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The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

“Katie Couric’s The Brand New Kid” made its world pre­miere at the Kennedy Cen­ter dur­ing the week­end, and while the “CBS Evening News” an­chor­woman says she was un­able to make the open­ing per­for­mance, Va­lerie Plame of CIA-leak fame was in the au­di­ence and sends her rave re­views.

“I got a note from Va­lerie Plame, who said she re­ally liked it,” Miss Couric told Inside the Belt­way by tele­phone on Nov. 20 from New York. “She wrote, ‘It was so well done and en­joy­able for all of us. It teaches im­por­tant val­ues. And fun songs. Good work!’ ”

The mu­si­cal, play­ing at the Kennedy Cen­ter’s Fam­ily Theatre through Dec. 17, is based on a chil­dren’s book Miss Couric au­thored in 2000, ti­tled “The Brand New Kid.” It cen­ters on a sec­ond-grader who en­rolls in a new school, only to taunted by the other chil­dren. The teas­ing stops when the new ar­rival is be­friended by one of the school’s more pop­u­lar stu­dents.

“I was go­ing to go to open­ing night, but my daugh­ters, typ­i­cal, had plans, so I’m go­ing to take them an­other time. I’m ex­cited to do it,” said Mrs. Couric, adding that the op­por­tu­nity for the book to be made into a mu­si­cal “was a pleas­ant sur­prise.”

“And of course the Kennedy Cen­ter — you can’t do much bet­ter than that,” she said.

Mrs. Plame and her hus­band, for­mer am­bas­sador Joseph C. Wil­son IV, are par­ents of twins, a boy and girl, born in 2000.

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