The Daily Feed, We Love Arts

Page to Stage Fest This Weekend

Photo courtesy of Michael T. Ruhl
Hanging Lights
courtesy of Michael T. Ruhl

If you’re looking to round out your Labor Day weekend plans, how does free theater at the Kennedy Center sound?

The 11th annual Page to Stage festival runs this Saturday-Monday and features free readings, workshops, and rehearsals of new works by some of the area’s most talented artists and theater companies.

This year, Synetic Theater offers a training demonstration and preview of their upcoming wordless Jekyll and Hyde; groups like The Inkwell and DC-Area Playwrights Group plan to showcase short, new works in progress by local playwrights; Signature Theatre, Folger Theatre, and the Kennedy Center all team up for Ken Ludwig’s latest thriller; and the weekend features a number of family-friendly shows for the younger crowd.

Page to Stage also offers a rare chance to see shows in the Kennedy Center’s rehearsal spaces and smaller venues. With a casual and collaborative atmosphere, it’s a bit like the Fringe – except with more chandeliers.

Page to Stage runs September 1-3, 2012 throughout multiple venues at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The Kennedy Center is located at 2700 F Street, NW Washington, DC 20566. Closest Metro stop: Foggy Bottom/GWU (Orange/Blue line). For more information call  202-467-4600.

Food and Drink, We Love Drinks

Friday Happy Hour: Mezcal, mi corazon

Photo courtesy of Jenn Larsen
Mezcal cocktail, American Ice Company
courtesy of Jenn Larsen

Friday Happy Hour is back! Every Friday we’ll highlight a drink we’ve recently enjoyed. Please share your favorites with us as well.

Mezcal is made from the heart of the maguey plant. Never one to skip over symbolism, dear reader, I find it interesting that since recovering from a heart infection, mezcal is one liquor I can tolerate without issues. Traditional uses for mezcal include as a treatment for hypertension, so obviously I’ll have to continue my informal medical research for your benefit – a trip down to Oaxaca, Mexico, where mezcal is predominantly produced, may be in order.

The plant is also known as agave, while mezcal is also spelled mescal. Knowing that will not affect your drinking, however. The maguey hearts are roasted in underground pit ovens, which results in that earthy flavor distinctive to mezcal. Though there’s a similarity to the smokiness of some whiskies, it’s not quite the same taste. After being mashed up and allowed to ferment with water, the liquid is distilled in clay or copper pots, and can be aged for a few months or several years.

That rich smoke flavor makes mezcal a tricky element in a cocktail. I do enjoy drinking it neat, but many local bartenders play with it in unexpected ways. Yesterday I visited Patrick Owens at American Ice Company for a second glass of a cocktail he crafted for me last week with mezcal, Punt e Mes, St. Germain, and walnut liqueur. When he first told me the ingredients, I was a tad skeptical that all the boozy elements could mix in harmony. Yet the resulting cocktail was incredibly smooth and well-balanced. The earthy quality of the mezcal was complemented by the rich walnut, and set off by the sweet vermouth and floral notes. Asking for a repeat performance is rare for me, as I usually get tempted into ordering something new, but this one definitely hit my heart the right way.

As with tequila, stick with makers who use high quality, artisanal production methods. That’ll go a long way towards saving you the next morning!

The Daily Feed

Edwin Jackson Dominates The Cardinals, Nats Win 8-1

Photo courtesy of MudflapDC
courtesy of MudflapDC

Starting pitcher Edwin Jackson faced his former club, the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals, for the first time on Monday night since being traded to Washington. It wasn’t a complete game shut it but it was pretty close. Jackson threw eight innings in an 8-1 game that ended in the Nationals’ favor to start out this three-game series.

The Nats 1-2 punch at the top of Manager Davey Johnson’s lineup came out of the gate strong to start. Outfielder Jayson Werth drew a walk off Jaime Garcia followed by a two-run laser of a homerun hit to the right field bullpen by rookie outfielder Bryce Harper in the first inning.

