You are invited to Monaco Palace

Ann Gerber

04/18/2012 10:00 PM


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DAHLINGS, THE INVITE OF A LIFETIME is yours — the rare chance to ooh and aah in Monte Carlo with a visit to the Prince’s Palace, the exquisite, dazzling home of beloved screen goddess turned Princess Grace Kelly. A CHANCE TO WALK THESE HALLS IS GOLDEN.

IT WILL BE FOLLOWED BY A COCKTAIL RECEPTION with His Excellency Michael Roger, Monaco’s Minister of State, at his fabulous residence.

FOUNDER CATHARINE HAMILTON’S The American Friends of Versailles is planning this “Voyage Spectacular” to the French Riviera Sept. 21 to 25 and the sublime brilliance of Monaco on Sept. 26 and 27. The history, the romance and the magnificence of the French Riviera awaits guests who join this benefit trip for The Friends of Versailles. It ain’t cheap.

THERE WILL BE GLORIOUS lunches and dinners at villas and chateaux, promises Catharine, who thanks benefit trip chairman Baron Roland de l’Espee, society president, and Madame Caroline Sarkozy, vice chairman, and other members of the French board and the gracious hosts.

GILT-EDGED SUPPORTERS OF THE FRIENDS OF VERSAILLES, dedicated to restoration of this magnificent, historic landmark, include: Le Vicomte Rohan, the Henry Kissingers, the Patrick Ryans, Sharon King Hoge, Dr. and Mrs. Charles Nadler, Madame Nicole Salinger, Dr. and Mrs. Henry Betts, the Frederick Krehbiels, the Steven Rockefellers, the David Horns, the Juan Pablo Molyneux, the John Jordans III, Mrs. W. Brinkley Dickerson and Edward Lee Cave.

RESERVATIONS ARE LIMITED to just a fortunate few who appreciate this unique opportunity. For more detailed information call 312-943-0173. Bon voyage.

Gossip, gossip, gossip

WHO IS THE WEALTHY YOUNG WIDOW who laughs off talk of marriage by declaring, “It would mean way too much paperwork.”

THE JAM PACKED AUDIENCE that crowded the Casino to hear author Anna Sebba discuss her new book about Wallis Simpson was expecting dirt or at least heavy gossip. What they got was a sympathetic theory of Wallis as a victim of the stupid, immature, mommy-seeking Prince Edward.

Anna uncovered that Wally’s ex-husband Simpson was Jewish and that she loved him dearly, to the end. What of rumors of Wally’s oriental sexual prowess, considered a major reason Edward could not go on without her? “We weren’t under their covers, were we?” Sebba admitted.

“You can imagine anything.”

A TRIBUTE TO NORMAN MARK, former Chicagoan, and a writer, newspaperman, broadcaster, will be held at Petterino’s on Monday, April 23. He died in Palm Springs where he had been living with wife Grace.

SAY HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Seth Rogen, Kate Hudson, James Franco, Ashley Judd, Conan O’Brien, Jennifer Garner and Ellen Barkin.

JUDGE GREG MATHIS of TV fame will spark the Boy Scout benefit April 27 at the Hilton.

DON’T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU READ, unless it is the current issue of Michigan Avenue magazine which offers a flattering, but factual article about me with pix by the talented Anthony Tahlier and text by veteran scribe Sarah Preston Gorenstein. Editor Susanna Negovan orchestrated the tell-all. Cover story is Tom Negovan’s powerful, insightful article about Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Roe Conn penned a love letter to Rush Street and Hugo Ralli and Steve Lombardo’s creation, Gibson’s. Paula Fasseas’ Pets Are Worth Saving (PAWS) gets a tail-wagging tribute and Donna La Pietra and Bill Kurtis invite you to visit their suburban sanctuary. Great issue.

A DOG’S BEST FRIEND must be the dynamic, caring Fasseas, who is working with PAWS to make Chicago a no-kill city. Paula will receive the ADL Humanitarian Award April 30 at the 19th dinner at the Palmer House Hilton. ADL will also salute Sherry Barrat of Northern Trust, Carla Michelotti of Leo Burnett Worldwide, Anna Pramaggiore of ComEd and Joan Walker of Allstate.

A GLAMOROUS RETURN HOME to see old friends will bring singer Melody Swink, now Mrs. Hubert Bromma, here from California April 22. She and her husband will greet pals at a Waldorf-Astoria dinner where Melody will celebrate her birthday.

She promises bubbles and song.

