Drew Draws a Crowd

How do you get the people on Washington's A-list to attend a party? Just ask them, says author Elizabeth Drew. "You invite your friends, and they turn up," she said. "It's very nice."

Very nice, indeed. Drew has a lot of famous friends, and they turned out in scores Tuesday night at a book party for the writer's latest tome, "The Corruption of American Politics: What Went Wrong and Why."

The soiree was held at the Northwest home of former congressman Tom Downey and his wife, Chris, and co-hosted by Vin Weber. The Cabinet was represented by Secretaries Bill Richardson, Andrew Cuomo, Dan Glickman, Donna Shalala and Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott. A pesky vote kept senators on the Hill, but Reps. John Dingell, Ed Markey, Barney Frank and Peter King dropped by.

The ambassadors of Great Britain, Greece and Sweden paid their respects, along with columnist Christopher Hitchens, historian Michael Beschloss, Kennedy Center Chairman Jim Johnson and author Susan Eisenhower. Not to mention media pals Andrea Mitchell, Al Hunt and Judy Woodruff, Bob Schieffer, Jim and Kate Lehrer, Nina Totenberg, Linda Wertheimer and Mara Liasson.

Everyone left in time to catch the other All-Star game. You know, the one at Fenway Park.

Headline: La Vie en Rose

Champagne at lunch? Mais oui for those who attended the 25th annual Bastille Day fete at Les Halles restaurant Wednesday. Marie Antoinette (or at least an impersonation of her by Laird Pelzer), Les Halles partner Michel Verdon and event founder Dominique D'Ermo accepted a proclamation from Mayor Anthony Williams, above. Right, television personality Paul Berry celebrated by drinking from a nine-liter bottle of Pommery along with winners of the waiters race. "I almost ripped off my shirt in the end," grinned fourth-place finisher Jocelyn Zarr.With Janelle Erlichman

The Shipping News

Yes, there was ice--in the drinks. Wednesday's gala performance of "Titanic: A New Musical" closed with a party for cast, crew and patrons in the Atrium of the Kennedy Center. "Somebody told me the ending," deadpanned former congressman Bob Livingston. Below, from left, Actor Kevin Gray, who plays the ship's designer, compared notes with Kennedy Center Chairman Jim Johnson; top, from left, portrait photographer Philip Bermingham and Kennedy Center board member Victor Shargai discussed the Tony-winning production. "The moral of the story: travel first-class," said lobbyist Mel Goodweather.

CAPTION: Book party: What went right and why? Just ask Elizabeth Drew, top left, signing books for Leslie Sewell and Mark Raabe. Above, Christopher Hitchens and his wife, Carol Blue, chat al fresco near Swedish Ambassador Rolf Ekeus. Left, Finlay Lewis, Catherine and Christopher Meyer.