Malibu Seen

Bradley Whitford and Jane Kaczmarek take a walk on the wild side at the 37th annual Beastly Ball. Photo by Jamie Pham


Adventure seekers including Bradley Whitford and Jane Kaczmarek heard the call of the wild at the Los Angeles Zoo’s annual Beastly Ball. Modern day Dr. Livingstons put on their safari best and headed out to Griffith Park’s Upper Africa region. The playful party animals were greeted by a troop of well-informed zookeepers and a menagerie of creatures great and small.

While the hippos enjoyed a meal of whole fruits and veggies, humans hit any number of food stands manned by some of the city’s finest eateries. Campanile served up a refreshing tuna ceviche with cucumber, avocado, cilantro and lime. Bistro 45 had a delish dish of smoked Scottish salmon with organic fennel salad. Typhoon piled on the Korean glass noodles and shredded Mongolian beef, while Celestino cooked up savory spoonfuls of pumpkin tortellini with sage.

Music was in the air and there was no shortage of different drummers to dance to. Tropical Punch, Masanga Marimba, and Kenny Hudson and World Beat were just a few of the steel drum, calypso and African bands on hand to create a little jungle jive.

Between sipping and snacking, guests plunked down bids on everything from Caribbean getaways to pet portraits, tours of the Playboy Mansion to a day with your very own celebrity stylist.

The hungry hoards soon made their way up to the plaza level, where the tables were done up in shades of amethyst and sapphire and topped with tropical blooms and plush animal toys.

Chris Gifford and Valerie Walsh, the creators of the Nickelodeon show “Go, Diego Go,” were honored for teaching kids how to appreciate their furry, finned and feathered friends. And animal ambassador Betty White was on hand to offer her personal thanks.

As the stars came out, Christie’s Andrea Fiuczynski pulled in the bucks auctioning off high-end must-haves like a 12-day African safari and the chance to name a new baby gorilla.

The beastly bunch then worked off those calories by boogeying under the stars. The animal encounter raised a record-breaking $1.2 million for the zoo’s conservation, research and education programs.


Across town, Barbara Lazaroff, Suzane Hughes and Carol Connors were having a roaring good time of their own. They gathered at the Tag Gallery in Santa Monica to check out the latest offerings of animal prints created by shutterbug Cheryl Medow. The exhibit featured a collection of majestic photos that were taken during Cheryl’s travels to Kenya and Costa Rica.

“My passion to observe wondrous creatures-whether in my backyard, or Europe, or Africa or Central America-continues to educate and delight me,” the artist said. “Photographing animals in their native habitat is a powerful reminder to me of the interconnection we have to all creatures.”

Cheryl was so moved by her journeys that she plans to make return visits to both countries as well as a trek to Tanzania. Other examples of Cheryl’s work, including her award-winning “Great Egret,” can be seen at the Canyon Gallery in Topanga through

July 28.

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