We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
Trend pieces may insist that Georgetown is sooooo over in terms of its late-night bar scene, but damnit if we don’t still enjoy watching the movements and political machinations of the neighborhood’s hostesses. Anthony Giardina’s latest play, The City of Conversation, doubles down on that supposition, taking audiences through the years with Hester Ferris, a liberal, well-connected string-puller who invites ideological opposites into her living room to discuss the issues of the day. From the Carter years through two Bush adminstrations and into Obama’s historic election, Hester sees her gatherings evolve, but her world is truly rocked when her new, conservative daughter-in-law threatens to dismantle everything Hester has built over the decades. Just to make sure the play feels extra insidery, Giardina revealed in an essay written during the play’s 2014 production at Lincoln Center that the action was based in part on a New Yorker essay lamenting the end of this kind of socializing written by none other than Sidney Blumenthal. It’s impossible to escape the business of politics in this town, so embrace the play’s humor. A night at the theater beats a happy hour spent watching CNN in a crowded bar. The play runs Jan. 29 to March 6 at Arena Stage, 1100 6th St. SW. $55–$90. (202) 554-9066. arenastage.org.