Valerie Jarrett, senior White House advisor, dances the night away at MSNBC’s White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner after-party at the Italian Embassy (Rebecca D'Angelo for The Washington Post)

But you can’t fight it. You can’t change it. So, relax. Surrender. Just try to make the best of it, okay?

[UPDATE, 4/30: More day-after WHCD coverage, fashion, celebs, analysis, etc.]

Sofia Vergara, center, poses with Kris Jenner and Kim Kardashian. (Larry Downing/Reuters)

“Woody! Did you bring your bongos?” squealed one woman, encountering the actor at a W Hotel pre-party hosted by Google and the Hollywood Reporter.

“I think you’re confusing me with Matthew McConaughey,” Harrelson said gently. “It’s okay. We’re like brothers.”

View Photo Gallery: At the 2012 MSNBC and Bloomberg/Vanity Fair after-parties,Hollywood and capital power brokers keep mingling late into the night.

It’s a challenge, we know, especially for some first-timers: A visibly unimpressed Charlize Theron barely lasted a half-hour on Friday in the VIP fish bowl of an Impact Arts and Film Fund/Funny or Die party in the loud, dark, humid, crowded basement of what used to be a Borders. Yet Kate Upton, the bodacious 19-year-old swimsuit model, managed to make some magic at the same party — shimmying, vamping, voguing and dancing as if there were nobody watching. (Although everyone was watching, and she knew it.)

Lohan with lawyer John Coale. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

Other guests, thankfully, approached the VIPs with a bit more finesse. Diane Keaton, in her usual glam menswear, was cornered by a 40-something man who started peppering her with lines from her own “Annie Hall.” (Doing a respectable Woody Allen impression: “Talk to him. You speak shellfish!”) Reader, she loved it. Or at least pretended to. “You’re my witness!” the man said to a bystander. “She thought it was funny!”

Claire Danes and Rashida Jones at the Bloomberg/Vanity Fair party. (Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg)

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand talks with Reese Witherspoon at the dinner. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

“It’s great,” said MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts, making his first appearance at the dinner. “I get to meet people I usually only talk to through satellite uplink.”

For all the Hollywood and Manhattan fly-ins, the dinner and the surrounding parties are still largely populated by worker bees of Washington. “I hate that we call it ‘nerd prom’,” said Erin McPike, a young writer for Real Clear Politics. “This is a huge deal for us! It is not nerdy!”

Or take it from a Beltway native now moving in show-biz circles. At a Saturday garden brunch in Georgetown hosted by a cadre of D.C. power players (Tammy Haddad, Mark Ein, Hilary Rosen, etc.), we caught up with Damian Kulash of the rock band OK Go, who told us to never mind the WHCD haters.

“I had five really interesting conversations last night,” he said. One involved the guys from TV’s “MythBusters” but also “one of the guys who authored the health-care bill. . . which meant there was really something to talk about. If you’re going to stay up until 3 a.m. being drunk, it’s good to have something of substance to talk about.”

Salman Rushdie, left, and actors Dane DeHaan and Daniel Radcliffe. (Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg)

Out-of-town pols seemed to outnumber the Beltway breed in this rarefied air. Chris Christie, how’d you feel about all of Jimmy Kimmel’s fat jokes? “I have a great sense of humor,” the New Jersey governor said.

Daniel Day-Lewis with Arianna Huffington at the dinner. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

The party went late; even after the bar closed, Dave Chappelle and J.R. Martinez were breaking it down on the dance floor.

Kate Upton arrives at the dinner. (Kevin Wolf/AP)

“I’m sorry, I didn’t realize.” Hey, no worries! As long as you’re having fun.

(Elements of this story, which appears in the print newspaper of Monday, April 30, also appeared in earlier Reliable Source blog posts, including: Stars brave crowds at WHCD pre-parties)

Read also:

White House correspondents’ dinner: Where Hollywood, Capitol Hill shine, 4/28/12

George Clooney works hard at Correspondents’ dinner, makes it look easy, 4/29/12

Diane Keaton luuuuurves ‘Annie Hall’ jokes at White House Correspondents’ Dinner, 4/28/12

President Obama’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner speech (Video)

Jimmy Kimmel’s White House Correspondents’ speech (video)

White House Correspondents’ dinner celebrity guests: A-list overload, red-carpet gridlock, 4/27/12

Oh, you again! Celebs repeat at WHCA dinner, 4/23/12

* * * * *

From the 2011 WHCA dinner:

ScarJo and Sean Penn share love with press but Hollywood crowds out Washington at WHCA dinner, 5/1/11

2011 WHCA dinner: Politicians, stars mingle at ‘prom’, 4/30/11

From the 2010 WHCA dinner:

‘Healthy’ relations on display at White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, 5/2/10

Nerd Prom no longer:Celebrities triumph over media at WHCA, 5/2/10

From the 2009 WHCA dinner:

Obama Delivers the Zingers at Journalists’ Dinner, 5/10/09

Hollywood takes on Washington press prom, 5/10/09