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An Evening of Mancini's Magical Music


It's a giant task, still not completed. The Henry Mancini Gala Tribute people hope to sell all 3,000 seats in Hollywood Bowl boxes for the affair on June 30. "Mancini Magic" is a tribute to Mancini and a celebration of the Bowl's 75th-anniversary season.

Spearheaded by Ginny Mancini and Jennifer Diener, the evening will feature Pierre Cossett presenting a celebration of Mancini's musical works, such as "Moon River" and the score for "The Pink Panther."

Says Ginny of her late husband, "Hank conducted on stage at the Bowl 29 times, his last performance the 1993 summer season." Of course, we all know he won 20 Grammy Awards (and was nominated for 72).

Saluting Mancini's score for "Days of Wine and Roses," 13,000 roses are being imported--some from Brazil--to decorate Bowl boxes. Patrons will receive the rose-imprinted tablecloths and napkins used for the picnics that night. Pool Box sponsors at $1,000 per seat additionally will receive rose-decorated throws, nice if it's chilly, perfect for mementos.

Garden boxes will sell for $350 to $500 a seat and terrace boxes for $150 to $250.

Tuesday evening Leonard and Marri Jean Ross host the exclusive patron party.


More Bowl Magic: The Hollywood Bowl Patroness Committee changed venue for its annual preseason party from Fremont Place (where they've always danced around the tall hibiscus at the Ragnar and Molly Qvale home) to the Regency Club this year. The Los Angeles Philharmonic's executive vice president and managing director Ernest Fleischmann was special guest.

On hand, too, were the galley proofs and photos for the 75th-anniversary book "The Hollywood Bowl, Tales of Summer Nights." Patronesses provided the seed money for the book, to be released in July.

It will be dedicated to the memory of Robert L. Di Vall, principal trumpet player for the Philharmonic from 1951 to 1981. His widow, BeeJay Di Vall, is Patronesses president.


Stark Facts: Several hundred friends gathered at the California Club for the dinner Robert and Kelly Day hosted to honor Jack and Jil Stark. He's been Claremont McKenna College's president for 25 years, Jil always alongside. Robert Day, Claremont's chairman, noted that during his tenure Stark has raised the college's endowment from $10 million to $272 million, tuition has gone from $1,850 to $17,840, annual applicants have increased from 700 to 2,600 and last year the college raised $17 million.

Numerous prominent alumni attended, included Peter Barker and Warren Williamson. Day revealed the board of trustees will build a new seven-story dormitory at Stark Hall to honor the couple.

In the audience were the college's first president, George Benson, and its namesake, Donald McKenna with his wife, Bernice; trustee Doug Fletcher (the endowment whiz) and wife Sally. Among those paying tribute were John Maguire, chairman of the Claremont Graduate School and University Center.


Wine and Food: The Council of the Library Foundation hosted a cozy dinner in the Lodwrick M. Cook Rotunda the other evening. But first, guests gathered for "Conversations With Robert and Margrit Mondavi." On stage with restaurateur Michael McCarty, the Mondavis sipped Mondavi wines and told of their plans to create an American Center for Wine and Food in the Napa Valley. Mondavi, 82, recently carried the Olympic torch in Napa. "We're interested in improving the quality of our life," he said.

Sue Cross chaired the evening. More on hand were Council founder Flora Thornton, special events chairwoman Nancy Vreeland with husband Tim and Council President Joni Smith with her husband, Clark. Others included Tom and Denise Decker, Louise and Barry Taper and Joy and Jerry Fein. Joachim Spichal served the dinner and the wines--both Mondavi, of course--a 1994 pinot noir and a 1994 fume blanc.


Doheny Fare: Mary Lou Melanson Stack and Mark Foster headed the Regents Council of Mount St. Mary's College auction dinner at the Century Plaza. A marble table and silver statuette once owned by Edward and Carrie Estelle Doheny were among treasures auctioned at the college's 70th anniversary affair.


Sunday Fare: It's a whirl. The Oaks Classic Grand Prix luncheon hosted by Joan Irvine Smith and the afternoon Oaks Classic will be jumping today at San Juan Capistrano . . . Some of Pasadena's most beautiful homes and distinguished art collections are on the sold-out "The Artfull Home" tour today to benefit the Armory Center for the Arts. The center's exhibitions, studio classes and outreach programs that serve 60,000 will benefit . . . Arthur Hiller will be honored at the Friends of Sheba Medical Center awards dinner hosted by Suzan and Mark Hughes today at Grayhall Estate in Beverly Hills . . . Women in Action hosts its 24th annual Jackie Robinson Awards luncheon today at the Pasadena Hilton.

Elsewhere on the Social Circuit

The Social Service Auxiliary honored six presentees, introducing them to Cardinal Roger Michael Mahony, archbishop of Los Angeles, Friday evening at the California Club. Presentees are Tara Clougherty, Katherine Dwyer, Nicole DeLeon, Marianne McGarth, Suzanne Soiret and Courtney Overland.

* Dozens of yellow school buses will line a closed-off Hope Street at the Music Center from Monday through Wednesday when some 20,000 Southern California fifth-graders arrive for the 26th annual Blue Ribbon Children's Festival. Jan Erickson and Nancy Weakley chair the event, assisted by Nancy Vreeland and Betsy Applebaum. Bella Lewitzky will bring her acclaimed Lewitzky Dance Company to demonstrate and discuss modern dance. Since 1970, the Blue Ribbon has brought more than 60,000 fifth-graders to the Music Center for exposure to music, theater and dance.

* Mary Lou Loper's column is published Sundays.

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