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George Christy Talks About Leonard Bernstein, Maestro, Hershey Felder, The Wallis and More!

Virtuoso Hershey Felder performs his evening of Leonard Bernstein’s music at The Wallis through August 28th. He was congratulated by benefactress Ginny Mancini and The Wallis’ chairman David Bohnett

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Lenny, dear Lenny.   We’ve missed you!

So welcome to The Wallis … and Hershey Felder in concert honoring the glory and genius of Leonard Bernstein.   Yes, you, dear Lenny, in Maestro!

In the blue-violet light of early evening, the culturati of Beverly Hills schmoozed while dining on Good Gracious’ summer buffet served on The Wallis terrace.  The crowd then filed into the Bram Goldsmith Theater for Hershey’s virtuoso concert.

The incomparable, Montreal-born musicologist embraces Lenny’s passion throughout our local premiere of Maestro.  Musical giants Hershey’s portrayed over time include George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Lizst, Ludwig von Beethoven.  All engaging musicales, every one memorable.

Composer, conductor, pianist, author, lecturer and more, Lenny — born Louis — changed his name at 15.  Why?  One rumor floats that he considered Leonard “more musical.”   

Directed by Joel Zwick, Hershey takes over the concert grand piano, spellbinding all with his anecdotal storytelling and command of the music with his powerful playing.

A native son from an ethnic community in Lawrence, Massachusetts, Lenny soon conquered the world.  As the music director of the New York Philharmonic, Lenny’s led the greatest orchestras, composed a Mass, three symphonies, chamber and solo works.   Plus those hot-ticket  Broadway musicals – Wonderful Town, which is being performed during the L. A. Opera’s forthcoming season, Candide, that perennial favorite On The Town,  and, of course, the blockbuster West Side Story with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and Jerry Robbins directing.

A storm of applause followed the Lenny finale from The Wallis sponsors and friends. 

The Who and the Who included The Wallis chairman David Bohnett, artistic adviser Paul Crewes, managing director Rachel Fine, financial patrons Lynn and Les Biden, Lois and Jerry Magnin, Ginny Mancini, Eunice David with Louise and Stuart Korshak (Louise being one of our favorite dance partner), Susan and Peter Strauss, Glorya Kaufman, Vicki Reynolds, Murray Pepper, Marilyn Ziering, Judy Henning and Dick Rosenzweig.

BHC publisher Marcia Hobbs hosted Beverly Hills vice-mayor Nancy Krasne, back from luxuriating  during her Alaskan cruise where she had the pleasure of reading uninterruptedly day after day; our BHC’s astute real estate reporter Vicky Talbot; celebrity hairstylist Yuki Takei, who coiffed long-time client Marcia that morning.

Also: Elgart Aster and Paulo Swerdlove who were heading for a long Santa Fe weekend at the luxe Inn at the Anazazi, and then finding solace during their annual autumn holiday at Lake Como’s fabled Villa d’Este, which neighbors George Clooney’s villa.

Beth Rudin DeWoody enthused about Desert X, the site-specific arts exhibition in the Coachella Valley that she’s working on for a Feb. 25 opening.  Her husband, photographer Firooz Zahedi, long the favorite of Elizabeth Taylor, has published a stunning coffee table tome about the fabulous Elizabeth (never call her Liz).

Always a fashion cynosure, Joan Hotchkis with husband John were complimented on John’s newsletter about the wily games of finance that’s chockablock with chukle after chuckle (a coup to get on his no-charge mailing list).

Marylouise Oates and Bob Shrum informed they are moving to new digs in Bel-Air, where Marylouise promises a home-cooked dinner.

We glimpsed The Montage’s Frank Bowling, Rodolfo Monaco, Lynn and Irwin Deutch, Larry Turman and Larry Schmidt, assistant to chairman David Bohnett.

Sharon and Gray Davis were informed of Hershey’s Great American Songbook Sing-Along on Aug. 22 at The Wallis, featuring 100 years of American music, an evening of “sheer joy” that sells our everywhere.


“Gravely concerned” were the words chosen by Dr. Drew Pinsky during  his appearance on KABC’s McIntyre In the Morning.  Dr. Pinsky was invited to dismiss any problems about Hillary Clinton’s health. 

Instead, “gravely concernend” was the repeated response about her health from the beloved medical specialist and his colleague Dr. Robert Huizenga.  Both concurring the condition is “dangerous and of concern.”

After the concussion from her fall in 2014 (when she took 6 months off to recuperate), she suffers from “transverse sinus thrombosis … an exceedingly rare blood clot on the brain.”  The blood clot “virtually guarantees that somebody has something wrong with their coagulation system.”

Dr. Pinsky emphasized that he and Dr. Huizenga worry from what they know that her health care may be dated, of the “1950s-level by our evaluation.”

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