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Grand Fete for ‘Canyon’

The Scene: The benefit premiere of 20th Century Fox’s “Grand Canyon” Sunday at Century City’s Cineplex Odeon. The title notwithstanding, this film is about life in the urban jungle, not life in the wilderness. “It’s about re-humanizing a dehumanized urban dweller,” said co-star Kevin Kline. “We’re all benumbed by living in an urban environment in this country.” Co-star Steve Martin on how they survive the urban jungle: “We wear Topsiders and ride around in limos.”

The Locale: A 150-by-250-foot white tent was set up on a parking lot behind the Century Plaza. Sunset colors played on the tent’s ceiling, and the tables were surrounded by seven full-size trees and 10 14-foot Grand Canyon-esque rock formations made of plaster. Continuing the theme, glass bowl centerpieces held similar rock formations. In the smaller format, they had the look of grow-your-own sponges seen in magazine ads. “They went with sea monkeys,” noted one guest.

Who Was There: The film’s stars, Kevin Kline, Steve Martin, Danny Glover, Mary McDonnell, Mary-Louise Parker and Alfre Woodard; director Lawrence Kasdan and his wife, Meg, who chaired the benefit; Fox Pictures chairman Joe Roth; plus 1,200 guests including Kevin Costner, Geena Davis, Tom Hanks, Michael Keaton, Phoebe Cates, Tracy Ullman and Martin Short.

Best Compliment: Of Kasdan’s films, which include “The Big Chill,” Short said, “He creates the climate, but you as an audience have to do all the work. And then you reap all the emotional benefits.”

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Dress Mode: Black-tie--at 5 p.m. What’s next? Black-tie brunches?

Money Matters: The gala, underwritten by Fox, E! Entertainment TV, Coca-Cola and United Artists Theatres, netted more than $350,000 for Tripod, a nonprofit organization that helps educate children with hearing disabilities. “This is our big fund-raiser of the year,” said chair Meg Kasdan. “It enables us to exist.”

Chow: Arizona/Southwestern menu from Rococo. Wealthy Arizona. Blackened steak, grilled chicken with black-bean salsa and pumpkin mashed potatoes filled half a dozen buffet tables.

Quoted: “The film is sort of a bookend for ‘The Big Chill,’ ” said Kline. “That was about what was on people’s minds at the beginning of the ‘80s. This is what’s on their minds at the beginning of the ‘90s.”

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The Buzz: A lot of people in the audience were very affected by the film. It made some of them think about life, especially life somewhere other than Los Angeles. If nothing else the film could cause a boom in Santa Fe real estate.


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