REDCAT Gala With Emcee Jack Black

Jack Black, Tim Allen, Lari Pittman Pay Tribute to Disney and Catherine Opie at REDCAT Gala


As Jack Black mingled with patrons during the reception at the Mar. 16 REDCAT Gala, I had the fun opportunity to chat with the multi-talented and genial star of “Bernie,” “School of Rock” and “Kung Fu Panda,” among other films.

There with his wife, CalArts alum Tanya Haden, Black said he had a scoop for me – that he was retiring from films, in favor of a life in the arts.

“Opera?” I asked. “Opera,” he replied thoughtfully, adding “interpretative dance” to his imagined future life. Clearly, Black was joking – as he did throughout dinner about his interpretative dance skills and other topics – as the REDCAT Gala’s good-humored emcee.

“What’s more important than the arts?” Black asked after ascending the podium. “What is life without art?” he continued, adding, “Not worth living. Am I right?”

After thanking patrons for their generosity, “for giving until it hurts,” Black said, “You actually owe more.” Naming the grilled cheese hors d’oeuvres with the “yummy jam on top” and the decorative metallic chunks on the table, which he called “meteorites, rocks, chunklets from Russia” he called the night, “more than a bargain already.”

The elegant high-value evening honored artist Catherine Opie and the Walt Disney Company, represented by Walt Disney Studios president Alan Bergman.

Artist Lari Pittman and Tim Allen of “Last Man Standing,” “Home Improvement” and “The Santa Clause” films did the presenting, and acclaimed performance artist Cynthia Hopkins sang two songs, complete with audience-participation bird sounds and wolf howls. (Strange-sounding perhaps for a high-end soiree, but then REDCAT, after all, is about creative, cutting edge art. REDCAT doesn’t present standard fare.)

To read more details of the gala, which celebrated the tenth anniversary of the Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theater, click here for my Los Angeles Times REDCAT Gala story in the online “Culture Monster” section.

To read what REDCAT executive director Michael Murphy had to say about the choice of Jack Black  as emcee, click here for my Los Angeles spring social scene story in the online “All the Rage” section, which talks about all the fresh and original social events coming up in Los Angeles this spring.

More speakers were CalArts president Steven Lavine, REDCAT executive director Mark Murphy and gallery director/ curator Ruth Estevez.

More entertainment came courtesy of Timur and the Dime Museum, who started the night with a “love song,” and Chris Holmes of Ashtar Command.

Architects Marcelo Spina and Georgina Hujich of P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S provided the décor, which included, among other space-age furnishings, the fun and inventive “meteorite/ chunklets” on the tables.

Neda Disney, Tim Disney, Cindy Grad and Richard Grad co-chaird the Gala.


Top photo:  The Roy and Edna Disney/ CalArts Theater, transformed for the evening into a ballroom, for the REDCAT Gala with emcee Jack Black (photo: Stefanie Keenan)

Second photo: Artist Lari Pittman delivered the tribute to his fellow artist, honoree Catherine Opie at the REDCAT Gala with emcee Jack Black (photo: Stefanie Keenan)

Third photo: From left, CalArts president Steven Lavine; Walt Disney Studios president Alan Bergman; Tim Allen of “Last Man Standing” and REDCAT executive director Mark Murphy at the REDCAT Gala with emcee Jack Black  (photo: Stefanie Keenan)

Fourth photo: Artist Cynthia Hopkins played the accordion, while singing a bird song and tenth birthday tribute at the REDCAT Gala with emcee Jack Black (photo: Stefanie Keenan)

Fifth photo: Marcelo Spina and Georgina Hujich of P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S provided the décor at the REDCAT Gala with emcee Jack Black (photo: Stefanie Keenan)



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REDCAT Gala With Emcee Jack Black

Published Mar. 18, 2013 – Ellen Olivier, Society News LA