Is President Obama looking at an unstarry 50th birthday?

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Before President Obama turned 50, he had to pass 49 -- marking that birthday by dining privately with Oprah Winfrey and her starry pals in Chicago while First Lady Michelle Obama took a trip to Spain with daughter Malia and some friends.

For the president’s 50th birthday, the star power might be turned down a notch, however.

Festivities on Thursday will include a working morning (guess he didn’t want to use a floating holiday?) an afternoon reception with senior staff in the Blue Room of the White House and a gathering that night at home with family and friends, including some of the hometown crowd flying in. Don’t worry, folks: The Obamas say they’re paying for that last one.

We’re guessing the prez will welcome that low-key party at home, in the wake of a pair of gala fundraisers set for Wednesday night in Chicago.


The first, a $35,800-a-head, 1,000-person, birthday-themed event starting at 4 p.m. Chicago time, promises music from Chicago-based band OK Go, Jennifer Hudson and Herbie Hancock, with the money split between the president’s reelection fund and the Democratic National Committee. Later, guests will mingle with the president at another, more intimate party -- if 80 to 100 guests is considered intimate.

But which famous faces will show? Maybe not so many.

The Wrap discovered Obama admirers including Jamie Foxx, Anne Hathaway, Scarlett Johansson and David Geffen would be otherwise occupied -- and even Oprah’s rep was staying mum on the will-she-or-won’t-she front.

At least Hollywood turned out for the prez at the White House correspondents dinner in May -- assuming they weren’t there for Seth Myers.


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-- Christie D’Zurilla

The Associated Press contributed to this report.