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Gala Party Will Open Ballet Run

“It’s not just the committee. The interesting thing is the crowd they will be bringing,” Douglas S. Cramer said.

Welcome to power partying, which will reach new punch when the American Ballet Theatre opens with its Los Angeles Gala March 1.

When Cramer signed on as a member of the ABT board, he was convinced that the annual opening extravaganza for the ABT’s L.A. stay could be a very major event. Along with longtime ABT supporter Herbert Ross, Cramer lined up two very crucial co-chairs--Judy Ovitz and Lily Tartikoff.

And the committee membership just happens to sound like everybody you ever heard of in Hollywood and adjacent society--from Betsy Bloomingdale to Tony Dana, Aaron and Candy Spelling (the big jewel quotient is now guaranteed), from Marcia Weisman to Steven Bochco, Goldie Hawn and Lloyd E. Rigler, from Jeff Berg to Bea and Phil Gersh, Warner Brothers’ Bob and Nancy Daly, Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg. It’s dozens of brand names, many major movers in the movie biz, the best drawing card for the best crowd of some 600 patrons. (And it does not hurt that co-chair Ovitz’s hubby is agent Michael Ovitz and that co-chair Tartikoff’s hubby Brandon is entertainment president at NBC.)

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Three New Ballets

All of whom will be showing up at the Shrine when “Mischa” (which is, of course, what his buddies call Mikhail Baryshnikov) puts together a “special program” of three new ballets--"Gaiete Parisienne,” “Gala Performance” and “Ballet Imperial.”

Two sure shots for the party are florist David Jones (whose party decor will try “to capture some of the spirit of the ‘Parisienne’ ”) and food from Along Came Mary. Guests will see a special show of the very-in Christian Lacroix fashions and also have a look at the dancing stars who have been invited--a list that includes Ginger Rogers, Donald O’Connor, Debbie Allen, Ben Vereen and Ann Miller.

(And for those who don’t want to pay the $350 to $700 for a benefit ticket, there are 5,400 other seats available for the ballet only, at the regular price.)

BADGES AND BENEFITS--When Donald F. Wright, senior vice president of Times Mirror Co., is welcomed Tuesday as the new chairman of the board of directors of the Los Angeles Area Council, Boy Scouts of America, other good scouts will be partying with him at Lew Mitchell’s “Orient Express.” Perfect, since the dinner is being chaired by Lilly V. Lee, and the night is Chinese New Year’s Eve.

What is promised is a gourmet Chinese feast and lots of emphasis on the party and on the good deeds that the L.A. Council does all year. (Don’t worry--Mitchell himself is an Eagle Scout, so none of the meaning of the celebration will get lost between the courses.)

Our friends at the Boy Scouts point out that thousands of L.A. scouts are new to the U.S., as scouting now helps thousands of immigrants get to know America better--and be better Americans.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ELEANOR--Yes, yes, Eleanor Wasson really is 80. Her friends (who thought that Eleanor would try to use this as an excuse to raise money and consciousness for one of her favorite causes) did her one better. They’ve created the Eleanor Wasson Philanthrophic Fund to “support her in furthering her goals of benefiting the world community.”

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Wasson, a Times Woman of the Year in 1975, a champion of hands-on volunteerism, has walked and worked everywhere from local hospital corridors to the avenues to world peace. Her friends are countless, but familiar names on the invitation include Marj and Michael Fasman, Billie Heller, Lisa Citron, Suzy and Wally Marks, Fred and Magda Waingrow, Nancy Livingston, Caroline Ahmanson, Celeste Holm, Jane Olson and Fred Segal. They and other buddies will get together at the Miramar Sheraton Feb. 28 to wish Eleanor all the best. As do we.

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY--LACMA’s Graphic Arts Council hosts its annual Valentine’s Day Gala dinner and dance at the Beverly Hills Hotel Friday. This year’s party honors art connoisseur Ross DeVean and artist Edward Ruscha.

MORE ROYALS--L.A. is just in a curtsy-crazed frenzy over the upcoming visit of the Duke and Duchess of York. Invitations and itineraries are flying, but perhaps no recent missive is as interesting as the release from Vons, certainly living up to its slogan as “the more store.” The Duke and Duchess will visit Vons’ Pavilion food and drug store in Arcadia on Feb. 29. Get those shopping carts decorated.


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