Sunday, January 20, 2008

MultiTasking Sacred Ground

It's not just an old church--it's a venue!

Sorry, but who can resist the lure of Los Angeles' cathedral bowdlerized into Vibiana Place: a theater/salon/banquet hall. Can't you imagine George Carlin hawking the site to concert promoters, dressed in his cardinal's robes from Dogma?

Does this happen in other cities? Does Italy rent out unused cathedrals for hot ticket events? Maybe they could afford to pay their garbage collectors a decent wage if they did.

Holy cow! Is that a waiter or a priest pouring the bubbly? Or just a seminarian in a work/study program?

Since award shows are on hold due to the WGA strike, glitz-lovers resort to charity events for those dressed-up celeb photos. Sally Field, Ellen & Portia, Harrison and Calista , the Olsen twins--or one of them--all gussied up for the cameras in from of Vibiana's, as if it were the trendiest nightclub in town.

Check out the photos for Art of Elysium (the charity du jour); they're all over the web. The best is in the print edition of January 20 Los Angeles Times--but not reprinted online. It shows the restored interior of the venerable church with candlelit banquet tables instead of pews.

I borrow the top picture from a wedding-planning site ( The altar is now a stage, and the old confessionals can be turned into photo booths. Just one of those LA things that couldn't be made up.

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