Oscar parties: Where the stars shine brightly

The only thing bigger than the show itself is the bevy of parties that follow the Academy Awards.

Traditionally, the biggest of them all is Vanity Fair’s after-party. OK, so Vanity Fair’s party (held at Morton’s) unintentionally went dark early due to a power outage at 1:30 a.m., but that doesn’t mean the stars weren’t there.

Multi-Oscar winner Tom Hanks held a hushed meeting with the highly regarded auteur and actor Ed Burns; hunky Mel Gibson held court with newswoman Diane Sawyer; Oprah Winfrey conversed with fellow high-powered female exec Sherry Lansing (Paramount’s chairman); and George Lucas admired the fiery Nicole Kidman, Variety reports.

Elton John was rocking at his own party just down the street from Morton’s at Moomba, which was also a benefit for AIDS research and co-sponsored by InStyle magazine.

Denzel Washington, the newly minted Best Actor winner, joined Kevin Spacey, the Backstreet Boys, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Eric McCormack, Melissa Joan Hart, Jane Kaczmarek and Bradley Whitford in raising money for John‘s pet cause.

DreamWorks’ Michael De Luca held a high-wattage party with agent Patrick Whitesell not so far from Hollywood’s maddening crowd, in Hollywood Hills. Attendees included Ben Stiller and Tobey Maguire (presenters from the evening’s Oscars), actors Cuba Gooding Jr., Ray Liotta, Patricia Arquette, Chris Kattan and Neve Campbell, as well as Janet Jackson, Tyra Banks, Sean Combs and Jay-Z.

There were yet more parties Oscar night. Universal, DreamWorks and USA Films collaborated on the festivities at Renaissance Hollywood Hotel; the Night of the 100 Stars gala was housed at the swank Beverly Hills Hotel; and New Line Cinema held its bash at Maple Drive.