I always wanted to be part of a special gathering, a once-in-a-lifetime thing that can't be recreated. I finally may have been on Saturday. The kind of event I'm thinking of is like when I was at Rutgers, friends would head down to Asbury Park in hopes of catching an unannounced Springsteen appearance. He never showed when I went. At Iota a few years ago, Glenn Tillbrook of Squeeze fame led the audience into the parking lot to sing Pulling Mussels From a Shell. A few months ago, I couldn't believe it to read that Tillbrook did it again, this time at a concert I went to at the State Theater. After it ended, he went next door - unannounced - to Clare and Don's to play a set. I had gone home.
But on Saturday, with a blizzard taking place outside, I was one of the 60 or 70 people in the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater audience for the next-to-last performance of August: Osage County. It was a performance I'll never forget. They told us to move close to the stage - quite a deal for my $25 balcony seats. I was completely engrossed from the first minute on of this Pulitzer-prize and Tony-winning play that Peter Marks really did not take kindly to in The Washington Post. (He wrote that he can't figure out why audiences like it so much. Hello! Thank God for Bob Mondello in The City Paper!) The cast had to know that we fought the elements to get there and perhaps even that I would have to walk 5 miles to get home because they put on an amazing performance. The play has a little bit of everything: incest, pedophilia, suicide, divorce, choking and romance. But the cast is so talented and apparently they play it a little more for the humor now, which makes the moving parts that much more moving. When it ended, and we gave a standing ovation to the amazing and gut-wrenching 82-year-old star Estelle Parsons and the rest of the cast, they applauded right back. I'm convinced that sitting close for plays really adds to your enjoyment. I liked Streetcar Named Desire last month, but I was not moved like I was on Saturday. The Kennedy Center was probably wrong for going on with the shows Saturday afternoon. But I am so glad they did. I've now got my "Been There" moment.
Aside: Check out Emily Kinney's entertaining blog. She is a young Nebraska actress who was wonderful in Osage County and apparently has a small part in the new film It's Complicated.
My friend Cinthia and I decided to explore Georgetown last Friday as part of their Georgetown Gallery Gaze the third Friday of every month. We started at the beautiful Sea Catch Restaurant where they have a fireplace and a nice Happy Hour with half-price wines and drinks. I wanted to show her the incredible micro-sculptures at Parish Gallery; they're charging $5 now to get in, but it's worth it. You still have until Jan. 23 to see them. We walked next door to a new gallery owned by a Russian couple - she's a professor at the Corcoran. The current exhibit is comprised of nude drawings done by her students. When I wanted to see who drew a particular sketch, I bent down closely to look at the name. Apparently, Cinthia thought I was looking for a close-up of the penis that was directly in front of me. Now I will never hear the end of it. Lastly we went into the gallery that's known for their nudity - MOCA. I don't want to talk about it anymore. The next Georgetown Gallery Gaze takes place Jan. 15.