2015 Capital Fringe Review: ‘At Your Service, Mr. President!’

This Butler serves up juicy tidbits in his one-man show

It’s got to be tough to do a solo show on a sultry summer night, but cool, calm, and seemingly tireless Alan DeValerio pulled it off without a noticeable drop of sweat in At Your Service, Mr. President! This Butler served up juicy tidbits of his White House Memories in his hour-long monologue last night at The Argonaut where at least half of the audience stayed to check out his memorabilia, placed on a nearby table in the upstairs room.


Forget what you’ve heard or seen in Oprah’s film, The Butler, or any stories about Eugene Allen, who was the subject of the movie. DeValerio gives you a look at the real Gene Allen and discusses the movie – he tells what was real and what was strictly Hollywood.

John Ficklin, who began as a pantry boy in 1939 and retired as maître d’ in 1983, was DeValerio’s friend soon after started work at the White House towards the end of the Jimmy Carter Administration. He encouraged him to jot down memories recorded in DeValerio’s A History of Entertainment in the Modern White House.

If you are a history buff, or, like this writer, enjoy “petite histoire” of –the-scenes at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, catch this raconteur. Oh the stories he tells!

Running Time: 60 minutes.

At Your Service, Mr. President! plays through July 26, 2015 at The Argonaut – 1433 H Street, NE, in Washington, DC. For ticket information, visit the Capital Fringe page.


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Carolyn Kelemen
Carolyn Kelemen is an award-winning arts critic and feature writer for the Baltimore Sun, Howard County Times, and Columbia Flier - 45 years and counting. The Columbia resident earned her Masters Degree in Dance at Mills College in California and has taught college and graduate courses at Goucher College, Loyola, the College of Notre Dame and Howard Community College. A professional dancer throughout the East Coast in the late 50s and early 60s, she was trained in classical ballet, modern dance, jazz and tap. Her TV/film career includes MPT’s “ weeknight Alive” and years of local productions in the Maryland/DC area. Carolyn is a longtime member of the Dance Critics of America, the American Theatre Critics Association. She has proudly produced the “A Labor of Love” AIDS benefits since 1988.


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