The Dinner Party at City Winery

Elysabeth Alfano, creator of The Dinner Party, hosted guests at City Winery on Monday, November 25, amidst the first snowfall of the season in the Windy City. Entertainment, wine, dinner and conversation all in one room, but not the ordinary kind.

This is a staged dinner with an unscripted conversation. Prior to dinner, jazz singer Kimberly Gordon opened the evening by singing sultry tunes. Guest speakers included author Scott Turow, music critic and co-host of “Sounds Opionions” Jim DeRogatis, and burlesque dancer Michelle L’Amour, joined by Chef Heather Terhune of Sable Kitchen & Bar. All were seated on stage and ready to answer questions by Ms. Alfano along with those tweeted in by guests and viewers. Throughout the conversation, Ms. Terhune created a delectable dinner for the audience. During the entire evening, Rosemary Fanti illustrated the scene on the stage.

What did the guest speakers all have in common? They’re all in the entertainment business and, yes they entertained us throughout the evening, individually and as a group. Mr. DeRogatis displayed one of his many talents, and it wasn’t being a critic. Mr. DeRogatis plays drums in the band, Vortis. On stage in place of Mr. DeRogatis was band member Louie Calvano, singing one of the band’s latest hits. Ms. L’Amour charmed, awed and probably shocked the crowd as she performed a burlesque dance, then stripped down to pasties and a g-string. Upon completing her tantalizing act, she sat back down at the table in between Mr. DeRogatis and Mr. Turow, still semi-bare. Next up was Mr. Turow who did not want to be outdone –  he stripped off his blazer but stopped there, much to the ladies’ dismay. Mr. Turow read an excerpt from his latest book, Identical, filled with murder, mystery and scandal. It was an unforgettable evening.

The next Dinner Party will be held on Monday, January 20 at City Winery.

Chuck Osgood Photograph


About Cindy Burns

Cindy Burns is an author, researcher and freelance writer. She has spent over 20 years serving on charitable boards and organizations, and currently serves as a member of the Women's Board of the Joffrey Ballet and The Women's Auxillary Board of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicago. She’s also an Honorary Member of the Children's Service Board of Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital and writes as TCW's "Woman About Town," covering Chicago's social scene, events, fashion, interviews with women who are making a difference, and more around Chicago