Calling the Orange County Performing Arts Center "a fabulous facility with incredible acoustics," singer Patti Page swept into the Center Club after her performance Saturday night to dine--and dance a waltz--at a benefit party staged by a chapter of the Newport Harbor Guild.
As members of Guys & Dolls--the guild's singles chapter--gathered around the singer, lauding her for her hits, especially "The Tennessee Waltz," Page smiled and replied, "How sweet, thank you."
After enjoying crepes Grand Marnier, Page and her pianist, Rocky Cole, her escort, were invited to dance by guest Tom Merrick and chapter member Catherine Pearce. "She wasn't ecstatic; but we got to do a waltz," Merrick said afterward. "And, for the life of me, I can't remember what song was playing. . . ."
Page told Merrick she lives in the San Diego area, he said. "And she told me she only works half the time. I told her that was probably more than the members of Guys & Dolls worked. They're an affluent group, you know. She got a big kick out of that."
Later, Patty Brennan, president of Guys & Dolls, told Page that the chapter is composed of singles. Page, also single, said: "Great! I'll come back!"
It was Brennan who had arranged the singer's appearance at the party. "I met her 15 years ago when I lived in Bel-Air," explained Brennan, a Newport Beach resident. "Her hairdresser introduced us. So when I learned Patti was going to perform at the Center, I got in touch with the hairdresser and he gave me her phone number. I called her, asked if she'd be our guest and, happily, she said yes."
Besides the performance and apres- theater bash, chapter members had congregated beforehand at the new Beverly Heritage Hotel in Costa Mesa for cocktails and appetizers. "I can hardly wait to hear Patti Page sing 'The Tennessee Waltz,' " said Susie Stebbins. "It takes me back, but I don't know if I want to admit how far back.... "
Others enjoying the evening were Ingrid Velasco, Phillip Quarre, Nancy Hodson, Nancy Bowman, Jim Barrett, Felicia Bukaty, Lavonne Kissam and Elle Rice, who was attending with incoming Guys & Dolls president George Harris. Guys & Dolls members pay annual dues of $225. Forty percent of all of the group's party proceeds go toward the Center's operating fund.
Related review on Page 1 of Calendar.