National Stories: A Sweet Surprise

Longtime National Theatre lovers, Cheryl & Jim Painter, shared some of their favorite stories of The National with us.

Cheryl and James Painter enjoy the cherry blossoms by the tidal basin.

“My wife Cheryl and I have attended innumerable performances at The National Theatre over the many years since we first arrived in Washington in the mid-70’s. Two of the many past memorable evenings at the Theatre included one when President Ford and Vice President Rockefeller and their wives attended a performance (one of our first experiences with Presidential security!) and another when President and Mrs. Clinton provided a birthday evening out for their teenage daughter Chelsea and several of her friends at a performance of Grease

Of our many other wonderful times at the National Theatre, however, the most special one is the most recent.  After attending a lovely Brunch & Broadway luncheon at the Willard Hotel for the National Theatre Foundation, we went to the Theatre for a matinee performance of “Six” — a musical about the six wives of Henry VIII.  Entering the Theatre to take our seats, I discovered on the arm of seat M112, to my very great surprise, a beautiful plaque with my name and a loving birthday message from my wife.  I was – truly – very touched; I came to learn, and so appreciate, the assistance of Jamie Boller and David Kitto in assisting Cheryl in making the arrangements for this very memorable birthday gift.  The National Theatre will always have a very special place in our hearts.”

-Jim Painter