Sunday, May 19, 2024

Oscars Saturday Night: Elton John Dines Quietly “Before the Storm,” Ricky Martin Meets Guillermo del Toro, Everyone Complains About Vanity Fair


On the night before the Oscars, and what did they do…

Well, you know dozens of stars went to the Night Before, on the Fox lot, to raise money for the salaries of the staff at the Motion Picture Home in Woodland Hills– and for legal fees in upcoming trials.

But the really fun party was at the Giorgio Armani store on Rodeo Boulevard, where the designer’s daughter, Roberta, threw a bash honoring “Shape of Water” director Guillermo del Toro. I never heard so many people laughing and having a good time in a fancy store without getting anything for free. Among the guests were Ricky Martin, Matthew Modine (with beautiful actress daughter Ruby), famed producer director George Stevens, Jr. (with beautiful wife Elizabeth) plus the great Samuel L. Jackson and his beautiful actress wife LaTonya Richardson. Darren Criss got kudos from everyone there forĀ  Ryan Murphy’s “Versace,” del Toro got to meet Hollywood’s most beloved philanthropists– mother and daughter Barbara and Nancy Davis. And everyone stayed til the end, which was a good sign…

over at Craig’s on Melrose, the reigning king of hot spots, Sir Elton John commanded a large corner table with partner David Furnish. Their guests included the terrific British director (Nowhere Boy, 50 Shades of Grey) Sam Taylor-Johnson with her actor husband Aaron Johnson (so good in “Nocturnal Animals”), New Yorker Sandy Brandt and her daughter. Elton said: “We’re dining quietly. It’s the calm before the storm,” meaning tonight’s Elton John AIDS Foundation gala, star studded and so important for AIDS research fundraising…not too long after this table settled in, arrived singer John Mayer at the next booth…and in the front booth rock manager, legend Irving Azoff hosted New Yorkers Ronald Perelman and daughter Samantha…around the corner from them former LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa hosted his own table and talked about his upcoming California governor’s race…

…and wherever you go there are complaints about the Vanity Fair Oscar party. Many regulars not invited now that Graydon Carter and his staff are gone. Many wondering if Vogue’s Anna Wintour has stealthily taken control. With Vanity Fair having its second cover controversy in a row, sales down, and advertisers overflowing the VF tent (they need ads, you know), who knows what’s going on. We’ll get a better idea by tomorrow morning…But the Elton John party will be the place to be…

Other parties looking like fun tonight: comedian, entrepreneur Byron Allen, now a movie mogul, tossing a gala at the Beverly Wilshire with Katy Perry and Jamie Foxx performing…and Jay Z is taking over Chateau Marmont for an after-after party to knock out Madonna’s late night soiree. Jay Z’s party will probably run until 4:44 AM!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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