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SPRING 2008 | Rubbing Oscar Elbows in Tinseltown

SPRING 2008 | Rubbing Oscar Elbows in Tinseltown

In Los Angeles the Academy Awards are akin to the Super Bowl. For one starry night, this industry town is all aflutter with even more glitter and gossip than usual.

Swanky soirees, rounds of screenings, and enough cocktail receptions to inspire a visit to rehab fill the calendars of the A-list en route to Hollywood's biggest night of the year (February 24). But even a gay commoner can party-hop like a nominee if they know the best parties in the City of Angels:

1. APLA Oscar Party
For several years "Ghost Whisperer" star Jennifer Love Hewitt has hosted The Envelope Please: An Oscar Viewing Party just around the corner from Sir Elton's bash. Stationed on Robertson Boulevard at The Abbey, West Hollywood's most popular gay watering hole with its spacious patio, fireplaces, cabana beds, and gorgeous eye candy, the APLA Oscar bash is a staple among famous out celebs like Lance Bass, "Queer Eye"'s Jai Rodriguez, NBA star John Amaechi, and actor Wilson Cruz. Without question, this is the gayest of all the Academy Awards celebrations in Los Angeles. Tickets cost around $300 and are quite limited, but the good news is that all the proceeds benefit AIDS Project Los Angeles. Conscience plus glam -- how swell is that? (

2. DIVA at the Oscars 2008
Each year WeHo's velvet mafia gather to swig champers and martinis at Diva's annual Academy Awards Viewing and After Party, which will take place again on Oscar night this year at the ever-chic, well-heeled East|West Lounge, located on West Hollywood's major artery, Santa Monica Boulevard. Attracting gay glitterati such as model-author Reichen Lehmkuhl and "Project Runway"'s Nick Verreos, Diva's Oscar soiree is undoubtedly the best deal in town, with tickets available at the door for about $20. But be sure to RSVP in advance to be on the list to get in the door. After all, this is still Hollywood!

3. Elton John AIDS Foundation Party
Generally held at the blue-glassed Pacific Design Center in the very heart of gay West Hollywood, the Elton John AIDS Foundation Oscar night party has become an increasingly exclusive event in recent years thanks to appearances by superstars including Madonna, Victoria Beckham, Sharon Stone, and Kiefer Sutherland. Though tickets are pricey and sometimes impossible to get, rumor has it that the foundation has a few available each year to those whose names do not regularly appear in print. However, check the website early and be prepared to pay the major donor price of $5,000 per person. (

4. Global Green USA Pre-Oscar Party
Eco-friendly celebs including Leonardo DiCaprio, Orlando Bloom, Salma Hayek, Penélope Cruz, and Kate Bosworth are expected to be on hand February 20 for the fourth annual Global Green USA pre-Oscar fete at Avalon nightclub in Hollywood, benefiting Mikhail Gorbachev's global environmental movement. Adam Levine and Maroon 5 will perform again this year for a star-studded audience of 500+. Without question, one of the biggest industry pre-Oscar shindigs; there are a limited number of tickets made available to the public each year at a cost of about $100. (

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