The Oscars, Cleveland-Style

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Scene staffers Becky Meiser and Meredith Pangrace tried desperately to play celebrity for a night. It's a sad, sad tale.
Being fans of alcohol and celebrity culture, Scene art director Meredith Pangrace and I were super-excited to attend Cleveland's "only officially licensed" Oscar Night Party. According to the pre-event buildup, there was to be a long red carpet for big shots to sashay down, delectable Spago-style food, lots of free booze, and live entertainment during commercials. Rumor was we might even get a shout-out on national television. So imagine our horror when we pulled up to the Clifton Club in Lakewood and found there wasn't even ... valet! The horror! Things got worse from there. For starters, the "red" carpet was actually -- sigh! -- beige and there was no photographers waiting to take our picture. (So we had to, um, take pictures of ourselves.) We headed over to the banquet table to look for the foie gras and speared tuna samples. Instead, we found only egg rolls and pot stickers. This food was obviously not inspired by Spago, but rather from the kid's menu at my cousin's bar mitzvah. Forlornly, we walked away with our soggy hors d'oeuvres and half-filled glasses of wine (so much for the open bar we'd envisioned; try two free drink tickets). We were totally engaged in Barbara Walter's exclusive interview with Ellen DeGeneres when the "live music" started -- and didn't stop, though we asked really, really nicely. Finally, the awards started. We looked around the room for the camera-feed that would broadcast our mugs across the country — or at least across West 6th. But there was nary a camera nor a celebrity. Not even Angie Lau, who's always at these things. Bitch. With a sigh, we headed to the display table. There were supposedly gowns worn by Doris Day, and Vivien Leigh. What we saw, instead, were three-inch Steve Madden platforms that Cher once wore. But we did get our celebrity moment. On the table of Hollywood memorabilia was a (fake plastic) Academy Award. Out came the cameras. — Rebecca Meiser
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