Wow – what an incredible evening at the inaugural gala for the brand new Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, sponsored by Salvatore Ferragamo — attended by absolutely the “who’s who” of Beverly Hills.
Thursday evening was truly one of the greatest nights in Beverly Hills history where 1000 guests were able to visit the center for the first time. My personal thanks goes to Wallis Annenberg, Bram Goldsmith and so many outstanding donors for their amazing generosity. The Center became a reality because of the vision of our brilliant Beverly Hills city leaders and the commitment of Board Chairman Jerry Magnin, Vicki Reynolds and so many others. The gala itself was chaired by Jamie Tisch. The inaugural performance was sensational.
Congratulations are in order to Zoltan Pali who designed our magnificent new structure and my dear friend David Phoenix who created the interior design of the theater. It was an unforgettable evening catered by Wolfgang Puck that included a sit-down dinner, a very glamorous art deco tent, a stunning fashion show, and romantic Italian areas.
One fascinating note is that this used to be the original Beverly Hills Post Office since the turn of the century. It’s an historic landmark that was considered a surplus property by the Post Office, sitting empty for almost 3 decades!
More on the Wallis Annenberg Center:
Located in the heart of Beverly Hills, The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts (The Wallis) officially opens its doors to the public in October 2013 with a dedication and a series of Galas, followed by programming beginning November 8 with the Martha Graham Dance Company. This new venue transforms a Beverly Hills city block, facing Santa Monica Boulevard, between Crescent and Canon Drives, into a vibrant new cultural destination with two distinct, elegant buildings: the historic 1933 Italianate-style Beverly Hills Post Office and the new, contemporary 500-seat, state-of-the-art Goldsmith Theater.
Together these two structures embrace the city’s history and future, creating a new cultural landmark. Within the treasured Post Office, existing spaces are re-imagined into the 150-seat Lovelace Studio Theater, a theater school for young people (opening in 2014), a café and gift shop. The Wallis, the first performing arts center to be built in Beverly Hills, will be a home for artists from around the world and audiences of every age.
For its Inaugural Season, The Wallis will produce and present outstanding theater, music and dance, as well as exciting programming for the family audience. The venue will also enhance the live theater experience through special exhibitions that will reveal another layer of meaning to a show or presentation.