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Marylouise Oates

Desert Crowd Awaits Hope Center Gala

December 16, 1987|Marylouise Oates

No, no matter how hard you try, you are probably not going to be invited to the very special annual New Year's Eve party given by Ambassador Walter and Leonore Annenberg. (The 90-plus special people return every year and, although the guest list is always private, consistently at the top are the Ronald Reagans.)

But some of the most famous faces will be in a more public arena over the New Year weekend, as the McCallum Theater at the Bob Hope Cultural Center has about the grandest opening seen in a desert since Moses parted the Red Sea.

The President and First Lady will be first-nighters, as will former President Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, former President Gerald and Betty Ford, Lucille Ball, Kirk Douglas and Mary Martin. (The opening will mark a personal anniversary--Martin's 50th year since she starred on Broadway in "Leave It to Me."

Several dozen of Hope's buddies will be part of the show--which will be turned into an NBC special, produced by those whizzes, Gary Smith and Dwight Hemion.

Proceeds--and the tickets range from $2,500 to $10,000 per couple--are expected to go over $2 million, all of which goes to the Endowment Program for the theater.

Also on tap--taped excerpts from next year's hottest stage show, "Phantom of the Opera."

JANUARY, ALREADY--And get ready, because the calendar is filling up fast. Here are the details on what promises to be one of the New Year's hottest tickets. The first in a series of celebrations of Israel's 40th anniversary will be more than premiere, as Barbara Belzberg and Linda Rosenberg chair the Jan. 18 "Flight of Fantasy" fund-raiser for the L.A. Women's Division of Israel Bonds.

The two, who also chair the division itself, have put together an evening with Robinson's that will feature both Israeli designers and the best of Armani, Restivo and others. The tickets for the party, at the Beverly Hilton, are only $75--but then only women who have made a 1988 Israel Bond purchase of $1,000 or more are eligible to buy the tickets. Look for a guest list including Anne and Kirk Douglas (who are honorary chairpersons) and Robinson's Bob and Sue Mettler.

PAISANOS--Yes, there might have been a few non-Italian Americans at Saturday night's dinner honoring Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia (Gov. George Deukmejian and California Supreme Court Justice Malcolm Lucas were also honored), but the evening did live up to its billing as "A Salute to Italian-Americans in Government." On hand were California Supreme Court justices Ed Panelli and John Arguelles and Los Angeles City Council President John Ferraro. Also very present, the city's favorite cultural Italian, the Music Center's master of properties Carmine Marinelli, and political honcho Joe Cerrell. Raymond Polverini, the dinner chairman and Southwest Regional veep of National Italian American Foundation, was more than pleased at the response. (Also among non-Italians was state Sen. Bill Campbell (R-Industry)--no surprise since he loves Italian food).

MAKING A POINT--It's not clear just what this means, but things seem to go well for the stars who get the "Sour Apple Awards," handed out annually by the Hollywood Women's Press Club. In past years, recipients of the awards--for non-cooperation and general bad press sportsmanship--have been Greer Garson, Fred MacMurray, Doris Day, Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, Jean Arthur, Jennifer Jones and Gary Cooper and (several times) Frank Sinatra.

BEST EVER--Gift for this year is the Yuppie Earthquake Survival Kit, cutting a swath through the shoppers at Neiman-Marcus in Beverly Hills. The small plastic suitcase contains all essential ingredients for the upwardly mobile, including first-aid kit, a six-inch crescent wrench and a "designer" transistor radio. Water, naturally, only it's Evian. Also, there are musts like Romanoff caviar, Ile de France pate, Stolichnaya vodka and Dunhill superior mild cigarettes with lighter. There are water crackers and Tylenol for the aftershock headache. All for $120, but what yuppie would be counting. Of course, as one office cynic remarked--"Yuppie Survival Kit? I don't want them to survive."

HOLLYDAY GREETINGS--Once "Dynasty" royalty, actress Catherine Oxenburg will do a little more princessing this Christmas season, at her chalet in Aspen. She'll host a special screening of her Dec. 28 NBC update of "Roman Holiday" (that's the classic film that starred Audrey Hepburn) and will pull her star pals off the slopes for at least a couple of hours indoors.

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