Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, left at piano, and Aretha Franklin perform at The Mann Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia, Tuesday, July 27, 2010. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
So there you go: it really happened! The Washington Post was on the scene:
Putting Aretha Franklin and Rice together on the stage had a kind of goofy brilliance. It was evidently Franklin who decided that the two should perform together; she may have sensed, with the same stage-animal instinct she demonstrated throughout the evening, that Rice would provide curiosity value to augment, or even showcase, Franklin's entertainment value.
There was a single duet with Rice, who emerged from the wings like a vision from a far more formal world, sat down at the piano and began "I Say a Little Prayer."
"You didn't think she could play it, right?" Franklin teased the audience.
But for all that Franklin had supposedly initiated this project, the on-stage interaction between the two women seemed distant; and this music certainly isn't Rice's home turf. In a nod to Rice's political roots, Franklin brought her back out to close with a song that she called "our national anthem" and turned out to be "My Country 'Tis of Thee" -- a mixed political message right in keeping with the general goofiness of the evening.
Here's a photo of the odd couple (not the oddest Condi's been part of) with their bouquets:
Condi's dress looks good! Well, let me backtrack. Condi's dress looked good while standing front and center, but it did her no favors while she performed:
And that, Pony Pals™, is pretty much all we're going to get out of Condi this year.
UPDATE – Actual video also courtesy the Associated Press.