New York's the city "that never sleeps," according to the song. But Orange County dance enthusiasts got a taste of the Big Apple's penchant for all-night (that is, post performance) partying when the Center Dance Alliance's black-tie "New York Supper Club" dinner finally got under way around 11 Sunday night.
Following a New York City Ballet program presented under the direction of Peter Martins, nearly 500 supporters of the Dance Alliance and members of the company came together at the Irvine Hilton for dinner and dancing (of the ballroom sort) into the wee hours.
In the pre-dinner mix and mingle, Dance Alliance chairman Stuart Woodard said he couldn't have been happier with the troupe's four-day engagement at the Orange County Performing Arts Center, but he confided that his Sunday night seats were so close to the ceiling in the third tier that "the airplanes were flying under me."
Still sipping Champagne and discussing the evening's Balanchine and Jerome Robbins program, guests were finally herded to their tables with the gentle prodding of hostess Patty Brennan (who looked beautiful in a beaded red gown), where they were treated to a lovely (if later than expected) dinner.
The ultimate "in" eats, edible flowers, graced the salad plates, followed by a sauteed breast of chicken on a bed of angel hair pasta.
Before the delicate dessert--a pate choux pear cream swan with caramel sauce (a la Swan Lake, according to menu planners--Woodard took the stage in the beautifully theme-decorated ballroom to welcome the ballet company, thank members of the Alliance and receive a show-of-support check from the Alliance's Cover Girls auxiliary.
Cover Girls president JoAnne Mix--sparkling in a confetti-sequined gown and matching hat--came forward to present Woodard with the funds and promised that there was more to come.
Dance master Martins finally came forward, calling the Orange County engagement "very important" to the New York City Ballet (which seldom strays far from home), and expressing an enthusiasm for "the more relaxed atmosphere" Southern California affords his dancers and his wish for another invitation to perform at the Performing Arts Center.
Among the guests partying NYC-style were Jim Lodge, chairman of the event; Vin and Nora Jorgensen (he founded the Alliance), and Center director Thomas Kendrick.
Most of Orange County's society circuit regulars wouldn't be caught dead without their de rigueur black ties or sequined and shimmery Bob Mackie and Galanos gowns. But Saturday night, some of Irvine's worst dressed went public--in a fund-raising effort for the city's Rose Parade float.
Still $50,000 short of its goal, the Irving Rose Parade Float Assn. has traveled a rocky road to Colorado Boulevard, but after Saturday night's showing, it looks like the green light for New Year's Day.
Nearly 200 supporters of the Irvine float, which is based on the theme of "Prehistoric Wonders," gathered at the Registry Hotel in Irvine to bid on items as diverse as a limo trip to the La Brea Tar Pits ($250), a "Top Gun " tour of the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station, and the promise of world-class schussing at Innsbruck--a 10-day ski package snapped up by Katie Roberts for a bit more than $1,000.
But the evening really got rolling when Richard Blackwell, known for his searingly sarcastic assessment of poor fashion taste, began berating guests and contestants--"all in fun"--as he kept reminding the crowd.
Vicky Hood made her big mistake in out-bidding Judy Gray for one of Blackwell's promotional posters (he's not too subtle in the public relations department), when she instantly became a target for some of Blackwell's "advice"--first he ordered her to tuck in a beautiful belted blouse, then take off a strand of "cheap" pearls and finally pronounced her trumpet-flared skirt as too long.
Vicky took the ribbing well, and the audience was roaring--but it was Pat Carlyle who nearly stole the show when she responded to Blackwell's dare to shimmy across the stage semi-dressed. She managed to keep it decent, and soon the fashion-show-in-reverse was under way.
Irvine Chamber of Commerce's nomination, Lee Pollack and Gary Maddsen (he looking "like Cindy Lauper in drag," according to Blackwell) resembled refugees from L.A.'s trendy Melrose shopping strip who stopped en route to Irvine at a couple of low-rent-district garage sales. Regalia included his and her's flashing accessories (bow tie and headband) and a variety of taste optional ready-to-wear pieces.
Couple No. 2, Delbert and Nubell Quicky (she had awfully wide shoulders and narrow hips, hmmm . . .) had the audience gaping at his mismatched plaids and her vintage gown and strappy sandals. But the Soroptomist Club entry really rallied the laughs when Delbert pronounced his shoddy overcoat a Donald Bren castoff. (The Irvine Co. has refused financial backing of the float, much to the chagrin of float supporters.)