On October 29, it was up in the morning, hot on the job, work like the devil, etc. — beginning at 6.15am, arriving at Penn Station to find none of my books at the bookstore there, what a thrill. Did get a horrid muffin though. (This s the glamorous part. You can see in the pic how bagged-out we are…) Then an Amtrak train to Washington, during which I tried to catch up on my blog postings, a futile effort…It’s like Sisyphus, you just keep rolling that stone uphill, and it keeps rolling right back down again, smushing your toes in the process.
Once we’d arrived in Washington, we were picked up by Escort Christine Sprague, who took us by many a back way through the stately and less stately streets to the excellent Diane Rehm Show at NPR (WAMU.FM). Diane and I have known each other for many years, but alas, she was away, so I missed her. However, adroit Frank Sesno (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Sesno. ) was there, and we spent a lively hour both together and with listeners, which you can hear at (http://wamu.org/programs/dr/09/10/29.php.)
Then we checked into the Hotel Monaco, where I’ve stayed before. It’s a refurbished central post office (http://www.monaco-dc.com/.), and its “Poste” restaurant has napkins folded like envelopes (see pic). The first time I stayed there, some years ago, each room had a pet fish – mine was called “Bob”—but I don’t think they did well in a hotel environment. The faux-fur robes are still there, however (I succumbed to some Zebra-striped . And I’m happy to report that the coffee is organic, and that the restaurant sources its food, uses organic whenever possible, and grows some of its own herbs and vegetables. All of which was explained to us by Adam Sanders, the Manager. (Those mini-Parker House Rolls are addictive! Not to mention the salads, and the Truffle Frites.)
Then it was off to the Lisner Auditorium at George Washington University, to rehearse with the actors and singers from the Department of Theatre and Dance and the Department of Music. This was the 16th Year of the Flood Event we’ve done, but the very first one with university students, with a few faculty woven in. They’d already been rehearsing, with Jodi Kanter, the Director, and with Robert Baker, an opera singer in his own right, and they were a delight to work with. On the night, Andrew Holbrook delivered a stolid Adam One, Emily Anderson a no-nonsense Toby, and Emily Murphy a worldly-wise but still open-hearted Ren; and Adam and Emily Murphy gave us the sexiest little Romeo-and-Juliet Ren-and-Oates scene we’ve had yet. The singers (with Orville Stoeber doing lead solos and Robert Baker joining in too), gave a forceful performance, lit fetchingly behind a scrim. They were: Kathleen Borguetta, Millicent Scarlett (lead singers), Matthew Beck, Vanessa Cancino, Christopher Clark, Dominic Hawkins, Michael Noel, Kaitlyn Reilly, and Grace Srinivasan. The two musicians joining Orville were Louie Diller on drums and Gregory McWhir on bass. Eric Annis was the indispensible stage producer, aided by sound engineer Dave Gevanthor and technical director Colin McGee. The girl with the Scrabble earrings (see pic) did many things, including the program – I wrote down her name and now I’ve lost it – please send and I’ll insert! Same for the photographer, who was taking pictures backstage (so I took his). Thanks to all f0r — as I said –“helping out a sinister but sweet old lady.”
The 700+ audience seemed to be having a fine time at the scary pre-Hallowe’en occasion; then I signed books – including my first-ever Sign-A-Kindle. (Seems to work – we used a Sharpie.) Politics and Prose — an old-favorite bookstore well known to Washingtonians — was at hand selling.
Two more Washington events to be mentioned—the Sirius Xm Radio Bob Edwards Show – Bob is always smart and a fountain of dry wit, if you can put “fountain” and “dry” together in your head (http://www.bobedwards.info/ftopic41.html.); and my own appearance in a witch hat, via the Blogotwitsphere (http://tinyurl.com/yl49fqo.) Its creator turned up at the signing and said, “I hope you weren’t offended.” Moi? Offended? True, I’ve been outed, but our kind are in style at the moment, what with Harry Potter and all.