Pop Goes the Easel

“Pop”, a bold and very new musical about Andy Warhol and his factory boys and girls now at the Studio Theatre has a lot going for it: it’s smart and sharp, its witty and biting, it has something to say and sing about art, it’s designed with a pop,, if you will, creating and re-creating an atmosphere of what it might have been like to move around the pale and distant sun of Warhol’s world. And yet, something doesn’t push it over the top, and after a while, you realize that what this show, for all of its intelligence and seriousness needs is the kind of pop that made Andy Warhol pop, a fizz of vulgar fun. Somewhere in there, after climbing three or four flights of stairs, after watching Warhol pop images fly on the walls or stick like a fly, after seeing Warhol define the essence of a paper bag, of seeing a crew of attractive (none more than Matthew DeLorenzo as superstar Candy Darling) needy famous wannabes, artists, actors and models cavorting on a striking factory set, you feel like you should be invited to up there and frug, or that you have to restrain yourself from jumping on the stage. In the intimate upstairs space of the Studio’s 2nd Stage, which has seen Jack Kerouac in his natural surroundings, the cast of “Hair” splayed against windows, and “Reefer Madness” goes crazy mad, you’d think this over-the-top urge would be on tap. It’s not quite there. Maybe because Maggie-Kate Coleman and Anna K Jacobs’ show is just a tad too smart, too serious about art. That’s not a necessarily a bad thing, and if you’re Stephen Sondheim it’s a very good thing. The smart stuff—the song about the paper bag for instance, which contains nothing, which contains the world and the essence if Warhol-speak, and the dance and song by the trio of expressionist super-stars, for instance—are very smart indeed. And Tom Story—pale of face, dark of leather jacket—gets Warhol’s utter weirdness, his stand-offish presence, the guy so very prescient (about fame, vulgarity, stardom, the commerce of art) but not quite present. He’s surrounded by people who want his light to shine on them, to make them right here and now famous and not just for fifteen minutes. That includes the likes of the already noted Candy Darling, Viva the Superstar who went to the Sorbonne before doing porn, the little rich girl Edie Sedgewick, an odd and sad turn of little girl blonde flightiness that’s also wingless. The sets are just real and riff and raff enough to make you bathe in the ambiance of a kind of art that’s art because somebody, usually Andy, says it is. The focus of the show is the near-assassination of Warhol in 1968, a shooting that certainly shocked Warhol, if not the world. But that’s the 2nd problem: we already know who did it, historically speaking, but that doesn’t stop you from really appreciating the performance of Rachel Zampelli as Valerie Solanas, the head of the super aggressive SCUM (Society for Cutting up Men), who thinks Warhol will stage her play. (He dumps it probably where it belongs, a toilet which doubles as an art work). Warhol showed us that anything can be art, anyone can write, and anyone can be a star or be famous for the usual amount of time, thus anticipating reality shows, the breach and reach of the internet, the eventual meaninglessness of too many words, and the worship of celebrity. Lacking the fun factor that ought to be all over the stage, what’s left is still entertaining, fascinating and junk food for thought. But don’t dance, they won’t ask you. (Through August 7)

