All the Presidential Men
Don’t be sad if President Obama, or any former leader of the free world, turns down an invite to your Presidents Day potluck. Hire or visit one of these fine professional stand-ins.
Visitors to Mount Vernon might meet farmer George (left), General Washington or other incarnations of the first president — it depends on historic interpretative actor Dean Malissa’s attire of the day. For extra authenticity, Malissa sports his own white locks, rather than a wig, just as Washington did.
Patriotic props: A closet-full of regalia, including a $400 farming outfit and $3,600 period suit.
How Washington would feel about the U.S. today: “His heart would be broken.”
Little-known fact: The father of our country “was never seen ‘naked’,” to which Malissa quickly added, “Naked meant ‘without a coat’ in [Washington’s day].”
If you could ask Washington one thing, what would that be? “ ‘How tall are you?’ He was measured on his death bed at 6’3 1/2” tall. You can imagine he probably lost some height.”
Race rituals: “After I win, I won’t change my socks and I will go without washing them until my next loss.”
Nutrition regimen: “I carbo-loaded the night before I ran the 2008 Marine Corps Marathon! I’m proud to say I am the only Racing President to have finished a marathon! 6:26:49!” Also, Teddy only drinks red or blue sports drinks: “Not into those other flavors!”
Larry Graves came by the President’s good looks through genetics. The voice, though, took some practice for this traveling impersonator, who’s represented locally by Cast of Thousands.
Patriotic props: Graves comes with two faux Secret Service agents.
Sounding the part: The biggest challenge of mimicking Obama’s unique cadence? “The pauses. And the attack. Aaaaand youdowhatyoucan. Aaaaaandhavefunwithit,” Graves said, sounding very Barack-ish.
Similarities to POTUS: “Often people will hand me something to write to see if I’m left-handed, and I am left-handed, so it works out well.”
Inspired by Charlie Chaplin’s “Great Dictator,” Stache makes use of his physical acting ability in a saucy little number about the presidency of George W. Bush set to Liza Minelli’s “As the World Goes Round.”
Term Limits: Stache retired the act three years ago. “It’s old jokes; old news,” he says.
Patriotic props: George W. Bush mask and red, white and blue pasties.
Would Laura be titillated? “I suspect not. It did not occur to me to ask for an invitation to the White House.”
Do you channel George W. Bush before your performance? “I nervously went through the act again and again and again just to make sure I remembered everything. … Maybe I was channeling him after all.”
What the Catwalk Dragged In
DC Fashion Week (Feb. 17–23) may lack the cachet of its New York counterpart, but at least you don’t have to get into fisticuffs with a potato sack-clad Olsen twin to snag a seat. Should you choose to go, you better look the part. Express’ fashion editors provided this cheat sheet to what’s in, out and meh.
That Awkward Age
Forty-seven years ago, President Lyndon Johnson signed a bill creating the Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority. Before WMATA blows out 47 track switches to celebrate, let’s look at its accomplishments so far, and see how the agency measures up to other 1967-born locals.
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