When it comes 'to night life, New York likes to think of itself as the show-business capital of the U.S. And just to prove it, every once in a while it gangs UD its openings. Last week, for instance, first-nighters had a pick that included Eartha Kitt, Edie Adams, Ella Fitzger-a'd and a newcomer called Arthur.
Arthur is not a personage but a place, and not really a place but (overnight) the place for the discotheque set.
In Was On. Sybil Burton, the ex-Mrs.
Richard, runs Arthur for a large group of stockholders, including Julie An drews, Leonard Bernstein, Mike Nichols and Rex Harrison. It is named not for the once and future king, but for Beatle George Harrison, who, when asked in A Hard Day's Night about his haircut, replied: "I call it Arthur." Sybil, it also turns out, is a sort of Guinevere of the frug. Not that there was any space to spare on opening night, for even a few of the stockholders couldn't writhe their way in.
Those who did have the Courreges to fight the mob included Baby Jane Holzer, Marion Javits, Cyd Charisse, and in the train, massaging his temples, a harassed Huntinaton Hartford. But the cynosure of all thighs was Arthur-coiffed Rudolf Nureyev, whose lap, noted Fashion Writer Eugenia Sheppard, "was the most 'in' place for any woman to be Wednesday night." Rudi had an embrace for Tennessee Williams, but f rugged first with Sybil.
Seeing Was Believing. For those at the Persian Room of the Plaza, it was nostalgia night with Eartha Kitt, who has now become more cat than kitten.
Eartha has never peddled very safe or comfortable sex, and as Columnist Earl Wilson noted, "Eartha, in line with present-day trends, has made changes in her sexy act. She's made it sexier."
She appears in a gold, bell-bottomed jump suit that must be annealed into place, then swathes herself in a 20-ft.
sable stole. And her voice still ranges from purr to snarl in I Want to Be Evil ("I want to wake up in the morning with that dark brown taste, I want to see dissss-apation in my face"). She had to cool off one ringsider with "I only sing these songs; I don't live them."
At the Latin Quarter they were all but eating up Comedienne Edie Adams.
It had something to do with the way swan's-down-clad Edie did a takeoff on Zsa Zsa Gabor narcissistically bussing her own shoulder. Now Edie, who es tablished herself with a Marilyn Mon roe impersonation, has taken on noth ing less than bugging the White House.
Johnny Carson tried it not long ago, playing the role of your friendly finance man grilling L.B.J. about his $100,000 tax loan: "How long have you had your job? Oh, less than two years? Any property? But that's in your wife's name? A car? Oh, that's in your wife's name too?" To play her Lady Bird, Edie modulated her voice to a slow Pedernales drawl:'"I've been spending quite a lot of time in Washington," she began, "since Mr. Johnson and I became President." And how does she see her role now? "I want to say in all humility that ah made mah husband what he is todayrich." It was great. But was it good enough to get her a repeat of last March's dinner at the White House?