The show must go on … and did

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    Weeks of wondering whether the Oscars would go on ended the day of the show leaving many relieved, although respectful of the crisis the nation faces.

    By Kim Devore/Special to The Malibu Times

    There’s no business like show business, and they went on with the show as movie lovers celebrated the 75th Academy Awards.

    Limos zipped up and down Pacific Coast Highway early Sunday afternoon ferrying famous faces to Tinseltown in all their finery. Those who didn’t land a coveted ticket to the Kodak Theater gathered at private parties or flocked to local hot spots to watch the festivities.

    Scully Cloeteat happily made the rounds at Granita where he was hosting the eatery’s annual Oscar bash.

    “I’m so glad it wasn’t cancelled,” he said, greeting a new group of guests. “Can you imagine?”

    Others were equally relieved. “I am very glad they went on with the show,” television producer Robin Groth remarked. “It’s one of the most important outlets for our community.”

    As guests munched away on spicy chicken pizza, spring pea soup with black trumpet mushrooms, lobster salad with asparagus, they marked their ballots.

    “I know everyone’s going for Chicago,” film buff Albert Tumson said, “but I actually liked Lord of the Rings.”

    Even though the festivities were somewhat scaled down, fashion didn’t fizzle. The stars put on the old razzle-dazzle decked out in flashy jewel toned gowns, glittering gems and sweeping up-dos.

    “Rene Zellweger looks great,” Granita’s Danielle Lackey marveled, in between dessert deliveries, “but Jennifer Garner is my favorite.”

    Many felt show host Steve Martin made the evening’s most outstanding performance. The wild and crazy guy had the unenviable task of having to be funny while guessing what may or may not be considered appropriate while America is at war.

    “He’s the best,” Tumson said. “Let’s face it, the guy’s a genius.”

    Martin worked with his writers right up until show time, and by most accounts, did an excellent job of delivering the laughs without crossing the line.

    “You probably noticed there’s no fancy red carpet tonight,” Martin said of the paparazzi-free affair. “That’ll send ’em a message.”

    More serious messages were sent. The loudest and most controversial coming from independent filmmaker Michael Moore. Cheers and jeers at Oscar parties throughout town greeted Moore’s antiwar statements.

    “I was glad he spoke out and had something to say,” Rich Fox explained. “But it definitely started a conflict at my gathering.”

    For actresses Kate Hudson and Susan Sarandon the message was an unspoken peace sign. Others, like Barbara Streisand, touched on the subject by saying “I am proud to live in a country which gives artists the right to sing and say what we believe.”

    “Some did it with a peace sign, some put it into words,” Groth said, “but the important thing is that we are free to express ourselves.”

    Even after the curtain came down, the debate about the show went on. Still, some see the annual extravaganza as a simple duty-and it doesn’t matter whether it’s for troops along the Tigris or superstars at the Sky Bar.

    “I am an entertainer,” Lifetime Achievement winner Peter O’Toole said. “That’s my job.”