Famed Beverly Hills Courier columnist George Christy gives you an insider's peek into Hollywood's A-list parties and personalities.
“I can take care of that,” offered Barry Manilow when the Los Angeles County High School of the Arts that serves our talented youths in Los Angeles was without much-needed musical instruments for its classes. He immediately donated half a million dollars for new instruments that now accommodate thousands of students. We discovered this during the jubilant evening of the Arts High Foundation’s gala at the sold-out Ahmanson Theatre when the LACHSA celebrated its 25th anniversary to a rapt audience, raising more than $600,000.
From the prologue of the LACHSA students harmonizing and high-stepping to the Jellicle number from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s long-running Broadway musical, Cats, we anticipated a pumped-up show. Right on we were, with celebrated artists performing, and cloudbursts of applause following Barry’s blow-out finale, after he sang his signature songs, It’s a Miracle, and One Voice. Our BH Courier’s Marcia Wilson Hobbs, who presides over the fundraising Arts High Foundation, informed that Barry also entertained during LACHSA’s first graduation class –“he’s incredibly loyal and supportive.”
The evening’s first Champion of Arts Education honored philanthropist Flora Thornton, who was introduced by opera star Marilyn Horne in a personal musical tribute. Video accolades followed, with tenor Dominic Domingo (guess who his grandfather is?) and soprano Julie Adams performing in Flora’s honor.