Jimmy Kimmel doesn’t have to be the only distinguished Academy Awards night host this year. Whether you live in Tinseltown, Oniontown or parts in between, you can be a master of ceremonies and create a memorable Oscar bash this Sunday for the 89th Academy Awards.
Here are some tips to turn your usual popcorn-in-front-of-the-TV experience into a different kind of night.
Dressed to Kill Bill
Throwing an Oscar costume party is a terrific way to get a glimpse of what makes a friend tick or who they secretly wish they could be. Much like dressing up for Halloween, an Oscar costume party gives you the opportunity to be creative and lay it out there a bit. You can make it a theme party by restricting costume choices to represent characters from this year’s nominated films or open it up and have no rules. We prefer the latter. You’ll have great stories to tell of the night you had Scarlett O’Hara, Rocky Balboa and Captain Jack Sparrow at your party.
Beer League Budget
You can keep it simple with pizza, beer, guacamole and the like. Or you can mix in a couple of fun and simple ways to get in the mood for the show. Adding in a little competition with Oscar trivia quizzes or an Oscar pool are easy ways to kick-start the night.
You can set up trivia activities in teams or individually, depending on the number of people you’re hosting. Several sites online will help you put together terrific questions about past Oscar winners and films. The party will really take off if you require that incorrect answers be followed by a shot of your favorite spirit.
Here’s a good question to lead off the game: Name the two actors who are the only Academy Award winners to portray the same character? (See below for answer.)
Oscar pools add a little action to the competition. The entry fee should be affordable so everyone in the group is comfortable ponying up to play. You can find a bunch of Oscar pool sheets online to help you keep score. Five or ten major category picks will fit the bill if the group is comprised of casual movie fans. For more ardent film buffs, design a pool where you make choices on all twenty-five or so categories.
Winners can receive one of those cheesy Oscar replica statues. You can get a six-pack of these at Amazon.com.
The Lady in Red
Rolling out the red carpet and planning a catered affair is a commitment of dollars, so proceed with caution. Paparazzi may not be there to cover the event (save for cell phone shutterbugs) but your guests can walk a red carpet and strut through velvet ropes upon entrance to your home.
If you’re throwing an upscale party, don’t send invites via social media—mail out classy invitations. Just be certain to justify the dollars and glitz by getting solid RSVP’s before you start spending money. Specify your party is a black tie event and offering some swag will entice potential guests, too.
Party and event rental companies carry ropes and stands and can help you add a bit of prestige to make your guests feel like celebrities. Party planners can set you up with everything from gift bags, menu and drink choices, to blown glass Oscar statue-like decorations. Additionally, you can DIY and go to crafts stores and get red velvet and other materials to decorate your home in style.
No Oscar Party is complete without champagne. Piper-Heidsieck Champagne is the official bubbly of the 89th Academy Awards and would be a crowd pleaser at your event. (See below for Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Recipe.)
Marlon Brando and Robert DeNiro both won Academy Awards for their portrayals of Don (Vito) Corleone. Brando won in 1972 for his masterful work in The Godfather. DeNiro won for his revelatory performance as the young Vito in The Godfather Part II.
Piper-Heidsieck Champagne *The Seductress
Ingredients: Chilled champagne flute, Piper Heidseick Cuvée Brut Champagne, ½ ounce chilled passion fruit puree, ½ ounce chilled ginger syrup, 1 ounce chilled aperol and a red rose petal garnish.
Process: chill a champagne flute, fill with 4 ounces Piper-Heidsieck, and add chilled passion fruit puree, ginger syrup and aperol. Gently stir. Top with a red rose petal.
*Recipe courtesy of iPic TheatresⓇ