Runaway Spoon

The Stars Come Out at Cafe Milano -- And Who Was The Talk of The Town? RGIII

April 29, 2012

No surprise Cafe Milano was packed Friday night with politicians and celebrities in town for Saturday night’s White House Correspondents Dinner -- but the biggest, brightest star of all turned out to be new Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III.

All eyes were glued to his table.

RGIII was accompanied by his family and fiancée (Photo by: Washington Redskins Photographer, Ned Dishman) RGIII was accompanied by his family and fiancée

RGIII, his family and fiancee were accompanied by Redskins owner Daniel Snyder and senior vice president of operations Lon Rosenberg -- and tailed by NFL TV, which filmed the scene. 

In the room was another well-known guy, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who hosted a private dinner for 28 or so in the front Washington Room. His table included businesswoman Ivanka Trump (daughter of Donald and Ivana), model Elle McPherson, Mr. and Mrs. David Axelrod, and Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt.

George Stephanopoulos of ABC News held forth with 10 or so others elsewhere in the restaurant.

Still in another part of the room were actress Kerry Washington, actress Kate Hudson and boyfriend Matthew Bellamy of the rock band Muse (who cutely and so discreetly exited away from the crowd to steal a kiss or two outside), actress Reese Witherspoon (showing a baby bump) and her husband Jim Troth, model Kate Upton, talent agent Michael Kives, and actor Eric Stonestreet of “Modern Family.”

Dave Chappelle (Photo by: Cafe Milano) Dave Chappelle

So who did Mayor Bloomberg, Witherspoon and other "celebs" make a special trip over to see?  RGIII, of course.

“RGIII was the biggest star of the night,” said one knowledgeable star gazer. “Everyone went over to see him. Outside when he left, there was a big crowd cheering and screaming. 

“He’s the talk of the town.”

RGIII, the Heisman Award winning quarterback from Baylor, was selected by the Redskins with the second pick of the National Football League draft on Thursday night.

Oh, RGIII ate 2 Kobe steaks!

Saturday night, the fun continued with the appearance of actor and comedian Dave Chappelle.

On Sunday night, things got a mite spiritual.  Texas-based televangelist Joel Osteen, who held an event at Nationals Park earlier Sunday, and his wife popped in to dine at Cafe Milano. Wouldn't you know it but The Washington Post's Sally Quinn, who writes a religion column, and her husband Washington Post Vice President At-Large Ben Bradlee, who were celebrating their son Quinn's birthday, went over to say hi.

Then on the faux criminal side, CBS TV's NCIS: Los Angeles was also well represented when Daniela Ruah, who plays Agent Kensi Blye, and Eric Christian Olsen, who portrays Detective Marty Deeks, came in late Sunday night.



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Mr. Exceptionally Cool - Kevin Spacey - Picks up Helen Hayes Tribute; Hairspray Big Winner

April 24, 2012

Signature Theatre’s Hairspray and Arena Stage’s Ruined were among top winners at the 28th Helen Hayes Awards ceremony, which also gave a special tribute to actor Kevin Spacey  Monday night at the historic Warner Theatre.

Earlier in the day, the D.C. City Council proclaimed the first annual “theatreWeek” to celebrate the city’s vibrant theater community. The special week started Monday and runs through Sunday, April 29. All week, area theatres will raise funds to help area artists in need. More than 30 theatres are participating in theatre week which is being presented by The Washington Post.

Jim Moran, Judith Terra & Kevin Spacey (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Jim Moran, Judith Terra & Kevin Spacey

To inaugurate the week, Mayor Vincent Gray declared April 23 Helen Hayes Awards Day. Councilman Jack Evans represented the city council and mayor at the awards.

In a video tribute to Spacey, former President Bill Clinton, a longtime admirer of the Oscar and Tony Award-winning actor, called Spacey a visionary committed to the arts and to mentoring young people aspiring to be in the field of entertainment.  On receiving the Helen Hayes Tribute, which recognizes theater artists who exemplify excellence and commitment to their craft, Spacey quoted one of his own mentors, Jack Lemmon.

“If you’ve done well in the business you set out to be successful in, then, it is your obligation to spend a good portion of your time sending the elevator back down.”

And Spacey added as he looked out at the audience: “Everybody out there who has a dream…live it!.”

Still earlier at the reception, Spacey grinned and gave direction to a fan taking his picture: “You have your finger over the camera lens.”

Actress and singer Felicia Curry and 14-time Helen Hayes Award nominee Holly Twyford hosted the ceremonies.

