Backstage at the Geffen 2016
After taking the podium as emcee of the annual Backstage at the Geffen event, Dana Delany lamented the rise of technology.
Recalling the days before cellphones when actors conversed during breaks, she asked the audience to imagine Peter O’Toole and Richard Burton swapping stores between scenes. Unlike the norm today, she said, “They were not on their phones playing Words With Friends.”
And so began the show portion of the May 22 fundraiser for the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood, which showcased irreverent, at times embarrassing and strictly off-the-record, behind-the-scenes tales of theater life.
Celebrating the theater’s 20th anniversary, the night honored Academy Award-winning actor Morgan Freeman and Jeff Skoll, eBay’s first president and founder of Participant Media. Backstage at the Geffen organizers later said the event raised more than $1.4 million for the theater.
Click here to read my entire story about this glamorous, star-studded event at the Los Angeles Times and scroll down the page to see additional photos …
A note about the crowd: Among others on hand to tell stories, perform or enjoy the show from the audience were Bryan Cranston, Kristin Davis, Roma Downey, Nazanin Boniadi, Norman Lear, Alan Horn, Rainn Wilson, Jaeden Lieberher, Amy Landecker, Frenchie Davis, Aaron Sorkin, Garry Marshall, Ellis Hall, Robin Sanders, Jon Boogz and Lil Buck; and from the Geffen, executive director Gil Cates Jr., artistic director Randall Arney and board co-chairwomen Martha Henderson and Pamela Robinson.
Top photo: Emcee Dana Delany, center, with presenters and honorees from left, Norman Lear, Jeff Skoll, Dana Delany, Morgan Freeman, and Alan Horn at Backstage at the Geffen 2016 (Photo by Jordan Strauss/ Invision for Geffen Playhouse/ AP Images)
Second photo: Honoree Morgan Freeman, second from right, is joined by guests, Nazanin Boniadi, from left, Roma Downey and Bryan Cranston at Backstage at the Geffen 2016 (Photo by Matt Sayles/ Invision for Geffen Playhouse/ AP Images)
Third photo: Jaeden Lieberher, left, of “St. Vincent” talked of his experiences working with Bill Murray, while Kristin Davis of “Sex and the City” spoke of Angela Lansbury at Backstage at the Geffen 2016 (Photo by Jordan Strauss/ Invision for Geffen Playhouse/ AP Images)
Fourth photo: Garry Marshall, creator of “Happy Days” and director of “Pretty Woman,” told a particularly amusing story about his first play, which he called a flop at Backstage at the Geffen 2016 (Photo by Jordan Strauss/ Invision for Geffen Playhouse/ AP Images)
Fifth photo: Between the behind-the-scenes tales of theater life, Robin Sanders, from left, Jon Boogz, Lil’ Buck and dancers perform at Backstage at the Geffen 2016 (Photo by Jordan Strauss/ Invision for Geffen Playhouse/ AP Images)
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Backstage at the Geffen 2016
Published June 1, 2016 – Ellen Olivier, Society News LA