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Tony Danza and Deborah Cox

BIG APPLE FEST
Apples By Artists
Fetch Big Bucks

Story by Edward T. Callaghan
Photos by James Edstrom

ONY DANZA and Aida's Deborah Cox kicked off the First Annual Big Apple Fest with an elegant bash at Gotham Hall, the new hot spot for private parties.

The affable Danza delighted the crowd of politicos, artists and park execs with his accessibility.  Danza seemed equally delighted to have an opportunity to promote his new TV talk show.

Deborah Cox, whose been wowing critics with her transition from dance music queen to major Broadway diva, rocked the house with a 40 minute set that kept the crowd rolling.

They unveiled special effect wizard Phil Marco's Media Apple, a clear Plexiglas apple with a television inside broadcasting the news while shooting off fireworks and confetti. NY1's bushy eye-browed George Whipple kept the proceedings moving at a fast clip, allowing the guests to really party.

We spotted MSNBC's Roger Freidman, New York Times Boldfacers Joyce Wadler and Paula Schwartz, 15 Minutes Magazine's Aubrey Reuben, Daily News celeb photog Dick Corkery with his wife Alice on their "once a year night out on the town," and fellow celeb watchers Ben Widdicombe and Lloyd Grove. Elisa Lipsky-Karasz and Jeff Slonim carried The Post banner.


Joseph Velez and Shaska Star

Lenore Zann and Marco

Dylan Page and Stuart Kalinsky

The downtown contingent was led by the Village Voice's perennial party boy, Michael Musto, while the Hamptons ' press corps was represented by Debbie Tuma of Hamptons View and Andrew Wargo of WVVH.

Artisanal Restaurant and Tavern on the Green provided the taste treats that had the fashionistas coming back for seconds.  Personally, we could have made dinner out of the garlicky mashed potatoes served up by Tavern on the Green.

Legendary documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles filled us in on his latest projects.  He's covering artist Christo's wrapping of Central Park 's pathways and byways in sheer saffron material.

On a more serious note, he's just completed The Trial of a Jew, based on a true story of a Jewish man on trial for murder in 1913 that displays the rampant anti-Semitism that characterized the Czarist era and is still very much with us today.

Strolling through the guilded hall, once home to a bank, were marketing wiz Norena Barbella, Dylan Page with Stuart Kalinski, NYC and Co. president Chrystine Nichols, Parks and Recreation honcho Jill Mainelli, Liz Derringer, Joseph Velez and The Marilyn Tapes star Lenore Zann (looking very Norma Jean Baker in a tummy revealing black and white checked knotted blouse and Capri pants.

The apples created by over 300 internationally acclaimed artists will be on display throughout New York City until the end of October when they will be auctioned to benefit City Harvest, the Police Athletic League and NYC Co. Foundation.

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