Kitty Kelley & The Women’s Forum of Washington DC

July 26, 2011

On Nov. 18, Teresa and Paul Klaassen hosted Kitty Kelley and The Women’s Forum of Washington DC for a holiday shopping extravaganza accompanied by festive hors d’oeuvres and wine bars. Vendors on each floor included Nina McLemore, Proper Topper, J McLaughlin of Georgetown, Ibhana Creations and Sissy Yates Jewelry. The Women’s Forum of Washington, DC, Inc. is an affiliate of International Women’s Forum, an organization of preeminent women who share knowledge and ideas to enrich each other’s lives and to provide a network of support to prepare future generations of women leaders. [gallery ids="102507,120185,120196,120192" nav="thumbs"]

Nina McLemore Hosts Nooristan Foundation

Georgetowner Nina McLemore threw open her doors on Oct. 20 to host a fashion show and sale of her latest collection of quality clothing designed for today’s multi-faceted women to benefit the Nooristan Foundation. Nooristan is a non-profit providing humanitarian, medical and educational support for rural areas in Afghanistan. Projects include livelihood assistance and literacy for 90 families in a refugee camp outside Kabul, training midwives in Takhar province and establishing a village school in Nooristan. Nina sells primarily through independent consultants holding private trunk shows. Better specialty locations and eight recently established permanent eponymous stores showcase her wearable and travelable fashions. – Mary Bird [gallery ids="99440,99441,99442,99443" nav="thumbs"]

A Night of Sitar Stars

On Oct. 21, Sitar Arts Center hosted student led tours and then moved to the Meridian International Center for a reception, silent auction, fall fashion show, arts performance and even more to benefit its arts education programs. Exec. Dir. Ed Spitzberg hailed Sitar as “arguably the number one arts center in this country.” Sitar Arts Center enables underserved children and youth to study visual and performing arts in an after school safe haven. It reaches more than 700 students a year, 80 percent from low-income households. Partners include The Corcoran Gallery of Art, The Washington Ballet, Shakespeare Theatre Company and WPAS. – Mary Bird [gallery ids="99444,99445,99446,99447,99448,99449" nav="thumbs"]

Prodding the Masses: Mike Daisey at Woolly Mammoth

It’s hard to pin Mike Daisey down. You’d kind of like to know what he is – is he an actor, a monologist, a comedian, a one-man show, a writer, husband, radical, political and social critic? Is he a guy who sweats a lot on stage, a provocateur, a really interesting guy to interview or shoot the breeze with?

All true, but you’d still be missing a few things. He’s not lacking for fans—the New York Times has called him nothing less than “one of the finest solo performers of his generation.” But on the other hand, a Christian group walked out on one of his performances earlier in his career (though that may be taken as a compliment).

On his website, which he calls “His Secret Fortress on the Web,” he calls himself, “actor, author, commentator, playwright and general layabout.” I suspect most of that is true too, although you may have to talk to this wife to verify the latter.

And he’s back in town, back at the nearest thing to an ideal home he might have in Washington, the Woolly Mammoth Theater. And he brings with him his latest one-man production, “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs,” a title that resonates on so many levels that it’s almost not funny. As always, the piece is about a Mike Daisey obsession. This is not so unusual; Daisey admits that he tends to obsess about things.

“I am, and always have been obsessed with Apple, everything about Apple, about Jobs, about the things we use every day, about iPad, and the iPhone. I grew up with everything we use today, like a natural progression,” he said.

Beware of what he says. I don’t mean to suggest that Daisey is not truthful, because he is painfully so. It’s just that most things he does, says, writes about and performs about on stage are so layered and crosswired as to defy any sort of coherent and sane description. The ability to connect and pull together, not always in a perfect fit, is a special gift of Daisey’s.

On stage—and I’ve only had the discomfiting pleasure once—he roils you up and carries you along with him like a runaway horse. He gets in your face and reconstructs your thinking a little. He makes you think, and it feels sometimes like he’s writing a novel right in front of you. At least that was my experience upon seeing “The Last Cargo Cult,” his last presentation at the Woolly.

On the phone, Daisey is pretty casual once you get going; he comes across as a very serious guy who can talk about big things in an off-handed way, as if just considering the implications of what he’s saying.

