In D.C. Dream Day, we ask our favorite people in the area to tell us how they would spend a perfect day in the District. See previous dream days from restaurateur Rose Previte, NPR’s Ari Shapiro and Comedian Haywood Turnipseed Jr. and more.
Nathan Pham has two demands for his dream day: “FIFA 18” and “Mario Kart.” When we inform the 10-year-old actor that our Dream Days usually take advantage of D.C., his plans get a bit bigger than just video games. Pham, a fifth-grader who lives in Columbia, Md., is currently one of two boys playing Tiny Tim in the long-running Washington tradition that is the Ford’s Theatre production of “A Christmas Carol” (511 10th St. NW; through Dec. 31, $32-$105). He is returning to the role after playing Charles Dickens’ most famous non-orphaned kid last year and has found it’s easier this year. “I already know all my lines,” he says. “And with the other [new] actors, maybe they don’t know where they need to go and I tell them and they’re like, ‘Thank you!’ ” If given the day off from school and rehearsal (and video games), Pham would do, well, almost everything.
After a breakfast of bacon and hash browns prepared by Mom, Pham and “a whole bunch, maybe 10” friends would head downtown to see “all the museums and zoos.” His current favorite is the International Spy Museum, because “it’s cool, with all the gadgets” and “there is some stuff about James Bond.” The National Air and Space Museum is also on the list; he’d like to see a movie in the Lockheed Martin Imax Theater for the first time and check out the airplanes, especially the ones you can get inside, since “you get a better view that way.”
Lunch would be at &pizza, where he’d order bacon, pepperoni and spinach on his pie. “It’s actually pretty good,” he says of his choice, though he admits he gets the spinach “because my mom makes me.”
After lunch, Pham and his posse (which includes his parents, since, as he says, “I’m going to need some help”) would head to the National Zoo, making sure to see “the big animals,” particularly the lions and tigers. He’d prefer to skip the reptile and insect exhibits because “they’re kind of gross.” Afterward, “I want to take a tour of the White House. When I was little, I did the Easter egg [hunt], but I didn’t really go in, though.” Another first would be a trip to the top of the Washington Monument because “the Kennedy Center is, like, near there and I want to see it from a good view.”
After we tell him about DC Ducks tours, Pham expresses an interest in taking one, particularly when told about the quacking noisemakers that passengers get. (His mom seems less enthused about this opportunity.)
For dinner, Pham would choose Chipotle because he likes “their rice and their chicken and black beans,” though he thinks the bowls are too big.
He’d like to spend his evening catching a play somewhere in town. Earlier this year, he saw his sister perform in Ford’s Theatre’s production of “Ragtime,” which was “very good” and his sister did “very well.” Whatever show he takes in on his dream day, it’s important that he gets home “not too late.” He does have school in the morning.