By Roxanne Roberts
A Very Tony Evening for Wolf Trap
Saturday's Wolf Trap Gala was like an injection of instant suave for even the wonkiest Washingtonian: a seductive summer night, a Gatsbyesque lawn party, women in satin and men in white dinner jackets. But the most swoon-worthy element of the night came courtesy of a legendary crooner. "You don't get more romantic than Tony Bennett," declared romance novelist Nora Roberts, so it must be true.
The night took its theme from Bennett's newest album, "The Art of Romance," and judging from the 800 guests in attendance, everyone was in the mood for love. "We thought, 'Tony Bennett. What does that mean to me?' " said gala chairman Elizabeth Reinhardt at the pre-concert dinner on the lawn. "Then we thought, 'Tuxedos, martinis, the late '50s and romance.' " Apparently, it also meant pink, black and white prints, tons of fuchsia-hued flowers and a spectacular dessert: chocolate and raspberry mousse served in a martini glass rimmed with hot pink sugar.
After dessert, everyone drifted to the Filene Center where Bennett wooed a rapt audience that included Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta and Rep. David Obey (D-Wis.). The hour-and-a-half set of American songbook classics under the summer moon had everyone feeling generous as well as amorous to the tune of half a million dollars.
Happily, there's no age limit for love. Said Wolf Trap Foundation President Terre Jones: "I only hope to be as dapper as Tony is when I'm 78."
At Silverdocs, Directors in Need of Animation
Up in the lofty heights of the filmmakers' lounge, Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On" was stuck on replay for five hours. That was just one of the annoying aspects at Friday's party during the Silverdocs AFI/Discovery Channel Documentary Festival. Another was the existential bitterness of the documentarians.
"They're like rock stars -- filmmakers," said Khalo Matabane, whose film "Story of a Beautiful Country" was screened at the weeklong festival. "They don't talk to each other. Everyone just walks around like he's the greatest thing since sliced bread."
The only people really getting it on were in the much mellower crowd down in the outdoor plaza where Big Sam's Funky Nation entertained the crowd of a thousand. "You can't help dancing. It's a New Orleans thing," said Sammie "Big Sam" Williams. The live music preceded the outdoor screening of Michael Murphy's music documentary "Make It Funky!"
Meanwhile, the intelligentsia spilled out from a screening of Werner Herzog's "Grizzly Man," critiquing the film and its maker. This seemed to animate them somewhat and it almost felt like a party. They ate, they drank, some of them even talked to each other.
Fade to black.
Guess the Characters at the Kuwaiti Embassy
Before scattering to their fabulous homes around the globe, haute Washington celebrated Jane Stanton Hitchcock, author of "One Dangerous Lady," touted as the summer beach book for the social set. Hitchcock was feted Thursday by Rima Sabah at the Kuwaiti Embassy, where 250 guests scooped up the novel (another delicious foray into the low deeds of high society). The party game: guessing which fictional characters are based on which real social climbers. "Everybody recognizes everybody else," said Hitchcock with a Cheshire grin. "No one recognizes themselves."
With Laura Thomas