Hors D'oeuvres Across America: Celebs Raise Bicoastal Toasts to the Premieres of Mermaids and Havana

updated 12/24/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/24/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

Tis the season to be jolly and, while you're at it, to promote your new movie. In L.A. a splashy Mermaids frolic drew 1,000 to the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre; in New York City celebs were Havana good time at a fiesta for Robert Redford's film.

Redford, often arm-in-arm—and, during a notably warm goodbye, lip-to-lip—with co-star Lena Olin, 35, played the consummate host, forsaking dinner to chat with guests, who included Glenn Close, Roy Scheider and James Taylor. Characteristically, Olin, who starred in The Unbearable Lightness of Being but has never seen that film, skipped the preparty Havana screening, 'it is very painful to watch yourself," she said. "You feel very vulnerable." Redford, 53, apparently helped steel her nerves on the set. "He's funny," said Olin. "If you have a fellow actor who can make you laugh, that's wonderful."

Meanwhile, on the left coast, Cher showed up at the Mermaids screening just long enough—15 minutes—to ascertain that people were laughing at the right moments. Winona Ryder, who co-stars in the mother-daughter "dramedy," noted that everyone assumes she must be exhausted, given that her other big film, Edward Scissorhands, also just opened. Actually, "I haven't worked for a good seven months now," she said, "so I'm eager to get going again." Guests grazed on fruit-and-marshmallow kebabs, and a good time was had by all—although John Stamos, from ABC's Full House, did have a wistful look. "Everybody's a Cher fan," he said. "I would have loved to have had an affair with Cher. Problem is, by now I'm probably too old." He's 27.

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