Continued from page 1

Only 14 months old, Sir Elton John’s son, Zachary, made a brief appearance during a cocktail hour just before the dinner, as John and his civil partner David Furnish took turns showing him off to well-wishers. The blonde toddler wore a black jacket with his name stitched on it, and chewed on a cloth napkin. John sported a black embellished jacket with his glittering initials spelled out on the back.

Guests such as Neil Patrick Harris, a blue-bobbed Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus and her boyfriend Liam Hemsworth, Anna Paquin and her husband Stephen Moyer, John Waters, Kim Kardashian and her pregnant sister Kourtney feasted on a five course meal that included sauteed sea bass with pepper saffron sauce, beef tenderloin with leek bread pudding and apple-pear tart for dessert.

Steven Tyler talked about balancing recording the new Aerosmith album in L.A., being a judge on “American Idol” and attending an Oscar party such as John’s.

“It’s crazy, it’s crazy,” said Tyler, decked out in rock `n’ chic tight black brocade pants. “After all this, tonight, I’ll go back to the studio and record a song. I’ll probably get to bed around 2 a.m.”

Perry sat at a middle table with John, Furnish and “American Idol” alum Adam Lambert. Newly single Heidi Klum, a regular at the bash, sat at a nearby table next to Kyle MacLachlan and the Kardashians.

“Tonight we’ve raised more money at this event than we ever have before,” John told the crowd after a feisty post-dinner auction that netted $5.25 million for the foundation’s fight against HIV and AIDS.

Things became a bit rowdy when celebrity chef Cat Cora, who created the night’s menu, egged on would-be bidders to snatch up an in-home cooking class for up to ten people she would host. Perry and Steve Tisch, owner of NFL champs the New York Giants, then started a bidding war, with Tisch the winner, for $100,000, but Perry named a co-winner. Cora joked about kissing Perry, in a nod to Perry’s hit “I Kissed a Girl,” then came over and pecked her on the cheek.

Just before indie rock band Foster the People came out onstage to pound out hits such as “Pumped Up Kicks,” a DJ spun songs catching the ear of friends Kelly Osbourne and Cyrus, who made mock kissing faces for photos and danced to a remix of Adele, mouthing the words. Gwen Stefani sauntered into the post party with a full entourage.

The Governors Ball, the Academy Awards’ official after-party, at the Hollywood & Highland Center, was re-tooled this year from a formal sit-down affair to a cocktail bash, which served the guests just fine. Viola Davis sat with Octavia Spencer, and Spencer’s best supporting actress Oscar, for nibbles and drinks while best actress nominee Michelle Williams and pal Busy Phillips roamed the venue hand in hand.

Honorary Oscar winner James Earl Jones presented the event’s headlining performer, Tony Bennett, whom he referred to as “an American classic” and “Frank Sinatra’s favorite singer.”

At John’s shindig, first-time attendee “Glee” star Darren Criss, himself musically inclined, noted the irony of “The Artist” juxtaposed against the party’s backdrop of booming music and screamed conversation.

“When people allegedly schmooze, they shout at each other. I like to sit down and have a conversation,” he said.

__

AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen contributed to this report.