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RSVP : It's the Season to Be Bowled Over


It's not really summer till the Hollywood Bowl opens.

The 73rd season opened Tuesday night, with picnickers jostling wicker baskets, stacks of plastic dishes, bottles of wine and plaid tablecloths. It was sunshiny and warm when they came, chilly and time to wrap up in afghans as the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra finished Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 2 in E minor, op. 27 near 11 p.m.

"The Hollywood Bowl is like having a picnic in a closet," said Nancy Wayte at Box 831, exchanging grapes, crackers and cheese for a plate of chicken with raspberry dressing. She and her husband, Alan, a Philharmonic board member for eons, were celebrating their 19th wedding anniversary.

Norma and David McIntyre piled everything for their picnic on the cement foundation of their center box; the Fibber McGee trick seemed to work beautifully, messy or no.

Haute couture was missing, although Annette O'Malley looked fashionable in her green and pink knit outfit, which matched Dodgers owner-husband Peter's green and white striped shirt. Sitting with husband Al, Bobbie Rush moved the afghan on her knees to her shoulders as the temperatures sunk. Artist Marion Siciliano, whose husband Rocco Siciliano is past president of the Philharmonic, scurried about in black Reeboks.

Some boxes sported piles of shrimp. Others had popcorn. Said Olin Barrett, next to his wife, Ann: "Popcorn--it's healthful." Ann and George Riordan feasted on pork won-tons and shish kebabs over pasta on a huge platter with strawberries that Martha and Jon Keates brought from Claremont. Barry and Martha Berkett--overladen with towers of fresh peach pie, fried chicken, grilled vegetables and pasta salads--barely made it down the ramps to their box.

John Welborne introduced his fiancee, Martha Lampkin, the Boston/Chicago architect who became an Angeleno three days ago. She's joined Skidmore Owings & Merrill, which has a contract to help refurbish the Bowl.

Everywhere, the atmosphere was folksy and upbeat. In the crowd: Friends of the Hollywood Bowl President Joan Stubbs and husband John, Penne and Bill Durst, Laney and Tom Techentin with son Warren, Dean and Joan Schneider, Wally and Vida Fassler, Pat and Bill Bedford, Jane and Howard Lipstone, Harold Williams and Nancy Englander, Richard and Susie Grodiner, Jim and Jonnie Neville, Betsy and Carl Anderson (who next week move to Westport, Conn., to be at their home base while she studies Episcopal theology at Yale), and Sam and Cynthia Coleman and their daughter Katie, who were entertaining John and Kathy Russell III and their son, John IV.

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