John McCaslin


Oprah Winfrey makes her much-anticipated arrival today at the Kennedy Center Opera House for a special pre-inaugural broadcast of her popular TV talk-show, and her local fan base is very eager.

In fact, Inside the Beltway was told by a senior Kennedy Center official that several overly enthused ticket holders to today's broadcast checked about the possibility of spending Sunday night on the sidewalk outside the performing arts center apparently in tents and sleeping bags in subfreezing temperatures before the doors open today.

"It's open seating," explained the official, meaning first in line and through security score the best seats.

The red-velveted Opera House holds 2,318 spectators and is otherwise home to the Washington National Opera.


There is no problem whatsoever bumping into Hollywood celebrities this Inaugural Week, as they're appearing in every nook and cranny from Capitol Hill to Georgetown.

Still, you might not recognize their names.

A marketing representative for several of the city's upscale hotels tells Inside the Beltway about half of the actors and musicians overnighting at her luxury properties made reservations under assumed names. A few even reserved their rooms and suites beginning last Friday, but didn't plan to check in until today to avoid the media glare and other hassles.

Finally, this columnist has confirmed that one well-known actress, who is known for her statuesque frame and shapely curves, has booked herself into Washington under a fictitious man's name.


That was musical virtuoso Warren Haynes of the Allman Brothers Band and Gov't Mule dedicating his vibrant rendition of the U2 hit "One" to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Presidential Transition Team co-chairman John Podesta at a Jockey Club pre-Inaugural party hosted over the weekend by Washington Life Magazine's Nancy Reynolds Bagley and Soroush Richard Shehabi.

John McCaslin

John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .

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