Pianist, performer, musical archivist. Count on Michael Feinstein, to contribute his boundless talents wherever. He’s there, as he was this week, arriving with best friend Liza Minnelli in her Greek fisherman’s cap for the Los Angeles Public Library dinner at the historic downtown California Club.
More than 200 guests celebrated the publication of Oscar-winning Leslie Bricusses’s memoir, Pure Imagination.
And yes, you had to be there. To hear Leslie exchange tales with interviewer Michael of his unparalleled showbusiness career and to listen to Leslie’s appealing classics. What Kind of Fool Am I, The Candy Man, the theme from Goldfinger. Among others, from Leslie’s Oscar-winning past with its lifelong history of musical genius. Having written more than 40 musical plays and films over a career of 60 years.
Philanthropist Joan Hotchkis, who brought the two artists together for the evening, was presented with the Light of Learning award by the Council of the Library Foundation. Joan and husband John Hotchkis are philanthropists extraordinaire, supporting the arts in our community. LA Phil, the opera, museums, theater, along with their gifts for our hospitals and schools.
In her introductory remarks, Joan reminded that Leslie collaborated with another musical genius, Henry ”Hank” Mancini. What better?
An aside about our years-long friendship with Michael. We met at the annual Jean Howard’s New Year’s Day luncheon at her Coldwater Canyon villa. He came with Lenore (Lee) Gershwin, wife of the late great lyricist Ira Gershwin. Impressed we were with his performance of rare showtunes from times gone by. When Bob and Rosemarie Stack needed a pianist for their cocktail party they were hosting for Vogue beauty editor Shirley Lord, we suggested Michael. Where we introduced him to Liza, and their bond is unshakeable.
Liza then hosted a get-to-know Michael reception at a Sunset Strip café, and he took off like a rocket. Aren’t we proud that he calls us “the godfather?”
In the modeling business, it’s a “Go See” when models are booked for an audition to a hopeful assignment. So let us suggest a “Go See” at the Vintage Chateau 90210 in the heart of Beverly Hills. On the Northeast corner of Beverly Drive at Wilshire Boulevard.
You’ll experience that “adventure of discovery” that poet Constantine Cavagy describes in his poem, Ithaka, a favorite of Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis.
Chateau Vintage 90210 is the creation of actress Cora Sue Collins and event planner Ina Poncher, famed for catering her annual Greek Easter feasts at Ann and Jim Gianopulos‘ hacienda.
After Cora Sue’s decades living between her adored Paris and Beverly Hills, she’s now sold her residence abroad. “Paris has changed, changed, changed!,” she sighs. “But I’ll always love Paris … it never leaves you. I’ve enjoyed magical moments there. And happiest when Dr. Stephen Corday and his Mary Jo Deutschman visited several times a year… we’ve shared the best holidays.”
Cora Sue, may we remind, co-starred with Shirley Temple in hit after hit, and then went on to more films. A class act, she has that enviable vim and vigor that she credits to Dr. Corday. “He keeps me at full gallop!”
Departing Paris, Cora Sue wondered what to do with those treasures from abroad.
Voila! Teaming up with her friend of the long ago, Ina Poncher of the grand Pontchatraini family in New Orleans, they masterminded the opening of the Pop-up. Ina having any number of treasures of her own elegant family.
The shop is open daily through the month of December, from 11 to 7 – “and perhaps a few weeks more,” says Cora Sue.
“Jewelry? Those who want jewelry will find real deals. Beyond fair prices!
“Diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires, gold and silver, etc. … precious designs from my private collection. Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier, Tiffany, Harry Winston.
“Couture dresses and gowns from Dior, Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent, etc.
“Designer handbags and hats, bibelots and objets d’art, paintings … also I’m expecting a large cargo coming any day now from Paris.
“When my wonderful husband Ed Nace, a theater exhibitor, had enough of a dress or gown I favored, he’d kick my butt. “Okay now, Miss Cora Sue, time now to either bury or embalm it.”
Sad news. The giraffe population is thinning, as are the reindeer in Scandinavia (less roasted rack of reindeer at Christmas time), and the presidential electioneering skyrocketed to new heights. He dropped $66 million and She dumped $1.25 billion. If only some of these monies would help medical research, hospitals, education and schools, the homeless, etc. Wouldn’t life be better?
Entertainment news is losing its luster, becoming flat with performers controlled by PR handlers who frighten them about speaking of their personal lives. Consequently, the new entertainment today is politics that everyone talks about.