Monday, December 27, 2010
A few nights ago I went to dinner at the new Capitol Grille in the Beverly Center. (They took over -- and radically changed -- the old Hard Rock Cafe space.)
This is the 42nd edition of the Capitol Grille nationwide and the first one on the West Coast. I've been to two others -- Washington, DC and Philadelphia.
I was underwhelmed with the Los Angeles branch.
There was nothing "terrible" about the place, it's just that there wasn't anything "special" about it either. It seemed like a high-end assembly line restaurant that's way over priced.
I can't imagine that I'll ever go back again.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Last night I went to the Paley Center for the Media in Beverly Hills for a tribute to Bing Crosby.
The program featured a new documentary about Bing and Kathryn Crosby's trip to Argentina in 1970 followed by a panel discussion featuring friends and family of Bing Crosby sharing their memories inter spliced with film and TV clips of Mr. Crosby.
The documentary was fascinating. In 1970 the Crosbys went to Buenos Aires on vacation. A local TV host basically stalked and convinced the Crosbys to come on his show their last night in Argentina. On Channel 13's Saturday Circle show, both Bing and Kathryn Crosby sang and answered some wildly inappropriate questions like "what time do you go to bed?" and "which side of the bed does Bing sleep on?"
I don't know how Bing -- the consummate professional -- kept his cool through the whole thing, but he sure did. And, amazingly, during most of the show he demonstrated nearly perfect Spanish (except when it was in his interest not to "understand").
Mitzi Gaynor was, without a doubt, the star of the panel discussion. She knows how to command a stage, get a laugh, draw a tear and command the spotlight.
After the program was over I had a chance to visit briefly with famous producer AC Lyles.
Mr. Lyles has worked for Paramount since 1928, when he started working at a Paramount Theater in Florida. To this day he has an office on the Paramount Lot.
I reminded Mr. Lyles I'd met him at the White House in 1985 when he came to visit his friend, President Reagan. I was interning in the President's scheduling office and I remember how charming and dignified he was. Last night Mr. Lyles said, "I remember your face."
I don't think it was true at all, but what a terrific line. I think I'm going to start using it.