Where is a fairy godmother when you need one?
Once upon a time (as in only three days ago) there was a Cinderella Ball still in the making, a fairy-tale of an affair that was going to be held on Sunday at the Beverly Hills hotel.
Rudolf Nureyev, director of the Paris Opera Ballet, was going to be there. There was talk that Nancy Reagan and French President Francois Mitterrand might attend. And Orange County's own Renee Segerstrom was a chairwoman of the gala that would celebrate the opening Tuesday of the Paris Opera Ballet in Segerstrom Hall at the Performing Arts Center.
Well, the dew is off the pumpkins that were going to turn into limos and zip locals to the affair. The ball has been canceled.
On Tuesday, the gala committee received a message from the American Friends of the Paris Opera and Ballet, via the French Embassy in New York, stating: "Due to a delay in the projected arrival of the Paris Opera Ballet, the Cinderella Ball has been canceled. The performance of the company will begin as scheduled."
Ouch! Triple ouch! What happened? According to insiders, the ballet company, now performing in Rio, has simply been delayed. And that's that. "And scheduling is scheduling, what can you do?" wailed a hand-wringing ball coordinator.
So, back go the ball gowns into the jog-in closets and back go the jewels into the vaults.
But there is still going to be some partying, albeit local and less formal, on opening night. Renee and Henry Segerstrom will welcome 24 guests to their manse on Newport Beach Bay for dinner before the performance. And there will be a cast party at the Center Club in Costa Mesa afterward.
Sounds like a few folks are going to be living happily ever after, after all.
Dear Abby: Abigail (Dear Abby) Van Buren Phillips and Roddy McDowall will be the guest speakers at the Balboa Bay Club next Friday when supporters of the American Federation for AIDS Research--Liz Taylor's pet charity--stage a get-informed luncheon for locals.
Abby happens to be a good friend of Susie Field, the 26-year-old blond beauty who was raised in Newport Beach and now resides with husband Ted Field, the motion picture producer ("Three Men and a Baby," "Outrageous Fortune") in the old Harold Lloyd estate in Beverly Hills.
Susie, a charity leader in the Los Angeles area, also wants to give something back to Orange County. So she is staging the luncheon to help educate local leaders about AIDS research.
Deep background: Only last Saturday night, the Fields underwrote the bash at their home that raised $1 million for the Greater Los Angeles Partnership for the Homeless. Fun and games there included an astrology booth (party-givers take note) and guests included Loretta Young, Barbara Walters and Disney CEO Michael Eisner.
Schuller goes to Washington: When mega-philanthropist Armand Hammer celebrated his 90th birthday at the Watergate in Washington recently, the Rev. Robert H. Schuller and his wife, Arvella, flew to the party in Hammer's own 727 jet.
"I've missed only one of Hammer's birthday parties in six years," said Schuller, adding that Hammer "always invites a special group" to celebrate his natal day and "I'm lucky to be part of that group." (The group also includes Abigail Phillips, Jane and Jerry Weintraub, Dr. Howard House and Rhonda Fleming.)
Schuller met Hammer, chief executive officer of Occidental Corp., when he invited him to hear good friend Norman Vincent Peale speak at the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove a few years ago. "We developed a fast friendship," Schuller said. Since then, Schuller has consoled Hammer on the loss of his only brother, Victor, and was invited to give the invocation at Hammer's Big Nine-O.
Hammer's philanthropic arm has even reached out to the Crystal Cathedral. Besides a $250,000 donation a few months ago, Hammer gave Schuller his "In the Hands of God" oil by Russian-born artist Marc Klionsky. "Hammer only collects Klionsky and Andrew Wyeth," Schuller said.
Morsels: An Arabian colt was on hand Thursday night at the Westin South Coast Plaza when Jim and Mary Roosevelt appeared at a little photo session to help push the "Arabian Fantasy" benefit for the fight against multiple sclerosis that is planned for June 25. A posh cocktail party followed for gala supporters at the elegant Harbor Island home of Dick and Marilyn Hausman (she is the sister of Gavin Herbert, CEO of Allergan Pharmaceuticals). Speaking of the Hausmans, the Angels of the Arts (a support group of the Performing Arts Center) met at their exquisite, new-ish home for luncheon and a showing of couture designer Zandra Rhodes' fall collection last week. Angels arrived at the waterfront home Venice-style, in tiny cocktail cruisers piloted by, among other volunteers, a rakish-looking George Argyros Jr.