Call it the Celebration of the Cultural Elite.
In what is shaping up as the hippest inauguration in history, Hollywood seems to be uprooting en masse for a pilgrimage to D.C. to usher in Bill Clinton as the 42nd president of the U.S. The only stars missing, apparently, will be George Bush supporters Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The four-day event, which culminates in Clinton taking the oath of office Jan. 20, begins Sunday with a 90-minute Quincy Jones “Call for Reunion” production on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, the site of Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech.
Clinton and Vice Prez-elect Al Gore will attend the free event after a bus ride from Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson in Charlottesville, Va.
D.C. police are expecting a crowd in excess of 300,000 for the inaugural kickoff, which will feature musical performances and a saxophone jam session punctuated by historical readings by such Hollywood notables as Jack Nicholson, Whoopi Goldberg and Harry Belafonte. A fireworks display will follow the Jones production.
Jones promises “an inspirational program that reflects this historic moment and the strength of the American spirit through music and the written word.”
On Jan. 17 and 18, the 10-block section of the nation’s capital known as the Mall (between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument) will feature more than 60 performers. Those skedded include Linda Ronstadt, Peter, Paul & Mary, Little Feat and Carol Channing.
On Jan. 19, CBS will host the Presidential Gala from the Landover, Md.-based Capital Centre. It will feature a reunion of Fleetwood Mac (no doubt performing the Clinton-Gore theme song “Don’t Stop Thinkin’ About Tomorrow”), Barbra Streisand tackling “God Bless America,” jazz greats Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter and dozens of other celebs.
Also on Jan. 19, the Disney Channel is holding two salutes to children at the Kennedy Center. Included among the performers are the Joffrey Ballet, Emmylou Harris and Boyz II Men.
Hottest ticket of the week may be for MTV’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Ball on Jan. 20, the night of the official inaugural balls. Comic Dennis Miller will emcee, with rockers Don Henley and 10,000 Maniacs set to perform. Roger Clinton, the Prexy-elect’s younger brother, will sing with En Vogue at the event.
Tinseltown attendees are forewarned to dress warmly. Inaugural watchers will recall the zero degree weather and blizzard conditions that forced the cancellation of many of the events slated for Ronald Reagan’s second inauguration in 1984.
Here is an incomplete list of celebrities who will be performing during inauguration week:
SUNDAY, JAN. 17
“Call for Reunion” at Lincoln Memorial (with Quincy Jones producing)
Diana Ross, Luther Vandross, Aretha Franklin, Michael Bolton, Trisha Yearwood , Jon Secada, Tony Bennett, LL Cool J, Kathleen Battle, Reuben Blades, Mary-Chapin Carpenter, Ray Charles, Melissa Etheridge, James Ingram, Ben E. King , Bobby McFerrin, Kenny Rogers, Smokey Robinson, Sounds of Blackness, Stephen Stills, Dionne Warwick, Bebe and Cece Winans, Yo-Yo Ma, Sax Jam Group, Tom Scott , Michael Brecker, Dave Koz, Gerry Mulligan, Kirk Whalum, David Sanborn, Gerald Albright, Grover Washington Jr.
Harry Belafonte, Ted Danson, Whoopi Goldberg, James Earl Jones, Jack Nicholson, Sidney Poitier
SUNDAY, JAN. 17-
MONDAY, JAN. 18
“Reunion on the Mall”
Linda Ronstadt & Los Comperos de Nati Cano, Peter, Paul & Mary, Los Lobos, Booker T. and the MGs, Little Feat, Beausoleil, Elvin Jones, Ruth Brown, The Texas Tornados, Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys, Carol Channing, Rita Moreno, Sesame Street characters
TUESDAY, JAN. 19
Presidential Gala from the Capital Centre (to be broadcast tape-delayed on CBS from 9-11 p.m.)
Fleetwood Mac, Barbra Streisand, Judy Collins, Elton John, Jack Lemmon, James Earl Jones, Aretha Franklin, Chevy Chase, Bill Cosby, Thelonius Monk Jr., Herbie Hancock, Clark Terry, Al Grey, Wynton Marsalis, Ron Carter, Illinois Jacquet, Wayne Shorter, Chuck Berry, The Alvin Ailey Dance Troupe, Barbara Smith.
TUESDAY, JAN. 19
Salute to Children and Salute to Youth at the Kennedy Center (to be aired on The Disney Channel) Wil Smith, Markie Post, Mr. Rogers, The Muppets, Raffi, Rosanne Cash, Emmylou Harris, Parachute Express, The Disney Channel’s “Adventures in Wonderland” and “Mickey Mouse Club,” Clarence Clemmons, Boyz II Men, Celine Dion, The Joffrey Ballet.
WEDNESDAY, JAN. 20
MTV’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Ball Jan. 20 at the Washington Convention Center
Dennis Miller, Don Henley, Boyz II Men, 10,000 Maniacs, Soul Asylum, En Vogue , Roger Clinton (the Prez-elect’s brother).