Forty-eight hours after receiving a red-carpet “flour bombing," Kim Kardashian had a one-man security detail shadowing her at Perez Hilton’s Mad Hatter Tea Party-themed birthday concert on Saturday night.
On this night, where the strictly enforced dress code mandated hats, the only white flair in the reality star’s black mane was self-applied.
The spectrum of industry friends supporting the man behind the former “most hated website” illustrated a personal network diverse as the multi-colored parrot that sat on his shoulder as he hosted the six-hour bash in an Aladdin costume.
From the family-friendly demographic, there were pals like Disney staples Ashley Tisdale and Bella Thorne, cast members from “Glee”, and Michael Clarke Duncan. Up by a viewing area, married couple Taye Diggs and Idina Menzel were out on the town for the night. Dita Von Teese chomped on one of the Umami burgers up in the balcony. Nearby, Jenna Jameson passed through the two-room set-up in a ringmaster outfit.
The on-stage performers also affirmed Hilton’s evolution towards a music brand.
After the recent $40 million stadium tour paired with “New Kids on the Block,” the Backstreet Boys were casually working their way to the stage around 11:30 p.m., mics in hand. A highlight of the night was the veteran group vouching for IM5, the five-member boy band put together by Simon Fuller (“American Idol," The Spice Girls), tour director Jamie King and Hilton himself after an online search two years ago.
Jointly, the two groups reprised the classic “I Want It That Way.” Singer Charice, Far East Movement, Kat Graham and others took the stage at the Motorola- and UV Vodka-sponsored event. (A table full of Motorola goodie bags in the VIP had its own social gravity.)
By requiring his invited guests to make at least a $20 donation to VH1’s Save the Music Foundation, the Mad Hatter birthday and an event last week at SXSW collectively raised more than $66,000.
It was a weekend of blogger birthdays, as rival content-geyser Jared Eng (JustJared.com) had his own birthday party on Friday night at the yet-to-open Pink Taco on Sunset. His crowd – including Olivia Munn, Seth MacFarlane, Jamie Chung and Kings of Leon’s Jared Followill -- was the first to break in the space that doesn’t open until Sunday, April 1.
Pink Taco takes over the former “Miyagis” space, which has been dormant for several years on a Chernobyl-esque ghost town block of Sunset that also had included “Dublins.” Tom Felton and Natasha Bedingfield are press-friendly, rivalry neutral or both, as they helped light up both blogger birthdays.
Before hitting Hilton’s bash on Saturday, Ian Somerhalder took home the top personal
honor at the taping of Humane Society’s 26th Annual Genesis Awards.
“We won’t be seeing much for HBO’s ‘Luck’,” one event insider said as the night began.
However, that preliminary wisdom was wrong, as the Humane Society gave a marquee thank you to HBO in the night’s program for providing airfare for the awardees. The involvement predates the recent controversy, as the dates on the donor list indicated the printed materials closed three days before the horse racing series was canceled following the deaths of several horses while filming.
Moments before the show, “The Artist” star Uggie the dog (at left, with Cloris Leachman) lent a helping paw by dragging his handler outside so he could water the Beverly Hilton landscaping in the horseshoe as limos arrived.
The Genesis Awards are the rare event where the video packages draw audible responses from the audience while they’re still playing, with a committed crowd that included Bill Maher, Ke$ha, Wendie Malick (who brought her own donation check up on stage with her) and Rose McGowan. Kathy and Tom Freston’s generosity landed them, appropriately, at the “whale” table.
Colbie Callait performed, following a week in which she teamed with Gavin DeGraw to capitalize on his increased "Dancing With the Stars" visibility to announce a summer co-headlining tour. The Genesis Awards will air on Animal Planet on May 5.
Before the weekend, two events gracefully dodged the publicity fallout zone from the flour bomb on Thursday night. On Beverly, Elizabeth Banks spent "Hunger Games" eve at Restoration Hardware’s event hosted by a salad of designers, stylists, and musicians that provided a rare “lights on” cocktail scene.
Meanwhile in the panoramic view salon atop the Andaz on Sunset, the sociable Felton, Minka Kelly, Jerry Ferrara, and Jaime King (the female actress, not the male tour producer mentioned above) were among those designing Saint Vintage bracelets to benefit “Stand Up 2 Cancer.” Thankfully Thursday was a night of from the drum-banging labor protests that have intermittently besieged the hotel’s front entry over the last 23 months,
Freelance crooners Kristen Bell, Scott Porter, Peter Gallagher, Wayne Brady and more bested their professional music industry brethren at “A Night at Sardi’s.” While nearly all of the performers belting out Broadway tunes at the Alzheimer's Association’s benefit are currently in other branches of the entertainment tree, it seemed that all went without a teleprompter as they performed this week at the Beverly Hilton.
By contrast, the tributes to Paul McCartney at MusiCares last month had Norah Jones, Tony Bennett, Neil Young, and Katy Perry facing a stadium-sized prompter scrolling up well-known McCartney lyrics, though some used it more than others back on the night before Whitney Houston died.
Appropriate to the night’s memory-focused initiatives, the TV delegation flexed its mental muscle for getting off book. “Hey all you rich people,” Wayne Brady opened before getting the crowd into a call-and-response. (Above, Brady performs with “New Girl’s” Lamorne Morris.)
Marilu Henner, who lends her superhuman memory out as a consultant on “Unforgettable,” said she’s already been donating her brain for voluntary MRI’s and 400 photographs. Henner appeared with “Unforgettable” executive producers Ed Redlich and John Belluci.
The cast of “The Big Bang Theory’s” “Age of Aquarius’ was a highlight, even before Simon Helberger let way too much sunshine in, donning a Michael Fassbender suit. For the avoidance of doubt, he is wearing a body costume (above right).
Peter Grad and Laurie Burrows Grad hosted the $1.3 million dollar night.
(Photos by Getty Images for Alzheimer’s Association)