When the clock struck 12 at Birraporetti's restaurant Tuesday night, the cast of "Cinderella"--which had just had its West Coast premiere at the Performing Arts Center--kept right on having a ball.
Even Renee Segerstrom, co-chairwoman of the real ball--the "Cinderella Ball" (which was to have been staged Sunday at the Beverly Hills hotel to salute the premiere but was canceled)--seemed to be partying happily ever after, along with the Paris Opera Ballet and its director, Rudolf Nureyev.
Renee pronounced the performance "perfect."
"The ballet was not wonderful," she said. "It was perfect--the timing and the art of the dance were perfect."
Her husband, Henry J. Segerstrom, said: "I thought the performance made this the most special evening we've had since the opening of the Center. This is what the Center is all about."
After the performance, the Segerstroms had ushered friends Elise and Marty Pasetta--he stages the Academy Awards--backstage at Segerstrom Hall to congratulate Nureyev and Sylvie Guillem, the porcelain-skinned beauty who danced Cinderella.
Also a backstage guest of the Segerstroms was Douglas Cramer, producer of "Dynasty." Cramer had flown by private plane from Los Angeles to attend the premiere. (By the way, Cramer and Henry Segerstrom serve on the board of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.)
Before the ballet, the Segerstroms and the Pasettas, along with Janice and Roger Johnson, had dined at the Center Club as guests of Bob Long and Rod Guthrie, execs with Digital Equipment Corp., the Boston-based firm that donated $150,000 to help underwrite the cost of the "Cinderella" run at the Center.
But back to Birraporetti's. Timothy Strader, Center vice-chairman, and his wife, Susan, were among those sipping kir cocktails, nibbling pizza and waxing ecstatic about the performance. Susan offered that it was a show you could never "doze off in" and said she could relate to Cinderella: "I have very small feet."
The Straders do get around. Just two weeks ago, they attended the George Bush fund-raiser staged by Joan and Jerry Weintraub in Los Angeles. Also pushing for Bush at the affair: Donald L. Bren; Gary and Joanne Hunt; Willa Dean and William Lyon; Judie and George Argyros, and Ol' Blue Eyes himself, Frank Sinatra.
But back to Birraporetti's. Nureyev--still dashing after all these years--was all smiles over the audience reaction to his ballet. "They were fantastic, superb. I am very happy," he said, sauntering into the Irish-Italian restaurant.
Asked whether he preferred to sit at a booth or table (both were on reserve so as not to disappoint the choreographer), Nureyev chose a booth and settled in with Center President Tom Kendrick and his wife, Judy Morr, Center manager.
Conspicuous by her absence at the premiere was Countess Guy de Brantes, chairman of international events for the American Friends of the Paris Opera & Ballet. It was the countess who was supposed to be co-chairwoman of the "Cinderella Ball" with Renee Segerstrom. Insiders said de Brantes was in New York helping to prepare the $1,000-per-person gala to celebrate Nureyev's 50th birthday at the Met on June 27.
While the Segerstroms have been invited to attend the Russian-themed affair--with Mikhail Baryshnikov, Dame Margot Fonteyn and Miss Piggy--they have chosen not to go. "Henry has a heavy schedule," Renee said.
When it's convention time down South: Timothy Strader, of Corona del Mar, is among locals chosen as delegates to the Republican National Convention in New Orleans. Also representing Orange County: Kathryn Thompson of South Laguna; Gus Owen of South Laguna; Orange County Supervisor Gaddi H. Vasquez of Mission Viejo; Rep. Robert Badham of Newport Beach; state Sen. Marian Bergeson of Newport Beach; state Sen. John Seymour of Santa Ana; state Sen. William Campbell of Hacienda Heights; Assemblyman John Lewis of Orange; Bruce Nestande of Santa Ana; John Flanigan of Newport Beach; Charlotte Mousel of Tustin; Eileen Padberg of Laguna Niguel; Angela Bay Buchanan of Irvine; Lynda Moore of Newport Beach; Robert Beaver of Fullerton; Rudy Castro of Yorba Linda; and Rep. Robert Dornan, Brian Bennett and Ky Ngo, all of Garden Grove.