On Their Toes for the Joffrey Dinners

That series of Joffrey Ballet dinners that take place all over town on June 27 is creating a flurry of excitement and the kind of social competitiveness we haven’t seen in a long, long time.

Marcia Weisman, for example, has added a mystery guest to her list, which already includes less shy types like Ed Ruscha, William Kraft and Joanna Kirkwood. All Marcia will say about the mysterious guest is that he’s a “very wild and funny guy.” We assume he’s also partial, as is his hostess, to wild and exuberant contemporary art.

Charles Bronson, Richard Chamberlain, Lesley Ann Warren, Cybill Shepherd, Lorne Greene, George Peppard and Christopher Atkins are just a few of the show-biz types who’ll be showing up at the Friends of the Joffrey-hosted dinner at the Sheraton Grande Hotel. Donald Livingston, a Carter Hawley Hale veep who majors in politics, plans a lot of political intrigue for the dinner he hosts at Scratch with Peter and Gail DeKrassel. Their guests will include Michelle Isenberg and artists Peter Alexander and Laddie John Dill, all of whom we know will throw themselves wholeheartedly into the subject matter. And it looks as if Michael Newton and Lyn Kienholz will be combining politics and music at their sit-down. Councilwoman Joy Picus is set as the guest of honor and during dinner the Arco Iris band will perform.

Among others you’ll see here and there that evening: Ginny and Henry Mancini, Mark Goodson, Mrs. Howard Ahmanson, Mary Carol and Mickey Rudin, Father Maurice Chase, Wallis Annenberg (the Vanity Fair profile on Wallis is a gem), the Burt Sugermans, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Ahmanson, Henry Segerstrom and Eaton Ballard.


When Patty and Tommy Skouras moved down to Hancock Park it was San Francisco’s loss and our gain. The Skourases love to entertain and do it with plenty of style. “Tommy wouldn’t mind it at all if he came home every evening from the office and found 24 friends here for dinner,” said Patty who was greeting her friends dressed in a pink chiffon blouse, long pleated skirt and pearls. “She’s right,” her husband agreed. “After all, what do I have to do but come home, run upstairs and change my clothes?” His grin was genuine.

This particular evening the first course was caviar (and vodka) served in lemons (the bottom half was scooped out to hold the gray eggs; the top half was for squeezing). Later in the evening everyone switched chairs and began fresh conversations with new dinner partners.

Deedee and Alfred Wilsey flew down via PSA from San Francisco (cheaper than flying his own plane, Wilsey declared). Bettina and Otis Chandler were back from a weekend holiday in a luxury mobile home. (They had a great time.) Theatrical agent Ames Cushing arrived with Christopher Idone, author of “Glorious Foods,” who’s finished research for his next book, “Glorious American Foods,” and is planning to open a New York restaurant at 74th and Madison for “only people I like.” The hostess laughed. “Good, you won’t have to worry about overcrowding.”

Nancy Vreeland, who had caught up with pals like Bill Blass, Oscar de la Renta and her mother-in-law, Diana Vreeland, over the weekend in New York, looked super in Blass’ white blazer and gold-and-white jeweled miniskirt. She came alone because husband Tim was working on an architectural project he had to submit the next morning. There was movie talk from Walt Disney president, CEO and alpinist Frank Wells and his wife Luanne; Frank Capra Jr., who’ll be filming in North Carolina; American Film Institute head Jean Firstenberg and Ken Scherer who left Georgetown University to join AFI, and Felisa and Nick Vanoff, who among the town’s most delightful guests.


Also much in the picture was Howard Leach, who with some partners recently bought the Union Ice Co. and now lives in Pebble Beach; Chris and Katrina Cord (everybody agreed he’s a Robert Redford look-alike and that’s not bad); Betty Borman, and New World president Robert Rehme and his wife Kay.

Enrico Coveri, the European designer who makes millions creating men’s and women’s ready-to-wear, had been in town once before, had dined at Morton’s and called it the ultimate California experience. So to please Coveri, Florence Grinda, the international socialite, took over the restaurant on a Saturday night (a rare and unusual concession) to host a party for her friend. A lot of pretty people showed up (and some who said they’d come never arrived). “There were so many beautiful women around that Prentis was very happy,” said Mrs. Prentis Cobb Hale, who’d flown down from San Francisco.

Enrico sat happily at a center table, surrounded by Kelly Le Brock, who showed plenty of skin between her body-hugging Coveri tights and top, Ursula Andress, David Keith and actress Ornella Muti. Moving around were Sidney and Joanna Poitier, Alexander Godunov, Jack (his back was giving him trouble so he left after the first course) and Joan Quinn (she hitched a ride home with Dagney Corcoran), record mogul Ahmet Ertegun, Luis Estevez, Ann Turkel, Wendy Stark, Beverly d’Angelo with songwriter Paul Jabara, Roger Moore’s son Jeffrey, and David Chasman, who was off to New York the next day for pre-production meetings on his new movie, based on a Neil Simon play.

Those outgoing (would you call them extroverts?) members of the Fraternity of Friends Players did it once before--cavorted, kicked up their heels and put on a hilarious musical comedy revue. They’re ready to repeat the performance (they claim this one will be even funnier) Saturday at the Japan America Theatre on South San Pedro Street.


The musical stars “quite a few people you know” and features “surprise guests you may never know.” The shameless producers are Alan I. Rothenberg and Herb Isaacs, and the director, who may never be able to show his face in public again, is James Burrows. Right after the production, cast, producers, director and guests move into the plaza area next to the theater for dinner and some uninhibited dancing.

The Social Scramble: Barbra Streisand will be on hand Tuesday when the University of Judaism honors her pals and colleagues, Marilyn and Alan Bergman, as the university’s Author/Artists of the Year. Streisand, who is honorary co-chairman of the event with Paula Weinstein, will have a few words to say about the Bergmans, three-time Oscar-winning lyricists, during the award luncheon at the Beverly Hilton.

Maurice W. Proudfoot, chairman of the Broadway department stores, receives the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising’s

California First Award (recognizing the Broadway’s retail leadership) on June 27 at a luncheon hosted by Bullock’s chairman and CEO Allen Questrom, Robinson’s chairman and CEO Michael Gould, and the May Co.'s president and CEO Judith K. Hofer. Tonian Hohberg, founder and president of FIDM, makes the presentation at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel where, after lunch, graduates of FIDM’s Advanced Fashion Design program will put on a choreographed fashion show of their creations. The event will raise money for the FIDM Scholarship Foundation.