The Kennedy Center collected high praise Monday for its annual Kennedy Center Honors that seemed to unite and uplift the nation for two glittering hours.
With the president and vice president plus their wives and their Democratic opponents in attendance, Sunday evening's cultural fare spanned violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman playing "Schindler's List" and Kid Rock, the Washington Post reported Monday.
In between were a sweet serenade from Renee Fleming and Audra McDonald's rendition of Marion Anderson's signature spiritual "Let Us Break Bread Together."
The capital's elites broke into hysterical laughter over Jack Nicholson's irreverent but also self-deprecating introduction of his friend Warren Beatty.
Later in the evening Kid Rock demanded people stand as he performed "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting," and slowly the crowd responded, first Beatty, then composer John Williams, and after that the Condeleeza Rice, and Annette Bening. And -- finally and slowly -- President Bush and Vice President Cheney.
In addition to Beatty, rocker Sir Elton John, soprano Dame Joan Sutherland, composer John Williams and producers Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee were also honored.