Bronx and ‘Camelot’ Tales

by Editorial

The event wasn’t just about family though. Press corps doyenne Helen Thomas offered her take on White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs: “I like him but think he’s on a tight leash. He’s always saying he doesn’t want to get ahead of the president, but I think he doesn’t want to get ahead of all those advisors.”

A subdued Ralph Nader pondered the state of D.C. voting rights, which miff him; and no, he hasn’t decided on yet another presidential run.

References to Wall Street shenanigans were typified by investment guru Peter Tanous, who claimed he could have gotten to the stage to make his remarks faster if he’d had a better seat, while the presenter who followed him countered, “It’s amazing how fast you can get to the stage when you pay cash.”

Joining Ambassador of Lebanon Antoine Chedid in enjoying his country’s Ksara Reserve de Couvent Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 were Lebanese Americans Lucky Roosevelt, Sam Donaldson, and Bechara Nammour, the Lebanese owner of Neyla restaurant.

A Bronx Tale
It’s hard to imagine that anyone could do a better solo performance than Chazz Palminteri, but the award-winning actor did just that when he brought his one-man stage show to The Warner Theatre. For about an hour and a half, the New York-born actor didn’t miss a beat as he took the audience down memory lane in A Bronx Tale, a saga about growing up in the sprawling New York City borough. Complete with music by Dion & the Belmonts, a set looking like a 1960’s-era bar, and the star’s acting-out of multiple characters, the production’s tag-line said it all: “One man lives in the neighborhood, another man owns it.” Somewhere in between a boy of nine is torn between working class mores and the world of organized crime.

When asked how he could possibly remember so many lines, Palminteri was quick to remind backstage guests that he wrote it. The irony is that he had a hard time getting the stage role. If it were not for Robert De Niro, who chose the project for his directorial debut, this talented actor may have gone unnoticed.

Who’s Who, Or Maybe Wasn’t
Guests attending the Washington screening of An American Affair spent as much time trying to figure out whose house was used as the set and who all the players were in real life as they did watching the movie. Loosely based on John F. Kennedy’s administration, the story is set in 1963, which meant it was bound to have all the glamour, sex, and intrigue of “Camelot.” Those who lived in Washington then or who have lived here a long time were sure they knew every house on the street and every player in real life. Much to their chagrin, it was later revealed that the film was shot in Baltimore and some of the characters were fictitious. The major appeal of the movie is the guessing game aspect. For those in the know, it was haunting.

Stars attending the after-party at Tattoo included Gretchen Mol (as JFK’s Mary Meyer-esque mistress), Cameron Bright portraying the young boy infatuated with Mol’s character, and James Rebhorn, who played the scary CIA guy to the hilt.

Readers wishing to get in touch with Janet can email: columns@vps3.washingtonlife.com.

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