Great Los Angeles Galas of 2012

L.A.’s Glamorous Galas of 2012 


Without doubt, Los Angeles saw some exceptional affairs this year. The ones listed below seemed extra-special, however, as they were all expertly presented, attracting celebrities as well as top business leaders. Even more significantly, the arts and other charities benefited handsomely as a result.

Listed here are some of the great – and most glamorous – Los Angeles galas of 2012 …


Carousel of Hope Ball

How can anything top George Clooney and Neil Diamond singing a duet?

As a benefit for the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes, the Carousel of Hope ended on that fun, (if not perfectly melodious) note, while also featuring Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, music icon David Foster, opera singer Fernando Varela and American Idol’s Jessica Sanchez. 

Diamond strolled through the audience singing his hits, before insisting Clooney join him for the chorus of “Sweet Caroline.” As the night’s honoree for his artistic and philanthropic achievements, Clooney couldn’t have been a better sport. Just by singing a few words, Clooney proved himself deserving of honors for charm, too. 

Click here for details of the gala and more than 40 event photos. They include Clooney, Stacy Keibler, Diamond and his new bride, Katie McNeil, emcee Jay Leno and guests Jane Fonda, Julianne Hough, Holly Robinson Peete, Sidney Poitier, Gene Simmons, Shannon Tweed, Daisy Fuentes, Carmen Electra, Thora Birch, Clive Davis, Quincy Jones, lots more celebrities, community leaders, and of course, the Davis family. 



LA Opera Season-Opening Gala: “Ignite”

Thanks to stunning Stana Katic of “Castle,” the enchantment of the LA Opera’s “Ignite” Gala continued long after the curtain came down on the season-opening opera, “The Two Foscari.”

Even more beautiful in person than on screen, Katic not only goes to the opera regularly, but she also chaired the affair’s “Aria” after-party. Aria is the LA Opera’s support group of young professionals.

While two years ago, the 2011 gala had a wintry white Russian look, this year’s gala took the opposite approach. The 2012 gala featured fire-twirlers and flaming cocktails.

Ironically, a heat wave blanketed Los Angeles last fall and that day’s temperatures soared above 100 degrees. The incendiary theme, therefore, seem especially fitting. 

Click here to see the pictures, which include Katic, Anna Gunn of “Breaking Bad,” Christoph Waltz of “Inglorious Basterds” and LA Opera’s general manager Placido Domingo, along with supporters of the LA Opera.  


LA Phil Gala: “The Philharmonic Dances” 

As the name implied, the 2012 LA Phil Gala “The Philharmonic Dances” offered dancers onstage at Walt Disney Hall to accompany Maestro Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.

The diverse program included ballet superstars Roberto Bolle and Veronika Part of the American Ballet Theatre, the contemporary LA Dance company BodyTraffic and Broadway dancers in a classic routine from “On the Town.” 

In an especially entertaining moment, instead of sailors lost in New York, the Broadway dancers arrived as sailors lost in the concert hall. So they tapped the maestro on his shoulder to get directions to the stage. 

Following the performances, the audience adjourned to a tent on Grand Avenue for dinner and dancing. Adding to the tent’s dramatic ambiance, the gala committee wore eye-popping red gowns.

Click here to read details of the gala and see more than 30 photos of LA Phil supporters, including familiar faces, such as Julie Andrews, Jacqueline Emerson of “The Hunger Games,” Don Johnson, Matthew Rhys, Matthew Lillard and Chris O’Donnell.



Hammer Gala In the Garden

The invitation to the Hammer Museum‘s annual gala suggested people “dress up” to celebrate artists Barbara Kruger and Cindy Sherman. The result: a glamorous showing of artists and museum supporters in the Hammer’s open-air courtyard, where the “Gala in the Garden” took place.

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and comedy great Steve Martin presented the awards, while museum director Annie Philbin charmingly recalled a day many years ago when she and Sherman worked together. She said Sherman brought in her now-iconic photographs and offered them to co-workers for free. Philbin said she remembered the incident clearly, because she didn’t think to take one.

Armie Hammer, Elizabeth Chambers, Jeanne Pritzker and Anthony Pritzker co-chaired the event, which ended with Katy Perry slipping out of her high heels to sing her most popular songs.

