News & Politics

Bethesda Supper Club Will Postpone Stage Version of ‘The Wire’

Club owner Rick Brown says the decision follows a phone call from David Simon

The Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club has decided to postpone a stage version of The Wire that was set to be shown at the venue on January 13 and 14.

Rick Brown, the owner of the supper club, told Washingtonian that he received a call from the show’s creator, David Simon, yesterday, who expressed concern that the stage play uses the same title as the television show. Brown says he was surprised that Simon wasn’t aware that a stage play was in the works, particularly because it premiered in Baltimore this summer. Bethesda Beat first reported that the play has been postponed.

“I certainly didn’t realize what was going on,” says Brown, who added that if the writers come up with “a new title, and a few tweaks,” he’ll be open to hosting them.

Brown was first introduced to the pair who wrote the stage play by a host at WOL Radio who had heard about the project. Norris Davis, one of the play’s co-writers, played “Vinson” on the original show for multiple seasons. When Brown started talking to Davis and his co-writer, Nadir Adbullah, about bringing the play to the supper club, he assumed it would go off without a hitch: “They showed me the playbill, they showed me the tickets they used,” he says, referring to the Baltimore production. “I didn’t have any reason to doubt it.”

The supper club’s owner isn’t too worried about whether or not the stage play will have its day in Bethesda. Brown books plenty of other artists throughout the year, and says he doesn’t have much skin in the game when it comes to The Wire offshoot. As for Davis and Abdullah, they’ll have to take it up with David Simon.

Courtney Vinopal is a former Washingtonian editorial fellow. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University, and previously worked as a press attaché for the Embassy of France in Washington, where she ran the institution’s social media accounts and newsletters. She lives in Woodley Park.