GOOD MORNING: “You will not see two naked ladies on the stage” at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Richard Strauss’ “Der Rosenkavalier,” Edgar Baitzel, artistic director of the L.A. Opera told me. A poster — of two ladies caressing — for the production bowing May 29 appeared for the first time Sunday. During Monday’s first “Rosenkavalier” rehearsal with director Max Schell, Baitzel assured me a production by the L.A. Opera would always be “of the highest taste,” but the ad by production designer Gottfried Heinwein would give potential audiences “something to think about.” Schell is back on this stage where he triumphantly directed “Lohengrin.” Daily Variety’s Alan Rich wrote, “With this ‘Lohengrin,’ L.A. Opera may be on a roll.” Schell is as enthusiastic as ever, saying designer Heinwein and choreographer Johann Krenik “are doing this production as a favor to me.” Schell next heads back to Germany to play “Einstein” for ARD- TV and to Vienna to direct the feature, “Beethoven,” with Placido Domingo … I spotted Michael Caine at the Peninsula Hotel in BevHills Friday evening. He was slightly jet-lagged, having just flown in from London and set to shoot only one day, Saturday, with Nicole Kidman on re-takes (added scenes?) for “Bewitched.” Caine flew back home to England Sunday … House Beautiful magazine previewed its House Beautiful Suite at the hotel. And visiting at the Peninsula were the N.Y. Carlyle’s managing director James McBride and Suzanne MacIntosh to dine in the Peninsula’s award-winning Belvedere with Ali Kasikci and wife Donanne. Ali had given McBride his start in the hotel biz in Durban, South Africa. McBride will host a memorial to Bobby Short May 3 to an invited group of 100 filling the Café Carlyle where Bobby was to have started his (last) gig that day. Among those expected to attend/ perform: Jessye Norman singing “Our Love is Here to Stay,” Chita Rivera, Barbara Carroll, Tony Bennett, Bill Charlap on piano and Jean Bach (“A Great Day in Harlem”), Bobby’s friend of more than 50 years. The lineup at the Café Carlyle includes Mondays with Woody Allen, Barbara Cook (now there), Eartha Kitt, Elaine Stritch … Theo Bikel gets his star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame Friday in front of the Pantages Theater where he’s starred in “Fiddler on the Roof.” Toasting the multi-talented Bikel at the ceremony will be pals Ed Asner and Martin Landau.
THERE WASN’T a dry eye in the house” after the preview screenings of HBO’s “Warm Springs” in Atlanta and New York last week, director Joe Sargent told me of the many wheelchaired-viewers at the showings. He’d just returned from China where HBO’s Colin Callender had referred him to contacts at studios in Beijing and Shanghai. After seeing their “state of the art studios” and taken meetings with filmmakers, Sargent reported: “We’re talking the same language.” And he’s talking a story (series?) about an American English teacher and her roommate, a Chinese (femme), English-speaking tour guide … On his 50th anni in the biz, Pat Boone was toasted by the Jr. Philharmonic Orchestra’s 68th anni Spectacular at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. As always, the Spectacular evening was created-conducted by-sponsored by Dr. Ernst Katz, with Gary S. Greene as concertmaster and producer, Debra Marisa Greene, assistant producer, Lori Gordon, gala coordinator. Saluting Boone were Richard Fredericks, a former Met Opera Baritone, Michael Antonovich, Mort Lindsey, Hugh O’Brian, Jack Sheldon, Johnny Tillotson, plus honorary conductors Buzz Aldrin, Mary Ann Mobley and a surprise presentation by Boone’s daughter, Debby, whose (terrif) new CD, “Reflections of Rosemary,” is her first for Concord. She bows at Feinstein’s in N.Y., May 10. Rosemary (Clooney) opened the room in 1999. … Bob Costas has come aboard to mc the Stand Up for Mentoring gala Wednesday at the Kodak honoring HBO’s Chris Albrecht. Also toasting Albrecht will be Ray Romano, Patricia Heaton, Kevin James and Lewis Black … On Thursday, Dave Brubeck hosts a party at Elaine’s in honor of Doug Ramsey’s bio of Brubeck’s longtime saxophonist Paul Desmond, “Take Five: The Public and Private Lives of Paul Desmond.”(Parkside).