Fifteen years ago while Helen Wolford was executive president of the Music Center's Amazing Blue Ribbon she came up with an idea--a Children's Holiday Festival that would bus in fifth-grade schoolchildren from all parts of the county, acquaint them with the Music Center and introduce them to the arts. As they say in show biz, the idea was a hit.
This year, Holiday Festival XV will be dedicated to Mrs. Wolford who'll fly in from her home in Hawaii to participate.
The festival has been moved up from its usual late spring date to Jan. 28-Feb. 1 and during that period about 23,000 fifth-grade students will be treated to a session on ballet. Robert Joffrey, founder/director of the Joffrey Ballet, has planned the program, which will include Marie Grandy, director of the Joffrey II (the dance company's training group), talking to the children about dance matters--ballet positions, the training of a dancer and the kind of preparations that go into a performance while members of the troupe illustrate what she's talking about. Then the youthful dancers will perform two complete ballets, a classical and a contemporary piece. And after that, the schoolchildren will get their turn to show off, dancing a number they've been rehearsing in their classrooms.
On closing day, Feb. 1, Mrs. George Deukmejian, wife of California's governor, will join Robert Joffrey and the Amazing Blue Ribbon's board of directors to watch the Joffrey II performance and to lunch in the Music Center's Grand Hall.
Among those deeply involved in the festival are Blue Ribbon's executive president Nancy Olson Livingston; festival chairman Mrs. John C. Cushman and Mrs. Sheldon Ausman. Major benefactors for Holiday Festival XV are Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Norris. Mrs. Norris, a member of Blue Ribbon, the volunteer Music Center organization, is also honorary chairman for the event. And on the festival committee are Mrs. Joseph Coulombe, Mrs. Lee Warner, Mrs. Thomas W. Trainer, Mrs. Joseph Marx, Eunice Forester, Margaret Buckley Parker, Mrs. Lazare Bernhard, Mrs. Frank Jobe, Mrs. Donald S. Brady, Mrs. Philip J. Koen and Mrs. Brian J. Billington.
On Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's Stage 27 the big attractions Jan. 29 won't be movie stars. Surprise. They'll be stars of another kind--the Ford Motor Co.'s new babies, the Mercury Sable and the Ford Taurus, both making their debuts at a party hosted by Ford's top guys--Chairman of the Board Philip Caldwell, President and Chairman-elect Donald E. Petersen and President-elect Harold A. Poling. (Ford's changing of the guard, when Caldwell resigns and the two other men assume their new titles, takes place Feb. 1.) Among those planning to attend are Councilwoman Peggy Stevenson, former congresswoman and County Supervisor Yvonne Burke, Dr. and Mrs. Franklin Murphy, Michael Newton, who is president of the Music Center's Performing Arts Council, producer Howard Koch and television producer Marty Pasetta.
The Social Scramble: White Gate's Tod Matthews threw a think-pink luncheon at the Bistro Garden for Contessa Cohn, whose cheeks glowed pink from her recent holiday in Aspen. The guest of honor was dressed in pink from shell-shaped hat to shoes; and Janet De Cordova wore a heathery pink jacket with gray slacks. Also at the table with its pink rose topiary tree centerpiece were Anne Douglas (wearing a navy dress), Tod's partner Wes Lucas, Cloris Leachman (she disappeared midway through lunch but got back after dessert), Joan Quinn who wore a pink sweater from Mr. Guy, and Paul Bruggemans. More around the room and out in the patio--Morgan Mason who promised he'd shave off the beard that evening; Kirk Kerkorian with Walter Sharp; Veronique Peck with daughter Cecilia; Kathie and Darren McGavin; Mrs. Joseph Marx with Mrs. Robert Kramer, Mrs. Charles Snodgrass and Mrs. Larry Irwin; Mrs. Nick Vanoff with Mrs. Earl Powell III; Muriel Slatkin with Ricardo Pascal; Jayne and Henry Berger; Marianne Rogers with Rachel Weingarten; and the Friday lunch bunch--Midge Clark, Frances Skipsey, Louise Good, Mary Jones (back from Cabo) joined by Mary Lou Young; Margo Hirsh with Ruth Cutten and Paquita Machris; Maureen Womack with Nanci Bruner.
Dining at Madame Wu's Garden--Mary Pettus (Carolyn Deaver is with Mary's public relations firm in Washington) with her husband Drew; Fu Chao Chu, president of Chung Newspapers Ltd. of Hong Kong and the U.S., who's heading for Washington and the Inauguration.
Establishing themselves as among the first to lunch at the newly reopened old Perino's--Patsy Klein with legendary attorney Joe Ball and his wife Sybil.
The holidays continued: A quartet from the Salvation Army played Christmas music on the sidewalk in front of Milo Bixby's San Marino flower shop. And inside admiring the teddy bears and the Christmas trees and the paper white narcissuses and enjoying the pate and array of cheeses were Georgie and Paul Erskine, Susan and Lou Rowan, Joan Thompson and John Elliott, Georgie Van de Kamp, Nancy Moss, Ernestine Avery, Connie Grigsby, Jane Simpson, Marty and Bruce Coffey and Terry and Dennis Stanfill.