There will be none of that "you've-come-a-long-way-baby talk." No, the 20th Anniversary Celebration of the National Organization for Women--yes, really, 20 years--is going to focus on "the gains. And on the erosions, the losses."
That's the word from Peg Yorkin, who with Susan Dietz is producing the Dec. 1 gala at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Hoping to raise $500,000 with the event, they've already got commitments from stars like Jane Alexander, Teri Garr, Diahann Carroll, Dick Shawn, JoBeth Williams and, perhaps, Aretha Franklin and the Eurythmics' Annie Lennox. Former First Lady Betty Ford is honorary chairman of the event, NOW President Eleanor Smeal will address the crowd, and chairing are a quartet of L.A.'s best-known forces (who just happen to be women)--Joan Palevsky, Dorothy Jonas, Barbara Corday and Roz Wyman.
The gala will be the single celebration of NOW's anniversary--not just a West Coast version. "We're very wise to have it here. All the money is here. All the people are here," Yorkin explained. Personalities will not overwhelm the politics, Yorkin and Dietz insisted. The show itself, with Peter Matz doing the musical direction, is a chronology of NOW, which, Dietz said, will "not only be entertaining, but also inspiring."
Now if we could just get that kind of enthusiasm for the Academy Awards. . . .
And, on further NOW fronts, Sept. 16 the L.A. NOW hosts the Awards of Courage Dinner, honoring Ed Asner, Kentucky newspaper heiress Sallie Bingham, Columbia Pictures' Barbara Corday, Valerie Harper and activist College North. It's at the Beverly Wilshire.
PRESIDENTIAL POPS--National political types keeping saying how Rep. Richard A. Gephardt, the Missouri Democrat, has been spending quite a bit of time in Iowa--where the spring 1988 caucus will surely help set the stage for the Democratic presidential nominating sweepstakes. Gephardt has been in town this week for some formal duties--like addressing the Regional Institute of Southern California--hanging out with his close friends, including Foothill Finance's Don Gervirtz, and even paying some courtesy calls on such luminaries as Atty. Gen. John Van de Kamp. Come to think of it, California has a presidential primary too.
YUM--Could be the hottest things to collect in L.A. these days are chefs. They are just so fashionable and nothing is more the mark of social success than being on a first-name base with a well-known restaurateur. No one more than Spago's Wolfgang Puck, who has obviously been out of the kitchen and on the phone. He's got a pack of his chef buddies from all over the country showing up Sept. 13 for the American Wine and Food Festival benefiting the L.A. Chapter of Meals on Wheels. Puck's Significant Other, Barbara Lazaroff, is joined on the benefit committee by Sandra Moss, Joan Kardashian, Beverly Singer, Pam Korman and Judy Leaf. Famous chefs include Chez Panisse's Alice Waters, Jams' Jonathan Waxman, L.A.'s own Piero Selvaggio and Peter Rosenberg, and a dozen others. For $125-a-hungry-person, the buffet, on the Outdoor Terrace of the Pacific Design Center, could be the cheapest swankiest meal in town. And you get to meet all those chefs and get known and maybe even eventually get an 8 p.m. reservation in their fancy restaurants.
GREEN WITH GRAPE ENVY--We're jealous. L.A. semi-expatriates Audrey and Barry Sterling are mailing their friends invites to the Iron Horse Vineyard's now-annual harvest lunch parties. We knew there was a reason to live in Northern California. . . . Just 100 close friends will join hotelier Severyn Ashkenazy at his Le Mondrian hotel Saturday night as he hosts the evening's Hollywood Bowl concert star, Luciano Pavarotti. Look for Mel Brooks, Anne Bancroft, John Candy and Eddie Albert. And everyone else who is famous or important will probably be at the Barbra Streisand Malibu ranch for her Democratic senatorial campaign fund-raiser.