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Newport's Fame Knows No Bounds

July 01, 1988|ANN CONWAY

Oops. There's no mention of Costa Mesa in the newly released videocassette entitled "Lifestyles of California: Newport Beach."

Why should there be? Well, after the cassette has explored the Newport Beach life style, spotlighting its sparkling bays, gleaming yachts, sophisticated shopping and elegant estates, the velvet-voiced commentator, a woman, notes that Newport Beach's "cultural scene is in full bloom."

"Newport Beach is a place that in many ways has realized its dreams," she says. "The people here like to share their good fortune and give back to the community. A perfect example of this is the . . . Orange County Performing Arts Center."

Ahem! The Center is in Costa Mesa. Perhaps the oversight was precipitated by the fact that many of the Center's major donors--and board chairman Henry Segerstrom, for that matter--reside in Newport Beach. (Indeed, that is the reason, says the video's producer, Nancy Tarnutzer.)

But then again, the Center is smack dab in the middle of Costa Mesa's metro area and nowhere near the seaside sunsets the video portrays. Perhaps the video, a charming one produced by Lifestyle Productions of Newport Beach (natch), should be retitled "A Tale of Two Cities."

In attempting to lure viewers to the rich-and-famous environs of Newport, the velvety voice purrs that it's home to "four of the richest men in the country."

One of those men is Donald Koll, whose estimated fortune is $300 million.

But Koll, along with many of Newport's smart set, will eschew Newport this weekend when he and his family head for Santa Catalina Island aboard Koll's new mansion on water, the Quest, a 103-foot custom powerboat with four staterooms. (Koll is so delighted about the boat, he has invited close friends to a viewing party at the Newport Harbor Yacht Club.)

Also leaving Newport for Catalina this weekend will be Judie and George Argyros, set to party with pals aboard their 100-foot yacht, the Huntress.

Not all of Newport's yacht set will head for Catalina. Mardy Svendsen, who hits the Big One ("don't say anything else!" she begged with a giggle) on the Fourth, has invited nears and dears over for cocktails and a buffet at her and husband Art's home on Linda Isle. Some on the guest list: lawyer Herb Kalmbach; developer Bill Lund; Ninetta and Gavin Herbert, CEO of Allergan Pharmaceutical (his son, Gavin, is married to the Svendsen's daughter, Tami); private investor Dick Hausman and his wife, Marilyn (she's Gavin's sis); developer Randall Presley with his wife, Cece, and developer Ted Robinson and his wife, Jean.

Ketchup, anyone?: The votes aren't in yet, but chances are finger-lickin' good that President Reagan will dine on meat loaf at the fund-raising luncheon for Sen. Pete Wilson on Aug. 23 at the Irvine Hilton & Towers. Meat Loaf Wellington, ducky.

Seems the organizing committee got wind of the fact that meat loaf was a favorite of the President's, so during a recent tasting staged for event organizers, chef Michael Watren whipped it up British style. He slathered individual slices with a mushroom duxelle, wrapped them in spinach, rolled them in filo dough and puffed them to a golden brown. The consensus: "Rathuh!"

Also tasted were a filet mignon stuffed with boursin cheese and a grilled chicken drizzled with a warmed blueberry vinaigrette. Up for dessert? To die. On the maybe list: baked apple in puff pastry with apricot sauce; peach crisp with maple cream; bread and butter pudding with lemon sauce; and . . . are you ready for this? Fried banana split.

Sadly, chef Watren won't get to concoct the President's servings. Reagan's valet will enter the hotel kitchen to cook them himself. (When Vice President Bush dined at the Irvine Hilton during his fund-raiser a few weeks ago, security wasn't quite so stringent. His serving was simply selected at random by one of his security men.)

One thousand guests are expected to attend the $500-per-person affair (buying a table for $5,000 gets you the title of co-chairman.) Keep your eyes on your mailbox. Invitations will be in the mail before you can say, "Who's going?"

Heavenly days: Good news for Angel wanna-be's. The Angels of the Arts, the all-women, by-invitation-only support group of the Performing Arts Center (each member pays a $12,500 initiation fee and $2,500 in annual dues), has decided to fly with 125 members instead of 100.

Thank heavens. There has been a waiting list for an eternity.

Among those recently invited to spread their wings: Janice Johnson, wife of Western Digital CEO Roger Johnson; Marilyn Nielsen, wife of Irvine Co. Vice Chairman Tom Nielsen; Lois Driggs Aldrin, wife of former astronaut, Buzz Aldrin; Cindy Ryan, wife of Xerox Vice President Dwight Ryan, and Helen Reinsch, wife of Harry Reinsch, a consultant with Bechtel in San Francisco. During their last fiscal year, the Angels donated $200,000 to the Center--that's the $250,000 they make on annual dues minus the $25,000 they use to stage their four annual parties and another $25,000 used for miscellaneous expenses.

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