News & Politics

A Night Out: Madame Tussaud’s Opens

Channel 7 reporter Alison Starling and (wax) Bill Clinton. All photographs by Jennifer Smoose.

What: Opening of Madame Tussauds Washington, DC

Where: The Woodies Building, 1025 F Street, NW

When: Thursday, October 4, 6 to 9 PM

Who: Spotted were DC City Council members Vincent Orange and Carol Schwartz, newsies Alison Starling and Pamela Brown (Channel 7), power lawyer Bob Barnett, and International Spy Museum head Peter Earnest. Oh, and lots of famous stars, politicos, and world leaders—in wax, that is.

Scene: On a night full of events in Washington—from the opening of the Shakespeare’s Harman Center for the Arts to the Hardball anniversary party—Marion Barry, who was the only party attendee who is also a wax sculpture, stole the show at the opening of the new branch of the famed Madame Tussauds wax museum. Photo ops abounded as a wax figure of the Mayor for Life greeted guests upon their red-carpet arrival. The stand-in was moved inside a little later, after the real mayor arrived. He was generous with his photo-op time, highlighted by a fun session involving the Oval Office and a lovely young intern. Some commented that the wax mayor appeared more lifelike than the real thing.

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Other highlights of the event—where the $25 entry fee stunned more guests than did the wax sculptures—included a creepy LBJ, dark-suited men pawing at Madonna, Beyonce, and J-Lo, and starstruck ladies clutching at Johnny Depp.

Food: Tiered buffet of roasted vegetables, charcuterie, breads, and cheeses. Mini-cheesecakes and chocolate tarts circulated.

Drink: Top shelf cocktail bar, with red and white wine circulation. Makers Mark specialty cocktail station. Chock Full of Nuts coffee station in the Washington Current Affairs gallery.

Boldface names: 5—it doesn’t get bigger than the fake people at the museum.
Swankiness: 2.5 (out of 5)
Food/drink: 2.5 (out of 5)
Exclusivity: 3 (out of 5)

Total score: 13 (out of 20)