Weekend Round Up August 04,2011

30th Anniversary at the National Aquarium August 5,2011 at 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The aquarium celebrates its birthday with a three-day festival, complete with music, dancing, face painting, art projects, and zumba instruction. Address National Aquarium - Baltimore Pier 3, 501 E. Pratt St. Baltimore, MD Dog Days of August Sidewalk Sale August 6th, 2011 at 6PM The neighborhood's 12th annual event includes sales at local shops, plus arts and cultural events. Free offerings include candy samples at Artfully Chocolate & Kingsbury Confection, free fans at Junction and free workouts at VIDA fitness. Address 14th and U streets NW Washington, DC Live Jazz With Vocalist Nancy Scimone August 6th, 2011 at 07:30 PM | No Cover Charge | livejazzconcerts@verizon.net | Tel: 571-232-1873 Vocalist Nancy Scimone delivers spirited performances of lively and lush American jazz standards, French and Latin-influenced tunes. The Henley's extensive wine list, classic cocktails savory treats (crispy shrimp) and desserts (pear bread pudding!) are perfect accompaniments to these sublime songs. Cozy tapestry seats, intimate lighting. No Cover. Saturdays 7:30 - 11:15 Perfect for conversation or just listening. Near Metros, on-street parking Address Henley Park Hotel 926 Massachusetts Ave. NW Washington DC 20001 Food Network Star Open Call August 8, 2001 at 10-2PM The Food Network is looking for people who are full of life, passionate about cooking, and knowledgeable about food to meet them in person at their open casting call. Design Star Open Call August 9,2011 at 10-2PM They want people who are passionate about their work, knowledgeable and hold a clear & unique design perspective. They are casting everyone from beginner's level to experts! Address The Westin City Center 1400 M St NW, Washington, DC 20005 Parish Gallery: Leslee Stradford "The Night Tulsa Died" August 16th, 2011 at 12:41 PM | Tel: 202.944.2310 Showing through Tuesday, August 16, Parish Gallery (1054 31st Street, NW) proudly presents Leslee Stradford's "The Night Tulsa Died: Black Wall Street Massacre 1921". A descendant of the victims in "The Tulsa Race Riot 1921," Leslee Stradford vividly conveys the social, cultural and historical story of the massacre confined to the racially segregated Greenwood neighborhood in Tulsa, Oklahoma on May 31, 1921. Stradford's style, sometimes figurative, sometimes abstract and sometimes both, uses new technology and research to create digital images, painted canvases and silks. Primarily representing, but not exclusively, contemporary visual artists of significance from Africa and the African Diaspora, you can view this artistic display of history and the spirit of social preservation and regeneration in the Parrish Gallery showroom. 202.944.2310 Address Parish Gallery 1054 31st Street, NW

DMV Amnesty Program

In this economy, breaks are a tough thing to catch. But starting Aug. 1, the DMV will be offering just that: amnesty on all overdue parking and moving violation tickets issued before Jan. 1, 2010, meaning that late fees on outstanding tickets will be waived. The Amnesty Program, which will be in effect through Jan. 27, is applicable only to District residents and does not waive the whole fee, only late charges. The DMV also won’t assess points on moving violations and hearings will not be granted for amnesty tickets. Tickets must be paid within the six-month grace period to receive the waiver. The program is a method of inciting District residents to pay long overdue tickets. According to The Washington Post, Mayor Gray (D) said that the city expects to collect $6.3 million over the course of the program. Do you have overdue parking tickets? visit the DMV's Website and enter your license plate number to find out.

What Debt or Sweat?

Setting aside the debate on the national debt as well as summer humidity, or maybe because of it, Washington influencers and personalities attended the launch party for Gilt City (D.C. edition) at Halcyon House on Prospect Street, July 26, co-hosted by Juleanna Glover, Winston Lord and soon-to-be-married Lindsay Czarniak and Craig Melvin. With BrandLink D.C. and Design Cuisine at work, the party was complete with mint juleps and iced lime rum as well as croquet and bocce ball. Not quite like Groupon or LivingSocial, the high-end discounter offers such experiences as a special dinner at Cafe Milano or private party at W Hotel to its members, not daily coupons. It goes fully online, Aug. 1. [gallery ids="100252,106760,106734,106756,106752,106739,106748,106744" nav="thumbs"]

Leaky Pipes Cause Clogged Roads

D.C. Water and the District Department of Transportation begin an overhaul on a two-part repair project today on the eastbound side of Canal Road, near Georgetown University. DDOT anticipates traffic delays, as the first phase of the project confine traffic to one lane of Canal Road during construction. DDOT will to close the lane from the hours of 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Drivers may want to use George Washington Parkway as an alternative. Crews may also need to work 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. The project will revive a 48 inch water main that helps deliver drinking water around the city. The main has been leaking persistently creating poor conditions along the surrounding roadway. In the second phase of the project, crews will be working to seal a pipe along M Street between 26th Street and New Hampshire Avenue. The project should be completed by September 1.

