Billy Idol Rocks the House at 'ET'/People Bash
September 22, 2008 3:06 PM
What: The “Entertainment Tonight”/People Emmy after-party
Where: Walt Disney Hall
When: Sunday, Sept. 21
Entertainment: Billy Idol, continuing this event’s annual “I Love the '80s” theme. Past performers have included Duran Duran and Prince. Also keeping the crowd happy: Smooth jazz king Dave Koz, who performed outside.
Decor: Other than lights, both colored and spelling out sponsors’ names, the interior of the Frank Gehry-designed Disney Hall was pretty unadulterated. Party planners took full advantage of the space, using the garden for Maybelline/Garnier giveaway stands and Coppola Wine bars and tucking food stations into the venue’s various nooks and crannies. And there were helpful crossroads-style signs to lead people to different sections of the bash (especially useful for those pop-culture arbiters who may never have been inside the temple of high culture).
Food: A little bit of everything, spread over the many levels of the Disney Hall. Bacon-wrapped figs were a nice combination of sweet and salty. The sweet potato/mashed potato bar made an encore appearance this year, allowing guests to garnish their carbs with luxe toppings (truffle butter, anyone?) And Crumbs Bakeshop had a corner offering a wide variety of their monster cupcakes, with sweet flavors such as Oreo and Raspberry Swirl. Bartenders were nearby pouring mixes of Bailey’s, Kahlua and/or milk to go with the cupcakes. Elsewhere, Grey Goose mixologists had a range of cocktails ready to go.
Highlights: One expects the inside of the concert hall to have good acoustics. The surprise was that, performing in an area of the lobby, Billy Idol and his band sounded pretty great. The group was beyond retro, with Idol sporting leather pants with a studded crotch, but everyone in the crowd was singing (or at least mouthing) along with the lyrics. Once you get “Dancing With Myself” stuck in your head, it never goes away. Idol made a token effort to tailor the lyrics of “Hot Summer Night” to the occasion, singing about the “hot Emmy night,” but people including Showtime’s Matthew Blank seemed to be just as happy to hear his old hits in the original.
With its location not too far from the Nokia, as well as its notorious gift bags as a lure, the "ET" party appeared to be the second stop after the Governors Ball, with Chi McBride searching for his “Pushing Daisies” castmates Lee Pace and Kristen Chenoweth (Pace, check; Chenoweth must feel even tinier around those two tall gents), and Amy Poehler parting the crowds as Will Arnett and their entourage trailed behind.
Neil Patrick Harris also appeared popular with those in attendance. He even gave mad props to “Survivor” host and Emmy winner Jeff Probst, who was literally jumping up and down with delight.
Also spotted: Sitcom legend Valerie Bertinelli, who’s preparing to begin production on her TBS comedy pilot and next year is planning to launch a talk show with CBS Paramount. The Jenny Craig spokeswoman said she avoided the many caloric temptations by popping breath mints.
Blink also spotted Kathy Griffin acting quite A-list by completely skipping the red carpet. That didn’t stop a photographer who jumped off the line and ran to snap Ms. Griffin as she entered Disney Hall through the civilian entrance. Blink kibbitzed with Ms. Griffin as we rode up the escalator, noting that five years ago she never would have missed a red-carpet opportunity. She nodded knowingly and pointed out that she now has two Emmys. Blink then accidentally stepped on Ms. Griffin’s very long dress. The conversation was over.
—Josef Adalian and Lisa D. Horowitz