American Ballet Theatre Gala Review - Joy to the Animals, Too

We were delighted to attend the annual Holiday Benefit dinner at the Beverly Hilton, hosted by the American Ballet Theatre. This black tie event  featured a one-night only special performance by the world-renowned artists of the company, including Principal dancers Stella Abrera, Misty Copeland & Gillian Murphy dancing scenes from the Company’s repertoire, followed by a post performance dinner, & desert with the dancers!

MASH reunion with (L-R) Mike Farrell, Loretta Swit & Jamie Farr (Photo Credit - Matthew Fried)


It was so charming & intimate -- like having internationally acclaimed performers, at your own dinner party.  We particularly enjoyed Excerpts from The Nutcracker (in honor of the season), and Her Notes, with choreography by Jessica Lange. There is a shortage of female choreographers in ballet, and this was her first ballet for ABT. Even the musical score for this ballet has a feminine touch. The composer, Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, was the older sister of celebrated Felix Mendelssohn.

Lily Tomlin, Mrs. and Mr. Santa Claus & JoAnne Worley (Photo Credit - Matthew Fried)

The climax of the evening was The Pas d Deux from Romeo and Juliet. Can you imagine a more lovely Juliet than Misty Copeland, falling into the arms of her Romeo, Alexandre Hammoudi? She made history as the first African-American ballerina to be promoted to principal dancer with ABT. She certainly raised the barre in Ballet!

(L-R) Kevin McKenzie, Kara Medoff Barnett & Benjamin Millepied (Photo Credit - Vince Bucci)

Actors & Others for Animals, one of the oldest animal welfare organizations, celebrated their annual Joy to the Animals fundraiser. Awards were presented to Peter Marshall (Emmy Award winning Host of Hollywood Squares); George Pennacchio (Entertainment Reporter -- ABC Eyewitness News); and comedian Paula Poundstone. Paula quipped that she has 2 dogs, 14 cats & one ant, still alive from her ant farm!  Mash alumni, Jamie Farr, presented the Betty White Inspirational Award to his past co-star, Luscious Lips, Loretta Swit. The Emmy Award Actress is impassioned about animals, and has received numerous awards from Animal Protection organizations around the world.

Ballet Star Skylar Brandt performing in The Sleeping Beauty (Photo Credit - Vince Bucci)


Lovely Lady of Laughter, JoAnne Worley (Laugh-In) is President of the organization, and remarked what a joy it is to share our life with a rescue animal. Guess it is time for me to be rescued by an adorable doggie myself!

American Ballet Theatre - Romeo & Juliet (Photo Credit - Vince Bucci)

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