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On VIEW

LA Alive! Gets Off to a Booming Start

June 16, 1988|MARY LOU LOPER | Times Staff Writer

When isn't L.A. Alive? But LA Alive!, the Music Center's newest brainchild, was supersonically alive the other evening at its premiere. The combination of Michael Carney and Peter Duchin, those New York/Palm Beach band leaders playing for the first time together (they're negotiating to open a nightclub in Manhattan), kept the dancing going on into the night.

Then there was the beauty of the site--neon-lighted metal palm trees driven from Las Vegas by Sam Salde that morning and assembled in the Grand Hall of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion under Kathy Offenhauser's supervision.

Jerry Weintraub bid $15,000 in the live auction's first number--a week at Tighantuir, Peter and Pam Mullins' Scottish estate, with golf at St. Andrews and Glen Eagles. It had been valued at $8,000, and so the evening was off to a great start for LA Alive! chairman Nancy Vreeland and the night's co-chairs, Joni Smith, Robin Parsky and Joan Hotchkis.

Harlyne and Kenneth Norris had already donated $100,000 to underwrite the LA Alive! weekend, Gerald Parsky had collected $105,000 in corporate sponsors and patrons had given generously at $1,500 each. This meant the live auction could net $105,000 (which it ultimately did), and the silent auction another $100,000, bringing the night's benefit net to an estimated $350,000.

With only 11 items in the live auction, donors paid $5,000 to conduct the "Star-Spangled Banner" at the Hollywood Bowl, $5,000 to cook with Wolfgang Puck, $16,000 for a London trip, $17,500 for a Greek cruise on the Seabourn Pride, and $9,000 for a dinner for 25 at home catered by Rococo with music from the Beverly Hills Unlisted Jazz Band.

Peter Barker put up a gallant fight for an Alaskan fishing trip, even bidding at one point against his father, Norman, but lost to a $12,000 bid that bought one week of fly fishing at the Tikchik Narrows Lodge in Alaska.

Nancy (she in Bill Blass' Matisse-look top) and Tim Vreeland (in a 1953 Zenobi-tailored tux purchased when he was studying architecture in Rome) suffered an ironic near disaster--neither had money for VIP parking. "You park; I'll dash in," the party chairman ordered, and Tim did.

It was a smashing crowd, all dining royally on Dori Pinola's choice of Scottish smoked salmon with dill sauce served with vodka, rack of spring lamb and haricots verts , followed by vanilla bean ice cream with chocolate and caramel sauces and a decadent brownie--a simple three-course menu.

Joseph and Sally Keon and Marjorie and Richard Alden, plus Patsy von Schlegell, Harry Usher escorting Jane Ellison (guests at the Parsky table, along with Nancy Bechtle, president of the San Francisco Symphony), and Richard and Maude Ferry were among those dancing. John and Diane Cooke (back from John Jr.'s graduation from Williams) joined Charles and Carolyn Miller. Norman Mitchell flew in from San Francisco late, but in time to join Rosemary.

Pam and John King went walking before the party. Bejeweled Keith and Bill Kieschnick were home from Tuscany. Debbie and Thomas Tellefsen, Neiman-Marcus vice president and general manager John and Bridget Martens (Neiman-Marcus donated the Ysatis de Givenchy eau de toilette for table favors for the lady guests and chocolates for the gentlemen), John and Marion Anderson, Phyllis and Michael Hennigan, Joanne and Roger Kozberg were in the crowd.

During the next two days, the Music Center Plaza was alive with a free public arts festival with jazz, floricanto dance, the Untouchables, the Aman Folk Ensemble, Korean classical music and dance, Captain Cardiac and the Coronaries, Dave Alvin and the Allnighters, and on and on.

Saturday evening, 1,000 of the young at heart (at $75 per person) turned out for Martha Davis and Billy Vera & the Beaters in an open-air concert and a California barbecue and street dance. Tapping toes were a crowd including Rob Maguire (Susie, co-chairman, had the flu), Madison Offenhauser with Jill Clayton, Mark and Claudia Foster, Ashley Brittingham with John Hunter, Kathleen Schulte, Madalyn Sayer, David de Wetter and Rod Wilger.

VIP TIME: His Excellency Emmanuel de Margerie, France ambassador to the United States, addresses the Los Angeles World Affairs Council Tuesday at the Registry, and French Consul Gen. Bernard Miyet and his wife, Dominique, entertain the ambassador and Madame de Margerie the evening before at a reception at their residence. . . .

SAVE THE DATE: The National Kidney Foundation of Southern California and co-chairs Connie Frank and John Golisch and committeeman Richard B. Lippin say save July 10 at the Walt Disney Studios for the screening of "Bambi." . . .

The gardens overlooking the Wilshire Country Club at the home of Edwin R. Ridgway are the setting for the garden party and consular reception the English-Speaking Union (Los Angeles branch) hosts Sunday to honor the consuls of Great Britain, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

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