Elizabeth Taylor will be a "master of ceremonies" at one of Ronald Reagan's eight inaugural balls, inaugural committee officials announced yesterday. She is so far the only female emcee, joining Robert Stack, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Mike Connors, Charlton Heston, Hugh O'Brian and Ed McMahon, who will be shouldering the duties at separate locations in hotels and public buildings around the city.
"We have the most spectacular collection of entertainers ever assembled," said co-chairman Robert K. Gray at a press conference at the Air and Space Museum yesterday. He was referring to the lineup of performers who will entertain at floor shows at the balls, including Tony Bennett, Pat Boone, Donny and Marie Osmond, Lou Rawls, Ray Charles, Glen Campbell and Tanya Tucker, as well as the pre-inaugural night gala at the Kennedy Center being produced by Frank Sinatra.
Those who want to be assured of a good seat at the gala can take the opportunity of making a contribution of $10,000 for a box. A box at a ball costs $2,000, but it may come with two bottles of domestic champagne. "We haven't decided yet whether the champagne is free, said co-chairman Charles Z. Wick. These "major donor" tickets will help defray the costs of Reagan's inaugural festivities, which are approaching $8 million and must be paid for by the inaugural committee. A regular ticket to a ball costs $100 a person, and tickets for the gala range from $50 to $150, but an invitation is required to be able to buy them.