Neighbor Maria Shriver arrived with family.
Joining, as they did, the Greek-Americans during the annual Sunday afternoon fete celebrating Easter with Ann and Jim Gianopulos in the garden of their Spanish Colonial hacienda on the Westside.
Gentleman Jim departed that evening for a l6-hour flight to Beijing. Where, as Chairman/CEO of the Paramount Pictures Corporation, he will, we assume, be negotiating with the Chinese leaders about financing within the entertainment community.
Rita Wilson, who’s of Greek heritage, sat with spouse Tom Hanks. They, cruised French Polynesia days before with Michelle and Barak Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Bruce Springsteen and wife Patti Scialfa on David Geffen’s 454-foot yacht.
Ann Gianopulos’ stylish mom Bebe McRae, a top realtor in the Bay Area, flew South with husband Colin McRae, and visited with the Easter celebrants.
In the mix: Netflix giant Ted Sarandos, Melina Kanakaredes, John Stamos, Peter Diamandis, Nia Vardalos with Ian Gomez, Lilly Reeves (who’s Rita Wilson’s sister), Michael Chiklis, Sid Ganis with wife Nancy Holt, Father John Bakas, the dean of our Saint Sophia’s Greek Orthodox Cathedral.
Father John, a former police officer from long ago in New Mexico until he received “the call,” sang a favorite folk song that guests danced to, with host Jim, a real gone hoofer, leading the popular circle dances. Bandleader Nandos Evangelatos, kept the bouzuki and guitar music charged, as ladies and gents of all ages high-stepped, along with their youngsters to nostalgic ballads from time immemorial.
Applauding was Jim’s faithful Dawn Knepley, a new homeowner in the West Adams area (“still affordable”).
Despina Gianopulos Landers and husband Jim Landers encouraged friends to see The Promise, about the Armenian genocide that opens this weekend.
Dining on chef Inna Poncher’s roast lamb were photographers Scott Downie, Alan Berliner with wife Ruth, security powerhouse Avi Komein.
Ann and Jim’s beautiful daughters, Nicoletta and Alexa, laughed and pranced on the lawn, along with the dozens of children. Greek Easter isn’t a celebration without the joyous spirit of families.
In years past, after relocating to Los Angeles, we asked after the population of the local Greek citizenry and were told, “Who knows … we’re spread all over … here, there and everywhere. But on Good Friday and Holy Saturday, the troops are out there, and you won’t believe how many we are.
Our churches are jammed with worshippers carrying burning candles in a sea of golden light to honor the resurrection of Christ.”
For those who’ve discovered the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet, may we suggest attending the annual Greek festival on the Saint Sophia campus, where the ladies and gentlemen cookers of the faith prepare home-cooked menus of tempting choices. Greek dancers in native costume perform, and there are dancing classes for the young and curious. Along with games and the welcoming spirit of camaraderie experienced by those who have savored a holiday a la Grecque abroad.
This year’s festival runs the weekend of October 6, 7 7,8. Not to be missed!
On Easter eve, Princess Lilly Fallah Lawrence and Marine Corporal Douglas Banker took over the Presidential Suite at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills. Hosting an eight-course dinner for a small team of favorite “tigers” that will be long remembered, featuring lamb tagine, a Moroccan classic.
A cynosure, as always, Lilly floated in Marchesa’s hot red rhumba ruffles. Accessorized by the priceless rubies from her mother Mahine’s collection of jewels that rivaled Queen Elizabeth II’s jewelry collection. Lilly praised the room service staff who prepared her very personal choices, and proudly toasted the hotel’s managing director Offer Nissenbaum.
Newly elected Justice Neil Gorsuch, seated on the Supreme Court bench only a few days, and The New York Times begins a speculative slap in its 24/7 attacks on the administration.
“That the new Justice may not be so genteel,” critiques reporter Adam Liptak. Why so … so soon?
The Los Angeles Times, meanwhile, finds Justice Gorsuch’s debut “enthusiastic, well-prepared, despite having only a few days to read the arguments,” notes David Savage. “Showing he has clear views on how the case should be resolved.”
Let’s not forget the raging hysteria against Justice Gorsuch before he was elected by Senators Chuck Schumer and Dianne Feinstein.