Nina Totenberg (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Nina Totenberg

Among the notables presenting awards were DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Chair Judith Terra and executive director Lionell Thomas, D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, Virginia Congressman Jim Moran, DC Councilman Jack Evans, MSNBC’s Hardball Host Chris Matthews, NPR journalist Nina Totenberg, Kennedy Center Vice President Mickey Berra, Washington Post President and General Manager Stephen Hills, Tony-Award winning lighting designer Brian MacDevitt, Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett, Helen Beth MacArthur, daughter-in-law of Helen Hayes and wife of the late James MacArthur, and Juliette Rappaport, daughter of James MacArthur.

Award winners are:

Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play or Musical: Birds of a Feather, The Hub Theatre.

Outstanding Director Resident Musical: Michael Baron, A Year With Frog and Toad, Adventure Theatre.

Outstanding Director Resident Play: Aaron Posner, Cyrano, Folger Theater.

Washington Post Award for Innovative Leadership in the Theatre Community: Jane Lang and Paul Sprenger for leading the development of The Atlas movie theater on H Street, NE.

Outstanding Scenic Design Resident Production: Lee Savage, Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare Theatre Company.

Outstanding Lighting Design Resident Production: Andrew F. Griffin, King Lear, Synetic Theater.

Chris Matthews (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Chris Matthews

Outstanding Sound Design Resident Production -  Tie between: Chris Baine, A Bright New Boise, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company & Irakli Kavsadze and Konstantine Lortkipanidze, King Lear, Synetic Theatre.

Outstanding Musical Direction Resident Production: Jon Kalbfleisch, Hairspray, Signature Theatre.

Outstanding Choreography Resident Production: Irina Tsikurishvili and Ben Cunis, King Lear, Synetic Theatre.

Outstanding Costume Design Resident Production: Kendra Rai, The Green Bird, Constellation Theatre Company.

Outstanding Supporting Performer, Non-resident Production: Hugo Weaving, Uncle Vanya, The Kennedy Center.

Outstanding Supporting Actor, Resident Musical: Matthew Delorenzo, Pop!, The Studio Theatre 2nd Stage.

Outstanding Supporting Actress, Resident Musical: Nova Y. Payton, Hairspray, Signature Theatre.

John Aniello Award recognizing new theatre companies which produced work that is groundbreaking and compelling:  Faction of Fools Theatre Company.

Outstanding Lead Actor, Non-Resident Production: Sahr Ngaujah, FELA, Shakespeare Theatre Company.

Outstanding Lead Actress, Non-Resident Production: Cate Blanchett, Uncle Vanya, The Kennedy Center

James MacArthur Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor, Resident Play: Ted van Griethuysen, Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare Theatre Company.

Outstanding Supporting Actress, Resident Play: Gabriela Fernandez-Coffey, After the Fall, Theater J.

Outstanding Ensemble, Resident Musical: Hairspray, Signature Theatre.

Outstanding Ensemble, Resident Play: King Lear, Synetic Theatre.

Spacey & Jack Evans (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Spacey & Jack Evans

Outstanding Non-Resident Production: Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Arena Stage.

Outstanding Lead Actor: Resident Musical: Euan Morton, Parade, Ford’s Theatre and Theater J.

Outstanding Lead Actress: Resident Musical: Carolyn Cole, Hairspray, Signature Theatre.

Robert Prosky Award for Outstanding Lead Actor, Resident Play: Mitchell Hebert, After the Fall, Theatre J.

Outstanding Lead Actress: Resident Play – A tie:  Rena Cherry Brown, Wit, The Bay Theatre Company, Inc. & Erica Sullivan, Venue in Fur, The Studio Theatre.

Outstanding Production – Theatre for Young Audiences: Charlotte’s Web, Adventure Theatre.

Outstanding Resident Musical: Hairspray, Signature Theatre.

Outstanding Resident Play: Ruined, Arena Stage.


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Former Mayor Tony Williams is the New Head of the Influential Federal City Council, Meets with Vincent Gray

April 19, 2012

Former Washington, D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams has accepted the job as the new chief executive officer and executive director of the Federal City Council, an organization of civic leaders that works with public officials to solve key challenges facing the city of Washington, D.C.

He will assume the post on July 1. Williams met Thursday afternoon with Mayor Vincent Gray to discuss city issues.

The council announced the appointment Thursday on its webpage.

Williams succeeds John W. Hill Jr., who announced in October that he would not be renewing his contract.

Williams, 60, served as the fifth mayor of the District of Columbia for two terms, from 1999 to 2007. 

Before then, he was chief financial officer for the District, managing to balance the budget and achieve a surplus within two years of his appointment, according to internet records.

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