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INTO THE NIGHT

September 16, 1988|JEANNINE STEIN

The Scene: Opening of the Caz Gallery, formerly the Donghia furnishings showroom in West Hollywood. Tout trendy L.A. turned out for Australian aboriginal sand paintings, wood carvings, pottery and cave paintings in progress and to meet three of the artists flown in for the occasion. Culture clash was inevitable as the aborigines, gamely sipping Foster's, braved cameras, reporters and admirers.

The Buzz: Guests wondered what the aborigines, fresh from the outback, thought of Los Angeles. "They're adapting quite well," one of their guides said. "We had lunch at Trumps and they met Mel Gibson. Then we went shopping in Santa Monica."

Future itinerary: Disneyland, Universal Studios Tour and a Charley Pride show.

Who was there: Natalie Cole, Cicely Tyson, cosmetics maven Gale Hayman, restaurateurs Michael Roberts and Michael McCarty, cartoonist Cathy Guisewite, interior designer Karla Champion, artist Ed Moses, LACMA curator Maurice Tuchman, actor David Keith, "General Hospital" star Robyn Bernard, gallery director Carol Lopes, art collector Dorothy Bennett, aboriginal artists Bobby Nganjmirra, Thompson Yulidjirri and Colin Dixon Tjapanangka.

Dress mode: Hand-painted skirts, pants and belts; a jacket decorated with dismembered doll heads; Aussies in cowboy and rockabilly gear; leggings under shorts; a man in a kilt.

The food: Aussie cuisine of mussels and shrimp on the barbie; yams, potatoes and shark on large green leaves, and "bush food": small dried figs, bread, jicama.

Quoted: "This is an historic event and that's why I'm here!" insisted Maurice Tuchman.

Overheard: A woman, upon meeting Tuchman asked, "And what do you do?"

Entertainment: Listening to Thompson Yulidjirri play the didgeridoo, a wind instrument; having your picture taken with an aborigine; seeing how much Foster's you could knock back.

Triumphs: Getting a good turnout despite competition from the Mr. Chow party.

Glitches: Flashing the lights at 10 p.m., the all-too-obvious signal for guests to scram.

Trendwatch: Lugging your hiply dressed infant/toddler to late-night gallery openings.

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