BEVERLY Hills has long had a connection to the movies, as well as a reputation for shameless excess. The city is taking a step in a different direction with a new arts center: Ground will be broken in April, with plans to open the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in 2013.
HERE is my LA Times piece about the center, which will, in the words of executive director Lou Moore, present "theater, music, dance, small operas and professional children's theater. Coupled with that, we're going to have a children's theater school for serious-minded children," including residencies in which students work with visiting artists.
The center will be built in and around an old 1930s post office with WPA style murals: A glass walkway will lead to a 500-seat theater where larger performances will be put on. The whole thing has been delayed -- I wrote about this originally in 2006, when the opening was supposed to be just three years away -- by an environmental review and the approval process for a parking lot. (This is southern California, after all.)