Where to Spot the Celebrities This Weekend

Thanks to the Kennedy Center Honors, Washington will be swarming with stars this weekend. Here’s where to find them.

By: Carol Ross Joynt

Meryl Streep will be one of the many stars in town this weekend for the Kennedy Center Honors. Photograph by Neshan Naltchayan

Washington has its fair share of celebrity sightings, but this weekend has the potential to be one of the most star-studded of the year, thanks to the annual Kennedy Center Honors (read our review with executive producer George Stevens Jr. here). The honorees will be in town, along with a whole cast of performers and other notables either appearing onstage or adding glitz to the audience on Sunday.

This year’s honorees are singer Barbara Cook, pop star Neil Diamond, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, saxophonist Sonny Rollins, and Oscar-winning actress Meryl Streep. So where can you catch a glimpse of them this weekend?

The principal venue is the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, which is the “official” hotel for the honorees and the stars in the cast. It is also where George Steven Jr. and his wife, Liz, hold a brunch on Sunday afternoon before the show. Grab a seat in the lobby bar and watch film, music, theater, and political stars come and go.

The other hotel that gets a lot of Honors weekend action is the Four Seasons in Georgetown. It’s long been a popular haunt of the rich and famous, and this weekend won’t be any different. Expect to find the boldfacers in the Bourbon Steak bar.

On Saturday evening, the honorees have a dinner at the State Department hosted by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (not your best bet for a Streep sighting). Sunday evening’s Kennedy Center show and dinner starts early—6ish—and goes till midnight or beyond. The public is invited to watch the arrivals inside the Kennedy Center along the red carpet opposite the media rope line, but according to spokesman John Dow, “space is limited.”

Note: Since so many of the entertainers are on West Coast time, anyway, they tend to hit their respective hotel bars after the “official” festivities. Happy star-spotting.