In John Guare's dazzling 1990 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, Six Degrees of Separation, Stockard Channing famously played Ouisa Kittredge, a private art dealer living in a fancy Fifth Avenue apartment in New York City. As Kittredge tries to make sense of a complicated encounter with a stranger from an entirely different background, she says, "I read somewhere that everybody on this planet is separated by only six other people. Six degrees of separation. Between us and everybody else on this planet." Channing was nominated for a Tony and Oscar for playing Ouisa Kittredge in the play and film versions of Six Degrees of Separation.
So at last week's big soiree to celebrate Stockard Channing's prolific career, it seemed very fitting to call the event, "Six Degrees of Stockard Channing." In fact, after much calculating, it was discovered that Channing can be linked to every show on Broadway within six degrees.
The blowout party was held at an enclosed winter iteration of Gallow Green, the beautiful rooftop bar at The McKittrick Hotel, which is home to the long running suspenseful play, Sleep No More. Guests determined how many degrees away they were from the actress. For example, Martin Short and Matthew Broderick, who currently co-star with Channing in the Broadway show, It's Only A Play, are a mere one degree away from her (see photo). Meanwhile, actor Conrad Ricamora is three degrees from the woman who earned an Emmy award playing Abbey Bartlet in The West Wing. As Ricamora (who currently stars in the Broadway show The King and I) explained, he works with Viola Davis on TV's How to Get Away with Murder. And in The Help, Davis worked with Allison Janney, who co-starred with Channing on The West Wing! (Count em: three degrees.)
Guests included Channing's It's Only A Play co-stars Martin Short, F. Murray Abraham, Matthew Broderick and Micah Stock, as well as Andrew Lloyd Webber, Marsha Mason, Countess Luann de Lesseps and MSNBC's Thomas Roberts. Many Broadway and theater stars (Montego Glover, Alex Sharp, Benjamin Scheuer, Steven Boyer, Sarah Stiles, Michael Oberholtzer, Geneva Carr, Marc Kudisch, Max von Essen, Brynn O'Malley, Rob McClure, Michael Ceveris, Judy Kuhn, Jason Danieley and Molly Ranson) also lent their support. With a nod to Channing's beloved role as Betty Rizzo in Grease, guests sipped "The Rizzo," a vodka-based pink drink made specially for the event.
To see exclusive party video footage, click on this Parade.com story.