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TINSELTOWN SPYWITNESS.

Byline: Joel Stratte-McClure and Jenny Peters

LET `SUNSHINE' IN: It may have been a long holiday weekend, but that didn't stop the Los Angeles Film Festival and Fox Searchlight Pictures from packing the Wadsworth Theater in Westwood with an appreciative closing-night crowd who came out to see ``Little Miss Sunshine.''

``We've had more than 80,000 people in attendance over the past 10 days here in our new home in Westwood Village,'' crowed LAFF director of programming Rachel Rosen.

Christina Applegate joined Rosen on stage to announce the Audience and Jury Awards, honoring many of the small independent films that had played over the 10-day fest; then Sundance darling ``Little Miss Sunshine'' unspooled to massive applause and cheering by the final frames.

Staying local for the Fourth of July weekend were some of ``Sunshine's'' stellar cast, including Greg Kinnear, Steve Carell, Alan Arkin, Paul Dano, and little Abigail Breslin, whose performance as a young girl determined to win a beauty pageant was the buzz of the late-night after-party on the lawn of the theater.

The fete was teeming with stars like Eric Roberts, Adam Arkin, Jenna Fischer, Zooey Deschanel, Lisa Edelstein and Haley Joel Osment -- who at 18 is now old enough to bring a date to these things -- along with a gaggle of aspiring young filmmakers, many of whom had been a part of the fest with shorts, documentaries and feature-length projects.

As the Absolut vodka poured freely at the inexplicably Moroccan-themed bash, Applegate pointed out the obvious.

``One thing that young filmmakers have in common -- they all love free liquor!'' she joked.

`LOVE' IN THE AIR: ``All you need is `Love,' love,'' said Ringo Starr as he made a `V' peace gesture and posed for pictures with wife Barbara Bach on the red carpet at the premiere of ``Love'' at the Mirage in Las Vegas last weekend.

Then the couple joined Sir Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono, Olivia Harrison, Sir George Martin, Neil Aspinall, Cynthia Lennon and other members of The Beatles' extended family for the opening of the energetic, emotional and exuberant co-production with the Cirque du Soleil.

``Las Vegas city will be sending The Beatles love all over the world because all of the world comes to Las Vegas,'' said Ono, as she took her seat in a custom-built and sound-rich 2,000-seat theater-in-the-round. ``The show's a creative blend of The Beatles' agile mind with the Cirque's agile body.''

```Love' embodies the emotional and spiritual connection and message that George Harrison defined before his death,'' added Cirque du Soleil founder and director Guy Lalibert(hrt). ``And I know George is here somewhere tonight.''

So were many guests -- including Eric Idle, Brian Wilson, Elisha Cuthbert, Steve Van Zandt, Billy Crystal, Lauren Hutton, Dita Von Teese and Virginia Madsen -- who thought ``Love'' might do Vegas some good.

```Love' is a great addition to a town that's synonymous with sex and sin,'' said Van Zandt. ``It will help create some balance.''

``It's always nice to have a little bit of love where there's lust and a little bit of lust where there's love,'' added Idle, the Monty Python member who's bringing ``Spamalot'' to Vegas next year.

``John and George, this is for you!'' McCartney said to the audience before he headed to an after-party with over 4,000 guests and food catered by 30 different restaurants. The theme there? ``All You Need Is Food.''

CAPTION(S):

4 photos

Photo:

(1) KINNEAR and CARELL: Supporting their ``Little Miss''

(2) OSMENT: He's legal now

(3) APPLEGATE: Words of boozy wisdom

(4) STARR and BACH: `Love' is all they need.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jul 7, 2006
Words:597
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