He is not, per se, an actor, although he was trained and educated in the academics of theater and performance. Nor is he a stand-up comic—he’s sitting down, sweating on stage—although almost casually he can be very funny

“The Agony and the Ecstasy” involves a portrait of Jobs, who with Bill Gates comprise the dynamic duo—opposites of sorts—who changed our whole way of living through technology. The two are to blame, can take the praise for and generally be damned and worshipped for all the little buzz-buzz things in our lives—the phone we carry, the computer we marry, the operating systems that run us, the apps we gotta have, all those things we plug into and flip open that are like breathing to us now.

And Daisey loved it—the Apple version—but then he embarked, as he often does with his projects, on a journey (this time to China) where he discovered that most of what Apple creates and manufactures comes at the cost of deplorable labor conditions. And it didn’t take long for him to see a terrible light, which became a monologue, which was workshopped, changed, troubled over and agonized over for over a year. And here we are now. I won’t say more because I haven’t seen it yet.

But here’s this up front. I Loved “Cargo Cult” as did a lot of people and critics in Washington. It was practically unanimous. It was a riff on a journey to the Pacific where he found islanders still worshipping and celebrating American “stuff,” crates of stuff left behind that symbolized the great American God of commerce. And from that he extrapolated a scathing explanation and description of America’s financial collapse from which we still reel. Not bad for a general layabout.

“I like to connect things,” he said. “It’s work, really hard work, exciting work. See, I don’t think we see how we live, what affects us, how things are connected. I want to challenge the public, the audience out there. I’m not out to really entertain, I’m not out to sweet-talk people. I don’t’ want to make people feel good. ”

On stage, Daisey is a hard charger and a water-drinker. He looks a little like the local actor Michael Willis, and others have compared him to Sam Kinniston, the blaringly loud stand-up comedian and social critic who died young. “I’m a big fan of his,” he said. “But no, that’s not me. I understand the anger though.”

A list of titles might give you a glimpse of where he’s coming from: “21 Dog Years,” his jump into notoriety and fame; “Tongues Will Wag”; “The Envoy’s Dilemna,” about a visit to Tajikistan; “Barring the Unforeseen”; “If You See Something Say Something,” the secret history of the Department of Homeland Security; “All Stories are Fiction”; and the very controversial “How Theater Failed America,” in which he contends that the regional theater powers that be have failed its workers, its actors and its audiences by focusing on subscriptions and building bigger and bigger stages, themes that resonated not always with agreement here and elsewhere.

“Well, it’s true,” he said. “I think as a result we’re shrinking audiences. We don’t take care of actors, for instance. We bring in people from the outside, there’s very little left of repertoire theater. People, truly gifted people, can’t afford to stay in the business.”

Daisey works with his wife Jean-Michele Gregory, who has been his director for the last decade, as well as editor and dramaturg. But it’s Daisey who’s the out-front guy, not she. I asked him if that ever creates tensions.

“Yeah, I suppose. Yeah, I think so,” he said. “I suppose it does. But you know, this relationship, I can’t think of anybody that has anything like this. The work slips over into the marriage, and the marriage slips into the work. It’s really, really intense. And I think and believe that this helps make our marriage strong and makes the work better. It’s an intimate process, you know. I mean we do everything together, we eat and sleep together, and we work together.”

Daisey, who is a lone provocateur on stage and in print, seems at times like a jilted lover. Two of the things he loves the most in his world—tech and theater—he has now taken on in tree shaking, thought provoking pieces that make you look differently at them.

If critics see him as a rebel, audiences are often stunned by his work. He is in an odd sort of limbo: his work is cutting edge, designed to provoke, make the powers that be tremble a little, and yet he’s a bit of a celebrity too, often written about, talked about and talked with. It’s a dangerous artistic world in some ways, like being the brazen filmmaker Michael Moore, to whom he’s sometimes compared.

If the New York Times rhapsodizes about him, lesser known folks like the Bugwalk blogger, upon seeing “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs,” said, “I left the theater in tears vowing to buy no electronic device that I don’t’ truly need, though there is no such thing as living a life that does not include increasing the misery of a thirteen-year-old Chinese girl. It cannot be done.”

Daisey probably cares about what others thing. He likely appreciates praise and worries about criticism. Or maybe not. None of the hoopla—which he seems to enjoy—will deter him. Take, for instance, his next little project.

It’s a monologue called “All the Hours in the Day.” And you guessed it: it’s a 24-hour performance that “charts the epic story of America’s essential character as a weaving together of Puritanism and anarchism.”

Shy he is not.

“All the Hours in the Day” will be performed at the Time Based Art Festival in Portland and the Under the Radar Festival in New York. “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs” runs through April 10, and has already been extended through April 17.

