Graham is having a moment — the revival of “Gilmore Girls,” in which she stars as quirky single mom Lorelai Gilmore, was released last month on Netflix, and she’s on tour promoting her new memoir, “Talking as Fast as I Can” (including a stop at the Sixth & I synagogue on Wednesday).
So Lauren Graham might be famous-famous, but her dad has a certain brand of Washington status. Before joining 360, for two decades, he headed the prominent National Confectioners Association, making him the city’s “candy man” — not the kind of gig that lands you the cover of Us Weekly, but, rather, profiles in trade pubs like Vending Times.
And if the audience thought the father-daughter bond would keep the questions in softball territory, they were mistaken. Lauren Graham started off with a query that was like a Sophie’s choice for her diplomatic dad: What’s his favorite candy and chocolate? He hemmed a bit before finally admitting he was partial (scandal alert!) to Milky Ways and Hershey’s Kisses, among others.
Later, Larry Graham parried with an oh-no-he-didn’t question of his own: “Speaking of your boyfriend, how is Peter?”
Lauren Graham shot him a chastising look. “Dad, this is not where we go!” But she answered, sort of, that her beau, Peter Krause, whom she met while playing his sister on the NBC show “Parenthood,” is fine, that he’s not now on “Scandal” as her dad had said (he’s starring in another Shonda Rhimes show, “The Catch”), and quickly moved on.
Embarrassing bits aside, the audience did learn more about Lauren Graham’s experience growing up in the Virginia ‘burbs, where for a time, her father was a single parent, much like her “Gilmore Girls” character, making for an experience viewers of the show might recognize. “We went out to dinner a lot, we went to a lot of concerts, we went to a lot of theater,” she said. “I had a parent who was certainly an authority figure, but who also was a buddy.”
Asked which haunts she revisits when she’s back in Washington, she noted how much things have changed — and not just in the city. “Here’s the thing, kids, as you get older, all the places you used to go to are not the same anymore,” she said. “My friends who used to live in Dupont Circle and, like, ‘cool places’ now live in the suburbs.” And the packed streets of Georgetown that she loved growing up? They now give her “an anxiety attack,” she confessed.
But she fondly remembers her father taking her to museums and to classic Washington restaurants. “I’m sure you just didn’t know what else to do with me for a whole day, but it ended up accidentally being this great education,” she said. “What some people think of as tourism was our back yard.”
And as the session concluded, Lauren Graham capped it off with a nod to the sweet dad-and-daughter rapport. “Thanks for launching our new talk show,” she joked to the audience. “We’ll be on after ‘Ellen.’ ”