Alexandra's politicians and civic activists, who can be the most somber and serious of folks, last week pet on a somethings bawdy, somethings biting satirical review of the last year in the city - all in support of a children's puppet theater.
Council member Ellen Pickering, who has often urged dog owners to clean up the mass after their pooches decorate the sidewalks of Old Town, delicately held up a gigant pooperscooper, her pinkie fingers property extended. Mayor Frank E.Hann often criticized in private by council colleagues for his stock holdings in the Alexandria Dukes baseball team that receives city funds, played "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" on an upright piano. City Manager Douglas Harman, who has recently found himself in the middle of a possibly contrived controversy as candidates for next year's mayoralty contest try to figure out whether to use him as an issue, showed a serious of cartons he had drawn, including one portraying his offices arrounded by barbed wire.
"After all we've been through this past year, it's nice to know we can still laugh at ourselves, Harman said after the show. The on nour performance was held to benenfit the nonprofit Puppet Theater, located at 815 1/2 King [WORDS ILLEGIBLE] is trying to pay off nearly [WORD ILLEGIBLE] in debts, according to Sandra Butler Whyte, president of the theater board. The debts were accumulated because of rising overhead expenses and the unexpected discovery of a hidden electricity meter, which had not been read for 285 days, she said. At least $5,000 was raised by the benefit, which about 125 persons attended she said.
The show entitled "Good News and Bad." was written produced and directed by Lois Kelso Hunt. The antics of the council members were not the only subjects to be lampooned. The city's soaring real estate prices and recent massage parior and bingo scandals also get splattered with a satirical pie in the face.
One sketch poked fun at the recent revelation that prostitution had been going on at Bunny's Massage Parior, located on Wahington Street near the historic Christ Church. The sketch featurned Anita Beasey, Vivienne Stewart, Rachel Hunt and Monica Mulrooney as Bunny and her girls, who sang a ditty which included the time, "Bunny's girls have what you need . . . Satisfaction guaranteed." The song was first sung to Don Whyte, who had stumbled into the health salon thinking he might actually get a workout. Later he was joined by fellow joggers John Lamond, Don Meia and Bob Ruffser, who satirized the national and local jogging mania.
In another sketch, Lou Cook, Jane Heenan, Dane Glenn, Kathy Glenn, Sarah Harman, Caitlin Stewart and others revealed that a new school named St. Bingo's had just opened in the city.
One couple mortgaged ther children to make the downpayment on an Old Town townhouse, despite the fact that the walks were eight feet wide. Iain Banks, Carol Mcleod and Faye Evason put on costumes and thick Scottish accents to poke fun at the city's Scottish ancestry in a skit in which a Loch Ness monster wandered onto the banks of the Potomac.
Mort Langstaff tinkled the keys of the old upright piano and sang "I Still Believe in [WORD ILLEGIBLE] along with Santa Claus and other dreams of innocence.
The council and the mayor asked the musical question, "What Do The Voters Want?" and, as often happens during their Tuesday night meetings, couldn't agree on the answer.
The show also introudced a nominee for the city's anthem, should one be needed beyond the sound of jingling cash registers and fokling dollar bills. Its opening lines and chorus go like this. "From the rockbound shores of Hunting Creek to the wilds of four-Mile Run/From the Cobblesones of Captains' Row to Fabulous Fairlington/It's the place where I am listed, street address and telephone/It's the place where I live long existed, the city I call my own/Alexandrial Alexandrial! The fairest city I have known! . . ."
Among others who contributed to the extravaganza, which featured a champagne reception afterwards with food and drink contributed by area merchants, were Ted Collins, Leon Hunt, Duane Bowers, Haywood Taylor, John Wiggin, Henry Smith, Jim McKnight, Reggie Carter, Bill Hurd, George Edward Stelluto, Dan Brooks, David Bergheim, Charles Hunt, Marian Van Landingham, Hedi Pope, Jean Bruns, Grace Banks and allan Stevens.
The 3-year-old Puppet Theater is the performing arm of the American Puppetry Association, whose directors hope to turn the facility into the local center for a variety of performing arts groups. The theater currently receives a $6,000 annual grant from the state of Virginia and depends on local support and contributions for its children's shows, which are put on each week of the year. "Hansed and Gretel," "A Christmas Carol" and "Rapunzel" are some of the shows featuring three-foot puppets, handled by professionals. The theater phone number is 549-0787.