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Who Needs Hollywood? Big-time Oscar-night bashes, Chicago-style

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Amalie Drury

It's my job to write about Chicago and all of its people, places and things. If it's new and it's cool, I'm checking it out.

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The "Avatar Princess" cocktail at Kit Kat Lounge & Supper Club.

This time last year, I donned a sequined dress and went to two over-the-top Oscar viewing parties: a Moet shindig featuring gold-body-painted champagne girls, and the Center on Halsted's red-carpet bash. When I got home, I had no idea who won what and had to look it all up on TMZ. 

I've already gone out a lot this week, so this year, I'm kind of hoping some friend will pop out of the woodwork and invite me over to watch the awards with him on Sunday. (Ahem. Tim.) 

But, in lieu of that, here are the other options: 

1. The Center on Halsted event (again), a wildly glam affair at the Fairmont that will be attended by slew of Billy Elliot cast members, outrageous drag queens, and overall fabulous people. The super-stylin' Greg Hyder is co-hosting along with Judi Gorman and Wayne Harth, and the event's sponsors include just about everyone. Will the allure of all those sparkles be too much to resist?

2. The Chicago Sport and Social Club's viewing party at The Boundary, with the Oscars playing on a dozen large plasmas and drink specials ($3 Coors Light; $4 Absolut, Jameson and Malibu cocktails) from 6PM until the last award.

3. An Avatar-themed spectacle at Kit Kat Lounge & Supper Club, with gift bags for the first 50 guests; "Avatar Princess" Effen and Hpnotiq cocktails; warrior princess Neytiri performances throughout the night; and an Oscar quiz with the grand prize of an Avatar Playstation 3 game and a Swarovski-encrusted bottle of Hpnotiq. 

4. LUXBAR's event to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, where a $65 donation gets you a red-carpet arrival; awards viewing on 17 TVs; a little mingling with local celebs; cocktails by Goose Island, Belvedere, Glenmorangie and 10 Cane; and a dinner-by-the-bite menu of sliders, empanadas, mini crab cakes and more. 

5. Chicago's only Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences-recognized Academy Awards blowout, the Gene Siskel Film Center and School of the Art Institute of Chicago's 'Oscar Night America.' This one is hosted by another one of my favorite people, girl-on-the-town Amanda Puck, and--NEWS FLASH--I just heard it's sold out. OK, strike that one from the list, but not because it's not awesome. 

What I really want to know is, where can I participate in a dress-judging contest? If Oscar gown-bashing (or gown-gushing) is also at the top of your agenda, feel free to have me over. 

P.S. I just got an e-mail from Greg Hyder about the Center on Halsted party, and he used so many exclamation points that I wrote right back and said I'd be there. I can't wait. Tim, you're going. 

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