Thursday, February 20, 2014

Two Absurd Plays

I went to the GW Theater to see two Ionesco plays, "The Bald Soprano" and "The Chairs." The students performed well but the plays were too weird! I did enjoy the first play, however, but not the second.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A New Venue for the Name Sisters

The two Christines had always met at Busboys and Poets. Today, however, we had a wonderful lunch at the Carlyle in Shirlington Village.

I had the most delicious beet salad I have ever had with thinly-sliced beets, goat cheese, arugula, and walnuts. Perfect!

Where will we decide to go in April? It is your call, Christine!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Portrait Gallery: A Very Cool Exhibit!

I met my friends George and Sue at the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery to view "American Cool." George was accompanied by his friends George II and his wife Debbie.

The exhibit was fantastic!  But there was much too much to digest. One must return again and again. It was interesting to reflect on the choices of the "cool Americans" and to read the thought-provoking descriptions of each. And the photographic portraits were, of course, excellent.

What do we mean when we say that someone is cool? 

"Cool carries a social charge of rebellious self-expression, charisma, edge and mystery."

From the website:

American Cool” is a photography and cultural studies exhibition featuring portraits of such iconic figures, each of whom has contributed an original artistic vision to American culture symbolic of a particular historical moment. They emerged from a variety of fields: art, music, film, sports, comedy, literature, and political activism. “American Cool” is the zeitgeist taking embodied form. 

“American Cool” is captured by a roll call of fine-art photographers from Henri Cartier-Bresson to Annie Leibovitz, from Richard Avedon to Herman Leonard to Diane Arbus.

Who was considered cool by the curators of this exhibit?
Fred Astaire
Bix Beiderbecke
Louise Brooks
James Cagney
Frederick Douglass
Greta Garbo
Ernest Hemingway
Zora Neale Hurston
Jack Johnson
Duke Kahanamoku
Buster Keaton
H.L. Mencken
Georgia O’Keeffe
Dorothy Parker
Bessie Smith
Willie “The Lion” Smith
Mae West

Walt Whitman
Bert Williams
Lauren Bacall
James Baldwin
Humphrey Bogart
Marlon Brando
Lenny Bruce
William S Burroughs
Raymond Chandler
Gary Cooper
Miles Davis
James Dean
Duke Ellington
Dizzy Gillespie
Woody Guthrie
Audrey Hepburn
Billie Holiday
Jack Kerouac
Gene Krupa
Robert Mitchum
Thelonius Monk
Anita O’Day
Charlie Parker
Jackson Pollock
Elvis Presley
Frank Sinatra
Barbara Stanwyck
Muddy Waters
John Wayne
Hank Williams
Lester Young
Muhammad Ali
James Brown
Jim Brown
Johnny Cash
Angela Davis
Joan Didion
Faye Dunaway
Bob Dylan
Clint Eastwood
Walt Frazier
Marvin Gaye
Deborah Harry
Jimi Hendrix
Bruce Lee
Steve McQueen
Bill Murray
Paul Newman
Jack Nicholson
Bonnie Raitt
Lou Reed
Carlos Santana
Patti Smith
Susan Sontag
Hunter S Thompson
John Travolta
Andy Warhol
Malcolm X
Frank Zappa
Afrika Bambaataa
Jean-Michel Basquiat
David Byrne
Kurt Cobain
Johnny Depp
Missy Elliott
Tony Hawk
Chrissie Hynde
Steve Jobs
Michael Jordan
Willie Nelson
Susan Sarandon
Tupac Shakur
Sam Shepard
Bruce Springsteen
Jon Stewart
Quentin Tarantino
Benicio del Toro
Tom Waits
Neil Young

After viewing the exhibit, George treated us all to lunch at Bistro d'Oc to celebrate Sue's 36th (?) birthday.

George I, Debbie, Christine, Sue, George II

Sunday, February 09, 2014

An Anti-War Play

 Andrea and I went to see the Arena Stage's production of "Mother Courage and Her Children." It was a fantastic production starring Kathleen Turner as Mother Courage. We had great seats - Row A - almost on the stage!

 Andrea in front of the theater before the performance

 Christine in front of the theater - Can you tell that she is freezing to death? The temperature was way below freezing!

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Rita and Joe at Menomale

Andrea loves the pizzeria Menomale and decided to invite Rita and Joe to join us for a Saturday evening out. A good time was had by all!

Rita, Joe, Christine, and Andrea

Christine's Cheese Tray: Four kinds of cheese, honey, olives, and strips of pizza bread - Delicious!

 Rita and Joe

 Christine and Andrea

 Christine's dessert - Duetto di fragole - fragole dipped in olive oil and vanilla ice cream - Yummy!

Andrea, Joe, and Rita had espresso instead of dessert - very Italian!

Friday, February 07, 2014

The Friday Club

We have formed a Friday Club - Larissa, Oksana, George, Susan, and me. We will meet at GW on Fridays whenever possible to work (research and writing) and to have lunch together.

                      Larissa working on her laptop

                                                    Christine reading the History of Germany

                                                Oksana, Christine, and Larissa socializing

Lunch with Stuart at Paul's in 2000 Penn

Sunday, February 02, 2014

The Best Shakespeare Ever!

Katie and I met at the Sonoma for lunch before going to the Folger to see the second play in our current subscription. I can say, without a doubt, it was the best performance I have ever seen of a Shakespeare play.
This performance of Richard III was outstanding.

The Folger theater was transformed, for the very first time, into arena seating. This meant that every seat in the small theater was close to the stage.  All of the actors were "up close and personal."

Drew Cortese was terrific as Richard III. How did he ever learn all of those lines? He definitely carried the show.

Who was the historic Richard III? Was he a tyrant? A murderer? Machiavellian? Or did history give him a bad rap?  Well, Will certainly did not help establish a stellar reputation for him. In the play Richard III methodically kills every single person who stands between him and the throne of England.

It was truly an outstanding production.