A couple of weeks ago I got an email from a “Hilary Knight.” The only Hilary Knight I knew of was someone I’ve never met and wasn’t even sure if he were still living in the neighborhood. I’m talking about “Eloise’s” creator. You know, the now immortal Eloise of the Plaza, immortalized as the hotel’s international celebrity.
The email was about a party at Lincoln Center that Hilary Knight was having in the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, and starring Liliane Montevecchi, dedicated to Marguerite Gordon with music provided by Peter Mintun and celebrating the man himself, Hilary Knight’s Stage Struck World an exhibition of his work over the decades since he started in 1965.
The party was last night. I just a feeling it would be fun to see. I was right. This was a party for civilians to catch a glimpse of “old Broadway” because of Miss Montevecchi, Carmen Delle’ Orifice, Carmen de Lavallade and Marti Stevens, and of course Mr. Knight, star of the show running at the NYPL for the Performing Arts in the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center at 40 Lincoln Center.
Standing outside the Library doors, too tall to be a doorman but tall enough to charm the children and even some grownups.
The Hilary Knight illustrated directions to the collection with his likeness of Liliane Montevecchi leading the kicks ...
Standing before the sign for photographers, Hilary takes out his iphone to get a selfie of Liliane beig photographed.
It was Carmen who gave Hilary my email addressed. She was wearing a blouse made of fabric designed by Michael Vollbracht for her.
And there is the maestro, Peter Mintun, keeping the music of Broadway in the room.
Marti Stevens comes by to see her friend. I don't know what Carmen is saying but she looks good.
The two Carmens, de Lavallade and Dell'Orefice.
Peter Mintun’s piano was turning out and show tunes from Porter, Rodgers & Hart, Berlin, and many more while photographers snapped photos of the principals. There were delicious hors d’oeuvres and a good bar. But mostly there was Miss Montevecchi and her friends, Mr. Knight and company having a reunion before the public. The atmosphere was totally New York, and Lincoln Center, and NYPL, and yet it was also not unlike a get together you’d see of old friends in some small town. That’s the secret of New York, and how it keeps its people.
Some of these examples of Hilary Knight's work were in cases, but they are not only a history of his career but of the last seven decades of Broadway and New York.
I left the party kind of carried off into the magic that is Broadway and New York, and how despite all the mediums, the giants of the stage and its artists really get to your heart. Up on East End Avenue, getting out of the cab it looked like a Full Moon rising over the East River.