Strong women, the men who support them and wildly-talented stars from TV, film and stage were in the spotlight at the “18th annual Les Girls Cabaret” benefit to help kick cancer. The ultra-entertaining fundraiser for the National Breast Cancer Coalition had the “Veep” star Julia Louis-Dreyfus there to celebrate and present the Les Girls Leadership Award to Dr. Armando Giuliano, who navigated her through her successful battle against breast cancer.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus is passionate about supporting the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC), and at the October 7 event at the Avalon Theatre in Hollywood she praised its formidable leader Fran Visco. Julia said, “I certainly appreciate all the NBCC has done and their mission to end breast cancer and save lives. They have elevated the conversation about breast cancer from awareness to action. I personally want to thank Fran Visco for her strong leadership for 27 amazing years.”
The cause is very personal for Louis-Dreyfus, who is an 11-time Emmy winner, spread out over her work on Seinfeld, The New Adventures of Old Christine and the current HBO White House sitcom Veep. Julia stood on the Les Girls stage and recalled that days after winning her 2017 Emmy she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She told everyone at the NBCC gathering, “As shocking as it was, I also knew I was not alone in this struggle. This year alone over 260,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S. Now I’m part of a club that I really never asked to be in, but here I am.”
“One of the millions of breast cancer survivors around the world, I stand here with the understanding that I am very lucky and had great access to great health insurance through my union. I have a very loving, precious family who was by my side every moment as well as many friends and members of the public. And I had an incredible, passionate and brilliant doctor to be my partner in this, along with a great medical team.”
“Tonight I’m here to honor Dr. Armando Giuliano for his tireless efforts in breast cancer care. He is also my breast cancer surgeon. He made me feel like I was going to be okay. But all of that wasn’t enough for my sister who was at my side throughout this cancer adventure. As they were rolling me into the O.R., she whispered into Dr. Giuliano’s ear, ‘Don’t f*** this up.’ And he didn’t,” revealed the beautiful 57-year-old.
All the survivors and supporters in the NBCC crowd cheered wildly, many having benefitted from Dr. Giuliano’s work as a surgeon and researcher. All acknowledged he was the real star in the room having significantly increased the quality of life for so many and made a difference on a global scale.
It was a night of cabaret entertainment too, and among the wonderful stars performing were Barrett Foa, Steven Weber, Lea Thompson, Kate Flannery, Garrett Clayton, Sharon Lawrence, Samantha Harris, Maddie Poppe, Juan Pablo Di Pace, Bethany Joy Lenz, Chris Mann, Carly Hughes, Eric B. Anthony, Gwen Hollander, Brit Shaw, Jonathan Lipnicki, and Brad Goreski, with Lisa Ann Walter (The Parent Trap) as the comical emcee.
The night had many highlights, including a show-stopping performance by the ultimate crowd-pleaser Barrett Foa (tech-wiz cutie on NCIS: LA) who channeled his inner sassy Shakespeare by singing “Hard To Be The Bard.” Equally fabulous was super-cool Steven Weber (Wings) taking on a pop idol persona surrounded by the Les Girls Dancers and ending the show with “Town Without Pity” full of gusto for the cause.
And FYI—Julia Louis-Dreyfus will be honored when The Kennedy Center presents this year’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. The PBS special Julia Louis-Dreyfus: The Mark Twain Prize premieres Monday, November 19. Tune in to see this strong and talented woman in the spotlight.
Margie Barron is a member of the Television Critics Association and has written for a variety of top publications for more than 35 years and was proud to be half of the husband and wife writing team of Margie and Frank Barron.