Washington maintained their lead for the game’s entirety and continued tacking on runs as they went, including a Werth solo homerun in the fifth. The Nats took advantage of Garcia’s exit in the sixth and went on to score a total of four runs in the sixth and seventh: Danny Espinosa scored on a Werth ground out off reliever Fernando Salas and Michael Morse scored on a Jesus Flores single off reliever Lance Lynn. Continue reading

We Love Weekends

We Love Weekends – Aug 31 – Sep 3

Yep, I’m counting Monday in there too – it’s a long weekend for most of us (and you should expect us here at We Love DC to push our usual weekly items out a day as well) and we’re going to grab hold and enjoy it as best we can.

Nicole: In an exciting addition to last weekend’s activities, I went to Ikea and subsequently stayed up until 4am framing things, including some fantastic photos by Claude Taylor and photo collages by Matthew Parker. But this weekend I’m taking it to the next level and hanging everything after a trip to Ace hardware. Saturday night I will be celebrating my best friend’s birthday all over Dupont Circle. Look for us at Buffalo Billiards, Lucky Bar and anywhere that will serve food after 1am. I’ll be the one in the cute dress with the Band-Aids on all her fingers.  Continue reading

Downtown, People, Special Events, The Features, We Love Arts

Desert Air Opens Tomorrow at NatGeo

“Crossing Arabia’s Empty Quarter” by George Steinmetz; photo courtesy National Geographic

An exhibition featuring images of the world’s deserts by award-winning National Geographic photographer George Steinmetz will be on display at the National Geographic Museum from Aug. 30, 2012, to Jan. 27, 2013.

The free exhibition, “Desert Air: Photographs by George Steinmetz,” includes breathtaking photographs of sand dunes, human habitation, wildlife and vast expanses of the world’s last great wildernesses. The photos will be displayed in the museum’s M Street gallery. An audio component will feature Steinmetz telling the stories behind selected images. Continue reading

We Love Arts

We Love Arts: Red Hot Patriot

Kathleen Turner in Philadelphia Theatre Company’s production of Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins. Photo by Mark Garvin.

I wonder if people missed Mark Twain this much.

Sometimes it’s hard not having Molly Ivins around anymore – perhaps never more so than in an election year. Her Twainian quips and raw delivery might save us these days, when it’s hard to tell a political quote from a Onion article.

Fortunately for all of us, Ivins has been reborn in the body of Kathleen Turner; and she’s come back to visit us for a brief moment in Arena Stage’s Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins.

A liberal columnist from conservative Texas, Molly Ivins was known for her biting satire and crusader-like persona. She was a big character who would fit well in a stage play; and Turner doesn’t disappoint.

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Sports Fix

Chris Cooley: An Appreciation

Photo courtesy of Tony DeFilippo
If Cooley had a Vineyard?
courtesy of Tony DeFilippo

The news broke on Twitter, as these things do nowadays, late yesterday: Chris Cooley was released by the Redskins. Reactions were almost universally negative, and some were pretty despondent. I must say, loathe the Redskins though I do, I always had a soft spot for Cooley.

He was the kind of hard-working player you could only love. His eight seasons with the Redskins have him atop the leader board with 428 receptions as a tight end, and fifth overall in franchise history, and he’s on the all-time depth chart in touchdowns and yards. He has been a solid presence at tight end, a leader on and off the field, and if I had to pick one player that epitomizes the good that remains at the heart of the Redskins while surrounded by Dan Snyder and Mike Shanahan and the rest of the less-than-likable 

His goodbye press conference yesterday is the sort of gut-punch you never want to see in sports, not to anyone, but especially not to someone as special as Cooley. Cooley deserves better than to be cut in pre-season by the team he’s never done anything but love, from draft day all the way forward to his last practice. His goofball routine was charming, especially when contrasted with his serious-as-nails play on the gridiron. His 3-touchdown game against the Cowboys in 2005 sealed the Redskins’ last post-season appearance.

But more than that, he was the kind of human being you’d want to hang around with. This wasn’t the sort of pro-athlete always in the news for the wrong reasons – except once, where an honest mistake resulted in pictures of his wang on the Internet – but rather this was the sort of guy you loved to watch.  Dan Steinberg of the Post cataloged his seven favorite Cooley moments, and all of them are the sort of laid back goofballism you would expect from Captain Chaos.

