NYC Life: Bonnets, Awesome Events, Broadway News, Cabaret

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Don your Easter Bonnet and join the Fifth Avenue Parade tomorrow. Tomatoes are buzzing with excitement about May 19th, the date of our next Renewal Summit. Another exciting event is happening next week, and we have your VIP invite. Valerie Smaldone says a very “popular” Broadway show is about to hit a milestone. Can you guess the show? If you love design and beautiful mansions, check out this year’s Kips Bay Decorator Showcase. We have highlights of a couple of upcoming must-see cabaret shows. Plus, beautiful photos from our roving photographer. Wishing you all a happy holiday weekend.

Easter Sunday. “On the Avenue…”

The tradition continues. The Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival, started in the 1870s, continues today with fancy bonnets, intricately crafted hats and over-the-top fascinators. Here’s a look at a few of the creative bonnets from the past. Plus, a video of Judy Garland and Fred Astaire, in “The Easter Parade.”

Photos: Elizbeth Bick

Starting at about 10am and continuing until 4pm, the parade marches north on Fifth Avenue, from 49th Street to 57th Street. The best place to watch is from the area around St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

The Best Event in May

What an exciting and inspiring day this will be. We have 5 incredible panels, a terrific special guest, a special award to Tony winning Broadway producer Pat Addiss, fabulous exhibitors, and other amazing women in the beautiful Scandinavia House overlooking Park Avenue, ending with a wine reception on the terrace. GET THE DETAILS.

April 13. A Great Book, Wine, Brownies & Beautiful Clothes

Consider this your VIP invite to this wonderful evening celebrating the launch of Gabriella Contestabile’ s beautiful book of short stories, “That Time of Day.” The event is hosted by Gabrielle Carlson in her beautiful boutique. Pop in anytime between 6 and 8 PM and meet the author. We will see you there.

April 18. Celia Berk at 54 BELOW

We are big fans of multi-award-winning vocalist, Celia Berk, and are so excited that she has released her critically acclaimed third album, Now That I Have Everything, with a special live performance. Arranged in the style of the Nat King Cole trio, the album features the kinds of hidden gems that are Berk’s trademark, including songs by Hoagy Carmichael, Ervin Drake, Carly Simon, Billy Strayhorn, and Stevie Wonder.

Celia Berk’s Now That I Have Everything plays 54 Below (254 West 54th Street) on Tuesday, April 18 at 7pm. There is a $45-$55 cover charge ($51-$62 with fees) and a $25 food and beverage minimum per person. Tickets and information are available at

April 22.  Debbie Kane Raymar at Pangea

One of this year’s Tomatoes Got Talent finalists, vocalist Debbie Kane Raymar brings her show to Pangea. Reflections Of A Late Bloomer celebrates a performer’s self-discovery and pursuit of her passion later in life. With songs that run the gamut from Jule Styne to Carole King to Jason Robert Brown, “Reflections…” will remind us that it’s never too late to pursue our dream.  Get the details.

Roving in Burano, Italy

Our roving photographer, Nicole Freezer Rubens, says visiting Burano feels like walking in an Easter Basket. The island off of Venice with a population of 2700 people was originally settled in the 6th century and became notable 10 centuries later when the women began making and exporting fine lace. The obvious appeal today is the colorful, brightly painted houses. Each lot has a designated color option that must be approved by the government before the owner paints.

Nicole says it is ironic to that the appearance of Burano is so tightly monitored, yet their famous San Martino church tower is so obviously leaning and quite crooked!  A trip to Venice must include seeing this fantastical town where the uplifting spirit of renewal and Easter are felt all year round.

Nicole Freezer Rubens is the author of poetry/photo book, “The Long Pause and the Short Breathe.” Follow her on Instagram@nfrconsult

May 11-June 16. Kips Bay Decorator Show House

​This is one of my favorite events. Each year celebrated interior designers transform a luxury Manhattan home into an elegant exhibition of fine furnishings, art, and technology to benefit the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club. This year you will get to tour the beautifully designed rooms at the historic River Mansion at 337 Riverside Drive at W 106th Street.

The oversized home sits on a corner high point beside Riverside Park with enchanting Hudson River views. With a colorful history beginning in 1902, the building has been home to several notable residents including actress Julia Marlowe, and the Bronfman family including Edgar, Sherry B. and Hannah Bronfman. Get the details.



  • Cheryl Benton

    The tomato behind The Three Tomatoes. Cheryl Benton, aka the “head tomato” is founder and publisher of The Three Tomatoes, a digital lifestyle magazine for “women who aren’t kids”. Having lived and worked for many years in New York City, the land of size zero twenty-somethings, she was truly starting to feel like an invisible woman. She created The Three Tomatoes just for the fun of it as the antidote for invisibility and sent it to 60 friends. Today she has thousands of friends and is chief cheerleader for smart, savvy women who want to live their lives fully at every age and every stage. She is the author of the novel, "Can You See Us Now?" and co-author of a humorous books of quips, "Martini Wisdom." Because she's lived a long time, her full bio won't fit here. If you want the "blah, blah, blah", read more.

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