AN ELEGANT EVENING of fine dining and dancing under moonlit tents with an Oriental motif marked the grand opening of the Walters Art Gallery's Hackerman House Museum of Asian Art.
The Classic Catering People, who have opened a restaurant there for lunch and private parties, handled the gliterati -- a mere 1,000 who paid $250 a plate -- with their usual pizazz. The Shades of Blue Orchestra had the crowd hopping, many of whom had their pictures snapped by roving photographer Calvin Hayes.
Naturally, benefactors Lillian and Willard Hackerman were on hand as were gala co-chairs Sally and Robert "Butch" Michel.
Others we spied? Chuck and Amy Newhall III, Bruce and Elaine Campbell, Orioles owner Eli Jacobs, WBAL-TV's Camilla Carr and Representative Kweisi Mfume, John and Berthe Ford, Harvey Meyerhoff and Lois Wyse, Bob and Zoh Hieronimus, and Robert and Jackie Smelkinson -- stunningly decked out in Oriental attire.
QUICK TAKES: The nationally renowned Drifters will perform Saturday night at Luigi Petti's grand opening of Luigi's Garden in Little Italy. For tickets, call 685-0055. . . . Actor Paul Reiser, star of the TV series "My Two Dads," will perform tonight at Slapstix Comedy Club for two shows. Local comic Bill McCuddy opens. Call 659-SLAP.
STUART DICKMAN and wife June held an impromptu bash at their newly acquired Danny's Restaurant on Charles, which they've just bought from Stuart's parents, Danny and Bea Dickman, who are retiring. . . . Longtime Harvey House pianist Mary True is taking her act to Harrison's Pier 5 Friday and Saturday nights.
TRY TO CHECK out Gigi McKendric and Jeff Goldman's life masks and photography exhibit running at the New Factory Outlet on North Charles Street. See if you can pick out WJZ-TV's Lowell Deo's face.
FESSIN' UP: "You look much taller than you did on my lunch box," joked Marc Winner to actor Fess Parker, the one-time Davy Crockett-Daniel Boone turned winemaker, at a reception in his honor at Winner's posh offices on DeSota Road in Southwest Baltimore to introduce the first of Parker wines, which Winner will distribute.
Arriving in a coonskin cap, we were ushered to the handsome actor to have our photo snapped. "You look better in it than I did," he laughed.
Other fans on hand included Morris and Bess Weinstein, Dorothy and Joe Blitz and Joe Roberts, who brought along a vintage Davy Crock
TASTE TESTERS: Monday night's Chesapeake dinner at the posh Harbor Court Hotel wrapped up the weeklong "Taste the Best of Baltimore" benefit for Meals on Wheels.
Sponsored by the hotel, Dahne and Weinstein Jewelers, jewelry designers Jean and Irene Vitau and Town and Country magazine, the evening featured a spectacular cooking demonstration and full-course meal by the hotel's chef extraordinaire Michael Rork.
Organized by the always charming Steve Weinstein of the aforementioned Dahne and Weinstein (which is opening a second store in the former Greenspring Inn on Sept. 1,) the event was covered by Town and Country and was attended by T&C's handsome associate publisher Billy David and their savvy marketing director Suzanne Sobel.
BRIEFLY SPEAKING: Mid-Atlantic Country magazine has been hummin' along just fine since being taken over two years ago by publisher Susan Souders Obrecht. The mag recently won the gold medal for general excellence in editorial and design quality at the seventh annual White Awards for city and regional magazines. . . . Look for a public service announcement on wife abuse for the House of Ruth conceived by Noble Steed and produced by Brian Keller of Keller Pictures.
FINALLY, don't miss the exclusive interview with ABC anchorman Peter Jennings in the May 24 issue of the Jewish Times, penned by Art Magida. Jennings was so committed to the interview -- the first major one he's done since the Persian Gulf war and charges that he's anti-Israel -- that he stood up a date with a South African ambassador to spend close to two hours with the interviewer.
Magida says he was "very impressed' with Jennings, who graciously consented to call his 9-year-old daughter Amy and wish her a happy birthday during a commercial break of "ABC News."