Here’s to you, Chris Cooley, who could make this die-hard NFC West/49ers fan cheer on the Redskins, just a little bit. Godspeed, and don’t stay gone too long.

Music, The Features, We Love Music

The Winning Ticket: Rascal Flatts w/Little Big Town @ Merriweather 9/2/2012

photo courtesy of Rascal Flatts

Today we are giving away a pair of tickets to see country music stars Rascal Flatts, along with Little Big Town and Kristen Kelly at Merriweather Post Pavilion on Sunday, September 2nd! Rascal Flatts are on tour in support of their new album, Changed, which was released in April.

For your chance to win these tickets simply leave a comment on this post using a valid email address until 4pm today. One entry per email address, please. 

For the rules of this giveaway…

Comments will be closed at 4pm and a winner will be randomly selected. The winner will be notified by email. The winner must respond to our email in 24 hours or they will forfeit their tickets and we will pick another winner.

Tickets will be available to the winner at the will-call window at Merriweather Post Pavilion one hour before doors open on the night of the concert. The tickets must be claimed with a valid ID. The winner must be old enough to attend the specific concert or must have a parent’s permission to enter if he/she is under 18 years old.

Rascal Flatts

w/Little Big Town, Kristen Kelly

Merriweather Post Pavilion

Sunday, September 2/5:30pm doors/$45-$75


Weekend Flashback

Weekend Flashback – 8/24-8/26

Photo courtesy of ep_jhu
The Bar Is Closed :-(
courtesy of ep_jhu

Well, Friday was the sendoff for our former Weekend Flashback writer, Brian Mosely. He’s headed off on a grand adventure and we’re looking forward to watching. We, and by that I mean I am not looking forward to filling his shoes here. He made this look easy! In his honor I’ve picked a few shots that relate directly to him. Above is the Iron Horse Saloon bar, where his see-ya-later shindig was on Friday. The symbolism is obvious…

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Capital Chefs, Food and Drink, The Features

Capital Chefs: Anthony Lombardo of 1789 (Part II)


Reading (more like drooling) through the seasonal menu at 1789, there were at least a dozen dishes I would have loved to make with Chef Lombardo,  like the Duck Confit Strudel with mascarpone cheese, cherry compote and foie gras creme (umm yes, that’s duck, cheese, and foie… all packaged up in a pastry). But we agreed to make something lighter, a dish that us home cooks could take a stab at and hopefully succeed in impressing future dinner guests, because I don’t know about you but I ain’t messing with no home-foie gras. We chose to make the Yellowfin Tuna and Florida citrus salad, a dish that can easily be a starter or a main course, with vibrant colors and clean, fresh flavors.

Being that it was at 1789, I expected  a million techniques and sauces and tricks and expensive ingredients to come together, but the opposite occurred. Simplicity is the name of the game here. The yellowfin tuna is cooked just rare, served warm on a bed of sliced oranges and grapefruit, drizzled with a lemon vinaigrette and topped with a fennel and mache salad. The combination of citrus, crisp, salt, pepper and mixed temperatures makes for a satisfying and beautiful dish.

This year, 1789 is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and as part of that celebration is offering diners an opportunity to have a 5 course meal for $50.00. If there is one thing you have to do right this month, its this. Let Lombardo take care of you, you can thank me later.

Find the recipe after the jump, and bring a little 1789 home.

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Capital Chefs, Food and Drink, The Features

Capital Chefs: Anthony Lombardo of 1789 (Part I)

It was a rainy, grey Sunday, which in my book usually means a day spent in bed, catching up on emails while watching some god-awful reality show that makes me question humanity as we know it. But the saving grace this Sunday was Anthony Lombardo, Executive Chef at 1789 Restaurant. He greeted me with a smile and a cup of coffee presented in a large plastic cup, “You gotta drink it like the chefs do” and I happily obliged. And thus, my day as a poser began.

