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ANN CONWAY

R S V P / ORANGE COUNTY : Viva, Society! Let the Season Begin : SCR's Black-Tie Affair in September Kicks Off a Year's Worth of Great To-Do's

July 28, 1994|ANN CONWAY

It's only six weeks until South Coast Repertory officially launches Orange County's 1994-95 social season with "Viva Teatro!"--a black-tie salute to the theater's Hispanic Playwrights Project.

Word's out that gala chairwomen June Wankier and Michele Wankier Edwards--a mother-daughter team--have dreamed up an Aztec-flavored event for Sept. 10 at the Westin South Coast Plaza hotel. The reception will take place at Town Center Park Mall, where a golden step-pyramid (courtesy SCR design genius Cliff Faulkner) will provide the centerpiece for entertainment by a guitar ensemble.

After guests have dined on hors d'oeuvres from the Westin, they will sweep, " posada -style," along a path lit by luminaria to the hotel ballroom for dinner and dancing.

Gala decor will utilize a dramatic black and gold theme, highlighted by exotic tropical greenery and flowers. Changing images from SCR productions will appear in gold frames displayed around the room. Dinner entertainment will focus on music from Uruguay, Guatemala and Mexico.

Tickets begin at $350 each. For information, call (714) 957-2602.

And there are other mega-events in the works:

* Next year's Center of Fashion, sponsored by the Guilds of the Center, is in the planning stages. (This year's production was canceled due to lack of retail support.)

Shari Esayian--fresh from her duties as chairwoman of last weekend's "Phantom Gala"--is busy choosing her committee for the fashion extravaganza, which will be staged Sept. 29, 1995, at the Orange County Performing Arts Center. "We know it will be wonderful," she says.

Only one problem: The event has no artistic director. An Artistic Director Search Committee, headed by Barbara Moreland, has been established. Are you listening, Tommy Tune?

* The center's annual Christmas Candlelight Concert will take place on Dec. 11 at the Hyatt Regency Irvine. Catherine Thyen will chair the event, which is the centerpiece of Orange County's holiday season. Tickets are $250 per person. For information, call (714) 556-2121.

* The Pacific Symphony Orchestra is busy scheduling post-performance bashes for its 1994-95 Pops series. PSO buffs will get to schmooze with Shirley MacLaine after she performs with the symphony at the center on Nov. 18 and 19. Also included in the pops series: Kathie Lee Gifford, Mel Torme, Ben Vereen and Andrea Marcovicci.

* Watch for Chanel at South Coast Plaza to stage a stylish tribute to the educational outreach programs of the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, Opera Pacific and South Coast Repertory on Nov. 5. "We're taking over the mall space between Nordstrom and Bullock's," says Roger Martin, Chanel director. "It's going to be huge." Food will be orchestrated by Wolfgang Puck. Chanel fashions will be modeled, of course. Stay tuned.

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