FOUL PLAY

Stephen Sondheim — the mystery writer?
The composer, acclaimed for the scores of “A Little Night Music,” “Passion,” “Company” and a lot of other Broadway musicals, has given up music for mystery — at least for now. “Getting Away With Murder,” the tune-free comedy thriller Sondheim wrote with George Furth, opened on Broadway Sunday to less than thrilling reviews. Following the show, the cast, including John Rubinstein, Terrence Mann and Christine Ebersole, joined audience members such as Robert Altman for a murder-themed party at the New-York Historical Society.
Guests at another party — this one in Washington last week — paid $20,000 a plate to have lunch with Prince Philip. The event: a fund-raiser for his Duke of Edinburgh Award and its U.S. counterpart, the Congressional Award. The lunch was at Arianna Huffington’s, for 16 guests, including thriller-writer Tom Clancy. That evening, the Prince welcomed 400 guests to the Congressional Award dinner at the Corcoran Museum of Art.
On the same night, that affair was rivaled by the American Ireland Fund gala at the National Building Museum, where Hillary Rodham Clinton joined Irish Prime Minister John Bruton on the podium. “There’s my beeper,” said Sen. Claiborne Pell, who made it to both parties before responding to his pager and racing off at 8:30 p.m. to a Senate vote.
“Prince Philip and the Queen are doing very well,” Pell commented on his way out the door, “considering all the trouble in their family.”

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