1789 needs little introduction-  it is a Washington DC staple, a Georgetown establishment that has fed Presidents, international Diplomats, celebrities and the like. It is also smack in the middle of one of the youngest areas in town, forming part of the Georgetown University campus. As a Georgetown student I never dined at 1789, rather, our friends would gather down at The Tombs, where beer ran cheap and burgers were substance enough. There’s a beautiful juxtaposition between the two; 1789 and The Tombs. The Tombs is packed with students; the culture hungry, the intellectuals, the dreamers, the young and somewhat restless. 1789, above, is where that Tombs student wants to be one day. Established, powerful, settled, taken care of by world class staff and in a world class setting. The harmonizing link between the two is Chef Lombardo, whose responsibility it is to run 1789 and the Tombs flawlessly.

A year ago, Chef Lombardo was given the position as Executive Chef at 1789 after a grueling interview process. In just two hours the man cooked six dishes- all of which he recounted in exact detail, for a panel of judges. The panel undoubtedly made the right choice, bringing in a chef who is focused on quality ingredients, flawless execution, and flavorful perfection, not to mention with the right leadership and right attitude to lead one of the most important kitchens in the city. In the year Lombardo has been at 1789, the restaurant has had its most successful summer yet, and that’s saying a lot seeing as it has been around for 50 years now. He was given full control, changed the entire menu, introduced new techniques and spruced it all up with a fresh, new attitude.

A young Italian-American kid from Detroit, Lombardo grew up around two things- food and diversity. These two fueled a great culinary journey- for one lends itself well to the other. Lombardo was influenced heavily by his Italian family roots, and by his Middle Eastern migrant surroundings, which taught him understanding and acceptance, and a whole lot of humor. His cooking is undoubtedly American with an Italian undertone, a combination which is equally reflected in his persona. Within minutes of meeting Lombardo you are instantly at ease. He is a far cry from what I expected a chef of his caliber to be like- young and unafraid, welcoming and warm, all at the same time. And the dude knows how to crack a joke probably as well as he knows how to cook.

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We Love Weekends

We Love Weekends – Aug 24 to 26

Photo courtesy of Gary Lerude
courtesy of Gary Lerude

Rachel: Really looking forward to this weekend. Friday will be a much needed night IN before the rest of the weekend goes down. Saturday will be tail gating at Jiffy Lube Live for the Brad Paisley concert. Needless to say, I’m pretty pumped for that. Then Sunday I’m hitting up the Bud Light Lime Pool Party at the Capitol Skyline Hotel. (PS – Who says Klout isn’t good for anything … ‘cuz my access to this event is strictly due to a Klout perk … LOVE IT!) That’ll be followed by shared bill with fellow DC songwriter Nita Chawla at Bossa Bistro and Lounge in Adams Morgan. Music starts at 8 p.m. We’d love to see you there!

Photo courtesy of pablo.raw
Elephant Walk
courtesy of pablo.raw

Mosley: I’m going to be Mr. Lame this weekend and get the last of my packing down for moving out of my apartment early next week.  But if I had the time, I’d love to take advantage of this awesome late September weather we’re having.  Maybe take a walk to the Arboretum and see the Capitol Columns; or walk up the Rock Creek Park trail; or finally checking out the Boundary Stones.  All things I’ll have to wait for until next week, before I head off on my trip.

Photo courtesy of philliefan99
sweet tooth
courtesy of philliefan99

Nicole: I’m hoping to make my honest weekends a signature thing, so I’ll be straight with you again: I am taking a long weekend, and I am going to spend it studying for the GMAT. Saturday morning will be the highlight – it’s DCPS Beautification Day, and I’ll be volunteering with the Caps at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School. But you can’t keep a party girl down! Saturday night I will be hitting it hard, demolishing all challengers at Apples to Apples, Taboo, and a very complicated version of charades I am happy to introduce you to (and subsequently beat you at.)

Photo courtesy of LaTur
refreshing, lemony and…….curiously delicious
courtesy of LaTur

Fedward: We’re taking advantage of the National Building Museum’s late Thursday hours to get ahead of our weekend with some mini golf. Friday night the Social Chair has plans, so I might go console myself at Fiola with one of Jeff Faile’s famous Negroni variants (remember: we knew him when). Saturday we’re babysitting so the Eldest Niece of the Social Chair can have a birthday party. Sunday we’ll finish the weekend with our traditional brunch at the Passenger.

