Life & Style Goes to the Oscar Parties : ELTON JOHN AIDS FOUNDATION : They Set the Night to Music

The Scene: Elton John AIDS Foundation's third annual Academy Awards-watching dinner and after-party at the Four Seasons Hotel on Monday night that raised $200,000. Underwritten by Cartier, this was no doubt the evening's only fete with serious favors--silver Cartier key rings and a $15,000 gold Panther watch for the top ballot marker.

Who Came Early: While the Oscar-winning John was at the Shrine Auditorium, Bernie and Stephanie Taupin (he's John's longtime collaborator; she owns Cicada restaurant) filled in as hosts; plus mostly music names including Stevie Wonder, Melissa Etheridge, Natalie Cole, Jon Bon Jovi, "Lion King's" Hans Zimmer (original score winner) and Olivia Newton-John.

Who Came Late: About three hours after the telecast ended and the TV crews looked like they were going to start interviewing each other, the arrival of Quentin Tarantino, Claudia Schiffer and David Copperfield, and Hugh Grant and Elizabeth Hurley perked up the star quotient.

Speed, The Sequel: "We went to the Governor's Ball, had something to eat and then we got a police escort," said John. "I missed being here."

The Letterman Critique: "He made it very fresh, very irreverent. We're not dealing with a religious experience, we're dealing with entertainment," opined Sylvester Stallone.

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