Over the Rainbow!
For the past several years, Columbia TriStar honors the Daytime Emmy Nominees of both Y&R and B&B with a sumptuous luncheon high atop New York's Rockefeller Center at the famed Rainbow Room. Amid the art deco ambiance of this world-renown restaurant, the stars and invited guests gather to celebrate the industry-acknowledged best of the CBS Daytime line up. As usual, the photographers were ubiquitous, overpowering the entrance foyer, snapping pictures of the stars. Security attempted to keep a fire-lane open, but it was difficult to maintain.
Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki, Y&R) and her husband, Y&R Executive Producer Ed Scott, were the first to arrive. They entered wearing sunglasses, but as the first camera flashed, the shades immediately came off and the posing began. It was non-stop picture-taking from that moment on as everyone from Peter Bergman (Jack, Y&R) and wife Mariellen, Kristoff St. John (Neil, Y&R), Shemar Moore (Malcolm, Y&R), Adrienne Frantz (Amber, B&B), Jacob Young (Rick, B&B), Heather Tom (Victoria, Y&R), Joshua Morrow (Nicholas, Y&R), Michael Swan and Ashley Lyn Cafagna ( Adam and Kimberly, B&B), Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke, B&B), Jess Walton (Jill, Y&R), Eileen Davidson (Ashley, Y&R) and husband, Jon Lindstrom (Kevin, PC), Christian LeBlanc (Michael, Y&R) and his parents and many others arrived for the festivities.
With a breathtaking view of the Empire State Building and lower Manhattan visible from the floor to-ceiling south windows of the penthouse restaurant, the lavish affair got under way. Lunch was served buffet style. Journalists were not only there to cover the event, but to partake of the meal as well.
Peter Bergman danced with Jess Walton, and was then interviewed by the CBS network news correspondent. Speeches were made and congratulations given to the deserving nominees. Music filled the room and everyone was having a great time. Such a wonderful time, in fact, no one heard the fire alarm! (That's right! The FIRE ALARM!) Or, if they did, they certainly didn't pay it much attention, even as it blared and blared and blared.
Fortunately, the sounding of the fire alarm spurred Rainbow Room management, security, and the Building Manager for Rockefeller Center, who was there to monitor the event, into immediate action. They scurried about, trying to determine the cause of the problem. They communicated via walkie-talkie as the alarm continued on an intermittent basis. Was there a fire? Where was it? Were we to evacuate? Nice, especially since we were 64 floors in the air! Although they reassured those in the hallway who happened to be privy to the commotion that all was under control, there was an obvious look of concern in their eyes.
After a good fifteen minutes, the alarm completely stopped. Security was informed via walkie-talkie that there was indeed a fire caused by grease in the kitchen on the 63rd floor which tripped the alarm. The grease fire was now extinguished and everything was back to normal. Phew. But it was definitely tense for many minutes.
Interestingly, none of the guests in the main dining room were any the wiser. If they did hear the alarm, they simply ignored it. All turned out well, but I shudder to think what pandemonium would have ensued had there been real danger. We were lucky nothing more serious happened. Kudos to Rainbow Room management who handled the emergency with expertise.
On a side note, CBS hosts this event each year at the Rainbow Room which occupies the penthouse of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, which is not only the flagship building of Rockefeller Center, but corporate headquarters of a competing network -- NBC!
Scheduled from noon to 2 PM, guests began leaving at about 1:30, off to other Emmy-related events, or just to enjoy the magic of New York City.
Fans who had learned of the event, lined the lobby of 30 Rockefeller Plaza and waited for the stars to exit the elevators. Lauralee Belle, Tricia Cast and Doug Davidson (Christine, Nina and Paul, Y&R), tried to sneak out unnoticed to no avail. Fans caught them in the lobby where they were asked to pose for pictures and sign autographs. After graciously accommodating the fans for several minutes, Lauralee, Trica and Doug left the building through a side entrance, and took to the streets of New York on foot! Unescorted! I caught up to them heading south on Avenue of the Americas. They said they were enjoying their stay in New York so much they decided to take advantage of the beautiful afternoon and walk back to their hotel. We turned west and I snapped a few photos of them clowning around on W. 48th Street until Lauralee asked, "Are we going toward Fifth Avenue?" "Nope," I replied. "You're nearing Broadway." With that they realized they were going the wrong way! They did an about face, and strolled off in the opposite direction.
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