When you’re Adrienne Arsht, the philanthropist who’s donated millions to cultural institutions from Miami to Manhattan, a birthday isn’t just a birthday. It’s a chance to gather 240 of your far-flung VIP friends in one gilded room.
On Saturday, Arsht celebrated her 75th birthday at New York’s Plaza Hotel. Prominent pals had no problem traveling to toast Arsht, who splits her time between the Big Apple and the District. Spotted in the ballroom were Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, billionaire David Koch, billionaire David Rubenstein, Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter, Atlantic Council President Fred Kempe, former Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff, “The Good Wife’s” Julianna Margulies and Washington power lawyer Bob Barnett, among other boldfacers.
At the cocktail reception crystal high heels served as seating cards (Arsht is known as something of a shoe horse). For dinner the posh ballroom was decorated with thousands of roses (attendees went home with individual bouquets) and at each table were playbill mock-ups of the night in a nod to the arts-loving birthday girl. The champagne flowed freely.
Between courses guests were treated to performances by several Broadway singers, including Brian Stokes Mitchell. During her remarks, the woman of the hour spoke about following one’s heart and doing the things that mattered. Arsht also announced that she planned to donate $10,000 to a charity of choice for each of the evening’s performers, who had all appeared free of charge.
Before slipping into a red sequined gown for the jazz club-themed after-party, Arsht had just one more important announcement for the well heeled crowd: Mark Feb. 4, 2022, in your calendars. She planned to do 80 just as big.