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Ted's Excellent Adventure in Hollywood

April 09, 1999|IRENE LACHER | Los Angeles Times

Who says long-distance relationships don't work?

What about the bicoastal romance between some of the country's top Democrats and Hollywood? The dean of Democrats, Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy, sailed through town this week with his wife, Victoria, to renew old ties with the creative community, whose rights he's been representing in Congress.

Of course, being consummate dates, Angelenos are picking up the check. Phil Alden Robinson and Carole King invited prominent screenwriters to a $1,000-a-plate fund-raising dinner on Thursday for Kennedy's re-election campaign. And while they were in the neighborhood, the Kennedys stopped by the Beverly Hills Hotel on Tuesday to talk about child welfare issues at a cozy dinner for 50 hosted by talent managers Jason Winters and Eric Sterling.

At the hotel, Kennedy talked about his efforts to see that some of the tobacco company settlement money be funneled toward anti-smoking programs for children. And he discussed the urgency of guaranteeing that all kids have health insurance coverage as well as the right to see pediatric specialists in HMOs, an issue that strikes home for the senator.

"I can tell you that as a father who has a son [Ted Kennedy Jr.] who had osteogenic sarcoma, seeing a pediatrician is not enough," he said. "Seeing a pediatric oncologist made the difference with that person being alive today at 35 years old and having a useful and productive life."

The 67-year-old senator looked pretty darn robust for a guy who'd qualify for half-price movie tickets. But then age is in the eye of the beholder.

"When I first ran [for the Senate] in 1962 when I was 30 years old, I said, 'There was nothing like a young person with new ideas and idealism.' Now I'm saying there's nothing like age and experience."

*

Wednesday's opening of Matthew Bourne's new ballet, "Cinderella," was a little bit this and a little bit that. For one thing, you couldn't pin down the crowd at the Ahmanson Theatre. There were doyennes of film dance like Shirley MacLaine and Cyd Charisse, but there were also different sorts of aesthetes, among them David Hockney, Bud Cort, John Lithgow, Richard Thomas, Camryn Manheim, Danny Elfman and the unclassifiable Paul Reubens.

On the way to the post-show party at Impresario, Elfman praised Bourne's retelling of the Prokofiev classic by setting it in London during the World War II blitz: "I think it's wonderful the way he's taken the classics and made them fresh and entertaining, being so irreverent and wonderful with the dancing and completely reverent to the music, which he doesn't change at all."

Elfman may be partnering with Bourne himself. The iconoclastic ballet master has invited him to write music for a possible new ballet based on the Tim Burton film "Edward Scissorhands."

Another interesting partnership is the one struck between "Cinderella" stars Sarah Wildor and Adam Cooper. Wildor nabbed her prince in real life too. The couple are engaged and planning summer nuptials.

"It's fun working together. It's like a dream. The first time we did work together was when we were rehearsing for a ballet [for the Royal Ballet], 'Mayerling.' We never actually danced it together on stage but we rehearsed it together. There was sexual chemistry there immediately and that's kind of what threw us together. It was about six or seven years ago. That's how we knew we had something."

Irene Lacher's Out & About column runs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on Page 2. She can be reached by e-mail at socalliving@latimes.com.

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