Elton John, Vanity Fair, Gov. Ball highlight night

Madonna and Demi throw an after-party, and the Governors Ball introduces a major innovation in awards-giving.

Governors Ball
Where: Hollywood and Highland
Who’s expected: All the Oscar nominees, presenters and winners make this their first party stop of the night.
Why you don’t want to miss it: Wolfgang Puck’s famous food, all the Moet & Chandon champagne you can drink and a 1930s streamline moderne setting to enjoy it all in. Plus, as longtime event producer Cheryl Cecchetto says, this year’s party has an important new component.
“We are actually engraving the Oscars at the ball!” she says. “I actually just finished designing a beautiful Oscar-engraving service station, and it’s beautiful. It’s all set up for the technicians. The winners themselves are only allowed to bring their Oscar back to the engraving service area, where they can, for the very first time in the history of the Oscars, have their award engraved the night of receiving.”

18th Annual Academy Awards Viewing Party Benefiting the Elton John AIDS Foundation
Where: Pacific Design Center
Who’s expected: Hosts Elton John and David Furnish, key sponsors Jo and Raffy Manoukian, event chairs Elizabeth Taylor, David and Victoria Beckham, Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, Tyler Perry, Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban, Sharon Stone, Donatella Versace and John Waters.
Why you don’t want to miss it: Grace Jones will hit the stage along with John, giving the night a distinctly ’80s glam feeling. But this is a party that always has its eyes on the prize, as Elton John Foundation executive director Scott Campbell reminds.
“It started from a modest little party 18 years ago that raised about $300,000 at a restaurant called Maple Drive in Beverly Hills,” he says. “And now it is a major event that we hold in a tent on the plaza in front of the Pacific Design Center that last year raised $4 million for the foundation. So it has become a critical source of funds, it has raised enormous amounts of money, and it has also been part and parcel to raising enormous worldwide awareness of AIDS through this event on that particular night. Everyone is well aware that AIDS is the reason we are doing this; no one ever loses focus of that fact.”

Madonna & Demi After-Party
Where: Guy Oseary’s Hollywood Hills home
Who’s expected: Madonna, Demi Moore and entourage
Why you don’t want to miss it: Because Madonna’s manager has gone to the expense of erecting a big tent on his lawn, and the view is fabulous.

Oscar Night America 2010
Where: 50 cities across the U.S.
Who’s expected: Movie fans from across the country
Why you don’t want to miss it: The Academy helps sponsor black-tie parties for film fans who are not in Hollywood on the big night, with the funds raised going to local charities.
“For 14 years we have been giving people who love movies a chance to come together and support a cause while watching the Oscars with a little bit of style and glamour,” says Randy Haberkamp, the Acad’s director of educational programs and special projects. “Most of the places have paparazzi and red carpet. Some of them have screaming fans and take pictures. Impersonators. Especially Joan Rivers impersonators seem to be very popular.”

Vanity Fair Dinner and After-Party
Where: Sunset Tower Hotel
Who’s expected: Host Graydon Carter and every A-lister friend he has in this town until the fire marshal shuts it down.
Why you don’t want to miss it: From the circular driveway festooned with old Hollywood photographs of Rita Hayworth, Leslie Howard, Bette Davis and Josephine Baker to the “Vanity Fair Portraits” book, to the posh interior party, this is one of the night’s hottest tickets.
“I’ve heard all kinds of legendary stories about the genesis of this,” recalls VF’s Edward Menicheschi, “and of what it was, which was at the beginning a pretty small little affair. But it has become this thing unto its own. It’s just an astonishing display of, I think, the scope and the deep connection that Graydon has with the world of entertainment and culture and who’s important right now.”

Night of 100 Stars Viewing Party
Where: Beverly Hills Hotel
Who’s expected: Richard Dreyfuss, Martin Landau, Robert Forster, Doris Roberts, James Cromwell, Keith Carradine, Dennis Haysbert, Jason Alexander
Why you don’t want to miss it: Host Norby Walters jokes, “I was there before those youngsters like Vanity Fair came in. I’m the grand old man of Oscar parties. This is my 20th year of throwing this party, and my 50 years in show business gives me an incredibly wide circle of theatrical friends. And they all come!”
So what is the big draw, the thing that usually lures more than 150 famous faces to the bash?
“I set up 20 poker tables. Real money, but low stakes. Nobody gets hurt,” says Walters. “At the commercial breaks, I introduce the previous winners and nominees in the audience. Everybody gets such a kick out of that! And every year, I always have about 20-30 of them in the room.”

Second Annual Academy Awards Viewing Party, sponsored by the Hollywood Police Activities League
Where: Hollywood Museum
Who’s expected: “Mad Men” and “Nickelodeon” stars plus Oscars attendees who will cross Highland to walk the red carpet for a good cause.
Why you don’t want to miss it: Supporting the Police Activities League while celebrating Oscar right across the street from the Kodak Theater at the Hollywood Museum.
“All the guests actually can tour the museum during this evening,” says event planner Yvonne Wolf. “And there’ll be a silent auction including a ride-along with a Hollywood police officer. Eight large-screen TVs. And we will have cocktails and appetizers and buffet dinner and dessert and raffle prizes. We’ll do an Oscar ballot during the evening. And again, the guests have this rare opportunity to take a look at Oscar-nominated costumes. I mean, ‘Avatar’ costumes will be there. And all the proceeds from the tickets go to fund the programs of Hollywood PAL.”

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