Last night's star-studded event at the Geffen Playhouse and the pre-show host committee dinner at Los Angeles' The Backyard restaurant grossed over $1 million for the Geffen Playhouse's education, outreach and artistic initiatives. The fundraiser, honoring Hollywood legend Carol Burnett and Chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment Jim Gianopulos, was co-chaired by Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company Robert A. Iger and his wife, journalist Willow Bay.
Entertainment icon Dick Van Dyke presented the Distinction in Theater Award to Ms. Burnett and award-winning actor Warren Beatty presented the Distinction in Service Award to Mr. Gianopulos; the evening was hosted by Emmy Award winning actress Jane Lynch. In addition to the award presentations, the irreverent evening of laughter, music and stories featured personal "backstage" stories or songs by stars of the stage and screen including Beth Behrs, Annette Bening, Dana Delany, Andy Garcia, Monica Mancini, Joe Mantegna, Helen Mirren, Matthew Morrison, Arturo Sandoval and Bruce Vilanch.
Check out photos of all the stars at the event below!
The Geffen Playhouse's annual event raises funds for Geffen's Stage for Any Age programs, which help bring the excitement of live theater to 20,000 families and community members each year. The proceeds from Backstage at the Geffen help underwrite low ticket admissions to Saturday Scene, the popular theater performances for children; fully support the Geffen School Tours Program that takes theater to participating elementary and middle-schools that have little or no resources for the performing arts; and benefit CREATE (Community Representatives Engaged in Active Theater Education), a season-long, interactive exploration and analysis of live theater for community and social service groups, deemed a model program by the City of Los Angeles.
The Geffen Playhouse has been a hub of the Los Angeles theater scene since opening its doors in 1995. Noted for its intimacy and celebrated for its world-renowned mix of classic and contemporary plays, provocative new works and second productions, the Geffen Playhouse continues to present a body of work that has garnered national recognition. Named in honor of entertainment mogul and philanthropist David Geffen, who made the initial donation to the theater, the company is was founded by Gilbert Cates, and is currently helmed by Artistic Director Randall Arney, Managing Director Ken Novice and Chairman of the Board Frank Mancuso. Proudly associated with UCLA, the Geffen Playhouse welcomes an audience of more than 130,000 each year, and maintains an extensive education and outreach program, designed to engage young people and the community at large in the arts. For more information, visit GeffenPlayhouse.com.