Planned as a peace mission, a benefit concert hastily organized by stars from the world of music and theater got a mixed reception from the exclusively female audience at a huge barn on the outskirts of Tehran yesterday.
"We want peace with Iran", screamed the Boss, Bruce Spingsteen, to 50,000 Iranian women, all draped in burqas and hijab garb.
The first song, Born in the USA, got a modest reception, while Sia's rendition of John Denver's legendary Country Roads generated at least a hint of movement from the crowd. Miley Cirus, sporting pink undies and a blue veil sang her hit, Party in the USA, and was subsequently arrested for 'not having enough on'.
Most women had a bag with them, and the reason became clear when Bruno Mars stormed onto the scene. Hijabs, niqabs and what appeared to be lingerie items were tossed onto the stage, accompanied by the traditional ululation, the high-pitched tongue trill women of the region let out in public when excited. Mars found it all too initimidating and withdrew backstage while the crowd sang 24 Carat Magic from memory: a forgettable experience.
This was followed by 20 minutes of bizarre confusion. Jennifer Aniston and Uma Thurman explained the #MeToo movement to the ladies, who clearly understood little. "We're all the same", lied Aniston to a sea of black fabric. "We can help you if you've been harassed by Harvey Weinstein." No response, other than that Thurman was arrested for 'being too tall'.
And so, on to the final act. Madonna. At last, rapport. LIfe was breathed into the barn, the audience shook and swayed and sang along to 'Like a virgin..'. Again from memory. Madonna was also subsequently arrested for 'not having enough on'.
In a final show of common understanding, the President of Iran, Hassan Rohani, and the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, walked arm in arm on stage. Rohani spoke for two hours, and then sent everyone home, while Pelosi was arrested for 'being too thin'.
Iranian sources confirmed that another concert is planned at the same venue for January 2045.