Rosewood Hotels Inc. and The Crescent of Dallas last week launched a $1 million endowment effort to help fund appearances by Texas performing arts groups at the Kennedy Center. The endowment, which will be part of the Kennedy Center's new $42 million National Performing Arts Fund, is the first fund earmarked to assist the center in bringing regional companies to its stages.

Kennedy Center Chairman Roger L. Stevens called the endowment "innovative and exciting" and noted the fund will assist the Kennedy Center in meeting a $1 million challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, which must be matched 3 to 1 by the private sector.

The inaugural benefit for the Rosewood Hotels/Crescent Endowment Fund will be the Crescent Gala -- which celebrates the opening of the Crescent, a 10.5 acre office complex adjacent to the Dallas Arts District -- in Dallas April 4-6.

Which Texas performing arts groups will be appearing here and when have yet to be determined. New York's Verdict on 'Lillian'

"Lillian," the one-woman show about playwright Lillian Hellman recently staged at the Terrace Theater, received a somewhat tepid welcome by New York critics last week upon arrival at Broadway's Ethel Barrymore Theater.

While critics found a lot to like about actress Zoe Caldwell's performance, they shot holes through the play's content. Frank Rich of The New York Times wrote, " Caldwell is chained to a sanitized Hellman portrait that . . . lacks the conflict and depth essential to create a dramatic or psychologically gripping character." Marilyn Stasio of the New York Post said the play does not "enlarge our understanding of its characters, or beam some insights on their actions." D.C. Village Performance

The Source Theatre is giving a special performance of "The Light" at D.C. Village Friday, six weeks after the theater cut short a performance of "Amadeus" following a dispute with a group of handicapped senior citizens from the city-run nursing home.

"We feel badly about how that was handled," said Source spokesman Phil Setren, adding that by staging the free show for D.C. Village residents, "we hope to mend some wounds as well as serve and entertain them that evening."

To accommodate the senior citizens' schedule, the Source has changed the curtain time for "The Light" -- a rock musical -- from midnight to 6 p.m.

The audience at D.C. Village will no doubt see a version different from the one staged recently at the Source when two of the actors were late arriving from a performance of another play in Fredericksburg. Not wanting to disappoint the biggest audience to date, Setren, the director, instructed his "ensemble of punk rock children" to take the stage and improvise. The enthusiastic ensemble responded to the challenge with 17 minutes of slam-dancing and audience stare-downs.

"It was our best performance," said Setren. "It worked so well I would like to add it to the show." Studio Theatre's Fundraiser

The Studio Theatre will hold its fifth annual fundraiser Feb. 10 at the Desire'e Club. Lady Wright is the honorary chairperson of the event, which will feature cabaret music by Katha Kissman and Jacqueline Bertrand, dancing, hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar. Patron tickets, which include a ticket to a future performance at the Studio, cost $100; sponsor tickets cost $50. Call 232-7267. Acting for Young People

The Kennedy Center is forming a young people's acting ensemble for advanced actors ages 13 through 18. Auditions for the ensemble, a new activity of Programs for Children and Youth, will be held Feb. 2 at 3 p.m. in the Theater Lab. No appointment is necessary, but those auditioning should bring a photo and resume.

The 15 to 20 young people selected will study with director Deirdre Lavrakas and prepare a group theater piece to be performed in April as part of "Imagination Celebration," the annual children's arts festival held at the Kennedy Center. For more information call 254-7176. Odds and Ends

Stephen Wade last weekend celebrated his fifth anniversary of performing "Banjo Dancing" at Arena Stage. Wade's one-man show is by far the longest-running production in the history of Washington theater . . . Ford's Theatre and the American Cafe have teamed to offer "A Complete Evening's Entertainment," which includes dinner, a ticket to the show and parking. The package is available beginning Feb. 4, the preview night of "Jeeves Takes Charge," and costs $30 per person; call 385-0044 . . . Barbara Cook and Wally Harper perform a benefit concert for New Playwrights' Friday at George Washington University's Marvin Theatre; call 232-1122.

Opening this week: Tonight, Present Stages' production of David Mamet's "The Water Engine" at Mount Vernon College's Hand Chapel; Wednesday, "Restoration" at the Arena; Thursday, "Annie" at the Patriot Center and Lillian Hellman's "The Children's Hour" at Rockville's Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington; Friday, Theatre Du Jour's production of "Go" at the Jarry and "The Normal Heart" at Baltimore's Center Stage; Saturday, "Beyond Therapy" at Source's Warehouse Rep.