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History

In continuous operation since 1927, the
Wilshire Ebell Theatre has known many
historic moments and our stage has welcomed
more than its share of extraordinary talent.
These are but a few of our proudest…

 

 

4 significant moments
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1942 - 1964

Classical Music

– Widely considered one of the most important and influential composers of the 20th century, Igor Stravinsky conducted the premiere of Danses Concertantes in 1942, his first major work composed entirely in the United States.
– Renowned modernist composer Arnold Schoenberg held many new music performances at the Wilshire Ebell in the 1930s & 1940s, including the premiere of his Prelude to Genesis Suite in 1945.
– One of the best-known and most celebrated classical pianists of the 20th century, Glenn Gould developed an aversion to performing live and, with little fanfare, brought an unexpected early end to his live performance career on the Wilshire Ebell Theatre stage in 1964 at the age of 32.

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1942

Judy Garland

“There was a theater here in Los Angeles called the Wilshire-Ebell. … They used to put on vaudeville acts on certain nights of the week. This little girl came out with her two sisters and her mother playing the piano. She did a little number with a baseball bat. We took her out to the studio and made a test on a soundstage…”  — MGM producer George Sidney, describing his discovery of Judy Garland (then known as Baby Frances Gumm).

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1953

Dave Brubeck

“One of jazz’s first pop stars,” according to the LA Times, jazz great Dave Brubeck first appeared on the Wilshire Ebell Theatre stage two years after forming the legendary Dave Brubeck quartet and one year prior to appearing on the cover of Time magazine, with an accompanying article on the renaissance of jazz music and Brubeck’s amazing ascendancy. The album Dave Brubeck Quartet at Wilshire Ebell, from this historic 1953 performance, lives on today as a classic of its kind.

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2012

“8” premiere

The American Foundation for Equal Rights held their west-coast premiere reading of the play 8 in 2012.  Starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Martin Sheen, Jaime Lee Curtis, Matt Bomer, Kevin Bacon, Christine Lahti, John C. Reilly and directed by Rob Reiner, this star-studded performance benefited the court fight that ultimately led to a historic victory in the Supreme Court of the United States in favor of marriage equality.