Hang With the Stars? We're So Wired.
There are two kinds of people when it comes to "The Wire." Those who never saw it, couldn't care less . . . and those who are completely, utterly, dream-its-story-lines, call-loved-ones-by-character-names obsessed with the HBO cops-and-gangstas epic. (Sopranos? Schmopranos!)
So as we drove up to Baltimore, where Season 4 is being filmed, we realized we had two kinds of readers to inform.
First, those of you who will be satisfied to know that actor Wendell Pierce (homicide detective Bunk Moreland) hosted a hurricane relief fundraiser at the Sonar nightclub, featuring New Orleans musicians the Subdudes, the Iguanas and the Rebirth Brass Band. A Louisiana native, Pierce thanked the few hundred who showed up: "I know y'all are tired of this Katrina [expletive]."
And now, for the rest . . . ohmigod, we saw Bubbs! (Andre Royo, snazzy in a leather coat.) Kima! (Sonja Sohn, gorgeous cheekbones.) Executive producer David Simon! (A nonstop dance machine -- probably his tactic for avoiding our pesky story ideas.) But best of all, everybody's favorite homicidal gay stickup artist -- Omar!
We're embarrassed we didn't recognize Michael K. Williams without Omar's braids or shotgun. But the veteran stage actor let us hang with him at the bar and explained how his critically acclaimed "Wire" role has boosted his career. He said he's just wrapped three projects: "Mercenary" with Steven Seagal, "Millionaire Boys Club" with The Game . . .
Wait a minute, the rapper? Wow! Can he act? "If he applies himself," Williams said, "he can become a great movie star."
And finally, he just filmed a role in chapters 6-12 of crooner R. Kelly's music-video soap opera "Trapped in the Closet." Didn't know there were that many chapters? Get this: They'll film chapters 13-22 in January, Williams said.
So what's Kelly like? "He's a [expletive] human being!" Just as we were wondering, he clarified: "He's good people."
Party Time for a Princely Some
Washington fans of Prince Charles get their chance to schmooze with HRH and his Camilla at tonight's reception at the British Embassy, hosted by the royal couple, British Ambassador Sir David Manning and wife Lady Catherine. Unlike last night's White House dinner, the prince gets to decide who's coming to this party, and he's invited 150 supporters and friends who helped plan this visit.
Emphasis on supporters: Washington is home to the Prince of Wales Foundation, a charitable organization that supports education, health care, urban and rural renewal, and other princely passions. Top donors travel to England and dance at Buckingham Palace and dine at Highgrove with the royal couple.
British Embassy officials wouldn't release the names of tonight's guests, but look for patrons Cal Ripken, Joe Allbritton, Buffy Cafritz, Mary Ourisman, Fred Malek and Executive Director Robert Higdon.
Brownie, You're A Heck of a Dresser!
As Hurricane Katrina was hitting New Orleans, then-FEMA Director Michael Brown was attending to the crucial details of . . . his wardrobe. E-mails released yesterday included this exchange on the morning of Aug. 29 with Cindy Taylor, FEMA's deputy director of public affairs:
Taylor wrote: "You look fabulous -- and I'm not talking the makeup!"
Brown replied: "I got it at Nordstroms . . . Are you proud of me?" An hour later, he added: "If you look at my lovely FEMA attire you'll really vomit. I am a fashion god."
But the fashion god still needed a tweak. Later that week, press secretary Sharon Worthy instructed Brown to get serious: "In this cris[is] and on TV you need to look more hard working . . . ROLL UP THE SLEEVES."
Funny, we never realized FEMA stood for Fashion Emergency Management Agency.
THIS JUST IN...
* Scooter Libby and Harriet Miers have more in common than being last week's bad front-page news for the White House. Like Miers, Libby failed to keep current on his D.C. Bar dues: In December 2001, he was suspended from the bar for nonpayment. If he wants to practice law again -- whenever his own legal woes are resolved -- he'll have to pay about $380 in penalties and old dues to get back in.
* Lonnie Ali, wife of Muhammad Ali, is denying accounts from his daughter that the 63-year-old ex-heavyweight champ's Parkinson's disease is worsening. Laila Ali told the Los Angeles Times last week that she's "noticed a change in him." But Lonnie, in town to talk up a new $75 million cultural center named for her husband, told our colleague Darryl Fears he's "just fine" and "will be front and center" for the opening in Louisville Nov. 19.