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Scene in D.C.: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Sebelius, Podesta

Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Photographer: Kris Connor/Getty Images
Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Photographer: Kris Connor/Getty Images

Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who plays a harried vice-president in the new HBO series “VEEP,” had a penchant for comedy early in life.

“We were always trying to out-funny each other,” said her Holton-Arms School classmate Kelly Baker, the president of Washington Analytical Group, at a screening of “VEEP” last night.

“We were kind of nerds,” she added. “We were not the cool girls.”

Meanwhile, Louis-Dreyfus worked the red carpet at the U.S. Institute of Peace in lacy curve-hugging black. Her co-star Anna Chlumsky, who portrays her resilient chief of staff, wore pink.

Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, also in pink, chatted with Anne Shields, a board member of American Rivers, while CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer stayed close to the buffet tables featuring bite-sized duck hors d’oeuvres.

Fish and chips was the appetizer across town at the home of Peter Westmacott, British ambassador to the U.S., who was hosting a reception for the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery’s 25th anniversary.

Westmacott’s wife, Susie, has a personal connection to the gallery -- she worked as a curatorial assistant there when it opened in 1987.

Anniversary Gala

The Westmacotts were joined by Tony Podesta, the founder of the Podesta Group, and AOL co-founder Jim Kimsey, as well as art dealer Ann Nitze and arts patron Susan Pillsbury, who will serve as co-chairs of the gallery’s gala on Nov. 29.

Julian Raby, the director of the gallery, posed under the house’s famous Warhol portrait of the Queen with the nattily-attired journalist Roland Flamini and Jeffrey Cunard from the firm Debevoise & Plimpton LLP.

Although the ambassador was in high spirits for his guests, he and his wife recently laid to rest their beloved cat. He explained they are thinking about getting a small dog, perhaps a Westie, “but we don’t like to talk about it, because we’re still in mourning.”

(Stephanie Green is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)

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