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Black Tie International:
William Kennedy

Co-Host Giuseppe Manica, Dana & William Kennedy and Co Host Barbara Ligeti Photo by:  Ann Watt



Producer Barbara Ligeti,  Emilio Barletta
& Giuseppe Manica Host Toast to Pulitzer Prize Winning Author  William Kennedy   


Author Feted on Release of Novel
 “Chango’s Beads and Two Toned Shoes”


Pulitzer Prize winning author and journalist William Kennedy was the guest of honor at a special toast at popular Theater District eatery, Trattoria Dopo Teatro. Longtime friend  noted film and theater producer Barbara Ligeti along with Trattoria Dopo Teatro owners architect Emilio Barletta & Giuseppe Manica hosted the reception to salute the author on the release of his eagerly anticipated new novel, “Chango’s Beads and Two Toned Shoes”.


Kennedy received the 1984 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for Ironweed the third book in Kennedy's acclaimed “Albany Cycle, which feature the interaction of members of the fictional Irish-American Phelan family, and make use of incidents of Albany's history and the supernatural. Kennedy's works include The Ink Truck (1969), Legs (1975), Billy Phelan's Greatest Game (1978), Ironweed (1983, winner of 1984 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction; film, 1987), and Roscoe (2002) and now “Chango’s Beads and Two Toned Shoes. Chango’s Beads … was featured last week on the cover of the NY Times Book review with a glowing review by John Sayles.


Ironweed placed at number ninety-two on the Modern Library list of the 100 Best Novels written in English in the 20th Century. He has written numerous short stories, children’s books and screenplays including The Cotton Club, with Francis Ford Coppola and Ironweed which starred Jack Nicholson, Meryl Streep, Carroll Baker, Michael O’Keefe and Nathan Lane and was directed by Hector Babenco.


Though the setting for the party was quintessentially Italian, it wouldn’t be a gathering of the clan without a couple of Irish songs. Legendary actor, writer and raconteur Malachy McCourt & his wife Diana were all too happy to oblige and led the group in a sing-a-long.


Among those on hand feasting on the restaurant’s justly praised Italian delicacies were actress and director Angelica Page ;journalist and author Dolores Barclay, producers Christine De Lisle, Jann Cobler, Barbara Bartos and Scott Perrin; agent Geri Charles;  novelist Lynne Tillman,  author and screenplay writer Jake Brackman, designer Berry Brown, Jeremiah James, just back from a critically acclaimed run on the West End as Billy Bigelow in Carousel at London’s Savoy Theater and soon to be seen in the AMAS production of The Countess of Storyville; New York Times best selling author Eliza Griswold; philanthropist Jean Shafiroff and the Kennedy Clan – his wife former Joffrey Ballet dancer and Broadway performer Dana Kennedy, son Brendan Kennedy and daughter Dana Nelson


Later when introduced to actor-singer Jeremiah James fresh off a critically acclaimed West End run as Billy inCarousel”, Kennedy said, “Well, sing me a song”. A little abashed, James said “how about something Gershwin?”  to which Kennedy nodded assent. James began the lovely “You Can’t Take That Away From me” and within seconds Kennedy was harmonizing beautifully with the young powerhouse vocalist!


Joyce Brooks

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