An unforgettable night with No Doubt, Sia and Sarah Silverman at An Evening With Women benefit
Had just a splendid time at last night’s An Evening With Women event at The Hollywood Palladium where more than $700,000 was raised for the Los Angeles LGBT Center.
I’ll never forget dancing about 20 feet from the stage during the acoustic set by No Doubt which closed out the night. While the crowd kept to their seats during Sia’s set and a comedy routine by Sarah Silverman, everyone quickly left their seats to get closer to the stage to watch No Doubt perform Underneath It All, Simple Kind of Love, Magic’s In the Makeup, Don’t Speak and finally I’m just a Girl.
It was absolute magic and Gwen Stefani could not have been more engaging, more lovely. I think I love her.
Sia is such a wonderful performer even with the Cousin It wig covering her pretty face. She did take it off as she took her bow after she sang Elastic Heart and Chandelier during which she was joined onstage by dancer Denna Thomsen.
Sarah Silverman performed a standup comedy routine that was so edgy, so tasteless that I cannot share many of the jokes here. Okay, i’ll share her abortion joke and that’s it: ‘Abortion does literally kill your whole day … it literally sucks the life out of you.’
That was a milder one!
Silverman was fearless in her routine in front of an audience that included her boyfriend, actor Michael Sheen. She also participated in auctioning off a double date with comic Fortune Feimster and Glee star Chris Colfer and even shared a kiss with Feimster to help drive up the price.
The evening was hosted by NCIS star Pauley Perrette who was charming, as usual, and passionate in her support of the Los Angeles LGBT Center which she first visited nine years ago when she went there to pick up her friend’s HIV meds.
‘I’m so proud of our LGBT Center in Hollywood,’ she said. ‘I’m so proud to be a part of it.’
I’ve been attending the An Evening With Women event for nearly a decade and seen it grow into this stupendous can’t miss evening with superstar names. In past years I’ve seen Cyndi Lauper, Christina Aguilera, Wanda Sykes, Kathy Griffin, Margaret Cho, Courtney Love, Ozzy Osbourne, Aimee Mann, Courtney Love, Evan Rachel Wood, Gina Gershon and Milla Jovovich among others.
The event really ratcheted up several levels once rock producer Linda Perry and event producer Brent Bolthouse got involved in 2009. Perry made a surprise appearance at the event after taking a lower profile this year due to the recent birth of her first child with wife Sara Gilbert.
‘We’re grateful that we’ve moved into a national spotlight with this event this year,’ Bolthouse (pictured with co-chairs Annie Goto and Kelly Lynch) told the crowd. ‘I think we’ve taken it to a new level. We’ve moved from the back of the bus to the front of the bus.’
Among the other celebrities in attendance included Brandon Boyd, Peter Paige, Susan Feniger, Daniel Franzese, Kat Graham, Alex Newell, Omarosa Manigault, Jeff Probst, Jai Rodriquez, Ruby Rose and Constance Zimmer.
I was on the red carpet and chatted up some of the celebs in attendance including Looking star Daniel Franzese and the fabulous Fortune Feimster of Chelsea Lately fame.
‘You’re raising money for an amazing thing but you also get this incredible entertainment tonight,’ Feimster told me. ‘I love that it’s for the LGBT Center. They took me on a tour of their homeless youth center and I was blown away. There were classrooms for getting their GED, clothes for job interviews. I had no clue it was that extensive. I totally want to support them as much as I can.’
Then the very funny Feimster started making me laugh as she always does.
‘It’s a pretty awesome evening because it’s hard to get lesbians to leave their house - that’s why every lesbian bar in West Hollywood closes because everybody’s home with their cat. It’s a miracle if anyone can do it and if anyone can do it, it’s Linda Perry.’
Franzese, disappointed about the cancellation of Looking, told me he has become regular on the upcoming ABC Family series Recovery Road.
Of being at An Evening With Women he said: ‘I just wanted to show support for women and for the LGBT Center. They are always out there supporting all of our male events and I think this is and I think this is an amazing idea to get together and raise a bunch of money for such an amazing cause.’
I didn’t meet actress Kiersey Clemons (Transparent, Eye Candy) on the red carpet but did at the dinner inside. She and her friend did not have a seat initially and were put at the media table (our group is pictured below). We were chatting about Transparent over our salads and she was telling me about her role when the woman doing the seating came up and told the actress there was a now better table for her.
She stopped talking and literally flew out of her seat mid-sentence. No “nice meeting you” or “goodbye” or even a glance back. This isn’t about PR training or behaving like that at a table filled with media, it’s about old-fashioned manners. Good grief.
But that was just a blip during such a wonderful evening raising all kinds of money for underserved seniors, women and girls including the more than 2,000 homeless LGBT youth in Los Angeles.
PHOTOS (Credit: Getty Images for the Los Angeles LGBT Center – John Shearer / Jonathan Leibson)