Four madrigalists in nightshirts walk on stage at a benefit at Georgetown's Trinity Theatre carrying candles. They harmonize:
Are you sleeping President Ron? Russia's now in Poland/But Ronnie's still in dreamland/It's only noon/But he's never up so soon/ Sleep, sleep . . . Qaddafi is attacking/Ronnie still is napping/It's not quite four/Let him sleep a little more . . .
The fantasy concludes with presidential counselor Ed Meese finally waking the president when a real crisis arises: "Nancy says they have to use mixed china pieces at the next prayer meeting."
"We've learned how to put on a benefit," said Kingsbury Lab School founder Sally Smith Saturday, introducing the 27th annual Hexagon musical revue, "White Tie and Tales," at the black-tie gala at Georgetown's Trinity Theatre. "Some of us think it's easier to start a school."
Over the years, Hexagon has raised nearly $500,000 for local charities. This year's recipient is the Lab School of the Kingsbury Center, fondly referred to as "the school that Sally built," which helps intelligent children unable to function in regular classrooms because of learning disabilities, by using innovative techniques involving the arts and academic "clubs."
The Reagan administration contributed a rich vein of material to be mined for good-natured satire performed with more enthusiasm than polish by an amateur cast. Hexagon's zings and arrows found such targets as the royal wedding hoopla, President Reagan's grasp of history, Nancy Reagan turning the Smithsonian into a ladies thrift shop, RIFs and Elizabeth Taylor's husbands.
The White House press office announced today it has selected its official flower--the hedge.
After the show, socialites and supporters of the school piled into plush Georgetown Park for a buffet of roast beef and stuffed tomatoes, and dancing to a jazz band. Tables on all three tiers of the luxury shopping plaza were topped with plates of chocolate chip cookies, bottles of wine and printed greetings from honorary chairwoman Barbara Bush, saying, "How I wish I could be with you."
This portion is brought to you by Trickle-Down, the soft drink that goes great with surplus cheese.
"My son could talk to you about Homer and Shakespeare, but he couldn't tell you the days of the week," said Smith, recently made a full professor of learning disabilities at American University. "We couldn't find a school for him; special schools have been more geared to the retarded than the learning disabled, so I asked the Kingsbury Center to start one and they said, 'Sorry, no money.' We came back from a vacation, and there under the door was a telegram from the Kingsbury Center asking, 'Would you start a school?' I was young enough then, so I said, 'Why not?' " said Smith between hugs and compliments from the glittering guests.
Hexagon update: The latest report from the surgeon general proves that cigarettes are the leading cause of statistics.
"I couldn't see the show today," said Hexagon director Timothy Rice. "Two days ago I signed a contract with the Folger Theatre to understudy three roles, including Joe Wiseman's, who plays Prospero in 'The Tempest.' I got a call at 4 p.m. today saying Wiseman was ill, and guess what--you're going on tonight with a book. Fortunately, Prospero walks around with a book anyway. I didn't trip over anything or fall over anyone," joked Rice, a professional actor who has been with Hexagon for 10 years. "Nothing is sacred to us. We don't set out to stomp on any sensibilities, but if we do, we're not sorry."
"I wouldn't know how the Republicans felt about the show," said Virginia attorney Mary Garner, "but they should be interested in having people support independent organizations like Kingsbury." Like many others attending the gala, Garner had a special interest in helping the school--her son also has a learning disability. "He was tutored several years ago by the Kingsbury School. So I'm interested in the school because I've seen what it can do. Scholarships are so important. You don't want it to become something only for the elite."
"White Tie and Tales" continues at Trinity Theatre through April 3.