Sax Desires to Please With a Sexy Vibe

May 16, 2011

After a few preview parties, Sax, the new haughty, naughty restaurant in the old Posh space at 730 11th Street, NW, opens officially on Friday, May 13th. Sax owners Errol Lawrence and Nancy Koida (of Oya and Sei fame) offer a Moulin Rouge fantasy with a glass-enclosed, 20-foot burlesque and cabaret stage atop the main bar with velvet curtains and gold and red colors throughout, as well as a second floor. Oya chef Jonathan Seningen oversees the menu. (Steak tartare on crackers and other finger food were presented by corseted waitresses at the parties.)

But the scandalous murals on politics and religion prompt the most buzz in this nation’s capital. Pictures of what looks like President Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky as well as Anita Hill and Justice Clarence Thomas gives one pause, not to mention other phallic-laden images of priests and God himself. Oh, Lord, forgive us our satire if not blasphemy. Publisher Larry Flynt was not at our party. [gallery ids="99674,99675,99676,99677,99678,99679,99680,99681,99682" nav="thumbs"]

Keith Lipert Spring Sale

May 12, 2011

On Apr. 26, Keith Lipert invited special pals to his eponymous boutique on M Street for a Spring Clearance Party. Guests imbibed champagne as they browsed for fabulous deals on treasures up to 50 percent off. [gallery ids="99664,106014,106018" nav="thumbs"]

Honoring Barbara Gordon

Colombian Ambassador and Mrs. Gabriel Silva threw open the doors of their stunning Dupont Circle residence on Apr. 29 to join with Secretary General of the Organization of American States and Mrs. Jose Miguel Insulza and The Friends of the Art Museum of the Americas (AMA) in a tribute to Barbara Gordon honoring her lifetime dedication to the arts and philanthropy. The evening included a chef’s tasting table prepared by Chef Michel Richard, a silent auction featuring Latin American artists living in our area, a piano recital by Edvinas Minkstimas and dancing to Latin music by DJ Panama. Ambassador Luigi Einaudi, expressing his belief that “politics are shaped by culture,” said “Barbara gets it.” Funds from the evening will support the work of the AMA. The honoree serves as First Chairman Emeritus of the museum. [gallery ids="99665,106019,106035,106031,106024,106028" nav="thumbs"]

Gtown Biz Assoc. Debuts ‘Out & About’ on the Dish

May 4, 2011

The Georgetown Business Association celebrated its new media outlet — “Out & About” — a venture with the website, Georgetown Dish, in Cady’s Alley, April 20. Georgetown business leaders, politicians, residents, other media and influencers made the scene in the hypercool L2 nightclub, as Dish publisher Beth Solomon greeted the guests and said, “This is the first social media channel in D.C.” The purpose of the GBA’s “Out & About” is to post the profile, increase promotion and widen online presence of Georgetown businesses. GBA members can send out news, special offers and business advice from their unique town to the world wide web. [gallery ids="99667,106055,106039,106051,106047,106044" nav="thumbs"]

Spring Soirée on Book Hill

Despite the rather chilly temperature, there was joy in the air on Book Hill behind the gloriously restored Georgetown Library late in the afternoon on May 1 as families gathered to support the Georgetown Library and Book Hill Park. Local merchants were generous in their donations including the special team at Bacchus. Highlights were the canapés supplied by the recently opened Book Hill Café with Chef/GM Matthew Mohler and Cordon Bleu pastry chef Deborah Stewart in attendance. These privately raised funds constantly enhance Georgetown’s unique quality of life. [gallery ids="102557,119959,119949,119955,119941" nav="thumbs"]

Puro Café

Puro Cafe celebrated the opening of their patio with a wine tasting on Apr, 27. Owner Rashid Hassouni invited members of the Georgetown BID, the Citizens Association of Georgetown and Georgetown Business Association to join him. Despite warnings of severe weather, the skies remained calm as guests enjoyed great wines and hors d’oeuvres on the spacious patio. [gallery ids="102556,119977,119972,119957,119982,119965" nav="thumbs"]

