No, No, No. We Said 'Break a Leg.'
The show must go on! Even when your star is woozy and bleeding from a head wound.
Jason Fleitz had been treading the boards at Studio Theatre for four weeks, eight shows a week, as lovelorn nerd Matt in the edgy drama "Red Light Winter." But as he went through his usual paces at Sunday's 2 p.m. matinee, something went wrong. At the start of Act 2, he opened a door onstage -- a key moment when his character is surprised by a visit from the girl of his dreams -- and whacked himself in the face.
"One of the bolt locks caught me in the eye," the actor said. A startled glance from co-star Regina Aquino made him realize what had happened; seconds later, Fleitz touched his forehead and felt blood. And then? They just kept going ! Staying in character, Aquino offered him a tissue; Fleitz grabbed for a prop roll of paper towels to stanch the flow. "It's instinctual," the 24-year-old told us. "My adrenaline was quite high, and that probably helps."
Did the audience have a clue? Director Joy Zinoman noted that the play is filled with violent intensity and that the bumbling accident seemed like something that might happen to Matt. "They might have thought it was a trick." Fleitz zipped off to Sibley for two stitches in his eyebrow but returned for the 7 o'clock show (delaying the start by 20 minutes or so).
"He said it was one of the best shows they've ever had," said Zinoman. "They were so alert, and it was so real."
HEY, ISN'T THAT . . . ?
· A TomKat -less array of D.C. celebs in Dan Snyder 's FedEx Field box Sunday -- John Glenn , Bernard Shaw , Chris and Kathleen Matthews , Alan Greenspan and Andrea Mitchell , Al Hunt and Jim Vance . Bob Novak threw a lot of high-fives during the victory over Jacksonville, while Time's Jay Carney studied the Funky 4 's dance routine through binoculars. Snyder led the cheers, with the entire box jumping at his call. Said one observer: "They want to get invited back" . . . Elsewhere at FedEx, Dennis Haysbert , mobbed by fans at the bar of the luxury suite. The star of "24" and "The Unit" was in town to speak at Howard.
· Katie Couric , surprising folks in Charlottesville Saturday. The U-Va. grad took the stage unannounced at the kickoff for the school's $3 billion capital campaign, along with NFL stars and $1 million alumni donors Tiki and Ronde Barber . Quipped top fundraiser Josh Darden : "It's no coincidence that our campaign goal is the same as Katie's annual salary at CBS." She also went to the campus library to view a newly discovered Robert Frost poem . To the young man who greeted her at the info desk, she said, "I'm surprised you recognized me without my makeup."
· Drummer Tommy Lee , in black leather, hugging a tiny Yorkie farewell as he boarded a tour bus Saturday outside the Hotel Palomar in Dupont Circle before the Motley Crue show at Nissan Pavilion.
· Married : Former D.C. first lady Cora Masters Barry assembled quite a crowd when daughter Tamara Masters Wilds tied the knot with Harry Lawson Saturday at the Frederick Douglass Museum. Wilds, the head of Future PAC (formed to elect African American women to public office), and Lawson, who works for the National Education Association, jumped the broom in front of 250 guests including poet Maya Angelou , civil rights leader Dorothy Height and Mayor Tony Williams (but not former mayor Marion Barry).
· Game over?: After a very public 18-month romance, "Desperate Housewives" actress Eva Longoria and San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker are on the rocks, according to People magazine. Longoria's spokeswoman wouldn't confirm a split, saying only that the couple are "going through a very difficult time right now" -- just like any other famous, rich, hot couple with demanding careers.
· Robbed ! At the last Nationals game of the season Sunday, Teddy Roosevelt finally won the Presidents' Race -- only to be disqualified, leaving him a season record of 0-36. The other mascots ( Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln) hung back and cheered as Teddy ran down the first-base line, but officials tossed out the win because he took almost two minutes and delayed the ballgame. Sounds suspiciously like a plot to get rid of the 10-foot-tall Rough Rider. "Teddy's definitely coming back," promised Nats veep Chartese Burnett . "And I think he's going to be busy in the off-season."