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Recap of unforgettable “An Evening With Women” with Margaret Cho, Evan Rachel Wood and more!

UPDATE: Event raised more than $600,000

Each year, An Evening With Women – one of the LA Gay & Lesbian Center’s two biggest fundraisers – turns out to be this amazing event with special moments and knockout performances.

This year was no exception.

There was the highly-anticipated reunion of the band 4 Non Blondes featuring the force behind the event, Linda Perry, and there was music and comedy from the great Margaret Cho.

“The Center is really my Center and we are really proud of the work the Center does so we’re here to celebrate and to help it out more,” Margaret told me before the show.

Margaret sang a song on stage about having a fat vagina (yeah, that really happened) and also observed that “lesbians don’t have Grindr – the closest we have is Animal Rescue.”

Funnyman Alec Mapa was on hand to present the Special Board of Directors Award to the ABC Family show The Fosters which is about a lesbian couple and their brood of children – including some foster kids.

Star Teri Polo was on hand to accept as were co-creators Peter Paige and Bradley Bredeweg.

Producer Jennifer Lopez was not present but appeared via video to thank The Center and to congratulate The Fosters team for “continuing to show everybody that love is love.”

Paige remarked that “we think women make society work” and said “I believe deeply in the work of the LA Gay and Lesbian Center.” He told the crowd that when he first arrived in Los Angeles 15 years ago and needed help, he was able to find counseling at the center for $10 a week.

In addition to the 4 Non Blondes reunion, there were other first-rate musical performances – some of which surprised me.

Did you know that Evan Rachel Wood, the actress who we know from such films as The Wrestler and Thirteen, is an amazing rock and roll singer with a sensational, soaring voice? I was blown away by her three-song set last night at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

I chatted with this gorgeous talent on the red carpet and she said organizer Perry “is one of my biggest inspirations’ and that “I really admire everything that the center does and I’m honored to be here. This is one of the main events and I’m just so happy that Linda asked me to be a part of it.” (I’ll have more of our interview later this week).

And Rumer Willis?

Hate to be mean, but I thought, “What’s she famous for other than being the daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore?” Well, let me tell you, this girl sings one helluva number. She belted out a version of You Don’t Own Me that I would buy on iTunes.

There was also a rockin three-song set from Milla Jovovich who may be best known from starring in the Resident Evil movies but who has released an album and other recordings and is a knockout performer.

The LA Gay & Lesbian Center’s CEO Lorri Jean gave a passionate and fiery speech early in the evening about religious fundamentalism and its attempts worldwide to oppress LGBT people and women. I plan to post video of Lorri’s stunning speech as soon as it becomes available.

We chatted on the red carpet about the evening which she said is a way to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars in a way that is “creative and unique.”

“This is not your typical rubber chicken dinner – this is a musical extravaganza that Linda Perry organizes and makes possible for us – totally memorable nights. We’ve had some of the biggest stars in town coming here to sing.”

The menu for the evening was vegan and consisted of cole slaw, sliders, sweet potato and french fries and freshly made chips. Each table also had a jug of beer instead of the usual bottles of wine.

Perry explained to the crowd: “Not one animal was hurt or killed for tonight’s event – except the leather pants I’m wearing.”

Perry, whose new wife Sara Gilbert was also at the event, wandered into the audience during the event’s live auction carrying a bottle of whiskey and began offering shots to audience members.

“I’m gonna get these bitches drunk!” she joked – with the clear intention of getting the crowd to big big.

And they did.

An autographed guitar belonging to Joan Jett sold for $16,000 while a trip to New York City that included two Broadway shows and meet and greets with stars Idina Menzel and Neil Patrick Harris went for $17,000.

Rumer Willis offered herself up as a date for the highest bidder and fetched $12,000 and a Baby Grand piano belonging to Perry sold for $15,000. The piano had been signed by a number of stars including Leonardo DiCaprio, Pink, Sia, Gwen Stefani, Jennifer Lopez and even Britney Spears.

Photos: 1. Margaret Cho 2. Sara Gilbert and Linda Perry 3. Honorees The Fosters 4. Jennifer Lopez via video 5. Evan Rachel Wood 6. Linda Perry’s piano 6. Michelle Clunie, Lorri Jean and Joely Fisher 7. Natasha Bedingfield


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