D.C Arts Collaborates at French Embassy

April 21, 2011

The D.C. Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative gathered in La Maison Française at the French Embassy, April 8, to honor the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation — and to show off its students and raise funds for programs which give public school students a chance to experience the D.C. arts scene. The lively crowd of arts and business leaders at “Taking Flight: The Transformative Power of Arts Education” applauded Calvin Cafritz who accepted the first-ever Annual Spirited Leadership Award. NBC4 news anchor Wendy Rieger, who will jet off to cover the royal wedding in London, remarked, “My mother was a teacher. God bless you. God love you.” Bob Levey, former Washington Post columnist, quipped: “Wendy said I have been here since the Johnson Administration, but it was the administration of Lyndon Baines Johnson.” [gallery ids="99651,105316,105314" nav="thumbs"]

“The Color Purple” at the National Theater

April 20, 2011

This Oprah Winfrey-backed musical theater version of Alice Walker’s powerful novel packs more emotional punch than your everyday Broadway musical. The road company, now at the National Theater through April 24, talks and sings the story of Celie, a much put upon young black woman who rises above abuse, ignorance and suffering to become the cornerstone of life for many people. The film version, which starred Whoopee Goldberg, Danny Glover and Oprah Winfrey herself, was directed by Steve Spielberg with great intensity, if a little too much sentiment, and was nominated for 11 Oscars (but won none). The musical is a powerful surprise and moves with flair and power to tell an emotionally affecting story.

“King Lear” at Synetic Theater

Can you get the full measure of Shakespeare’s “King Lear” without hearing Lear’s verbal rage against the Gods?

You bet you can—and without any of the words for that matter—in Synetic Theater’s “silent Shakespeare” series, now through April 24 at the Lansburgh and April 29 – May 9 at Synetic’s home base in Rosslyn.

This is a Lear with more than one fool, more than one clown, and one true mime who is the fool. This is the Paata Tsikurishvilli version of Lear, where all the characters wear painted faces, like some mad, violent circus troupe, damned and doomed to hell and gone. It’s also a full expression of just what’s made the troupe from Russia—head by Tsikurishvilli and his wife choreographer Irina—almost universally acclaimed by critics and rewarded almost routinely with Helen Hayes awards.

This production with its high, athletic and murderous energy, works almost like a bookend to the Bard’s “Lear” in the sense that it lays on the emotional content through movement, visceral visual vistas and the words that can seep out of and echo through silence. You’re reminded a little of Kurasawa’s “Ran,” a cinematic Japanese version of “Lear,” in which the last image is that of a blinded fool dancing on the edge of a cliff.

It doesn’t quite explain why Tsikurishvilli decided to make Cordelia a son instead of a daughter, and why Lear’s love and loss don’t quite get their full measure as a result.

Still, this production is an opportunity for DC city dwellers to catch the horrible, beautiful magic of Synetic, which is in a theatrical category by itself.

Enda Walsh and “The Walworth Farce”

New and fresh Irish playwright Enda Walsh is currently getting a full-blown festival exposure at the Studio Theater, with “Penelope,” his contemporary version of the story of Ulysses and his wife, having already been performed.

Now its “The Walworth Face” and “The New Electric Ballroom,” starring some of DC’s finest veteran actors and actresses, being performed simultaneously in the Milton and at the Mead theaters, respectively.

In “The Walworth Farce” you get to see Walsh’s work, his furious passion for words embedded. There’s something brazenly revolting, revolutionary and rash about this play, which builds from confusion to clarity and madness, while blasting away just about all traces of fondness for Irish sentimentality and tropes.

Here’s the trip: three Irish men living in London, a father and two sons, act out the recurring and changing history and farce of their lives in their disjointed up-high city flat. It’s a cross-dressing, sometimes dangerous, violent sorting out of their own history, of murder, death, displacement and identity, plus there’s a prize for best actor each time out. When the youngest son brings in an interloper, things go straight to the inevitable hell, with no pit stop for purgatory.

Ted Van Griethuysen shows again his gift for going from classical, Shakespeare and Shaw to the crude poetics of contemporary Irish plays. He’s a mad, sly, bully-boy ringmaster here. The acting, including Aubrey Deeker and Alex Morf as the sons, is superb all around, and the tensions and foreboding is electric.

“The New Electric Ballroom” stars Jennifer Mendenhall and Nancy Robinette as two Irish sisters lost in the memories of their small-town youth, trying to find the truth.