2015-2016 Distinguished Speaker Series


Anybody who grew up watching Monty Python founding member John Cleese parading as the neurotic hotel manager Basil Fawlty will have a chance to revisit those halcyon days of humor.  Martha Stewart more your cuppa tea?  How about former CIA director Leon Panetta? 

All three, as well as former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, award winning portrait photographer Platon, and the controversial theoretical physicist, futurist and ‘water-listener’ Michio Kaku will all  be taking the stage at the iconic Saban Theatre for the Beverly Hills Performing Arts Center’s inaugural Distinguished Speaker Series of Southern California.

Although the Distinguished Speakers Series debuts on Sunday, October 18 at 6:30 p.m., plans are already under way to create ties between this extraordinarily diverse collection of speakers and the Southern California arts communities. 

Beverly Hills Performing Arts Center president, Rabbi David Baron commented, “bringing great minds and cultural icons together gives our community a rare opportunity to grow intellectually and join in the vibrant conversations of our day.”

The Beverly Hills Performing Arts Center’s home base will be the fabled Saban Theater on Wilshire Blvd., just east of La Cienega in Beverly Hills.  Now designated as an official State of California and federal Historical Site, the Saban was first known as the Fox Wilshire.  Designed by renowned theater architect S. Charles Lee, the Art Deco styling included what was then state-of-the-art plaster and sculpture work.  As memorable as the façade outside is, it doesn’t prepare you for the grandeur of the newly renovated interior. 

The Saban Theater is not only home to the Beverly Hills Performing Arts Center, but is also a popular venue for globally recognized bands, comedians and is a favorite location for popular TV shows and movies.

Here is the Distinguished Speaker Series Schedule:

Ehud Barak – former Prime Minister of Israel and Global Statesmen.  Prime Minister Barak is Israel’s 10th Prime Minister who led his country out of recession and played a pivotal role in Middle East peace efforts.

Sunday, October 18, 2015 at 6:30 p.m.

John Cleese – the award-winning actor, author and humorist is known as ‘The world’s funniest man’ who first made his mark as a member of the legendary Monty Python troupe, and has gone on to write, produce direct and star in great comedic films and television shows.

Sunday, November 8, 2015 at 6:30 p.m.

Henry Paulson – former U.S. Treasury Secretary who will engage in a conversation with Geoff Colvin, editor of Fortune Magazine.  As the 74th Secretary of the U.S. Treasury between 2006 – 2009, this former Goldman Sachs CEO was also chairman of the Nature Conservancy.

Sunday, January 10, 2016 at 6:30 p.m.

Platon – an award-winning portrait photographer, Platon has created more ‘portraits of power’ than any other photographer.  He will share his behind-the-scenes experiences and intimate collaborations with his iconic subjects.

Sunday, February 21, 2016 at 6:30 p.m.

Michio Kaku – the famed Theoretical Physicist and Futurist will take you on a grand tour of what the future holds.  Kaku appears frequently on CBS, Discover, BBC and CNN.

Sunday, March 13, 2016 at 6:30 p.m.

Leon Panetta – our former CIA Director and Secretary of Defense will share candid insights on U.S. intelligence, defense and cyber security strategies, world affairs, and the global economic and political challenges of the 21st century.

Sunday, April 10, 2016 at 6:30 p.m.

Martha Stewart  - as a Lifestyle Guru and Entrepreneur, Martha has made her impact on modern American culture.  Best-selling author, Emmy winning TV show host and founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, you’ll find out why millions rely on Martha Stewart for tips and guidance.

Sunday May 8, 2016 at 6:30 p.m.

For more information, please visit the Beverly Hills Performing Arts Center website at www.bhpac.org.

The Saban Theater is located at 8440 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA  90211

Please call 323-658-9100