The tenth annual “Backstage at the Geffen” event on June 4, 2012 was a star-studded evening benefiting Geffen Playhouse’s educational, outreach and artistic initiatives.
One of L.A.’s funnest fundraisers for theater-lovers, the event honored multiple award-winning actress Carol Burnett with the “Distinction in Theater Award” and Jim Gianopoulos with the “In-Service Award.” Warren Beatty presented the prestigious award to co-Chairman and Chief Executive of Fox Films Entertainment.
Warren Beatty took the stage saluting his long-time friend Jim Gianopoulos introducing him along with his accomplishments, “a few blockbuster films” from Titanic and Avatar to Bulworth, the 1999 film for which Beatty was nominated an Oscar. Honoree Jim Gianopoulos accepted his award stating, “I love this night, I love this theater, and I love Gil Cates!”
Among other achievements, Gianopoulos serves on the National Entertainment Advisory Council for the Anti-Defamation League, on the Board and Executive Committee of the X-Prize Foundation and is a Trustee of Carnegie Mellon University.
The evening was hosted by Emmy award-winning actress Jane Lynch.
In addition to the award presentations, the irreverent evening of laughter, music and anecdotes featured personal “backstage” stories or songs by stars of both stage and screen including Beth Behrs, Annette Bening, Dana Delany, Andy Garcia, Monica Mancini, Joe Mantegna, Helen Mirren, Matthew Morrison, Arturo Sandoval and Bruce Vilanch.
The Geffen Playhouse event remains the most successful fundraiser to date — raising over $1 million to benefit arts education.