“You were superb,” President Carter told Mikhail Baryshnikov and Gelsey Kirkland after attending the American Ballet Theatre’s premiere of Don Quixote at the Kennedy Center. But the dancers could not rest on those laurels even on a night off. When Gelsey’s alternate injured a hip in the opening act of the punishing ballet, it seemed like curtains. But the dynamic duo rushed in to substitute, putting on their third show in as many days. Kirkland was dining at the nearby Watergate at the time (Misha was in the audience), but within the hour she was onstage and leaping exquisitely on a full stomach.
It was a cause celeb. At his Playboy Mansion West in L.A., Hugh Hefner was hosting a disco benefit for CAT, formerly the California Association of Trollops, now the National Institute for Working Women. The purpose? To provide funds for the prostitutes’ union for career counseling and improving their image. Daughter Christie, 25, who is vice-president of Playboy Enterprises, suggested that Hef sponsor the event, and he and steady Sondra Theodore got right in step with the cause. Proclaimed a pleased Dad, “The party is not a onetime charity affair but an ongoing commitment to social problems.”
Joe Namath, superspy
When Joe Namath, 34, limped away from pro football, he talked of turning to acting, though he’s been sacked by critics in previous tries. Now comes word from Munich that Namath is being cast as a CIA agent in Avalanche Express, which if it stays on track will arrive in movie houses next spring. To keep his star from being derailed, director Marc Robson is coaching Joe for his role as Lee Marvin’s right-hand man. In the flick they team up to get Soviet counterspy Robert Shaw. Joe should know from Red-dogging.
A Stills moment
After five years of marriage rocker Stephen Stills and French pop singer Veronique Sanson say the honeymoon isn’t over. In fact, it only began when they got away for two weeks recently in an exotic beach house on Maui. Their busy careers and the birth of a son, Christopher, three years ago made an earlier honeymoon impossible. But out there, watching wooden ships on the water, all was bliss—until Veronique tumbled off a surfboard and busted her wrist.
Down to Eartha
After two decades away from Broadway, Eartha Kitt, 50, has returned to New York to star in the musical Timbuktu!, but, believing in creature comforts, she doesn’t travel light. She’s brought along from her L.A. home daughter Kitt McDonald, 16, plus a menagerie including Kissy, her cat; Demon, a poodle; and July, a St. Bernard whose father, according to the actress, was the fourth largest dog in the world. Winter’s three-dog nights are past but July has a cushy job, serving as Kitt’s king-size pillow matinee days.