The journal of a Kentucky culture vulture
Louisville’s Barnstable Brown Gala will celebrate its 25th edition with plenty of old friends and some new faces Derby Eve.
Among the familiar faces at the home of The ‘Ville’s hostess with the mostess, Patricia Barnstable Brown, will be reigning country superstar Miranda Lambert, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, pop chart-topper Kid Rock, former ‘N Sync member and TV star Joey Fatone, and UK coach John Calipari, according to Louisville’s Courier-Journal.
New stars coming out this year include Josh Henderson, who plays J.R. Ewing’s son on TNT’s Dallas, Krysten Ritter, who plays the title role in ABC’s Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23, Stephen Amell of the CW’s Arrow, model Coco Rocha, twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss of The Social Network fame, Peyton Siva of the national champion University of Louisville men’s basketball team, and UK’s Nerlens Noel.
According to the C-J, Larry Birkhead, whose famously met the late Anna Nicole Smith at the 2004 Barnstable party and had a daughter with her, will arrive with a camera crew in tow documenting his Derby experience.
The Barnstable party always boasts the longest celebrity guest list of the Derby parties, and this year is no different. The celebs can generally be broken down into several categories.
Country music will be well represented by Clay Walker; Kix Brooks, formerly of Brooks & Dunn; Travis Tritt; Lee Ann Womack; and Eddie Montgomery, of Kentucky’s Montgomery Gentry.
R&B and hip hop will be represented by Freddie Jackson, Smokey Robinson, Morris Day of Morris Day and the Time fame, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels of Run-DMC, Taylor Dayne, and Johnny Gill of New Edition. The presence of Tony Award winner Jennifer Holliday means both actresses who won awards for playing Effie in Dreamgirls will be at Derby this year. Jennifer Hudson, who won her Oscar for playing the role in the film is appearing at the revived Grand Gala, Friday night. And Southern rock will be represented by Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Mark “Sparky” Matejka.
The acting attendees include David Denman of The Office and Drop Dead Diva, Terry O’Quinn of Lost, Mercedes Masohn of Chuck, Breakfast Club star Emilio Estevez, and American Pie star Jason Biggs.
And there are always plenty of human athletes in Louisville to watch the horses race: the NBA’s Anthony Davis and Darius Miller of UK’s 2012 national champion men’s basketball team, former UK and current Green Bay Packers star Randall Cobb, his Green Bay teammate linebacker Clay Matthews III, Minnesota Vikings Quarterback Matt Cassel, Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker, New England Patriots defensive lineman Vince Wilfork, Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, and Olympian Bode Miller.
This year will be my 15th Barnstable Brown Gala. The first few years I covered it, the media contingent was fairly modest: usually a group of us from the Herald-Leader and a reporter and photographer from the Courier-Journal, a cameraman and reporter from each Louisville TV station and at least one of theLexington stations. A writer from People magazine usually showed up, maybe with a photographer in tow.
Now, it is a celebrity gossip crush that rivals some red carpets I have covered in New Yorkand Toronto, with camera crews from shows like Access Hollywood and Entertainment Tonight as well as numerous other publications and websites. My favorite addition has been the guys from the Bourbon Blog (bourbonblog.com). I’ve stood next to them on the receiving line a couple years now, and asking celebs about their drink preferences seems to be a great ice breaker.
The way we have covered it has also changed. It used to be, being from out of town with noLouisvillenewsroom to run to, we would set up a big operation behind theBarnstablehome next to the caterers. It included a tent and, before the advent of wi-fi and mobile wi-fi, a phone line we had to get the phone company to drop in for us. The last few years, we have sent most everything in from the red carpet via handheld devices.
My firstBarnstableparty, my firstDerbycelebrity was a legitHollywoodA-lister in Robert Duvall, who lingered with me several minutes talking about his horse farms inVirginiaand reaffirming for this newcomer thatKentuckyis, “the mecca of thoroughbred racing.”
The Barnstable Brown Gala is a black tie affair, and that has traditionally included the media. It doesn’t always include the celebrities. When Kid Rock showed up in 2001 in a black tank top with an explicit phrase scrawled across the back, our photographer David Perry commented, “If I showed up in that, they wouldn’t let me through the gate.”
