February 17, 2015: What the Oscar Producers Are Planning for This Year’s Show, Inside the 'SNL' Anniversary After-Party, Are Drone Shows the New Fireworks Displays?

By Beth Kormanik February 17, 2015, 8:30 AM EST

1. WHAT THE OSCAR PRODUCERS ARE PLANNING FOR THIS YEAR’S SHOW: Will Oscar telecast producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron be lucky enough this year to have another selfie moment or pizza-delivery spectacle? Or a viral sensation along the lines of John Travolta mangling the name of singer Idina Menzel into the now-famous “Adele Dazeem”? Some things you can’t script, but the producers said they’re trying to seed in moments that take advantage of host Neil Patrick Harris’s unique talents. Los Angeles Times: “The producers feel one of the host's most important tasks is relaxing the audience in the Dolby, with their empty stomachs, uncomfortable gowns and tuxedos and palpable nerves, and enlisting them as co-conspirators in creating an entertaining show. ‘We feel that if the stars are humanized, it feels much better in the living room,’ Meron said. ‘If the home audience sees everybody having a good time and their hair is basically let down, it translates to having a good time at home.’”

2. INSIDE THE 'SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE' ANNIVERSARY AFTER-PARTY: While the 40th anniversary special for Saturday Night Live drew mixed reviews—as well as huge ratings, with more than 23 million viewers—the after-party at the Plaza hotel may have been even more fun. Thanks to the guests’ various Instagram and Twitter accounts, we can piece together some of the more memorable moments. New York’s Vulture blog: “Taylor Swift and Paul McCartney shared the stage for ‘Shake It Off’ and ‘I Saw Her Standing There,’ while Bill Murray entertained himself on the tambourine. Jimmy Fallon was everywhere, as usual.”

3. ARE DRONE SHOWS THE NEW FIREWORKS DISPLAYS?: Enterprising event producers have been coming up with entertainment applications for drones, such as the just-announced drone show called Air. The show, slated for the fall, will take place in the 50,000-seat Amsterdam Arena in the Netherlands and feature drone races, lasers, and illusions. TechCrunch: “The larger question here is of course whether 'a show without artists' will prove to be all that entertaining. Flying drones yourself can be fun. Watching a bunch of drones being chased by lasers in pre-set sequences to music might be rather less scintillating, unless you’re a big fan of large scale firework displays. Perhaps drones will be able to add ‘edging out public firework displays and soulless stadium rock’ to their list of future achievements.”


The Association of Destination Management Executives International announced its award winners at a gala Saturday at the Fiesta Americana Grand in Los Cabos, Mexico. Full list of winners:


ATLANTIC CITY:  Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill, a 250-seat restaurant, has opened at Caesars Atlantic City. It has a private dining room.

BOSTON:  Faneuil Hall will celebrate Mardi Gras today with a New Orleans-style parade featuring floats decorated by local merchants. The Harvard University Band will provide music, and Salt from the Karson and Kennedy Show on Mix 104.1 is the M.C.

CHICAGO:  Lee Kite, former director of distinguished events for the American Cancer Society’s Lakeshore Division, has joined the organization’s National Corporate Partners Team as the director of major market galas. In her new role, Kite will create and monitor strategies and business processes to drive event revenue and profit in major U.S. markets.

LAS VEGAS:  Pawnstars personality Chumlee will debut as a DJ at Ghostbar Dayclub’s season finale inside Palms Casino Resort on February 28.

LOS ANGELES:  Vanity Fair and Fiat will host a “Young Hollywood” celebration at No Vacancy today as part of the magazine’s Campaign Hollywood Oscar week programming.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  The Japanese Spring Festival will take place March 22 at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden. The event will include a kimono fashion show, taiko drumming performances, children's activities, catering from the new restaurant SooWoo, and more.

Chef Matthew Kenney will serve mini versions of plant-based food during a book launch for his new memoir, Cooked Raw, Thursday at Books & Books in the Bal Harbour Shops.

NEW YORK:  The League of Professional Theatre Women will host its Awards Celebration & Big Mingle on March 16 at the Pershing Square Signature Center.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

TORONTO:  D-Beatstro, a café and event space, is set to take over a former bike shop on Bloor Street. Serving locally roasted coffee and vegan and vegetarian fare, the venue will host a soft launch pop-up market February 26 to March 1. The grand opening is scheduled for April.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Danielle Davis, communications director for the National Cherry Blossom festival, is leaving for a communications post at the Mid-Atlantic chapter of Make-A-Wish Foundation.

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With contributions from Jenny Berg in Chicago, Alesandra Dubin in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, Jill Menze, and Anna Sekula in New York.

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