Friday, May 27, 2011

'How a Maniac TV Producer Put Down His BlackBerry'

Chris Licht Jenny Licht  Mika Brzezinski Joe Scarborough

Chris Licht is definitely a comeback kid. The former "Morning Joe" producer was joined by colleagues Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough for a book party at the Jefferson Hotel. 'What I Learned When I Almost Died: How a Maniac TV Producer Put Down His BlackBerry and Started to Live His Life' is a lesson for all of us.  See video here:

Bob Woodward and Tammy Haddad

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Making of 'The Last Mountain'

Bill Haney and Clara Bingham

Niteside would like to take credit for the theatrical sound of birds chirping in the background. However, unbeknownst to us, there was a storm brewing while Bill Haney and Clara Bingham talked about the making of The Last Mountain, which opens June 3.  Watch video here: 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

'The Last Mountain': Appalachia vs. Big Coal

Bobby Kennedy Jr. and Woody Harrelson

Actor Woody Harrelson was a surprise guest at D.C. premiere of "The Last Mountain" at E Street Cinema, also attended by Sens. Dennis Kucinich and Barbara Boxer, Director Bill Haney, and Bobby Kennedy Jr. who speaks out on West Virginia's struggle.  Link to video here:

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Young and The Guest List survived Doomsday predictions.

Victoria Michael Rebecca Cooper Mel Davis

"The Young and The Guest List" party, hosted by Washington Life on Friday night, energized 600 guests to party like there was no tomorrow in the event that preacher Harold Camping's end of the world came true.   View slideshow here:


Michelle Thomas El presents Mayor Gray Lizzie Award

by contributor Donna Shor

            For love of Covenant House and the homeless kids it serves, composer and showman Neil Berg created a magical evening of musical theatre in Anacostia, adding even more dollars to the $8 million he has already raised for this wide-ranging organization. It was held at THEARC theater at the Anacostia center.

Several Covenant House kids sang also.  Among the many tributes paid to their successes as they rebuild their lives was an especially moving monologue tapped out and sung by dynamic tapper Ted Lewis Levy.

The time and effort Berg has given is amazing for someone as busy as he is.  In addition to several musical and recording projects, he currently has two shows in development and is the composer for the Broadway-bound musical “Grumpy Old Men”, based on the Warner Brothers film with Jack Lemon and Walter Matthau.

District of Columbia Mayor Vincent C. Gray who served as the first Executive Director of Covenant House was honored for his work on behalf of the District’s children, through which, during his tenure as director, he established as it is today.

Rita Harvey, Ted Levy, Judith Terra, Neil Berg
 The Washington organization has centers throughout the city. There are, In addition, centers in almost 20 US cities and six foreign countries. Homeless and runaway youth are given health care, education, including prepping for GED and college exams and job readiness while providing a safe place to stay with caring staff and volunteers.

Mayor Gray was presented with a “Lizzie”, a sculpture based on a homeless girl photographed in Times Square in the mid-seventies. The young woman who made the presentation, Michelle Thomas, told a moving story of how Covenant House has turned her life around.

The evening’s Honorary Chairs were philanthropist Judith Terra and child-help activist Virginia Hayes Williams, who is the mother of former mayor Anthony Williams. Gala Co-Chairs were Linda Mercado Green, who serves on the board, Judy Greenberg and  developer Herbert Miller and his wife Patrice.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Washington glossy hosts "The Young and The Guest List"

Micky Farivar and Tommy McFly

by contributor Brendan Kownacki

Exclusivity reined as the District’s best and brightest turned out for Washington Life Magazine's "The Young and the Guest List" party; a mix of media, business and social stars from around the D.C. area who gathered to mingle and toast the under-40 influencers in the area.

Kelly Collis Phil Beshara and Zena Polin
“The list is a nice validation for the work that people do in this city” said Yeas and Nays columnist Nikki Schwab who is a first time addition to the list this year.  

News Channel 8's Laura Chavez shares a story with Nikki Schwab and Geoff Ryskamp
The annual list is a mix of leading politicians, chefs, business leaders, philanthropists and socialites. All gathered at the posh Longview Gallery where the crowd was treated to flowing champagne, a bubbly cover band and culinary creations from Chef RJ Cooper. 

