Members of the Music Center Opera League, one of the Music Center's most enthusiastic support groups, will turn into "rogues and revelers" Thursday to celebrate the opening of "The Beggar's Opera" at the Embassy Theater. And right after the curtain comes down on the Opera Theatre of St. Louis' performance of the comic opera, the first Music Center Opera Assn. production under the directorship of Peter Hemmings, the Opera League will put on a "Beggar's Bash," continuing the opera's jovial mood.
"Bash" chairman and league president Mrs. Joseph A. Saunders and her co-chairs, Mrs. Frederick Lyte and Mrs. Joseph H. Coulombe (she's league chairman), promise "goode food and drink" and a chance for guests to mingle with the "Beggar's Opera" cast. Working hard to make the fun seem effortless are board members Mrs. Robert L. Toms, Mrs. Richard F. Sandifer, Mrs. Warner Henry, Susanne Spangler, Joan Thompson, Mrs. Michael L. Taylor, Mrs. William J. Bird and Robin Roy.
The 500-member league is actively involved in educational programs, audience development, community outreach and other projects to promote opera in this town.
Charles Wick, director of the U.S. Information Agency, came into town the other day to address the World Affairs Council. And tagging along was his wife, the very popular Mary Jane, who managed to see a lot of her friends on this brief holiday.
Early in the week, Erlenne Sprague, Harriet Deutsch and Chardee Trainer co-hosted a ladies luncheon for Mary Jane in the Bistro's Victorian Grill. There was soft piano music, a lunch of green pea soup with champagne and three Bistro salads and, instead of toasts, the hostesses wrote a ditty and sang it themselves. Everyone appreciated the effort. The guests drew for their places at the pastel tables by David Jones (cloths and flowers matched), and exchanging confidences were Marion Jorgensen, Natalie Robinson, Betsy Bloomingdale, Rita Barrett, Kitty LeRoy, Florence Hamilton, Nanci Denney, Caroline Singleton and Jean Smith. Still more at the happy get together--Ruth Jones, who left for Tokyo with her husband the next day, Francie Brody, Virginia Tuttle, Gloria Stewart, Bev Morsey, Mignon Winans, Marian Scharffenberger, Jean Trousdale, Betty Adams, Bea Hoag and, from Washington, Mary Jane's right hand Beedy Ritchie.
And here's a bit of the scuttlebutt you would have picked up had you been there--the William French Smiths are resurfacing their tennis courts; the Henry Singletons and the Chase Morseys both gave dinners; the Wicks, the Armand Deutsches and a few other couples are off to the Walter Annenbergs' Sunnylands estate in the desert for a sunny weekend; and, after spending the Easter weekend with Sonny and Marylou Whitney in Trujillo, Spain, Giney Milner has gone on to Rome to rendezvous with the Patrons of the Vatican.
The Social Scramble: Some exceptional talents will show up May 19 at the Embassy Theater for musical celebration of Armand Hammer's 87th birthday. In the lineup will be cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, Metropolitan Opera star Robert Merrill, ballet dancer Christopher Boatwright and Ludmila Lopukhava, formerly of the Kirov Ballet and a star of the film "Backstage at the Kirov." The evening will end with dinner and a series of toasts to the industrialist-philanthropist-art collector.
Earl (Mr. Celebrity) Blackwell, the dapper New Yorker who started Celebrity Service (a weekly guide to who's who and where) about 46 years ago, is keeping mighty busy. He's at work on a new edition of his "Celebrity Registry" (publication date is late October), has opened a Celebrity Service office in Washington and is already planning a rousing 50th anniversary party for his celebrity business. . . . Vicki Bagley, a big name in the nation's capital during the Carter Administration when she was the wife of one of the Reynolds tobacco heirs, has acquired an interest in Celebrity Service and the title of president (Earl remains as chairman), and will also head the Washington office.
This weekend the California Wine Patrons are off to the wine country for some tastings and good hospitality at Sterling Winery, Trefethen, Le Chardonnay and Domaine Chandon. Patron Raoul F. Balcan III is chairman for the Napa Valley expedition.
Jack E. Lowrance and Jacqueline Monash are hosting a luncheon at Jimmy's on Saturday, another socially stylish meeting for the American Cinematheque's Premiere Patrons. The Cinematheque, still in the planning, will be a public cultural center for film and video. The luncheon's special guest will be Buck Henry, a Cinematheque founder, along with Gary Essert, Elisabeth Pollon, Daniel Mayer Selznick and Charles F. Weiss. Kenneth Kleinberg and Sydney Pollack co-chair the Cinematheque board.
Amen Wardy's best customers got a chance to view the 185-piece James Galanos spring and summer collection at a black-tie dinner in the Venetian Room of Wardy's Newport Center Fashion Island fashion emporium. Galanos' new use of denim (expensive!) got a nice hand as did the David Webb jewelry (even more expensive!) that accessorized the fashions. Webb's Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Silberstein and Stanley Silberstein were in for the party along with handbag designer Judith Leiber and such Southern California fashion plates as Mrs. Chase Morsey, Mrs. Robert Grant, Mrs. George Hodges (she was L.A. model Maruja), Mrs. Paul Whitney, Mrs. Harry Martindale, Mrs. John Kilroy and their husbands. And also among those enjoying the potato skins with Beluga caviar, the veal tournedos and the other delicacies on the menu--Gene Washburn, Paul Bruggemans, Ed Pauley, Lillian Fluor and former Galanos model Pat Jones.