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2009 May 1

West Side on Fifth

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Josefina Scaglione in Chado Ralph Rucci, Matt Cavenaugh, and Karen Olivo in Chado Ralph Rucci Josefina Scaglione in Chado Ralph Rucci, Matt Cavenaugh, and Karen Olivo in Chado Ralph Rucci
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(NEW YORK) “If I would sing on stage, I would clear a room in the matter of minutes!” joked Susan Gutfreund at her Fifth Avenue residence yesterday. But what she may lack in vocal chords, she makes up in hosting abilities. The social lioness was so inspired by the current production of West Side Story on Broadway that she decided to host a an intimate lunch at her beautifully decorated pad to toast to stars of the musical. “We’re essentially celebrating the ultimate Upper West Side story on the East side,” she toasted to guests like Ralph Rucci, Glenda Bailey, Jill Fairchild and Joanne Lipman, who finally had all the time in the world for an early afternoon soirée. “This is the show that really just inspires you to dance in the aisles during intermission!” raved Rucci.

Karen Olivo, who’s already earning Tony buzz as Anita, is dancing perhaps more than anyone during the two and half hour nightly commitment. “The upside is that I don’t have to exercise anymore,” she smiled. “But I remember when I was 5 and saw Rita Moreno on my TV and I thought she was me. By 8, I picked out my profession and never changed my mind--even when I was starving.”  No one was starving yesterday, of course, with a meal of risotto, seafood cakes, and brownies with ice-cream. And there was a lot to celebrate. Mario Testino and Anna Wintour recently were enthralled by the play and West Side Story will be featured in the July issue of Vogue, in a shoot with Daria Werbowy. “It’s all very exciting and overwhelming,” admitted Broadway’s young Maria, Josefina Scaglione. “But I end on such a dramatic note every night that I just kind of have to tune out at home with TV and my dog. I don’t think it’s normal to lose your boyfriend on nightly basis!” Matt Cavenaugh, who plays Tony, has another personal mission. “I just have to sing pretty!” he laughed. “If the show depended on my dancing skills, we would have shut down months ago!”
VALENTINE UHOVSKI

 




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