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True Colors: Cyndi Lauper’s serious side shines through at Heroes of Hope event.(Chris Pizzello/AP)

Where Shakespeare Meets the Hill

What do William Shakespeare and Capitol Hill have in common? Once a year they come together in artistic harmony at the annual Will on the Hill benefit.

On Monday night, Sidney Harman Hall will be buzzing as members of Congress are joined by journalists, politicos, and actors on stage for a performance of Peter Byrne’s original play Speak the Speech, I Pray You!


Some of those who are expected to be on hand to flex their acting muscles include National Journal’s own Major Garrett; Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss.; Reps. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., Gerald Connolly, D-Va., Susan Davis, D-Calif., Ted Deutch, D-Fla., Donna Edwards, D-Md., Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., Michael Grimm, R-N.Y., Rick Larsen, D-Wash., Jim McDermott, D-Wash., Mike McIntyre, D-N.C., Frank Pallone, D-N.J., Tom Petri, R-Wis., Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, Jared Polis, D-Colo., Peter Roskam, R-Ill., and Peter Welch, D-Vt.; and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C. Don’t let the amateur cast members scare you away; there will be professionals on stage, too—Emmy Award-winner Richard Schiff and Tony Award-nominee Veanne Cox.

The curtain rises at 7:30 p.m. Performance-only tickets are no longer available, but you can get your name on the wait list by calling the box office at (202) 547-1122. Dying to get in on the fun? You can snag yourself a VIP ticket and partake in a special cocktail reception at 6:30 p.m. and buffet dinner following the performance at 8:30 p.m. VIP tickets run $250 and can be purchased by contacting All proceeds from the event will support the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s education and community-engagement programs. For more information about Will on the Hill, visit

Meals for Moms

Mother’s Day is just around the corner. You can help celebrate moms and other special women on Tuesday afternoon by joining actresses Linda Gray from Dallas and Linda Evans from Dynasty at the Meals on Wheels Association of America’s Meals for Moms event.


Members of Congress, their staffs, and House and Senate employees are invited to stop by the Cannon Caucus Room in the Cannon House Office Building from noon to 3 p.m. to learn more about Meals on Wheels and its Meals for Moms initiative. Participants will be able to sign special Mother’s Day greeting cards that will be hand-delivered by Meals on Wheels staff to homebound senior women along with a nutritious meal.

Butterflies for Lupus

Spring has sprung in D.C., and on Tuesday night it’s all about the butterflies—the Lupus Foundation of America’s Butterfly Gala, that is.

The ninth annual gala will celebrate the power of hope and the individuals who have served as champions for those suffering from lupus. The event will honor Surgeon General Regina Benjamin and Reps. William Keating, D-Mass., Jim Moran, D-Va., Tom Rooney, R-Fla., and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla. Author and journalist Lee Woodruff will serve as master of ceremonies for the event, which will feature a performance by The X-Factor runner-up Josh Krajclk. Expect the honorary congressional committee cochairmen, Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., and Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., to be on hand as well.

Tickets start at $500, with proceeds going toward Lupus Foundation programs, research, and advocacy. The event will be held at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium. It starts at 6 p.m. with a butterfly reception, followed by dinner, program, and award presentations at 7 p.m.


For more information, visit or call (202) 349-1171.

Heroes of Hope

Sometimes “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” but on Wednesday, singer Cyndi Lauper will be showing her “True Colors” by serving as the National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day national event honorary chairwoman.

On Wednesday night, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will give Lauper a special-recognition award at the Heroes of Hope event for Lauper’s work with her True Colors Fund and the True Colors Residence.

The free event is open to the public and starts at 7:30 p.m. at George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium. For more information, visit

More Than Just Military Movies

Fancy a flick? Be sure to check out next week’s GI Film Festival. Running May 14-20, the annual event will feature 42 screenings and a few Hollywood stars.

In addition to the movies, there are plenty of special events during the week:

On May 14, former presidential candidate H. Ross Perot will be honored for his lifelong support of the military at a red-carpet screening, awards ceremony, and three-course dinner catered by Wolfgang Puck at the Newseum.

On May 15, a special congressional reception will honor Vietnam veterans. Reps. Geoff Davis, R-Ky., and Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif., will deliver keynote presentations, and actor Joe Mantegna will be given the GI Spirit award.

Wheel of Fortune’s Pat Sajak will be on hand May 16 at the Canadian Embassy to honor the international warrior spirit.

On May 18, it’s time for the Salute to Military Spouses, and actors Brian McNamara and Sally Pressman from Army Wives will receive an award.
Tickets for the GI Film Festival start at $12 for a single-screening ticket. There are also $50 weekend passes and $250 full-festival passes available for purchase. For more information, visit

This article appears in the May 7, 2012 edition of NJ Daily.

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