Dog Days of August

If a dog is a man’s best friend, then he’s going to want to spend his outings and vacations in the company of his favorite companion. These restaurants, hotels, attractions and shops cater to DC dog lovers and offer pet-friendly events and services. HAPPY HOURS: The Helix 1430 Rhode Island Avenue, NW Every Wednesday from 5-7 p.m. the Helix Lounge hosts “Doggy Happy Hour” on its outdoor patio. The happy hour menu features a selection of filtered ice water, fortified vitamin water and assorted treats for dogs, and $3 and $5 drinks for their owners. The restaurant is located in the Hotel Helix at 1430 Rhode Island Ave., which also welcomes pets and provides amenities for its furry guests such as treats, feeding bowls, bottled water, beds and pick-up bags. Cantina Marina 600 Water St., SW This outdoor patio located at the Gangplank on the Potomac offers a menu full of great finger-food and famous fish tacos any day of the week, but during happy hour on Monday evenings from 5-9 p.m., dog owners can enjoy $2 beers on the waterfront in the company of their pets. Union Pub 201 Massachusetts Ave. NE Dogs are always welcome on the patio at Union Pub at 201 Massachusetts Ave., and upon request will be served water while their owners enjoy the pub’s famous burgers and beer. Pat Troy’s Ireland’s Own 111 N. Pitt St.,?Alexandria, Virginia 22314 From the patio at Pat Troy’s Irish restaurant and pub, owners can treats their dogs to a hearty Irish supper from a menu that includes chicken, chopped burger, lamb stew and beef stew, all of which comes with a bone on the side. The Argonaut 1433 H St., NE Argo-Mutts Happy Hour takes place on the restaurant’s patio every Saturday from 12-5 p.m. The Argonaut has formed a partnership with Metro Mutts, which will bring treats and other giveaways for dogs attending happy hour. Art and Soul 415 New Jersey Ave., NW Art and Soul serves dog meals and treats every day of the week from its “Pooch Patio Menu.” Beverages include water, nonalcoholic “Bowser Beer” and “Vitapaw” – a vitamin enhanced water, and frozen raw bones, three ounce or six ounce grilled steak and beef tips with sauce and rice are among the entrée selections. The restaurant also serves homemade dog biscuits and granola treats. Jay’s Saloon and Grille 3114 10th St. N, Arlington, VA 22201 Dogs are always welcome on the Arlington restaurant’s patio, but in addition, the Jay’s Saloon and Grille hosts “Yappy Hour” from 1-4 p.m. one Sunday each month. Pets can enjoy water, treats and games while their owners chill with a two-dollar bottle of beer, a $1.50 draft or $2.95 glass of wine. Hotel Monaco 480 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 The hotel’s locations in DC and Alexandria are both pet-friendly, and deliver bottled water, food bowls, a treat and a map of popular dog walks to the rooms of guests accompanied by a four-legged companion. The Alexandria location advertises Doggy Happy Hour in the courtyard every Tuesday and Thursday from 5-8 p.m. between the months of April and October, where dogs receive complimentary treats and water and guests can order from the Jackson 20’s Bar Menu. JUST FOR FUN: Potomac Riverboat Co. Canine Cruise 3 Cameron Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 Canine Cruises depart from the Alexandria City Marina every Thursday at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. between June 16 and September 15. For $15, dog owners can take their pets on a 40-minute tour of Alexandria’s waterfront. Doggie Style Bakery 1825 18th St NW This bakery caters exclusively to any dog’s sweet tooth, with custom-designed dog cakes for any occasion, “Mutt Licks” – the bakery’s ice cream for dogs, fresh baked treats and cookies and a variety of all-natural dog snacks. Owners can treat their dogs to a day of pampering in the shop’s boutique and spa for professional grooming and shampooing. GROOMING: Chateau Animaux 524 8th St., SE This pet store on the Hill sells pet supplies and professional grooming services, but also strives to make pet care easy for owners. For $15 dollars pet owners are given access to a tub and the supplies they need to bathe their pets themselves, or the busy pet owner can arrange for food and other supplies to be delivered straight to his or her home on a regular or occasional basis. Metro Mutts 508 H St., NE In addition to selling pet supplies, Metro Mutts provides dog walking and dog sitting services in the Capitol Hill area. Pet owners can select from a variety of packages to meet their pet’s walking and feeding schedules, and will receive records of their pet’s daily activities. Metro Mutts offers to take care of small household tasks during visits, including bringing in the mail, watering plants and the like. Fur-Get Me Not 1722 Florida Ave, NW This shop has everything a dog could need, from treats and toys to training, boarding and walking. The doggie daycare strives to meet the individual needs of each dog, and customers can take advantage of daily scheduled or overnight dog sitting services. The Big Bad Woof 117 Carroll St NW The Big Bad Woof carries pet gear and supplies for “the socially conscious pet,” selling Fair Trade and eco-friendly products. Their food selections are based on a holistic approach to pet health and wellness, and many products are made from organic materials. While there are a lot of great things to do with your best buddy in the city, everyone needs a break from the bustle sometimes. Now is a great time of year to head off on a road trip with your pooch by your side. Check out this dog-friendly getaway: Keswick Club 701 Club Drive, Keswick, Va. 22947 This stately retreat offers not only a challenging golf course, tennis courts, fine dining and well-appointed rooms, but it also extends its hospitality to its guests’ canine companions. Dogs are welcome all over the grounds and in the rooms. Beloved pooches are even incorporated into the lavish weddings that the Club often hosts with the rolling hills of the Virginia countryside as their backdrop.

