When my dear friends Francisco and Hugh tied the knot after 30 years of loving cohabitation (finally!), I couldn’t have been happier or prouder. I also was honored and thrilled they came to me to design and create their wedding bands.
Francisco is a talented chef (an inspired self-taught culinary prodigy), a brilliant and witty conversationalist with a wicked sense of humor, and has a genius and passion for farming and breeding livestock (which he does in Cornwall, Connecticut). A native of Rio de Janeiro, he came to New York barely speaking English, looking like a star (he still does), and dreaming the American dream.
Hugh hails from Detroit, and has become nothing less than a living legend on Broadway, though he has never tread the boards, written, directed or designed a play. As a House Manager for the Shubert Organization, for many years at the Broadhurst and now at the Majestic, he has been befriended by everyone from Broadway gypsies to beat cops to ushers to the Great White Way’s brightest stars. They adore him for his snappy remarks, his no-nonsense gruff demeanor, his authoritative genius and efficiency, and especially for the deep love he has for the theatre and the people who bring it to life every day.
Francisco and Hugh were married in an inter-faith ceremony. (Naturally, the priest was a former actress and stage manager – shock!) The ceremony was held at the beautiful Theatre District home of Shelly and Susan Schultz, a powerhouse in the world entertainment and a revered literary agent, respectively. Family and friends were in attendance, and truly, it was a beautiful affair: elegant, understated, intimate and deeply moving.
I admit I’m frenzied designing and creating jewels, running a business, writing on the side, but at Hugh and Francisco’s wedding I took stock of what my life is really all about: love. Feeling it, commemorating it, celebrating it, dignifying it, dreaming it to new shapes and places. That my art has entered someone else’s life, is treasured and enjoyed, confirms a delicate intimacy between us. So, call me a sentimental fool for getting weepy at a wedding; but, a tear of joy shed is to me the most precious of the many gifts I have been given in this life.
Congratulations, Francisco Alves and Hugh Barnett! Long may you live, and long may you love.