Can you imagine an election year without pundits? What would it do to the economy if they all disappeared? It wouldn’t be Washington without a political theme, so Arena Stage put on the original production of “The Pundit Whodunit: The Case of the Political Puzzle” for its annual benefit for community outreach Monday night. Harry Bagdasian wrote the clever script and directed the celebrity cast, including Sens. Dan Akaka, D-Hawaii, and Jack Reed, D-R.I.; Reps. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill., John Tanner, D-Tenn., Jim Kolbe, R-Ariz., and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C.; Nina Totenberg, Sheila Johnson Newman, and George Stephanopoulos and his wife, Alexandra Wentworth.
WASHINGTONIANS CAN BE FUNNY
Some of the cast members didn’t exactly follow the script but added a personal touch and improvised a bit. Beltway Boy Fred Barnes brought down the house when he quipped: “Nobody listens to Chris Matthews.” He told me after the show that the script read “Bill O’Reilly.” Mort Kondracke followed suit, adding, “Unfortunately, too many people are listening to Lou Dobbs.” And D.C. Council Member Jack Evans came to the rescue when Eleanor Holmes Norton missed a line. It was one of those Washington evenings where a fundraiser produced dollars and laughs, not just chicken dinner.
DESPITE LEFT COAST’S OPINIONS, D.C. STILL TELEGENIC
Television programmers are looking to Washington for ideas. The networks are planning several drama pilots based on D.C. CBS has a new series called “Company Town” in which several government agents live in the same Washington neighborhood, as well as a project based on a novel, “In the Shadow of the Law,” by Kermit Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt’s great-great-grandson. ABC will debut “Twenty Questions.” The premise is that a young State Department employee discovers a conspiracy to undermine the U.S. government. In Fox’s “Vanished,” a senator’s wife is missing as part of a larger conspiracy.
SHE AIN’T GEEZIN’
Remember Marty Davis, who turned heads years ago when she divorced her husband, Bob Davis, a Michigan congressman? She doesn’t look much like a “geezer.” But now 57 and living in rural North Carolina with her fourth husband, the still-knockout blonde was in town the other day, hyping a radio talk show called “Geezer.” It’s geared to her over-50 contemporaries.
FRESH GOV IS IMPRESSED
Recently inaugurated Gov. Tim Kaine, D-Va., thrilled to join the governors at the White House last week, remarked as he looked around: “We have a nice house in Richmond, but not quite as nice as this.” Could the queue for the big house on Pennsylvania Avenue be getting longer?
DUBYA, JUST LET MICHAEL POP IN
Actor Michael J. Fox, a keynote speaker at the first World Parkinson Congress at the D.C. Convention Center, said he was disappointed that he’d never been invited to the White House. Unlike many entertainers, he’d even accept an invitation from this president. Mr. President, are you listening?