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A Happy Opening Under the Stars


Now we can settle into summer. The Hollywood Bowl's opening night for its subscription series--a financial backbone to the Los Angeles Philharmonic--was wonderful. Everyone was there, it seemed. But, aren't they always.

All eyes turned to Box 864. That's where Mayor Richard Riordan held court, as the guest of Lee and Larry Ramer. Councilman Joel Wachs joined in the festivities. When Walfred Fassler dropped by the box, the mayor said, "Well, I haven't turned the city around yet," and Fassler retorted, "Well, you can't do it all at once."

First-night picnickers always have to prove they can pull off the cuisine on schedule. One second before conductor David Zinman walked on stage for the all-Tchaikovsky program, Friends of the Hollywood Bowl President Nancy Wayte put the fruit dishes in the basket and husband Alan (they may be the only couple ever to serve on the Philharmonic board at the same time) whisked off the checkered tablecloth and faced the orchestra for the national anthem.

Back from Jackson Hole, Norman and David McIntyre entertained son John, and Bob and Janice Carpenter. A few boxes over, Judy and Steaven Jones produced the soup course for Daryn and Bill Horton. Most of the ingredients (cucumbers, cilantro, green onions) came from the Jones' garden.

John Welborne donated two of his nicest bottles--1970 Chateau Pontet Canet--for Chrissy Brant, and Jonnie and Jim Neville, and Carl (his 44th birthday) and Betsy Anderson. Florist David Jones was reveling in his peach cobbler on Vista Allegra "Rock Garden" china. Dan and Daisy Belin and guests Dan and Bonnie Borenstein had Godiva chocolates and a sinful apricot tart.

Peggy and Walter Grauman and Debby and Tom Tellefson were all but gasping after their rush: Debby's car battery went dead, and there were too few minutes for the Hillcrest Country Club steak and chicken.

On one side of the Bowl was Jim Thomas, chairman of the board of the Music Center; on the other side were Esther (former Music Center president) and Tom Wachtell. In an eighth-row box, Kitty and Steve Moses and David Knight and Sandra Atkin opened a bottle of Fisher Chardonnay 1989, and a few boxes away, Dean and Joan Schneider, who have had a box at the Bowl "10, 12--maybe 15 years," entertained Susan and George Mitchel and William and Barbara Steele.

Ranking as most unique entree was the one Bernice and Leonard Wolf served up--Oriental seafood in a huge, green lotus leaf--for Marj and Mike Fasman and Marian and Albert Allen.

Patsy Edwards figured she'd been a Bowl volunteer since the 1950s. Maxine Miller of San Pedro, a volunteer for 30 years, had her 13-year-old grandson passing out Bowl buttons.

Everywhere, everyone seemed rightly happy, including Philharmonic President Joseph LaBonte, Philharmonic executive vice president and managing director Ernest Fleischmann, and Joan and John Hotckis, Joe and Donnie Smith, Karl Malden, Wendy and John Albin, Harold Williams and Nancy Englander, Sid and Beverly Adair, and Mark and Anne Corley.

The only thing a few weren't happy about is that "Notes by Orrin Howard" is being discontinued so that the personable longtime Philharmonic annotator may concentrate on the Philharmonic Archives.


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