For more information visit

2010 Signature Chefs Auction of D.C. Supports The March of Dimes

This year’s Honorary Chef Ris Lacoste hosted a VIP reception on Oct. 26 at her acclaimed restaurant highlighted by Chef Geoff Tracey and media spouse Norah O’Donnell signing Baby Love: Healthy, Easy, Delicious Meals for Your Baby and Toddler. The main event was a stone’s throw away at the Ritz-Carlton where over 20 of our area’s best chefs served samples of their signature dishes accompanied by offerings from breweries, wineries and local bartenders. Live and silent auctions included unique dining packages, event tickets, hotel stays and weekend getaways. Proceeds support local March of Dimes programs to reduce premature births and infant mortality. – Mary Bird [gallery ids="99450,99451,99452,99453,99454,99455" nav="thumbs"]

“An Ideal Husband” makes good on the work; flaws may be in Wilde himself

The Shakespeare Theatre Company’s production of Oscar Wilde’s “An Ideal Husband” has a lot going for it. It is stylishly staged, practically overpowering you with its visual gorgeousness both in sets and apparel. It’s also wonderfully acted by a cast of fresh young actors among the principal performers, buoyed by the presence of a trio of locals who perform fuss-budgets, grouchy fathers and man-servants better than just about anybody.

But in the end, ‘An Ideal Husband” is not…well, ideal. It’s missing something. It’s like a big vat of champagne that’s gone flat. Maybe the fault is not in the stars, but in Wilde himself. “An Ideal Husband”—which hit the public eye on the heels of the “The Importance of Being Earnest,” and just around the time when Wilde was about to take a scandalous and disastrous tumble—is full of Wildean social comedy that doesn’t pop nearly enough and too much high-minded tussles with moral issues and continuous retracing of exposition and plot.

But here’s what this production does do, in addition to dazzling the eye. In Washington, where scandal and matters of morality and probity are much talked about but not so much observed in practice, the main plot line and the main character are familiar as the last firing of a chief of staff, the last bit of cash flushed town a toilet, the last thunderous call to end ear-marks.

But it isn’t funny enough. Wilde usually dealt with hypocrisy, Victorian society’s self-infatuation and obsessions with titles, money and lineage. He played on his culture’s gigantic addiction to living life on the surface around Hyde Park with knowing, devastating, slashing metaphors and ready-to-go aphorisms. It still rains epigrams in “An Ideal Husband,” but they’re more like snowflakes than stinging rain.

Sir Robert Children is the play’s ideal husband in question, a rising figure in the British Empire’s foreign office. He is handsome, wealthy, and with a beautiful wife of such moral probity as to make Caesar’s wife look like a strumpet. Together they are the perfect Victorian power couple, childless but with reputations unstained by as much as a whisper of scandal, a late bill, a flirtation or a hair out of place.

In their firmament, beautifully displayed in a grand staircase with a circular mirror, there is a social order where everyone knows their place, including husbands and wives, gossip is rife, and small talk is so small you need a magnifying class to muddle through it.

One fine evening dinner at the Children estate, as butlers announce arrivals, up comes one Mrs. Cheverley, and you know she’s trouble because she arches her eyebrows with cynical disdain and is wearing a fetching, eye catching purple dress while everyone else seems to be attending a black-and-white (and very gray) ball.

Mrs. Cheverley is here to derail Sir Robert’s unblemished reputation because she knows that his fortune is built on a bit of insider trading on information he was privy to as a foreign service official. Such news of course would devastate his wife, who thinks he is, well, an ideal husband, not to mention his career and future. Whatever will he do?

Well, he has help in the character of Lord Goring, the seemingly fitful, lazy, lay-about son of the Earl of Chaversham (David Sabin, wonderfully harrumphing his way through a series of disapproving fits). Goring, played with playful elan by Cameron Folmar, is a kind of Scarlet Pimpernel of the social set. He is frivolous as a feather on the outside, while kind, faithful, brave and loyal on the inside. He’s had some dealings with Mrs. Cheverley and means to prevent her plot from succeeding.

But the fizz isn’t quite there—with some exceptionally fussy acting by Nancy Robinette as Lady Markby, and Floyd King’s amazingly varied ways of saying “Yes, My Lord.” There’s a gloomy atmosphere here in Gregory Woodell’s portrayal of Children, mortified that his secret is out, wrestling with shame, gloom and doom. He gives you a clear picture of a tortured man caught up in something like that, revealing him to be what he thinks is a fake. In Washington, a play like this echoes loudly.

