Malibu Seen: Top Parties of the Year

Malibu’s Mel Brooks celebrates his Lifetime Achievement Award at the American Film Institute 

There were good causes all around these past 12 months, so you can be sure that Malibuites will be ringing in the New Year in style. But before we wipe the slate perfectly clean, let’s look back at 2013. 

It’s good to be Mel

It was a starry, starry night as comic icon Mel Brooks was honored by the American Cinematheque with its Life Achievement Award. If you are an MB fan, this one was better than landing a ticket to the Governor’s Ball. Among the 1,000 guests who gathered to pay tribute to the longtime local were famous faces and funnymen like Conan O’Brien, Billy Crystal, James L. Brooks, Sacha Baron Cohen, Morgan Freeman and Dustin Hoffman. The evening was a head turner to say the least. There were accolades from Clint Eastwood, Woody Allen and George Lucas, and the list goes on. 

Widescreens featured memorable moments from “Blazing Saddles,” “The Producers,” “High Anxiety” and “Young Frankenstein” while the entertainment world saluted Brooks’ impressive career. 

Past Life Achievement Award recipients Robert De Niro and Morgan Freeman marveled at MB’s whacky sense of humor. Mel’s influence on generations of comedians was lauded by Jimmy Kimmel, Conan O’Brien, Amy Poehler, Sarah Silverman, Matthew Broderick, Whoopi Goldberg and Nathan Lane. The show concluded with AFI alumnus Martin Scorsese handing the 41st AFI Life Achievement Award to Brooks for his mastery as a filmmaker and director. 

Out of this world

When it comes to putting on a stellar, Oscar-worthy production, the folks at the California Science Center know how to knock it out of the park or, perhaps, the stratosphere. Think of it as science meets sensational, education meets incredible. After the outpouring of emotion and enthusiasm throughout the entire city of Los Angeles, could there be a bigger superstar than the one, the only, the Space Shuttle Endeavour? To say the very least, this 15th annual gala was a blast! Talk about a star trek! 

The 850 oh-so-chic guests, including Malibu’s top California Science Center supporters Cheryl and Bill Chadwick, were among the lucky few who embarked on a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

The evening began with Judy Jetson-clad servers in mod-minis and go-go boots dishing out creamy leak tarts and first class canapés. Before boarding, we had a chance to preview “Mission 26: The Big Endeavour,” a spectacular photographic exhibition will be a delight to those of all ages. Then, the jet-set ground crew, complete with airport flashlights, directed us to dinner. 

We followed their path to the grand hangar where we approached the awesome beauty of one of the world’s most famous starships. We entered to the sounds of a supersonic ’60s style crooner belting out appropriate hits like “Fly Me to the Moon,” “Come Fly With Me” and “I’ve Got the World on a String.” 

As we headed into the hangar, we got our first glimpse of the Endeavour in all its majesty. At the appointed hour there was a rumble … a roar … and we were off. 

Dining under the wings of the shuttle, we were so close you could almost touch its famous tiles. It was an experience that could make your heart sing or, as Sinatra might say, “Hear the angels cheer.” 

A dazzling decade at Disney Hall

It was an evening of magic at Disney Hall, marking a glorious ten-year success story and a cultural turning point for the City of Angels. Even if Walt and Lillian Disney weren’t around to share in the 10th anniversary opening night festivities, they most certainly were there in spirit. 

Opening night was a celebration of music and merriment crowned by Frank Gehry’s spectacular architectural masterpiece that transformed the cultural landscape of Los Angeles. 

A long list of locals like actress Jane Seymour, philanthropists Eli and Edye Broad and music lovers Marc and Eva Stern put on their black tie best and made “The Seen.” Other famous faces included the legendary Julie Andrews, comic king Albert Brooks, hit maker Burt Bacharach, “Star Trek’s” William Shatner, Oscar award-winner Jane Fonda and power couples like Michael and Jane Eisner. 

Conductor Gustavo Dudamel, often a man of few words, thanked Gehry and all the LA Phil supporters saying, “Bravo for this wonderful place and an amazing journey.” 

Walk this way

Fans dashed to this year’s opening night of the Hollywood Bowl as a host of famous musicians and singers were inducted into the Hall of Fame. The Bowl ushered in its 92nd season with the 14th Annual Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame. This year’s star-studded lineup included Hall of Fame inductees Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, songbird Patti Austin and Grammy-winning singer John Legend. 

The prestigious presenters and hosts included talk show host Arsenio Hall, actor and musician Darren Criss, Peter Fonda, the one-and-only Stevie Wonder and acclaimed actress Angela Bassett. 

The evening went out with a bang when Tyler belted out his hit “Walk this Way” and fireworks lit up the night sky. 

Laugh-In all the way 

High spirits soared as Pepperdine University honored legendary TV producer George Schlatter at one groovy gala at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills. “Still Laugh-In: A Toast to George Schlatter” was hosted by Pepperdine’s Center for Entertainment, Media and Culture. 

The theater was filled with locals and legends including Shirley MacLaine, Kirk Douglas, Billy Crystal and Jerry Weintraub, as well as lots of famous “sock-it-to-me” faces like Lily Tomlin, Arte Johnson, Goldie Hawn and Tim Conway. It benefitted a growing and impressive Pepperdine library. 

One Pepperdine official summed it all up saying, “There is so much talent here in Malibu. We are creating an environment for them to connect with the community.” 

In all, millions were raised to help build and dream. 

Let’s hope for the same in 2014.