The Best Los Angeles Scenes of Spring 2015


Elton John, David Furnish, George Lucas and Mellody Hobson were the honorees of this year’s intimate Backstage at the Geffen benefit, an affair that raised a record-breaking $1.5 million for the theater’s education, outreach and artistic initiatives. The evening included “backstage” memories and musical performances by stars of the stage and screen including Anjelica Huston, Samuel L. Jackson, Beau Bridges and Geffen Playhouse artistic director Randall Arney. Castle star Nathan Fillion served as the event’s Master of Ceremonies, presiding over a program that included performances from Lady Gaga, violin virtuoso Lee England, Jr., and a hip-hop version of Swan Lake. Guests arrived at the event by 2015 Audi R8 V10 Carbon Spyders and were then treated to featured cocktails and wines from The House of Remy Martin portfolio, including LOUIS XIII cognac and Piper-Heidsieck Champagne.


This is how it ends: with a bang, not a whimper. The ending we’re referring to, of course, is that of Mad Men, which celebrated its series finale with a glamorous black-and-red-themed ball downtown. Before a screening of the final season’s premiere episode, the cast and crew gathered onstage at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion to take a bow and celebrate the show. Stars in attendance included Jon Hamm, January Jones, Christina Hendricks, John Slattery, Vincent Kartheiser and Kiernan Shipka, as well as creator Matthew Weiner, costume designer Janie Bryant and AMC president Charlie Collier; noticeably absent was Elisabeth Moss, who was in New York for her Broadway show, The Heidi Chronicles. After the screening, guests celebrated at the four-story Pavilion for an art-decoish kickoff party set to live music from the Avalon Jazz Band and late-night tunes from DJ Myles Hendrick.


The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) celebrated its 50th anniversary on April 18th with a special fundraising gala co-chaired by trustees Ann Colgin, Jane Nathanson, and Lynda Resnick. The evening welcomed approximately 750 guests including Brian Grazer, Brad Grey, Bryan Lourd, Jamie McCourt, Will Ferrell, Ryan Seacrest, Terry Semel, Doug Aitken, Steven Tisch, Barbra Streisand, Jim Carrey, Naomi Watts, Jimmy Iovine, Liev Schreiber and Dustin Hoffman raised $5 million, the proceeds of which will benefit the museum’s programming and acquisitions. The evening, sponsored by Christie’s, included a champagne reception with Krug Grande Cuvée, a dinner prepared by Patina’s Joachim Splichal and a live performance by Seal.


The third annual Westime Charity Poker Tournament raised more than $1 million in support of the national After-School All-Stars (ASAS) charity on April 25th. The charity, which provides afterschool programs for underserved youth, held the event at the home of founder Arnold Schwarzenegger, and was hosted by the former California governor as well as Westime CEO John Simonian. Throughout the evening, the guests, who included Don Cheadle, Joe Manganiello, Annie Duke and Patrick Schwarzenegger, enjoyed an ever-changing lineup of entertainment—from wine and spirit tastings, to casino-style games, to live and silent auctions. By night’s end, guests had generously donated $1,002,850 for the ASAS cause.