Maybe Rock got a talking to, because the next time he showed up, he had cleaned up significantly.
The 2004 bash was one for the books with streams of reality TV and pop music guests such as Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson in the throes of their Newlyweds celebrity and Nicole Richie at the height of her famous-for-being famous career with Paris Hilton on The Simple Life. Anna Nicole Smith seemed sort of like last year’s news as she had crashed the party the previous year with the crew from her show. Little did we know one of the defining stories of the Barnstable Brown legend was developing as that was the nightLouisville photographer Larry Birkhead met Smith, and they later had a child who ended up at the center of a paternity dispute following Smith’s death in 2007.
This year’s lineup promises to be one of the better ones with current names such as Ashton Kutcher and Kate Upton on the guest list. Time to get the tux out of the closet.
- One of my favorite memories of covering the Barnstable Brown Gala is all the colleagues I have worked with. Our entertainment editor got a lot of us to put together memories of covering celebrities at the Gala and the Derby. Click here to read it.
Kentucky Derby celebrities who made the Barnstable-Brown Party one of their first stops in Louisville were bowled over by the Southern hospitality and seemed all over the place on who they picked to win the race.
May1While the forecast is calling for possible flash floods for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, it was a flash flood of stars that turned out for Friday night’s 23rd annual Barnstable Brown Party.“This is my first Derby,” said CBS newsman Bob Schieffer, the first celebrity to arrive. “I hear this party is over the top.”The idea of the party is bringing a little bit of Hollywood to Louisville’s Highlands neighborhood.
And those stars were out, including actor Jerry O’Connell declaring his love for all things Kentucky, such as bourbon and the Wildcats.And this year’s gala highlighted local talent too, with Cats Coach John Calipari and members of the University of Kentucky basketball team on the guest list and the UK Opera Theatre on stage.While he is departing for the NBA, Patrick Patterson promied he would be back for events like the Derby.
“I love Kentucky,” he said. “I love the fans.”“JOHN WALL! JOHN WALL!” cheered Louisville fans surrounding the barricades along the front lawn of host Patricia Barnstable Brown’s home.And as the stars kept coming out, the cheers rained down.
The Kentucky Derby is now less that two weeks away and the guest list is starting to take shape for the annual Barnstable-Brown Derby Eve Gala, April 30 at the Louisville home of Patricia Barnstable-Brown.
Tito, Marlon and Jackie Jackson, members of the Jackson 5, which featured the Michael Jackson, will be guests at the party that has previously hosted Jackson sisters Janet and La Toya. In honor of the visit, Barnstable-Brown said the event will feature a tribute to the Jacksons’ music with songs like ABC and I Want You Back.
This is the 22nd year for the Barnstable-Brown Gala, which benefits diabetes research at the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville. Recent party guests have included Paris Hilton and Brooke Shields.
If you miss the fact that the Kentucky Derby is on Saturday, maybe you just aren’t watching enough NBC and its universe of networks.
This week, the Peacock is proving that while healthy advertising budgets are nice, nothing beats having a whole bunch of networks on which you can air tied-in programming. And that is why, as Sharon Thompson alerts us, Bravo will be live from Churchill Downs at the Oaks at 5 p.m. Friday. Ladies First: Bravo at the Kentucky Derby will look at Derby food, fashion and celebrities with Bob Costas, Access Hollywood‘s Nancy O’Dell, The Real Housewives of New York City‘s Bethenny Frankel (daughter of Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel), and Tiki Barber, who will be in the infield with the last two winners of Top Chef.
The 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. segment of the Today show — the portion of the show Saturday Night Live just loves — will also look at Derby fashion today, and Friday, it’s Derby cooking.
Meanwhile, financial network CNBC is looking at the monetary side of the event with Run for the Roses: The Kentucky Derby and the Business of Horse Racing hosted by The Call‘s Melissa Francis at 9 tonight, and repeating several times through Saturday.
With Paris Hilton on the guest list, you can bet the paparazzi will be out in force, and NBC’s own Access Hollywood will be in town for bashes like the Barnstable-Brown Gala and providing red carpet coverage at Churchill Downs with O’Dell and Barber during the Derby broadcast from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday.
