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Summer Splash

A Mr. Right for Every Occasion


It's tough being single in L.A. So many men, so little time and so much to do. When I'm not seeking out great writing on a movie screen near me, I'm sorting through a host of tempting alternatives, wondering which will appeal to the equally tempting men in my life.

After some conflict of schedule and romance, I've finally realized that to have both a productive dating season and a culturally enriching summer, the trick will be to match the right man with the perfect event:

Like myself, Mike is a screenwriter. I can't think of a better way to start the summer than to share with him the work of one of the authors who inspired me to write in the first place.

George Bernard Shaw taught me that you can berate, rebuke and lecture an audience on anything, so long as you make them laugh themselves silly in the process. This theory failed him on only one occasion. Shaw wrote the morality play "Mrs. Warren's Profession" in an effort to "persuade even London to take its conscience and its brains with it when it goes to the theater." It was instantaneously banned. It runs safely enough, however, in Venice until June.

The next man up is Dane, "Great Dane" to his admirers, of which there are too many. His roving eye should appreciate "A History of Women Photographers" at the Santa Barbara Museum. It features stills by some of the great female pioneers in the photogravure art form, and Dane can feel free to eye them as long as he wants. I don't mind competing with other women if they're all dead.

I guess that means my date with Judson can't come too soon. He's a psychotherapist. I think I'll take him to see the Royal Ballet's production of "Sleeping Beauty" at the Orange County Performing Arts Center. Maybe he can finally help me resolve my mixed feelings of envy and contempt for the fabled female who does nothing but sleep until Mr. Right comes along.

After all that introspection, I'll need to be held. Jon is a fuzzy, cuddly, great big bear of a man. We plan to see the pandas at the San Diego Zoo. He thinks they look like him. I think they look like Art Deco bears. (Who ever heard of a racoon-hug? Whatever they are, I hope they stay in existence.)

While down there, we'll take in the Monet exhibition at the San Diego Museum of Art because, well, you can just never see enough waterlilies. Besides, it's not every day you get a chance to canvass up close the genius of the master who gave the Impressionists their name.

Speaking of names, Samuel Clemens chose a good one. "Mark Twain Tonight!" pops in and out of Escondido, while "Twisted Twain" plays Beverly Hills. Andy, a political cartoonist, and I can't stop talking about the shows, partly because we're both admirers of the perspicacious pundit and partly because we both just like saying "Escondido." Escondido. Escondido.

It sounds like tap dancing, which is something Scott and I have in common. We met some years back in a dance class in which we were both trying to be Fred Astaire. He became a Broadway gypsy, but all I got were really bad feet. Happily, vicarious steps await at the Southern California Tap Festival in Costa Mesa and Hollywood's Jazz Tap Ensemble. Maybe they'll inspire me to write that musical.

Meanwhile, what would summer be without baseball? It's the very reason we have grass. (Astroturf is for heathens.) It's also this planet's most cerebral sport. Those who know it know every pitch changes the game. While the Angels boast a new logo (a clip-on wing--what were they thinking? I miss the halo), I'll opt for Fireworks Night at Dodger Stadium.

And who better to share it with than Derrick, a cinematographer who paints air with light for a living. The Dodgers even open the grounds around the diamond for their display. We can sit on the outfield grass and look up as rockets of shimmering color kiss the stars. Heaven on Earth.

The Hollywood Bowl is another summer must. For transplanted New Yorkers it's our "Philharmonic in Central Park" away from home. When Kevin wings in from Manhattan, we'll have both Beethoven's ethereal Ninth and Tchaikovsky's orgasmic 1812, complete with cannon and fireworks, to whip us full of amorous energy, which is sure to be diffused in the parking lot my Thomas Guide calls Highland Avenue. Perhaps we'll wait out the exiting bottleneck and coast instead on the music's mood. (Back seats, not fear of earthquakes, are the real reasons Angelenos eschew public transportation.)

My date with Rand holds other challenges. A male-model gene-pool jackpot, he's a tall, light and tight holdover from a shallower time, before I used to differentiate between preferences and priorities. Still easy on the eyes, he's become increasingly tough on the ears. High decibels may be required to fill the void. Pat Benatar might be just the thing. Her rebellious songs of sexy spirituality are sure to be delivered loud and clear at the Universal Amphitheatre, during which time I hope to stare dreamily into Rand's eyes while he doesn't speak.

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