"We're going to eat gold chains and diamond brooches, right?" whispered Richard Bryant, moments before Tiffany & Co. threw open its heavily guarded doors Monday for a "Breakfast at Tiffany" spread at South Coast Plaza.
Wrong, wrong, wrong! It was all bagels and cream cheese and croissants and strawberry jam at the petit dejeuner honoring the Orange County Performing Arts Center and the San Francisco Ballet.
On hand was a star who outshone the diamond solitaires: Iceland-born Helgi Tomasson, artistic director of the San Francisco Ballet, which had its dazzling Center premiere Tuesday night in George Balanchine's "Theme and Variations," a tribute to the ballet style of Imperial Russia.
"Helgi is the hottest dance figure in the country," said Center president Thomas Kendrick, sipping a steaming cup of java near a table set with Tiffany porcelain in an intricate Cirque Chinois design. "In fact, he's so hot, he's up for consideration to replace Baryshnikov (who recently resigned as artistic director) at American Ballet Theatre."
"This is our first visit to Orange County, and I hope the first of many," said a bright-eyed Tomasson, who attended the fete with his wife, Marlene (once a dancer with the Joffrey Ballet).
"The dancers are very excited. We've heard nothing but raves about the Center."
Center chairman Henry Segerstrom said he had a "big soft spot" in his heart for San Francisco. "I went to school in the Bay Area," said Segerstrom, a Stanford alum. "I'm glad we could bring the ballet here."
"Breakfast at Tiffany" parties have been social scene-stealers in New York for years, said Tiffany & Co. vice president Jo Ellen Qualls. And they have been hot in San Francisco, where Tiffany also has a store.
"We support the arts because we believe there's a wonderful association between it and all things of fine taste," said Qualls, who sported a houndstooth check suit and 18-karat gold ear clips by Tiffany. "Fine taste is what Tiffany stands for. And Tiffany taste is a life style that has nothing to do with price. It's elegance, timelessness and classic design, that's all."
On Monday it was just enough.
Party time: Move over Mickey Mouse. Anaheim is into party animals. On Saturday night, no less than three of its ballrooms were brimming with hundreds of fun-seeking charity supporters. At the Disneyland Hotel, the Huntington Harbour Cancer League staged its ninth annual "Debut" auction, dinner and fashion extravaganza, which attracted more than 500 guests and netted $150,000.
With a theme of "La Fete de France," guests sat at tables centered with grinning gold cherubs and dined grandly on sorrel bisque en croute, broiled salmon and dark chocolate cake reclining on creme anglaise. Auctioneer Bill Upton and his wife, Jill, won the Charade automobile donated by Huntington Harbour resident John Fukunaka, president of Daihatsu America.
Serving on the committee were chairwomen Joyce Weiss, Sue Madison and Barbara Allen. Kitty Leslie of Newport Center Fashion Island staged the fashion show that saluted "Phantom of the Opera" and featured Huntington Harbour residents strutting like professional models on the ramp. Among them: Jerri Cimmarrusti, Athena Rees, Kelly Rose, Terri Rose, Janie Terry, Deanna Miller, Joyce Snyder and Carolyn Rose. Male models included Bill Madison, Bill Williams, David Snegg, Don Goodwin and Jack Henry. Bobbitt Williams is president of the cancer league.
Over at the Anaheim Marriott, the Providence Speech and Hearing Center staged its 14th annual benefit, with a guest list of 900 supporters and proceeds totaling $225,000. During cocktail hour, guests mingled at one end of a ballroom about the size of a football field. Then, when dinner was announced, they swept toward the opposite end, near a stage. Up for easy listening after a dinner of smoked trout, filet mignon, breast of chicken and a whipped-cream-topped chocolate and custard concoction: soul-singer Lou Rawls, who knocked 'em dead with such mega-hits as "Lady Love" and "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine" and oldies that included the title song of his new album, "At Last."
Winning the center's coveted "Help, Hope and Love Award" was Lynn Ann Lochrie, who recently relinquished her Miss Deaf America crown. "Deaf children can do anything they want to do," said the lovely Lochrie during the reception. "They can accomplish any dream. I can do everything but hear."
Dale Paisley, president of the center board, said Providence is "not as well known as it should be. It is really the only fully accredited speech and hearing facility in this area."
On the scene: center founder Margaret Anne Inman, gala chairwoman Doris Weaver and her co-chairman, George DeHuff, and emcee Gordon Bowley.
Across the street, the Anaheim Hilton & Towers was alive with the sound of 1,000 guests living it up in elegant style at Olive Crest Treatment Center's third annual "Black and White Ball." Proceeds of more than $125,000 will go toward the center's group homes, which serve children in Orange, San Bernardino, Los Angeles and Riverside counties. Olive Crest is commited to providing 24-hour care through residential treatment centers and foster families for about 250 abused and neglected children.
On the committee: co-chairmen George and Joanna Chase. Roberta Rinehart was advisory chairwoman and Bev Locke was auction chairwoman. Stephanie Edwards was emcee. During the festivities, it was announced that William Yingling, president of Lucky Stores Inc., is president of the center's new Abused Children's Foundation.