ADDING SPARKS to the Facing History and Ourselves benefit May 1 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago is author Erik Larson who wrote Devil in the White City and In the Garden of Beasts. Co-chairs are Greg Case and Jim Reynolds.

INSPIRED FASHION STUDENTS star April 27 when Inese and Richard Driehaus sponsor their annual competition where awards reward leading talents. Held at 700 S. Des Plaines with Linda Yu as MC, the runway competition, with models, will be judged by Wendy Krimins, Susanna Negovan and Diego Rocha.

MAJOR ART COLLECTORS Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson have gifted the Museum of Contemporary Art with $10 million for the renaming of its theater to Edlis Neeson. Longtime MCA supporters, Edlis is retired from Apollo Plastics Corp. The couple have also donated important works to the MCA.

SHOPOHOLICS AND FASHIONISTAS will prove their smarts May 1 from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Drake Hotel for Shop in Chicago, with CeCe and Melinda and 20 vendors of clothing, jewelry and accessories.

AUTHOR AMY TAN, whose books are popular with Chicago women, singed the internet with harsh words for “GOP candidates … who tell us single women should not use contraceptives, should consider a baby conceived from a rape to be a blessing, and to leave all matters concerning our uteruses to them … My grandmother was raped … my mother was raped at gunpoint … How can I not protest the perversion of women’s rights espoused by these candidates?”

THE LURIE HOSPITAL will be born June 9 after 130 years as Children’s Memorial, birthed with a $100 million gift from Ann Lurie. The state-of-art medical center at 225 E. Chicago, 23- stories with 288 beds, cost $855 million. More than 250,000 donors have contributed to date. Gala celebrating the new hospital is April 20 at the site, with actress Sarah Jessica Parker and singer Harry Connick Jr., headlining. Co-chairs include Lester Crown, Ann Lurie, Andrew McKenna, Robert Murley, Penny Pritzker and J.C. Reyes. Patrick Magoon is CEO of Lurie. Ann, who worked as a pediatric intensive care nurse at Children’s, hopes to build a child-friendly facility with increased patient safety to make care more efficient.

THE REALITY TV SHOW CRAZE continues with the launch June 3 on the Style network of Chicagolicious, a 10-episode show centered around hairstylist A.J. Johnson, who operates the AJES Salon on Randolph Street. Mayhem with the dreadlocks? Passion at the shampoo booth?

GRADS OF MACY’S fashion incubator class are promising designers Sarah Church, Brooke Conrady, Britney Devaris, Rachel Frank, Kathy Grzesik and La Tonya Williams.

BAREST GUEST AT THE IRREVERENT 12th Night Masque Ball at the Drake Hotel was Jean Mahony whose Union Jack bikini got a lot of salutes from patriotic partygoers at the British-themed romp.

MAGNIFIQUE PIX OF SEXY BRIGITTE BARDOT, the French icon, debuted at the Hotel Sofitel at a sizzling cocktail party to launch the exhibition.

AN OLD FASHIONED drinking joint — that’s how owners, bar veterans Dana Ronk and Rob Dalton, describe their new Clover Sports & Leisure pub at 722 W. Grand Ave.

WOW! GIRL SCOUTS are still talking about their 100th year tribute where they honored ComEd president Anne Pramaggiore at the Four Seasons dinner benefit.

WE WERE WRONG … We apologize to reader Marti Gershon, of East Walton, who took us to task for our column about grey hair being boring, and aging. Wrote Marti, “women blessed with silver-white hair … get compliments … and a silver-haired lady in a purple or scarlet coat turns heads … we are spared the expense and tediousness of constant hair-coloring … You see George Washington when you see us? We see Harpo Marx when we see all the fake blondes.”

Touché, Marti.

WHO ARE THE COUPLE WHO BROKE UP and neither wanted their dog? Their landlord took pity on the dumped mutt and took him in.

SUZIE GLICKMAN’S PAMPERED PET Simon got a new wardrobe of leashes and collars at Palm Beach’s posh Bibi’s Boutique owned by Catherine Louis. Small world dept. Catherine’s daughter adopted a cat, Sophie from Paws in Chicago. Bibi is a Yorkie and 30 books have been written about Bibi’s adventures in PB.

“PEOPLE SAY I’M EXTRAVAGANT BECAUSE I WANT TO BE SURROUNDED BY BEAUTY. BUT TELL ME, WHO WANTS TO BE SURROUNDED BY GARBAGE?” —IMELDA MARCOS, former first lady of the Philippines

CONTACT: annbgerber@gmail.com or 847-677-2232



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