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Across Town

More gatherings and notable events...

Monday, February 18, 2002

Anti-Valentine's Take Two

The thumping sounds of techno greeted the lovelorn as they walked into the South Side's Birmingham Gallery on Saturday to attend an "Anti-Valentine's Party."

John Tippens, Michael Wein, Amy Applebaum, Fred Grove and Tom Mosser.
(Annie O'Neill, Post-Gazette)

The party was for singles only, made clear by the large sheets of paper on which people could write down what they hated about the opposite sex. A barrage of funky images was projected onto the walls of the cavernous hall, and the schizophrenic dance music ranged from the Gypsy Kings to "Voulez-vous couchez avec moi ce soir" to Prince on warp speed. The party was thrown by "The Committee," Michael Wein, Ravi Reddy, Mukut Das, Brian Griffin, Terry Payne, Fred Grove, John Tippins, Evan Indianer and Tom Mosser, to benefit AIDS Ride 2002. Among the 300 were Amber Beatty, Michael Park, Quynh Quach, Ellen Unger, Andy Marcus, Lori Holt, Megan O'Brien, Hakan Ilkin, Sarah Gross and Nim DeNardo.

-- Caroline Abels

River City Romance

Staying in tune with the country's patriotism, the annual River City Brass Band benefit, "River City Romance, An American Affair," didn't miss a beat as it celebrated its 20th anniversary.

River City Brass Band music director Denis Colwell with Melanie.
(John Heller, Post-Gazette)

Friday night's black-tie affair at the Westin Convention Center featured a salute-worthy performance by the RCBB and music director Denis Colwell, with familiar favorites including "Ol' Man River," "I've Got You Under My Skin" and "God Bless the USA." Music was the evening's mainstay, evidenced by John Garrick on the grand piano for cocktail hour and Fran Duffy's soft harp sounds during dinner. But it was Mark VII's swing that had guests hopping to the dance floor. Co-chairs Bev Elliott (with Steve) and Mike Barbarita (with Debbie) were in perfect harmony with the guests, wearing accents of red for romance. Among those with a song in their heart were Phillip Horn, executive director of Pennsylvania Council for the Arts, Keith Smith, Melanie Colwell, Dennis Huber, Brennen and Maureen Hart, Bill and Helena Pietragallo, state Rep. Dave Mayernik with Chris and Johnstown Mayor Donato Zucco with Nancy.

-- Patricia Sheridan

Mardi Gras and the Bar

Wintertime, and the living was Big Easy Saturday as the Allegheny County Bar Association hosted Mardi Gras 2002, its winter gala, in the Westin Convention Center ballroom.

Amy Greer with Reg Belden Jr. and Michelle Lally.
(Annie O'Neill, Post-Gazette)

Michelle Lally served as chair for the benefit, with funds going toward the unmet legal needs of low-income residents. 5 Guys Named Moe played during cocktails and for after-dinner dancing. Food stations and a relaxed mood set the tone for fun. Among those wearing the party beads were ACBA president Amy Greer, executive director David Blaner with Kelly, Pennsylvania Bar Association president Reg Belden Jr. with Janie, ACBA president-elect Fred Egler with Kathy Beuchel, David and Valerie Wecht, Tom and Becky McGough, Bill and Regina Goyette, Neighborhood Legal Services director Karen Racunas with Robert, Barry and Kathi Simpson and David and Robin Ivol.

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