Big Apple bitten by Oscar bug

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NEW YORK -- With this year's Golden Globes having been handed out, it's now Oscar, Oscar, Oscar more than ever on the minds of East Coasters, just as it is with those out west. The good news for Acad members who live here is that the Academy's local Oscar-night party again will be held at the St. Regis Hotel, the site of last year's Manhattan celebration. (The 2006 party and locale were a huge success.) While people will be red-carpeting at Hollywood & Highland's Kodak Theatre on Feb. 25, 3,000 miles away, the Big Apple festivities will begin with a gala cocktail reception in the St. Regis' Louis XVI Suite, with guests then moving into the Versailles Room for dinner and viewing of the award show on strategically located big screens. ... Plans also are afoot here for a repeat of February's mammoth display of Oscars at the ABC studios in Times Square, with the added codicil this year of giving visitors the chance to actually hold an Oscar and have his or her picture taken with same. Among the historic statuettes that will be on display are two of the most famous in the Academy's past: Bette Davis' 1938 Oscar for "Jezebel" and Clark Gable's 1934 trophy for "It Happened One Night." Those and others will be on display Feb. 15-24. ... Even earlier in Hollywood, beginning Feb. 9, there also will be a huge Meet the Oscar exhibition at the Hollywood & Highland Center, next to the Kodak, where the public can have a look at 50 of the statuettes that will be handed out to winners at the 79th Annual Academy Awards ceremony and be photographed with one. (A great PR idea; who hasn't wanted to pick up an Oscar?) At this locale, people also will be able to see the four Oscars awarded to the most-Oscared performer to date, the late Katharine Hepburn, those Oscars coming her way for 1933's "Morning Glory," 1967's "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," 1968's "The Lion in Winter" and 1981's "On Golden Pond." ... Further on the Oscar front: If you're in the vicinity of the AMPAS headquarters in Beverly Hills, do check out the exhibition there of posters of films honored by Oscar during the 50 years the Academy has honored foreign-language films. Those posters are in all their original foreign flavors and artwork. While there, also check out the multimedia exhibition of the artifacts of someone who never won an Oscar but deserved at least a dozen, the 100% unique W.C. Fields. ... Speaking of Oscars, tonight Academy Award winner Rita Moreno, who also has a Grammy, a Tony, an Emmy, etc., makes her first major N.Y. cabaret appearance at the Cafe Carlyle. She'll own the room for the next four weeks, followed there by Judy Collins from Feb. 13-March 2. ... On Monday night, also at the Carlyle, another Oscar champ, Woody Allen, made the first of his 2007 Monday night appearances, clarinet in hand, along with the Eddy Davis New Orleans Jazz Band. ... Also, two nights after this year's Oscar ceremony, last year's best actor winner Philip Seymour Hoffman will be opening here with the Labyrinth Theatre Company in Bob Glaudini's play "Jack Goes Boating," which is scheduled for a limited N.Y. engagement through April 8.
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