Big Apple Buzz | Gala honors Tracy Morgan, ‘Mr. Saturday Night’ COVID woes, and more

Dean of the Friars Club Arthur Aidala organized a tribute to comedian and Saturday Night Live alumni Tracy Morgan at the Ziegfeld Ballroom.

In the black-tie crowd were three mayors — current Mayor Eric Adams and two of his predecessors, Bill de Blasio and Rudy Giuliani. They presented Morgan with the Icon Award, the Club’s top honor. Past recipients include Tom Cruise, Tony Bennett, Robert DeNiro and Frank Sinatra.

Adams asked Aidala, who is also an attorney and the host of The Aidala Power Hour on 970 AM, if he could arrange a photo of him and the other two mayors. However, de Blasio had already slipped out.

When accepting the award, Morgan said, “Never give up. Fall down seven times, get up eight. Unless you get hit by a Walmart truck and then you can lay down and wait for your lawyer.”

After Morgan’s speech, there were performances by Joe Piscopo, who sang a medley of Sinatra’s songs, and CeeLo Green who performed his biggest hits. Among those applauding were Ben Vereen, J.B. Smoove and three Knicks stars Obi Toppin, Allan Houston and Immanuel Quickley.

Also in the room were Geraldo Rivera, Alan Dershowitz, Judge Jeanine Pirro, Eugenia and Janna Bullock and Tracy Morgan Jr. The event for 500 raised $500,000, with a portion of the proceeds going to the charity Stand Up to Cancer. The evening was emceed by TV personality/actress Rolonda Watts……….

Actors Billy Crystal and Shoshana Bean, nominated for ‘Mr. Saturday Night’, pose as they arrive for the 2022 Tony Awards ‘Meet The Nominees’ Press Reception in New York, U.S., May 12, 2022. REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs

On May 28, Billy Crystal tweeted out, “I tested positive today. I was taking every precaution possible. Don’t think it’s not going to happen to you. Stay safe!”

Following the multiple award-winning comedian’s post, according to, in an Instagram post announcement, the show’s team wrote, “Today’s performance at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. are canceled. Billy Crystal tested positive for COVID-19 prior to today’s performance of ‘Mr. Saturday Night,’ despite strict adherence to health and safety protocols. A second test has confirmed his diagnosis.”

The post continued, “Performances resume with Billy Crystal Tuesday, June 7 at 7 p.m. Note, May 29-June 6 was a planned hiatus due to a previous commitment Billy Crystal had scheduled. We apologize for the inconvenience this causes ticket holders. All Tickets for today’s canceled performances will be exchanged or refunded at the original point of purchase.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Saturday Night cast member Shoshana Bean also announced that she had tested positive for coronavirus.

Crystal plays the role of Buddy Young, Jr in the five-time Tony award nominated Broadway musical, that he originated in the 1992 Columbia Pictures movie………

Former “Dawson Creek” star Katie Holmes and her new boyfriend, Grammy nominee, Bobby Wooten III, made their red carpet debut on May 27 at the Moth Ball’s 25th anniversary gala, held at Spring Studios in Manhattan, reports multiple outlets.

The couple were first spotted out in the Big Apple last month with Holmes’s mother, Kathleen A. Stothers-Holmes. Wooten, who comes from a musical family, the gospel Wooten Choral Ensemble, from Chicago, currently plays bass in Moulin Rouge! The Musical on Broadway. He is also an adjunct instructor at NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

Holmes — who was married to Tom Cruise for six years and shares a 16-year-old daughter, Suri, with the “Top Gun: Maverick” star — recently broke up with Emilios Ballate restaurant owner Emilio Vitolo……….

Laverne Cox poses on the red carpet at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., April 3, 2022. REUTERS/Maria Alejandra Cardona

Laverne Cox celebrated her 50th birthday with a Barbie-themed party hosted at the Moxy Hotel rooftop in Times Square, complete with wardrobe changes and several bubble gum pink party accessories, according to Glamour.

The “Orange Is The New Black” star is the first transgender person to have her likeness immortalized as a Barbie doll. Cox told People that she was very hands-on in designing the doll. “I wanted her to wear multiple outfits. You want the doll to be affordable. So I was like, ‘What if she had one outfit that would peel off and become multiple outfits?’ So that’s what we designed and came up with.”……..

Former President Barack Obama was the toast of New York City on May 26. According to the Daily Mail. the former POTUS was spotted at New World Stages Theater on West 49th Street, where he stayed around an hour. The musical “Americano” is currently playing at the theater.

From there, Obama was escorted by his Secret Service detail and several NYPD officers, to Portale, an Italian restaurant in Chelsea, where he dined in a private room with several friends, before heading back to his hotel………

We Hear

“Love & Hip Hop” creator Mona Scott-Young has gotten a deal on BET+ for former Empire star Jussie Smollett‘s upcoming movie “B-Boy Blues.”

The Monami star was spotted with the disgraced actor in the Big Apple last week. Scott told TMZ, “‘B-Boy Blues’ is a beautifully bold, funny, heartwarming bromance and I was thrilled to partner with Jussie to help this wonderful film gain greater exposure.”

Smollett started work on the movie prior to the 2019 hate crime hoax allegation in Chicago and pandemic. The film has already won several awards, including the Narrative Feature Award at the 2021 American Black Film Festival – and will be released as part of BET +’s Pride Month programming…….


Natasha Lyonne at an event with her “Russian Doll” costars at 92Y in Manhattan on May 29…….

A pregnant Nicky Hilton in a summery maxi dress on May 23 in Manhattan…….

Jason Isaacs filming “The Crowded Room” in the West Village on May 24……..