WaPo Notes Obama Balls Gone Flat, Previously Noted Same of Inaugural Rentals

January 20th, 2009 1:02 PM

"Don't you hate it when you pop a bottle of champagne and it's flat? So, too, with some of these inaugural balls," Washington Post gossip gals Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts alerted their readers in the January 20 edition of "The Reliable Source."

While none of the official PIC balls have been cancelled, the unofficial ones that have been cancelled or are on life support to be the ones geared towards the average Joe Sixpack and to America's military veterans:

If you nabbed a ticket to one of the official balls sponsored by the Presidential Inaugural Committee tonight, you're fine. But some of the other high-profile parties have been canceled or are still scrambling to cut costs and sell last-minute tickets, leaving ballgoers disappointed or out in the cold.

The People's Ball at the Grand Hyatt announced a blue-light special yesterday: Tickets slashed $100 -- to $250! The American Music Ball, hosted by Dionne Warwick, which planned two big-name events at the Marriott Wardman Park, was scrambling to sell enough tickets ($450 for the Legends ball with George Clinton, Chaka Khan and the Temptations; $350 for the Urban ball with Ludacris, Fantasia, and Cedric the Entertainer) for the show to go on -- and it wasn't looking good last night, said sources.

The "Heroes Red, White & Blue" Ball at the Warner Theatre with Jamie Foxx, rapper Nas, guitarist Slash, and gospel star Donnie McClurkin scrapped its entire lineup and subbed in a band called Memphis Gold, reports our colleague Richard Leiby. "There will be a performance, but not as previously listed," said publicist Linda Roth. Ditto for the after-party with disco stars Chic, who were stunned by the sudden cancellation. Singer Sylver Logan Sharp told us in an e-mail: "I can't express how sick I am over this."

And the Veterans Ball at the St. Regis Hotel? Canceled -- and promoter Dante Hayes is nowhere to be found, the Navy Times reported yesterday. Tickets for the party (not to be confused with the official Commander-in-Chief Ball for the military) went for up to $385 on the Congressional Education Foundation for Public Policy's website Web site, which abruptly shut down yesterday.

Since that was published early this morning, Roberts and Argetsinger added an update to their Reliable Source blog shortly before noon.:

The American Music Ball has been cancelled, according to a rep for the Marriott Wardman Park hotel where it was to have been hosted.

However, some of its big-name entertainers will find a home at another struggling inaugural fete -- the Heroes Ball, which suffered a sudden loss of its talent lineup over the weekend. Among the names headed to the Heroes Ball are George Clinton, Ben Vereen and Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, according to a rep for the Heroes Ball.

And whither the AMC's biggest names? Dionne Warwick and Ludacrisj were set to host the dual "Legends" and "Urban" parties. We'll let you know if we find out. . .

Five days ago I noted how the Washington Post reported that there were plenty of hotel rooms still available for the inauguration in Washington, D.C. On January 9 I noted how the Post found the air had gone out of the inaugural housing rental bubble.