From a jammin’ celebration at the Malibu Inn to swelligant shindigs at Broad Beach, Malibu rang in the new year with enthusiasm and style. As we say hello to 2005, let’s make one last toast to the many memorable fêtes of 2004.
PULLING OUT ALL THE STOPS
Frank Gehry’s spectacular 6,134-pipe organ made its awesome debut at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Martin Short, Ed Asner, Tyne Daly and Dana Delany were among the music fans attending the glittering opening night bash for the L.A. Phil. After a lively VIP cocktail bash, we settled in for a program featuring six talented ivory ticklers playing six pianos. It all wrapped up with a rousing rendition of Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever,” followed by a shower of shimmering gold confetti, a gourmet dinner and dancing under the stars. Bravo!
Fashionistas gathered at the Barker Hangar for the annual Macy’s Passport gala. The wild night of style featured everything from exotic pole dancers to feathered samba prancers, to beefy hunks in trunks. Celebs did their turn on the catwalk as well, showing off fall togs from Michael Kors, Anna Sui, ABS and INC.
WET AND WILD
A steady downpour couldn’t dampen the spirits at this year’s Dolphin Ball. Hundreds of elegantly clad guests gathered on grounds of the Saddlerock Vineyards where they were greeted by Italian minstrels cranking out standards like “O Solo Mio” and “Arrivederci Roma.” “General Hospital” soap queen Jackie Zeman served as the evening’s mistress of ceremonies.
Longtime local Laure Stern was honored with this year’s Champion of Kids Award. Co-honoree Robyn Gibson was feeling under the weather, but sent “Braveheart” hubby Mel Gibson to accept the award in her place.
It looked like the Academy Awards in October as half of Hollywood turned out to honor legendary actress Meryl Streep at the Kodak Theater. AFI fêted Ms. Meryl with its 32nd Annual Life Achievement Award.
The evening got off on a high note as funnyman Jim Carrey serenaded the actress with an off-key rendition of “Simply the Best.”
The accolades kept coming from co-stars like Kurt Russell, Jack Nicholson, Robert De Niro, Clint Eastwood and Shirley MacLaine. Nicholson even missed a Lakers game for the gala. Talk about true love!
ARE YOU TRUFFLE-ING WITH ME?
Truffle lovers were in hog heaven as Jane Seymour and hubby James Keach opened the doors to their spectacular ocean-view home to benefit City Hearts. After a hopping Champagne and caviar reception, fungus fans settled into an evening of entertainment and four-course feast. The culinary lineup featured fresh lobster cocktail with truffles, venison with truffles and a decadent dessert made with the sensational taste of truffles. Yummy!
Italy was the place to be in early September. Malibuites were out in force for the annual Venice Film Festival. Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg made the rounds, promoting their most recent flick “The Terminal.” Other fab festivalgoers included Tom Cruise and “Collateral” co-star Jada Pinkett Smith. Capt. John Travolta buzzed in on his very own plane, while boyish Brit Jude Law had the girls agog and blonde beauty Scarlett Johansson seemed to be everywhere.
It all wrapped up in grand style on the Grand Canal with a series of splashy bashes and an advance screening of “Shark Tale” at Piazza San Marco.
The star-studded film festival wasn’t the only game in town. Historians, high rollers and other VIPs descended on the city for the glorious Save Venice gala. The lively week-long event combines art, education, glitz and glamour and raises badly needed funds to preserve and restore the city’s greatest treasures.
Longtime locals Laurel and Walter Karabian sponsored a delectable luncheon at the Armenian Monastery on the island of San Lazzaro, Count and Countessa Pisana Deciani hosted a wonderful afternoon at their private Villa and Francis Keeping serenaded appreciative fans at the Granai.
It all wrapped up with an exquisite black-tie ball amid a sea of candlelit Venetian chandeliers, 18th century gilt mirrors and Tiepolo frescos at Palazzo Pisani Moretta. Magnifico!
STARRY, STARRY NIGHTS
There were lights, cameras, and plenty of action as the stars came out for the opening night of the Hollywood Bowl and its annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony. This year’s honorees spanned the musical spectrum from classical violinist Sarah Chang to movie maestro Henry Mancini to legendary Beach Boy Brian Wilson. Chang played up a storm, dapper Andy Williams give it his all with “Moon River,” Brian Wilson took us down memory lane with “I Get Around.” The evening ended on a high note with a dazzling pyrotechnic display lighting up the night sky.
BROADWAY TO L.A.
It was one singular sensation at the Century Plaza hotel as Hollywood turned out to toast NYU and its Tisch School of the Arts. Tisch grads like Cameron Manheim and Debra Messing tipped their hats to the evening’s honorees while a chorus line of talented Tisch students provided a musical program, which included a selection of catchy Broadway tunes. But the big show stopper came at the very end with an hour of nonstop laughs from Jerry Seinfeld. Sweet!
Hollywood’s biggest names put on their glitter and boogie shoes for the ever-groovy “Race to Erase MS” fundraiser. This year’s theme was glam rock and it gave everyone a reason to get creative. The VIPS went all out in leather, lace, boots and plenty of bling. The ballroom of the Century Plaza was transformed into a rock stage, complete with oversized neon guitar and gigantic red lips and kisses. The festive affair ended with performances by rocker David Lee Roth and songbird Cindy Lauper. Right on!