Film Music to Get a Boost From Redford

Yes, pardner, a face rarely seen 'round these parts shows up March 22 when Robert Redford and his Sundance Institute hold their first L.A. fund-raiser. Celebrities, yes, but it's the sound behind the titles that's going to be spotlighted.

Sundance is the Utah-based institute that Redford founded. It's not a school, but a middle ground, a place to bring together film makers, choreographers and writers "of recognized talent" for what is called "mentor instruction" by big names in their fields.

And, part of film is film music, scores like the ones John Williams wrote for "The Witches of Eastwick," or Jerry Goldsmith did for "Patton," or Miklos Rozsa wrote for "Madame Bovary."

But, if an orchestra wants to perform well-known music from well-known films, frequently it's an impossible task. "The scores no longer exist in any performable state," explained Tom Wilhite, Sundance's executive director. Studios, Wilhite explained, had enough to worry about without adding the task of preserving scores. "It's like throwing away Gershwin," he said, adding that much film music is "significant music by any standards."

So a preservation project has been set up, headed by David Newman (the son of famed composer Alfred Newman), and that's exactly what the fund-raiser is about.

Redford is bringing a 90-piece orchestra to Royce Hall, and there film composers will conduct their own cinema music. Nine composers have already signed up, and many of their live performances will be introduced by a star from the film and backgrounded with clips from the film.

There are tickets available for the evening. For $500, there is a posh party following at the estate of Ted and Susie Field. And perhaps a chance to see up close if Redford is as cute in person.

OFF AND RUNNING--It looked a lot more like a shoe discount store than the staid Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Jane Withers grasped her running shoes and got a quick kiss from Robert Wagner. Jimmy Stewart did interviews for TV crews. Joan Van Ark almost tried on her Nike's, but decided they just didn't do her mini-skirted legs justice. Constant attendee Michelle Phillips was on hand, as were other brand names, like Tracy Austin and Jill St. John.

It was indeed the kickoff to the 7th annual Jimmy Stewart Relay Marathon--which has raised more than $750,000 for St. John's Hospital and Health Center's Child Study Center. This year the 26.2-mile marathon will be held April 10 in Griffith Park.

Stewart several years ago got his good friend R. J. Wagner to sign up as a co-chair.

LIGHTING UP--The Museum of Neon Art hosts a reception Saturday at MONA, a nonprofit foundation created to exhibit, document and preserve works of neon, electric and kinetic art. . . .

Save the date: March 6, when the Music Center Fraternity of Friends holds a joint party with the Fraternity from the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa. . . .

March 19 is Cal Alumni Day, when graduates of the University of California at Berkeley will meet in an all-day session at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

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