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Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 01/21/2009

Seeing Stars at the Creative Coalition Ball

By Liz Kelly

Many creative (read: Hollywood) types were out in full force last night at the Creative Coalition's Inaugural Ball. movies editrix Jen Chaney and I were there, too, to capture the chaos that inevitably follows a collision of stars of this magnitude. The ball was one of several unofficial fetes taking place across the city last night -- but don't tell that to a pack of publicists who took their tenuous control of the red (actually blue) carpet seriously.

And who can blame them when huge stars like, well, Star Jones and Jeffrey Ross were heating up the red blue carpet. Oh, alright -- A-Listers Anne Hathaway and Marisa Tomei -- who alas didn't re-create any of her "Wrestler" looks -- also made the scene. In fact, the press-shy Tomei totally won Celebritology's best dressed of the evening superlative for her cocktail length noir-ish frock.

If a glimpse of Tomei's dress isn't enough, you may also want to get Susan Sarandon's thoughts on Obama's prospects, a sense of just how spacey Matthew Modine really is and why Heather Graham feels the need to tell us she watched the inaugural ceremony in bed with her unidentified boyfriend. TMI, already.

I did want to award the Most Invisible Companion of a Celeb superlative to Star Jones's boyfriend Herb Wilson, who has totally mastered his impression of a potted palm. In other companion news, high five to Alfre Woodard's husband Roderick Spencer -- who didn't get at all cranky or disappear into the backdrop when the press scrum descended upon his wife. A professor of screenwriting and directing, HE stopped to talk to us. And we're glad he did because we found out he's related (by marriage) to former Postie Meg Rosenfeld. He also said what may possibly be the most sensible line of the night:

"No woman in her right mind can be happy about dressing up in a nightgown and going out in 20 degree weather."

I couldn't agree more. Achoo.

More from Jen Chaney after the jump

I, Jen Chaney, also want to add this quick, handy, best-of list, to give you an even fuller sense of what it was like to spend the evening in a "heated" tent, while squashed up against other reporters who also really, really want to talk to Ellen Burstyn.

(The back of) Marisa Tomei's dress was on display while the 'Wrestler' star chatted with 'Access Hollywood's' Maria Menounos at last night's event. (Liz Kelly for

Best Dressed: I have to agree with Liz and go with Marisa Tomei, whose black dress with the perfectly bell-shaped skirt was simple, elegant and the envy of every woman who saw it. Strong runners-up: The always fashionable Anne Hathaway, who was striking in red (see photo in this here gallery) and Kerry Washington, whose sparkling skirt was cut up to there-ish and prompted one photographer to declare, "Man, she's hot."

Best Political Gabber: Everyone was eager to talk about the inauguration and how change has come to America. But nobody dishes political discourse better than the true pro, Susan Sarandon, who held court with members of the media for so long that Maura Tierney -- who was holding Sarandon's coat -- finally gave up on waiting for her and had to ask a handler to hang on to the "Bull Durham" star's outer wear.

Biggest Faux Pas: When a talent wrangler banged into Alfre Woodard while she was in the middle of an interview, jarring the actress so much that she just gave up on finishing. The wrangler didn't mean to bump into her, and looked stricken a few seconds later when she realized what she had done. Just painful to watch all around.

Best Quote: Samuel L. Jackson walked in late and made a valiant effort to avoid talking to the media. But a producer for NBC -- a woman who made me tense just watching her -- insisted that he come over to chat with Maria Menounos because she was "doing a special." Jackson's response: "Everyone is doing a damn special." For the record, he agreed, as did every single famous person who came down the line, which leads me to my next entry...

Person I Most Wished I Was (Sort Of) Last Night: Maria Menounos! Seriously, girlfriend got to talk to everybody. She wasn't squeezed into a teeny area with the rest of us press riff-raff. Her producer ran off and grabbed every star, then deposited them directly in front of her. Someone even brought her a hot beverage. That's livin', people.

Best Hat of the Night: The honor goes to Spike Lee, who wore a stovepipe hat in what may have been an homage to Abe Lincoln. I never got close enough to Spike to measure, but I think the hat might have been as tall as he is.

My Personal Favorite Moment of the Night: Getting to tell the lovely Connie Britton how much I appreciate her barely watched TV series, "Friday Night Lights." For "FNL" fans who are wondering, Mrs. Coach Taylor said she wasn't sure whether the show will return for a fourth season, but, on a hopeful note, added that this year's arrangement -- in which DirecTV aired the third season episodes before NBC began broadcasting them last Friday -- seemed to work well for DirecTV. So we'll see.

Runner-up personal favorite moment: When I finally started to get feeling back in my feet after standing in that "heated" tent all night. Heavenly.

By Liz Kelly  | January 21, 2009; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  Celebrities, Inauguration  
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Matthew Modine: what a flake. "It's like when you're a boy scout and they teach you how to make a fire with something shiny. That's what it was like."

Posted by: pras40 | January 21, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Is there a direct link to Marisa's dress?

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | January 21, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Is there a direct link to Marisa's dress?

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | January 21, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Sorry 'bout that double post.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | January 21, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Adding a pic of marisa's dress shortly.

Posted by: Liz Kelly | January 21, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

It's now up in the extended portion of the post.

Posted by: Liz Kelly | January 21, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

I love Marisa's dress! I've wanted a dress like that for years. I think the neckline went straight across,just at or below the collarbone, wasn't it?

Posted by: pras40 | January 21, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Still no Marisa's dress link. I wonder if the software that suppresses Post advertising is somehow blocking the hyperlink. Not that I know anything about computers...
Could you please just list the URL itself, for us to copy and paste into the address window? Thanks. NP.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | January 21, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Nosy, that should be a direct link to the image. See if it works for you.

Posted by: Bawlmer51 | January 21, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

It's really a pain when the link to a picture turns out to have a Post video ad in front of it. When the audio starts in I have quick close that window and then look around my office guiltily as everyone looks up and realizes I'm not doing work. If the Post could refrain from putting video ads on photo galleries I would really appreciate it! And I'm sure many others would too!

Posted by: Roxie1 | January 21, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link, Bawlmer. Worked like a charm.

Maybe it's just that one photo, but from the back Marisa's dress looks awful, very '50s (in a bad way), and makes her legs look short and her derrière huge. What am I missing here?

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | January 21, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

I like Marisa's dress. Then again, I like that 50's aesthetic a lot. It does not make her butt huge. Those dresses are designed to make your waist small no matter how large your butt may or may not be.

Also, I cannot rightfully comment on whether the length of the dress is appropriate because the picture was shot from the top. Of course it will look "too long" from that angle. A straight on picture would give you a better idea of whether the proportions were right.

Posted by: mdreader01 | January 21, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

mdreader01, I suspect the photo doesn't do the dress justice. Perhaps if I'd seen Marisa in it in person or on TV, I'd like it more. Plus, it's partly just that I don't have warm-fuzzies for the '50s.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | January 21, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Liz, your blog is smoking hot. It is like a "heat island." In fact, it is like Matthew Modine on a "heat island." Smoking, hot "heat island."

Posted by: mike76277 | January 21, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

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