The Scene: The West Coast premiere of the Tony Award-winning musical "City of Angels" Wednesday at the Shubert Theater in Century City. The gala in the Century Plaza after the performance benefited the Society of Singers. The play pokes fun at Hollywood, 1940s detective movies and the torment of being a screenwriter. The cast loved how the L.A. jokes went over. "In New York, they laugh," said co-star Randy Graff. "Here, they laugh like they know ."
Who Was There: The show's stars--James Naughton, Randy Graff and Stephen Bogardus--writer Larry Gelbart, lyricist David Zippel, and tour producers Barry and Fran Weissler; plus 700 guests, including Jimmy Stewart, Neil Simon, Shelley Winters, Anne Jeffries, Joanna Carson, Jean Stapleton, Brian Keith, Mitzi Gaynor, Janet Leigh, Jerry Vale, Robert Stack, Jane Withers, Milton Berle and Felisa Vanoff (who's late husband, Nick, produced the show on Broadway).
The Buzz: There was much amazement over the complex production. "The stage manager has a cue every eight seconds," said Gelbart. "It's like O'Hare airport backstage."
Dress Mode: Black-tie, although some guests didn't get the word. One man in a sport coat felt hesitant about entering the party. His friend's advice: "Listen, nobody cares what you wear. You could be naked, and unless you were standing next to Mike Ovitz, no one's going to notice."
Money Matters: Tickets to the performance and gala were $250. More than $60,000 was netted for the Society of Singers' emergency sick and relief fund, which aids needy professional singers. "In most other civilized countries," said founder Ginny Mancini, "singers share in the performance royalties when a song gets played on the radio."
Quoted: "Los Angeles should love this," said director Michael Blakemore. "It's not every day you have a musical written about you."