The Boss would be just the ticket


When you’re the Boss, you’re the boss -- even when the other guy has been elected.

Next to the Man himself -- and in this case, the “man” is President-elect Barack Obama -- the guy most in demand during the coming inaugural season is Bruce Springsteen, the popular choice to head the celebratory ticket.

Springsteen thrilled Obama fans when he came out early -- and enthusiastically -- for the Illinois Democrat during the primaries. A wild rumor spread quickly through the Democratic National Convention that the New Jersey rocker would sing the night of Obama’s acceptance speech in Denver.

It wasn’t true. (The crowd had to settle for Stevie Wonder, Sheryl Crow, Michael McDonald, and John Legend.)


This time, the Boss is believed to be onboard. But there are questions: Where exactly will he perform? The National Mall? The Commander-in-Chief’s Ball? The Hilton Hotel Foggy Bottom?

And Obama is not the only one who wants him. Every group with a 501(c) designation has been on the line to his people, asking him to consider playing their party.

One talent booker hung up frustrated: “Everyone wants to play the Mall.”

Usually, by this point, the inaugural talent is set. Not so now. Obama has other things to deal with, obviously. Figuring out the inaugural festivities is fourth (at best) on the list, after the economy, world terrorism and Cabinet appointments.

All this is causing a personal assistants’ nightmare. Every star and singer in Hollywood wants to go to Washington to participate. (And they’ve booked practically every luxury suite in town.) But few know the details of their itineraries.

Ultra-Hollywood-connected Irena Medavoy, who was one of Obama’s fundraisers, said she is traveling to D.C. with Barbra Streisand this week for the Kennedy Center Honors, at which Streisand is an honoree. While they’re there, they hope to get answers. (Like Springsteen, Streisand also wants top billing at the hottest venue, wherever that may be.)

“I’m getting phone calls from all over the world,” said Medavoy. “People want to attend. We should know more soon.”


The only group that’s truly organized at this point is the Creative Coalition, which started planning its inaugural party -- which will be held Jan. 20 at the Harman Center for the Arts -- months ago. This week, Creative Coalition -- the nonprofit “advocacy arm of the arts and entertainment communities” -- announced that Brit Elvis Costello would headline its bash.

Guests will include members of Congress, entertainment moguls, business leaders, policy wonks, and people clever enough to charm the doorman.

Celebs will be abundant: Tim Daly, Tony Goldwyn, Anne Hathaway, Spike Lee, Tim Robbins, Kerry Washington, Susan Sarandon, Jane Krakowski, Alfre Woodard, Barry Levinson, Dana Delany, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Peter Sarsgaard, Wendie Malick, Josh Lucas, Matthew Modine, Rachael Leigh Cook, Alan Cumming, Connie Britton, Richard Schiff, Ellen Burstyn, Giancarlo Esposito, Gloria Reuben, Lynn Whitfield, Tamara Tunie, Tom Fontana, Sue Kramer, Kim Raver and Maura Tierney, just for starters.

As for Springsteen? We’ll have to wait until he issues the memo outlining his strategic plan. (His publicist is, perhaps sanely, on vacation at the moment.)

This much is certain: The singer has an album coming out a week after Obama takes the oath of office. Its title? “Working on a Dream.” How’s that for product placement?