| Gary Barlow performing for Hollywood’s A-list at Harvey Weinstein’s 2014 Pre-Oscar Party
Last night’s event restored all faith in the showbiz world. In a day and age where reality muppets seem to line the red carpets and cover the tabloids wherever you go, the Weinstein Company event held at the Montage Hotel, Beverly Hills, was jam packed full of A-List celebrities, Oscar nominees and talented stars.
As far as the glamour stakes go, it was THE night before party the entire showbiz world were trying to blag their way into - and it’s no surprise people were queueing up until the wee hours to try and get in to film boss Harvey Weinstein’s event.
Sitting down for a beautiful three-course meal in the ballroom, I literally had to pinch myself as I looked to my right and saw Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep, Oprah Winfrey, Gayle King, Kim Kardashian, Harry Styles and Taylor Swift (more on those two below), Lana Del Rey, Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne, Nicole Scherzinger and Chiwetel Ejifor - wall to wall with the big stars.
Entertainment for the evening was provided by Take That star Gary Barlow and talented songwriter Eliot Kennedy who have collaborated and written all the music and lyrics for Harvey’s fantastic new West End version of the J.M. Barrie story.
In a sea of Hollywood stars the former X Factor judge’s job was to entertain the A-list crowd with six tracks from the new musical - and boy was it impressive.
The Take That singer was joined by four children, three of the stars from the Oscar-nominated documentary Twenty-Feet From Stardom and the dazzling Laura Michelle Kelly for the show and everybody was blown away. The set ended with a truly mesmerising performance of Neverland's big songs 'What You Mean To Me' and 'Stronger'. The man himself was clearly thrilled with the fact he was performing for such a huge amount of stars. He told me afterwards: “It's such an honour to even be here this evening. It's a big Hollywood crowd and I guess all we can hope is they enjoyed the songs we performed… I've been working hard on this show and it's a real passion project. After coming off of X Factor it's really been all I've been working on with Eliot and it couldn't have gone better. I just can't wait to see it on a stage in a theatre.”
Amazingly, at the end of the Neverland set I looked across the room and saw Oprah, Bono from U2 and Meryl Streep leap to their feet with a standing ovation. “I was just looking out into the crowd and thinking ‘wow’ all the way through it,” Gary said. “I don’t think I’ll ever get an opportunity to do that again.”
Neverland is very much the next project for Mr Weinstein once the Oscars are out the way. The show will open in Boston for a limited run and then make it’s way to the West End with an all-singing-all-dancing premiere at some point in the summer. And if the tracks we heard are anything to go by, it’s sure to be a hit.
One of the funniest moments of the night was when I went through the crowd to meet Oprah. “Who is this guy Gary then?” she asked with her gal pal Gayle King.
“He’s the frontman of Take That – which I guess are like the British version of the Backstreet Boys,” I said.
“Well, he was fantastic,” she replied. “I’ll have to see what he’s done in the past.”
I just love the fact Oprah is probably sat at home right now googling Gary Barlow and looking at the career of Take That. We can only hope that’s true.
Source: Dean Piper for Cosmopolitan