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Pitt Stops in Washington? Vrrrrroom!

By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Sunday, June 17, 2007

Pitt Stops in Washington? Vrrrrroom!

With any luck, we might soon have Brad Pitt kicking around town for a while. And on his own firepower, too -- not just as Angelina's plus-one.

Producers for one of his next films, "State of Play," have been scoping out the District for potential shooting locations -- and you figure they have to come here. The story? Basically the stuff of Larry Flynt's most feverish dreams-- investigative reporters trying to solve the murder of a pretty young political staffer. It's based on a hugely popular BBC miniseries of the same name, but the setting switched from London to Washington and the suspect member of Parliament transformed into a congressman.

Earlier this month, filmmakers checked out George Washington University Hospital as a possible locale. No decisions yet made, according to school officials, who say they'll check out the script to make sure it doesn't represent the medical center as a hotbed of malpractice or staph infections or anything. Last weekend, director Kevin Macdonald -- who made a splash last year with Forest Whitaker's "The Last King of Scotland" -- toured our very own newsroom, though we understand it was strictly for research; doubtful they'd ever actually get to film here.

But studio reps say that filming won't begin until well into the fall and that no decisions about shooting locations have been made yet. In other words, they could still just end up filming the whole darn thing in Toronto, dressed up with D.C. street signs. If so? We'll just have to cross our fingers for the next project on Pitt's schedule: playing John Dean (!) in Watergate drama "Dirty Tricks" -- co-starring Meryl Streep as Martha Mitchell, Gwyneth Paltrow as Mo Dean, and Annette Bening as Helen Thomas.

Sorry, You're Not on the List

One in an occasional series of dispatches from parties you should have crashed.

Occasion: Last weekend's Bark Ball, the Washington Humane Society's 20th annual fundraiser for dog lovers and their four-footed dates.

Scene: 950 black-tie guests strolled into the Renaissance Hotel -- 600 people and 350 dogs wearing ball gowns and tuxes. Air-kissing, rear-sniffing, lots of barks but no bites -- pretty much your standard Washington affair.

VIPs: Co-chairs Mary Matalin and James Carville, daughters Emma and Matty, and five of their six dogs; Jan Cousteau and daughter, Alexandra, founders of the EarthEcho International.

Animal Husbandry: "My wife, Mary, is a responsible pet owner and wife," said the Ragin' Cajun. "She neuters her pets and her husband."

Menu: Asian noodles and Moroccan tagine for the patrons in chairs, doggie cupcakes for the moochers on the floor.

Bar: Open for people (Salty Dog, anyone?); Bowser Beer for pooches.

Temptations: Matalin and Carville almost adopted Jordan, a cute beagle mix, but it appears another couple will take home the party's "It" girl.

Quoted: "At every social event you go to in Washington, everybody takes themselves so goddamn seriously," said Carville. "The fact that you can come to an event and have a dog bark in the middle of your remarks, I think that's refreshing."

Rocking Judges Face the Court of Public Opinion

Eight guys channeling the Blues Brothers onstage? Respected judges, no less? Way to mortify the kids, Dad!

"When they're not mildly embarrassed, they think it's cool," said Judge Russell Canan, founder of Deaf Dogs and the Indictments, which makes its Kennedy Center debut tonight. And yes, the band's offspring will be in the Father's Day audience.

The rock-blues ensemble boasts seven D.C. Superior Court judges -- Canan, William Jackson, A. Franklin Burgess, John Campbell, J. Dennis Doyle, William Nooter, John McCabe -- and one psychologist, Marc Feldman. They formed the group two years ago for a talent show at a legal training conference -- all the members are amateur musicians; none had ever played in a rock band. The judges were rehearsing in Canan's living room, trying to come up with the all-important cool name. "My boys were watching, and after a while they got bored and left," he said. But Chapin, his loyal German shepherd, stayed put.

"At least your dog seems to like our music," noted one of the guys.

"I'm sure she does," Canan told him, "but she's deaf as can be."

Deaf Dogs and the Indictments didn't win the talent show ("We was robbed," said Canan) but went on to play charity gigs: Children's National Medical Center, Armed Forces Retirement Home, Fraternal Order of Police D.C. Lodge. Because of ethics concerns, they don't play for money. The band will rule from the KenCen's free Millennium Stage at 6 p.m.

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