“She’s a great actress, I love her,” said Brenda Vaccaro during arrivals at the Samuel J. Friedman Theater in Times Square. “I met her a long time ago, and I remember complimenting her, which I don’t often do.”
Cynthia Nixon, who co-starred with Ms. Linney in the 2017 Broadway production of “The Little Foxes,” said: “I love the way she plays. She’s the ultimate grown-up, the ultimate professional, but when she comes to rehearsal, she comes to play.”
“Laura Linney is the perfect Lucy Barton,” said Rona Munro, the playwright. “She is the kind of extraordinary performer who just understands the act of emotional empathy you have to make with a character.”
Indeed, Ms. Linney received a standing ovation from the audience, which included Ben Shenkman, Edie Falco, Cory Michael Smith, Eve Ensler, Julie White, Matthew Lopez and Margaret Colin. And she enjoyed another round of applause upon entering the after-party at the Copacabana nightclub, across the street.
“It’s such a strange experience doing a one-person show,” Ms. Linney said, as flashbulbs popped. “You’re sort of a little disoriented out there the entire time, because there’s no one with you. I get through it somehow, through the grace of God, and then I leave, and then I’m sort of stunned that it just happened.”
Ms. Linney received a warm embrace from Janet McTeer, the actress, and then posed for pictures with Christian Siriano, the designer.
“Laura is probably one of the classiest, chicest, most sophisticated people I dress out of all of them,” Mr. Siriano said. “She is so gracious and lovely, and they’re not all like that.”
Won’t that offend his other customers? “Totally, and that’s fine,” he said. “Listen, love me some Cardi-B, but it’s not the same.”
He was attending a V.I.P. preview of the four-day show, which featured more than 60 dealers and many hundreds of artists. Objects on display included so-called bogus Cinderellas (a philatelic term for non-postage stamps issued by unrecognized nations) and works by outsider masters like Dwight Mackintosh.
Mr. Fierstein paused to admire a small picture, embroidered from unraveled sock yarn by Ray Materson, who made many of his works while incarcerated. “I like the obsessiveness,” of outsider artists, he said. “It’s not that they’re being paid to make art. It’s not that they went to the university to study art. If they don’t make art, they will die.”
Nearby, Jack Antonoff, the musician, crouched over a portfolio of jungle scenes made by the Ticuna community of Colombia, studying the brightly-colored pigments on handmade paper.
Claire Danes, sporting a two-tone Zac Posen belay bag, strolled the aisles hand-in-hand with Hugh Dancy, her husband and fellow actor. Carlo McCormick, the critic, wandered between booths in a Supreme pillbox cap. And Robert Longo, the artist, was dressed in black with a rockabilly coif, and greeted old friends like a rock star.
V.I.P.’s attending the first two hours of the fair were offered plastic flutes filled with sparkling wine, as well as trays of chicken skewers and sliders, before the snack bar started charging the general public.
Anthony Haden-Guest, a writer and cartoonist, stood to one side, sketching in his notebook. He drew a satirical picture of crowds waiting at the door, unable to access the V.I.P. portion of the preview.
“They can’t get in,” he said, “because they’re outsiders.”