It's the season, no doubt about it. Even when they're not playing "Jingle Bells" and the decor doesn't feature Christmas trees, fir boughs and pine cones, the holiday spirit is everywhere, contagious and all-permeating. And we love it.
The closest we may get to a white Christmas in Los Angeles is the song Bing Crosby made famous. And for a lot of people attending the Los Angeles Pops Orchestra's Christmas Concert at the Beverly Hilton that was good enough. Hosted by the orchestra's support group--the Keynote 88 Committee--and co-chaired by Mrs. John I. Moore and Mrs. Happy Franklin, the gala was awash in good old holiday nostalgia. Vic Damone sang, the orchestra played and the USC Chamber Singers serenaded. In between there was dinner and the announcement that the Pops' 1986 concert season begins on Jan. 17.
The sell-out audience in the hotel's International Ballroom included Pops board chairman James Morrison of Atlantic Richfield; Vince Scully; Father Maurice Chase; attorneys Maurice Harwick and H. Bradley Jones; the Alexander Villicanas; Judge Mildred Lillie and her husband, A.V. Falcone; Mrs. Bert Malouf; Mary Jones; the George Elkins; Mr. and Mrs. Harry A. Liff (they underwrote the musicians' expenses); Mrs. Willard Lewis with Dr. Charles Clifford; Mrs. Sinclair Jardine; the S.J. Gaidos; Dominique Vitti; Manny Harmon with Julie Maxwell; the Robert Sullys; Mrs. John Maroney; Carlo Celoni; Jack Lowrance with his twin, Mel; the Bob Ray Offenhausers; the Michael Kazanjians; Mr. and Mrs. James J. Foster; Rosemary and John Raitt; Morgan Mason with Belinda Carlisle; Dr. and Mrs. Anthony Mastor; George Page with Ruth Tullis; and the Tom Kormans.
Doris Fields Heller invited friends to a smallish (about 20) dinner party around the long table in the Westwood Marquis' Erte Room and proved that it takes a lot of planning to make a party work. The afternoon of the party, Doris checked into the hotel with her party clothes and immediately set about making sure that the preparations were proceeding according to plan--the small floral bouquets that went into clear vases and crystal baskets, the wines, the menu which began with a salade folle and ended with vanilla ice cream rolled in toasted coconut and drenched in hot fudge sauce. Later that evening Jacques Camus, a dinner guest and the hotel's vice president, was in a joking mood. In front of the hostess he winked as he announced, "My staff has all quit. But Doris got what she wanted."
Wearing a sleek black dress with a Pascal jeweled glass sculpture at her throat, Doris was downstairs in the cozy lounge, where a harpist plays nightly, to greet her first guests. Ceil Moore and John Wiegman, Betty and Lynn Jackson were the early ones. They were soon joined by Pascal and James Regan and their house guest, Marcelle Ruggles, who was once a Beverly Hills neighbor; Jerry and Virginia Oppenheimer; Marilyn and Glen McDaniel; Jean Trousdale with Jim Hayes; Marcie Adams with Jack Hubbard; Don Craven; and Lee and Cliff Witte who made the first toasts to the hostess.
Claudia Mirkin's party was definitely full of holiday cheer, but it also served as a nice welcome for Mrs. Angier Biddle Duke who was in town for a few days. The popular Robin Duke, wife of the former U.S. chief of protocol in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations and former ambassador to Spain, Denmark and El Salvador, has a lot of friends here. This time she made some new ones.
Claudia served plenty of caviar with the drinks before her guests moved out to the terraces for dinner prepared by Parties Plus and consisting of lobster bisque, veal roll, hazelnut meringue filled with lemon curd, and tropical fruits. Anthony Newley and H. Bradley Jones flanked the hostess. And seated at other tables were Northrop's Tom and Ruth Jones; investor Corwin and Nanci Denney; Pilar Wayne with daughter, Aissa, and her fiance, Dr. Tom Gionis; Richard Gully; Jayne and Henry Berger; Pamela and Leo Wyler; Ann Hearst, an editor for the family-owned Town & Country magazine, with John Davis, son of Barbara and Marvin; Jane del Amo with John Hessel; Alexis (Smith) and Craig Stevens; Dareth Newley; Gregg Juarez and his mother, Inez; Sharon and Lyle Waggoner; Terry Moore and her fiance, Jerry Rivers; Pat and Finn Moller; Kathy Kilroe; and quite a few more.
The Social Scramble: Paul Randolph-Johnson, Cynthia Kania, Carol King and USC's Division of Drama are getting together to host a special benefit performance of "The Normal Heart" at the Las Palmas Theatre on Saturday. A reception for star Richard Dreyfuss and the rest of the cast follows. The evening (tickets are $45 per person) benefits the Ava Greenwald Memorial Scholarship Fund.