Harvey Weinstein doesn’t throw a typical dinner party. His annual pre-Oscar party, held the night before the Academy Awards, is a who’s who of nominees rubbing shoulder to shoulder the evening before they rub shoulders again at the big event. Last’s night’s affair inside the Marchesa Ballroom at the Montage Beverly Hills was no different. Our heads were turning so much to see all the bold face names, we were almost going in circles.
To start, we hung out with our fashion friends Zac Posen and Nasty Gal founder and resident #GirlBoss Sophia Amoruso as we waited to get inside. After cocktail hour, we spotted Benedict Cumberbatch catching up with Keira Knightley, his co-star from The Imitation Game (that’s a Weinstein film), before helping his new wife, Sophie Hunter, find her seat. He shunned taking selfies with fans, telling anyone who asked that he wanted to only hang with his wife for the night (aw!). As we made our way to the Fiji table---the brand was one of the evening's sponsors, along with Chopard, DeLeon Tequila, and MAC Cosmetics---we passed Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne, Julianne Hough, and Jennifer Lopez.
After the double entrée of braised shortrib and roasted branzino was served, the man of the hour himself, Harvey Weinstein, took the stage to introduce the night’s performances. He is now the lead producer of two Broadway musicals, Finding Neverland (which opens in a few weeks) and Around the World in 80 Days, which is still in the workshopping stages. The cast of the latter spent nearly 30 minutes performing for the crowd as people swayed to the music in between bites. From their front row seats, Amy Adams, Channing Tatum, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Marion Cotillard, and Marchesa co-founder/Weinstein’s wife Georgina Chapman bobbed their heads to the music, which included songs sung by Into the Woods’ star James Corden and Nicole Scherzinger.
Oprah Winfrey stayed until the performance finished, then said her goodbyes. She headed for the door just as Leo, as in Leonardo DiCaprio, swept in (and out). Dessert of vanilla caramel budino, lemon tart, and espresso chocolate flourless cake came next, and Rita Ora (in Marchesa) took the stage to perform with Matthew Morrison for a few songs from Finding Neverland (he will star in the musical on Broadway, while she’ll sing on the concept album). Jared Leto arrived late, wearing the same jacket from the Independent Spirit Awards earlier that day, but missed the performances by seconds.
By night’s end, the stars made their way out to other parties—or to bed to rest for the next day!—though Adams and Cotillard lingered chatting with Weinstein until after midnight. Because this weekend, every night’s a big night for memorable moments. Not just the Academy Awards.