I went to see the brilliantly conceived War of the Worlds by Picnic Theatre Company at Dumbarton House. Essentially they reenacted the 1938 Orson Welles radio broadcast of War of the Worlds, made famous because listeners thought it was a real news show reporting an alien invasion happening in real time, creating mass hysteria. The setting at Dumbarton House was perfect: a charming, intimate period vibe (and nutella crepes from Bonaparte's... ahem). The set design was simple and worked beautifully. And the performers built up considerable tension. I was really impressed with this quirky gem of a show. I hope we see more things like this in DC. In the meantime, I just found the original 1938 broadcast on Youtube - enjoy.
But more delight was to come. The Moth (the most famous of storytelling shows) came to Woolly Mammoth Theatre for a special event that brought the voices of development advocates from Africa and Asia to the stage, bringing life to their stories about getting an education despite the odds, bringing fish back to the sea, food security, and more. The stories were brilliantly delivered and I was transfixed. The Moth has plans to do more shows in DC - watch this space...
I popped up to Politics and Prose on Saturday night for the most crowded show I've ever attended: Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, talking about his book on Winston Churchill. As a Brit About Town it seemed only apt that I was there, but I was intrigued at this vast popularity. He was predictably entertaining, and I was only a little resentful that it was standing room only for me!
On Monday I decided to go and do some talent spotting at SpeakeasyDC's student showcase, which was in the big hall at HRC. You're welcome, dear Perfect Liars Club attendees. By the way, make sure you've got your Perfect Liars Club tickets for our next show on 3rd December!
While the wife's away, the cook will... not bother cooking. I hardly ate at home the entire week. But fine dining was not on the cards either. This week's dining was an economical, solo affair. And so I bring you: a rather tasty curry at the Penn Quarter Teaism, which is really big and relaxing downstairs, and an absolutely sensible place to hang out with a book and a bento box before a show at Woolly Mammoth or the like. I enjoyed a veggie burger at Native Foods, an entirely vegan sort-of-fast-food restaurant of the Sweetgreen or Chophouse ilk, where again you can hang out with a book. The food is pretty tasty. It's on the corner of 18th and M. I had a quick dinner one night at the Drafting Table which I have to say is one of the more disappointing of all the 14th Street offerings - but then it's a gastropub, not a restaurant, so I suppose its fried egg sandwich was fine. I tried lunch at the new Dog Tag Bakery in Georgetown- they're not very good for vegetarian lunches, with lots of delicious-looking sandwiches all proving to contain meat. But their pumpkin chowder was absolutely amazing. And their banana bread to go was an afternoon treat. And finally, some Georgetown University students took me out for dinner to Mai Thai in Georgetown, where I'd inexplicably never been before. They have a good-looking vegetarian menu, then reveal that most items within are made with fish sauce. So that was disappointing. But they were pleasant and friendly, their sweet and sour tofu was quite tasty, and their coconut icecream was delicious.
What's coming up for the rest of November that sounds cool in DC: Picks of the week
Well I'll be off to Mexico... but for those of you spending Thanksgiving week in Washington, here's a little something to kick it off. Brace yourself: this is a great week for storytelling.
Fri 21 and Sat 22 Nov - Peter Aguero, Moth host and generally excellent storyteller, is performing his one man storytelling show, Daddy Issues, at Artisphere. Combine it with a visit to the the wonderful 'Think with your hands' art show at Artisphere that I reviewed last week.
Fri 21 Nov - There are also all sorts of Beaujolais Nouveau events this week, but why not do it right and hit the French Embassy. Or else go to a comedy/story/music extravaganza with 8x8.
Sat 22 Nov - Last week SpeakeasyDC had people tell their stories to filmmakers. This week, the filmmakers reveal their short films based on the stories! Get your tickets for Speakeasy Shorts.
Sun 23 Nov - SpeakeasyDC are on fire with their genre mashups this week. Tonight, they bring together storytellers and illustrators for a competitive story illustration contest, My Illustrated Story.
Mon 24 Nov - Head to Story League for one of their all-star tournaments. The theme: Obnoxious.
Tue 25 Nov - Hilarity for Charity at the Bier Baron will bring comedy, Lagunitas, and Thanksgiving meals for homeless DC youth.
Fri 28 Nov - Zoolights opens! This kitsch, charming holiday lights tradition at the zoo needs to be experienced to be understood, and then loved.
Mon 1 Dec - Feeling space nerdy? The International Space University (where I wish I could claim to have attended) is holding a space event open to the public at 7pm at Science Club. The topic is astrobiology. The speakers are cool. Free entry - just turn up.
Wed 3 Dec - Get your tickets for Perfect Liars Club - it's going to be fantastic.