NAMES & FACES

Longtime gay-rights activist Franklin Kameny boosted the Library of Congress's collection.
Longtime gay-rights activist Franklin Kameny boosted the Library of Congress's collection. (By Lois Raimondo -- The Washington Post)

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Saturday, October 7, 2006

Can we get a D-O-double-N-A?

Local and international foodies turned out en masse at Bar Pilar on Thursday night to root (loudly) for chef Roberto Donna , as the Galileo restaurateur took on "Iron Chef" Masaharu Morimoto on the Food Network's "Iron Chef America" for the second time. Donna had an embarrassing showdown with Morimoto on the reality cooking competition in 2005, when he became the first competitor to fail to complete all five required dishes.

Cafe Saint-Ex owner Mike Benson and members of his staff, Iceland's celebrity chef Siggi Hall and other food-types were glued to the restaurant's plasma TVs Thursday -- all the while cheering as if it were a Redskins game. Donna's revenge victory over Morimoto caused a near foodie riot -- people jumped up and down, fists were pumped and vodka shots (with pieces of grilled squid floating in them) downed. Mind you, this was a rerun (the original episode aired on Oct. 1).

A Pioneer's Place of Honor

From the attic to the archives!

Franklin E. Kameny , known as the father of Washington's gay rights movement, yesterday turned over more than 70,000 personal letters, documents and memorabilia to the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Institution's Museum of American History -- including a letter the State Department sent to Kameny, confirming that the department "does not hire homosexuals and does not permit their employment," and black-and-white photographs of gays and lesbians picketing in front of the White House in the 1960s with signs that read: "First Class Citizenship for Homosexuals." In the past year, an ad hoc group of gay-rights advocates, headed by public relations executive Charles Francis , has assembled Kameny's papers.

And inside the Library of Congress yesterday, with well-wishers such as D.C. Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) and former congressman Michael Huffington in attendance, the 81-year-old Kameny became an official part of American history.

Texas Night Owl

You just never know who will turn up in Washington these days: Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban , 48, crashed a local fundraiser at Smith Point in the wee hours yesterday.

An organizer for the Children's Direct event said the high-energy billionaire "just showed up" at 12:30 a.m. with a few friends and mingled with the 250-plus crowd on hand to raise money for the after-school program. Cuban, dressed down in a long-sleeved gray shirt, announced the winners of a date raffle from the DJ booth between mugging for pictures with eager fans and sipping beer.

Sources say Cuban was still chatting up people about politics and basketball when the bar closed. Looks like the late night didn't faze him -- Cuban, also the founder of the high-definition production company HDNet, served as keynote speaker at a luncheon yesterday for the Online News Association conference.

End Notes

· Funnyman Robin Williams had a quiet conversation with a male pal over dinner at Georgetown pub Nathan's Thursday night. Williams wore an Army-style jacket and washed down his steak and Caesar salad with a potent cup of espresso. A source says the recently out of rehab comedian, who was in town yesterday to film a D.C.-based episode of "Real Time With Bill Maher," appeared to be in good spirits.

· Looks like that classic theater mantra, "the show must go on," hit a major glitch at Thursday night's Signature Theatre performance of "My Fair Lady." Leading lady Sally Murphy made it through her first song, "Wouldn't It Be Loverly," with flair but never returned to the stage for the next act (leaving a few fellow actors hanging onstage), Washingtonpost.com's Erin Hartigan reports. Turns out Murphy had a bad reaction to antibiotics she was taking for a throat infection and had to be whisked to the emergency room. Murphy's understudy wasn't quite ready to take the stage, and the show was canceled. But fear not, ticket holders: Murphy planned to return to the stage again last night.

· Marky Mark -- er, Mark Wahlberg -- and "World Trade Center" star Michael Peña stopped by the Georgetown Waterfront's Agraria restaurant Thursday night for dinner with two unidentified friends. A jeans-clad Wahlberg munched on a filet during the 2 1/2-hour meal. The actor is in town to film the dramatic action flick "Shooter."

-- Korin Miller

End Notes

· Funnyman Robin Williams had a quiet conversation with a male pal over dinner at Georgetown pub Nathan's Thursday night. Williams wore an Army-style jacket and washed down his steak and Caesar salad with a potent cup of espresso. A source says the recently out of rehab comedian, who was in town yesterday to film a D.C.-based episode of "Real Time With Bill Maher," appeared to be in good spirits.

· Looks like that classic theater mantra, "the show must go on," hit a major glitch at Thursday night's Signature Theatre performance of "My Fair Lady." Leading lady Sally Murphy made it through her first song, "Wouldn't It Be Loverly," with flair but never returned to the stage for the next act (leaving a few fellow actors hanging onstage), Washingtonpost.com's Erin Hartigan reports. Turns out Murphy had a bad reaction to antibiotics she was taking for a throat infection and had to be whisked to the emergency room. Murphy's understudy wasn't quite ready to take the stage, and the show was canceled. But fear not, ticket holders: Murphy planned to return to the stage again last night.

· Marky Mark -- er, Mark Wahlberg -- and "World Trade Center" star Michael Peña stopped by the Georgetown Waterfront's Agraria restaurant Thursday night for dinner with two unidentified friends. A jeans-clad Wahlberg munched on a filet during the 2 1/2-hour meal. The actor is in town to film the dramatic action flick "Shooter."

-- Korin Miller


© 2006 The Washington Post Company

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