To the parents of the Palisades: sorry.
Nothing could be done about the music wafting across Rustin Canyon on Monday night while most children were being put to bed.
“We put our little card up in the local Starbucks saying we were available for gigs. The Bermans were very sweet and called us up,” Coldplay front man Chris Martin joked to the crowd gathered in Robin and Ed Berman’s lush backyard garden party where he was the surprise performer at the Communities in Schools Los Angeles Annual Gala.
While Martin’s joke drew laughs, the reality is that Martin didn’t call his bandmate Jonny Buckland to ask him to join in until 5 p.m. Monday afternoon, two hours before cars started pulling in to the Palisades for the event dedicated to dropout prevention. The pair figured out their set on the fly.
“We are going to play some songs by the band Coldplay,” Martin continued. “They are from England. Nobody really knows about them. But we can play their stuff really well.”
Martin and Buckland proceeded to play acoustic versions of classics “Clocks,” “Paradise,” and “A Sky Full of Stars,” taking a suggestion for the final song from Martin offspring Moses and Apple, who were seated Indian-style on the grass in front of the stage.
Martin called them his “co-managers” before ordering them off to “bed time” when he walked off stage.
But that might not have been the most surreal cameo of the night.
A scraggly Matthew McConaughey and always-sheen Camila Alves popped up on monitors from “somewhere in French customs” delivering a selfie video of congrats to honoree Shannon Rotenberg, executive director of the actor’s JK Livin Foundation. The McConaughey clan looked like they were stranded in a desolate airport arrivals hall, but the “Interstellar” star had a steady selfie hand.
An iced-down raw bar of oysters, shrimp and truffle macaroni muffins greeted a few hundred of CIS executive director Deborah Marcus’ loyalists. It was all perched next to an infinity pool on the edge of the canyon that could double for the Amazon behind the Berman’s home.
Molly Sims, Amy Smart, Carter Oosterhouse, Matt Leinart, Ali Larter and Hayes MacArthur, Majandra Delfino and Dave Walton, Alison Pill and Josh Leonard were among the crowd.
In addition to co-chair Jim Toth from CAA, the event drew support from a broad swath of Hollywood execs like Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer and CAA boss Richard Lovett, who waved his auction number during the direct appeal starting at $10,000.
CIS Los Angeles fosters a community of support not just for top-ranking students who can earn college scholarships and then alter the course of their lives. They zero in on high school students who could miss that threshold and partner with schools to provide “Five Basics,” such as a “marketable skill to use upon graduation” and “one-on-one relationships with a caring adult.”
Their empirical data is impressive: The program’s students enjoy a 96-percent graduation rate compared to the district’s 64-percent clip.
CAA agent Brian Loucks, whose living room concert series in Laurel Canyon are invite-only hot tickets, was honored for his even more private, hands-on work as a board member for CISLA. Josh Alcocer was honored as the CISLA Site Coordinator of the year.
Shannon Mabrey Rotenberg was the third honoree of the night, who in addition to running the JK Livin’ foundation, is a frequent running partner of Reese Witherspoon, who introduced her to the crowd.