Apr29Filed under: Derby, Film, Louisville, Music, UK; Tagged as: 2009 Barnstable-Brown Gala, Barnstable-Brown Foundation, Barnstable-Brown Gala, Brooke Shields, Darryl D.M.C. McDaniels, Eric Javits, Gretchen Wilson, Grey Goose Vodka, Kid Rock, Lee Ann Womack, Mary Wilson, Molly Sims, Paris Hilton, Rachel Roy, Run D.M.C., Taylor Dayne
Chief among the additions is Brooke Shields, a 1980s teen film star whose recent roles have included NBC’s Lipstick Jungle and playing Hannah Montana’s mom on the Disney Channel hit. Also added are some old B-B party friends: original Supremes member Mary Wilson, Darryl McDaniels (D.M.C. of Run D.M.C.), Taylor Dayne, and country star Lee Ann Womack.
They will join a guest list topped by paparazzi magnet Paris Hilton, bad boy rocker Kid Rock and self-proclaimed redneck woman Gretchen Wilson.
As best we can Google and Nexis, this will be Shields’ first Barnstable-Brown Gala since 1994. At the race, Saturday, Shields will wear a hat custom-made for her by designer Rachel Roy. After the race, it will be auctioned off by the Clothes Off Our Back Foundation with proceeds going to benefit the Barnstable-Brown Foundation, which supports diabetes research at the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville. The party is also a benefit for the foundation. The hat benefit is sponsored by Grey Goose Vodka, which last year paired Kentucky-native Molly Sims with designer Eric Javits.
Apr28Filed under: Derby, Film, Louisville, Music, Television; Tagged as: 2009 Barnstable-Brown Gala, 2009 Barnstable-Brown Party, Barnstable-Brown Gala, Beyonce, Bobby Flay, Boys 2 Men, Chris Tucker, Damon Wayans, Eli Manning, Emily Cox, En Vogue, Evander Holyfield, Grand Gala, Gretchen Wilson, Idris Elba, Joe Piscipo, Joey Fatone, Kathryn Joosten, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Kid Rock, Kim Kardashian, Marg Helgenberger, Maria Montgomery, Mekhi Phifer, Michael Jordan, Mint Jubilee, Nick Lachey, Paris Hilton, party, Teena Marie, Tom Brady, Tom Joyner, Travis Tritt, Tyler Perry, Valarie Bertinelli, Woody Harrelson
Derby mode got a little delayed this year at Copious Notes because it seems like every arts group in Lexington decided to have an event in the last couple of weeks. But here we are at the big week, and I am having a hard time resisting cheering for the Chocolate horse, which is not surprising.
But our first order of business is to see which celebs are coming to the Derby and the Derby Eve parties.
Topping the list — and in terms of being a paparazzi magnet and all that, she will be hard to top — is Paris Hilton, who is a confirmed Barnstable-Brown Gala guest with her boyfriend Doug Reinhardt, and will also host an after party at the Sports and Social Club on Louisville’s Fourth Street.
Barnstable-Brown spokesman Corky Coryell said a formal announcement will be out Wednesday, but did confirm Woody Harrelson, Gretchen Wilson, Kid Rock, Bobby Flay, Joey Fatone, Nick Lachey, Tom Brady, Eli Manning, Travis Tritt, En Vogue and Boys 2 Men.
Other bashes, have announced their guest lists including the Mint Jubilee, which will welcome CSI star Marg Helgenberger, former One Day at a Time star and current Jenny Craig pitchwoman Valarie Bertinelli and Desperate Housewives star Kathryn Joosten.
The event at the Galt House Hotel also lists some dudes, including under-appreciated actor Mekhi Phifer (always makes me think of that line from Lose Yourself), comedians Damon Wayans and Joe Piscipo and a bunch of athletes including former Heavyweight boxing champ Evander Holyfield. Maybe the coup for the Mint is getting both of the Bluegrass State’s Misses: Miss Kentucky America Emily Cox and Miss Kentucky USA Maria Montgomery.
The Grand Gala always waits until Derby night to throw down. It’s guest list is topped by Idris Elba who stars opposite Beyonce in last weekend’s No. 1 movie Obsessed, Rush Hour star Chris Tucker and NBA legend and Derby perennial Michael Jordan.
