David Tatel, Boyden Gray spotted…in costume

Judge David Tatel, right, takes a break from a play rehearsal for a fire drill. (Photo by Frances Sellers.)
Judge David Tatel, right, takes a break from a play rehearsal for a fire drill. (Photo by Frances Sellers.)

Hey isn’t that… Judge David S. Tatel, looking dashing in 17th-century judicial costume late Wednesday evening, lingering on the street outside the E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse? Isn’t that former White House counsel Boyden Gray with him? And other familiar faces, strangely hatted and berobed?

Judicial fashions aren’t changing — the scene was a case of theatrics gone awry. Tatel, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit judge who will be performing the role of “Grand Inquisitor” in a private performance of local author James Reston, Jr.’s play “Galileo’s Torch,” had invited the cast to his courtroom for an after-work reading and to try their costumes. Then the fire alarm went off, sending the cast out into the street.

And that guy dressed as Galileo, reading lines in a booming voice? That’s just British transplant and actor/disc jockey Colin Davies, who’s also in the play. 

Once firefighters declared the building safe, the cast returned to reading in Tatel’s courtroom. Even on a Wednesday after work, the rehearsal must go on.
More Hey, isn’t that . . .  Had a sighting? Share it at reliablesource@washpost.com.
Frances Stead Sellers is senior writer at The Washington Post magazine. She joined the magazine in 2014 after spending two years as the editor of the daily Style section, with a focus on profiles, personalities, arts and ideas.
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