Sweetgreen Celebrates Four Years

In celebration of four years of business, Sweetgreen on M Street is giving customers free frozen yogurt with the purchase of any salad. The store, which was opened four summers ago by three freshly-graduated Georgetown University students, has expanded from its original location to have eight storefronts in D.C., two in Philadelphia, and one roaming location – a food truck. The founders left this message for their patrons on their website: “Since our first shop on M St, we’ve changed and expanded, from new locations in Washington D.C., to introducing our very own food truck – Sweetflow Mobile, to expanding into Philadelphia, to throwing a music festival with the Strokes. “We would never have been able to take these steps without the support of all the sweet people in our lives and our dedicated employees. To thank all our friends for taking this journey with us we’re giving away a free sweetflow with the purchase of any salad at Georgetown today. – Jon, Nic, and Nate”

Ice Rink Could Come to Washington Harbour

MRP Realty, the company that purchased Washington Harbour last year, is planning a $30 million renovation that includes updated offices, new restaurant space and a rebuilt outdoor plaza featuring an outdoor ice-skating rink. At 11,000 square feet, the proposed ice rink would be the largest in the city, according to MRP’s Robert J. Murphy. During the warmer months, the rink would be replaced by a 7,000 square foot fountain. The plans are still being looked at by neighbors and community leaders, but once the plans are ok-ed, work could begin early next year, with completion in the spring of 2012. Work to renovate Washington Habour’s office space has already begun. After April’s flood, Washington Harbour could sure use a boost like this. Several of the bars and restaurants located there are still waiting to reopen.

Hottest July on Record in D.C.

According to the Washington Post, this July was the hottest month in Washington on record. The average temperature was 84.5 degrees, more than one degree hotter than the previous hottest month, July of 2010. The hottest day of all was July 29 at 104 degrees, the hottest temperature in 13 years. The hottest ever was 106 degrees, on July 20, 1930. Over the whole month, the temperature reached 90 degrees 25 times. The month also had eight record days for warm low temperatures, including seven when the temperature failed to fall below 80 degrees, four of which came consecutively (from July 21 to 24). On July 23 and 24 the District tied for its warmest all-time low temperature of 84 degrees. August is not showing any signs of relief, as today’s high was 98 degrees.

