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Kirk Douglas' 'Before I Forget' movie premieres; South Coast Repertory's 'Ordinary Days' has West Coast opening

Among those attending the events were Jeffrey Katzenberg, Jon Hamm, Walter Mirisch, Ethan McSweeny, Nancy Anderson and Nick Gabriel.

January 17, 2010|By Ellen Olivier

When Jeffrey Katzenberg and Diane Nelson hosted the premiere of " Before I Forget," the film of Kirk Douglas' recent one-man show, more than 400 well-wishers turned up at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills.

Among those at the Wednesday event, held to raise awareness of the Motion Picture & Television Fund, were Jon Hamm of "Mad Men" and Jennifer Westfeldt, writer and co-producer of "Kissing Jessica Stein."

Hamm said he came to support the fund and besides that, "It's Kirk Douglas. I've been a fan of his since I'm old enough to remember movies and who was in them."

Nelson said all proceeds from the film, due for release on DVD, will go to the fund, which provides healthcare, retirement and social service programs for members of the entertainment industry.

"It's really important that the next generation of leaders in our industry continue to support this organization," said Nelson, president of DC Entertainment, a division of Warner Bros., and chairwoman of the MPTF Next Generation Council.

Katzenberg, chief executive of DreamWorks Animation, is chairman of the MPTF Foundation Committee.

"There is that wonderful saying about how charity starts at home," Katzenberg said. "This is our home. The people we serve are members of our community. Our family, our moms, our dads and our friends."

The evening also drew Adam Shankman, producer of the upcoming Academy Awards show; actors Christian McKay, Adam Goldberg, Rick Yune and Kellan Lutz; McG, director of "Charlie's Angels" and "Terminator Salvation" and producer of TV's "Human Target"; and Jeff Kanew, director of "Before I Forget," "Tough Guys" and other Douglas projects.

'Ordinary Days' opening

After the West Coast premiere of "Ordinary Days" at South Coast Repertory Theatre in Costa Mesa Jan. 8, the opening night crowd adjourned to AnQi by Crustacean, the newest restaurant at South Coast Plaza. Restaurant owners Elizabeth An and her husband, Gordon Clune, hosted the soiree.

Over chicken wontons and lobster lollipop hors d'oeuvres, underwriters Pam and Jim Muzzy got acquainted with Adam Gwon, writer and composer of the new musical about four Manhattanites in search of the "big picture" of their lives. Barely 30, Gwon has already had his play produced in London and New York.

"I feel very fortunate," he said. "The play has had a great life so far, and it's been a joy to see it come to life here."

Musicals have been rare in SCR's 45 years, but there may be more to come.

"We have a renewed interest in musical theater because it helps expand the range of experiences we can provide our audiences," said producing artistic director David Emmes. "We think there's a niche that is not being addressed by the 'Mama Mias' and the 'Wickeds,' and while these musicals have their place, there is also a place for a small piece like this, something engaging and original, with ideas that can be expressed in music."

Also celebrating were cast members Nick Gabriel, Deborah Craig, David Burnham and Nancy Anderson, director Ethan McSweeny and theater supporters Bobbi and Jerry Dauderman, Susan and Bob Ehrlich, Betty and S.L. Huang, Barbara and Bill Roberts, Olivia and Andy Johnson, Michelle Rohe and Nancy Kidder.

ellen.olivier@society-news.com

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