Now before you think I’m going all Freddy Mercury on you… let me explain. No, let me sum up… another item is crossed off my bucket list. I saw a play at the Kennedy Center.
Actually, I would have gone to anything as long as it was at the Ken Cen – a play, an opera, a concert, or on a pizza delivery run. It didn’t matter. But I was treated to a fantastic evening, courtesy of Holland Taylor’s portrayal of Governor Ann Richards. The venue and the performance – both were just awe inspiring.
My cousin and I took the most logical route to the Kennedy Center – Metro. The trains have never failed me in any of my trips to DC. This time, heading into town was fine, but heading out was… let’s just say I’ll need another post to cover that trip. But as far as the Kennedy Center goes, I never realized how accessible this entertainment venue really is. Take the train to Foggy Bottom and you are greeted with a shuttle bus that takes you to the front door, which is a major blessing to those of us who would rather not drive in downtown DC or any other large city. We boarded the bus, arrived within 10 minutes at the door, picked up our tickets from Will-Call, and were in our seats in plenty of time for the curtain. We sat in the balcony of the Eisenhower Theater and were able to see and hear everything; there was not a bad seat in the entire house.
At intermission, I was able to enjoy the full experience of the Kennedy Center’s majestic appearance. The Hall of Nations was where we first entered the center. We went through the Hall to the Foyer that overlooks the Potomac River. The foyer boasted the most beautiful chandeliers I’ve ever seen. (These lights must be at least 3 stories high and am I thankful I don’t have to clean them.) In the very center of the Foyer, we saw the bust of John F. Kennedy, a rather imposing sculpture. It showed a rugged depiction of a man who wanted to appear rugged in spite of some of his physical difficulties. The rugged quality seemed almost out of place in an arts emporium such as the Center, until you realize the dichotomy of the man. The late President was someone who could appreciate both the arts and the outdoors.
We saw “Ann”, a one-woman play written by and starring Holland Taylor (Mom from “Two and a Half Men). Ms. Taylor brought Governor Richards to life in a way no one but her closest friends knew. But, folks, that is the stuff for another review! I could go on and on about how great the play was, but this is one you have to see for yourself. The show just closed in the DC-Metro area. I’m not sure where it’s headed next, but I’m sure it will land on the boards of Broadway to stellar reviews and, hopefully, many awards.
In checking further on the Kennedy Center website, www.kennedy-center.org, I found that the center is a very popular tourist destination and educational center. Since its conception by President Eisenhower, to the ground breaking in 1965, to its opening in 1971, to the present day, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts draws performers in all aspects of the arts. It’s the home of the National Symphony Orchestra, the Washington National Opera, the Suzanne Farrell Ballet, and the KC Jazz Club. International arts festivals have a home here. Lecturers have a home here. Pops performers like Wayne Brady and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy have a home here. To top that, each day the Millennium Theater offers a performance at 6 pm that is free to all. So we all have a home here at the Kennedy Center.
My first visit will definitely not be my last. One day soon, I’ll venture down as a pure tourist and take one of the guided tours offered every 10 minutes. I’ll take pictures of the place this time and I’ll probably stop at the Gift Shop, too. (hey, wouldn’t be a tourist if I didn’t!) I’ll try to be there at sunset, to see the sun shine over the Potomac and cast late rays on those fabulous Foyer chandeliers. I’ll be the one sitting in the Foyer just taking in the creative energy and inspiration. See you there!