Kay Wilson, who organized last Sunday’s surprise tribute and party at Washington’s town hall for retiring Theatre at Washington owner Wendy Weinberg, sent in this report:
More than 100 guests gathered in the Washington Town Hall on Sunday evening for a surprise tribute to Wendy Weinberg. Wendy’s Rappahannock friends were there to honor and thank her for providing the community with 25 years of The Theatre at Washington.
When Wendy and her husband, Bob, entered the town hall, the crowd spontaneously sang,”For She’s a Jolly Good Fellow” — both American and British versions, the latter a nod to Wendy’s English origins — followed by a rousing “Three Cheers.” Bob Weinberg was thanked for his unwavering support of Wendy and her theatre, and his role, as he himself has deemed it, as “Chief Assistant in the Box Office.”
Mayor John Sullivan presented Wendy with a resolution passed by the Washington Town Council, giving a laudatory speech in which he reminisced about the first-class concerts and performances to which Wendy has treated us over the years. Sullivan then read, with talented timing, an hilarious tribute sent by comedian Mark Russell, who has frequently performed at The Theatre. John McCarthy wittily echoed the praise and gratitude, and had a framed resolution from Rappahannock County, which the Board of Supervisors adopted at their last meeting. The speakers mentioned the delight that Wendy has passed the Theatre’s baton to Nancy Raines — who presented a framed cover photo and article done about Wendy a few years ago by the Piedmont Virginian magazine.
Alexi and Anna Weinberg were charming and loving as they presented their grandmother with flowers; there was also a gift certificate from the community for a commemorative tree planting and an exquisite and delectable gift from Patrick O’Connell of The Inn at Little Washington.
As a reflection of the high esteem in which Wendy Weinberg is held, there was a wide spectrum of Rappahannockers present at the party, and each donated food, drink, and/or contributions towards the gifts. Said Char Duguid: “With such an outpouring of appreciation, the party was a truly fitting tribute for Wendy.” Lillian Aylor and Marie Davis came along to thank Wendy for providing her theatre for the MLK Jr. birthday celebration for twenty-four years.
John Bourgeois provided his signature jambalaya as his personal tribute. Ruthie Windsor-Mann remarked, “Everyone loved it. I know Wendy did. It’s amazing that the surprise was pulled off with all those people involved.” Ewen Wilson, Audrey Regnery, Jan Makela, Heidi Lesinski, Beth Hall, and Carolyn Thornton worked physically hard to set up and clean up — all done with pleasure for a special lady. Chris Doxzen encapsulated the feelings of all with her description, “What a special evening! It had signature Rappahannock warmth and camaraderie honoring a lovely lady who has done so much for the community.”