THEY WRITE THE SONGS
Locals Liane and Richard Weintraub and Ginny Mancini were among the music lovers celebrating America’s great singers and songwriters at the Mark Taper Forum. The annual extravaganza, called “The Writer, The Singer, The Song,” featured an all-star line up. The program included performances by Paul Williams, Hal David, John C. Reilly and Carole Bayer Sager, and Jimmy Webb, to name a few. And even if standards aren’t quite your thing, it was hard not to get caught up in the groove of this Top Ten trip down memory lane.
Former Tijuana Brass man Herb Alpert revived his ’60s hit “This Guy’s in Love with You” and Christopher Cross crooned to the crowd with “Arthur’s Theme.” Bill Withers belted out his ’70s chart-topper, “Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone,” and Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. soared “Up, Up and Away.”
The blast-to-the-past continued with cocktails and gourmet grub in the Grand Hall of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The place was decked out in mid-century splendor, offering up fine fixings like braised short ribs and chocolate brownie soufflé.
The evening of music and memories helped raise thousands of dollars for the Music Center’s community and education programs.
Dustin Hoffman was the man of the hour at the Beverly Hilton Hotel as the ACLU held its annual Bill of Rights tribute. The Oscar-winning actor was honored for his outstanding performances in films that address key issues like First Amendment rights, women’s rights, censorship and criminal justice system reform.
Up next, Dustin takes on a more light-hearted role. He stars opposite Malibu neighbor Barbra Streisand in “Meet the Fockers.”
A SAFE BET
We won’t witness a wardrobe malfunction at the upcoming Super Bowl half time show on Feb. 6-at least we hope not! Aging rocker Paul McCartney has been named as the featured entertainer. Super Bowl organizers seem determined to play it safe after a momentary flash of Janet Jackson’s middle-aged flesh sparked an uproar and prompted thousands of complaints to the FCC.
NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy says there will be no such hanky panky this time around. “We’ve looked at all facets of the show including talent selection, song selection and costume selection,” he explained. “We are very comfortable that this year’s show will be acceptable to a mass audience and won’t have any issues.”
Fans of the 61-year-old music legend are no doubt delighted in the selection of Sir Paul. And the feeling is mutual, luv. As the former Beatle puts it, “There’s nothing bigger than this. We’re looking forward to rocking millions at home and in the stadium.” Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!