Attracting more than 1,000 people and raising nearly $5 million, the Sept. 25 "Unmasking" of the Lynda and Stewart Resnick Exhibition Pavilion at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art brought together some of L.A.'s most prominent faces from finance, real estate, entertainment and art. "It's so joyful — we gave a party and everybody came," said Wendy Goldberg, host committee member, along with Jane Nathanson, Shelli Azoff, David Bohnett, Eva Chow, David Geffen, Michael Milken, Carole Bayer Sager, Terry Semel, Florence Sloan and Bobby Kotick.
"Wow," said Tom Hanks, "and you can quote me."
Mexico's First Lady Margarita Zavala, Edythe and Eli Broad, Les Moonves and Julie Chen, Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, Brigitte and Donald Bren, Brian Grazer with Chau-Giang Thi Nguyen, Joe Wender and Ann Colgin, Selim Zilkha and Mary Hayley, Sherry Lansing and William Friedkin, Barbara Davis, Kelly Day, Wendy Stark Morrissey, Billie Weisman and Arianna Huffington, among others.
Never mind that the Puck-Lazaroff Foundation's "American Wine & Food Festival" took place the same night. Arriving with artist John Baldessari, Wolfgang Puck's wife Gelila said, "Of course I had to be here."
Arts supporters, such as Sydney Picasso and Xavier Guerrand-Hermes, flew in for the occasion.
On arrival, guests navigated past a Victorian-clad chorus and a harlequin atop a gold ball, juggling. Inside the pavilion, architect Renzo Piano suggested people come back during the day. "That's part of the game, the light," he said.
Museum Chief Executive Michael Govan welcomed guests, before the Canadian Tenors ascended a revolving stage to sing "Hallelujah." Christina Aguilera headlined the show, ending in faux-fireworks, projected overhead, and smoke billowing up from the floor.
LA Opera gala
In keeping with "Il Postino," which premiered at the LA Opera Sept. 23, gala chair Mary Hayley gave the Music Center Plaza the ambiance of a fishing village. Smoke filled the air, as chefs grilled filets of John Dory from Italy.
The night celebrated more than the start of the opera's 25th season. Music Center CEO Stephen Rountree announced the naming of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion's Grand Hall for Eva and Marc Stern, whose cumulative gifts to the Music Center have been second only to the Disney family. Marc Stern is chief executive of the TCW Group.
The opera's general director, Placido Domingo, lauded Marc Stern, who — as board chairman — encouraged him "to dream bigger and bigger," he said.
The ceremonies remained just long enough for Stern to express gratitude for the success he and Eva have had in their lives together. "The blessing, the honor, is that we've been able to give back with joy and pleasure to the things we care about," he said.
Daniel Catan, the opera's composer, and conductor Grant Gershon celebrated, along with honorary chairs Milena and Milan Panic, Ed and Alicia Clark, Barbara Teichert. Gordon Getty, Lauren Leichtman and Arthur Levine, Carol and Warner Henry, Carla and Fred Sands, Constance and John Gavin, and Kathy and Frank Baxter.
For more coverage of the opening of the Resnick Pavilion at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, please see Sunday Calendar.