Sports are Simplified by the Reduced Shakespeare Company

Mention sports in Washington to a sports fan and nobody laughs. After all: The Washington Redskins' Dan Snyder sues the City Paper, Donovan McNabb is benched, no playoffs yet again and wait, there’s a lockout of millionaires. There may yet be an NFL season. Sigh. After all: The Washington Capitals, the best hockey team, and the best Russians never to make it out of the second round of the playoffs. Sigh. The Washington Nationals, where being a game under even is a major accomplishment, a team that has Jayson Werth who gets millions for batting .216. Sigh. The Washington Wizards, who may never make the playoffs in my lifetime—admittedly a modest goal. The men’s soccer team which had a 0-0 tie in its last game, I think. What a thrill. The Reduced Shakespeare Company and “The Complete World of Sports.” Now that’s funny. You’ve got a few days (till January 24) to see the radically funny comedy troupe’s take on the wide, wide, and even wider world of sports from cave man's earliest tug of wars to naked wrestling in ancient Greece, to the origin of curling and the burning question of why bowling is a sport—among the hundreds of subjects, countries, centuries and box scores tackled by the current RSC troupe and trope of three. If you go, be prepared to run on stage and participate in the parade of nations, or just participate. Audience participation is one of the hallmarks of the RSC—doesn’t that have the same initials as the Royal Shakespeare Company with the word Shakespeare?—and wacky irreverence, slapdash and sometimes slapstick comedy, and a willingness to tackle any subject no matter how small, how large how endless. They are very good at reducing just about anything. Eric Cantor, are you listening? Reducing. Anything. No matter how large. Can they, is it possible that they could reduce the national debt? Maybe not. But they could make it funny? “We go back a ways,” Reed Martin, one of the earliest members (he cam aboard in 1989) said. “It’s kind of strange. Wherever we go, we’re sort of famous. We have this built-in audience, built, over the years, and yet, we’re not, I don’t know, famous-famous." But what they do have is a phenom, and it’s gone, if not exactly viral, pretty huge. Several troupes tour with the RSC brand and shows, their works are collected in book form, and they’ve been all over the world. Martin, in a way, is characteristic of the troupe and its history: he’s been a real clown (is there such a being?) with Ringling Brothers, he’s been a sports referee and he is what he is here, the bald one, who lends a certain intense, zany seriousness. There is also his long-time partner in time and crime, Austin Tichenor, who looks a little like Will Ferrell, only funnier (sue me, SNL fans). He has that puzzled look of a lawyer in over his head, wondering why he didn’t join a comedy troupe Last, and perhaps least but probably not is Matt Rippy, the kid, who looks like a kid, as opposed to the adult family men Martin and Tichenor. He is oddly enough, also the webmaster for the group, acts in movies and, according to his bio, is studiously avoiding adulthood and so far succeeding. The whole thing started with Daniel Singer, Jess Borgeson and Adam Long, the troupe founders who used to work their way, hat in hand, at Renaissance Pleasure Fairs in California, which were quite heady festivals back in the day. But they put together a show called “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) followed quickly by “The Complete History of America” and “The Bible: The Complete Word of God (Abridged),” which surfaced at Fringe Festivals, (what a nice coincidence) and then ran for nine years at the Criterion Theatre in Piccadilly Circus. All three have done improve, movies, television, voice over and a touch of standup. “I think all the credit in the world should go to our wives, our families,” Tichinor said. “They don’t get to so see us so much when we’re on the road.” “People laugh no matter where we go,” Martin says. “We’re fresh, irreverent, whatever, naughty, there’s nothing we don’t make fun of but it’s not, like we dis what people value. You might think in the South where people take their Bible seriously something might happen, but it really didn’t. Noah in Baton Rouge, a little." “It’s hard work, sure,” Tichenor says. “But we get to play in great places. We come back here (to the Kennedy Center), all of the time. People get us. Maybe a little too much. The local sports radio people talked this up on their shows and a whole bunch of people showed up one night, they booed, they yelled, they argued, it got kind of lively. We loved it.” So how do they pick people to bring on stage?“There’s two kinds of folks—there’s people who have that pick-me, pick-me look on their face and you have to pry them offstage, or there’s people with their head down, or they get that fear look on their face. We don’t pick them.” In this town, the Nationals, love of ‘em or don’t ever go, are the team of the national past-time, which is baseball. Which is: “Boring,” Rippy says. “That’s the funny part. You know, every time we mention baseball, one of us faints dead away.” “One of the things about this is that every night, everywhere is different,” Martin said. “When you add the audience participation, it’s not just the people in the audience, but all three of us get surprised every time.” Even when there’s boos on a Michael Vick joke. “Too soon?” one of them asks. Baseball has been very good to them. So has Shakespeare, the United States of America, God, the Bible, Hollywood—a lampooning of 187 of the best movies of all time, sports in general and coming to a theater near you soon, maybe in December: “Christmas,” Martin says. “We’re going to do Christmas.” The abridged version, which means you don’t have to unwrap the presents. (“The Reduced Shakespeare Company in “The Complete World of Sports” will be at Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater until June 24.) Now they’re funny.