The Politics of Partying-- ‘n’ Vice Versa

Times Staff Writer

State Sen. Ed Davis appears tonight at the Municipal Elections Committee of Los Angeles monthly civic event at the Bel Age. The gay-rights political action committee has “maxed out” (given the $5,000 allowable under the law) to the GOP senatorial hopeful. Gay-rights activists say there are two major funding sources for the Davis campaign--police organizations and the gay community. This is the first time MECLA has maxed out on a Republican candidate.

QUICK HENRY, THE QUICHE--It’s got the Music Center, the Museum of Contemporary Art. And now, with the renovation of the Grand Central Market, downtown will get what promises to be a chance for office workers to stroll down the streets, munching happily. Plans from the Yellin Co. include development not only of upper-scale fast-food stands but also a culinary school and a trendy grill-style restaurant, all to be done by next year. The one promise is that it won’t get “too Westside.” What a relief.

KUDOS--To the Concern Foundation for Cancer Research, for its annual Rodeo Drive Block Party. This past Sunday afternoon more than 2,500 turned out to party along the street turned into a movie-studio back lot. This 12th annual event grossed more than $700,000, with a projected net, according to a spokeswoman, of at least $600,000. Ruthe Coleman, Joyce Powell, Norman Greenbaum and Tani Miller get to pick up the applause for co-chairing the event, and turning out stars the likes of Ally Sheedy, Richard Dreyfuss; “Hill Street Blues’ ” James Sikking and Dennis Franz; Shirley Jones and Marty Ingels, Karl Malden, Gene Barry, Michele Lee, Ed Asner and Ricky Schroder (who an observer said was “thrilled to meet Ally Sheedy”). Since its founding in 1968, Concern has granted more than $8 million to researchers throughout the world. Kudos should also go to Regal Rents, which did the party marathon of the year, working on the Friday night MOCA gala, the Saturday night SHARE “Boomtown” and the Sunday Concern party.


OH, BABY--People magazine sent a reporter and photographer, so it’s just days before everyone in America realizes how L.A. does baby showers. Well, at least how Contessa Cohn puts together a shower for her friend, Barbi Benton, whose baby is expected mid-summer. A large teddy bear hung from the chandelier in the garden room at Jimmy’s, and the blue napkins were folded like diapers and held with a safety pin. Among attendees, socialite Dale Snodgrass, who was just back from Hawaii and raving about presidential hopeful Alexander Haig, Sachi Irwin, Shirley Turtletaub and Mary Ann Mobley (both geting kudos for the SHARE party), comedienne Ruth Buzzi (just back from her farm in Oklahoma), restaurateur Barbara Lazaroff (just back from Spago in Japan) and TV-movie producer Ava Ostern (who brought, in addition to the baby gift, matching black-tie bibs for the babe and his dad, George Gradow). Thank goodness, someone paid attention to George, since the elaborate silver-and-blue invite asked folks to “celebrate the coming of Barbi Benton’s son-to-be, Alexander Gradow.” Of course, this is Hollywood.

FELIZ CUMPLEANOS-- Wait a minute--was that really L.A.'s truly fun couple, Elizabeth Taylor and George Hamilton, at El Cholo on Sunday night? Yep, celebrating Alana Hamilton Stewart’s birthday at a party given at the Western Avenue eatery by her buddies Alan Carr, Nancy Sinatra and Stan Dragoti. Among the guests--Valerie Perrine, Coastal Commissioner Mark Nathanson, Altovise Davis, Suzanne Pleshette and Tommy Gallagher. And you thought all the fun happened west of La Cienega.

BEST LINE--On the invite to the Kathleen Kennedy Townsend fund-raiser, which was scheduled for Tuesday night, the tab reads as follows: $250 Good Friend, $100 Friend. Also expected at the cocktail reception at the Herbert Palmer Gallery was Ethel Kennedy, the mother of Townsend. The funds are for Townsend’s run for a congressional seat in Maryland. . . . Annie Flanders, who used to run New York’s SOHO Daily News, hasn’t lost her touch. In her new rag-mag, Details, a piece on plastic surgeons carries the headline, “Knifestyles of the Rich and Famous.”

A DON’T MISS--Walter Seltzer, who could be declared a Hollywood landmark only he keeps on doing things, gets honored by the Motion Picture and Television Fund for the good stuff he keeps doing. The veteran producer and publicist will receive the fund’s Silver Medallion Award of Honor at a luncheon at the Beverly Wilshire, June 17. Hurrah, Walter.

BACK TO THE ROADHOUSE--Or at least back to the venerable Malibu Sea Lion, which reopens June 13 (that’s a Friday) with a benefit for the Free Arts Clinic. Owner Bob Morris and Gisela Buttman have put together a fancy evening for the clinic, which provides services for abused children. For $100-an-eater, black-tie guests get the chance to be waited on by a staff that will include Ali MacGraw, Michael York, Rita Moreno, Sally Kellerman, Gerald McRaney, Kelly LeBrock. And who is helping to put together the details--the soon-to-be-diner-king, Patrick Terrail. (Now you know. He’s been at the beach.)

CHEERS--Patrons at the lively Brit-Away-From-Home hangout, the King’s Head Pub in Santa Monica, got distracted from their pints of bitter last week when the tour bus arrived. That’s right, the tour bus. And where are you from?, one local asked the tourists, who, with their name tags, streamed through the bar on their way to the dining room for Shepherd’s Pie. “Oh, we’re from out of town. We’re visiting here from Woodland Hills and Ventura.” One sight on the tour, no doubt, is what owner Phil Elwell calls “The Presidential Loo.” Thus named because it was a stopping-off point when President Reagan was governor.