- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 5, 2009

It was supposed to be a night celebrating women in the arts at the Kennedy Center Spring Gala, but most of the praise went to the surprise guest of honor: Michelle Obama, who was flanked by her mother, first grandma Marion Robinson.

Mrs. O’s most famous body parts also got some shout outs.

“A woman with great arms,” said comedienne Lily Tomlin. “Unlike most of us, she doesn’t have to wave from the elbow down.”

Speaking of the first lady, Ms. Tomlin rhapsodized, “She has given the women of the country some badly needed self-esteem. They say that self-esteem is a woman’s best cosmetic. It certainly isn’t Estee Lauder.”

Did Ms. Tomlin miss the memo? The cosmetic giant was a corporate sponsor of the event and provided the guests with swag bags featuring a full-size bottle of Pure White Linen, Estee’s signature summer fragrance.

Maybe it was just a friendly jape after all, Ms. Tomlin was in a joking mood. Before the performance, we caught her on the red carpet and asked her pick to replace Supreme Court Justice David Souter.

“Whoopi,” she quipped referring to Whoopi Goldberg, the co-host of ABC’s The View.

Patti LaBelle‘s excitement about being in the same room as Mrs Obama was not enough to help her voice. The diva apologized twice during her performance for being too hoarse to even attempt some of the high notes.

This minor vocal malfunction was evidently lost on the first lady, who was wiggling in her seat along to the music as if to say, “Would you all please start dancing already?”

Eyes spies

At Sunday night’s Ken Cen gala, G2 could not help but notice something Mrs. Obama evidently wanted to keep to herself.

While the house lights were down, we looked up and saw a glare reflecting off Mrs. O’s face. Yep, you heard it here first. The first lady wears reading glasses, and puts them on (and takes them off) when she thinks no one is looking.

The first lady’s press office confirmed our discovery, and we’re working on finding out the frame’s designers. We are sure that news will unleash a fashion fury.

Numero Ono

G2 caught up with Yoko Ono in advance of “The Artwork of John Lennon,” scheduled for display in a temporary exhibit space at 3336 M Street NW in Georgetown May 7-10.

According to Ms. Ono, the exhibit will provide “an opportunity for John to say hello to his fans and for people who don’t know him yet, to surprise them.”

Asked what the idealistic Mr. Lennon would have thought about the election of the nation’s first black president, Ms. Ono replied, he “would’ve been overjoyed but still angry that countries are at war. He would’ve used the Internet to communicate with the world.”

Her late husband would’ve been distressed by the rise of music piracy on the Intenet, Mrs. Ono believes. “John was a person who oversaw a large company and made a lot of songs and was very caring about all things and valued copyright,” she said. “Getting music for free is unfair. People are going to start understanding that music is an important commodity and should be paid for.”

Returning to the message of peace, love, and understanding, Ms. Ono encouraged all to “keep doing things that are beautiful and be positive in this beautiful new age.”

To contact Stephanie Green and Elizabeth Glover with a tip or to request event coverage, please e-mail undercover@washingtontimes.com.

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