Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
|Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts|
|Location||Corner of North Santa Monica Boulevard and Crescent Drive, Beverly Hills, California|
|Design and construction|
The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts is a community arts center in Beverly Hills, California, named for philanthropist Wallis Annenberg in recognition for The Annenberg Foundation's major gift to fund the campus. It is colloquially known as The Wallis.
The center was designed by architect Zoltan Pali of SPF:architects. It includes the historic 1933 Beverly Hills post office, the newly built 500-seat Goldsmith Theater, the 150-seat Lovelace Studio Theater, GRoW at The Wallis: A Space for Arts Education, a sculpture garden and a promenade terrace designed by Ron Lutsko. The Goldsmith theater is named after Bram Goldsmith, the Chairman Emeritus of City National Bank. The restored landmark Beverly Hills post office is named for Paula Kent Meehan.
Endowed by heiress and philanthropist Wallis Annenberg (born 1939), who donated US$25 million, The Wallis was under construction for ten years. The total cost of creating the center is estimated at $70 million, with an annual operating budget of several million dollars.
The opening on October 17, 2013 was celebrated with a black-tie gala, co-chaired by Wallis Annenberg and Jamie Tisch. Kevin Spacey, John Lithgow and Diane Lane inaugurated the 500-seat Goldsmith Theater by reading letters from Groucho Marx, Tennessee Williams, Peter Tchaikovsky, Will Rogers and others. The evening was followed by a fashion show by Salvatore Ferragamo and performances by the likes of Italian tenor Vittorio Grigolo and Paris Opera Ballet members Mathias Heymann and Myriam Ould-Braham.
As of October 2017, the center's chairman of the board is Michael Nemeroff. The chairman of the executive committee is philanthropist and arts patron David Bohnett, who was board chairman from 2015–2017. The Wallis's managing director is arts administrator and fundraiser Rachel Fine, and the artistic director is Paul Crewes of Kneehigh Theatre.
The Wallis and Deaf West Theatre's acclaimed 2015 co-production of Spring Awakening (musical), performed simultaneously in American Sign Language and spoken English by a cast of 27, transferred to Broadway's Brooks Atkinson Theatre in September 2015 and went on to receive 3 Tony Award nominations including Best Revival of a Musical and Best Director Michael Arden.
2013/2014 Inaugural Season Highlights
- Parfumerie (EP Dowdall adaptation from Miklos Laszlo play)
- Martha Graham Dance Company
- Catherine Wheels Theatre Company's White
- Noël Coward's Brief Encounter from Kneehigh Theatre
- Maurice Hines is Tappin' Thru Life
2014/2015 Season Highlights
- Oregon Shakespeare Festival's Into the Woods
- Patti LuPone's Coulda Shoulda Woulda... Played that Part
- National Theatre of Scotland and Royal Shakespeare Company's Dunsinane (play)
- Deaf West Theatre's Spring Awakening (musical)
2015/2016 Season Highlights
- An Evening with Denzel Washington
- Twyla Tharp: 50th Anniversary Celebration
- Mel Brooks in Conversation with David Steinberg
- Oregon Shakespeare Festival's Guys and Dolls
2016/2017 Season Highlights
- Complicite's The Encounter by Simon McBurney
- Stephen Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along (musical) from Michael Arden (inaugural artist-in-residence)
- Deaf West Theatre's Edward Albee's At Home at the Zoo
- Paul Taylor Dance Company
2017/2018 Season Highlights
- Bristol Old Vic's Long Day's Journey into Night with Jeremy Irons
- Kneehigh Theatre's The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk from Emma Rice
- The Heart of Robin Hood from Iceland's Vesturport
- Benjamin Millepied's L.A. Dance Project (inaugural company-in-residence)
Awards and nominations
|2014 Ovation Awards||Maurice Hines is Tappin Through Life||8||2||Won for Acting Ensemble of a Musical and Music Direction|
|2015 Ovation Awards||Deaf West Theatre's Spring Awakening (Musical)||12||5||Won for Best Production of a Musical, Acting Ensemble of a Musical, Director of a Musical (Michael Arden), Choreography (Spencer Liff), and Lighting Design (Ben Stanton)|
|2015 Ovation Awards||1||1||Won for Best Season|
