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Gala Dining Among the Dinosaurs

March 05, 1987|MARY LOU LOPER | Times Staff Writer

The glamorous Dinosaur Ball is more than a gala. It's the major annual event of the Natural History Museum's Alliance Board in support of the Natural History Foundation's $1.4-million annual fund for exhibitions and educational outreach.

George C. Page has given the first leadership gift to the ball, director Dr. Craig Black said. More major contributions are expected.

The March 28 ball will be the fifth annual dinner soiree among the dinosaurs. It's to be a "golden edition," enmeshed with the concurrent "Gold: The Quest for New World Riches" exhibit, which previewed Tuesday evening in black-tie splendor and opens to the public Saturday. It's the exhibit of spectacular examples of leaf, crystallized and nugget gold, pre-Columbian gold objects, treasures salvaged from sunken Spanish treasure troves, Klondike gold equipment, contemporary jewelry, high-tech Space-Age gold applications.

The irrepressible Shelton Ellis of Gump's in Beverly Hills (and previously with Neiman-Marcus management) is masterminding the ball. This week he mailed out what must be dinosaur eggs. The directions read "Keep in water for a week, then it will grow to 200-250 times its original size." Who's brave enough?

Rococo caterers will orchestrate the banquet. In a new departure, guests will buzz up to valet parking at the elegant east entrance to the museum--the one facing Exposition Park Rose Garden.

OUTSTANDING: It's been some years since Town Hall has given an outstanding service award. Wednesday evening at the Sheraton Grande, the board of governors headed by chairman Stender Sweeney, saluted Robert R. Dockson, chairman, CalFed Inc., and Ernest J. Loebbecke, director and retired chairman, Ticor, at a tribute dinner. They were honored not only for their community contributions, but for their leadership in the development of Town Hall's Executive Breakfast Institute, which last year, in cooperation with UCLA's Graduate School of Management and USC's Graduate School of Business Administration, was restructured into The Executive Series. Pomona College president Dr. David Alexander (also the American secretary, the Rhodes Scholarship Trust) will speak. Jess Marlow is master of ceremonies. Dinner chairmen are Howard P. Allen, William D. Schulte and former U.S. Atty. Gen. William French Smith.

OPENING: Doctors hop like kangaroos and dally with demons in "The Traveler," opening tonight at the Mark Taper Forum.

WELCOMES: A party at Chasen's March 13 will fete former U.S. Sens. Paul Laxalt (R-Nev) and Russell B. Long (D-La). The international law firm of Finley Kumble Wagner Heine Underberg Manley Myerson & Casey will be introducing its new partners to city leadership.

KUDOS: Dr. Robert Peter Gale, the humanitarian whose bone marrow expertise was donated to the victims of the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl, has been named honoree for the Founder's Humanitarian Award Dinner sponsored by the California chapter of the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation March 14 at the Beverly Wilshire. Dr. Joseph P. Van Der Meulen, USC vice president health affairs, is chairman. He's also former chairman of the foundation's medical advisory board.

DANCIN' ALONG: Those Moshays are everywhere. Joe Moshay's Big Band played for the Bachelors Ball (Ray Moshay produced the Afro-Caribbean Show, then his rock group played till the wee hours). They were booked for the Freedom Foundation and also the American Ballet Theatre opening gala Tuesday night at the Shrine, and they're playing for the Right to Life party at Chasen's, the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick at the Beverly Hilton, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science's 59th Oscar Ball March 30.

PRESENCE: Washington's Smithsonian Institution is establishing a new presence in the city. The museum presents a five-day series March 25-29 (with the co-sponsorship of at least 10 major Southland museums, including the Long Beach Museum of Art, Craft and Folk Art Museum, and Banning, maritime, Afro-American, natural history and science and industry museums). We're told more than 51,000 Smithsonian members reside in the Los Angeles area. Topics will range from "The Calla Lily in Modern Painting" to documentary filmmaking, spirituals and life in the deep sea.

FIRST-NIGHTERS: Gala-goers don't usually intentionally return late to their seats after opening night intermissions. They did get carried away Tuesday evening over pate and Moet & Chandon Champagne during the first intermission of the American Ballet Theatre and Music Center Dance Presentations opening night performance of Sir Kenneth MacMillan's new production of "The Sleeping Beauty." But, in all fairness, didn't the lights flicker a tad too late to warn Movada Gala goers they should return? All was well by second intermission: The black-tie crowd returned to their seats in one hurry, stumbling over no one.

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