Atmosphere courtesy of presenting sponsor Juicy Couture

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Young and The Guest List


Friday, May 20, 2011


Tricia Lilly and Victoria Michael  Photo by Judith Beerman
By contributor Donna Shor
Jeff Wilson’s not afraid of heights—in fact he loves them, especially when topped by a handsome penthouse.

He has a thing for penthouses and he made that clear at a celebration Tuesday night when, with the help of p.r. gal Victoria Michael, he launched his company “Life at the Top” dedicated to finding that just-right penthouse for each client.

Jeff’s doing this with the powerful help of an online database of area penthouses. It is so constantly updated that it includes “hidden” ones not yet listed on the market. Clients can painlessly glide through detailed views, noting amenities available and seeing complete information on properties they fancy.

The launch party was appropriately held in a prestigious penthouse, the art-filled home of Evelyn and Philip Avery. Evelyn has spent the last twenty years as an art dealer and guests wandered through the rooms enjoying the 250 paintings displayed on her walls, complete avec prices.

Barry Dixon and Evelyn Avery 
Photo by Judith Beerman

“I’ve just come into the twentieth century” said Evelyn, who is known as a specialist in 18th and 19th century art. “And now I’m doing today’s as well. I’ve become increasingly interested in contemporary Russian art, as well as the modern Europeans.”

One focus of attention at the party was a fellow southerner and longtime friend of Evelyn, interior designer Barry Dixon, with whom she has made annual buying trips to Europe. He held court on the home’s long balcony with its panoramic view sweeping from downtown Washington to the National Cathedral and beyond.

A much sought-after designer for many notable homes, personable Barry is the darling of the design magazines, a frequent lecturer on design matters, and a featured guest on TV and radio who is often profiled in print. Many questions focused on Elway, the remarkable home on his 4000-acre Warrenton property, where he lives and designs.

Wines by Raz Razvani and hors d’oeuvres by Hudson were appreciated by the guests, including interior designer Adrian Small, Sotheby’s Maggie Shannon, Linda Roth Conte, Robert Karz, CNN’s Edie Emery,  architect Christy Schlesinger, and famed portrait photographer Philip Bermingham..

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Newsbabes Bash for cancer

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and Amb. Nancy Brinker

 Newsbabes -- including Angie Goff, Lesli Foster and Andrea Roane -- turned out in force (and in pink) for the third annual Newsbabes Bash for Breast Cancer at the Fairmont Hotel. Wasserman-Schultz, the newly appointed DNC Chair, is herself a breast cancer survivor.
For slideshow click here:

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

'My Perestroika' Opens at West End Cinema

'My Perestroika' Opens at West End Cinema
Courtesy of Red Square Productions
In “My Perestroika,” the children romping behind the Iron Curtain seemed no different than children romping elsewhere. They seemed happy, well dressed, well fed. Is that because children are just innocently happy, or because propaganda is the political norm everywhere?

The documentary follows five ordinary Russians living in extraordinary times -- from their sheltered Soviet childhoods, to the collapse of the Soviet Union during their teenage years, to the constantly shifting political landscape of post-Soviet Russia.

Niteside caught up with director Robin Hessman to ask how propaganda figure into both cultures.  Click on link here:

Monday, May 16, 2011

An 'Innocent Spouse' Vs. the IRS

Bill Dunlap and Jim Kimsey
John Howard Joynt III wasn’t meant to live life the way the rest of us do. Like other trust fund types, his life seemed like a fairytale: a weekend house on the Chesapeake Bay, a sprawling home in the Virginia countryside and his very own popular watering hole called Nathans, a landmark in the heart of Georgetown.  

As his widow Carol describes it, “He was many things I was not: a child of money and privilege, casual about work but serious about living well.”

That lifestyle collapsed when Howard died unexpectedly in 1997. Soon after, Carol -- a former television producer -- became, legally, an "innocent spouse" when her husband's financial transgressions came to light.

