- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 7, 2003

KenCen tidbits

Secretary of State Colin Powell made good on a promise he made — to imitate the dance moves of the legendary James Brown — during a Saturday evening soiree at the State Department.

“Who can forget his marvelous dance moves?” Mr. Powell asked, noting that generations of his family grooved to the Kennedy Center Honoree’s music.

“I was going to do some, but Alma (Mr. Powell’s wife) said no. She said I might embarrass myself and I might hurt myself.”

He did neither. And the veteran soldier was the hands-down winner on the morning-after applause-o-meter during yesterday’s traditional Kennedy Center Honors brunch, hosted by George and Elizabeth Stevens at the Westin Embassy Row Hotel.

Mr. Powell did the dance steps Mr. Brown — who, by the way, was also imitated last weekend on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” by presidential hopeful the Rev. Al Sharpton — became famous for and remained elegant while he was doing it, said Kennedy Center Trustee Mel Estrin.

“He really showed he knew the man and his music,” Mr. Estrin said.

In between bites of smoked salmon and Eggs Benedict, District of Columbia Arts Commissioner Dorothy McSweeny singled out Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg’s poignant tribute to Itzhak Perlman, while Mrs. Stevens recounted Nora Ephron’s hilarious introduction of Mike Nichols.

Meanwhile, during a separate Honors event on Saturday, more than a few heads turned when one photographer called Candice Bergen “Martha,” which didn’t sit well with the evening’s mistress of ceremonies… besides, it was Cybill Shepherd who played homemaking design guru Martha Stewart in the TV telepic, not the gorgeous Miss Bergen.

Others seen basking in the weekend’s heady glow included CBS’ Dan Rather, Dan Aykroyd, Patty Loveless, “Sex and the City’s” Kim Cattrall, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christine Baranski, Julie Andrews, Alan Alda, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Elaine May, Ron Silver and Sissy Spacek, who earned an Oscar for playing Loretta Lynn in the 1980 biopic “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” Miss Lynn, Mike Nichols and Itzhak Perlman.

By Kevin Chaffee and Christian Toto

By the numbers

While we’re on the subject…

If you think the array of superstars was dazzling, here’s an abbreviated look at what — and who — went into pulling off the dinner dance following last night’s Kennedy Center Honors gala (for an estimated 1,800 guests, no less), says Restaurant Associates, the District firm that catered the event:

m 580 pounds of prosciutto,

m 1,080 pounds of beef tenderloin,

m 86 quarts of cream,

m 240 butlers,

m and 16 bartenders

By Ann Geracimos

Cruise control praised

San Francisco Chronicle

Tom Cruise has been hailed an animal rights hero after impressing horse watchdogs on the set of his new movie “The Last Samurai.”

Officials from American Humane kept a close eye on the way horses were treated during huge battle sequences in the film — and they were so impressed with producer/star Cruise’s care, they sent him a letter thanking him for his efforts.

The movie star was so flattered he decided to reprint the letter during the final credits of the film — to make sure filmgoers realized no animals were harmed during the making of the film.

“You see it at the end of the film, the letter we received from them thanking us for how well we treated the horses,” Mr. Cruise said.

“No horses were injured, which is kind of stunning when you consider this film. They trained almost as long as I did. I love animals.”

A spokesman for American Humane says, “We wish that every celebrity would be as pro-active as Tom Cruise was regarding the treatment of the animals. He was amazing.”

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from staff and Web reports.

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