Betty White and Reptiles and Events, Oh My!


Fearless Betty White with a snake at the LA Zoo.

Why was Betty White seen cozying up with some cold blooded reptiles at the LA Zoo? It was to promote the upcoming Beastly Ball that will put the spotlight on the zoo’s LAIR (Living Amphibians, Invertebrates, and Reptiles) inhabitants. Betty enjoyed stroking a snake, a skink, and flirted with an old turtle she said was “much younger than me.”

The Beastly Ball being held June 16 at the LA Zoo is very important to Betty “because it benefits my zoo, and my zoo is my other home. I live here. This is where my heart is. I’ve been with them for over fifty years, so it’s lovely to be able to celebrate something I believe in so much,” the 90-year-old dynamo beamed when we chatted about the major fundraiser for the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association.

Betty also had an appetite for the top participating restaurants that created dishes inspired by the L.A. Zoo’s LAIR habitat. The tasty animal-themed treats were from Yummy Cupcakes in Burbank, The Federal Bar in NoHo, Pasadena’s Celestino Ristorante, Clancy’s Crab Broiler in Glendale, Taix French Restaurant, Maison Akira, Momed, El Cholo, Jersey Mike’s, and Pink’s Famous Hot Dogs. All are donating their fine cuisine for the big Beastly Ball.

There are lots of beastly and bizarre things happening on stage at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, where The Addams Family musical is playing through June 17. The delightful show tells the tale of every father’s nightmare. Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet young man from a respectable family. Now Gomez Addams and his wife Morticia must act “normal” for the sake of their daughter in the wacky and wonderfully macabre musical.

For another musical treat tune in Let It Shine premiering June 15 on the Disney Channel. Tyler James Williams, Coco Jones, Trevor Jackson, Courtney B. Vance, and Dawnn Lewis are among the stars in the uplifting story set in the world of hip-hop and gospel music, with a modern day take on Cyrano de Bergerac. It will inspire kids of all ages to be true to themselves.

There’s more music coming on The Glee Project as season two is launched on the Oxygen network. The musical reality competition series showcases 14 very diverse and extraordinarily talented contenders. At the end of the series awaits the dream grand prize: a guest starring role on the hit Fox series Glee.

The Glee Project has Ryan Murphy and Dante Di Loreto continuing as executive producers. During the eleven week run of the series contenders will be narrowed down through intensive rounds of workshops, singing, dancing, and acting assignments.

Casting Director Robert Ulrich says “I’ve had the immense pleasure of auditioning so many unique and gifted singers, actors, and dancers from all over the country. Ultimately, 14 out of thousands were chosen, and I’m so proud of this group of stellar young men and women.” Tune in to see fresh faces bloom in the spotlight.

If you want live music — the place to be this summer is Universal CityWalk, which will have free entertainment with non-stop music-fueled weekends at the “5 Towers” concert venue. Last weekend they launched the first Music Spotlight Series with a performance by The Vampire Diaries’ Kat Graham. A highlight was hearing her hit single “Put Your Graffiti on Me.” A fabulous lineup (including Tyrese, American Idol’s James Durbin, Vicci Martinez from The Voice, and the wildly popular DEV) will continue offering more great performances and concerts through Labor Day.

Also coming to Universal CityWalk is the open casting auditions for Miss California USA 2013, being held Saturday, June 16, starting at 9 p.m. The event is being held at the Infusion Lounge and last year’s winner, Miss California USA, Natalie Pack will be on hand at the super-sizzling club at CityWalk.

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