Pious Party People Catch a Break From the Greenspans

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By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Thursday, September 20, 2007

Tomorrow's book party for Alan Greenspan had to be moved up two hours when the hosts realized it was scheduled for . . . sundown on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar.

Originally scheduled for 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Decatur House, the A-list party posed one of those tricky theological choices -- pay tribute to God or Greenspan? The joke around town: Now there were two high holy days in Washington.

Chalk it up to vacation schedules: Greenspan and his wife, Andrea Mitchell, settled on the date with co-hosts Jim and Kate Lehrer, Michael and Afsaneh Beschloss, and Don and Mary Graham while all were scattered at various summer retreats. Greenspan and Mitchell (both Jewish but not all that observant) didn't register that the date coincided with the religious holiday -- which begins at sundown tomorrow -- before 200 invitations were sent.

When the hosts realized the conflict, a flurry of calls went out informing guests of the new time: 4:30-7 p.m. -- concluding seven minutes before tomorrow's sunset and allowing Jewish friends of Greenspan to party and pray.

For Michelle Fenty, It's All in the Genes

So we raced down to the Reagan Building yesterday the minute we heard that the featured speaker at the lunchtime conference of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery was . . . Michelle Fenty. OMG, is that the secret to the 37-year-old's fresh-faced glamour?!? Better yet, would she dole out free advice?

So we asked: Any special knowledge on the topic to share? The mayor's wife laughed and mock-declaimed, "I've managed to keep it a secret all this time!" We're taking that as a no. Good genes and all that. Darn. Instead, Fenty, radiant in a pink skirt-suit, gave a normal first-lady speech about balancing public and private life. (Saturdays are her days -- Adrian takes the twins while she goes to yoga -- and yes, she has a BlackBerry, too.)

Well, It Is Called Dulles International Airport

Ridley Scott and the crew of "Body of Lies" gave us one last surprise yesterday before wrapping up three weeks of local filming, as they magically transformed the Lufthansa counter at Dulles into . . . the airport in Amman, Jordan. Lots of Arabic signs, a hundred extras in burqas and other Middle Eastern garb. It was all in keeping with the movie's super-efficient stay here, in which Eastern Market stood in for Amsterdam and Baltimore served as Munich and Manchester. Russell Crowe and Leo DiCaprio then moved out to film a scene at Landow's Jet Center, a corporate hangar that also got an oil-state makeover -- a small fleet of white Mercedes-Benzes and a Rolls, all of which cost some five figures to rent just for the day. Alas, director Scott did not blow anything up this time. Tomorrow, they leave us for Morocco (which, presumably, will play Loudoun County or maybe Norway).

In other movie news: Owen Wilson, who dropped out of the Ben Stiller comedy "Tropic Thunder" after his reported suicide attempt last month, has been replaced by another drawling Texas hipster, Matthew McConaughey.

HEY, ISN'T THAT . . . ?

Comedian Kathy Griffin dining with two friends in the "birdcage" table suspended in the middle of Mie N Yu restaurant in Georgetown on Tuesday after her raucous sold-out KenCen show (where the boys in the front kept shrieking, "WE LOVE YOU!!!" to their scrappy flame-haired diva). They ordered sushi, lamb and three hot fudge sundaes (extra fudge).

Mets star David Wright touring the Spy Museum and lunching at Clyde's on Tuesday before showing up for his team's 9-8 loss to the Nats. Even though he was out of uniform, fans recognized the latest member of the 30-30 Club (that many homers and stolen bases in one season).

Eric Szmanda, one of the forensic nerds on "CSI," lingering at the bar after last call at the Old Ebbitt Grill with a couple of friends early yesterday. The actor (jeans, T-shirt, gray hoodie) was in town to present awards to worthy feds at last night's Partnership for Public Service gala. Coincidentally, va-voomy actress Vivica A. Fox was also there, separate table, also dressed down with friends. Small world!


© 2007 The Washington Post Company

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