Bill Higgins
March 26, 1993 AT 05:00 AM EST

For Hollywood insiders, true Oscar fun begins after the awards are handed out. Here’s the scoop on this year’s hottest Oscar parties:

Where: Spago, West Hollywood Who Goes: An older crowd (Lazar pals like Don Rickles and Walter Cronkite) during the telecast; the whippersnappers (Whoopi Goldberg, Sharon Stone, Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, and Nicole Kidman made the scene in 1992) arrive after the show. Expect Billy Crystal, Barbra Streisand, and Liz Taylor this year. Inside Story: If you win an Oscar, this is where you want to show it off. Lazar’s wife, Mary, died in January, and there’s speculation that this might be the last Oscar bash the agent (who turns 86 the day before the show) will throw. Morning-After Factor: 9 (most likely to generate history-making anecdotes)

Where: Music Center’s plaza, downtown Who Goes: Almost everyone who doesn’t have to slink off after the ceremony. Inside Story: This official Academy event used to be eclipsed by Lazar’s bash. A few years ago it was moved adjacent to the awards show itself, and now all the stars at least put in an appearance. Morning-After Factor: 7 (best star-spotting)

Where: Maple Drive eatery, Beverly Hills Who Goes: Hosts include Richard Gere, Meg Ryan, and Herb Ritts. Elton John is honorary chair. Expected guests: Michelle Pfeiffer, Denzel Washington, Neil Jordan, Stephen Rea, and Marisa Tomei. Inside Story: A first-time fund-raiser with the right names and the right cause. If it does well, could be a mega-event in ’94. Morning-After Factor: 6 (high hipness quotient, especially for those who aren’t sure how much they like Hollywood glitz)

Where: Mondrian Hotel on the Sunset Strip, West Hollywood Who Goes: 1992 drew Michael Bolton, Bonnie Raitt, and Oliver Stone. Expected ’93 supporters: Jackson Browne, Tim Robbins, and Susan Sarandon. Inside Story: This was the first ”young” party. Established to aid Central American refugees, now, in its sixth year, the benefit will also help L.A. riot victims. It’s still packed and the crowd is fun. Morning-After Factor: 5 (less exclusive but has wild and woolly rep)

Where: The Biltmore Hotel, downtown Who Goes: Christine Lahti and Betty Friedan showed in ’92. Expect Diane Ladd, Anthony Hopkins, Mercedes Ruehl, Martha Coolidge, and Rita Moreno in ’93. Inside Story: Generating little buzz in its second year; may feature more production execs and lawyers than stars. Morning-After Factor: 4 (wins best support of actresses award, but meaning well is not enough)

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