Military Brass Serve TAPS; Folger’s Quiz: Scene in D.C.

Folger Gala
Representative John Dingell, Michigan Democrat, admires the Shakespearean artifacts in the Great Hall of the Folger Library. Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

Anyone who “aspires to leadership” should read Shakespeare’s “Henry V,” according to Representative Rush Holt, the New Jersey Democrat.

“It’s a little militaristic, but you gotta love it.”

Holt, along with British Ambassador Peter Westmacott, reflected on the writer’s works last night at the gala for the Folger Shakespeare Library, the world’s largest collection of things Bardish.

The gala co-chairmen, David and Margaret Gardner, posed in front of the library’s statue of the character Puck, inscribed with words from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

During the cocktail reception in the library’s Great Hall, Representative John Dingell, the Michigan Democrat, said “Hamlet” was his favorite Bard work. His wife, Debbie Dingell, vice chairman of General Motors Foundation Inc., was “at home with President Obama,” helping him campaign in Michigan, the congressman said.

Gala committee member Edward Leahy, who’s on the law faculty at Oxford University, said he favored “Macbeth,” while Francis Wahlgren, the international department head and senior vice president for printed books and manuscripts at Christie’s, admired the library’s prized possession, a 1623 First Folio, the first collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays.

After the cocktail hour, guests made their way into the Elizabethan theater for the evening’s entertainment: “Wait, Wait, Forsooth!” -- a parody of the NPR show “Wait Wait ... Don’t Tell Me.” Holt and other guests were quizzed on their Bard knowledge.

A filet mignon dinner was served to the more than 200 guests in the library’s Gail Kern Paster Reading Room. The evening raised over $200,000.


The Mellon Auditorium glowed with red, white and blue decorations and military officers in full dress regalia.

On Tuesday night, the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors Honor Guard Gala gave General James F. Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps, its Military Award. Fellow Marines greeted him like a rock star when he arrived with his wife, Bonnie.

Secretary of the Navy Raymond Mabus, himself a former Naval officer, was among the 600 military personnel and civilians present who helped raise more than $1 million for TAPS, which offers support to the families of fallen soldiers.

Steven Schorer, president of DynCorp International LLC, a sponsor of the evening, joined members of congress who included Joe Heck, a military physician in the Army Reserves and a Nevada Republican. Norm Dicks, the Washington Democrat, was given the TAPS Congressional Award.

Lawrence Prior, the executive vice president of BAE Systems PLC, another sponsor, talked to Jim Bennett, whose son, U.S. Marine Corps Lance Corporal Daniel Bennett, was killed in Afghanistan in 2009.

(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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