It was "Dancing with the Stars" all the way, at the Covenant With Youth Awards Gala at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Drew Lachey, season one winner of the hit TV show, hosted the event, which honored award-winning actor Andy Garcia, Smashbox CEO Dean Factor, and Escape Artists Producers Todd Black and Jason Blumenthal.
|Andy Garcia with his award from Covenant With Youth, and English Producer, Colin Callender|
Taking the lead, and dancing for his supper was John Cassese, L.A.'s renowned "Dance Doctor" who choreographed an exciting dance sequence performed by residents of Covenant House, and actress/performer Irene Cara (Fame).
Since 1988, Covenant House has opened its doors to more than 150,000 homeless youth. Their mission is to protect and safeguard all children of the street with absolute respect and unconditional love. A most noble cause indeed.
|Commander in Chief Women: Geena Davis, Polly Bergen, Caitlan Wachs, Jasmine Jessica Anthony|
Speaking of noble causes, gorgeous Geena Davis wears many hats. The Academy Award winning actress is a member of the genius society Mensa, and a trustee of the Women's Sports Foundation as well as a champion archer. She is also an advocate for women and girls, and founded the See Jane program. This organization is dedicated to balancing gender representation, and to increase the percentages of female characters and reduce stereotyping in media. As actor Donald Sutherland stated, "She thinks outside the box. Working with her, I wish that every Commander in Chief (the hit TV series, where she portrayed the first female President), would be so perceptively bestowed."
|Kevin Nealon (Saturday Night Live), Geena Davis, Natasha Henstridge and Chris Moon (USA Today)|
Some of the many celebs on hand to see Geena receive the Hollywood Hero Award from USA Today, included Adam Arkin, Natasha Henstridge, Mimi Rogers and Kevin Nealon, who said that Geena proved she was a hero on Saturday Night Live when she played Superwoman, and had to break through a brick wall! The 51 year old actress, who is the mother of three young children, accepted the award and stated, "A hero is not a term I would apply to myself, but I'm flattered."
Placido Domingo's musical talents were nurtured by his parents, Zarzuela stars from Madrid. In his teens he sang in the chorus of his family's zarzuela troop in Mexico, and he still remains a true lover and practitioner of this vocal genre.
|Placido & Marta Domingo|
One of my favorite events, the Placido Domingo Awards dinner will take place on Sunday, June 10th, immediately following the matinee of the zarzuela Luisa Fernando (Spanish Operetta sung in Spanish, with English subtitles). This dinner is an event in which the Maestro personally recognizes outstanding contributors to the opera. This year, Placido will star in the zarzuela, and then host this intimate dinner which is no mean feat for anyone. But leave it to Domingo - his energy and verve seems to increase every year.
|Alan Arkin & Peter Coyote|
President Dolores Elena Richardson, and Orlando Ortego are chairing the event for The Hispanics for the L.A. Opera. Proceeds are dedicated to the LA Opera Education and Community Programs, which reach over 150,000 school children each year. Package ticketing (performance and dinner) maybe obtained on line by visiting www.hispanicsforlaopera.org. This is your opportunity to hear the greatest tenor in the world performing his favorite music - and support the Opera at the same time. Fantastico event on the Hollywood Beat.