Also announced is radio host Tom Joyner and Cosby Show star and one of Tyler Perry‘s go-to actors Keshia Knight Pulliam. Entertaining at the event will be ’80s R&B star Teena Marie.
Kim Kardashian, who’s kind of in the famous-for-being famous group with Hilton, is hosting a Derby Eve bash at Louisville’s Glassworks.
So that is the confirmed guest list thus far. There are rumors out there, and there are always last-minute announcements. Stay tuned.
We will, as always, be at the Barnstable-Brown Gala Friday night, and between now and then, will be on the look out for other Derby fun.
Richard Benjamin played Adam Quark, captain of a United Galactic Sanitation Patrol Ship, in the sitcom from Get Smart co-creator Buck Henry. Members of his crew included Gene/Jean, a “transmute” with male and female characteristics, a plant-man named Ficus and Betty and Betty, a woman and her clone played by none other than Louisville’s Patricia and Cyb Barnstable. The pair argued regularly about who was the clone and who was the human.
The Barnstables are also known as the Doublemint Twins from the Wrigleys gum commercials and for their annual Derby Eve Gala at Patricia Barnstable Brown’s Louisville home, which attracts an all-star crowd and raises millions of dollars for diabetes research at the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville.
Well everyone can get a fresh look at the Barnstables’ past with the DVD release of Quark. All eight episodes of the short-lived series are coming out on Oct. 14. The packaging prominently features the twins in their intergalactic glory.
Above: One of the unique aspects of the Barnstable Brown Gala is seeing stars such as the Supremes Mary Wilson give impromptu performances. By Angela Baldridge. Below: Party regular Bo Derek, looking a very classy 10 at 51. By David Perry. The photos are copyrighted by the Lexington Herald-Leader.
You do have to hope that the Barnstable Brown Gala is not becoming something like the Ichthus Festival.
Ichthus, for those not in that loop, is a Christian music festival in Wilmore that for years was plagued by rain and worse. For the second year in a row, the Barnstable Derby Eve party had to contend with the elements — an added glitter was lights reflecting off wet pavement.
Among Derby Eve events, it is uniquely vulnerable to the weather because it is mostly held outdoors, albeit mostly under a massive tent. When it’s a beautiful 60-something degree night, it can be magical.
When thunderstorms surround, you wish they’d magically disappear.
For most of the 2008 edition, the storms did just surround, lifting enough for the stars to make their grand entrances and walks up the Barnstable driveway to the awaiting party.
Patricia Barnstable Brown and her twin sister Cyb Barnstable were
making their ways down that long, winding driveway and ran
into celebrity chef Bobby Flay and his wife, actress Stephanie March.
“It’s a fabulous party, and you made the rain stop,” Flay said, beaming.
Brown replied, “This is what happens every year. It rains, and then, just in time for the party, it stops.”
This party has been happening for 20 years at 1700 Spring Street in Louisville.
year’s guest list included regulars such as singer Michael McDonald,
photographer turned celebrity dad Larry Birkhead, Olympic skier Bode
Miller and newcomers such as talk show host Carson Daly and Playboy
magazine founder Hugh Hefner, who brought his reality show The Girls Next Door to the party.
Murray native Molly Sims marveled at the throng of photographers quietly snapping her picture.
“You all are so polite,” the former Las Vegas star said. “This is the nicest paparazzi I’ve ever seen.”
invoked Hefner in his opinion of Louisville and the party: “People at
home think this is the Playboy Mansion of Louisville. But it’s not.
It’s a real home in a real, lovely neighborhood.”
We could go on, but the things that tell the story best are David Perry and Angela Baldridge’s photos and David Stephenson’s video of the evening at the Herald-Leader photo site.
Check back here later today for Copious Notes’ live Derby blog. I’m looking out the window trying to decide whether I need to ditch the seersucker for today.
About Rich Copley & Copious Notes
Raised by opera-loving parents in a rock ’n’ roll world, Rich Copley has parlayed his broad interests into his career writing about arts and entertainment. Since 1998, he has covered performing arts, film and faith-based popular culture for the Lexington Herald-Leader, the daily newspaper in Lexington, Ky. MORE | E-mail Rich