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WHCA Weekend: Showbiz Types Are Scarce, But It’s Still Surreal

WASHINGTON — Michelle Wolf’s monologue at the White House Correspondents Association dinner dominated the headlines coming out of the evening — even if it was a mere sliver of the four-hour event and only a moment in what is traditionally D.C.’s most social weekend.

The surreal aspect is usually the mix of newsmakers on opposite ends of the political spectrum or at odds in other ways — Michael Avenatti, Stormy Daniels’ attorney, was at the annual Garden Brunch on Saturday along with Kellyanne Conway.

Hollywood had a presence, although it was much more muted than in previous years. At Hamilton Live, Kevin Bacon and The Bacon Brothers at one point played “Footloose,” as they were the headliners to a series of journalist-bands, including Lester Holt and the Rough Cuts.

Some of the other events:

Bytes and Bylines (Thursday): One of the first events of the weekend, held at the Irish ambassador’s residence in the Kalorama neighborhood, features a mix of tech, media and politics. Guests include Stephanie Grisham, First Lady Melania Trump’s communications director; actor Richard Schiff; retiring congressmen Darrell Issa and Ed Royce; along with hosts Allen Gannett, Eric Kuhn, John McCarthy, Susanna Quinn and Jon Steinberg. Highlight: Attendees singing an Irish folk ballad in the ambassador’s living room.

UTA’s Celebration of America’s Journalists (Friday): The agency’s Jay Sures and Mediaite’s Dan Abrams hosted their annual event from Fiola Mare, with guests including Anthony Scaramucci, Preet Bharara, Don Lemon, Dana Bash, Jake Tapper, Jim Acosta, Jim Cramer and Brian Kilmeade. Highlight: Conway hounded for photos.

CAA Cocktail Reception (Friday): The agency hosted a reception at Brothers and Sisters at the LINE Hotel, drawing recent Pulitzer Prize winners Ashley Parker at Phil Rucker of The Washington Post along with Susan Rice, Jackie Alemany, Dax Tejera, Andrea Mitchell, Phil Mattingly, Garrett Haake, Michelle Collins, Ben Ginsburg and Amy Shuster.

White House Correspondents Garden Brunch (Saturday): The annual event, at the Washington-Beall home, drew Sean Spicer, Valerie Jarrett, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, Rep. Debbie Dingle (D-Mich.), MPAA chairman Charles Rivkin, Susan Tolson, Ted Olson and Lady Booth, along with a list of co-hosts that included Tammy Haddad, Hillary Rosen, Megan Murphy, Fred Humphries, Mark Ein, Greta Van Susteren and John Coale. Highlight: ABC News correspondent Bob Woodruff awarded a home to Staff Sergeant Dominic Perrotte and his family through Wells Fargo’s veteran home donation program and the Military Warriors Support Foundation.

NBC News and MSNBC After Party (Saturday): A drop in temperatures made for a chillier-than-usual post-dinner fete, held in a sprawling outdoor lawn space of the Art Museum of the Americas. Guests included Rep. Joaquin Castro, Ali Velshi, Chris Matthews, Jacob Soboroff, Phil Griffin, David Hogg, Jeff Zucker, Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Kathy Griffin, Jordan Klepper, Andrea Mitchell, Peter Alexander, Matt and Mercedes Schlapp, Jose Andres, Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Gary Cohn. Highlight: Cohn gave Sanders a number of hugs, after a dinner in which she was a joke target.

CNN Hangover Brunch (Sunday): The Longview Gallery was decorated as a vine-covered greenspace themed to Alice in Wonderland, as guests played virtual reality and carnival games and ate corn dogs. Guests included Jim Sciutto, Brian Stelter, Sam Feist, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Jason Miller, April Ryan and Don Lemon. Highlight: Poster-sized playing cards, with an orange-ish, Trump-like figure representing the king.

(Pictured: NBC News and MSNBC After Party)

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