(Chicago Tribune) — You get Beyonce! And you get Will Smith! Everybody gets Tom Hanks! In the house that Michael Jordan built, another international superstar whose fame was bred in Chicago said farewell to her fans Tuesday night and they to her. Oprah Winfrey did so with more than a little help from the boldface friends she has accumulated over the years, fellow members of the fame club whose every deferential gesture, every metaphorical hat-tip to Winfrey was greeted with howls of approval in the United Center. With two shows taping to air next week as “The Oprah Winfrey Show’s” third- and second-to-last spots, the night was a virtual blur of applause, appreciation and one megastar after another. There were orchestrated singalongs and retakes. There was Kleenex available at every few seats. There were very short lines at the men’s rooms. And there were: Tom Hanks in full, folksy Hanksiness. A Josh Groban-Patti LaBelleduet, each note bigger than the last. Beyonce dispensing fake diplomas to her dancers before chant-singing about girls running the world. Madonna, not singing. Maria Shriver, not discussing the day’s news from back in California.
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