"I'm very pleased. We didn't do a whole lot of arm-twisting and the evening is really a success," summed up Kathleen Unger, chair of the premiere of "The Glass Menagerie" at the Cineplex Odeon, benefiting the Scott Newman Foundation.
It was a "small evening," and planned that way, Unger said, insisting that what they wanted was a solid, but not all-stops-out benefit for the 8-year-old anti-drug foundation. But the Thursday night screening and party afterward at the Four Seasons Hotel netted some $75,000--and how "small" can an evening be when the lobby crowd gets to see director Paul Newman chatting it up while chowing down on beer and some borrowed popcorn.
Newman, who got the foundation started after the drug-related death of his son, Scott, in 1978, told the audience that the foundation's acclaimed book, "Drug-Free Kids," would soon be coming out in Spanish and that a film version has been completed. Newman then talked about "The Glass Menagerie," starring his wife, Joanne Woodward, and kidded that revenues "from the salad dressing are now outgrossing my film."
In the audience were Mike and Judy Ovitz; Sydney Pollock; Jacques Camus and Doris Field; Newman's attorney, Irving Axelrod with his wife, Ethel (she confided that after years of searching for a good barber, her husband now just let her cut his hair); James Belushi; Cineplex-Odeon's Garth Drabinsky;, and Ginny and Henry Mancini--he did the haunting original music for the film and was introduced by Drabinsky as "the Academy Award winner, often, Mr. Mancini." The Four Seasons served up Cajun-style food, which really only makes sense if one remembers that the film is set in St. Louis. Amanda does come from the South and so did Tennessee Williams, and so that's how it all ties together, kinda.