Katie at the Kennedy Center: Rave Reviews from Valerie Plame

Add the Kennedy Center in Washington as another area that Katie Couric will have a conflict of interest problem if there's a story there. They've made a musical out of her children's book "The Brand New Kid," a tale of tolerance inspired by the school shootings like Columbine that came out in 2000. The Washington Times adds Valerie Plame was a big fan:

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 yesterday 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.

On the October 10, 2000 edition of "Today," Couric promoted the book in a cozy interview with Matt Lauer:

"I think you and I working on this show--we were inundated for a time where week after week it seemed, we were reporting on school violence. And I saw that there was a common thread among the children who seemed responsible for these terrible acts and that was alienation and isolation, loneliness. And they seemed like kids who had been outcasts. And I think that, coupled with the fact that I was raising children myself and seeing group dynamics in--in school situations and out on the playground, I thought, wouldn't it be nice to try to teach our kids to be a little kinder to one another? I think it's something that we assume they do, and if they don't, we sort of turn the other way and ignore it. But I thought it would be very useful to have some kind of tool to help encourage children to be nice."

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