Although the USG has not signed a contract yet, Elvis Costello has verbally agreed to play at the P-Party, USG Major Attractions Committee chairman Darryl Celkupa '88 confirmed yesterday.
Costello has tentatively accepted the USG's bid of $29,400 to play on April 30, Celkupa said.
Despite the lack of an official contract, both parties seem confident that the agreement will be confirmed. "It's 100 percent happening," Marc Gentilella, president of Flashgroup Corporation (the talent management agency responsible for coordinating Costello's April tour) said.
"Only by some real freaky kind of thing will this deal fall through," Celkupa said.
The party will be part of a five-day east coast college tour, according to Julie Barnett, coordinator of the Brown Concert Agency, the sponsor of Costello's April 25 concert at Brown University.
Known for such hits as "Alison" and "Radio, Radio," Costello plans to play solo acoustic guitar and will probably bring back the Spinning Songbook, Barnett said.
On his east coast tour last October, Costello chose his encores by spinning a giant, upright "Wheel of Fortune" style wheel which listed 40 to 50 song titles, according to Barnett.
Costello does not plan to perform with his band, The Attractions, Gentilella said.
In an interview with the 'Prince' last month, Celkupa expressed a preference for a dance-party band for the headliner. Yesterday, Celkupa conceded that the Costello act as planned did not meet this criterion. "He's not the most danceable guy in the world," Celkupa said.
Costello's name-recognition factor, however, was a significant factor in the USG's decision to place a bid for him, Celkupa said.
"Elvis Costello is definitely someone who college students listen to a lot, although he may have fallen out of favor in the last few years," said Mark Towfigh '89, assistant program director of WPRB.
Barnett concurred. "He's the biggest talent any college campus would hope to produce this year. If you sell tickets, people will buy them," she said.
Celkupa said, however, that although the USG is paying more for the headliner than they had originally intended, admission to the P-Party will be free.
Gentilella said Princeton's bid was less than those other schools booked had offered.
Costello producer and contemporary Nick Lowe, a singer, is touring with Costello and plans to open the P-Party as part of the package deal. Barnett described Lowe of "Cruel To Be Kind" fame as "an Elvis who never quite made it."