There’s something new on view at the Los Angeles Zoo. That’s where you’ll find African elephants Billy, Tina and Jewel and their new $42 million dollar habitat. Hundreds of zoo lovers took a walk on the wild side at the really big opening night celebration.
Party animals like Malibu’s Holly Robinson Peete and music man Gavin Rossdale were on the prowl feasting on delicacies like root vegetable curry and sweet lobster with Mandarin and oyster sauce. Dozens of kids from Matthew McConaughy’s J. K. Livin’ Foundation after-school program joined in the fun. The splashy bash featured the sights, sounds and flavors of Asia with performers from India, Cambodia, Thailand and China.
Zoogoers got an education in elephant 101. They learned that the magnificent creatures once roamed Asia and Africa in sizable herds, but due to habitat loss and poaching, their numbers have dwindled to just 35,000. The new 3.8-acre environment features grassy hills, swimming pools and a waterfall, as well as a two-story barn with heated floors.
Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association President Connie Morgan had words of praise for Billy, Tina and Jewel’s new spread, calling it “a magnificent habitat where elephants receive exceptional care. It enhances the Los Angeles Zoo’s role as a global leader in educating children and adults about the crucial need for conservation of the species.”
FROM THE HEART
Song and dance man Ben Vereen made the scene at the Mark Taper Forum for the opening night party celebrating a whole lot of Lithgow. Actor John Lithgow was the center of attention after delighting crowds with his one-man show “Stories by Heart.” The versatile acting vet pulled up a chair and performed a series of short stories that he says influenced his impressive career. Comedian Sarah Silverman and TV’s Robert Wuhl were among those on hand to congratulate Lithgow backstage. You’ll find the Golden Globe winner sharing his stellar stories through Feb. 13.
AND SOME ART
The Barker Hangar will be bopping this week as culture vultures gather for Art Los Angeles Contemporary. They’ll get dialed in on the international art scene as 70 top galleries showcase their works. Exhibitors include everyone from the Ace Gallery in Los Angeles to Galerie Jette Rudolph from Berlin. The art action has been nonstop for collectors, curators and the curious who’ve made the rounds as part of L.A. Arts Month. January kicked off with shutterbugs checking out photo l.a. They marveled at artists on the cutting edge at artLA and eyed the classics at the Los Angeles Art Show. Art Los Angeles Contemporary is the perfect topper for aficionados near and far. The show runs through Jan 30.