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Shuttle service and dog swimming lessons: Artistic director David Muse’s perfect day

June 13, 2018 at 11:06 PM

In D.C. Dream Day, we ask our favorite people in the area to tell us how they would spend a perfect day in the District. See previous dream days from Mayor Muriel Bowser, BYT’s Svetlana Legetic, Story District’s Amy Saidman and more.

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“The Remains,” now running at Studio Theatre, is a very special way for artistic director David Muse to cap off his eighth season with the company. Not only is he directing the play, but he’s also reuniting with actor Maulik Pancholy (TV’s “30 Rock,” “Weeds”), his old classmate at the Yale School of Drama. “At the drama school, [he] acted in more of my plays than any other actor,” says Muse, 44. In “The Remains” (through June 24, $52-$97), Pancholy and Glenn Fitzgerald star as a couple who, 10 years after becoming the first same-sex couple legally married in Massachusetts, prepare to tell their families they’re divorcing. As much as Muse loves his life in the theater, he’s planning his own separation on his dream day. “That’s for the other six days of the week,” he says. This day “is much more about eating and drinking.”

My days off generally begin with some kind of bike ride. I thought, “How can I make this one more special-feeling?” So the fantasy I cooked up is: A shuttle picks me up in the morning, drives me and my bike out to Marshall, Va., where there’s some really great riding. And in the shuttle, they already have for me a macchiato from Blue Bottle Coffee and a croissant from Seylou Bakery and an omelet from Le Diplomate. Then we’d take a ride in horse country for two or three hours in the morning. And on the way back, my guy who gives me massages could be in the shuttle.

Next, I need to take a shower. So on the way home, we stop at the bade pool at Spa World. You never feel more clean than when you walk out of those bade pools.

My wife and I own a year-and-a-half-old miniature Labradoodle named Lucca. It’s been a fantasy of mine that she’s going to learn to swim and love it. So I thought we’d take her for a swim. Sometimes they just do it on their own, sometimes you have to lure them into the water with treats.

I have not yet been down to The Wharf, which I kind of cannot believe. So I thought we’d go down there for lunch, maybe to Kith and Kin.

I’m a little embarrassed to say that since it was renovated, I have not been to the east wing of the National Gallery of Art. Going to museums in general is one of those things I’m always promising myself to do more of, and not finding as much time as I want to to do it. I’ll see all kinds of things, but I am drawn to modern art, and of course that’s what the east wing is all about.

I tried to pick a place [for dinner], but then I thought, “Wouldn’t it be more fun to do a progressive dinner and do courses at a handful of places that I love very much?” So that’s what I dreamed up: It’s a cocktail at Columbia Room. One appetizer at The Red Hen. A second appetizer at Elle, in Mount Pleasant, because my wife and I just bought a place up there, so we’re gearing up to get into the Mount Pleasant vibe. We’re going to have our main courses at Komi, because it’s my favorite restaurant in Washington. It’s probably going to be some giant rack of lamb. And then we’re gonna have dessert at Dolcezza. At Dolcezza, it’s hard for me not to get salted caramel [gelato], but I try to get something different every time.


Lori McCue is the arts and food editor at DCist. Previously, she was a features editor at Express.

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