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Guest List: Today’s Newsmakers

The Washingtonians in headlines today we’d like to have dinner with tonight

- David Muse. The new artistic director of the Studio Theatre in DC’s Logan Circle must be hoping he lives up to his last name. Replacing Joy Zinoman, who helmed Studio for almost 40 years, is no small feat—nor is competing with an expanded Arena Stage to produce new works for the theater. As the Washington Post pointed out in its profile of Muse yesterday, the handoff from Zinoman to Muse is the first step in a generational transition that has the potential to shake up Washington theater. We’ll be on the edge of our seats.

- George Allen. Five years after an, uh, unscripted moment helped cost the Virginia Republican his Senate seat in the 2006 Congressional elections, Allen is back and will challenge Democratic Senator Jim Webb for his old position. We’re curious to see how he’ll move beyond the sure-to-be-constantly-replayed image of him calling a Webb volunteer “macaca”—and what he’s learned about politics in his time out of the spotlight.

- Lee Carrion. The Dundalk, Maryland, crab-shack operator is listed as co-author on a major report revealing a new virus that kills Chesapeake Bay blue crabs, after she turned to the University of Maryland Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology for help in figuring out why her crabs were dying before she could sell them to customers. She turned her business’s trouble into a test case for the institute, proving that going local and sustainable isn’t just a trendy way to serve food—it can help advance science.

- Eric Holder. Administration officials are always at the top of Washington hostesses’ lists, but the Attorney General is having a particularly hot week. Last Thursday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation executed the biggest mob bust in FBI history. Then Saturday night, a day after he turned 60, Holder was joined by President Obama at Famoso Italian Restaurant and Lounge on Wisconsin Avenue in Chevy Chase for a party. Today, he and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced they’d recovered $4 billion in fraudulent health-care payments. Turns out it’s not just mob kingpins who end up in the slammer: 146 people went to jail under federal Medicare fraud indictments in 2010. Getting Holder to dinner is the closest we’ll get right now to nabbing Bruce Wayne.

- Jeffrey Richardson. Mayor Vincent Gray’s new liaison to DC’s gay community may be under less immediate political pressure now that the Supreme Court has refused to hear a case that would require the city to put its gay-marriage law up for a referendum. But he comes into office shortly after his predecessor revealed that he never had a one-on-one sitdown with former Mayor Adrian Fenty. And Richardson has a history of tussling with Ward 8 Councilman Marion Barry. If Gray-watchers were worried that Gray’s election represented a return to old-school District governance, Richardson’s appointment is further proof that in some respects, Gray’s not interested in emulating the city’s past­—or kowtowing to it.

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