For many viewers, the vicarious appeal of the Academy Awards is provided by stunningly arrayed celebrities basking under the effervescent glow of Hollywood glamour. Outside spectators, however, can only imagine the glitzy pageantry of the ceremony — except for attendees of the Aegis Foundation's annual Oscar Experience. Now celebrating its 20th year, the event is not only the largest Oscar party in the U.S. outside of Los Angeles, it's also the one gathering sanctioned by the Academy of Motion Pictures. With that in mind, attendees dress the part, decked out in snazzy attire suitable for sauntering down the red carpet (after being transported to the venue via a luxury car, naturally), pausing for the cameras, and chatting with Christopher Straub of Project Runway fame. The tri-level space at Union Restaurant will allow guests plenty of room for diversions, whether predicting Oscar winners, bidding in silent auctions, or simply mingling with fellow revelers. (Fear not, Oscar buffs, a "silent room" will also be provided for dedicated viewing.) Free hors d'oeuvres will be offered to all guests, while those springing for the VIP treatment can enjoy a three-course meal with complimentary champagne. The best part about living like Hollywood royalty for a night? All proceeds will be split among three charities (the Aegis Foundation, the Smile Network, and the Sanneh Foundation), making the lavish revelry worthy of a standing ovation.
Sun., Feb. 24, 5:30-11 p.m., 2013