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On the Circuit

A Memorable Day With 2 Theater Grande Dames

March 14, 1986|MARYLOUISE OATES | Times Staff Writer


The two legendary grande dames of the stage--Carol Channing and Mary Martin--met up with hundreds of L.A.'s most socially secure women at a special event at the Music Center Wednesday. It was, as Keith Kieschnick told the crowd at the Ahmanson, a "reward for your membership" in the Blue Ribbon.

Comfy on the settee of the "Legends" set, Martin and Channing reminisced about show openings and closings--Martin telling about doing "Singin' in the Rain" for the shower-soaked crowd waiting for the opening of "South Pacific" in London, Channing about taking the stage in high school and imitating Mr. Schwartz, the science teacher.

From the audience came a constant preface to questions: "My most memorable night in the theater was. . . ."

From the stage came intimacy and insight: "Everybody wants to be in the theater. It lifts life out of the mundane," Channing said. In high school, "I heard those laughs and I was no longer an only child."

What plays did they regret not doing? For Martin, "My Fair Lady" and "Mame." Channing: "They must have peddled 'Mame' all over town. I turned down 'Mame,' too."

Channing joined the audience for lunch at the Grand Hall, toting hers in special silver containers--she always brings her own food. For the potpourri of Blue Ribbon members, there was tuna salad and a chance to talk about yet still more social events in the crowded spring calendar. Martin was tied up in rehearsals, but sitting in for her was her daughter-in-law, Maj Hagman.

For the distaff Kitchen Cabinet members, it's more chores than chat, because they've been buried in the warehouse getting ready for the Colleagues' annual Glamour sale, May 10 at the Santa Monica Civic. "We took the morning off," kidded Giney Milner, who had carpooled in with Harriet Deutsch, Erlenne Sprague and Marion Jorgensen.

Busy spring schedule talk--Dorothy Straus and Betty Deutsch talked about the Westside Center for Independent Living, Peggy Parker has the March 27 fashion show for the Young Musicans Foundation.

Seen in the audience, Maggie Wetzel with Betty Anderson, Joan Quinn, Katherine Domyan, Joan Hotchkis, Arletta Tronstein, Mary Jones, Adrienne Hall, Jackie Applebaum, Gerri Schabarum, Karen Gould; new mother Nancy Powell chatting with Bettina Chandler, joined by Kathy Sugarman and Dayle Zukor.

Sugarman and Zukor were introduced to Dee Sherwood, who commented "Gosh, you're both named sugar. " That is a very cultured joke for a very rainy morning.

MORE MUSIC CENTER KUDOS--This time, to two classroom performers. Evelyn Cain, from the Sheridan Street Elementary School in Boyle Heights, and Alisa Allen Atterbury, from Claremont's Mountain View Elementary, won the Bravo awards at the Music Center on Tuesday night. Actors Richard Dreyfuss and Michael Learned joined producer Garry Marshall in presenting the bronze statuette, symbol of the teachers' exceptional achievement in arts education. The awards are funded by the Jeffery Melamed Memorial Foundation, spearheaded by longtime Music Center supporters Joan and Marco Weiss, on hand for the presentation.

POSE, PLEASE--What were all those famous people doing lined up on the steps of Beverly Hills High School--like Roz Wyman, Frank and Judie Fenton, Falcon Communications' Marc Nathanson, Mike Frankovich? Posing for the team picture, of course, since they, and dozens of others like Tony Orlando, Rep. Mel Levine, Peg Yorkin and Jerry Weintraub have cast their fortunes in as co-cowners of Bruce Corwin's baseball team, the Palm Springs Angels. Wait a minute--Roz Wyman supporting a team called the Angels! Call Peter O'Malley . . .

POLITICAL PLACEMENTS--Rumors keep circulating that L.A. will be the place for the Republican National Convention in '88. It looks like the Democrats will head to the South, since the Site Selection Committee set up by chairman Paul Kirk sure has a lot of Southerners on it. Among the California types--Sheldon Andelson, Lou Moret and Nancy Pelosi.

JUST CAN'T WAIT--With all the hoopla that Hollywood can cook up, look for an old familiar face to make an amazing re-appearance Tuesday. We are sworn to secrecy, but the excitment is at Universal Studio Tours--and his initials are K.K. and he loves to monkey around.

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