Post-strike plans under way for awards show
Saying plans for the ceremony are moving “full-speed ahead,” AMPAS prexy Sid Ganis and Oscarcast producer Gil Cates on Thursday unveiled the list of scripters, presenters and performers for the 80th annual Oscars.There had been two plans for the Feb. 24 show when the strike was on, Ganis reminded the 200 or so members of the media in attendance at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences HQ in BevHills, but “we are now (going) full-speed ahead on what has become known as show A.” Cates said presenters and performers were arranged on the understanding that they would attend only if they didn’t have to cross a picket line. “The bad news is past us, and our colleagues are back to work,” Ganis said with a smile on his face. Cates didn’t offer many details on plan B, other than admitting that it would have been heavy on pre-recordings and light on star power. “It would have been the most exotic and interesting clip show in the history of TV,” deadpanned Cates. The show would have chronicled the Acad’s 80-year history. He said the musical numbers would have been performed with the orchestra onstage but declined to answer who would have served as presenters. Asked about the number of Oscar parties that have been canceled, Ganis said the Governors Ball will proceed: “It’s always been the A party. This year, it’s A-and-a-half.” All four of last year’s winners in the acting categories — Alan Arkin, Jennifer Hudson, Helen Mirren and Forest Whitaker — will be presenters at the show, as well as Amy Adams, Jessica Alba, Cate Blanchett, Josh Brolin, Steve Carell, George Clooney, Penelope Cruz, Miley Cyrus, Patrick Dempsey, Cameron Diaz, Colin Farrell, Harrison Ford, Jennifer Garner, Tom Hanks, Anne Hathaway, Katherine Heigl, Jonah Hill, Dwayne Johnson, Nicole Kidman, James McAvoy, Queen Latifah, Seth Rogen, Martin Scorsese, Hilary Swank, John Travolta, Denzel Washington and Renee Zellweger. Performers of the nominated songs will include Amy Adams (“Happy Working Song”), Kristin Chenoweth and Marlon Saunders (“That’s How You Know”) and Jon McLaughlin (“So Close”). These three songs are all from “Enchanted,” with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz. Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova will perform their “Falling Slowly” (from “Once”), and Jamia Simone Nash will perform “Raise It Up” with the Impact Repertory Theater of Harlem (from “August Rush,” music and lyrics by Jamal Joseph, Charles Mack and Tevin Thomas). Hal Kanter, Buz Kohan, Jon Macks and Bruce Vilanch will script the show along with a team of writers brought by host Jon Stewart, who arrives Saturday in Hollywood. The 80th annual Academy Awards will take place Feb. 24 at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood and air live on ABC. The presentation will also be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.