Ready for Prime Time

A slim-figured jogger huffs along Red Rose Circle, a quiet cul-de-sac in southeastern Darien, her passing marked only by the barking of a dog. The sky is clear and copies of the New York Times lie in driveways waiting to be picked up. It’s the start of a seemingly unremarkable day… except for arrival of a convoy of vehicles that includes a dozen SUVs, several sedans, a pair of large trucks, a van and a black stretch limousine. Moments later a television crew stomps across the well-groomed lawns, its video cameras rolling. Several reporters from the local press join the growing handful of onlookers waiting to see what will happen next.

This is no whirlwind visit by a political big shot intent on scoring points with constituents by materializing briefly to press the flesh before moving on to the next packaged event. No, the gathering multitude has come together for something much more unusual, and more exciting. It is there to record an episode of The Party Planner with David Tutera, an hour-long reality show that airs on the Discovery Channel.

David Tutera, a Port Chester, New York, native, is the impresario of entertaining, a party planner par excellence — and author of four books on the topic — with a client list, including such luminaries as Barbara Walters, Elton John, Tommy Hilfiger and the Rolling Stones, that reads like an issue of People magazine. So how did this boyish-looking thirty-nine-year-old, who is something of a celebrity in his own right, come to be on a sleepy street that seems more like the setting of Father Knows Best than a glitz-and-glamour gala?

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