William Shakespeare had a vocabulary of 29,000 words. That’s according to Bardophiles Ken and Carol Adelman, producers of “Will On The Hill: Lessons From Shakespeare On How To Make It In Washington.” Carol’s editing and directing and Ken’s witty moderating wagged Shakespeare’s tongue into our daily politicized lives in their production at Congressional Night at The Shakespeare Theatre Monday evening. The show raised $100,000 for the theatre’s artistic, educational and community outreach programs.
In addition to the Adelmans (Ken, Washingtonian National Editor and former Arms Control Director, and Carol, a thinker at the Hudson Institute), the star-studded cast included three of D.C.’s power couples: Chris and Kathleen Matthews, Cokie and Steve Roberts, and Sam and Jan Smith Donaldson. Of course the wisdom of other high-powered cast members – Reps. Ken Calvert and Cliff Stearns, former Rep. Bob Livingston, former Solicitor General Ted Olson, Aspen Institute President Walter Isaacson – also played a role in showing that Shakespeare has legs.
ABC’s Kathleen Matthews admitted, “we [she and hubby, MSNBC talker, Chris] practiced the lines but not the kiss. I was expecting a bigger smooch!”
And Sam Donaldson concluded: “If you think I’m the devil incarnate, then you are quoting Shakespeare.”
Not waking the neighbors
Residents at the posh Cloisters in Georgetown have given high marks to their new neighbor, Jenna Bush. The Presidential Twin and two female housemates moved in to the million-dollar townhouse that backs up to Georgetown Visitation and down the road from Georgetown Hospital shortly before the Inauguration.
Although a manned Secret Service van is parked in the development 24/7, neighbors are surprised that there are no other signs of their young “VIP” neighbor. Jenna’s rowdy reputation preceded her. That’s why Elaine Sciolino, the NYT Paris bureau chief, declined to rent her Cleveland Park home to the party gal.
Rep. Loretta Sanchez, who likes to tell folks she represents the Disneyland district in Southern California, brought her legendary white Himalayan cat, Gretzky (named for the hockey great), to D.C. for a fund-raiser Wednesday night – at which, he literally was the cat’s meow. Apparently the cat was a big draw for the event, put on by The Dutko Group, once he recovered from his travel-related “indigestion issues.” Heavy hitters – those who shelled out $5,000 – got a photo op with Gretzky and Loretta. And for $2,500, you get snapped with Gretzky alone, that is, if you can hold the feline. Sen. Joe Biden’s staff has made “The Gretzenator” T-shirts to welcome the 15-pounder to Capitol Hill.
Of course, all of the photo ops are rehearsals for the real thing – Gretzky is prepping for a photo shoot for a line of purses designed by a Los Angeles designer, and Loretta is just thrilled. Her son, the Gretzenator!
The Stinger: Scott Free?
Get ready for a battle over alleged copyright infringement in the courts between James Reston Jr., D.C.’s best-selling author of “Warriors of God: Richard the Lionheart and Saladin in the Third Crusade,” and Sir Ridley Scott, the 20th Century Fox director of the upcoming film, “Kingdom of Heaven.”
In Reston’s complaint letter signed by his New York attorney, Timothy DeBaets – not yet filed in the courts – to Scott Free Productions and the studio, he alleges that events and characters in the motion picture are “strikingly similar” to those in his book. Coincidently, the title of the film, “Kingdom of Heaven” is also the title of chapter two of “Warriors of God.” “This is so incredibly offensive,” says Joe Regal, Reston’s long-time literary agent (Regal Literary Agency, N.Y.). “It’s really blatant. They even took the title of a chapter.” Regal blames the nature of the Hollywood system for their not knowing until a couple months before the picture is scheduled for release. “Jim spent a year in the Vatican library researching the book and went to primary sources,” adds Regal. “He saw the real documents and then shaped the material not available to the general public.” William Monahan is the screenwriter. To complicate things even more, “Annie Hall” producer Michael Medavoy held the film rights to “Warriors” until last October. Stay tuned to see how this plays out – and in what medium.