WASHINGTON — First lady Michelle Obama’s 50th birthday dance party was still going past 2:30 a.m. Sunday, guests told me, with a group of Chicago pals at the bash where Beyonce, Ledisi, John Legend and Stevie Wonder performed.
“Whatever music they play I am going to dance to it,” Chicago attorney Marty Castro told reporters staking out the White House East Wing Saturday night for the party with a 9 p.m. start time.
“God, only 50? That’s easy,” tennis great Billie Jean King said on the way in.
The singer Ledisi said in a Tweet, “Happy Birthday to our beautiful First Lady! @flotus What a night!Our feet hurt!lol! beyonce amazing.”
Castro and Mrs. Obama go way back.
When Mrs. Obama was the executive director or Public Allies Chicago starting in 1993, she asked Castro to join the board. Castro was a major fund-raiser for the Obama campaign and was tapped by President Barack Obama in June, 2011 to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, where he now serves as chairman.
The White House did not release any details about the party. Here is my list of the Chicagoans and others who were at the fest:
Judd Miner; Allison Davis; John Rogers and daughter Victoria; Jim and Paula Crown; John and Jill Levi; Alan and Andrea Solow; Melody Spann-Cooper; Marty Nesbitt and Anita Blanchard; Jennifer Hudson; Eric and Cheryl Whitaker; Laura Ricketts; Jesse and Michelle Ruiz.
As well as White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett; her daughter, Laura; mother Barbara Bowman and son-in-law Tony Balkissoon; Mrs. Obama Chief of Staff Tina Tchen; her former Chief of Staff Susan Sher and husband Neil Cohen and the cabinet members from Chicago, Commerce Sec. Penny Pritzker and husband Bryan Traubert and Education Secretary Arne Duncan and wife Karen.
Brother Craig Robinson could not make it though his wife did; Mrs. Obama’s mother, Marian Robinson of course was there as well as her close friends from Olympia Fields, “Mama”Kaye and Wellington Wilson. “Mama Kaye” is the godmother to the Obama daughters, Malia and Sasha.
High profile guests spotted entering also included Magic Johnson; Herbie Hancock: Samuel Jackson: James Taylor; Gayle King: Al Roker Rev. Al Sharpton; Tom Joyner; Paul McCartney; Kal Penn; Rachel Ray and Smokey Robinson.
And late late late in the night, Stevie Wonder came on and played bits and pieces of his various songs, a guest told me.
The menu was light: little pizzas, fried shrimp, beef tenderloin, desserts and cakes were spread through the main floor of the White House, with guests floating between the East Room and the State Dining Room, the spaces where most social events are held.
The tab for the party was picked up by the Obama’s, who will be billed for each food item and wait staff.
Mrs. Obama’s birthday was Friday.
Guests were told not to take pictures.
Tweeted Hudson, “We had such a good time with the 1st family in dc tonight ! Now on to the next stop.”