Well, it wasn't Chicago, but it looked like it atop the Holiday Inn rooftop, amongst the stars, after the American Film Institute Associates premiere of the Tri-Star film "About Last Night. . . ." A Wrigley Field hot dog stand, deep-dish pizza station, Chicago-style produce markets and a Dessert Diner were stacked with scrumptious foods beneath the chrome-lighted skylines and the neon signs. Parties Plus outdid itself with Chicago's landmarks--the Sears Tower, the Picasso sculpture and the Twin Towers. It all awaited the 1,000 or so who strolled down Hollywood Boulevard after the opening. Hardworking duo chairmen Nancy Ellington and Patti Skouras were ecstatic.
Jim Belushi promptly picked up two hot dogs, mustard and catsup, if you please--"My favorites." The film's other stars--Rob Lowe, Demi Moore and that stunning Elizabeth Perkins--were in top demand. So was Edward Zwick, the director, who happens to be an AFI graduate, a point AFI director Jean Firstenberg proudly reiterated for first-nighters.
Since the party was two-generational, young and old were clamoring to view celebrities. Nancy and Tom Ellington brought their son, University of Virginia graduate Jess Ellington and his friend, Sally Valentine of Richmond, Va. Patti and Tommy Skouras brought Aleka Skouras, Jay Blumenfeld and Laura Calfas. Agent Ames Cushing was with her son, Thomas Cushing, home for the summer from St. Mark's boarding school. Disney Vice President Richard Frank brought his son, Darryl.
'You Gave Us a Home Run'
New institute chairman Bunny Wrather was talking up AFI. More in the crowd were AFI trustees Franklin and Jean Schaffner, Chuck Fries and Ava Ostern, and Bob and Millicent Wise. Associates came with their husbands: Jackie and Paul Monash, Philip and Patricia Barry (as AFI Associates president, she donned a Chicago Cubs uniform to say to guests, "We threw you a pitch, and you gave us a home run"), Helene and Herb Tobias, Barbara and Dick Berg, Marian and Jack Neuman, Susan and Jerry Leider, and Dolly and Don Gillin. More were Rose Freeman ("I'm a worker bee") and Tom Hatten, Kathy Worthington and Ken Kragen.
Tri-Star brass including Jeff (he's president of production) and Christy Sagansky attended, as well as Tim Sexton, and post-production associates Russ Paris and Brad Blake and Carlotta Florio. Producers Jason Bret and Stuart Oken were Chicago's gift for the night. Others in on the fun: Andra and Phil Stein, Carol Doumani, Kelly and Lila Neal, Sherry Lansing, George Christy, Roz and Henry Rogers, Nancye and Bob Daly, Mike Stern of Regal Rents, Keith Barish, David and Lorraine Gerber, and dozens of AFI alumni.
At AFI, Megan Williams and her husband, producer Michael Shamberg, were talking about their own benefit. It's the premiere of "Club Paradise," a Warner Bros. release Wednesday at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. TRIPOD, the West Hollywood nonprofit organization serving hearing-impaired children and their families, will benefit. Director/co-writer Harold Ramis is honorary chairman. Among those on the committee are Wendy and Mark Canton, Nancy and Robert Daly, Jane and Terry Semel, Jayni and Chevy Chase, Nanette Fabray, Alan Greisman, Sally Field, John Candy, Robin Williams, Joanna Cassidy, Eugene Levy, Deborah Divine, and Ann and Rick Moranis. Founded in 1981, TRIPOD also has the Grapevine, a hot line that has counseled more than 2,000 hearing-impaired individuals and their families. Megan Williams is executive director.
Richstone Family Center plans to strike it rich with a San Francisco 49er Bash Saturday at Malaga Cove in Palos Verdes. Chairman Jaimie Brown and her co-chair Danese Maldonado plan dancing under the stars, California cuisine, an Oriental mystery auction, shout-outs for vacation cruises, and prizes for best period costumes. Other arrangers are Barbara Bowman, Doreen Myhers, Bette Edwards, Sandra Darrow, Audrey Curry, Connie del Guercio, Norma Deering, Lisa Gerold, Jeanette Peckham and more.
Garlicky hors d'oeuvres, garlic wine, "gartinis"--it's all part of the zany Garlic Festival first-bite Tuesday evening on the roof of Le Bel Age Hotel. The $100-per-ticket event for the Los Angeles chapter of the American Red Cross, comes in anticipation of the fourth annual Los Angeles Garlic Festival next Sunday in West Hollywood. At Le Bel Age, a select group of restaurateurs will prepare fare and the Curtis Peagler Quartet will perform. Then everyone should be in aromatic excellence for the big do.
The Biltmore Hotel is the setting Saturday for "Sojourn at the Ritz." Sojourn is the West Los Angeles-based shelter for battered women and their children. For its fourth annual fund-raiser, they'll re-create an Art Deco club of the early '30s for a night on the town. Ann-Margret and Roger Smith are honorary dinner chairmen. More on the committee are Mariette Hartley, Peggy and Quincy Jones, Cher, Ed Asner, Lindsay Wagner, Santa Monica Mayor Christine Reed, Keith and William Kieschnick.