Wilshire Ebell Theatre

History

The Wilshire Ebell Theatre participates in and encourages the educational, cultural and social growth of the Los Angeles community. We work with a wide range of artists and promoters from around the world to bring performing arts to the diverse population of this great city. Revenue generated through the Theatre supports the operation, preservation and mission of the historic Ebell Club. This support allows the Club to remain accessible and inclusive of all women, regardless of social status, and also supports the philanthropic, educational and social services of the Club.

The Wilshire Ebell Theatre participates in and encourages the educational, cultural and social growth of the Los Angeles community. We work with a wide range of artists and promoters from around the world to bring performing arts to the diverse population of this great city. Revenue generated through the Theatre supports the operation, preservation and mission of the historic Ebell Club. This support allows the Club to remain accessible and inclusive of all women, regardless of social status, and also supports the philanthropic, educational and social services of the Club.

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…

1927
Wilshire Ebell Theatre Opens
The door-opening performance for the Wilshire Ebell Theatre (which in 1927 when it opened, and for about the first four years of its existence, was call the Windsor Square Playhouse…) was the west coast premiere of Sigmund Romberg’s operetta The Desert Song, straight from a successful run on Broadway.
1934
Judy Garland
MGM producer George Sidney, describing his discovery of Judy Garland (then known as Baby Frances Gumm): "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..."
1942
Igor Stravinsky
Widely considered one of the most important and influential composers of the 20th century, Igor Stravinsky conducted the premiere of “Danses Concertantes,” his first major work composed entirely in the United States.
1945
Arnold Schoenberg
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.”
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.
1964
Glenn Gould
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 at the age of 32
1992
Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder receives his first Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Songwriters
2010
National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences
As part of their Special Merit Awards, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences presents lifetime achievement awards to the following artists Julie Andrews 2010 Leonard Cohen 2010 Diana Ross 2012 The Beatles 2014 Kris Kristofferson 2014
2011
Director Clint Eastwood
Clint Eastwood takes the Wilshire Ebell Theatre stage to direct scenes for his film J. Edgar.
2012
West-Coast Premiere Reading of '8'
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 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.

Stars Who Have Graced Our Stage

Michelle Obama

Jack Black

Yoko Ono

Julie Andrews

Sting

Stevie Wonder

Angelica Huston

Justin Timberlake

Elizabeth Taylor

Kevin Bacon

Dan Akroyd

Dolly Parton

Brad Pitt

Jimmy Kimmel

Judy Garland

John Ritter

Martin Short

Stevie Nicks

Ray Romano