Whitney Gala theme to be a bit less flashy this year
SARATOGA SPRINGS After a break last year due to the miserable economy, the Whitney Gala will return Friday with socialite Marylou Whitney arriving by yellow Checker cab in a nod to this year’s theme, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”
Whitney and husband John Hendrickson will hand out Tiffany blue bubble blowers and oversized faux diamonds at the shindig that draws about as many non-guests as it does invitees.
Locals who want to catch a glimpse of the philanthropists should arrive by 7 p.m. outside of the Canfield Casino, where the black-tie gala starts at 8. The couple is expected to arrive sometime around 7:15.
Whitney always arrives in style for the annual theme party. This year, the vintage New York City taxicab will be similar to the one Audrey Hepburn debarked from in front of the Tiffany’s store on Fifth Avenue in the movie.
Decorations will take a New York City theme, perhaps somewhat subdued compared to theatrical themes at past parties as a nod to the hard times people continue to experience as the economy struggles to rebound.
On Friday, those in the park can see singers and dancers from the “Tiffany’s” era.
Hendrickson said in March that “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” is one of Whitney’s favorite movies and the main character, Holly Golightly, was modeled after four women author Truman Capote knew in New York, including a young, single Whitney.
Maureen Lewi, a friend of Hendrickson and Whitney who helps to coordinate the event, couldn’t say which celebrity guests might be among those at the gala. “All My Children” star Susan Lucci is a friend of the couple and often attends.
Invited guests Sarah and Todd Palin will not be at the party, John Hendrickson said Tuesday.
The former first family of Alaska won’t be able to make it because Sarah Palin is filming a television series about Alaska, Hendrickson said in an e-mail.
But the Palins will be invited to the Travers Stakes if the horse First Dude is entered in the race. The horse is named after Todd Palin, who was known as First Dude when his wife was governor.
Hendrickson was in politics in Alaska, where he met Whitney, and is friends with the Palins.