Just off the Concorde, London’s hottest producer Robert Fox (Dames Judi Dench and Maggie Smith star for him in the West End’s sold-out new David Hare play "The Breath of Life") chatted up Nicky, and Joan Rivers, her diamonds glittering, kept Hugo Guinness and his wife, Elliott Puckett, Hamish Bowles, and John Richardson in stitches. Usually, it’s Richardson who does the stitching.
Lynn Nesbit, Gale Hayman and Duane Hampton kept asking Brooke Hayward Duchin if she’s still going to Venice for the big concert Dodie Rosekrans is planning in her elegant town house Dec. 28. Of course Brooke is — it’s in her honor.
Others enjoying the shepherd’s pie and pumpkin pie were John Varvatos, Alexandra Schoenberg and Julian Lethbridge. As toasts began, HRH Princess Michael of Kent breezed in wearing far more diamonds than either Joan or even Nicky put together, and wearing a long purple creation that all the ladies thought was a Valentino. The next day HRH was at the Metropolitan Museum speaking to a sold-out house about another royal, Charles II and his formidable mistress Nell Gwynn, who began her checkered career selling oranges and ended up with King Charlie.
As the French say, pas mal.
About Maggie Smith and Judi Dench and their big London hit: it has everybody calling their scalpers. You’ll be thrilled to know, that everything has been smooth sailing with the girls except for the petite contretemps over which dame was going to get the best dressing room. One is located just off stage, and the other is up three flights of stairs. Dame Maggie, who plays a retired curator living alone on the Isle of Wight, managed to charm the stage manager into the one downstairs, claiming that the one upstairs was jinxed. Dame Judi, who plays a popular novelist, seems to be doing just fine with the stairs. And there’s not a sign of bad luck anywhere at the smash hit that is running through Dec. 21 with talk of a Broadway run next year.