|2017 Ovation Awards||For the Record: Scorsese - American Crime Requiem||10||2||Nominated for Best Production of a Musical, Acting Ensemble of a Musical, Music Direction (Jesse Vargas), Director of a Musical (Anderson Davis), Musical Lead Actor (B. Slade), Musical Lead Actress (Carmen Cusack), Musical Featured Actor (Jason Paige), Musical Featured Actress (Dionne Gipson and Lindsey Gort), and Lighting Design (Michael Berger and Dan Efros)|
|2017 Ovation Awards||The Pride||4||Nominated for Best Acting Ensemble of a Play, Play Featured Actor (Matthew Wilkas), Sound Design (Joshua Reid), and Costume Design (Danae Iris McQueen)|
|2017 Ovation Awards||Merrily We Roll Along||3||Nominated for Best Director of a Musical (Michael Arden), Musical Lead Actress (Donna Vivino), and Musical Featured Actress (Whitney Bashor)|
|2017 Ovation Awards||Complicite's The Encounter||1||1||Won for Best Presented Production|
|2017 Ovation Awards||1||Nominated for Best Season|
- Ocamb, Karen. "David Bohnett and Rand Schrader: The Love Story That Defied AIDS and Homophobia". Frontiers. December 2, 2015.
- Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts: About Us
- SPF:architects: Wallis Annenberg Center, Beverly Hills, CA
- Ellen Olivier, Gala opens Annenberg Center in Beverly Hills, The Los Angeles Times, October 21, 2013
- Steve Chagollan, Annenberg Set to Unveil New Performing Arts Center in Beverly Hills Tonight, Variety, October 17, 2013
- Brandon Kirby, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Reveals Line-Up, The Hollywood Reporter, 8/15/2013
- Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts: About Us: Map
- Sandy Cohen, Galaxy of stars help open performing arts center, Associated Press, October 18, 2013.
- Danielle Berrin, Wallis’s world: The Annenberg heir launches Beverly Hills performing arts center with glamorous gala, The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, October 18, 2013
- Deborah Vankin, Starry gala opens Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, The Los Angeles Times, October 18, 2013
- David Ng (July 24, 2014), Lou Moore departs as head of Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Los Angeles Times.
- "The Wallis Hosts Star-Studded Opening Night Gala". bhcourier.com. Beverly Hills Courier. October 18, 2013. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
- Nemeroff, Michael. "Dear Members of The Wallis Community". Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. October 2017.
- Simmons, Steve. "David Bohnett Chairs Wallis Board, Continues Arts Patronage". Beverly Hills Courier. April 8, 2016.
- Anderson, Olivia. "The Way of the Wallis". Beverly Hills Weekly. Issue 933: August 17, 2017 – August 23, 2017. p. 11.
- "Board of Directors". Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. Retrieved September 29, 2017.
- "The Wallis Names Michael Nemeroff New Board Chairman". BohnettFoundation.org. May 24, 2017
- "David C. Bohnett is Named Chairman of the Board for the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts" (news release). TheWallis.org. November 3, 2015.
- Ng, David (24 September 2015). "Wallis Annenberg Center Names Paul Crewes as Artistic Director". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
- Viagas, Robert (7 July 2015). "Radically Reconceived Broadway Spring Awakening Revival Sets Dates". Playbill. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
- Ng, David (3 May 2016). "'Spring Awakening' and Deaf West's Unlikely Road to Three Tony Nominations". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
- "Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Announces Theater, Dance, Music, Lectures and Theater for Young Audiences Programming for its 2014-15 Season" (PDF). Retrieved 19 March 2016.
- "Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Deaf West Theatre, and Cody Lassen Present Spring Awakening" (PDF). Retrieved 19 March 2016.
- "Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Announces Artistic Advisors and Programming for 2015-16 Season" (PDF). Retrieved 19 March 2016.
- "Michael Arden-Helmed 'Merrily', Bacharach Reimagined, Stephen Schwartz and More Slated for The Wallis in 2016-17". Broadway World. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
- "Cast Set for Jeremy Irons' Long Day's Journey; Revival Will Play London, Brooklyn, Los Angeles". Playbill.
- Pizzolorusso, Patrick. "The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Announces 2017–2018 Season". Playbill.