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Friday, May 29, 2009

Hot Shorts, Cool Jazz, an 'August' Revival, Art for 'Singles' Hitters and 'Sugar' Is Sweet

I saw Radio Golf last night at Studio Theatre. It's wonderful theater in an incredibly thriving neighborhood. August Wilson's plays are such a delight to listen to, especially in an intimate setting like Studio. Frederick Strother, who my friend Rob served a cup of coffee to before the play, gives what probably will be a Helen Hayes-nominated performance in a lead role. If you're going to see a couple shows in the next few weeks, make it Radio Golf and Arcadia at the Folger. We ushered for both; Sarah (at the Folger) and Andrew (at Studio) both run great volunteer usher programs or keep an eye on Ticketplace and goldstar (which is worth signing up for) for half-price tickets.

All next week is a festival called EuroAsia Shorts 2009. The venues are incredible, like the Indian Embassy and the Instituto Italiano di Cultura, and the films look interesting. While "tickets" are gone, waiting lines will form each night and my bet is that many people will get in because reservations were free, meaning folks won't all show. I know that Wednesday and Sunday will feature small receptions after. I'm not sure about the other nights.

On Friday evening June 12, I'm leading a Single Volunteers Artwalk to the galleries in Bethesda. We'll visit three or four galleries - including the very cool Washington School of Photography where we met Ann Curry of the Today Show last month. Then we'll head to Sala Thai, where Friend of Ronndezvous (FOR) Brian Gross and his blues trio will perform while we dine. We've had groups of 30 the last two times we've done this. Sign up at http://svdc.org/socials.php.

One of my favorite events of the year is coming up:
The Nordic Jazz Week, June 14-19. This features jazz concerts at the gorgeous Finnish Embassy and then two nights on the rooftop of the House of Sweden on the Georgetown Waterfront. This one costs some money - $25 a night or $50 for all three nights. But there is not a prettier place in town than that rooftop on a nice June night. And last year's bands, though unknown, were excellent. So I expect the same this year. Maybe we can get a group together to enjoy it.

Lastly, I want to recommend some films that maybe aren't grabbing headlines. Sugar is still at Bethesda Row and Shirlington; it's a beautiful story about a minor league baseball player from the Dominican Republic. Summer Hours is a lovely French film about a family in a dreamy rural setting (and featuring actual items from Paris's Museum D'Orsay); it's also at Bethesda Row. At E Street, Revanche, an Austrian film nominated for an Academy Award last year, starts out like a whole bunch of other films, but stay with it and you will be rewarded with an original and feel-good twist. Sunshine Cleaning is still around; this was not a great film, but you'll come out with a smile.

And finally, on the museum circuit, this Sunday May 31 the National Gallery East premieres Agnes Varda's new film, The Beaches of Agnes, at 4:30 pm in their wonderful theatre. It's free. At 80, she's one of the greatest living directors. Rent her documentary The Gleaners and I if you ever get a chance. I did know that she was married to Jacque Demy, director of the classic The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, but I did not know that she wrote some of the dialogue for Last Tango in Paris. Whew!








Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Come on in

Finally, Ronndezvous is here! The idea is to provide cool places to go in the DC area, digest some culture, make some new friends and not spend a lot of money.

For instance, on Friday night June 12, I'm leading a Single Volunteers Artwalk to the galleries in Bethesda. We'll visit three or four galleries - including the very cool Washington School of Photography where we met Ann Curry last month. Then we'll head to Sala Thai, where Friend of Rendezvous (FOR) Brian Gross and his blues trio will perform while we dine. Sign up at http://svdc.org/socials.php.