Ballet folks dance around the issue

  • The Washington Examiner
  • |
  • February 24, 2006

by Karen Feld

The Washington Ballet, which had to cancel its recent local performance schedule, is still in contract negotiations. Few of the 250 ardent supporters – among them Artistic Director Septime Weber, journalist Helen Thomas, Anna Maria Via, Jill Shuger, socialite Pat Skantze, a standout in her signature hat (a big and bold abstract design in pinks and plums with matching throw, which she picked up “at a great little milliner in New York”) – and dancers wanted to talk about that at the International Wine Tasting and Auction Tuesday evening. The fundraiser was sponsored by the group’s Women’s Committee and held at the historic Washington Club (also known as the Patterson House and the temporary White House for President Calvin Coolidge) on Dupont Circle.

“We’re all still here to support each other,” said Allie Gallo, a Washington Ballet staff member. “We’re so close. It’s all happening behind closed doors.”

“It’s got to work out,” said Jeff Edwards, the associate artistic director. “Our fingers are crossed. We never want to put odds on it.”

Nationals name game

Three staunch baseball supporters and attorneys – D.C. Councilman Jack Evans, Chairman of the D.C. Sports & Entertainment Commission Mark Tuohey, and chair of the commission’s baseball committee William Hall – were spotted in the lobby of the Willard Hotel Tuesday evening, talking what else – Nationals’ baseball and the trademark dispute that could lead to a possible name change for the team. “It’s called Internet squatting,” said Evans, assertively adding, “we’re not going to change the name.”

“It’s not legitimate,” added Tuohey, comparing the situation to the recent BlackBerry dispute. So if these guys are right, Major League Baseball will retain the name, and fans won’t have to buy new caps.

A D.C. perk: Pun intended

Carol Joynt came up with a creative perk to attract guests to her lunch salon at Nathans restaurant in Georgetown. She promised anyone who attended the former Pentagon spokeswoman Torie Clark‘s Q&A yesterday first crack at a seat at the lunch on March 14. That’s a 70th birthday lunch featuring former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry.

Dame is rough on Liz

Dame Edna, appearing at the National Theatre, localized her shtick and didn’t mince words for the possums when she took shots at not only President Bush but also some Washington ladies. Edna joked that as her understudy, “It would be the first time [Sen.] Elizabeth Dole wore a decent frock.” And then, “Little Linda Cropp [D.C. council chair] could squeeze into this sleeve.”

Lawyers love candy, too

Some D.C. lawyers seem to welcome a breath of fresh air – at least freshly spun cotton candy. Some place routine calls each morning to the new Finn & Porter on 10th Street NW to ask what flavor cotton candy they are serving following their signature crabcakes. The restaurant thanks customers with a hefty serving of the complimentary confection in one of a dozen flavors. Actor Jana Robbins (“Awake and Sing” at Arena Stage) was spotted sampling the pale green watermelon fuzz at lunch yesterday.

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