A night to remember... and maybe forget

The pre- and after-parties for the White House Correspondents dinner this past weekend saw a deluge of Washington big-shots and Hollywood celebrities who came as their invited guests. Here we offer a minute-by-minute rundown of the shining — and, well, not-so-shining — moments of the evening.

5:43 p.m.
New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg (R) is spotted in the lobby bar of the Washington Hilton minus his tux. Instead, he’s relaxing in khaki trousers and a cotton shirt.

6:17 p.m.
The balmy spring evening allows for cocktails on the patio outside the hotel, where New Orleans Saints star running back Reggie Bush poses for photographs.

6:23 p.m.
Old–school White House reporter Helen Thomas poses for pictures and shakes hands with strangers dying to meet her. “We are proud of you,” one woman tells her.

6:26 p.m.
A woman in a bright fuchsia dress parades through the patio, causing heads to turn. She’s none other than actress Niecy Nash from “Reno 911!” How is she doing? “So far I just got here, girl,” she says, at which point she threatens a male reporter that he had better save her a dance.

6:28 p.m.
Figure skating star Michelle Kwan, with sparkling powder in her hair, is mingling with her friend, Mae, and sister, Karen, near the outside bar. She’s busy people-watching. “I’m just looking for a familiar face,” she muses, “like Secretary Hughes, Condoleezza Rice or the president.”

6:31 p.m.
Ex-Massachusetts Gov. and current presidential contender Mitt Romney (R) enters Newsweek party with wife, Ann, in tow.

6:35 p.m.
Jim Cramer, creator of TheStreet.com and CNBC contributor, is spotted near the outside bar drinking a vodka-and-cranberry cocktail — two parts Ketel One and one part cranberry, he tells us.

6:38 p.m.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), wearing a stylish tuxedo shirt with no visible buttons, chats with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger at the Newsweek party.

6:42 p.m.
Conservative blogger Andrew Sullivan mingles in the crowd.

6:45 p.m.
Flashbulbs are aflutter on the patio for Olympian Apolo Anton Ohno and Julianne Hough, partners on “Dancing with the Stars.”

6:47 p.m.
At the Newsweek party, Romney zigs while Gingrich zags. Although they are standing only feet apart, they don’t speak. Could they be avoiding each other?

6:50 p.m.
The Hill catches up with “Desperate Housewives” star James Denton, who plays Mike Delfino on the show. As attractive in person as he is on TV, he explains this is his third year attending the dinner. He insists it wasn’t his fault that Edie Britt (played by actress Nicollette Sheridan) came on to him while he was holed up in the hospital on a recent episode. “It was all her doing,” he says. He adds that he knows who ends up with whom in the final episodes but is sworn to secrecy. 

6:53 p.m.
Kissinger runs into model Petra Nemcova in the hallway. The towering model leans down and gives him the signature three kisses on either cheek. “I’ll never forget her,” he jokes.

7:02 p.m.
Sanjaya, just voted off  “American Idol” last week, is swarmed by flash bulbs at the Time magazine party. A man who has just taken his picture remarks, “It’s retarded. Why am I getting a picture of this guy?”

7:07 p.m.
“Hardball” executive producer Tammy Haddad is chatting up actress Jane Fonda at the Newsweek magazine party.

7:07 p.m.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) is in a gaggle with Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte, John Hamre of the Center for Strategic and International Studies and former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft.

7:09 p.m.
D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty is spotted chatting with New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd.

7:10 p.m.
Haddad continues talking with Fonda.

7:20 p.m.
Haddad still chatting with Fonda.

7:21 p.m.
It’s Oprah’s best friend, Gayle King!  King, a guest of Time magazine, mingles in the same group as Gingrich.

7:30 p.m.
Finally free to talk, Fonda, when asked what she thinks of Washington politics, remarks, “Not much, but it’s changing.” Who does she support for prez? “If I was going to vote right now it would be for Hillary Clinton,” she responds.

7:39 p.m.
Bloomberg has arrived to the Newsweek party, and finally, he’s in a tux.

7:48 p.m.
Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.) and daughter, Laura, an aide to Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), walk into the Newsweek party. Capps doesn’t know what designer she’s wearing, but she says she comfortable in her black lace dress.

10:29 p.m.
Capitol File’s after-party at the Colombian Embassy is just getting started. The elaborate display of food is enough to make anyone gasp. “Oh my, this is devastating!” one woman says, taking in the display of hors d’oeuvres and sweets that include a dulce de leche tort and chocolate truffles. “We’re doomed.”

11:11 p.m.
Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) walks into the Colombian Embassy with cousin Chris Lawford. Kennedy is in a regular suit; Lawford is in a sport jacket and sneakers, and his chest hair is visible. Asked whether it’s hard to attend an event with so much free-flowing alcohol, a newly recovering Kennedy replies, “I’ve been in the business awhile. My cousin is here and he has over 20 years of sobriety.”

11:15 p.m.
The dinner is over and in walks CNBC’s Jim Cramer. So what did he think of Rich Little? Was he funny? “Rich Little funny? Not at all,” he says.

11:20 p.m.
Patrick Kennedy takes to the dance floor with undisclosed woman in belly-dancing outfit. Photographs show him touching her exposed midriff. A partygoer says the lawmaker’s moves remind him of a sixth-grade dance.

11:22 p.m.
Chris Lawford joins his cousin on the dance floor with a second undisclosed woman in a belly-dancing outfit.

11:53 p.m.
“Just Shoot Me” actress Wendie Malick walks into the party. Asked whose dinner guest she was, she replies, “Oh s—t, who are they? Congressional Weekly?” How about Congressional Quarterly? Yes, that’s it, she says.

12:26 a.m.
“Grey’s Anatomy” star Isaiah Washington is chatting up Nemcova at the Capitol File soiree. Minutes later he’s down on the patio talking with Fox News’s Brett Baird when The Hill catches up with him and asks if the controversy surrounding an anti-gay slur made toward his co-star has passed. Washington refuses to answer, instead repeating the name of the designer of his suit. It was Domenico Vacca, he says three times, apparently for emphasis.

12:45 a.m.
Partygoers get turned away from Bloomberg’s bash, which is too packed to let more people in.

11ish on Sunday
Yes, it’s the next day, and the 15th annual John McLaughlin brunch at the Haye Adam’s Hotel is in full swing on the roof terrace. It’s a tired, hungover crowd, but the event — hosted by McLaughlin and wife, Cristina — is still star-studded. Fare includes an omelet station, tempting desserts and lots and lots of carbs. Among the well-known faces are Denton of “Desperate Housewives” fame, actress Morgan Fairchild, MSNBC’s Haddad and Portfolio’s Matt Cooper.

Betsy Rothstein, Jim Snyder, Aaron Blake, Sam Youngman, Kelly McCormack and Jackie Kucinich contributed to this report.