It appears the hard-liners and the more moderate members of the president's White House staff are at it again. At issue this time is tomorrow's State of the Union address. According to a report in today's Newsweek magazine, White House chief of staff Donald Regan and presidential aide Dennis Thomas rejected the draft prepared by the president's chief staff writer, Bently Elliott, and turned it over to Cabinet Secretary Al Kingon for a rewrite -- namely to remove much of the excessively conservative content, including a strong antiabortion statement and a sharp critique of alleged Soviet violations of arms agreements.
Not surprisingly, the darling of the right, Communications Director Patrick Buchanan, was quick to call Regan and complain. The speech writers were given another chance, with strong direction from the president. Newsweek reports that a tamer version of much of the original speech has been restored. One source says Thomas and his supporters don't trust the speech writers, who they believe are interested mainly in abortion and right-wing ideology. The speech writers think that Regan's men are "philistines." The Gift of 'Giselle'
It's an expensive fifth wedding anniversary present, but Washington lawyer Mike Feldman is well aware that his wife Adrienne Arsht Feldman, who is on the board of the American Ballet Theatre, loves the ballet "Giselle." So he decided to underwrite the production of it for her wherever it is put on by ABT. It will be performed when ABT comes to the Kennedy Center April 2 through 20. The ballet will also be the theme of the Giselle Ball, a black-tie fundraiser April 14 for the ABT and the Kennedy Center at the new Weston Hotel.
Actress Lynda Carter Altman will be a cochairman of the ball with Feldman. When Feldman learned that the late George Balanchine, the legendary choreographer, was a fan of television's Wonder Woman, she asked her to be a cochairman. The April 8 performance will be especially exciting for ballet-goers because Mikhail Baryshnikov will dance. That's the evening ABT will perform Act 2I from "Swan Lake" and Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Requiem." (Webber is best known for "Cats," "Jesus Christ Superstar" and "Evita.") ABT hasn't said which ballet Baryshnikov will be performing, but he will be dancing with Alessandra Ferri. One other surprise is that ABT will be performing "The Nutcracker." That might be a fun thing to see during cherry blossom time. End Notes
Dec. 7 was the official 150th birthday of the National Theatre. Since no one wanted a conflict with the Kennedy Center Honors being staged that weekend, the anniversary will be celebrated tonight with the premiere of a film, "Stage for a Nation," produced by Joseph W. Canzeri. The hour-long film, which will be shown in the fall on PBS, is hosted by actress Debbie Reynolds and includes conversations with National Theatre-goers President Ronald Reagan and former president Jimmy Carter. Among the stars who have performed at the National and are in the film are Angela Lansbury, Mary Martin, Helen Hayes, Carol Channing, James Earl Jones, Vincent Price and John Forsythe. A buffet supper birthday party will follow at the J.W. Marriott Hotel. Among the guests expected are Justice William Brennan Jr.; Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger; Sens. Paul Laxalt, James McClure, Ernest Hollings and Ed Zorinsky; comedian Mark Russell; and actors Anthony Quinn and Lila Kedrova, who open at the National this week in "Zorba" . . .
sw,2 Prince Charles will be in Texas next month to help celebrate the 150th anniversary of the state's independence from Mexico. While there, he is to meet with refinery workers and present the Winston Churchill Award to Dallas billionaire H. Ross Perot. He will visit Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio. First Lady Nancy Reagan is expected to attend the Feb. 18 dinner for Perot; he is the third person to receive the honor since it was inaugurated in 1981 . . .
sk,1 Only Woody Allen would have a different kind of experience with crime in the 30 years he has lived in Manhattan. In a cover story in the February issue of Gentlemen's Quarterly magazine, the film writer and actor said he was once visited by confused thieves who "had obviously been to another apartment before they hit mine, and they must have been scared by something, because they dropped what they had and left. They left me a television set. That was my one experience with crime in New York."