In a Stage of Suspense: Who Will Perform at Inaugural Ceremonies

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By Richard Leiby and J. Freedom du Lac
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, January 8, 2009

The biggest music act of the presidential inauguration has finally been announced. It's TBD.

They're better known as To Be Determined, and their name is on everyone's lips in show business.

Who's performing at the Youth Ball on inauguration night, where you'd expect to find the hottest pop music acts?

TBD.

At the Jan. 19 Verizon Center family concert that tweens are drooling to attend?

TBD.

At the Lincoln Memorial on Jan. 18, the opening celebration and traditional musical blowout of past inaugurations?

It's TBD!

Presidential inaugural balls and official events usually feature amazing entertainment -- even the free shows usually held on the Mall. But the big weekend that kicks off the Barack Obama inaugural celebration is nine days (only seven working days) away and the lineups haven't been made public. Despite intense curiosity from big donors to the Obama campaign, entertainment industry insiders and ordinary folks, there have been no announcements regarding the signature acts who will be brought in to officially help celebrate the advent of the new presidency.

"There are many moving parts," Linda Douglass, a spokeswoman for the Presidential Inaugural Committee, said yesterday. "Contracts are still being worked out; nothing has been finalized yet. That doesn't mean plans aren't far along down the road."

Some veteran show-producers and celebrity wranglers wonder whether the Obama organization is cutting it close. Certainly people will still go to the events, no matter who is playing, but sources in the industry say there seem to be more last-minute bookings than usual for this inauguration.

Who's coming? Who's in charge of the booking, producing and promoting part of all this?


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