And then there’s Mrs. Cheverley; Emily Raymond plays her haughty, alluringly even, but not with a sense of purpose other than to be without mercy. Or is she? Women like her usually have a secret that they keep for some time, and the consternation they cause arises from confusion about sex and virtue, not so much the less interesting follow-the-money theme.

That sexy stuff is missing here, because it isn’t there to begin with. This is a comedy about morals and probity, stuffed evening gowns and overwrought virtues. Director Keith Baxter tweaks the material wonderfully, to include a murky ending of sorts, but you miss the rolls of knowing laughter ever after.

FIlmfest DC turns 25

Filmfest DC Director Tony Gittens, sipping a coffee at Tryst, the local Adams Morgan coffee house, could look around him and know how much had changed since the first festival.

This is the 25th anniversary for Filmfest DC, which opened April 7 and closes April 17 at locations and venues throughout the city, and it’s also the same for Gittens, the festival’s first and only director over the years.

At Tryst, there are smartphones, laptops and iPads open everywhere, all of them potential venues for international films of all kinds.

“There wasn’t any of that back then. No downloading anything from or to your phone, no computer libraries of films, no Netflix,” he said. “Basically, there were theaters, and Cannes, and repertoire theaters which showed old movies, new and smaller films that weren’t made in Hollywood [they weren’t called independent films back then], and theaters specializing in festival fare, like the Circle Theaters, the Avalon, the Biograph and the Key Theater.”

“Actually, there were no festivals here,” Gittens said. “We were the first.”

He looked around at the laptops and the people glued to their screens, probably wondering if anybody was watching a movie.

“We didn’t have all these new delivery systems and ways of looking at films,” he said. “There was no digital film, no Internet, no Youtube, nothing like that. Sundance didn’t exist as a major marketplace for independent films.”

The DC International Film Festival was a pathfinder and trailblazer for other festivals to come, a booming DC festival atmosphere that’s now taken for granted. We’ve got the Environmental Film Festival, the Independent Film Festival, the Documentary Film Festival, the Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, festivals for short films, children’s film, the Jewish Film Festivals and all kinds of niche festivals.

The tech explosion has affected the film industry in no uncertain terms, dictating a Hollywood aversion to serious films and a drift toward big-budget items for adolescent boys—the so-called youth market. That’s why you have so many movies based on comic book characters like Batman, Spiderman and the Fantastic Four. That’s also why you haves a surge in cartoons and a resurgence of high-tech 3-D movies.

None of those things are part of film festivals, which, because of their diversity for every niche and special interest, become a kind of clearing house, the places and occasions that form a kind of venue all by itself. Festivals are the venues where you can see movies from France, Afghanistan, Iran, Japan and India. A festival is where you can see the results of the restive imaginations of young American and international directors. A festival (and the occasional E-Street Cinema) is where you can see documentaries with a political and social edge. They won’t be at the mall where transformers, pirates and superheroes rule.

Gittens put it this way, writing about his festival: “Filmfest DC has always been willing to bring films not only from Western Europe but from Eastern Europe, Latina America, Africa and Asia with little concern for a film’s long-term commercial prospects. The only criteria in place were that the film be intelligent, thought provoking, well made and entertaining. Without Filmfest DC, the thousands of films the festival has brought to our city would never have been seen.”

Although sometimes criticized in the media, the festival has in fact been innovative in its approach to films, with focuses on international music, documentaries, special regions of the world, celebrations of directors and film movements. These have included “Justice Matters,” a unique section of films focusing on social justice issues, and “Global Rhythms.”

The international focus in this year’s festival is on Scandinavia with “Nordic Lights: The Old and the New” and New South Korean Cinema.

As always, the venues are varied and spread out all over the city. This year, they include AMC Mazza Gallerie, the Avalon Theatre, the Goethe-Institute of Washington, Landmark’s E Street Cinema, Regal Cinemas Gallery Place, Busboys and Poets, the Embassy of France, the Lincoln Theatre and the National Gallery of Art’s East Building.

In the distant past (the 1950s-1960), when people talked about film festivals they meant Cannes and maybe Venice and Berlin. But not the United States. That’s certainly changed with Sundance and, yes, the DC International Film Festival.

We talked a lot about foreign films, when you could still see foreign films in the United States at the small theaters that carried them. Today, festivals are the scene and venues for foreign films. And in a way this festival pays a little homage to the past by opening at the Lincoln Theater with the French film “Potiche,” the work of a relatively young director, François Ozon, and starring bonafide French and international movie stars Catherine Deneuve and Gerard Diperdieu. Ozon is known to specialize in what might be called screwball comedies, French style, with a more sophisticated twist than possible in the age of Carole Lombard.

