Talk of the Town - Come and knock on his door November 13 2003

Living the lush life in Va-Hi

If an apple martini a day keeps the doctor away, Dad's Garage Theatre Artistic Director Sean Daniels will live a long life, albeit one without a liver. While the most unique feature of his Virginia-Highland apartment is the personal bartender, the animal-print pillows, African masks and liquor stashes make an excellent party pad.

Creative Loafing: Did you decorate this yourself?

Sean Daniels: I started to, but then I went to work and left my mother alone in the house for seven hours. And when I came back there were stylish twigs everywhere.

Did she skin the leopards herself?

She did. She spends time in Africa hunting them down — she's a very tough woman to get in touch with. But she'd do anything for her kids.

Do you approve of the decor or are you going to add some zebras?

It's a little too Hef from time to time, but you have a couple of martinis and it all begins to make sense. This is when I peaked: Feb. 15, 1983. I showed willingness to share and was rewarded for it. I decorate my fridge with my bad awards.

I dig the John Ritter magnet.

In college, we did a stage version of "Three's Company" and I think it was some of my finest theatrical work. I directed and played Larry.

Are you a Roper or Furley guy?

We actually had Roper versus Furley where they battled it out. I'm more of a Mr. Roper fan because he's the only person that was allowed to crack a joke and then look directly into the audience.

Our tour continued from the paisley and flower wallpapered kitchen to the bedroom.

This is where the magic happens. It's not really exciting except that I travel so much I always have a packed suitcase. I'm too lazy to unpack it and repack it.

Is it clean?

No, it's just packed.

We wandered across the hall where the bartender stood behind a small wall of liquor bottles. The only thing larger than his smile was his huge "Magnum P.I." molestache.

And how long have you been Sean's personal bartender?

Starley: Since December of last year, when I was laid off from my last job.

Daniels: He accompanies my autographed picture of Don Ho, who I saw after leaving the emergency room in Hawaii. That's why my arm is in a sling.

Starley: True story.

Are you confined to the bar?

Starley: Aw, no. I can come out into the entire rest of the house. But I'm on duty between 4 and 8 o'clock for happy hour.

Daniels: Do you ever wake up in the morning a little hung over and think, you know, I could probably use a mixed drink right now? Well, with your own bartender, you can just nudge him awake with a stick.

Starley: It gives me time to work on my memoirs.

What's Sean's regular drink?

Starley: Sean likes a bourbon and Coke, but if you noticed, Sean's lost a little weight. He's on the Atkins program. Now it's half-bourbon, half-water, half-Diet Coke, half-water.

Are you aware that the clock is completely wrong? It says Jan. 15, 2:02.

Starley: That's when my parole's over.


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