20

Oct

Starry, Starry Night for Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Opening Gala

Recently, I attended one of the L.A.’s most anticipated events: the star-studded inaugural gala of the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. The soiree hosted every celebrity from Demi Moore to Kevin Spacey and Gwen Stefani, and just about every legendry name in the 90210 ZIP code. I was honored to be among such a elegant gathering!

We all came to celebrate drama and culture, and indeed, that’s exactly what we got—right down to the dancers swaying on towering springs above us! As we waited for the opening night performances to begin in the center’s state-of-the-art Bram Goldsmith Theater, we mingled in the sculpture garden and promenade. And once I finally sat down inside the 500-seat theater? You wouldn’t believe the feeling I had when the curtain finally opened and revealed a bright Alice in Wonderland-like post office backdrop! What a thrill! I truly enjoyed every minute of the night…Terri White and the Postmen performing a tap dancing number… John Lithgow, Kevin Spacey and Diane Lane reading letters written by famous individuals who once passed through the Post Office doors… Grammy-winning violinist Hilary Hahn and dancer Lil Buck performing Camille Saint-Saens’ “The Swan”…and for the pièce de résistance, Paris Opera Ballet members Mathias Heymann and Myriam Ould-Braham performing “La Source” by Leo Delibes. To think performances of this caliber will now be happening right here in my very own community—it’s a luxury and a privilege that I know Beverly Hills families will enjoy for many years to come. Of course, the entertainment did not end there. Even as we sat down to dinner, we were serenaded by Italian tenor Vittorio Grigolo and treated to a live fashion show by Salvatore Ferragamo. For me, however, one of the evening’s most gratifying moments arrived when Beverly Hills Mayor John. A. Mirisch toasted Wallis Annenberg, who graciously donated $25 million to build the complex. It would not have been possible without her generosity, vision and commitment. With her help, she has brought a true gem to our city and tied a ceremonious “bow” around our city.

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