim and the Laura Pels (named for a Roundabout board member).
Perhaps the coolest name in its repertoire is Studio 54, the former Andy Warhol-dazed nightclub.
And then there’s evidence of corporate giving, the American Airlines Theatre, created before the airline went bankrupt.
“I feel cozy and taken care of there,” Matthew Broderick said of his time acting in the theater. “They serve brunch between the two shows on Sundays. It’s not New York brunch, it’s homemade.”
Pampering was the first order of business at the benefit.
“I just introduced our gala chairs to Dame Julie Andrews,” exclaimed Julia Levy, the Roundabout’s executive director.
Guests included the kinds of names that seem destined for buildings: Lloyd Blankfein and Gary Cohn of Goldman Sachs; Tom Tuft, a Lazard Ltd. executive and chairman of the Roundabout’s board; and Michael Karsch, principal of the hedge fund Karsch Capital Management LP.
Uptown at Lincoln Center, there was a man standing in a building named after him: He was David Rubenstein, co-founder of Carlyle Group LP, found in the David Rubenstein Atrium, which hosts free concerts and serves as an information center for the performing-arts complex.
The occasion was a gala honoring Betty Levin, a corporate-art consultant and Lincoln Center board member.
Later Rubenstein and Levin moved to Alice Tully Hall for dinner. Thomas H. Lee and Steven L. Rattner were among the guests who joined them.
The evening was not yet over. At the Bowery Hotel, another theater-loving crowd gathered to support the Sundance Institute’s artistic-development programs.
Robert Redford came in for a photo, Beau Bridges circulated with a glass of red wine in hand, and Kenneth Cole sat for dinner with George Hornig of Pinebridge Investments LLC.
Christine Ebersole performed a song from the musical “Grey Gardens,” developed at Sundance.
Child star Georgi James performed a song from a work in progress also developed at Sundance. It was a love song about a “young gay woman at seven years old,” said composer Jeanine Tesori.
Here are some of the lyrics, which James sang beautifully - - no, handsomely -- with equal parts maturity and innocence:
“I see your short hair and your dungarees and your lace-up boots ... Do you feel my heart saying hi?”
(Amanda Gordon is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)