In television this year, it has paid to be queer.
But even a straight person can hold a viewing party for Sunday’s Oscar ceremony that is, at least, a little inspired by the hit TV show “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” if they can master making a “‘Mystic’ Martini” or “‘Rings’ tortellini”
Ted Allen, food and wine expert on cable TV network Bravo’s hit show, offers these tips for Oscar parties: roll out the red carpet, stretch a velvet rope across the door, dim the lights, create some glamour and, most important, indulge your culinary creativity.
“I don’t want to be too unkind to my heterosexual brethren. Many a tragic party has been thrown by an overzealous gay man,” Allen said when asked what’s the worst mistake a straight person can make with their Oscar party.
“The biggest mistake anybody makes is overdoing it,” he said. “I like theme parties to be a little relaxed.”
Oscars, the U.S. film industry’s top honors given out by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, will be telecast live Sunday from Los Angeles by the ABC television network at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PST.
Last year, nearly 22 million people tuned into the show in the United States, and moviegoers gather at parties to watch the parade of stars that this year includes Johnny Depp, Sean Penn, Charlize Theron, Diane Keaton and Renee Zellweger.
To keep those parties from turning into ho-hum chips and salsa affairs, Allen suggests a touch of elegance and a dash of Hollywood flair.
The circular “‘Rings’ tortellini,” is a nod to best movie nominee and Oscar frontrunner “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.” Sushi could mean “Lost in Translation” and salmon canapes might bring up “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. “‘Mystic’ Martini” is for “Mystic River.”
“If you’ve gone to that movie, you probably need a martini,” he said of the deep and dark thriller.
So that everybody can hear those often teary-eyed acceptance speeches, Allen suggests a VJ, (video jockey) to control the TV remote during the telecast.
He said it is a good idea to arrange furniture so that people walk around and mingle. “It helps keep people from hogging the good chairs,” he said.
If the telecast gets too long and tiring — last year it ran 3-1/2 hours — well, Allen said, there’s not much he could do about that.
“Maybe, everyone receiving an award should reveal one breast,” he said. Now that would be an Oscar ceremony no one would soon forget. Ask Janet Jackson and the Super Bowl folks.
More of Allen’s tips can be found at (http://www.awardshowpartytips.com/).