On the night of June 27 fans and friends of the Joffrey Ballet will be celebrating all over town at gourmet and ethnic dinners with celebrity guests. The Night of the Joffrey Dinners is an idea that chairman Mrs. Dwight Kendall, the Joffrey's board and the Friends of the Joffrey toyed with, then plunged into when word reached them that a series of such dinners for the New York Library had been a huge success.
Fifty-two separate dinners have been planned by a total of 75 hosts. The guests, all of them Music Center patrons, will be given a list of six choices from which to choose where they want to spend the evening. Not everyone, of course, will get his or her first choice. But speed in returning the reservation cards attached to the invitations, which will be in the mail at week's end, is essential. Places will be assigned, Dona Kendall says, on a first-come, first-served basis. To make sure everything is on the up and up, a computer will make the final decisions. You can't argue with that.
If your preference is to dine with James Galanos at Paul Bruggemans' little dinner at St. Germain to Go, or to dine on potluck with best-dressed Betsy Bloomingdale, or to mingle with the cast of "Dynasty," with hosts Douglas S. Cramer and Richard and Esther Shapiro, you'd better let your wishes be known quickly.
The hosts are showing a great deal of imagination and style: The Thomas Trainers (he's the Chevaliers du Tastevin's grand senechal , which means he's serious about his wines) will give their guests a tour of their wine cellar. Pam and John King are recalling "our heritage" with "Spanish food, wine and music in an old Spanish home." Chef Laurent Quenioux of the 7th Street Bistro will have the Mark Taper Forum's artistic director Gordon Davidson and his wife, Judi, a theatrical publicist, on hand to lead the "theater talk." The Davidsons, who spent three weeks on the Cote d'Azur, may add a little gossip from that jet-set haven.
A raft of friends (Sandy and Shell Ausman, Terri and Tim Childs, Nancy and Sid Petersen, Nancy and Tim Vreeland among them) will host an evening of "Dancin' and Romancin' " at Chasen's. Barbara Lazaroff, the decorator, and Wolfgang Puck, the adorable chef, are co-hosting two dinners. The one at their Chinois on Main will have Gene Kelly and Sandi Bennett as the star attractions, and the one at Spago will have Spago fans Janet and Fred de Cordova as guests of honor.
And that should give you an inkling of what a great evening it's going to be. The dinners-about-town benefit will raise funds for the ballet troupe, which opens its Los Angeles season Sept. 16.
Acting as advisors for the benefit are two experts on entertaining and food and wines--Paige Rense, editor-in-chief of Bon Appetit and Architectural Digest magazines, and Robert Lawrence Balzer, lecturer and syndicated wine columnist.
"My committee is the Joffrey board," Dona Kendall reports. And it does include Mrs. Harry H. Wetzel and Armand S. Deutsch as co-chairmen, David H. Murdock and Atlantic Richfield's William F. Kieschnick and his wife, Keith (Murdock and Arco covered the cost of the invitations), Harriet Deutsch, Mr. and Mrs. Peter O'Malley, Mr. and Mrs. E.L. Shannon Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas Vanoff, Mr. and Mrs. Richard M. Ferry, Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Childs, Dwight Kendall and Harold Price.
The Friends of the Joffrey Committee includes president Harold Huttas, first vice president Michael Berk, Jon Douglas, John Minks, Eloise Rich and Joanne Sliteris. Robert Joffrey will be in Moscow on that night with some of his company, but associate artistic director Gerald Arpino and executive director Robert R. Hesse will be at one or another of the dinners.
To celebrate their marriage, Guadalupe Hank, dressed in a pink-petaled dress by Rubin Panis and wearing a veil, and Darwin Shannon, a scientist, danced the Mexican hat dance while he stepped lightly over the train of her wedding gown. "He loves Mexico as much as he loves me," Guadalupe said, revealing that the next day they were off to Acapulco, Mexico City and Sonora on their honeymoon.
The dinner-dance at the bride's home (Murray Korda and his orchestra played romantic music) followed the church wedding at Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills. Regal Rents created the pink tent with its rows of tiny lights, and Flower Fashions filled it with flowers and hanging ferns.
Mexican actress Maria Elena Marquez was matron of honor; Guadalupe's daughter, Elizabeth, was maid of honor; and young Hector Hank gave his mother away.