‘The Big Uneasy’

October 21, 2010

Harry Shearer, best known for his voice work on “The Simpsons” and his role in “This is Spinal Tap,” is a New Orleans resident. Prior to its national release on Aug. 11, Newseum Press Pass members were invited to a special reception and screening of his new film “The Big Uneasy.” On the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, his feature-length documentary exposes the flaws that led to the flooding of the levees and which have not been addressed in the current reconstruction process. The evening included a spirited conversation between Shearer and Dr. Ivor van Heerden, former deputy director of LSU’s Hurricane Center, whose warnings of an imminent disaster went unheeded. — Mary Bird [gallery ids="99281,104459,104470,104466,104464" nav="thumbs"]

Mie N Yu Rallies to a Noble Cause

The first of three Capital City Ball launch parties was held on Aug. 12 at Mie N Yu. The event benefited three non-profits dedicated to combating the scourge of human trafficking — Polaris Fund, FAIR Fund and Courtney’s House. FAIR Fund is bound to have even more media exposure as former Miss DC Kate Marie Grinold recently came on board as Director of Development. — Mary Bird [gallery ids="99280,104454,104461,104458" nav="thumbs"]

Fashion Week

Fashion writer Pamela Burns and photographer Robert Devaney hit the streets with the rest of DC’s fasionistas for Georgetown’s Fashion’s Night Out on Friday September 10. [gallery ids="99279,104444,104460,104456,104449,104453" nav="thumbs"]

Cure for Epilepsy

J. McLaughlin, the M Street shop for cool prepsters, hosted a benefit for CURE Epilepsy, Sept. 14. Founder Susan Axelrod (wife of the White House’s David Axelrod; their daughter Lauren suffers from the disease) of Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy greeted MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski, her mother Emilie and brother Mark — along with other political and artistic types, such as Susan Sher, Debbie Dingell, Mike Allen, Tammy Haddad and Jayni Chase (yes, wife of Chevy). Also on hand was J. McLaughlin CEO Steven Siegler and the shop’s staff, whose sales aided the non-profit. The stylish and spirited Brzezinski, who grew up around Georgetown, is the daughter of President Carter’s National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinki and wears J. McLaughlin clothes on air during Morning Joe. For more info, visit www.CUREepilepsy.org. [gallery ids="99278,104450,104446,104439,104443" nav="thumbs"]

Washington National Opera Gala

The Washington National Opera raised the curtain on its 55th season, Sept. 11, but not before the Kennedy Center audience sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” — an opera tradition here, as WNO general director Placido Domingo reminded all from the opera house stage. Giuseppe Verdi’s “Un Ballo in Maschara” — “A Masked Ball” — cracks a heartbreak of wrongful regicide in Sweden. With the masked ball ruse in the work, the post-opera ball was itself a masked one at the Embassy of Italy. With masks provided, along with dinner and dancing, the gala-goers beamed as well as the perfectly lighted venue. [gallery ids="99277,104429,104440,104436,104434" nav="thumbs"]

Go Bo Fund Jersey Party

Annual party to benefit the Go Bo Fund. Georgetowners came out in their New Jersey attire for this annual themed party on September 10. [gallery ids="99275,104430,104409,104426,104422,104414,104418" nav="thumbs"]

Washington Ballet

The Women’s Committee of the Washington Ballet celebrated the upcoming season “Untamed” with a wine infused jewelry sale by Michelle Hughes and Vanessa Murray followed by an open rehearsal and post-performance reception at the Ballet studio on Sept. 29. Everyone enjoyed the young dancers in the Ballet’s recent two-year post-high school training program who excelled to “Old Blue Eye’s’ classics. The evening’s highlight was the full performance of Rooster danced to Christopher Bruce’s choreography and Rolling Stone classics, an awesome preview of the delights to come. [gallery ids="99274,104394,104410,104399,104407,104404" nav="thumbs"]

Women Making Choices

On Sept, 28, a few intrepid men joined several hundred women bedecked in red feather boas at 701 Restaurant for a reception prior to the screening at Burke Theater of Hot Flash Havoc, a provocative and revealing film about menopause. In her opening remarks Phyllis Greenberger, President & CEO of the Society for Women’s Health Research, introduced the film as entertaining, informative and educational. The film presents compelling personal accounts by women who maintain that the Women’s Health Initiative study released in 2002 misrepresented the benefits of hormonal replacement therapy. Their stories were validated through in-depth interviews with leading experts, several of whom formed a panel after the screening to answer questions. [gallery ids="99272,104369,104385,104374,104382,104379" nav="thumbs"]

Last Kiss of Summer

Last Kiss of Summer, a special event in support of Second Chance Employment Services, took place at the Four Seasons on Sept. 23. In 2002 Ludy Green founded the non-profit organization to promote financial security for at-risk women and their children through free and professional comprehensive employment training and placement services. In her remarks, Ludy spoke of “kids who are full of dreams for the future.” She deplored the “stain of domestic violence” and said “God bless America where people to give others a second chance.” Pamela Brown of ABC7/WLA-TV and NewsChannel 8 emceed the program which featured activist and author Katie Hnida as guest speaker. The dinner included a live auction and was followed by dancing [gallery ids="99270,104339,104350,104347,104344" nav="thumbs"]

Shakespeare Gala

The Shakespeare Theatre Company hosted The Harman Center for the Arts Annual Gala on Oct. 3. Helen Lee Henderson accepted the Sidney Harman Award for Philanthropy in the Arts on behalf of the HRH Foundation. The gala performance featured performers interpreting Shakespeare’s Italian plays. René Auberjonois was an amusing master of ceremonies. The all-star program included the Julliard Jazz Artists Diploma Ensemble, leading artists with the ABT and National Ballet of Canada and Frederica Von Stade, who was breathtaking on her farewell tour. Artistic Director Michael Kahn in his introduction of Annette Bening, to whom he presented The William Shakespeare Award for Classical Theatre, said that “a classically trained actor can do anything.” Ms. Bening proved him correct with a moving excerpt as Juliet which brought the audience to its feet. Everyone proceeded to a superb Italian repast and dancing at the National Building Museum, transformed into Venice for the evening.
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