“Omar’s coming!” Winthrop House resident Lawrence Benjamin ’11 hollered across the Junior Common Room. Doing his best impression of the boys on the streets of Baltimore featured in HBO’s acclaimed television series “The Wire,” Benjamin summed up the excitement building in the room.

Fresh from a panel discussion at Harvard Law School, stars from “The Wire,” including Michael K. Williams (Omar), Andre Royo (Bubbles), Sonja Sohn (Kima), Jim True-Frost (Pryzbylewski), and Jamie Hector (Marlo) — plus Donnie Andrews, the real-life inspiration for the notorious antihero Omar, and his wife Fran Andrews — attended a dinner in their honor at the river House.

Winthrop residents selected by lottery and a small number of law students jockeyed for seats near the actors. Fans of “The Wire” abounded. Students shared favorite scenes and recited key lines. As the actors arrived, a starstruck student said, “Amazing, Kima said hi to me!”

The dinner discussion swirled around topics of race, justice, poverty, and violence. Winthrop House Masters Ronald Sullivan Jr. and Stephanie Robinson hosted. Harvard Law School Professor Charles Ogletree, who is teaching “Race and Justice: The Wire,” a class on the criminal justice system that pulls heavily from the series, spoke about the show’s lessons. The guests reflected on the complexity, connectedness, and realism portrayed across the urban setting through drug distribution, law enforcement, the education system, and institutions of power.

“All the pieces matter,” a core phrase from the series, came to symbolize the great strength of its story. The message was not lost on the audience.

Down to 'The Wire'

Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer

  • Getting 'Wired'

    Getting 'Wired'

    The evening's regal-looking menu features the Winthrop House crest.

  • Bubbly


    Harvard Law School student Lea Downey (left) speaks with Andre Royo, who played Bubbles.

  • Jazzy duo

    Jazzy duo

    Jennifer Ding '13 (left) joins Max Meyer '12 at the piano. Max entertained guests with his seemingly effortless jazz classics.

  • Oh so True

    Oh so True

    Cora True-Frost (from left), Jessica Sequeira '11, and Jim True-Frost, the actor who played Roland Pryzbylewski, attend the dinner.

  • Pre-dinner delights

    Pre-dinner delights

    S. Allen Counter (left) and Winthrop House Co-Master Stephanie Robinson speak before the dinner begins.

  • More of an uncommon room

    More of an uncommon room

    Guests gather around the impressively decorated Junior Common Room.

  • Chatting up Marlo

    Chatting up Marlo

    Harvard Law School student Milton Wilkins (left) and Jamie Hector, the actor who played Marlo Stanfield, speak during the dinner.

  • Dramatic inspiration

    Dramatic inspiration

    Rev. Eugene Rivers (center) and Donnie Andrews, who inspired the famous anti-hero Omar, speak during the dinner.

  • Starstruck


    Harvard Law School student Brittany Brewer (center) speaks to "The Wire" star Andre Royo.

  • Down to 'The Wire'

    Down to 'The Wire'

    Harvard Law School Professor Charles Ogletree addresses the gathered guests.

  • Fine dining

    Fine dining

    Winthrop House Co-Master Ronald S. Sullivan Jr. speaks to a dinner guest.

  • Strung up on 'The Wire'

    Strung up on 'The Wire'

    Fran Andrews (from left) and Donnie Andrews are pictured during the dinner. Andrews is the basis for the famous anti-hero Omar in "The Wire."