The festival will close with “Sound of Noise,” a decidedly modern comedy cum police procedural, cum drama and music, a combined Swedish, French and Danish effort from Ola Simonsson and Johannes Stjarne Nilsson at the Regal Cinemas at Gallery Place April 17.

In between are over 70 premieres from all over the world, with visits by artists, directors and producers: director Vibeke Lokkeber and producer Terje Kristiansen of “Tears of Gaza”; Director Jean-Charles Deniau, director of the documentary “Scientology: The Truth About a Lie”; director Matias Bize of “The Life of Fish”; director Ali Samadai Ahadi of the documentary “The Green Wave,” and others.

Some other highlights include films like “Flamenco, Flamenco” from Spain’s Carlos Saura; “Queen to Play” with Kevin Kline (in French, no less!); “Juan,” a riff on “Don Giovanni”; “Circumstance” from the director of “Run, Lola, Run”; “Young Goethe in Love”; Argentinian Director Eliseo Subiela’s “Hostage of Illusion: Korkoro,” a French film about a gypsy family in Nazi Occupied France; and “The Traveler,” an Egyptian film (pre-revolution, we’d guess) starring Omar Sharif.

What’s always striking about the film festival is the eclectic spirit it carries with it and the memories it arouses, because so many international films—which you won’t see anywhere else—bring with them the electricity of recent and current events and upheavals. We remember once talking with a noted Czech director who arrived in the aftermath of the fall of the Iron Curtain which saw a playwright raised to the Czech presidency. We remember documentaries about World War II and the Holocaust and romances from Canada and the first movies coming out of North Vietnam.

This year’s festival promises to be the same, and for this, Gittens, and Deputy Director Shirin Gareeb can take a lot of the credit.

Liberty Smith at Ford’s Theater

You’d think that a new musical set during the Revolutionary War featuring a hero that’s somewhere between Forrest Gump and Zelig might be something of a risky undertaking for the Ford’s Theatre company.

Ford’s executive artistic director Paul Tetreault doesn’t think so. Not even a little. “I think it’s a terrific show. I love the whole idea, and I think it’s perfect for us,” said Tetreault, who took over in 2004 after the death of founder Frankie Hewitt.

When Tetreault, who came to Ford’s from the famed Alley Theater in Houston, talks, you tend to listen. So chances are that “Liberty Smith,” maybe Ford’s biggest musical undertaking ever, may just be the audience-pleaser that Tetreault thinks it will be. He’s been right before.

The Revolutionary War as source for theater entertainment is historically a mixed bag. The pinnacle of the genre is surely “1776,” a musical about the haggling founding fathers as they try to come up with the Declaration of Independence, which proved to be a mighty Broadway hit, and continues to be a hit in revivals all over the country (including one at the Ford’s earlier this decade).

“Liberty Smith,” a kind of tongue-in-cheek, young-hero retelling of some major events of the revolution, has a few things going on for it. It has a top-notch, experienced creative team with a book by Marc Madnick and Eric Cohen, music by Michael Weiner, and lyrics by Adam Abraham. Weiner is a veteran of Disney musicals and films and wrote the music for “Second Hand Lions,” which is slated for a New York opening at the end of the year.

“We think this is going to be great entertainment,” Tetreault said. “With the involvement of people like Marc, Eric, Michael and Adam, we have a big, Broadway-style musical here, which will appeal to the whole family.”

“Liberty Smith” features a cast of 20, including a number of musical comedy veterans like Donna Migliaccio as Betsy Ross. Using local stars has been a Tetreault trademark—witness this year’s production of Horton Foote’s “The Carpetbagger’s Children,” which starred Holly Twyford, Nancy Robinette and Kimberly Shraf. But the main attraction and the key to the production will be Geoff Packard, the critically acclaimed and appealing star of the recent production of “Candide” (under director Mary Zimmerman) at the Shakespeare Theatre Company.

Smith appears to be the kind of characteristically American tall-tale character that somehow did not get mentioned alongside Davy Crockett, Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill and Johnny Appleseed. Yet there he is, boyhood friend of “George” (Washington), apprentice to Benjamin Franklin, trying to get Thomas Jefferson to quit fiddling and write. He helps out Paul Revere on a horse and steers Betsy Ross with her knitting while courting her niece, the pretty lass who’s mad that she can’t do what the founding fathers do because she’s a woman.

