- The Washington Times - Monday, March 14, 2005

About Russia with love

“Afterplay,” running through April 17 at Studio Theatre, is a short work by the estimable Irish playwright Brian Friel, one of the few works he has written that’s not about the Irish and their troubles.

It’s also a coup of sorts for Joy Zinoman, the play’s director, who also is Studio’s founding artistic director.

After seeing the production in London, she immediately acquired the rights to it. “Afterplay,” focusing on two of Anton Chekov’s lost souls having a second chance in life, made its U.S. premiere at Studio’s Metheny Theatre Wednesday, starring two of Washington’s best known actors — Nancy Robinette and Edward Gero.

Mr. Friel had been scheduled to attend Sunday evening’s performance, but illness kept him home in Dublin, Miss Zinoman said during a reception immediately afterward that, in the spirit of the play’s script, featured tiny glasses of vodka.

Ann Geracimos

Garden of Edun

Bono may not be the next World Bank chief, but the U2 frontman has another sideline gig: hawking a new clothing line.

The singer has committed to raising awareness and interest in the new fashion brand Edun, a company that says it produces cool threads while providing sustainable employment and stable commercial relationships in the Third World.

Each pair of jeans is inscribed: “We carry the story of the people who make our clothes around with us.”

The collection (Edun is nude spelled backward) is co-designed by Bono’s wife, Ali Hewson, and Rogan, a designer with a penchant for organic fabrics.

“This is the fashion equivalent of mothers looking at the back of a can to see what exactly she’s going to feed to her kids,” Bono told Associated Press. “We’re answering a demand that’s just stirring.”

Double-O dead

Quentin Tarantino thinks James Bond is dead now that Pierce Brosnan has bowed out of the franchise.

According to the British Web site Ananova.com, the “Kill Bill” director said: “Once I heard Brosnan isn’t going to be doing any more Bond films, that killed it as far as I was concerned.

“Over the course of time, he’s really proven himself to me as the James Bond for this generation,” he added.

Mr. Tarantino has expressed interest in helming the remake of the 1967 Bond spoof “Casino Royale.”

“I would have liked to have done ‘Casino Royale’ with Pierce Brosnan,” Ananova.com quotes Mr. Tarantino as saying. (The film is proceeding without Mr. Tarantino and Mr. Brosnan.)

British actor Clive Owen is among the favorites to fill Mr. Brosnan’s shoes.

World’-class visit

Local author and Pulitzer Prize winner Edward P. Jones will be at the SEED charter school in Southeast this afternoon to visit Joey Starnes’ 12th-grade class and chat about Mr. Jones’ novel “The Known World.”

The drop-by is part of the PEN/Faulkner Writers in Schools program, which aims to boost literary interest among high schoolers.

Quintessence

Organizers of the 2005 Essence Music Festival plan to “party with a purpose” July 1 through 3 in the Louisiana Superdome.

The 11th annual festival will see the great Aretha Franklin joined by the likes of R&B; singer-pianist Alicia Keys, neo-soul singer John Legend and “American Idol” crooner Ruben Studdard.

Destiny’s Child, Kanye West, Teena Marie, Fantasia Barrino and Lionel Richie also are on the roster.

According to AP, the 2005 festival will kick off a yearlong celebration of the 35th anniversary of Essence magazine, a lifestyle publication geared toward black women.

Compiled by Scott Galupo from staff and wire reports.

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