Friday, November 4, 2011


Johnny on the red carpet
at the Ice Theatre of New York 
"Dare to Be Different" Benefit Gala, 
October 24, 2011.
Photo © David Ingogly.

In our continuing coverage of the amazing event that was the ITNY Gala, today we take you to The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers, the setting for the evening's post-performance dinner and awards ceremony. The subdued lighting in both the red carpet alcove and the banquet area proved challenging for all the photographers, who gathered first at the red carpet to stare at the setup, then quietly snarl at their equipment and commiserate with each other. The red carpet happened immediately after the performance, so while we were waiting for the first guests to arrive on the carpet from Sky Rink, the photographers tested various configurations to try to shed some light on the situation. Literally. First they tried aiming the overhead track spotlights directly on the Ice Theatre backdrop. Which served only to make it an unpleasantly ashen color and highlight the wrinkles in it. OK. Then they tried NOT aiming the spotlights on it. This created the delightful effect of taking pictures of elegantly dressed people in a vast and pitch-black underground cavern. Then the guests arrived, so everybody winged it.

Johnny with Jirina Ribbens, executive director of ITNY. 
I first met Jirina in April 2010 at Ice Dreams, 
where she was handling... everything. 
An intense and brisk dynamo with a wonderful
 sense of humor, she created a most beautiful 
Gala evening for all involved.

Johnny with ITNY's founder and artistic director, Moira North
An amazing and lovely person. It was a privilege to meet her.

Johnny with the evening's recipients of the 
ITNY Arts and Business Partnership Award, 
Mike Clayton and Lena Gottschall, owners of Ice Rink Events. 
Described in the benefit journal as "the leading designer, 
manufacturer, installer and operator of ice-skating rink 
facilities worldwide," Ice Rink Events' mission is 
to make the joy of ice sports accessible to all.

Johnny with ITNY treasurer Missy Van Buren, left, 
and Doris Michaels.

ITNY vice chairman Joan Erdheim, left, and 
ITNY Benefit Committee member Anne Lichtblau with Johnny. 
Anne provided one of the most dramatic moments 
of the evening during the awards ceremony, when 
she surprised Johnny with a gift: the $25,000 Fabergé egg 
that had been part of the evening's silent auction.

Johnny and Chris Benz and Chris' awesome hair.
Chris was warm and kind to everyone, 
posing for photos and signing autographs
for all who asked.

With "Uncle Dick" Button
I love everything about this photo.

Tara and Johnny. 

Random red carpet-ish moments.

Johnny checks to see who else is waiting 
to take a photo with him on the carpet. 
Keith Klein of MSA Advertising and Public Relations,
center, with glasses and wicked sense of humor, 
did a fantastic job of keeping the line moving smoothly.

As mentioned previously, after the red carpet
Johnny & Company had to be rescued 
from being inadvertently locked out on the terrace. 
On his way back in to the banquet area, 
he graciously took a few moments to do autographs 
and photos with two young girls who had spent all day 
helping to set up at The Lighthouse 
but could not stay for the dinner. 
Here one of the girls--waiting, wistfully hopeful, 
in the far left of the photo--is thrilled to hear Johnny say,
"Of course!" to their request. 
More on their story here.

And now we come to the fabulous dinner and the additional challenge of photographing guests while trying not to be annoying. To that end, Davey did not use a flash while we were working the room because he was trying to be discreet and not burn people’s retinas out with unexpected blasts of light. This last week, we agonized endlessly over processing these photos because of the lighting--or rather, I did. Davey just worked quietly and steadily, and then presented me with these: Shots that beautifully capture the tables' intimate, candelight ambience with an understated retro-elegance feel.

As always, click any photo for a larger view.

Yes! The guest of honor did, in fact, 
make it to his own dinner!

Johnny at the head table with Chris Benz 
and Shannon Lenihan. A figure skater herself, 
Shannon performed with Johnny at the 
Elise Øverland show earlier this year.

Nina Petrenko, far left, and James "Grämz" Pellerito 
enjoy a giggle, but David "Butch" Barba, right, 
does not seem amused...

During the awards ceremony, Butch and Grämz presented 
video tribute to Johnny highlighting his achievements,
which resulted in the other dramatic moment of the night:
A standing ovation from the crowd 
for Johnny's 2010 Olympic performances,
led by the tables of Facebook fans.

