The 700 at the Salon at the Taper "Isn't It Romantic?" party were warbling the lyrics of Lorenz Hart and recalling intimate moments from their own pasts Monday. The evening benefited the Center Theatre Group.
Michael Feinstein and about 40 Hart "friends" performed the lyrics of Hart songs--"Blue Moon," "Thou Swell," "My Funny Valentine," "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered," "The Lady Is a Tramp," "Where or When," "Manhattan." It was terribly swell, except for the sad note that Hart died of melancholy, liquor and pneumonia in 1943.
Later, benefit-goers hummed past the plaza fountains in the evening balm to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion for a buffet of pastas and pastries.
Prominent in the group: CTG producing director Gordon Davidson; Nancy and Alan Livingston; Mary Rodgers (daughter of the late 24-year-long Hart collaborator Richard Rodgers, who recalled "Daddy and Larry," as Lorenz was known); CTG Chairman Larry Ramer and his wife, Lee; Stephen and Ann Hinchliffe; Monica Mancini, and June Havoc. Also swaying to songs were honorary chairmen Anne and Kirk Douglas and Hal and Eunice David; party chairmen Peggy and Walter Grauman; Judith Beckmen; Diane Morton; Marion and John Anderson, and Dody and Otis Booth.
The 70th: The Los Angeles Junior League closed Larchmont Boulevard to cut the ribbon for its new French Regency headquarters. About 350 league members and sustainers dropped in for tea and saw results of the $1-million bequest from the late Margerie Hamlin Rainey, president in 1943-'44. (The league raised an additional $950,000 for the building.)
A portrait of Rainey in her Red Cross volunteer uniform hung in the upstairs foyer over a magnificent French cupboard donated by Peggy Ward. Mayor Richard Riordan came to the tea and was photographed with his feet propped on the president's new desk.
A few days later, league members, headed by president Kimila Williams Ulrich, turned the building's iron-gated basement garage into a circa-1926 speak-easy to celebrate the league's 70th anniversary.
In boas and swags for the '20s party were Nancy Hindle-Katel, Elizabeth Shoemaker, Rosalind Shumway, Susan O'Conner, Shelly Scott, Jessica Lee, Lori Seyer and Debra Molin.
Floral Fancy: C.Z. Guest, socialite and one of the nation's top gardening experts, will kick off Headliner Seminars on Oct. 18, opening day of the five-day Los Angeles Garden Show at the Arboretum of Los Angeles County in Arcadia. More than 40,000 are expected for exhibits, 40 seminars ("good bugs," "spice garden" and "style gardens") and celebrity presentations. Renowned Atlanta garden designer Ryan Gainey will appear.
Alyce Williamson is honorary chairwoman of the Oct. 17 preview party headed by Susan Seidel. Recently, James Watterson of the presenting sponsor, Robinsons-May, hosted luncheon at his Pasadena home to honor preview committee members, including Marilyn Brumder, Sis Jones, Char Vert and Robin Williamson.
Vatican Arts: The board of directors of Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums were in Los Angeles this past week for a cultural few days viewing the Getty Museum, the new Getty Center and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In between they dined at the Regency Club, the Beach Club, the Los Angeles Country Club and the home of Patrons President Philip Hawley and his wife, Mary.
Among the board members attending were Alice Avery, Caroline Ahmanson, Edith Udell, and John L. McDonnell Jr. (chairman) of Oakland and Grant N. Horne of San Francisco. More were Kathleen McCarthy, Geraldine Frawley, Maureen Sullivan of San Francisco, Betty Wilson and Maggie Jagels.
Congratulations: To the Rape Treatment Center of Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center. Stars of the Emmy-winning "ER"--George Clooney, Noah Wyle, Julianna Margulies--hosted the annual brunch at Greenacres, the estate of Ron Burkle, to raise $500,000.
Mr. Vidal: Gore Vidal, being interviewed by A. Scott Berg, held Blue Ribbon of the Music Center members in the palm of his hand recently at the Mark Taper Forum, providing intimate facts that most certainly are in his book "Palimpsest: A Memoir," to be released this month. Furthermore, he graciously skipped dessert at the luncheon that followed to autograph 200 or so books, which Blue Ribbon President Phyllis Hennigan arranged to be released early.
Elsewhere on the Social Circuit
* The alfresco dinner overlooking the Pasadena Arroyo at the home of Dennis and Shelly Lowe was one of the last presidential fund-raisers for Gov. Pete Wilson. Charles G. Bakaly Jr. hosted. Gayle was there.
* Julie and Art Pizzinat have opted to leave Pasadena for Montecito's Sea Meadows. They invited Southland friends for a brunch by the pool last Sunday and a tour of the French abode they are building. In the casual crowd: Charlie and Nancy Munger, Henry and Cindy Yost, Mary Alice and Pen Tudor (all now with houses in Montecito), Dee and John Maechling, Barbara and John Poer, and Bill and Pat Bedford.
* Past Perfect: Ada Watson's "Autumn Tea" in San Marino . . . The celebration to see the Eli Broad Family Foundation's new installation of contemporary art in Santa Monica . . . Suzanne Marx's small gathering for Alma Powell with guests including Nancy Daly and Alyce Williamson . . . Marie and Jack Poyer's 50th wedding anniversary . . . Phil Homme's tailgate party for 50 before the USC-ASU game . . . "Puttin' on the Glitz," a wine-and-food tasting co-chaired by Loretta Evensen and Lina Seaver for Glendale Memorial Hospital.
* The Los Angeles World Affairs Council has an amazing lineup: former Ambassador to the United Nations Lester B. Korn and Romania's President Ion Lliescu last week and Mary Robinson, president of the Republic of Ireland, Oct. 19.