Photo courtesy of meg linehan * part deux
courtesy of meg linehan * part deux

Don: Music, drinks, puppies and code, oh my. I’m starting off the weekend early Friday evening at The Yards to see our own John Athayde in his superhero evening identity as part of Juniper Lane. How many concerts can you take your dog to, after all? Then I’ll bolt down the street to try to join a friend and valued colleague for his going-away shindig. The plans beyond that are sketchy, though they’re going to be heavily biased towards the out-of-doors, given the lovely early fall weather we’re having. Except to the extent that computer obligations will tie me to my laptop. Maybe I’ll find a nice patio…

Entertainment, Interviews, Music, Night Life, People, The Features, We Love Music

Q&A with JosaFeen Wells of E.D. Sedgwick and N’Digo Rose & the Nekkid UndastandN

photo courtesy of E.D. Sedgwick

This Saturday sees the convergence of two types of DC music in one place – longtime DC dance-punk favorite E.D. Sedgwick is playing with longtime DC soul favorites N’Digo Rose & the Nekkid UndastandN, at Ras Restaurant & Lounge on Georgia Avenue.

What seems like two groups from divergent genres actually have something in common.  JosaFeen Wells sings for both, and will be performing with both bands Saturday night.  She is also the one who put together the show, through her company Elliott Entertainment and Consulting Group, LLC, in what she hopes will be the first of many affordable showcases for local music.  She calls this go-around “Enter the Artmosphere Vol. I”.

E.D. Sedgwick is a four-piece band led by Dischord and Touch & Go records veteran Justin Moyer, whose previous band Supersystem helped put DC on the dance-punk map back in the Oughts when that music was a big thing in indie-rock-land, alongside acts like the Rapture, !!! and  LCD Soundsystem.   While Moyer has been performing under the E.D. Sedgwick name for many years now, with several CDs under his belt, his sound only in the last few years has taken its current shape, evolving from Moyer alone in the studio and on-stage (in drag with an iPod), to a four-piece, with jagged guitar bursts, rhythmic percussion rounded out by his unique speak/singing vocals and lyrics, interacting tightly with Wells’ up-front gospel/r&b inflected singing.  The E.D. Sedgwick live show is one of the funnest shows you might see in this city.  And it works on their recordings too, as Moyer is a master engineer – the last one, Love Gets Lovelier Every Day is a fine example of the current sound, and the next one, which is coming out in November on Dischord, should be even better.

N’Digo Rose & the Nekkid UndastandN is led by keyboardist/crooner Tony Hicks, whose 70s-influenced soul/R&B was a mainstay in U Street clubs, back when there were more clubs featuring local soul music, like Kaffa House, State of the Union and Metro Cafe.  Hicks’ vocals invoke a classic 70s style – think Stevie Wonder’s Innervisions – but his production is one of headphone-worthy atmospherics and texture.  Throw in a live show that has three backup singers, including Wells, and the house may come down Saturday with something as heart-felt and authentic as you would want from your local soul.

Hicks is reuniting with JoseFeen Wells and his two other singers from that period, Ginger Bleu and Deborah Bond, who is a well-known soloist in her own right.  Bond will be DJ-ing as well on Saturday.

As the organizer and nexus for a show that should be as diverse at it is funky, JosaFeen Wells is proud of her roster for this Saturday’s show, and proud to be singing in both.  Her roots are in the gospel church-singing of her childhood.  She is also a veteran of DC’s Go-Go scene, having performed with Lil Benny and the Go-Go All-Stars, Potential Groovers and Untouch.  She was also in a three-girl singing group that made it to Showtime at the Apollo, and, as Carla Elliott, she recorded vocals for some dance tracks for Rich Morel‘s “Pink Noise” project, that were unreleased.  While she was working as a singer for N’Digo Rose & Nekkid UndastandN, she met Justin Moyer, who was doing work with them as an engineer, and later joined E.D. Sedgwick. Continue reading