The men's table, apparently, 
with Uncle Dick presiding.

Johnny's Uncle Joel and Aunt Diane Neff
So wonderful to meet them!

The skaters' table: The performers of Ice Theatre of New York, 
who did a brilliant job on the ice that night.

Fans!! Clockwise starting at far left: Nancy Knisley
Deb Walsh  and her husband Mario, Maggie Strasser
Rachel Machinton, and Jen Warfield. Li Mann is in front, 
and I'm guessing her head may be bowed in concentration 
over her camera as she prepares to take more 
of her really awesome photos of the evening. 
See her album here!

More fans! Next to Jen Warfield are Anastasia Pryanikova 
and Julie Findon. And Gary Podschun's nose and chin.
Teresa Avoglia is glimpsed walking behind Anastasia
and Julie in her stunning dress!

A better angle with Gary, who is wearing, 
if I recall correctly, an Adrienne Landau fur. 
Seated between Nancy and Deb 
is the lovely Jana Colgin!

And a lovely and unforgettable evening 
was had by all.

All of these photos plus hundreds more are available for purchase as professional prints through Ice Theatre, with proceeds going to support their wonderful organization. View the albums at this link and order today!

For more about this fabulous evening,
please see the article by Style 1 Media!
I love that they describe him as 
"the legendary Johnny Weir." 
Yes. This.

All photos © David Ingogly.

Please vote for Melissa Gregory and Denis Petukhov!! 
Their "Fever On Ice" program is up 
for a $50K grant from Pepsi Refresh!

Johnny's Glitter and Ice collection 
with MAC is selling fast! 
Don't miss out--visit a MAC retailer 
or order online ASAP! 

Yes! Holiday Dreams On Ice returns, 
this time to Philly! 
VIP tickets are already on sale! 
Get yours today via the Holiday Dreams On Ice website!

NEW! "Like" HDOI on Facebook
and use promo code "philadelphia" 
for 50% off your general admission ticket!!

Yes!! Q and A returns! Go read it now!
(Note: Now updated every Monday and Thursday... 
more time to savor each one!)

Yes! Johnny's dresses are now available
for purchase only on!

At last: Pop Star On Ice is now available on DVD!
Order yours today from the Pop Star On Ice website!

Johnny tweeted recently:
"Buy my single,'Dirty Love' via iTunes.
Tell all your friends to as well. The more copies sold
takes me one step closer to making a video! №1!"
You know what to do.
Please buy the song from Johnny's website,
or just click the "Buy" button on the player
at the top of the blog!

Hey, Welcome to My World also is available
as an eBook! More info on Johnny's website!

The season finale of Husbands is here! 
If you haven't seen this yet, go check it out now! 
Then please "like" them on Facebook 
and sign up for their insider newsletter!

Please help us nominate Johnny 
for "Must-Follow Athlete on Social Media" 
in the Fifth Annual Mashable Awards! 
From the Mashable site: You can submit one nomination 
per category every day. Mashable's editors will select 
seven finalists for each category, 
and finalists will be announced Nov. 21. 
Then readers will vote for the winners. 
Award winners will be announced on Mashable on Dec. 19.
Click here to nominate him!

copyright 2011 / Binky and the Misfit Mimes / Lynn V. Ingogly / all rights reserved


Julie'sAmazed56 said...

Fitting title for your blog about that wonderful event honoring he-who-is-the-object-of-our-affections, the legendary Johnny G. Weir! And let me add that it was worth EVERY PENNY I spent on this trip, just to be able to give Johnny, in person, that standing ovation at the end of his flawless Olympic performance-deserving-of-a-medal during Butch and Gramz' video retrospective. As usual, so happy to share the experience with my many friends from Weirlandia. Thanks for your work on all of this!

aaaack said...

Beautiful moments frozen in time. Thank you so much for helping us live and relive these moments.

boomerbubie said...

Good to see Nancy, Deb, Jen, n u Binks! Lvd the Dick Button-Johnny pic! (2nd try post)

Princess Johnny-Love ♥ said...

yay! this is AWESOME! almost as good as being there.

thank you SO much for sharing all the pics and coverage of the event.

*happy happy!*

aaaack said...

If this video is a taste of what Johnny's skating show will be like...awesome and addicting! Watched it before but not full-screen--this time, 24 inches of mind-blowing.