Get local news delivered straight to your phone
Support City Paper!
A transplanted Brooklynite, my dad never blended into the social landscape of the small town where I grew up—which for the most part circled around hunting (anything larger than a field mouse). He tried hard, perfecting a yokel accent and refusing to bring our fleet of used cars to the mechanic for repairs. I remember combing junkyards for spare auto parts; my father leaning into the engine of a rusty steel cadaver, his half-exposed ass inciting laughter as I gazed at the surrounding wreckage. In retrospect, those beautifully mauled ’82 Datsuns and ’86 Chevys bear a striking resemblance to the classic movies of the same decade: ill-designed, dated, and cool precisely because they mock modern sleekness. Actor Andrew McCarthy emerged from that enchanted scrap heap in 1985’s brat-packed St. Elmo’s Fire. He plays a wannabe journalist, one of seven Georgetown grads on the precipice of real life. Incestuously screwing one another, they screw up their friendships only to (surprise!) end up stronger friends by the time the credits roll. Somehow, McCarthy beat the tacky ’80s epidemic that still plagues other St. Elmo’s flameouts such as Emilio Estevez. This month finds McCarthy back in D.C., picking through the debris of his parents’ past as the front man in the Tony Award-winning Side Man. Listen to man-in-motion McCarthy spout off about his craft at 6 p.m. at the Kennedy Center’s XXX. $XX. (202) 467-4600. (Dan Gilgoff)