Catering to stars' desires

As you may have heard, an all-star lineup of entertainers performed for President Clinton and his guests at the Lincoln Memorial last Sunday. What you may not know is that a Baltimore caterer fed most of the performers.

HBO, which had exclusive rights to broadcast the show, had contacted the Classic Catering People to provide food for a hospitality tent. Unfortunately, HBO learned that the inaugural committee had committed to another caterer, so the Classic Catering People were out -- temporarily.


Then Edward Dopkin, an owner of the Classic Catering People, received a call the Friday evening before the show asking if the company could cater the talent tent because many were unhappy with the food the other caterer was serving. So at 3:30 a.m. last Sunday, Dopkin, et al., found themselves in food-laden trucks on the way to the Lincoln Memorial. They had to get there early and unload before a Secret Service sweep.

According to Dopkin, many stars are vegetarians, so the Caesar salad was one of the most popular items served, along with a lobster corn chowder. Other foods included breast of capon on potato sticks, sliced barbecue beef, hot dogs, cookies and brownies.


The catering service even had a request from the reclusive Michael Jackson, who was hiding out in one of 10 very private dressing rooms. Dopkin sent him Caesar salad and a fresh fruit plate.

Others whom Dopkin spotted chatting or signing autographs in the huge HBO tent were Dionne Warwick, Quincy Jones, Tony Bennett, Jesse Jackson, Woody Harrelson and Kenny Rogers.

Imagine the surprise of Joe Chalmers, a member of the Catering People's staff, when Kenny Rogers walked up to him and said, "Don't I know you?" The two had met at the Baltimore Arena when Rogers performed at the Lifesongs concert and the Classic Catering People supplied the backstage food.

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Company will perform in Baltimore March 4-7 at the Mechanic Theatre, and its board is planning a sizzling opening night.

I stopped by the lovely home of Lola (of Lola Inc., a Mount Washington beauty salon) and Bob (Valley Lighting) Jones, where gala chair Carole Sibel and Marsha Jews, the dance troupe's executive director in Maryland, told me about plans for the gala.

Nathan Carter, Morgan State University's music director, came by with several members of his choir, who gave guests a taste of what they have planned for their opening night performance with the dance troupe.

Four Baltimore couples -- Florenzia and Paige Davis, Merrell and T. Edward Hambleton, Sally and Decatur Miller, and Marion and George Russell -- will be honored.

Proceeds from the black-tie fund-raiser will benefit the Ailey Camp for at-risk youngsters. Tickets are $100 for the March 4 gala. For more information, call (410) 962-5340.



The Paint and Powder Club, one of the oldest men's theatrical groups in the country, is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year and will hold a centennial valentine ball from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Feb. 13

The black-tie party will feature an open bar, hors d'oeuvres and a buffet dessert for $125 a couple in the beautiful Belvedere ballroom.

The club, which supports charitable organizations in Baltimore, will stage its annual spring revue June 4-5 at Goucher College. Beneficiaries of this year's revue, "Centennial Sensations," will be the Greater Baltimore Medical Center and the Maryland Historical Society. For more information, call (410) 252-6929.


Marty Walsh, Maryland's secretary of general services, has picked a real pro, Dave Humphrey, former WLIF-FM news director, to be his public information officer.



Michael F. Klein, real estate executive, is chairing this year's Baltimore drive for the Shaare Zedek Medical Center Feb. 7.

Highlights will include a performance by television star Hal Linden and an appearance by Archbishop William Keeler, who will present the Jerusalem Humanitarian Award to Mary and Nicholas Mangione Sr.

Call (410) 486-9303 for ticket information.