Her new memoir follows her financial struggles and her battle with the IRS that socked her with a $3 million tax bill, making her a federal tax fraud defendant.  Read more here and watch the video:

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Week's Opinion Awards Dinner

Jonathan Capehart and Eugene Robinson

Sir Harold Evans, editor-at-large for The Week, chatted with Niteside before the 10th Anniversary Opinion Awards dinner. Awards went to Peggy Noonan, Columnist of the Year; John Sides &The Monkey Cage, Blogger of the Year; and Tom Toles of the Washington Post for Editorial Cartoonist of the Year. Click on video here:

Inside 'The Fund'

It was standing room only at Georgetown University for a panel to discuss banker H.T. Narea's debut thriller, "The Fund," which unmasks real threats to financial markets. Click on the video here:

Friday, May 13, 2011

CQ Press Launches 'First Street'

Steven Weber, Andrea Bowen, Rachel Leigh Cook, Wilmer Valderrama, Robin Bronk, John Jenkins, Gloria Reuben,
and Laura Innes

Onlookers and autograph hounds lined the streets in front of Art and Soul where the Creative Coalition joined forces with CQ Press for the launch of First Street, a new tool for lobbyists and policymakers. It was a boot camp with Capitol Hill's most significant influence peddlers to learn about the relationships between elected officials and lobbyists.  Click on video here:

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Author Carol Joynt Discusses New Book, "Innocent Spouse"

Carol Joynt
When Emmy-winning network news producer Carol Joynt's husband of 20 years, Howard, owner of the popular watering hole Nathan's, died, she was left to clean up an unexpected mess. She went on to host the Q&A Cafe, interviewing hundreds of notable guests. She takes Niteside through the process of writing her first book. "Santa was very good to me. He came early", she dished to Niteside. "He put a page from my memoir, "Innocent Spouse," up on, which was a moment of hyperventilating joy alone in my bedroom when I discovered that."  Click here:

Monday, May 09, 2011

World Premiere of ‘The Conspirator’

Cast members Evan Rachel Wood, James McAvoy, , and Tom Wilkinson   
f you think you know everything about the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, you’re in for a surprise.

The world premiere of “The Conspirator” opened at Ford’s Theatre where throngs of onlookers cheered the cast on in front of what was the Peterson Boarding House, where Lincoln died the morning after he was shot.

“The fact that nobody knows about this and it’s tied to an event that everybody knows about is a movie worth telling,” said actor-director . “Stories that people don’t know about always appeal to me – the story that everybody thinks they know about but [they] don’t; that was the real reason for doing the film.”

The center of the film revolves around Mary Surratt (played by ), who was wrongfully hanged for her role in the assassination plot while protecting her son. “I have to be aligned in that feeling that you have this undying will to protect your kids,” she said. “It’s a movie about two human beings coming to an understanding of each other’s side. It’s about a mother and her love for her child. She was just being a mother.”

plays Lincoln’s Secretary of War Edwin Stanton. “I didn’t know this chapter in history,” Klein said. “We know about Lincoln’s assassination, [but] I didn’t know there were so many people involved. Klein recalled the adage that history is written by the victors and that the history most people learn in high school isn’t the complete story. “Read Howard Zinn’s book, A People’s History of The United States. There’s always a story behind the story, and that’s what this film is about.”

Being in the real setting, it was easy to envision the pandemonium that took place on that fateful evening as cabinet members, doctors and generals gathered in horror and disbelief after the shooting.

Kevin Kline

All's Well that Ends Well.

Will (Shakespeare) on the Hill
photo by Kevin Allen
The Honorable Ian Liddell-Grainger MP is the great-great-great grandson of Queen Victoria, which in the order of British lineage makes him 339th in the line of succession to the British throne -- but who’s waiting? 

The member of the Parliament for Bridwater and West Somerset was chatting about the royal wedding at a reception before the performance of Will on the Hill, Shakespeare Theatre Company’s annual celebration.

Niteside didn’t miss the opportunity to ask the MP about the recent nuptials. “I’m related to Queen Victoria,” he said noting that the whole thing was great for England, a romantic revival of sorts. 

Oh, and he also owns a castle, as most lineaged Brits do. He was joined in the lobby by Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss,) and Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), while the more nervous cast members were rehearsing their lines backstage, some for the first time.  For full column click here:

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Camping on the National Mall? Black Tie required.

