George Christy Talks About Bette Midler, Hello Dolly, Wally’s Wines, Tom Ford and more | BH Courier

George Christy Talks About Bette Midler, Hello Dolly, Wally’s Wines, Tom Ford and more

Bette Midler opens in Hello, Dolly on April 20 at New York’s Shubert Theater. Previewers’ praise is going viral.
25-year-old author Lauren Fern Watt writes about her big-boned and big-hearted English mastiff Gizelle, more than 160 lbs., in her moving memoir that dog people will love.

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Bette Midler’s Hello, Dolly has raked in more than $35 million at the box office for producer Scott Rudin’s revival for this forever-flush goldmine.  Composed by Jerry Herman and written by Michael Stewart.  As matchmaker Dolly Levi, she co-stars with David Hyde Pierce as Horace Vandengelder.   Previews began last week  at the Shubert Theatre under the direction of Jerry Zaks.  The  revival, inspired decades ago by Thornton Wilder’s comedy, The Matchmaker,  plays through January 14, 2018.

Listening to the wind, as we sometimes do, we hear the good news about Wally’s Wines and Spirits.  Taking over the Hennessey and Ingalls space at 214 Wilshire Boulevard to open a Santa Monica location, another one-stop shop, including a café similar to the Wally’s in Beverly Hills.

As the chorus sings in A Chorus Line about being an “overnight sensation,” Wally’s on North Canon Drive in Beverly Hills is just that. 

Locals and visitors pour in.  Beverly Hillbillies the likes of Romina and Howard Celnik and youngsters Andrea and A.J., students at Beverly Hills High, are regulars.

More than 2500 wines and 200 varieties of cheeses from here and abroad are available, as are the charcuterie, caviar, truffles, artisanal chocolates.

Along with steak frites and other French favorites.

Wally’s Wines and Spirits was launched in 1968 by Steve Wallace, who we anointed as California’s wine czar.  His oenophile knowledge and passion remain boundless.  His palate is exceptional, constantly tasting  classic and new wines, a welcomed guest at the greatest chateaus in Europe, South America, Australia, wherever. He brought the curious to the wine table, creating a booming business for winemakers.

He enlisted handsome Christian Navarro as his protege, who’s gone on to be one of the leading professionals in the wine world.      

It was Steve who introduced us to Cynar, the artichoke-based, 70-proof aperitif from Italy.  Delicious!

In 2013, considering retiring to spend more time fishing and hunting around the world, Steve sold the iconic Wally’s to the Marciano brothers (Maurice, Paul and Armand of Guess fashion/retail fame), with Christain (whose clients include Tom Cruise, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jennifer Aniston) appointed as president. 

The Marcianos installed chef David Feau, who cooked in his native French country kitchen with his mother, while his father farmed and taught David how to pick and choose the best and the most flavorful  vegetables.  “David Frenchified  Wally’s menu, although the Wally’s burger is a staple at $26,” says Beverly Hills realtor  Elgart Aster.

Listening to the wind, as is our frequency for news, we discover that chef/restaurateur Bruce Marder has bought Bistro Ninety Nine in Santa Monica that he’s re-naming Red Rooster, after his bakery on Pico Boulevard, which will move to the Bistro location.  Bruce owns Capo, Brentwood Café, Brentwood Restaurant, and Cora’s Coffee Shop.  All hot tickets, with Steve Wallace partnered in all.

Dog people, gather ’round.   Not to be missed is Gizelle’s Bucket List, My Life with a Very Large Dog, written by the 25-year-old Lauren Fern Watt.

Living with a 160-pound English mastiff named  Gizelle in a tiny Manhattan apartment.  “Not that difficult, since mastiffs are laid back dogs.  Gizelle was content to sleep in her bed all day, and really wasn’t aware of her size,” says Lauren.

Designer Tom Ford is leaving his London townhouse to move to Los Angeles, now that he’s bought the Bloomingdale mansionette for $38.75 million.  And selling his Santa Fe ranch for $75 million. 

Tom tells WWD’s Bridget Foley that his reason for moving is that he’s “impressed Mr. President.”

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