Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

RSVP / THE SOCIAL CITY

Gerald, Bob--Thanks for the Memories

June 08, 1997|MARY LOU LOPER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

It's social culture that helps make the Southland unique.

For example, it took not one, but two kickoffs for the upcoming opening night gala (June 26) for the 40th anniversary of the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago. Molly Munger and Steven English hosted afternoon tea at their Pasadena Arroyo home, and Jo Ann and Ronald Busuttil entertained at a brunch in Bel-Air. Both honored Joffrey co-founder and artistic director Gerald Arpino and the gala's honoree, Brad Brian.

And, because June is wedding month, Opera Pacific in Orange County will host "Festa d'Amore" for its Founders Gala on Saturday, celebrating love and marriage with a "Marriage of Figaro" tilt. The romantic chairs--Barbara Roberts, Carolyn Klein and Sali Rae Perkins--have booked a judge so that guests can renew marriage vows. The event is at the Mark Chapin estate.

Placido Domingo, conducting the Metropolitan Opera in Japan, had a ready replacement--his son, Placido III--to bestow the Placido Domingo Awards at the Hispanics for L.A. Opera dinner at the Regal Biltmore. Founders and chairs Ed and Alicia Garcia Clark were among the 320 on hand to honor mezzo-soprano Suzanna Guzman and opera supporter Gilbert Moret.

*

Golden Daze: The Santa Barbara Music Academy of the West is celebrating its 50th anniversary year with a gala concert June 27. Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne and Metropolitan Opera soprano Benita Valente will star in a vocal recital in Santa Barbara's historic Lobero Theater. Warren Jones will accompany on piano. Horne, recently appointed director of the academy's voice program, took master classes in the 1950s with Madame Lotte Lehmann at the academy. The academy's objective has always been the same: rigorous preparation of musicians for careers as performers. It has 5,000 alumni.

Also celebrating a 50th anniversary is La Jolla Playhouse, which kicked off the occasion with tributes to Gregory Peck and Mel Ferrer, founders of the playhouse in 1947; Des McAnuff, artistic director from 1983 to 1994; and Michael Greif, the playhouse's current artistic director.

*

Biggest Hope: There's faith, hope and charity, but the greatest of these at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation dinner was Hope--Bob Hope, celebrating his 94th birthday and receiving the Ronald Reagan Freedom Award at the Beverly Hilton.

How does it feel to be 94? "Wonderful," beamed Hope, entering the ballroom with his wife, Dolores. Had they celebrated earlier? "We celebrate every day," she said. "We're happy to be married 63 years and to be alive."

The evening was filled with tributes from the military and statesmen, including Gen. P.X. Kelley, former Marine Corps commandant, who said Hope has put "the wind beneath our wings" and brought laughter to three generations. Hope was praised for giving up his Christmases for decades to entertain the armed forces. Prominent on stage was singer Frances Langford, who toured with Hope and reminisced about places like Tunisia. "We love you with all our heart--and we always will--you old fool," said Langford.

Presidents Reagan, Ford, Bush, Carter and Clinton appeared on video. Secretary of Defense William Cohen quoted Euripides, Aristotle, Cicero--"Where there is life, there is Hope." Gov. Pete Wilson (he and Gayle were celebrating their 14th wedding anniversary) said Hope was "solid gold . . . the guardian of freedom."

Mary Jane Wick (husband Charlie was in the audience) accepted kudos for staging the evening. Lodwrick M. Cook, chairman of the Presidential Foundation, and Merv Griffin emceed. Nancy Reagan, in a red, tiered Galanos dress, sat on Hope's left, Dolores on his right.

During the evening, the audience was reminded that Bob's real name was Leslie and that he left England "when he found he couldn't be king."

There were tears when the audience sang "Thanks for the Memories," led by Les Brown Jr.

For the finale, Dolores Hope got stand-up applause for singing "If You Believed in Me" and told Nancy Reagan to "give the president a hug and tell him how much we miss him."

*

The EDDY: The Los Angeles Economic Development Corp. and the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce gave John E. Bryson, chair and CEO of Edison International and Southern California Edison, its second EDDY Award at the Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey. Edison was recognized for attracting and retaining regional business.

*

Past Perfect: The Pasadena Mental Health Center's starlight night at the home of Molly Munger and Stephen English . . . Ginny Mancini's kickoff at Spago to announce the UCLA Center for the Performing Arts' 1997-98 season . . . The new Warner Bros. Museum was the site for the Los Angeles Children's Museum benefit co-chaired by Mila Peha Marburg, Maritia Walper and Susan Congdon. Proceeds will enable the Children's Museum to serve more than 200,000 local children . . . Bobbie Galpin chaired the USC Hall of Fame heralding 21 Trojan athletes.

*

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|