By Brandi Fowler
Updated Oct 16, 2016 @ 4:00 pm
Children's hospital gala LEAD
Credit: Amanda Edwards/WireImage

Talk about a magical night. The star-studded Children's Hospital of Los Angeles Once Upon a Time Gala, held Friday night at L.A. Live in Los Angeles, was nothing short of whimsical.

Before stars like honoree Drew Barrymore, performer Katy Perry, and more made their way inside the jaw-dropping fete, the entertainers hit the carpet and stunned, with the actress turning heads as she whipped her side braid around in a black, off-the-shoulder Elizabeth Kenny dress complete with sheer floral sleeves.

"It seemed like demure and appropriate, and black-tie...and giving good shoulder," Barrymore told InStyle about her dress. "Let me show off my décolletage and my clavicle," she added with a giggle. "My clavicle and my forearms, my favorite features."

CHLA honored the mom of two with its Courage to Care award for her work with children and their parents in the hospital. It was an award Barrymore said meant "everything" to her. “Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles is a very near and dear place to me,” she told us. “They put you in the situation, so, you’re not doing some sort of celebrity sideline thing. I am in there. I know the patients...I know the mothers. We do events for them through FLOWER Beauty.”

“We know the administration intimately,” she continued. “We raise funds for them, but I’m in the hospital like sitting in the beds with the kids, and bringing toys in on certain days. This is the kind of work I want to do. I never need a minute’s recognition for it.”

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 15: Actress Jamie Lee Curtis arrives at the 2016 Children's Hospital Los Angeles
Credit: Amanda Edwards/WireImage

It's Barrymore’s humility (among many other things) that had Jamie Lee Curtis gushing about her to us on the red carpet. “[Drew is] a beautiful woman,” she said. “She's a fabulous example of beautiful, lovely people.”

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 15: Singer Katy Perry attends 2016 Children's Hospital Los Angeles
Credit: Rich Polk/Getty

Barrymore, meanwhile, fangirled over Katy Perry when the “Firework” songstress strutted in front of cameras in a sequined, multicolored Marchesa dress. As Barrymore watched her strike pose after pose, she yelled to her, “I've been doing red carpets since the ‘80s and I'm totally taking notes.”

Before they headed inside, the duo couldn’t resist posing for a quick selfie, and Perry talked to us about why it was important to her to perform at the gala. “I visited the Children’s Hospital in December of last year,” the pop star told InStyle. “They have a music therapy program, and so I went to come and visit it, and see how I could help. I walked into the NICU, and there was a mother. She was holding her baby, and the baby had several tubes attached to it, and she had written a song for her baby about coming home, about eventually bringing her child home, but it was obvious this child was not going to be coming home for a while.”

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Perry went on to say that a guitarist came in and the mom started singing to her baby. “We were all standing, the three of us, and I’m like losing it fully. It moved me to see this mother finding some hope through a song. And then I got to sing to teenagers, and they were all hopefully lifted up...I think that this music program is really, really important. I think music heals everyone.”

As the gala began, guests walked into a visually stunning dinner scene that was right in line with the fairytale theme of the event. Dancers dressed up as Cinderella, Prince Charming, Beauty and the Beast performed on stage and hit aerial moves throughout the party as attendees swooned over the lush floral arrangements and ornate gold table settings.

Host Josh Gad kicked off the event, making guests chuckle as he warmed up the crowd in a black tux. Before awards were doled out though, guests munched on a dinner dreamed up by Wolfgang Puck, which included a Hansel and Gretel’s Enchanted Forest salad with wild trumpet mushrooms and herb bushes and Willy Wonka’s cocoa nib crusted short ribs.

As the evening went on, Kate Capshaw went on to present Barrymore with her Courage to Care Award, saying, “Every day, through her compassion and optimism she sets an example for me and my children.” Barrymore took the stage, saying, “you can talk until you’re blue in the face to kids, but they learn by what you do. Actions speak louder than words. You have to be an example. I just have to keep going and try harder so that I can prove to my daughters that this is a great way of life, and the one I want for them.”

Before the night came to a close, Perry continued to bring on the glam when she switched up her look and put on a mini-concert in a massive pink tulle dress. She sang “Teenage Dream”, “Roar”, and “Perfect Storm” as guests danced near the stage, picked up her dress and said, “It's a big dress, but if you're going to be a princess, you've got to wear them.” Perry wrapped things up with a powerful performance of “Over the Rainbow” and “Firework” and guests headed to the after party, making a beeline for an epic photo booth—a space transformed into an Alice and Wonderland-style tea party.