The Crowd: Orange County indulges in summer fun

Summer on the Orange Coast is alive with people, parties and purpose. All that and amazing food and entertainment to go right along with the fun in the sun season.

On Tuesday evenings in Newport Beach the venerable Ritz, in the capable hands of Ray Jacobi, features an amazing Southern barbecue and concert on the patio. On a recent Tuesday evening, the Fabulous Baker Boys in from Las Vegas entertained as the chef created the best barbecue this side of any Texas county line.

The place was packed. In the crowd were recently engaged Eve Kornyei (check out the emerald cut diamond!) and her beau, Mike Ruffatto, of Denver and Corona del Mar. Eve and Mike celebrated with Donna Anderson and Ron Willut, Pat and Otis Cranford, Iris and Arnold Frankel and Mike's nieces, Jennifer Turner and Cindy Martin, in from Virginia.

Also out and about for a Tuesday under the stars were Newport plastic surgeon to the stars George Brennan and his statuesque blonde wife, Lisa, and, in from Palm Desert, Gail Robson dining with gal pals. Financial tycoon Joe Delaney held court with his son Mike, joining restaurateur Jacobi at a hightop table near the bar with a few very fine cigars.


My dear friend Sally Struthers is back in Orange County for a couple of weeks. We met 33 years ago after Sally's run on "All in the Family," and created a TV pilot for Warner Bros. and CBS TV called "Me? On the Radio?"

The consummate performer is onstage at Fullerton's Plummer Auditorium in a must-see production of "Always Patsy Cline." Struthers is poignantly hysterical starring opposite the marvelous vocal talent of Christa Jackson in the role of Patsy Cline. The show is produced by the talented young impresario T.J. Dawson and 3D Theatricals. It runs through July 31. For tickets and information, go to or call (714) 589-2770.


Mel Rogers proudly welcomed supporters earlier this month as PBS SoCal broke ground on a new production studio headquarters in Costa Mesa.

Rogers, chief executive of PBS SoCal, has had a roller-coaster ride over the past several years, navigating the challenging course for O.C.'s PBS station. With this groundbreaking, the station is poised to grow and continue serving some 16 million viewers in Southern California — an impressive victory for the Rogers team.

Costa Mesa Mayor Gary Monahan joined Rogers holding the gold shovel to initiate the major step forward. Also on hand for the ceremony were JoEllen Chatham, president of the PBS SoCal board of directors; on-air anchor Ed Arnold; PBS celebrity Clifford, star on the kid series "Clifford the Big Red Dog"; and donors S. Paul Musco, Russ Leatherby, Mary Lyons and Heidi Cortese with Tiffany & Co.'s Michael Botsko.

THE CROWD runs Thursdays and Saturdays. B.W. Cook is editor of the Bay Window, the official publication of the Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach.

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