Oscar’s Year of the Pig is turning into the Year of the Shindig, with scads of soirees planned for awards night. As a result, pre-Oscar parties are proliferating: On March 24, PolyGram Filmed Entertainment president Michael Kuhn will throw a poolside brunch at his Hollywood Hills hacienda for his company’s nominees, including Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Sean Penn, and Richard Dreyfuss. That evening, Spago will be a pork-free zone as Universal fetes the Babe folk and nominees Brad Pitt, Sharon Stone, and Ed Harris. And the Leaving Las Vegas crowd will anticipate the roll of the dice at MGM/UA’s evening at Eclipse. But on Oscar night, ”party hopping will take on epic proportions,” says Pat Ryan, president of Party Planners West, Inc. Among the bashes:
THE GOVERNORS BALL
The Academy’s intimate invitation-only bash for 1,650 fills a 41,500-square-foot tent outside the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Wolfgang Puck rustles up dinner. Everybody goes. It’s the best-fed three-ring circus in town.
De rigueur for bicoastal big leaguers. Names at this Vanity Fair do in 1995 ranged from Michael Milken and Barbara Walters to Steve Martin and Courtney Love — quite a chunk of the human spectrum.
The restaurant party with the highest fun quotient. A river of peach daiquiris inspires dancing; last year everyone from Placido Domingo to Wesley Snipes to current Oscar telecast coproducer Quincy Jones took to the floor.
ELTON JOHN AIDS FOUNDATION AT MAPLE DRIVE
In ‘95, the singer staged an elaborate party at the Four Seasons. But when Robin Williams told him that weary stars want a booth they can rest in — and pizza — John moved his party/AIDS fund-raiser back to Maple Drive. Hopes are donations will exceed $250,000.
PARAMOUNT AT CHASEN’S
If Mel Gibson’s Braveheart wins big, Maude Chasen’s legendary eatery will not have reopened in vain.
With Pulp Fiction, the studio’s fiesta proved 1995’s hottest. This year, it’s being coy about where The Postman’s party will be held — and is hoping for a special delivery.
COLUMBIA/TRISTAR AT DRAI’S
If early betting on Sense and Sensibility taking Best Picture is correct, here’s where Emma Thompson gets crowned queen of Hollywood.