Donanne Kasikci, author A. Scott Berg and Nancy Fox at the Odyssey Dinners kick-off party. Photo by Howard Pasamanick

Imagine an intimate dinner with show-biz bigwig Michael Eisner, a sit down with actress Jamie Lee Curtis, a bite with the editor-in-chief of Bon Appétit, sipping cocktails with presidential historian Richard Reeves or doing a little Dodger talk with sportscaster Frank DeFord. Well, you can, because they’ll all be part of this year’s Literary Odyssey Dinners.

Fifty-five fetes will be held throughout Los Angeles at some of the city’s most fabulous homes, each with a different author and theme.

Locals Liane and Richard Weintraub will be dressing up their breathtaking cliffside home playing host to Vogue columnist William Norwich. The dress code? Jeans -and jewels.

Also in Malibu, Kim and Michael McCarty will open their doors to restaurateur Barbara Fairchild, while landscape designer Jay Griffith will let guests tour his glorious grounds with scribe Mona Simpson.

There are authors for just about every interest. Across town they’ll be thinking forever young as Bonnie and Bob Barker and guests get the lowdown from Dr. Gary Small, the director of the Center on Aging at UCLA.

In Hollywood, Catherine and Jeff Brown will hear from presidential historian Richard Reeves, animal lovers will have a tail-wagging good time with Tracie Hotchner, author of the “Dog Bible: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know,” and Rockwell A. Schnabel, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, will give you the low down on foreign policy.

Many of the hosts are as distinguished and well-known as their guests. The impressive roster includes Andrea and John Van de Kamp, Wallis Annenberg, Judy and Gordon Davidson, Judith and Steve Krantz, Veronique Peck, Carla and Fred Sands, and Jamie and Steve Tisch. The dinners will take place on Nov. 7.

All proceeds from the dinners go to a very appropriate cause, the Fund for New Information Technologies of the Los Angeles Public Library, Central Library and 71 branches.

Write on!


Another November must-do will be the Los Angeles Master Chorale’s black-tie “Scheherazade Ball.” The Chorale will bring the Moorish Empire to life with a theme based on “1001 Arabian Nights.” The spectacle comes complete with exotic delicacies, veiled belly dancers and skilled swordsmen.

So if you want something to sing about, get on your magic carpet and head for the California Club on Nov. 12.