Lunch: Jean Doumanian & A Posse of Producers



Got a script to pitch? The posse of producers at Michael’s today generated enough heat to greenlight a slew of hits. Today, though, the big topic of conversation among these movers and shakers was what to do with their vacant west coast homes while they toiled in Gotham. Sorry, but we can’t relate. The bicoastal Beverly Camhe, who was lunching with best-selling author and Vanity Fair scribe Gail Sheehy, was chatting with producer Fred Zollo over just such a vexing problem. After they decided to have a get together the next time they’re both on the left coast, Beverly and I chatted about the biggest topic of conversation here on the East Coast — Tim Russert’s untimely death. “I never missed Meet the Press,” Beverly told me. “Everyone loved him. He was such a great guy. Even if you didn’t know you him, you felt like you did.” When Gail arrived, she dished with me and my pal (and former boss!) fashion exec extraordinarie Susan Malinowski about her upcoming article on Hillary Clinton — “Hillary’s Land War” — in the August issue of Vanity Fair. Given Gail’s track record on the subject we’re sure it’s going to be newsmaking. We can’t wait, can you?

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Producer Jean Doumanian celebrating her Tony win with “August Osage County” producers Barbara Freitag and Jennifer Manocherian, producer Susan Gallan and Merle Reskin, a Board of Trustees at Steppenwolf. Cheers!

2. Peter Brown — looking fab — and a young bespecatacled gent.

3. Bobby Zarem with casting director Bonnie Zimmerman and a fellow we didn’t recognize…

4. Barry Diller, who arrived sporting aviator shades and surveying the dining room like a general about to do battle and only removed them when he got to Peter Brown’s table for some glad-handing and hellos to nearby pals including Arnold Scaasi.

5. Parker Ladd and Arnold Scaasi.

6. Producers Jon Hart and Fred Zollo (sporting almost identical khakis and blue shirt ensembles — an accident, we’re sure) and a gent all in black.

7. Chris Taylor and two power blondes.

8. New York Social Diary‘s David Patrick Columbia and Alice Mason.

9. Former New York City council president Andrew Stein and a lady in red, a Fox newscaster, we’re told. Andy was overheard introducing his pal as “the only liberal at Fox.”

10. Deb Grubman and pals.

11. Freddie Friedman and Lynn Goldberg.

12. Joan Jacobsen and three other smart-looking gals.

14. We would have loved to have been a fly on the wall for this one: erstwhile Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia maven Susan Lyne and company CEO Charles Koppelman.

16. Nick Verbitsky, Charlie Palmer and mystery gent.

17. Charlie Schuler.

18. Leonard Lauder and a dark-haired gal.

20. Peggy Siegal.

21 Quest’s Chris Meigher and David Kahn.

22. My good pal public relations princess Leslie Stevens who introduced me to her BFF Jodi Wing. The newly minted author told me she has a new book, The Art of Social War coming out from HarperCollins in November. The former marketing exec used her own out-of-body experience as a transplanted New Yorker who moved to the West Coast (for a man!) to write her book. “I gave up my table at Elaine’s!” says Jodi who found her way through the social maze of “suburban fire monsters” and live to write the tale. Sounds juicy!

23. Jack Myers.

24. Fashionista Lori Rhodes and friends.

25. The early show: Tom Goodman and Arthur Sando. Second shift: Beverly Camhe and Gail Sheehy.

26. The New York Post‘s Keith Kelly.

27. Elle‘s creative director Joe Zee with pals design director Paul Ritter and photo director Brett Ramey. Joe and I had a great chat for my next So What Do You Do? interview coming up next month. The tireless Joe, who has dressed everyone from Sarah Jessica Parker to Madonna for that memorable GAP ad campaign, has added a new job to his already impressive resume. He’s starring in yet another reality show that goes behind the seams in the fashion biz — Stylista — for the CW which premieres in September. The lucky winner will land a gig at Elle. Note to ambitious strivers — Nina Garcia’s job has been filled so you’ll have to settle for another office. As Joe will tell you, you’ve got to schlep a lot of garment bags before things even get remotely glamorous…

29. Janet Chan, who since leaving Parenting earlier this spring, has been keeping busy with all kinds of things including an instructing gig at NYU. My friend Janet was lunching with her former boss Ellen Levine. (Janet and I both worked for Ellen at Redbook). Their chat was cut short when Ellen bolted after hearing the news that Victor Ganzi was out as Hearst’s president and CEO.

Faces in the crowd: My pals Vi Huse and Kira Semler enjoying their monthly lunch — with champagne at the bar … Zoe Baird in the Garden Room … Freud’s Lisa Dallos with Thomas Gensemer, partner in Blue State Digital — the folks responsible for Obama’s Web site. Lisa also brought along colleagues Casey Klurfeld and Kerri Chyka for the first ever lunch at Michael’s. Welcome to the club!

Please send comments and corrections to DianeClehane AT mediabistro Dot com and lunch at mediabistro DOT com.