The event: Taste for a Cure, a fundraiser for UCLA’s Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation honoring Steve Mosko, president of
The scene: Beneath projections of the Eiffel Tower that flanked the Beverly Wilshire's ballroom on Friday, guests enjoyed a food-filled reception of French specialties and fine wines before taking their places for plates of cheeses and desserts, a live auction and official ceremonies.
The program: Michele, actors
“Steve [Mosko] has been a big part of the success of ‘
The crowd: Dinner co-chairs also included Dana Walden and Gary Newman, co-CEOs of
The final act: Seating himself at the piano, Criss admitted he hadn't yet determined which songs he'd sing. "The one thing about being your own accompanist is that you don't have to figure out what you're playing until you get there," he said, before launching into heartfelt renditions of "Crazy Love" and "Let It Be."
"I thought I'd pull a caper for a second," he then added, before announcing another auction prize. He suggested the audience bid to have Michele join him onstage for a song and so, for a price of $5,000, Michele ascended the stage and the two "Glee" stars sang a clearly unrehearsed, yet charming duet of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."
The numbers: More than 450 people attended the gala, paying $500 and up for tickets. Counting the auction proceeds from a 96-bottle French wine cellar, a trip to France, a walk-on role in "The Goldbergs" and the impromptu duet, proceeds topped $700,000.