“We’ve been working on this for a couple of years now,” Tetreault says. “We’ve taken great care to get it right because I think it’s a very special project.”

Tetreault stepped into the shoes of several legends when he arrived at Ford’s. There was Hewitt, who founded the renewed theater as a functioning performing entity and faced the same challenges that Tetreault did: the theater is a historic structure, and a gloomy one at that. It is where another legend, Abraham Lincoln, was murdered while attending a comedy. And there’s no getting around that. This is theater as museum, a tricky kind of thing to provide programming for.

Lest you forget, there’s always the flag-draped presidential box to remind you.

Hewitt trod a careful line—musicals were always a strong fare, many of them exceptional (think of the originally produced “Elmer Gantry”), most of them entertaining for the tourist trade. And that’s the economic trick, of course—the Ford’s is as close to a historic national theater as we have, which both guarantees tourist audiences, and makes original programming and theatrical respectability difficult to get.

Tetreault realizes, as did Hewitt, that you probably can’t do “Streamers” here, or Mamet or “Sylvia,” and so critics tend to often arrive in the early years with a built-in, genetic sneer, which was often patently unfair.

Hewitt presented classic, historical fare, but also many African American plays and musicals by and about African Americans, something that local audience were starved for.

Tetreault has often surprised people with his choices, but more often than by the critical and popular success of those choices. Sometimes, when you look at a Ford’s season schedule, the nose can turns up by itself, which just goes to show you that you can’t trust your nose any more—at least not in the theater.

One of his first successes was the staging, with the National Theater for the Deaf, of “Big River,” a redo of the musical version of Huckleberry Finn driven by Roger Miller’s easy-going music. This production, while delivering the entertainment goods, discovered surprising depths to the show in the performance.

“I think I have a lot of leeway in what we do,” Tetreault says. “You can find originality, emotional depth, and theatrical excitement in American theater stories. I believe in partnering, because that’s the future of theater. It’s the here and now.”

By partnering with the African Continuum Theatre, Tetreault steered a highly praised (and unlikely) production of “Jitney” to Ford’s stage, which resonated mightily. A partnership with Signature, under director Eric Schaeffer, resulted in one of the best musicals ever produced ground-up in Washington, the exciting “Meet John Doe,” based on Frank Capra’s stirring populist movies.

After exciting remodeling—which took out two full seasons—Ford’s re-opened looking much better, but still very much a part of the greater Lincoln atmosphere getting built in the surrounding area. The theater opened without missing a beat, coming up with four straight hits: “The Heavens Are Hung in Black,” a new commissioned play about Lincoln’s time in Washington, “The Rivalry,” about the Lincoln-Douglas battles, “The Civil War,” and (just for fun, I suppose) “The Little Shop of Horrors.”

But who would have thought that the 2010-2011 season debut “Sabrina Fair,” a 1950s romantic comedy about a chauffeur’s daughter who has to choose between two wealthy brothers, would look so fresh with new faces and a different, youthful outlook?

Paul Tetreault did.

So “Liberty Smith” may be a gamble, but it’s probably a good bet.
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Happy to Have Ris — and Madigan and Trehan Back

On Oct. 21, The Georgetowner hosted a happy hour at Ris, celebrating the launch of chef and restaurateur Ris Lacoste’s new column, “Across the Cutting Board with Ris.” The evening was also in honor of the return of The Georgetowner’s much beloved column, “The Player,” in which Veena Trehan teams up with WTOP’s Bob Madigan to interview a diverse array of prominent members of the DC community. Ris catered the event with delicious choice samplings from the acclaimed kitchen, including Gruyere puffs, tuna tartar and veal terrine. Keep an eye out for both columns in The Georgetowner. — Ari Post [gallery ids="99465,99466,99467,99468,99469" nav="thumbs"]

Junior League of Washington

The Junior League of Washington (JLW) launched its 52nd Annual A Capital Collection of Holiday Shops at the Marriott Wardman Park with the Meg Graham Scholarship Breakfast on Nov. 19. The late Rev. Margaret “Meg” Graham was a past President of the Association of Junior Leagues International, former Rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Georgetown, and co-founder of the National Alliance to End Homelessness. In l982 the JLW established an annual $10,000 Meg Graham Scholarship awarded to graduating seniors of DC public and charter schools who have been accepted to an accredited post-secondary institution and who demonstrate a strong academic record and significant volunteer service. [gallery ids="99569,104840,104829,104837,104834" nav="thumbs"]