Rep. Aaron Schock and friends
by contributor Brendan Kownacki

Crowds from across Washington flocked to a giant tent on the National Mall on Saturday evening, dressed to the nines, to support and celebrate the L’Enfant Society and their fund-raising efforts for the Trust for the National Mall.

One aloof taxi driver asked what all the commotion was about, to which one quirky guest replied, “We’re all going camping”—and what a camping trip that would have been. With the moon high in the sky and the illuminated Capitol building just off in the distance, more than 1000 attendees gathered to support the group whose core mission is to restore and improve the National Mall. The organization has raised more than $700,000 to date in support of the Trust for the National Mall, which builds awareness for the current state of the country’s most visited national park and raises funds to respectfully refurbish its grounds and facilities.

L'Enfant Society 2011 chairman David Vennett with The Washington Times' Emily Miller
Microsoft's Mark Drapeau and Katherine Kennedy
“We’re getting the recognition we’ve been building towards,” said David Vennett, 2011 chairman of the L’Enfant Society. “We want to educate people on the need for what has to be done. You cannot come onto this space and not be affected by it.”

Thanks in part to Vennett and his fellow board members, the society has already blown past last year’s fund-raising level and continues to receive generous support for their efforts. “We have a wide and diverse group supporting us,” added Vennett, “members of congress, civic leaders, celebrities…and it’s only expanding.”

Congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL) who serves as the Honorary Congressional Chairman for the effort,  was on hand for the event. “It's not just for those who use it,” noted Schock, who sees the National Mall every day as he goes to and from Capitol Hill. “It’s a Statement for how we value America's pride.” He added, explaining that restoring this landmark was an important project for the country. 

Amanda and Curtis Polk
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced this week that former First Lady Laura Bush would serve as the honorary chair for fund-raising efforts to restore the National Mall, hoping to bring new momentum to the already flourishing fund-raising drive. The cause has already caught the attention of high profile media such as Jon Stewart who hosted a rally on the mall with fellow comedian Stephen Colbert in late 2010. Stewart solicited donations for the Trust for the National Mall to make sure that there were funds to clean up any lasting effect of the crowds that he drew. 
Pamela Sorensen and friends

Matt Kownacki and Kate Michael

“The President has pledged his support to the cause and now with Mrs. Bush joining the cause, we feel we’re armed with great power and interest from the right people.” Said L’Enfant board member Pamela Sorensen.

Venga's Winston Lord and the Washington Kastle's Mark Ein flank friends

Supporters mingled and danced on the warm spring night, basking in the unmistakable Washington atmosphere with monuments in view on all sides. As Sorensen reminded us “this is America’s front yard.” 

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

"I had cancer and lived to talk about it." Fran Drescher

Fran Drescher

Fran Drescher tells us about her fight with cancer, the late Elizabeth Edwards, and hosting tonight's Modus Union Fashion Show to benefit research and awareness. Click on video here:

MSNBC After Party Bash with Sarah Palin



WJLA's Rebecca Cooper

Inside Look: MSNBC's Correspondents' Dinner After-Party

Sarah Palin does it again. Was she the most popular guest in the room at the MSNBC besides Sean Penn? You Betcha!

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Capitol File kicks it up a notch at the After Party

Jason Binn with Modern Family's Ariel WInter and 30 Rock's Jack McBrayer
by contributor Brendan Kownacki

A mix of Washington Insiders and Hollywood elite mixed to celebrate with Niche Media and Capitol File Magazine after the 2011 White House Correspondent's Dinner.

Niche Media chairman Jason Binn worked the room, greeting guests and posing with the starlets as they raised a glass to the White House press corps. The event, hosted at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center had an earthy spring d├ęcor peppered with the elegance of ball gowns and bow-ties.

Guests mixed and mingled, dancing and sipping champagne as they tried to catch a glimpse of their favorite star in the exclusive VIP lounge sponsored by Bing. Attorney General Eric Holder made his rounds in the room and posed with Glee cast member Chris Colfer. Also spotted working the room were Jason Biggs and 30 Rock’s Jack McBrayer who were actively involved with the Creative Coalition’s activities surrounding the White House dinner.

