"I swore I wasn't going to do another one," TV producer Doug Cramer insisted. No, no, he didn't mean another TV series, but another benefit. Cramer could have quit the charity biz while ahead, especially after his successes these past months with benefits for the American Ballet Theatre and the Museum of Contemporary Art.
But star tenor Placido Domingo and Los Angeles Music Center Opera general director Peter Hemmings talked Cramer, who has just signed on the LAMCO board, into also signing on to help raise $1 million. And, a double blessing, Cramer decided to do his bit during the usual August doldrums.
Cramer enlisted producer and party maven Allan Carr to help plan the bash, set for Aug. 31 at the Hollywood Bowl. Tickets will be $350 to $500 for box seats that include specially catered box suppers and wines or $150 for other box seats if you bring your own gourmet carry-out.
Domingo (whose first break came when he got a job in the chorus of the Mexico City production of "My Fair Lady") has signed up such Broadway lights as Bea Arthur, Carol Channing, Patti LuPone, Mary Martin and Tommy Tune.
No lesser lights are handling the necessary party accouterments, since benefit veterans Terry Stanfill and Lenore Greenberg are heading a committee including Anne Johnson, Patti Skouras, Lili Zanuck, Cristina Ferrare, Frances Brody and Ames Cushing.
An immediate perk for opera lovers--there are non-box seats, ranging from $10 to $50, and no matter what the picnic fare is, the music fare will be tops.
MORE CONVENTION STUFF--How did they know, convention mavens are asking today, after reading their schedule of events more carefully. Three weeks before Tuesday's announcement that Texas Sen. Lloyd Bentsen got the vice-presidential nod from Massachusetts Gov. Michael S. Dukakis, convention organizers issued a schedule of events. Included: a "Massachusetts and Texas Late Night Event," set for Monday night, the opening night of the convention.
Now it's known who the veep candidate will be, but still up in the air is who makes up the full retinue of performers at the Democratic National Convention. Whitney Houston, according to campaign Democrats on site, was hopefully in the wings for opening-night ceremonies. Not so, her staff people say. And although some Hollywood Brat Pack members will be showing up for the Democratic National Committee's daily morning briefing sessions, a lot of names being bandied around still aren't set. . . .
A rave review in the New York Times has neophytes knowing what's been talked about for months--the best handbook on politics this year has been written for kids. "Today" show political editor Cynthia Samuels' "It's a Free Country! A Young Person's Guide to Politics and Elections" might be one safe way to learn about this stuff before the convention--so you can explain it to the kids.
KUDOS--It is no easy thing to run a summertime benefit. But the American Film Institute Associates pulled it off last week, netting more than $150,000 with their premiere of "A Summer Story." That brings the Associates' four-year fund-raising total to more than $1 million, and special thanks in that department go to co-chairs Mary Carol Rudin and Patricia Barry, along with Associates president Ava Fries.
ALL IN THE FAMILY--Benjamin Davis Lear, born July 10 to mega-producer Norman and Lyn. Seven pounds, two and one-half ounces. Happy arrival!
UPCOMING--If you want social, these two events are socially significant. First, on Aug. 2, the Colleagues and Neiman Marcus kick off their Nov. 16 party, which will feature Valentino personally presenting his Spring '89 collection. Giney Milner is hostessing the event at her home, with help from Betty Wilson and Erlenne Sprague.
And, coming up Aug. 6, is the lavish and very special "Under the Venetian Moon Ball," to benefit the Friends of Robinson Gardens. It honors Terry Stanfill for her commitment to "Save Venice". . . .
Kate Mulgrew, Shelley Hack and Scott Hanson host the Very Special Arts California Gallery Exhibit at the Hanson Gallery, Beverly Hills, the evening of July 21. All sales will benefit Very Special Arts California and the artists, all of whom are physically and mentally challenged children and adults.