The evening began at 7:30 in FIAF’s Florence Gould Hall, where Marquis de Lafayette was reborn in the world-premiere of Lafayette. Inspired by the letters between the young Lafayette and his wife, the play tells the story of the 19-year-old man who sailed to America as a volunteer soldier and became the youngest general in George Washington’s army. Written by Ian Curteis, directed by John Michael DiResta, and produced by Robert Lear. Paul-Emile Cendron and Becca Ballenger starred in the production. The play was co-presented by FIAF and the Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America. It was a celebration of Hermione Voyage 2015: the sailing of a fully reconstructed version of the Hermione, which Lafayette sailed to American in 1780 in aid of the American Revolution, across the Atlantic and up the eastern coast of the United States.
“The premiere of this specially commissioned play,” says Young, “was a fantastic way to kick off the American program for the Hermione, which has started its journey to the States. It brilliantly evoked the spirit of “Why Not?” and you could feel the energy in the theater afterwards.”
Playwright Curteis echoed Young’s assessment, saying, “There was a sense of exhilaration in the air, at both the performance and dinner, that this superb project of the Hermione is coming together and people are really excited by it.”
Guests who attended include: Tony Bechara, Ian Curteis, Amy Hargreaves, Benedicte de Montlaur, Daniel Morel, Jean Kennedy Smith, and Miles Young.
Following the performance, Chef Daniel Boulud presented a special three-course dinner in FIAF’s Le Skyroom to benefit the Hermione Voyage 2015. Catherine Godbille-Koechlin, Pascale Richard, and Wendy Riches were the dinner chairs.
Richard, who is the Director of Education, Exhibitions and Cultural Programs for the Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America said of the evening, "The play was an opportunity for many people to freshen up on their knowledge on Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, and for many to discover his wife Adrienne de Noailles. Our next Hermione event in New York will be an exhibition at the New York Historical Society at the end of May."
Photos via Getty Images.