Ringing in 2019 With Ryan Seacrest, Anderson Cooper and Opera Lovers

“I don’t know how anything will turn out when you’ve got this much rain,” said Ryan Seacrest, as cold water sluiced through his gelled hair and off his angular chin.

As host of “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” in Times Square, Mr. Seacrest is used to New York’s unpredictable winter weather. Last year it was just 9 degrees; Monday night was milder, but brought an inch of rain.

“I prefer the rain versus last year’s cold,” he said, despite being drenched to the skin in black J. Brand jeans and a white shirt from his own fashion line.

Nearby, his co-host Jenny McCarthy puffed on a Virginia Slim in a hot-pink, rhinestone-studded maxi-coat, perhaps from the Barbie x Anna Karenina collection. The former teen idols from the New Kids on the Block (Ms. McCarthy is married to its bad-boy member, Donnie Wahlberg) milled around her, waiting to take the stage.

Other talent who sashayed in and out of the ABC broadcast included Christina Aguilera; Dan and Shay, the music duo; and Colton Underwood, 26, the 6-foot-3 former football player who debuts as “The Bachelor” next Thursday. He said his 2019 resolution was “to be more faithful.”

Despite the deluge, Mr. Seacrest remained unflappable, even as he dripped like the Trevi Fountain. Around him, electrical cables snaked through pools of water and heaters hissed clouds of steam. At one moment, with three hours to go before midnight, Mr. Seacrest backed into a heater and his puffer jacket started to smoke.

“Step away from that heat,” a burly stagehand said in a thick Boston accent. “Ya burnin’, ya burnin!”

Staying Off Grindr

A short, soggy walk from Mr. Seacrest’s stage was the riser for “CNN New Year’s Eve With Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen.”

The pally co-hosts, who stood uncovered in the rain for more than four hours, insisted they were having the time of their lives. “I’ve been doing this for 15 years now, and there’s no place I’d rather be,” Mr. Cooper said.

Mr. Cohen chimed in: “It’s like a telethon with no disease, it’s fun.”

But, isn’t this whole experience just miserable? “Hurricanes are miserable,” Mr. Cooper said, referring to his stand-ups from Ike and Katrina. “I’ve done 13 hours in the rain, so four and a half hours is not so bad.”

Like bubbly cruise directors on Noah’s ark, they received Faye Dunaway and Paul Shaffer, who gamely chatted in the downpour. Cher, who is no fool, opted to phone in rather than appear in person.

Asked about his resolution, Mr. Cohen replied with a joke that requires his audience to know that he is an avid user of Grindr, a gay dating app.

“It’s to stay off G …” he started, but didn’t finish the word. “To use my phone less.”

Black-Tie Fireworks

In “The Favourite,” Emma Stone’s character arrives at Queen Anne’s palace covered in mud, having been pushed out of a stagecoach. Arriving at the Metropolitan Opera’s New Year’s Eve Gala around 10 p.m., soaked after two hours in Times Square, felt exactly like that.

No trash-bag-poncho-wearing hordes here. Instead, ball-gown-wearing 1-percenters lifted flutes of champagne to toast a pinnacle of high culture — and themselves.

About 4,000 opera lovers had attended the premiere of a new production of “Adriana Lecouvreur.” About 350 of them (paying up to $7,500 each) stayed for a seated dinner of lobster salad and duck confit, followed by fireworks.

Over a Pavlova dessert, Peter Gelb, the Met’s general manager, praised Anita Rachvelishvili, one of the evening’s performers, as “the best mezzo-soprano in the world.” The crowd, which included Ann Ziff, Judith-Ann Corrente and Agnieszka Balaban, seemed to agree.

“This is a must-see opera, with three extraordinary singers who are all in their prime,” Renée Fleming said.

Anna Netrebko, who also performed, said she preferred to stay at home on New Year’s Eve. But she allowed that it had been “a beautiful performance” and that hers was “a big, prima donna part.”

And is she herself a big prima donna? Ms. Netrebko, who wore a Gucci cheongsam dress, gave the question serious thought.

“If you want me to be so, yes I can,” she said.

Source: Read Full Article