Oscar Night at the Varscona strives to make Academy Awards interesting

The months, weeks, days, hours and moments leading up to the Academy Awards are far more exciting than the Academy Awards themselves – which is why it’s so crucial to watch the show in good company, to use your powers of imagination to make an “event” out of the biggest non-event of the year.

“I think the Oscars are designed to be watched in the company of strangers and friends alike,” says David Belke, producer of Oscar Night at the Varscona 2012, Sunday night at the Varscona Theatre. “Part of the fun is the discussion and the reaction to the winners, the glamour. There’s more excitement in it when you’re watching it with a lot of people.”

With pre-show cocktails and light music starting at 5 p.m. during the red carpet portion of the CTV telecast, emcees Tom Edwards and Matt Alden will provide live commentary during commercials, perhaps not quite to the catty level of Joan Rivers, but Oprah Winfrey’s honorary Oscar speech, among others, should provide a “lot of fodder,” Belke says. He predicts this will be an evening of “bon mots and faux pas.” Not necessarily in that order.

There are number of participation enhancements at Oscar Night at the Varscona designed make the Oscars even more interesting than they already are, even more interesting than a World Cup soccer match that ends in a scoreless tie three hours later. Your hosts will encourage attendees to dress up as if they were going to the real Oscars, to be greeted with a (snowy) red carpet and “paparazzi” to make citizens feel like celebrities. There are usually some people who arrive via limo. Door prizes on the dinner-for-two level will be awarded for correctly picking winners in various categories. Free hint: “The Artist” for best picture. Sound editing is a hard one.

Above all, Belke says, this is a chance to vicariously feel the thrill of pretending to be in Kodak Theatre sitting amongst real Hollywood celebrities, and, as the producer says, “To celebrate, indulge in glamour and excess. Why let celebrities have all the fun?

Tickets are $25, at the door or through Tix on the Square.