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LACMA's Venetian Affair

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson were among guests at the black tie ball feting the opening of Los Angeles Country Museum of Art’s new Resnick Exhibition Pavilion.

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Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson excepted, the bona fide movie stars may have been few and far between at the black tie masked ball celebrating the opening of Los Angeles Country Museum of Art’s (LACMA) new Resnick Exhibition Pavilion Saturday night, but who needs actors when the real power players are the ones paying for their $10,000 a plate dinners? (There were 1,000 guests in attendance, do the math…) That crowd included gala host committee members Shelli Azoff, David Bohnett, Eva Chow, David Geffen, Wendy Goldberg, Bobby Kotick, Michael Milken, Jane Nathanson, Carole Bayer Sager, Terry Semel and Florence Sloan, plus board members Les Moonves and Julie Chen, Robert Iger and Willow Bay, Joel Silver, Brian Grazer, Sherry Lansing, Roma Downey and Mark Burnett and David Foster.

 

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Between all the movie and television brass in attendance, there wasn’t that much room for actors. That didn’t stop reality ubiquitors Kim Kardashian and Nicole Richie from getting gussied up and showing up, and James Franco and Don Cheadle lent some thesp cred to the crowd. Up and coming Disney blockbuster talent Chris Hemsworth (“Thor”) and Olivia Wilde (“Tron”) were Iger’s guests, while John Baldessari, Ed Ruscha and Catherine Opie represented the artist contingent.

 

Guests mingled in the Renzo Piano-designed space for cocktails, then moved into an acre-wide tent designed as a trompe l’oeil Venetian piazza complete with frescoes projected onto the ceiling and columns on the walls (“It looks like Las Vegas,” marveled Wilde, which probably was not the intended reaction). Christina Aguilera serenaded the crowd with “Beautiful” and “Fighter” before they moved outside to the after-party for a Chapin Sisters performance. The separately-invited after-hours crew was more mini-skirted hipster than black-tie ballgown, including Katerina Graham, Gillian Zinser, Tracee Ellis Ross and Jenni Kayne, plus Giovanni Ribisi and PC Valmorbida.

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