10/05/2009 at 01:00 AM EDT
He sang, he danced, and he joked about being a sore loser—but when good-natured emcee Neil Patrick Harris finished hosting the 61st annual Primetime Emmy Awards, he was just ready to kick back. So he joined other stars—including Jennifer Love Hewitt, January Jones, Jon Cryer, Chris O'Donnell and Kara DioGuardi—at the Entertainment Tonight/PEOPLE party. Guests packed into Vibiana—a deconsecrated 19th-century Roman Catholic cathedral transformed into a dramatic party space—where they got touch-ups at a Maybelline beauty tent, hit the Vitaminwater 10 bar and danced to a music mix spun by Samantha Ronson. Then headliner Mary J. Blige took the stage—and brought down the house. "She was infectious," says The Office's Melora Hardin. "Just so much heart and soul."
It was a weekend of great parties, none more glamorous than the Evening Before pre-Emmy bash, cosponsored by PEOPLE, to benefit the nonprofit Motion Picture & Television Fund. Tina Fey, Michael J. Fox, Heidi Klum
and Hayden Panettiere
were among the stars who came out to salute TV's best—and support a good cause. And that's always worth tuning in for.
LARRY HACKETT, MANAGING EDITOR