Wallis Annenberg Center Inaugural Gala
The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills opened Oct. 17 with a “Grand Inaugural Gala,” co-chaired by Wallis Annenberg and Jamie Tisch and sponsored by Salvatore Ferragamo.
Grand was the perfect word for Gala, which included cocktails, a show in the new theater, an impressive dinner and performances all through the night. Readers can find my story in the Los Angeles Times here, along with a photo gallery of the stars. A few more thoughts follow, along with more pictures of the stars and supporters of the “Wallis.”
Even in wear-what-you-like Los Angeles – and despite the affair taking place on a Thursday night – most women chose long gowns, enough of them having trains to force guests to tread carefully, which was no small task – considering there were 1,000 guests and staircases to navigate, too.
The honorary co-chairs – Brad Pitt and Robert Redford – didn’t show, so Tisch neatly explained their absence away. “Brad is fighting zombies somewhere and Robert is lost at sea,” she said, referring to their latest movies.
The gala attracted a galaxy of stars nonetheless, including Charlize Theron, Jodie Foster, Joe Jonas, Chord Overstreet, Gwen Stefani, Gavin Rossdale, Demi Moore, Evangeline Lilly, Amy Adams, Darren Le Gallo, Josh Duhamel, Nicole Richie, Freida Pinto, Dev Patel, Courteney Cox, Dita Von Teese, Kevin Spacey, John Lithgow, Diane Lane, Geena Davis, Paz Vega, Camilla Belle, Angela Lindvall and more.
As I’d met the Jonas Brothers at a previous event, it was fun to catch up with Joe Jonas – looking particularly debonair in Salvatore Ferragamo – during the cocktail hour. Jonas said he was looking forward to the coming season as he enjoys opera, ballet and the performing arts. (No stranger to the cultural arts, Joe Jonas appeared in Baz Luhrmann’s “La Boheme” on Broadway.)
No question, gala patrons were looking forward to the inaugural season.
Said Jerry Magnin, chairman of the board, from onstage during dinner: “Tonight has been a fantastic opening act, but this evening is just a preview, a glimpse behind the curtain of what’s in store.”
He then proposed a toast to Annenberg. “Wallis, here’s to you,” he said, as party-goers lifted their glasses.
Click here to see what’s on the Center’s schedule, and if the past is any judge, the future looks promising indeed. Two years ago, the Wallis presented perhaps the most beautiful costume show ever to be seen in Los Angeles: Il Teatro alla Moda, consisting of the haute couture costumes designed for the world of opera, theater and ballet.
Gala committee members were Colleen and Bradley Bell, Edythe and Eli Broad, Eva and Michael Chow, Lisa and Eric Eisner, Laurie and John Feltheimer, Kelly Lynch and Mitch Glazer, Cheryl and Ron Howard, Mary and David Martin, Jennifer Meyer and Tobey Maguire, Gelila and Wolfgang Puck, Katherine Ross and Michael Govan, Alexandra von Furstenberg and Dax Miller, Eric Butterbaugh, Eunice David, Larry Gagosian, Jacqui Getty, Liz Goldwyn, Sue Kroll, Kris Levine, Crystal Lourd, Peter Morton, Luanne Wells, Carolyn Powers, Cameron Silver, Michael Smith, Steve Tisch, Amber Valletta, Christina Zilber and Rachel Zoe.
Also celebrating the opening were Center supporters Betty and Fred Hayman, Judy Henning and Dick Rozensweig, Elaine and Bram Goldsmith, Vicki Reynolds and Murray Pepper, Susan and Peter Strauss, Jolene and George Schlatter, Lori and Michael Milken, Sandy and Barry Pressman, Linda and Jerry Janger, Sherry Lansing, Ron Burkle, Paula Kent Meehan and more. Speakers also included Ferruccio Ferragamo and Beverly Hills Mayer John Mirisch.
Top photo: From left, Wallis Annenberg, Debbie Allen, Kevin Spacey and Charlize Theron at the Wallis Annenberg Center Inaugural Gala (Photo by Jason Merritt/ Getty Images for Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts)
Second photo: Event co-chair Jamie Tisch at the Wallis Annenberg Center Inaugural Gala (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/ Getty Images for Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts)
Third photo: From left, Gwen Stefani, Jennifer Meyer, Courteney Cox and Nicole Richie at the Wallis Annenberg Center Inaugural Gala (Photo by Jason Merritt/ Getty Images for Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts)
Fourth photo: Jodie Foster, left, and Alexandra Hedison at the Wallis Annenberg Center Inaugural Gala (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/ Getty Images for Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts)
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Wallis Annenberg Center Inaugural Gala
Published Oct. 20, 2013 – Ellen Olivier, Society News LA