Author Archive for Benjamin R. Freed

Gray Proposes Popcorn Tax Along With Major Overhaul to Film Incentive Program

Earlier this afternoon the Washington Business Journal reported that Mayor Vincent Gray is proposing a new vehicle to help finance the Office of Motion Picture and Television Development's longterm goal of enticing a movie theater chain to build a multiplex east of the Anacostia River. In legislation introduced in the D.C. Council by Chairman Kwame [...]

Arts Roundup: Charitable Bacon (We Wish) Edition

Joel Osteen Has a Traffic Delay:'s Jenny Rogers spent Monday tailing Joel Osteen, the charismatic megachurch pastor from Texas, who was in town for a book signing (The Purpose-Driven Something-or-Other) and to scout Nationals Ballpark for a prayer rally to be held next April. Osteen's cadre of handlers were supposed to give Rogers a [...]

How a Former Obama Speechwriter Landed a Sitcom Deal

Jon Lovett, who recently left his gig as a White House speechwriter, recently landed a pilot deal with NBC for 1600 Penn, a sitcom about a president and his or her dysfunctional family as they bumble their way through the business of the nation. The following is a spec script adapted from Lovett's pitch [...]

Does Shear Madness Really Hook People on Live Theater?

For last week's issue of Washington City Paper, I reported an oral history of the Kennedy Center's long-running production of Shear Madness. One of the topics that emerged in several interviews I conducted was the play's suggested ability to create new theatergoers from its attendees, many of whom, as students on school field trips, are seeing a professional theater [...]

Arts Roundup: Return of the Bubble Edition

Same Collaborators, New Living Quarters: The Pittsburgh-based artist Agnes Bolt, who earlier this year spent a week camped inside a bubble inside Philippa Hughes' living room, returns this weekend with a new exhibit—this one at the Project 4 Gallery on U Street NW—that features more personal information from the Pink Line Project leader. Over at [...]

Arch Campbell on His Old Beat

For the current issue of Washington City Paper, I reported an oral history of the Kennedy Center's long-running production of Shear Madness. After the play's creators, actors, and the couple who married at the show, perhaps no one is more associated with Shear Madness than WJLA-TV entertainment critic Arch Campbell. Campbell, then working for WRC-TV, saw Shear Madness in [...]

The Shear Madness Couple’s Elusive Mixed Drink

For this week's issue, I reported an oral history of the Kennedy Center's longrunning production of Shear Madness. Among the stories I collected was the wedding of Kathy Clark and Bradley Rosenberg, who were married Aug. 12, 1999 during a performance of the show. But their love for Shear Madness didn't end there. Not long after, they [...]

Shear Madness’ Stage Antics

For this week's issue, I reported an oral history of the Kennedy Center's longrunning production of Shear Madness. Among the people I talked to was Kim Peter Kovac, who today is the producer and director of the Theater for Young Audiences Program. Back in 1987, Kovak was the production manager of the Theater Lab, a [...]

Arts Roundup: Pledge Drive Edition

Dirt, Styrofoam, Other Stuff: Pink Line Project breaks down the Flashpoint Gallery's current exhibit "Site Aperture," to which artists Talia Greene, Mia Feuer, Margaret Boozer, and Mariah Anne Johnson contributed very different elements. Greene's leafy pattern on the gallery's back wall was painted in coffee; Boozer's vein of rubble running through the room is the soil [...]

Arts Roundup: I’d Rather Be in California, Too Edition

No Lens Flares Here: Odd angles, stark contrasts, bleeding edges—we could be talking about a Darrow Montgomery gallery, although in this case it's WaPo art critic Philip Kennicott previewing the National Gallery of Art's new exhibit marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of photographer Harry Callahan. Kennicott writes: "It’s a small miracle that no matter [...]