Lizzy Caplan, Nick Kroll Toast L.A. Public Libraries at Charity Event

Lizzy Caplan
Lizzy Caplan
 Associated Press

Saturday night brought some big names to Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City to celebrate the Library Foundation of Los Angeles’ Sixth Annual Toast in support of the Los Angeles public library system.

Famed artist Shepard Fairey played DJ while stars like Lizzy Caplan, Nick Kroll, Amanda Peet, Jason Reitman, Topher Grace, Colin Hanks, Mark Duplass and Katie Aselton-Duplass mingled under twinkling lights before the night’s program began.

Moby kicked things off with a crowd sing-along, warning those not joining in that “not singing along results in impotence and sterility.” Cougar Town’s Busy Philipps played host of the evening as several of the celebrities in attendance were invited onstage to read from their favorite LA-themed works of literature.

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Kroll read deadpan from Joe Loya’s The Man Who Outgrew His Prison Cell, joking that he had only just learned to read for this night. Next Aaron D. Spears of Being Mary Jane bellowed out an essay by Wanda Coleman that had the crowd cheering before he even finished. Caplan took the stage with a copy of John Fante’s Ask the Dust, admitting, “I used to carry this book around in high school because I thought it made me seem cool and interesting and slightly dark. Based on my walk up here from my chair I think it still works.”

Reitman followed her with a reading from Raymond Chandler’s Red Wind, noting the irony of “a kid from Beverly Hills” reading the blue-collar detective story. Finally comedian Tig Notaro went onstage to deliver off-the-wall critiques of everyone’s reading choices from the website Goodreads.

“My only memory of libraries was hanging out in there to try to skip school,” she prefaced. “I’ve read one book: Ribsy by Beverly Cleary. I did a book report on it every year.”

A closing musical performance by Jenny Lewis’ band Jenny and Johnny capped off the night, which Fairey summed up in his champagne toast like this: “Here’s to the libraries of Los Angeles and to doing good things for the people.”

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