Talk about party A-lists. A couple of the county's most prominent hostesses have been drawing up invitation lists to two red-letter gatherings--one next Sunday in Beverly Hills and another this Sunday in San Juan Capistrano.
Renee Segerstrom of Newport Beach is co-chairwoman, along with Countess Guy de Brantes (president of the American Friends of the Paris Opera and Ballet, of the Cinderella Ball, which will be held June 12 at the pink palace, a.k.a the Beverly Hills Hotel.
The fairy-tale gala will celebrate the West Coast premiere of the Paris Opera Ballet (at the Orange County Performing Arts Center, June 14-19) and will honor Rudolf Nureyev, ballet director, who also will celebrate his 50th birthday at the gala.
To give you an idea of the staging that will occur when the ball unfolds in the hotel's Crystal Ballroom, Elise Pasetta, wife of longtime Academy Awards show director Marty Pasetta, is a vice chairwoman. So is Maggy Louis, wife of fashion designer Jean-Louis. First Lady Nancy Reagan and French President Francois Mitterrand are honorary chairmen, and, oui, there is a good chance they will attend.
Now, of course, you are wondering why this gala is being tossed in the kingdom of Los Angeles and not here--somewhere near our own Segerstrom Hall--since that is where the premiere will be staged.
Well, asked that question a few months ago, Renee Segerstrom hinted that she would hate to see locals have to cough up all that money--$250 per --and take away potential donations from the Performing Arts Center (Ball proceeds go to the Friends of the Paris Opera Ballet).
But, as it turns out, about 400 locals have been invited to do just that. There are but 400 seats available for the ball, and a total of 2,000 invitations have gone out (clever little things featuring a pumpkin carriage holding a leaping ballerina and the Hollywood sign in the background).
And therein lies the A-list. Among the 400 invited to sally forth to the hills of Beverly: Nora and Charles Hester; Margaret and Carl Karcher; Judy and David Threshie; Betty and Tom Kemp; Ninetta and Gavin Herbert; Diane and Harry Rinker; Donna O'Bryan; Arden and Richard Flamson III; Willa Dean and William Lyon; Marilyn and Tom Nielsen; Susan and Timothy Strader; Janice and Roger Johnson; Elizabeth and Tom Tierney; Stewart Woodard; Athalie Clarke; Sheila and Ygal Sonenshine; Suzy and Herb Sutton; Michelle and Frederick Rohe; Barbara and Alexander Bowie; Trish and John O'Donnell; Lois and Buzz Aldrin, and Bob and Shirlee Guggenheim.
The reason, so the tale goes, the ball will be staged in the Los Angeles area is that it is chock full of Cinderella types, said an insider. "You know, the '42nd Street' kind of Cinderella that becomes a Hollywood star overnight." (But wait. That took place in New York. A trek to the Waldorf, anyone?)
The other hostess who has been busy-busy is Athalie Clarke of Newport Beach, mother of Irvine land heiress Joan Irvine Smith. Both will welcome friends to their third annual Grandprix luncheon in San Juan Capistrano this Sunday.
The spread, catered by Rococo of Van Nuys (at a cost of between $80,000 and $90,000 to Smith and Clarke), celebrates the final day of the Oaks Classic, a premiere horse-jumping event staged by Smith, Clarke, Jimmy Kohn and Martin Cohen.
Besides the usual mountains of veggies and fruits that beckon at this delicious event, fare on order includes 24 bushels of oysters and clams; 200 pounds of sea bass (for the ceviche); 40 pounds of Atlantic bay shrimp; 450 pounds of Guaymas shrimp; 300 pounds of Australian lobster tail, and 150 pounds of crab (for the crab tacos).
Among the hundreds on Clarke's list (she does the lunch list, Smith tends the horsy set): Laurent Mommeja, grandson of the Hermes family of France (House of Hermes sponsors some of the jumping events); Renee and Henry Segerstrom; Barbara and William Ficker; Suzanne and Jack Peltason; Ninetta and Gavin Herbert; Lois and Buzz Aldrin; Carl and Margaret Karcher; Dr. Howard House; Elizabeth and Tom Tierney; Lillian Fluor; Donna and John Crean; Cece and Randall Presley; Linda Irvine Gaede; William Bunney, and Orange County Supervisor Thomas F. Riley and Emma Jane.
Give 'em hell, Barry: Barry Goldwater would never "kiss and tell," Doubleday publisher Nancy Evans told guests at the Center Club in Costa Mesa on Saturday night.
"I not only don't kiss and tell; I don't even kiss!" said Goldwater, a widower, the familiar dark-rimmed glasses framing his eyes as he spoke about his new book, "Goldwater."
The former Arizona senator was in town (staying with daughter Peggy Goldwater Clay of Newport Beach) to help Doubleday push his soon-to-be-published book, a 400-page retrospective that might have been titled "Give 'em Hell, Barry."
"It's full of hell," Evans announced. "He called them as he saw them."
As in his book, Goldwater didn't mince words when he addressed guests. Of President Richard M. Nixon, he piped, "I cannot stand a man who will tell a lie."
Of his mother: "She taught me how to live. And she taught me that honesty was the only thing you can live with."