Biggs stopped to chat about his favorite Washingtonian that he saw, as did Gossip Girl’s Michelle Trachtenberg and Curb Your Enthusiasm’s Cheryl Hines; who each wracked their brains trying to come up with their favorite member of Congress. Jeremy Piven picked out Barney Frank as his favorite, meanwhile (future) voter Angus T. Jones took a safer route saying “I can’t pick favorites, I love them all.”

The room was buzzing over Donald Trump and the possibility that he could run for president in 2012 after the roast full of jokes that President Obama served up during the dinner in light of the birth certificate controversy. Trump, who was not in attendance at the after party, had people’s attention with thoughts of what a Correspondents' Association Dinner would be like during a Trump administration. When asked if she would return for a dinner with ‘President’ Trump—Cheryl Hines emphatically said “I’ll serve him dinner.”

Now that, we would have to see.

Photos by Brendan Kownacki, reporting for Hollywood On the Potomac. Clink on slide-show here: 

A Peek inside the WHCAD with The Donald

Melania and Donald Trump with Lally Weymouth

The Donald was all smiles at the WHCAD reception as guest of the Washington Post. At dinner, however, that wasn't 'The Sound of Music' you were hearing. That was the sound of The Donald being shredded.  Click link here:

Sarah Palin steals the show at Haddad Brunch

Chris and Lorraine Wallace with First Dude and Sarah Palin

Click here for slide show:

2011 Annual Haddad Brunch

Sasrah Palin and Greta van Susteren

Sarah Palin may have turned heads at the annual brunch, but David and Susan Axelrod and Wendy Murdoch turned hearts and minds to the cause of curing epilepsy.  Link here:

Capitol File After Party Bash

Michelle Trachtenberg from Gossip Girl
By contributor Brendan Kownacki

A mix of Washington Insiders and Hollywood elite mixed to celebrate with Niche Media and Capitol File Magazine after the 2011 White House Correspondent's Dinner.  Video link here:

Monday, May 02, 2011

Sarah Palin steals the show at Haddad Brunch

But Susan and David Axelrod steal the hearts and minds of the guests with a little help from Wendy and Rupert Murdock as David speaks out on Epilespsy:

Bristol Pops up at St. Regis party

Bristol Pops Up at St. Regis Party
Bristol Palin surrounded by Greta van Sustern and John Coales
Guests at the Time, CNN, People and Fortune party at the St. Regis on Friday night were all atwitter about the attendance of Bristol Palin... although some confused her with one of the Kardashian sisters.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Here's looking at you kid.

CEO & Chairman of the MPAA Chris Dodd

It would have taken a Herculean effort to transport the 16 pound goodie bag offered to guests at the Time, CNN, People, Fortune party at The St. Regis over to The MPAA soiree only a block away, so most guests doing the duel event cabbed it.

Former Senator Chris Dodd, newly appointed Chairman and CEO of The Motion Picture Association of America, held an intimate and elegant party to jump-start his new career.  He replaces Dan Glickman, Former Secretary of Agriculture under President Clinton, who replaced veteran MPAA head Jack Valenti. 

Hollywood’s chief lobbyist had the support of big time donors Barbara Streisand, Sony's Howard Stringer and Time Warner's Jeffrey Bewkes during his presidential bid, so we expect he’ll earn his salary.

Seen: Wolff and Lynn Blitzer, Senator Patrick Leahy, Nicole Boxer, Soroush and Nancy Bagley Shehabi, Ann Compton and Greta van Susteren with spouse John Coales, sans the Palins.

Nicole Boxer Mary Ann Akers and Michael Isikoff  

John Coales and Bill Press

Gwen Ifill and Karen Tumulty

You load sixteen pounds and what do you get?

Fox New's Greta van Susteren and husband John Coales with Bristol Palin

Country crooner Tennessee Ernie Ford would have been impressed by the goodie bag from the People Magazine party at the St. Regis on Friday night, although Ford’s magic number was 16 tons.

So what did you get?  Scroll down and take a peek inside.

Guests were all a twitter about Bristol Palin, some even confusing her with one of the Kardashian sisters.  Surrounded by the ever Palin presence of Fox New’s Greta van Susteren and spouse John Coales, she was sweet, but not talking...........about anything that one may want to talk to her about.

Lorraine and Chris Wallace

Dannia Hakki and Tara Palmeri

Donna Brazile 

Goodie bag