The New York Amsterdam News is again invited to cover the Oscars, which will air live Sunday, March 4, on ABC. Producers Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd return, along with 10 key members of the production team.
“This team brings more than 90 years of combined Oscars telecast experience,” said De Luca and Todd. “Collaborating with them as we celebrate the 90th year of the Oscars is both fitting and thrilling.”
Academy governor Lois Burwell, event producer Cheryl Cecchetto and master chef Wolfgang Puck return to create the Governors Ball, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ official post-Oscars celebration.
March 1 the annual Governors Ball preview gives the media an opportunity to taste the food, wine and spirits that will be served to the ball’s 1,500 invited guests, including Oscar winners and nominees, show presenters and other telecast participants.
A showman himself, the legendary chef Puck will set the stage with a Governors Ball menu pairing Hollywood glamour with culinary whimsy. There are always new menu items, but Puck’s signature dishes, such as smoked salmon, chicken potpie with shaved black truffles and baked macaroni and cheese, will return, and it’s a winning combination for the palette.
The pastry team offers innovative and playful desserts served at multiple dessert stations, including the ultimate dessert buffet featuring Puck’s 24-karat-gold chocolate Oscars. The Wolfgang Puck Catering team will direct more than 900 event staff through the evening’s intricately detailed logistics to deliver guests a true restaurant-style hospitality experience.
The Governors Ball will take place in the Ray Dolby Ballroom on the top level of the Hollywood & Highland Center immediately after the telecast.
This year’s Best Original Song Academy Award category is absolutely packed with haunting melodies and invigorating performers, making this section one of the highlights of the telecast. Nominated this year are Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez for their sweet lullaby “Remember Me” from “Coco”; Sufjan Stevens for their indie-folk song “Mystery of Love” from “Call Me by Your Name”; Mary J. Blige for her powerful R&B ballad “Mighty River” from “Mudbound”; Benj Pasek and Justin Paul for their uplifting pop song “This Is Me” from “The Greatest Showman”; and Diane Warren and Common for their soul anthem “Stand Up for Something”
According to several articles and social media, the pairing of Diane Warren with Common began by chance on an airplane, where the iconic Warren sang the chorus of “Stand Up for Something” for Common. The direct-to-the-point songstress said, “I never want to waste an opportunity,” and the 61-year-young Warren didn’t miss this opportunity to pair with the 45-year-old Common.
Common credits his mother for planting the Oscars seed idea inside his creative and fertile mind. It’s an endearing quote and one that touched me deeply because my very own dear and departed mother’s dream was that I cover the Oscars, an event we both cherished during my childhood. The Oscars, in a word, was our Super Bowl and a mother and daughter bonding moment that formed some of my very best childhood memories.
Common remarked, “My mother said to me, ‘You, a little Black kid from the South Side of Chicago, you’re going to the Oscars…Think about that.’ I would never have thought.”
The year that he and John Legend took home Oscars the New York Amsterdam News was front-and-center inside the winner’s room, where I asked both of them just what they loved about being storytellers. To hear to their answers, you can go to the YouTube link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0e9QAtlLVE and fast forward to @5:41/10.13.