Oscar Fever & Hollywood Happenings

“Big Bang” star Johnny Galecki and Margie Barron supporting last year’s “A Night at Sardi’s.”

“Big Bang” star Johnny Galecki and Margie Barron
supporting last year’s “A Night at Sardi’s.”

The Hollywood Museum caught Oscar fever by hosting a special celebrity-packed party to launch a new exhibit featuring the Best Picture contenders, as well as television shows that were noteworthy during the 2013 awards season. The Hollywood Reporter sponsored the exhibit that showcases costumes and props from the year’s most popular and critically acclaimed films and TV series. The exhibit runs Feb. 20 to April 30 at the museum located in the historic Max Factor building at Hollywood and Highland.

Universal CityWalk is helping folks catch Oscar fever with a marathon of the Best Picture Oscar nominees for Best Motion Picture. It launched last weekend at the AMC CityWalk Stadium, and on Saturday, March 1, beginning at 12 noon, screenings of Nebraska, Captain Phillips, Her, American Hustle, and Gravity in 3D will be offered for one movie ticket for the whole day, plus $2 movie parking. To add to the movie-going experience a variety of dining and shopping options are available to round out an entertaining, fun-filled day at CityWalk.

Filmmaker Judd Apatow (Bridesmaids, Anchorman) also has some great TV comedies to his credit, from Freaks & Geeks to HBO’s Girls. So the Paley Center for Media announced that the acclaimed writer, producer, actor, and director will be the recipient of the 2014 PaleyFest Icon Award. Apatow will receive the honor at an event hosted by Pat Mitchell, president & CEO of The Paley Center for Media on Monday, March 10. It will kick off the 31st annual PaleyFest taking place March 13-28, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. The Festival will feature two special reunion events: a 10th anniversary Lost reunion on March 16, and a Veronica Mars series reunion (the day prior to the March 14 release of the series-inspired movie). The Festival will also honor current outstanding series including Orange Is the New Black, How I Met Your Mother Farewell, Pretty Little Liars, Parks and Recreation, Sleepy Hollow, Mad Men, The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Masters of Sex, The Mindy Project, Community, Veep, and American Horror Story: Coven.

“Broadway’s Best” is the theme of the 22nd Annual Alzheimer’s Association “A Night at Sardi’s” set for March 26 at the Beverly Hilton. The show is always a sensational musical revue featuring sassy Broadway tunes sung by Hollywood’s brightest stars from film and TV. Last year the cast of The Big Bang Theory brought down the house in full drag performing “Time Warp” from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. And this year the Big Bang stars will receive the Abe Burrows Entertainment Award for their support over the years. Also special will be the presentation of the inaugural Glen Campbell Courage Award to Glen Campbell and his family for their work for the cause.

Another spectacular event is set for March 15 called the “5th Annual Unstoppable Gala” honoring Malala Yousafzai, the brave young Pakistani girl who challenged the Taliban. At the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, special guests will include co-chairs Brandy and Malcolm Jamal Warner; hosts Martin Sheen, and John Schneider, plus Unstoppable Foundation founder Cynthia Kersey who has accomplished so much for education in developing nations, and amassed many celebrity supporters for the worthy affair (go to UnstoppableGala.com). There will also be great performances as well as tributes.

Some future stars were in the spotlight at LA’s Next Great Stage Star talent competition. The competition was produced by Michael Sterling, of Michael Sterling & Associates and author, business woman, and arts philanthropist, Barbara Van Orden. “I am proud of our 20 aspiring young performers,” Van Orden said. “I felt privileged to watch them hone their craft during the six week competition. I expect to be hearing a lot more about these young men and ladies as they pursue their dreams. After all, eight past contestants have gone on to Broadway since the competition started.” The winner at the 8th annual event was Jennifer Kranz, a Musical Theater senior at USC. She was awarded a paid headlining concert engagement at Sterling’s Upstairs, and many other career-launching prizes.

The event had a special tribute to the late Marvin Hamlisch, that Van Orden said was “perfect because Mr. Hamlisch’s talents were recognized at such a ridiculously young age that he was accepted into the Juilliard School as a child.” Hamlisch won three Oscars, four Grammys, four Emmys, a Tony, and three Golden Globe awards. And introducing and inspiring each contestant was Hamlisch’s ode to performing – “What I Did for Love.”

Would you believe that Tinker Bell never got a “Best Supporting Fairy” nomination? Well at least she’s part of Hollywood’s El Capitan Theatre presentation of the new Disney animated adventure The Pirate Fairy (until March 19). Tinker Bell will make a special live appearance at the legendary movie theatre before each screening, and even a “breakfast with Tink” opportunity is available before the 10 a.m. showing. And wee guests will have the opportunity to get up and dance along to favorite songs with the “Disney Junior DJ Shuffle Dance Party” before each showing of the toddler-friendly Pirate Fairy.

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