Her songs are iconic, going back decades. From the early ‘60s and the Supremes years—”You Can’t Hurry Love”—to the wild disco daze of “Upside Down” and “I’m Coming Out.”
The evening started out at sunset, where man about town Jerry Kattell was enjoying the specialty cocktail, a refreshing frosé made with summer rosé, as well as small bites of mint and lamb kebabs while catching up with his longtime pals.
It was a perfect startup for an amazing summer of incredible music and visual entertainment.
The famously squishy boxes were festooned with orchids and the stage was awash with white hydrangeas and roses—what better setting for a diva in all her glory?
For starters, A-list guests tucked into a gourmet diner of Farro salad with fresh summer radishes and green goddess dressing, chicken with succotash salsa and vanilla cheesecake with assorted berries.
The festive program began with Principal Conductor Thomas Wilkins leading the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra in Bernstein’s rousing composition “Slava!” This was followed by the performance of John Williams’ “Adventures on Earth” from “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial,” and a video montage showcasing the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s educational initiatives was shown on the bowl’s big side screens.
As the stars came out Gustavo Dudamel’s YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles) took the stage. The Dude’s pet project has grown by leaps and bounds to provide access to free, high quality instrumental and orchestral education to underserved youth in the area in order to promote youth development.
Next it was time for the main event. Diana entered the stage in ultra-diva mode dazzling with a crystal encrusted gown and glitz galore, a majestic feather coat in big bird yellow—every inch pop royalty.
Her gussied-up guests included dancer Debbie Allen, Veridine White of Earth, Wind and Fire, super model Heidi Klum, Lee Daniels, Tracee Ellis Ross, Evan Ross and Ashlee Simpson.
Diana promised them an evening of music, memories and fireworks—and she delivered. Divine Ms. Ross went on to sing fan favorites from her vast catalogue of hits, such as “He Lives in You,” “More Today than Yesterday,” and “You Can’t Hurry Love.” She was joined by a full choir for “If We Hold On Together,” and continued with “Chain Reaction,” “It’s My Turn,” “It’s My House,” “Touch Me in The Morning,” “Amazing Grace,” “Fine and Mellow,” “The Man I Love,” “Home,” and “Upside Down.” She went on to a medley of “Do You Know” from “Mahogany” and “Ain’t No Mountain.” For her encore she picked “Reach Out and Touch,” which earned her a standing ovation.
The spectacular evening ended with a blast: a mesmerizing fireworks show. It was the perfect way to celebrate $1.75 million raised to keep the music going on for years to come.