Liz Smith: How Should We Like It Were Stars to Burn

“How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.”

So wrote W. H. Auden.

IT’S NICE when synchronicity happens in the middle of all the desperation that is going on in the world.

I am so happy that “Arrested Development,” the TV series Mitchell Hurwitz created for Fox — they ran it for three seasons — has been re-established and will soon be seen on Netflix. Stars Jason Bateman, Portia de Rossi, Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Alia Shawkat, Tony Hale, David Cross, Jeffrey Tambor and Jessica Walter will come back with the whiz Ron Howard producing and narrating, saying things over their dialogue such as, “What she means is …”

Critics loved “Arrested Development” and ordinary people too.

This reminds me of something that is also happening in New York, on November 8th. That’s when the New York Landmarks Conservancy will turn a host of famous New Yorkers into “Living Landmarks” at the Plaza Hotel.

What? You may well ask, does a charity that saves old buildings, churches, parks, historic monuments have to do with a TV series being revived?

Well, two of those VIPs appearing on “Living Landmarks” night will be Liza Minnelli and Tommy Tune, grand denizens of theater fame. Liza will be made a “Landmark” and Tommy already is one! But both will be seen at the Plaza together just as they were last week in Culver City where they shot an episode of “Arrested Development.”

In it, Tommy plays Liza’s brother, and they kind of ad-lib about her many awards and honors. He’ll do the honoring in real life at the Plaza next month when Liza becomes a Landmark. This tall, terrific Texan and nine-times Tony winner will also be saluting the 100th anniversary of the Jimmy Nederlander family on Broadway.

Both Liza and Tommy lavished praise on their act together for “Arrested Development” and they were super enthusiastic about creator Mitch Hurwitz, now described as the “show runner.” They couldn’t give him enough credit.

Oh yes, as for “Living Landmarks,” such as Barbara Walters, one of our alums, are supporting this grand night where all the Nederlanders are to be saluted, as well as philanthropist John Rosenwald, the Empire State Building’s Peter Malkin, restaurateur Daniel Boulud, and the aforesaid Liza each will be made immortal. The distinguished Lewis Rudin award will go to LBJ prize-winning biographer Robert Caro.

If you see another popular person onstage, it will be the “Landmark” Peter Duchin and somebody named Liz. Should be lots of fun; it’s an evening not about disease, health, the environment, politics, saving animals, children, abused women – or any of those important worrisome things. It’s just about saving physical New York City!

Call 212-995-5260.

YOU MIGHT want to put down the date, October 16, but then you might not want to bother if you can’t be in New York for the Casita Maria “Fiesta 2012.” But believe me, you wanna be here.

This annual biggie benefits the Center for Arts & Education and happens at the Mandarin Oriental, with music by Bob Hardwick and the most outrageous emcee in the history of fund-raising.

When it was suggested by the Casita maestro Jackie Weld Drake to Mario Buatta that they invite Dame Edna to present the gold medals this year, the “Prince of Chintz” responded: “Dame Edna is in Australia. But I could do it. I’ve got the wig and could borrow the dress. With makeup, would anyone know it’s me and not him?”

I don’t know if Buatta was serious or not but one way to find out is to call 203-298-4722 and get your money ready (from $350 to $75,000) supporting this great work for Spanish culture and education. (It’s always one of the truly “fun” parties of the year.) Getting the gold medals are honorees Lilly Scarpetta de Pumarejo Pierre Durand Kiera Chaplin for Marina B.

The famous Chinese Porcelain Co. on Park Avenue held a cocktail benefit last night and nobody broke anything. It was a total knockout. This is a don’t miss if you’ve got the money, the motive, the time and you fear the wrath of Jackie Weld Drake who leads the conga line. I do. Cha cha cha!

And I fear Mario Buatta as well; at the Theatre Wing dinner I watched him spill a whole glass of wine all over the Tony-winning press rep Shirley Herz. She sat, wet, for the night.

MEMO TO Madonnastop being “ironic.” Madonna’s latest trip down the road to irony was the “We have a black Muslim in the White House” remark. Enough already! Madonna can be quite amusing privately. In public, not so much. We’ve always loved and supported you, Madonna, but just sing and dance, okay?

ENDQUOTE: Tim Tebow talking to Taylor Antrim in Vogue, on finding the right woman: “Obviously looks play a big part, but there’s so much more than that for me. It’s about finding someone sweet and kind — and that has a servant’s heart.”

Now, before anybody misinterprets that, Tim is not implying his wife should be his servant. No, she must be a servant to the Lord, just as he is.

P.S. That Annie Leibovitz photo of Tim, in Vogue — shirtless and rolling a gigantic tire, is already an iconic image.

This column originally appeared on NYSocialDiary.com on 9/28/12

2 comments so far.

  1. avatar Lila says:

    I have little doubt, reading Madonna’s full quote elsewhere, that she was not being “ironic.” It’s nice for celebrities to lend their voices to worthy causes, but please…. they should know what they’re talking about first.

    • avatar Briana Baran says:

      Ah, Madonna. What a paragon of wisdom, wit, and intellect. And she can sing and dance, too.

      Or so “They” say.