"It's a downer. But a happy downer. It's drink, drink, drink."
That was how Randall Barton, from Cannon films, described "Barfly" at the party following the film's premiere Wednesday night. And indeed the party was drink, drink, drink, as hundreds of guests made their way across town to the event at Catherine, "a champagne bistro." Catherine and Robert Dumont were thrilled that Cannon and Interview magazine had chosen their spot on La Brea to party after the premiere--kind of a dream-come-true story for the couple who came out from one of the Midwest "I" states (Indiana, or Illinois, or Iowa) to have their own L.A. restaurant.
It was a two-tier party.
The Upstairs Group
Faye Dunaway and her never-ending cheekbones arrived, and after she inspected the champagne bottles on ice, was quickly escorted upstairs to a Regency-style living room where she could drink--but, for her, it was "coffee, hot coffee. Good." The few other stars who managed the trek across town were also upstairs, including that wonderfully bizarre trio, the Hollywood Kids. (They confided that they might soon be making the big jump from "cable access to real TV" as part of something "Lance" said would be " 'Entertainment Tonight' gone wild."
At the downstairs party, William Tomicki and Ross Justice (he's opening the new hotel, the St. James Club on Sunset in early '88) tried the champagne. Tomicki, who does the travelers' newsletter "Entree," reconfirmed what he had written in last month's issue. That's where he listed the best restaurants in Managua, Nicaragua, because, he explained, "a lot of my clients are going there for some strange reason." And, he added, "It is very inexpensive."
Not inexpensive was "Barfly" author Charles Bukowski, arriving in a limo, carrying an open bottle of Mumms champagne.
He got escorted quickly inside and upstairs, although the line outside the bistro was now growing and invitees were being checked more carefully.
There is such an art to such parties, as some prospective attendees know what to give out at the door. The security people were supposed to check for an orange ticket, like a movie stub. One arriving woman explained that it had said: "for refreshments," and so she had used hers at the theater when she went to buy some popcorn.
At Catherine, the food was lavish--both upstairs and downstairs--with lots of little biscuit sandwiches with ham and butter, fat little cream puffs and champagne. Drink, drink, drink.
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY--When December rolls around, expect a lot of whoops and cheers as the Los Angeles Free Clinic celebrates 20 years of service to the community. Thinking about the hippie-dippy flower and street children period in which it was founded, it's amazing that the clinic has been able to continually meet the changing needs of the community.
For example, it's doing landmark work in AIDS education among high school students. Now, well-established and well-loved, the Free Clinic comes out for bows when TV exec Bernie Brillstein is this year's roastee at the celebration set for Dec. 11 and chaired by Merv Adelson. So expect lots of stars, because Brillstein is the executive producer of shows like "Alf" and "It's Gary Shandling's Show."
Also, starting Dec. 13, Mayor Tom Bradley leads the city in a "thank you," declaring "L.A. Free Clinic Week." The week's festivities wrap with a special party at A&M studios as a thank you to volunteers. A special thank you of course is going out to volunteer Mimi West, who seems to keep everything moving along on Beverly Boulevard. Cheers, Mimi, we love you.
PLAY IT AGAIN, SID--We won't be there, but the audience lucky enough to have seats for the National Symphony's D.C. performances Nov. 27 and 28 will get a chance to catch Sid Caesar as he plays the sax.
ANOTHER PAPAL VISIT--This time it's Vazken I, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, hosting Saturday night at a banquet at the L.A. Convention Center. The dinner, with more than 2,000 in attendance, will also feature Gov. George Deukmejian and County Board of Supervisors Chairman Mike Antonovich.