Click here to read more about the gala and see pictures, which also include Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Tom Ford and Richard Buckley, Marg Helgenberger, Julie Bowen, Tracee Ellis Ross, Mary McCormack, Paul Reiser, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Rachel Griffiths, Dana Delany, Thomas Jane, George Kotsiopoulos, Leonard Nimoy, Rosanna Arquette and many others. 



Glam Rock to Erase MS

Picture together the incomparable Stevie Wonder, American Idol’s super-talented David Cook, Diana DeGarmo, Ace Young, Pia Toscana, Jacob Lusk and Taylor Hicks; the Tenors of Canada, (coming to L.A. fresh from serenading the Queen of England;) Fitz and the Tantrums; country great Clay Walker, LaToya Jackson, David Osmond and more.

That’s exactly what this year’s “Glam Rock to Erase MS” delivered at the annual fundraiser for the  Nancy Davis Foundation for Multiple Sclerosis. 

A wealth of entertainers gave individual performances; yet others joined in for a finale that filled the stage end-to-end with singers, other stars and gala organizers.  

Moreover, this gala featured a 500-item silent auction and celebrity fashion show. So the stars not only filled the audience, but they also came down the runway in the Authentic Icon Collection, inspired by “American Idol,” and the Andy Hilfiger Andrew Charles Rock ‘n Roll Collection.    

Click here to read details of the gala, and click here to see 50 pictures of the night’s performers, plus Cybill Shepherd, Kendall Jenner, Kylie Jenner, Jon Lovitz, Jason Kennedy, Shaun Robinson, Camille Grammar, Taylor Armstrong, Jack Osbourne and many more.


Candlelight Concert

This black-tie gala had so much packed into one night that Sutton Foster – the toast of Broadway – kicked off the festivities as soon as guests seated themselves for dinner at Segerstrom Hall.

Not just there to sing a few token songs, the two-time Tony winner and three-more-times Tony nominee delivered an entire cabaret act at this fundraiser for the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa.

Huey Lewis & The News ended the night by blasting out the perfect kind of rock music to pull party-goers up on their feet and onto the dance floor.  Click here to read details and view the photos. 


Photos, This Page 

Top photo: Stacy Keibler with George Clooney, honored for his artistic and philanthropic achievements at the Carousel of Hope, one of the great Los Angeles galas of 2012 (photo:

Second photo: From left, Stana Katic of “Castle,” Christoph Waltz of “Inglorious Basterds” and Anna Gunn of “Breaking Bad” at the Los Angeles Opera’s “Ignite,” one of the great Los Angeles galas of 2012, where Katic chaired the after-party (photo: Todd Williamson/ Invision for the LA Opera/ AP Images) 

Third photo: From left, Joan Hotchkis, LA Phil Music Director Gustavo Dudamel, Carolyn Powers and David Bohnett at the LA Phil Opening Night, one of the great Los Angeles galas of 2012 (photo: Mathew Imaging) 

Fourth photo: Katy Perry delivered a 5-song set at the Hammer Museum Gala in the Garden, one of the great Los Angeles galas of 2012  (photo: Stefanie Keenan/ Getty Images)

Fifth photo: From left, Ace Young and Diana DeGarmo of “American Idol” join the legendary Stevie Wonder onstage at during the Race To Erase MS, one of the great Los Angeles galas of 2012 (photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Race to Erase MS) 

Sixth photo: Twice Tony-winning Sutton Foster delivered her cabaret act for gala-goers at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts Candlelight Concert, one of the great Los Angeles galas of 2012 (photo: Doug Gifford, courtesy of Segerstrom Center for the Arts) 



Inside the Director’s Room; Outside w/Gene Simmons of KISS: All at Opening Day at Santa Anita

Judd Apatow’s THIS IS 40 Premieres with Leslie Mann, Paul Rudd and Maude Apatow 

Lisa Kudrow Presents WIN Award to Maria Arena Bell of “Young and Restless”

ANYTHING GOES Greeted with Enthusiasm, Opening Night at the Ahmanson Theatre

Reese Witherspoon, Conan O’Brien, Zoe Saldana, Trey Thompkins & More Celebrate Teens Who Beat the Odds

Let the Kids Grow Holiday Gala Honors Dwight Howard, Romeo Miller, KPWR’s Big Boy and More  

Makeup Artists and Costume Designers Catch Up with an Idol, at “A Conversation With Edith Head”


Great Los Angeles Galas of 2012

Published Dec. 31, 2012 – Ellen Olivier, Society News LA