It's the ticket that all the celebrities are clamoring for this year. No, it's not the Super Bowl or the Oscars. It's President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration.
Obama's historic victory has all the bold-faced names, from the A-list to the D-list, lining up to participate, as Sunday's star-filled concert at the Lincoln Memorial -- featuring performers from country crooner Garth Brooks to the dazzling trio of Shakira, Usher and Stevie Wonder -- showed.
And that may be the problem. "We have a glut of A-listers," Roxanne Roberts, who co-writes the Washington Post column The Reliable Source, told ABCNews.com. "If they came to D.C. at any other time, they'd be completely fawned over. Now it's just, 'Mariah Carey? Yeah, she's there with Jay-Z and Beyonce.'
"There's only one rock star at this event, and it's Barack Obama," Roberts said.
With so many celebrities tapped to perform, host or make appearances, Roberts said the inaugural will be, for some, a humbling reality check. "They're not going to glide around in limos," she said. "Nobody will be gliding around."
"The only person who will be given carte blanche is Oprah," she said, referring to talk show queen Winfrey's early and enthusiastic endorsement of Obama. "Everybody else is getting these reality checks. It's going to take a really cool low-maintenance celebrity to say, 'This is awesome. I'm having the time of my life.'"
That's the approach Blair Underwood, who is scheduled to perform tonight, appears to be taking. "It's a very profound history lesson," he told ABCNews.com. "I'm just grateful that I'm able to provide that for my children."
The family will be watching Tuesday as Obama takes the official oath of office, and Underwood has purchased some heating pads for their hands and feet to help them withstand the chilly morning.
"I have standing tickets, so I'll be standing up in the cold like everyone else," he said, "but at least I got tickets on the side of the Capitol."
The prospect of long waits and crowd-choked events hasn't stopped celebrities, no matter where they rank, from jumping on the bandwagon. Some are answering Barack and Michelle Obama's call to make the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday a day of voluntary service.
They include Tobey Macguire and Demi Moore, and Moore's husband Ashton Kutcher, who are scheduled to spend part of their morning painting classrooms and hallways at a school in Southeast Washington.
In another part of the city, David Arquette, Josh Groban and Herbie Hancock are slated to lead a rally, alongside King's oldest son, Martin Luther King III, for the nonprofit group Feeding America.
Later that night, Underwood, his wife and three children will attend the "Kids Inaugural: We Are the Future," which Michelle Obama and Jill Biden will host. The concert, which honors military families and airs on the Disney Channel, will include performances from Miley Cyrus, the Jonas Brothers and Bow Wow.