Much To Celebrate at Academy of the Arts

Marlo Thomas and Phil Donahue still looked like newlyweds on the red carpet. She will be starring in the play “Clever Little Lies” by Joe DiPietro at Guild Hall this summer before the play moves to Broadway. Jennifer Landes photos

 Guild Hall had a lot to celebrate on Monday night at its annual Academy of the Arts dinner at Sotheby’s auction house in Manhattan. 

    Marty Cohen, the new chairman of the board of trustees introduced himself and the program to more than 200 guests. He announced that the East Hampton arts institution had bought the house behind it and planned to use it for seasonal housing for its performers and eventually for an artists in residence program. Marlo Thomas, above center with Phil Donahue, helped announce the main summer season of plays, including Joe DiPietro’s “Clever Little Lies,” in which she will star. 

     Then there were the honorees, each given a fitting tribute by their award presenters. Philippe de Montebello received a visual arts award from Ann Tenenbaum, Blythe Danner received her award in performing arts from Bob Balaban, Barbara Walters was given her literary and media arts award by Alan Alda, and Michael Lynne presented Ronald and Jo Carole Lauder with their award for philanthropy. “Be funny,” Ms. Lauder entreated her husband as he took the podium. And he was.

Tom Twomey, who is secretary of Guild Hall's board, and Judith Hope joined Hilaria and Alec Baldwin at the event. Mr. Baldwin served as master of ceremonies and is also president of the board of trustees.
Barbara Walters and Ed Bleier on their way into the awards dinner
Marty Cohen, the new chairman of the Guild Hall Board of Trustees, made introductory remarks at the dinner.
Chuck Close and Christina Strassfield enjoyed cocktails before dinner in the gallery where one of his works in the Guild Hall permanent collection was on view.
Bob Balaban, a longtime Bridgehampton resident, presented the lifetime achievement award in performance to Blythe Danner with an improvised Playbill biography that brought down the house.
Blythe Danner, who is filming a movie on the other coast, flew in on the red-eye to receiver her award.
Alan Alda chatting with a guest at the cocktail party
Hilaria Baldwin shared pictures from her phone, likely of her baby Carmen, with Barbara Walters before dinner.
Jo Carole Lauder helped her husband Ronald Lauder with his notes for his acceptance speech.