Malibu Seen

Bray Grey, Debra Messing, Jerry Seinfeld and Bernie Brillstein celebrate the Tisch School.


It was one singular sensation at the Century Plaza Hotel as Hollywood turned out to toast NYU and its Tisch School of the Arts. The splashy A-list bash got off on a musical note with a cast of talented Tisch students belting out show tunes like “On Broadway” at the VIP cocktail reception. With a roster of alumni that includes the likes of legendary filmmakers

Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee and Oliver Stone, Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Kushner, Academy Award winner Marcia Gay Harden, Tony Award winner George C. Wolfe and Emmy Award winners Billy Crystal and Kirsten Johnson, it almost makes you wonder who didn’t go to Tisch.

After a little bit of bubbly and light conversation, the Prada-clad crowd made its way to the main ballroom, where tables were dressed in gold lamé and the roses were piled high in towering glass bowls. As dinner was served, two dozen Tisch students burst on the stage with a rousing rendition of “California Dreaming.” The revelry continued as they parodied the songs from “A Chorus Line” as a way to salute this year’s honorees.

The performers tipped their top hats to movers and shakers like Bernie Brillstein, Iris Cantor, Brad Grey and Steve Tisch, to name a few. Helping out with the hosting duties were prime time fixtures Camryn Manheim (Class of ’87) and Debra Messing (Class of ’93).

Dean Mary Schmidt Campbell had words of thanks on behalf of the school and her up-and-coming grads. “We are committed to bringing new voices to the arts,” she said. “And your contribution will make a difference in the lives of countless young people.”

Dubbed “Tisch Loves Hollywood,” this was definitely not your basic rubber chicken affair. After savoring shrimp salad with hearts of palm and filet mignon, it was time for dessert. And what could be sweeter than Jerry Seinfeld?

“Thank you, thank you very much,” quipped Jerry as he approached the stage. “The Tisch School has done absolutely nothing for me. But it’s such a great school, I thought I’d do something for them.”

He delighted the crowd with classic Jerry-esque insights on topics ranging from Falloujah to flatulence, suicide bombers to Cialis, retirement homes, diaper duty and other oddities of modern life.

“What’s up with star 69,” he said, referring to the telephone-dialing feature. “Who ever thought of that number? I mean, didn’t anyone at the phone company make it past junior high school?” He soon moved on to three-way calling.

The evening of laughs, merriment and music couldn’t have gone to a better cause. It raised $800,000 in scholarship money for Tisch students. The funds will be used to help the shining stars of tomorrow and maybe launch the career of another Seinfeld or two. Yada, yada, yada!