Out songwriter, producer and musician Linda Perry can now add “event impresario” to her list of credits.
Perry has taken the reins on the LA awards dinner and fund-raiser previously known as “Women’s Night” and created “An Evening with Women: Celebrating Art, Music & Equality,” which takes place this Friday, April 24 in Beverly Hills. So if you’re in the area, have $300 burning a hole in your pocket, and nothing better to do than drink sponsoring vodka with Leisha Hailey, come on out.
You can’t swing a cat in LA without hitting a red carpet event or fund raiser, but Women’s Night has always been special. It’s one of the biggest events of the year, by us and for us. And all the money raised goes to the women-specific services of the LA Gay & Lesbian Center.
This year, Perry’s participation in the new incarnation, “An Evening with Women,” turns the annual event up to 11. By mining her own contact list, and bringing in premiere LA scene-maker, Brent Bolthouse, (who may or may not still be dating Eliza Dushku) to produce the event, the list of celebrities scheduled to perform or appear reads like a section of the AfterEllen.com Hot 100 list.
Gina Gershon will host, Uh Huh Her will provide the live musical entertainment, along with Christina Aguilera, who will be joined by Perry for a special performance. Sharon Stone will act as the not-so-silent silent auctioneer for items such as Burton snowboards, (did I mention this is a lesbian event?) an autographed scooter donated by Pink, an iPod personally programmed and signed by Gwen Stefani, and music will be provided by newly-single DJ Sam Ronson.
To crank up this otherwise dull evening, Cybil Shepherd and daughter Clementine Ford, Sarah Silverman, Jane Lynch, Rosario Dawson and Jennifer Coolidge are also scheduled to appear.
More importantly, the evening honors outstanding achievements within the lesbian and bisexual women community with this year’s L.A.C.E. Awards. The recipients are: Chicana theater writer, director, performer Adelina Anthony, Arts & Entertainment Award; filmmaker and activist JD Disalvatore, Community Service Award; health, education and advocacy pioneer Dr. Katherine Gabel, Professional Achievement Award; lesbian transgender woman and organizer Hannah Howard, Grassroots Activist Award; and advocate for LGBT people of color Anne Marie Williams, Public Service Award.
We often laud the beautiful and famous just for breathing. I was given the privilege of writing a portion of the event’s video program, lauding the accomplishments of these deserving award winners, and I plan to be there when the celebrities come out to honor the real heroes of our community. That, and get a gift bag.