Bill and Hillary Clinton dined with industrialist Len Blavatnik and hedge-fund manager Richard Perry. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. President Gary Cohn left his seat with Anchorage Capital Group LLC’s Kevin Ulrich to visit at their table.
The gathering last night on the promenade of the David H. Koch Theater rounded out a Film Society of Lincoln Center tribute to Barbra Streisand as the recipient of the 40th anniversary Chaplin Award, named after its first recipient, Charlie Chaplin.
The event raised more than $2 million.
“That’s $1 million more than we’ve ever raised before,” said Ann Tenenbaum, the society’s chairman.
Streisand sat in the center of the room with her husband, James Brolin, a slice of Hollywood around her: Pierce Brosnan, Jeremy Irons, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Daniel H. Stern of Reservoir Capital Group LLC, the president of the society, welcomed guests as they started on their cured Hamachi prepared by Daniel Boulud’s catering company. Later came a duo of beef, and Ann Hampton Callaway, backed by Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks. She improvised a song using words volunteered by guests. Katie Couric contributed “ballsy.”
Wente Vineyards chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon and cocktails with Grey Goose vodka (a sponsor) washed it all down.
The dinner followed a tribute that packed Avery Fisher Hall. Streisand sat in a balcony as movie clips, remarks and music cycled through her film career. Former Democratic New York congressman Anthony Weiner and former chief judge of New York, Judith Kaye, were in the audience.
Liza Minnelli recalled bringing her mother, Judy Garland, to see Streisand perform, Alan Bergman played “The Way We Were” with updated lyrics, Wynton Marsalis trumpeted “Hello, Dolly,” and Tony Bennett sang “Smile.”
Tenenbaum noted that “Yentl” was the first U.S. film to credit a woman as director, producer, writer and star, and thanked Streisand for setting an example for her daughter, “a young girl who doesn’t yet know that the world is probably going to try to get in her way.”
Robert Redford and Omar Sharif gave video tributes. “She was the one I loved the most,” Sharif said. “I don’t mean sex, I mean friendship.”
Kris Kristofferson recalled co-starring with her in “A Star Is Born.” “That scene in the bathtub still puts a smile on my face,” he said.
George Segal boasted that Streisand “was singing live a good 40 years before Les Miz,” referring to “Funny Girl,” for which she won an Academy Award.
“I had to cold-call Barbra Streisand to get to her to do ’Meet the Fockers,’” Ben Stiller said. “We finally worked out the comedic details -- or, as she calls it, the money.”
“I thank her every time she sings ’Evergreen’ for me at political events,” said former President Clinton, who called Streisand to the stage and handed her the award.
“I wish I could give you all a big hug -- I mean the leading men, not all of you,” Streisand said.
Cohn and his wife, Lisa Pevaroff-Cohn, said they attended a Streisand concert at Wembley Arena in London. “It was one of the best concerts of my life,” Cohn said.
(Amanda Gordon is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)