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Connolly Invites Pols to One-Man Show on Breast Cancer
Posted at 12:48 p.m. on Feb. 24
Sam Simon is bringing his one-man show about coming to grips with potentially losing a loved one to Capitol Hill on Tuesday, a tumultuous journey he’s honored to share with lawmakers thanks to fellow theater buff Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, D-Va.
“The Actual Dance” chronicles Simon’s attempt at negotiating the dizzying circumstances surrounding his wife’s breast cancer diagnosis. The life-affirming show — “There is a happy ending,” Simon assured HOH — is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. in Rayburn B-340.
Those interested in attending are encouraged to RSVP online, though a Connolly aide suggested “all who come will be admitted.”
Though they are both active in the community theater world, Simon said he and Connolly have not yet graced the same stage. The pair has, however, known each other dating back to Connolly’s days as a district supervisor in neighboring Fairfax County. “I would call him a longtime family and political friend,” Simon said.
While Connolly has not yet viewed this particular piece (“Everybody around him has seen it,” Simon estimated), Simon is certain it will strike a chord with the former seminarian.
“I think his interest [is] as much about the topic and its meaning as it is about the show itself,” Simon posited, adding that he’s deeply impressed by Connolly’s “faith and his understanding of people.”
Simon said he has staged the deeply personal performance 30 times since last spring — “This is a rare male voice in the breast cancer journey,” he said. And the most fulfilling part, without fail, remains the open and honest discussions that bubble up within the audience after the show comes to a close.
This time around, he’s very much hoping members who deal with health and aging issues will come and listen. “This isn’t a specific agenda. There is no policy change we are looking for,” he pledged.
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