It’s a thumbs up kind of day.
Paul Crewes, the new artistic director of the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, positions himself atop the venue’s stone entrance steps on Saturday afternoon to greet a crowd of about 200 culture seekers – families pushing strollers, older ladies in floral sun visors, hipsters in matching Comic-Con T-shirts canoodling under a parasol.
Crewes is welcoming the throng to “WelcomeFest,” a two-day celebration marking his arrival in L.A. and kicking off the Wallis’ fourth season.
The Beverly Hills High School marching band launches into a version of Kool & the Gang’s “Celebration” as Crewes – an affable Brit in roomy blue jeans and with a head of loose, wind-tussled, salt and pepper curls — vigorously taps his feet and claps his palms above his head, a bullhorn in one hand and a Wallis season brochure in the other. When the band finally winds down, Crewes flashes a thumbs up.
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