A Certain Hue in Overdrive...
Sting, suffering from a cold, sang 'Desert Rose' as a finale at the 'Tickled Pink' party, with Coralie Charriol, in blue, and others joining him on stage.
This should come as a surprise to no one, especially considering the cause and the event's title, but there was a lot of pink at the Breast Cancer Research Foundation's Tickled Pink! The Hot Pink Party on Thursday.
As soon as you came up the elevators at the Waldorf-Astoria, you were greeted by ladies wearing furry pink wristlets. There were pink feathers hanging from the ceiling, pink flower bouquets and baskets of pink ribbons. Inside the cocktail area, there were waiters passing salmon hors d'oeuvres, though that may not have been on purpose. There were also mini egg rolls; those were, perhaps for the best, not pink.
But there were men wearing pink shirts and pink ties and pink jackets with pink ribbons on their lapels, and there were ladies wearing pink dresses and pink wigs. Many of them were drinking pink cocktails, including bottles of Mike's Hard Pink Lemonade, the evening's chief sponsor (a.k.a. "the Grand Hot Pink Underwriter") and a malt beverage that specifically supports breast cancer research.
"I hope you are enjoying the pink lemonade and, if you are, you know that it's hard," Evelyn Lauder, the founder and chairman of the BCRF, told the crowd when she got on stage.
Just as pink fatigue was reaching its apex for a reporter, inside the ballroom there was more "blush and bashful," as Julia Roberts described her wedding colors in "Steel Magnolias," or, "pink and pink," as Sally Field did in the same movie: metallic pink tablecloths, hot pink cushions on the seats, and feathery fans at each seat in varying pink hues. At an adjacent table, Jonathan Tisch was wearing a pair of pink pants, though the lining of his jacket, he shrugged, was red. Jeff Zucker was wearing a light-pink tie.
"I figured it was easier than having to tell everybody I was wearing pink underwear," Mr. Zucker told his tablemate Rob Speyer, the real-estate executive, who was wearing a tie in a slightly hotter shade of pink.
And then there was the menu itself, written on a pink card and meant to "tickle your palate." Surprisingly, no rosé was served and most of the plated food was not pink. Dessert, however, included a fuschia, mixed-berry mouse along with a pink chocolate tulip cup filled with berries.
Like at any of these big benefits, there were some speeches and a live auction. "Wave your feathers," said Deborah Norville, who attended with her husband, the wealth manager Karl Wellner, "They're not just for flirting with the man next to you."
One of the items that went for a heap of money was entry to the Vanity Fair Oscar Party, though the lot didn't say at what hour guests were allowed in. When further donations were requested, one individual actually gave a spur of the moment hundred grand, though how spur of the moment can that actually be?
Then it was time for a performance by Elton John, who warned in advance that Sting, who would be singing just after him, had been suffering from a cold all day. "I should say I'm the reserve spot," Mr. John announced, before breaking into "Tiny Dancer." "If someone can't come out and perform at this benefit, you've always got me."
After Mr. John's set, while stagehands arranged for Sting's orchestra, Ms. Lauder vamped and told jokes. One was an old chestnut about a gladiator, an emperor and a lion. The other was about the mispronunciation of Ronald Reagan's name and "raising bagels." It would take a lot to repeat these jokes in this space, and even Ms. Lauder knew they were kind of groan-worthy.
"This is the first time in my life I've been a stand-up comic," Ms. Lauder said. "How much am I bid if I don't tell another joke?" That got some laughs.
"Thank you Tina Fey Lauder," Mr. John said.
We should all look as fit and healthy as Sting when he's sick. And sound as good as he does, too. "I took a steroid about an hour ago because my doctor said to," Sting said. "I don't feel better, but I do feel extremely horny."
In turn, for his finale, Sting invited all the ladies to come up and dance with him for "Desert Rose," a perfectly appropriate number for a Pink Party one could surmise. Indeed, it was like the running of the bulls at Pamplona, though the jewelry designer Coralie Charriol, in a--gasp--blue dress made it up their first.
"I'd been wanting to dance all night," Ms. Charriol said, once Sting finished his set and as the rest of the guests went to retrieve their goody bags. These were surprisingly not pink, though there was a mini-pink hair dryer, pink pencils and a pink monthly planner for 2011 inside.
Eventually, a reporter returned to his apartment which he was grateful to discover he had decorated with almost no pink at all.
(c) The Wall Street Journal by Marshall Heyman