It’s An A-Lister Buffet! Cate Blanchett, Debra Messing, Star Jones and The Morning Joe Team



It’s a sure sign that spring is actually on its way when the A-list comes out of hibernation and flocks to Michael’s once again. The appearance of Cate Blanchett and Debra Messing holding court at their respective tables had the whole place buzzing. Wendy Williams, seated in the middle of the action, could barely focus on her own table because she was so excited. We also have to imagine that the grub at the NBC cafeteria must be wanting these days, because there were so many of the network’s bold face names (Joe! Mika! David!) all around the room.

I was joined today by my good friend, Diana Biederman, managing director of Blackbird PR and Kristen Vigrass, president of The Brandman Agency. We were celebrating Kristen’s promotion to to president of the firm which was announced earlier this year. A public relations vet with a long history in the luxury market for companies including Calvin Klein, Kristen started at The Brandman Agency as a supervisor and worked her way up during her decade with the company. Bravo!

Kristen tells me she and founder Melanie Brandman are planning to celebrate a decade of working together with a possible  sojourn to Borneo. The exotic port of call will be on the intinerary later this year when the agency’s client Orion Expedition Cruises sets sail to the destination with a new ship. Kristen’s suitcase is always packed and ready to go somewhere. The Brandman Agency also represents Intercontinental Hotels Group and Orient-Express Hotels. When do we leave?

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Debra Messing, looking every inch the star in a luxe white fur vest with her manager Molly Madden (the gals co-produced Messing’s now cancelled series The Starter Wife for USA Networks) and producer Desiree Gruber.

2. A Fox5 reunion: Rosanna Scotto, Penny Crone and Lynne White.

3. Sony Pictures Television head Steve Mosko with Tom Bernard and Michael Barker

4. Here’s an interesting trio: Uber celeb handler Cindi Berger, Hearst honcho Ellen Levine and Conde Nast front woman Maurie Perl

6. Most of ‘The Imber Gang”: Dr. Gerald Imber, Jeff Greenfield, Jerry Della Femina and Andy Bergman. I had a chance to chat with Gerry before we sat down at our respective tables and asked him how his Youth Corridor skincare line is doing. Turns out it’s going great guns and got a real boost recently when the good doctor appeared on Martha Stewart’s daytime show. “I’ve known her forever,” Gerry told me. “Before she was ‘Martha Stewart’ and better known as Andy Stewart’s wife.” After Gerry’s appearance on the show, his website was deluged with hits (the products are only available online). Now, he says there’s talk of expanding distribution in a big way. We’ll keep you posted.

7.  Dream Water’s chief marketing officer Adam Platzner with Ketchum’s associate director/partner Mike Doyle and vice president of brand practice Nicole Tehan. Adam told me they were celebrating Dream Water signing Ketchum as the company’s public relations agency of record. Congrats! Adam also brought along mini six-pack samples of his company’s hotter than hot namesake product in ‘Snoozeberry’ to distribute to the lunchtime crowd as they headed out the door. Dream Water, which Adam and his partner launched in Duane Reade in 2009,  is billed as an all-natural sleep aid that contains tryptophan (that stuff in turkey that puts you right out after dinner) that can help anyone unwind after a stressful day. “The movers and shakers here could probably use a good night sleep,” said Adam.  If, after downing a bottle tonight we actually manage to get a solid eight hours, we’ll be sending flowers.