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The stage is set for Sunday's Golden Globe Awards

The Associated Press, Friday, January 13, 2012, 8:56am (PST)

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) -- The stage is set for the Golden Globe Awards, but the tables, not so much.

Dozens of dining tables stood stacked against the walls of the Beverly Hilton Hotel's International Ballroom, where nominees including George Clooney, Viola Davis and Leonardo DiCaprio will be seated during Sunday's ceremony.

With two days until the live broadcast, executive producer Barry Adelman and director Louis J. Horvitz are still tweaking the script and the seating chart.

"Chaos is always a part of it," Adelman said of the last-minute show preparations.

Workers bustled around the ballroom Thursday afternoon, putting the finishing touches on the set's sloping chandeliers and installing remote-controlled cameras on stage to offer viewers at home a fresh perspective on the festivities.

Seventeen cameras, including the two new robotic ones on stage, will capture the action during the three-hour show.

"You take one shot and there's like 20 different stars in it," Horvitz said.

Jane Fonda, Harrison Ford, Robert Downey, Jr., Salma Hayek, Natalie Portman, Nicole Kidman, Ashton Kutcher, Reese Witherspoon, William H. Macy and Dustin Hoffman are among the more than 150 stars set to attend the ceremony, where the silent film "The Artist" is the leading nominee.

Though the seats aren't set, the stage is nearly complete, anchored by swooping lights and clear crystal rods for a look that production designer Brian Stonestreet described as "architectural and feminine."

"It's a very sexy set, and I think this is probably one of the sexiest Golden Globes we've ever had," Adelman said, citing the roster of beautiful stars on the guest list.

Ricky Gervais returns for his third stint as host, despite criticism last year that the British comedian went too far.

"Part of the reason people watch is it's unpredictable and anything can happen, and he embodies that like no one else," Adelman said. "You don't know what he's going to say next and you don't want to miss it."

Also sure to be a highlight Sunday is Sidney Poitier and Helen Mirren's presentation of the Cecil B. DeMille award to Morgan Freeman.

"He's worked with almost everybody in the room," Adelman said of the actor," so it's going to be a chance for everybody to let loose and just salute him."

(Aiding in the letting loose will be the more than 9,000 glasses of Champagne Moët & Chandon expects to serve at the ceremony.)

Preparations and rehearsals will continue through Sunday, when the ballroom will be picture perfect (from 17 angles). The excitement of the big day — which Horvitz compares to "driving a Formula One race, winning a playoff game and winning the Super Bowl" — is what fuels the hundreds of workers it takes to put on the show.

The 69th annual Golden Globe Awards will be broadcast live Sunday on NBC.

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AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen can be reached at www.twitter.com/APSandy.

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Online:

www.goldenglobes.org

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