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People, Parties and Praise

Getting Around

With Santa Claus’s visit just around the corner, actress Joan Collins attacked the prevalent description, “the old man in a red suit,” with vehemence. She certainly didn’t mention Santa specifically, but the elderly in general. “Aging is a horrible word,” she recently told a gathering at the National Press Club. “I truly believe you are as young as you look and feel,” she added.

The 73-year-old actress (and author) would certainly get no argument from Mr. Claus as he prepares to make his annual visit, and few would disagree with the glamorous Ms. Collins who was in town co-starring in the recent run of “Legends” at the National Theatre.

The keynote speaker at the club’s weekly luncheon/speaker gatherings, Collins, and several others, shared the head table with Potomac resident Lynda Carter, a.k.a. “Wonder Woman“, a special guest of Collins.

“I don’t really believe in chronological age … or that an individual’s worth should be judged by the year they were born,” the very trim actress asserted. Her philosophy certainly rang true, when, during a question-and-answer period following her lengthy speech on the subject of aging, she was asked about the three-decade age difference between her and her (fifth) husband, producer Percy Gibson.

“Ask him,” she replied, with a gesture toward where Gibson was seated at the head table. However, she immediately followed up with, “It doesn’t matter a jot to him, and it doesn’t matter to me either. So, if he dies he dies.”

Gibson responded, “When you are married to someone who is as beautiful as Joan Collins you deal with it just fine.”

The British-born actress said she came to Hollywood when she was 20 years old (“However long ago that was,” she offered.) and made ten movies in six years.

Quick to reply to many extemporaneous questions from the luncheon group, she was cut off at the pass by Lynda Carter when asked what advice would she give Republicans following the recent election results. “Get out of town,” Carter volunteered from the head table.

Wonder Woman also had some advice for National Press Club members. Glancing at her place card she quipped, “It’s the National Press Club, you would think they could spell my name right!” A post-luncheon check on the place card read, “Linda Carter.”

NUNSENSE

It was a no-nonsense cast that tackled this extremely funny production of the Ron Sarro-directed “Nunsense” recently staged by the Potomac Theatre Company.

The cast party given at Nan and Manning Muntzing’s Potomac home following last Sunday’s final performance (Nan was the pianist for the production, throughout weeks of practice as well as the performances) had to be a bit of a letdown for the six member cast and its director.

“I’m a little sad it‘s all over,” Sarro admitted. “It’s been a close group and a lot of work,” he said. The work apparently paid off. Many who saw the production agreed it was superb. Word of mouth must have spread throughout the community. The final weekend of the show drew the best attendance record ever according to Potomac Theatre President Ruby Wingate.

Cast members of the musical included Patricia Groisser, Erin Cassell, Lee Michele Rosenthal, Aetna Thompson, Marsha Coder and Steve Deming.

The cast sang and danced (including tap) their way through the musical with professional expertise, delighting the audience. Sister Mary Amnesia, a.k.a. Marsha Coda, taught herself ventriloquism so adroitly that most of the audience thought it was recorded.

MEN'S NIGHT OUT

“It’s going to be the best food, best drinks and best gifts for their best ladies,” declared Kay Titus, manager of The Surrey, when asked about the 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Dec. 15, Men’s Night at The Surrey, Potomac.

Promising to have a good party and ease the tribulations of shopping, The Surrey elves will box and bow gifts ready for presentation. No mall hassle and convenient parking, including space behind the shop at 10107 River Road. “Let’s party” Titus said.

SURPRISE FOR PAT

“She gives so much to everyone else,” Gail Ewing remarked about her friend Pat Cornish.

More than 50 people sharing this sentiment let it be known at a party honoring Cornish, past president of National Business and Professional Women.

Hosted by six close friends including former Montgomery County Councilwoman Ewing; Doris Eckelbarger, who came from her Pennsylvania home; Susan Horst, the creator of the menu’s sumptuous devils food and German chocolate cakes; Ruby Aridi, Flo Finlayson and Susan Christen, the Dec. 2 tribute came as a complete surprise to Cornish. “Everyone came early and parked their cars way up the street,” said Ewing, at whose Potomac home the event was held.

A 40-year Potomac resident, Pat Cornish is past president of the Bethesda and the Montgomery County Business and Professional Women organizations. Many who joined the tribute know her through these groups, including Dawn Stiles, now a Michigan resident; Susan Christen who came from Florida, and Lorraine Gicas, whose husband Nick accompanied her, driving down from their New Jersey home.

Proclamations from Maryland Sen. Sharon Grosfeld and County Executive Doug Duncan were presented, the latter by Judy Vaughn-Prather, Montgomery County executive director of Commission For Women.

Others on hand to partake of a feast of roast beef, turkey and seemingly zillions of veggie casseroles concocted by Ewing, included Discovery Vice President Evelyne Steward and Bernice Grossman, former executive director of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce who is now associated with Montgomery College.

Cornish’s two daughters. Christine Simon and Wendy Rader were able to make it, but her son Scott, now living with his family in Kalispell, Mont. was there only in spirit. “He sent a video that included all of the grandchildren lined up on the couch telling all the good things they know about Grandma,” Cornish said.

“I’m still smiling,” she remarked.

ON THE LIST

The Washington Business Journal stated, “It is a remarkable list of women.” The story was referring to 25 Washington area women, chosen from “hundreds of nominations” who were named 2006 Women Who Mean Business.

Allison Cryor DiNardo was among the 25 recipients of this honor presented at a recent reception and dinner at Four Seasons Hotel, Washington. Cryor is president of two companies, Carroll Wireless and Barat Wireless. Both companies buy and develop wireless spectrum for later use by wireless customers.

The women honored represent every industry and profession and are considered the area’s most influential women executives by the Washington Business Journal and their sponsors, Arent Fox, Deloitte and Sun Trust.

DiNardo is the daughter of Maryland Delegate Jean Cryor of Potomac.