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Into The Night

January 23, 1989|KEVIN ALLMAN

The scene: As George Bush supporters gathered in Washington for Friday night's roundelay of inaugural balls, detractors of the 41st President met at the 2nd Coming nightclub, 850 South Bonnie Brae, for "The L.A. Inaugural Ball: The Political Party for the rest of us." Card-carrying members of the ACLU got a 10% discount.

The buzz: Producers Josh Baran and Rob Vinson held the party in conjunction with Pacy Markman, the man responsible for "The Washington Possible," the satirical newspaper that received so much attention during last year's campaign. Guests spent their time making unkind remarks about Barbara Bush ("It was so kind of George to bring his mother along for the inauguration") and Marilyn Quayle ("Does her hair ever move?").

Who was there: Actors Esai Morales, Marlee Matlin, and Assumpta Serna; KCRW-FM's "Castaways Choice" host John McNally; Bush and Dan Quayle look-alikes.

Dress mode: Invitations specified all black, but most guests ignored that and came California casual. Most alarming were a number of very young men in Brooks Brothers ties and suspenders, who looked like a flotilla of cookie-cutter George Wills without the celluloid collars.

Chow: Barbecued chicken nuggets, Caesar salad, cheese, guava, and assorted platter freebies.

Favors: Lapel pins bearing the legend, "I am a card-carrying member of the ACLU."

Entertainment: A mock inauguration with the Bush and Quayle look-alikes. Though the men resembled their famous counterparts to some extent, the real political doppelgangers of the evening were Markman and Baran, who were dead ringers for, respectively, Sen. Paul Simon and former Santa Monica Mayor James Conn.

Quoted: From Bush's inaugural speech: "There's a new breeze blowing. We can all feel it. Especially those of us who choose to sleep outdoors."

Triumphs: The dance version of "Hail to the Chief."

Glitches: Kinder and gentler nation jokes; thousand points of light jokes.

Ironies: People panhandling for spare change outside as guests arrived in limousines and BMWs. Five minutes of informal observation showed that most of the guests just said no.

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