The paparazzi lined up outside along the Chasen's canopy while the Garden Room inside was mobbed with the famous faces that make those bulbs go off. "On Your Toes" stars Dina Merrill and Natalia Makarova were hosting a party for their in-town friends. But as far as the glitzy life of a celeb, Makarova said the party was a singular break in her two-month stay here, since she spends the day basically "to prepare for the play." After the play ends its run in San Francisco, the ballerina says she'll decide whether to concentrate on dancing or acting: "I'm on the edge."
Some other folks who've made career changes were on hand, like former Ambassador to Mexico John Gavin with his actress wife Constance Towers. No vacation before he headed back to L.A. and his job as an executive at Arco, Gavin said, adding that between his time in the office here, in Washington and his work on several boards, "It's like I never left."
Among the GOP contingent--and heading downtown for a dinner with the Republican National Committee Site Selection Committee--were Charlton and Lydia Heston. Other guests stayed, working on the mounds of lobster, shrimp and crab piled high on ice. Director Sydney Pollack, very tan and relaxed, said he had "no plans" set to direct, but was busy with his new production company, which he partners with Mark Rosenberg. Armand Deutsch was introduced to Stanley Holden, with whom Makarova works out every day. "I taught Ron Reagan to dance," Holden told the Kitchen Cabineteer.
Near the buffet table, Neile McQueen Toffel and Pamela Mason talked of matters more befitting authors. Toffel, whose book on Steve McQueen, "My Husband, My Friend," is in its fourth printing, is now working on a novel. The switch to fiction was applauded by Mason: "You can be in charge. There is nothing to interrupt you--like reality."
Jack Valenti arrived with Dinah Shore; Richard Chamberlain, Efrem Zimbalist Jr. and his actress daughter Stephanie chatted it up around the room; Marvin and Barbara Davis went into the restaurant to have dinner with Lew and Edie Wasserman; and Frances Bergen arrived with Ross Hunter. She'd been besieged by photographers and autograph hounds, but, as she entered Chasen's, Hunter told her: "Just write down Greer Garson. They won't know the difference."
THE BEST BRUNCH--That honor, many would say, goes to the annual fund-raiser for the Rape Treatment Center at Santa Monica Hospital. This year's party chaired by Adele Yellin will be hosted by Barbara Corday and Barney Rosenzweig at their Hancock Park home Sept. 14. Norman Lear and his auctioneering talents will be on hand, as will Linda Evans, Mark Harmon, Ally Sheedy and R. J. Wagner. And don't be turned off by the fancy invitation or the 54 cents in postage it takes to mail it first class. The invite was underwritten by Southland Corp. and an anonymous donor.
MORE STARS--Monday night's meeting made it official. The Hollywood Clean Water Caravan--that's the Yes on 65 folks, will head out of L.A. Sept. 26, down the coast and back up again, in a trip reminiscent of the World War II bond drives. Signing on are Jane Fonda, Lorna Luft, Ally Sheedy, Rosanna Arquette, Shari Belafonte-Harper, Melissa Gilbert and Rob Lowe. The send-off party is at MGM . . . Clint Eastwood is one of the co-hosts, along with Herbie Hancock and Quincy Jones, for the Sept. 3 party at Pinafini. It's a kickoff for the Oct. 16 benefit premiere for " 'Round Midnight," with the proceeds going to American Cinematheque.
TWO-PARTY DEAL--It all happened at the party for Atty. Gen. John Van de Kamp at Bruce and Toni Corwin's house last week. Interscope's Bob Burkett just happened to mention to Van de Kamp campaign manager Barbara Johnson that he and his wife Sally were waiting for the counteroffer for a home they'd bid on in Cheviot Hills. "Not Harvey Saferstein's house?" Johnson asked, then steered Burkett across the room to where Saferstein was standing. And by the end of the party, the house was bought and Burkett was talking loans with several of the bankers present. Now that's convenient.