It's beginning to look a lot like what we nondenominationally refer to as the holiday season.
There is that inability, among some of us transplanted Northeasterners, to come to grips each year with the absence of winter--the lack of snow, of slush and of the inherent problems of getting a cab or a cup of coffee at Chock Full o' Nuts. We miss chestnuts roasting on the street carts, snowsuits, mittens and the general cityscape ho-ho-ho.
A West Coast Solution
And so it was Wednesday at the Music Center, where plans were in the works for a second annual Winterfest. The three weeks of events will include a glam black-tie party and jazz performance Dec. 7, followed by weeks crammed with carolers on the Plaza, free pre-performance entertainment and a real live ice show booked into the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
Anne Johnson, returning along with last year's other two co-chairwomen, Chardee Trainer and Lili Zanuck, has lined-up snowflakes and other wintry trappings for the Plaza and even has in mind some light-up reindeer. John Daly, who did the fabulous sets for the Pope's Masses in Dodger Stadium and the Coliseum, is doing the decor.
(Daly even brought along full flower baskets for the lunch Wednesday in The Founders. Music Center Vice President Esther Wachtell, his lunch partner, said afterward that she didn't realize it was his gift and had kept complaining during lunch that money shouldn't have been spent on flowers. "I'm just so tight," she said.)
Chardee Trainer's buddies--including Giney Milner, Erlenne Sprague and Betty Wilson--were there, as was Nancy Vreeland, Phyllis Hennigan, Kathy Offenhauser, Peggy Parker, Joni Smith and Jackie Rosenberg--once again this year the first $5,000 Gold Angel for the event.
The lunch proved exactly the recipe for people who wanted to lose weight. Most passed up the warm smoked chicken salad with mayonnaise and a yellowish potato salad in favor of a large serving of grumbling. Rosenberg proved to be inventive, pulling the radicchio from under the salad and using rolls to make "lettuce sandwiches." Her table followed suit.
Smith said that she and other volunteers are already gearing up for the first "L.A. Alive" weekend set for June 17. As Smith explained it, the weekends--each featuring a different product, such as food or autos--will replace the giant mercados held the last few years. She said it had proved just too difficult to get merchandise for the massive sales.
And on an innovative note, Joy Fein has put together the Music Center 1988 calendar, gathering $64,000 worth of sponsorships--including Frank Sinatra, who bought the page on which his picture appears. The calendar is a pictorial history of the Music Center and will be on the sale at the new Music Center Store, opening the Plaza this week.
OK, so there's no snow and it's not Rockefeller Center. But come February, you won't have to fly to Florida either.