'Producers' gets gala welcoming

B.W. COOK

Mel Brooks' musical "The Producers" opened Tuesday evening at the

Orange County Performing Arts Center for a three-week run.

The touring production starring Bob Amaral and Andy Taylor was

enthusiastically received by the local crowd.

A gala, opening-night, cast party at the Clubhouse, South Coast

Plaza, followed the debut. Friends of the center joined President

Jerry Mandel, his wife Whitney and center Executive Vice President

Judy Morr for a late-night supper and a chance to mingle with the

cast bringing Orange County the Broadway musical, which took home a

record 12 Tony awards.

Center donors including Clara Clem, Florence Fainbarg, Arnold and

Ruth Feuerstein, Gordon and Rita Fishman, Roger and Gail Kirwan, Ron

and Donna Phelps, Tim and Susan Strader, Yoka and Jay Von Der Wa, and

Wendy Verdon were among the local crowd enjoying the after-show

repast.

In other show-business news, the Premiere Cinema Guild in support

of the Newport Beach Film Festival is planning what is being called

"Under the Stars Movie and Martini Night" to promote the upcoming

festival. Organizers are selling sponsorship opportunities for the

event that will take place September 18th and feature a compiled

screening of the "Best of the Fest" film shorts.

Brigette Bernstein and Rita Goldberg will be event co-chairpersons

of the party, which includes a silent auction, dinner, hosted bar and

musical entertainment. Bernstein and Goldberg are seeking sponsorship

and underwriting support for the film-festival event. The festival

itself, growing in stature, is expected to attract more than 20,000

attendees for the screenings, seminars and parties. For more

information, call (949) 253-2880.

The Newport crowd will once again offer significant support for

the sixth-annual Cattle Baron's Ball benefiting the American Cancer

Society, Orange County Region. This year the major party will have a

Hawaiian theme, with a western twist.

Organizers are calling it, "Leis and Lassoes, A Hawaiian

Hoe-down." Newport gals working hard for the American Cancer Society

include Leslie Bowles, Bobbitt Williams, Julie Aros, Donna Bianchi,

Stacy Brower, Debbie Douglas and Sharon Esterley. Also volunteering

for the American Cancer Society are Jenny Gerard, John Johnson, Susan

Johnson, Joy LePatner, Ron Rubio, Jennifer Thomas and Joyce Weiss.

More than 1,000 guests are expected to support the event, which will

take place Oct. 23 at the Orange County Fair and Exposition Center in

Costa Mesa. Tickets prices start at $150 per person and may be

reserved by calling (949) 261-9446.

Ray and Barbara Holdsworth opened their Balboa Island residence

for a reception benefiting the Balboa Performing Arts Theatre

Foundation. The Holdsworths are summer residents on the island, and

they welcomed their neighbors to an informal cocktail reception to

acquaint locals with the Balboa Performing Arts Theatre Foundation,

which supports a redevelopment of the old Balboa Theatre on the

Balboa Peninsula. Mary Lonich, executive director of the foundation,

shared information on the latest redevelopment progress. Also in the

crowd were other foundation members including Craig and Nancy Smith.

* THE CROWD appears Thursdays and Saturdays.

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