June 7, 2012 | by Erin Durkin
Out & About: D.C. and Baltimore

Arena Stage presents ‘The Normal Heart’ running from June 8-July 29. Photo by Carol Rosegg; courtesy Arena)

Kramer classic ‘Normal Heart’ opens D.C. run

Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater’s production of the 2011 Tony-awaring winning production of Larry Kramer’s “The Normal Heart,” directed by George C. Wolfe, opens today.

The cast includes original cast members Patrick Breen and Luke MacFarlane, returning in new roles, and original production understudy Jon Levenson, as well as Patricia Wettig from ABC’s “Brothers & Sisters” and “thirtysomething,” Broadway stars Tom Berklund, Michael Berresse, Christopher J. Hanke, Nick Mennell, Chris Dinolgo and John Procaccino.

“The Normal Heart” tells the story of a group of friends struggling with the mysterious disease ravaging New York’s gay community, looking at sexual politics during the AIDS crisis.

This production is an Affiliated Independent Event of AIDS 2012, the biennial International Conference, to be held in D.C. from July 22-27. To spread awareness of the ongoing fight against AIDS, Arena will be holding related events and partnering with organizations throughout the production’s run.

Sections of the AIDS Memorial Quilt will be on display in the Mead Center along with images from the HIV/AIDS relation collections of the Archives Center at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Local clinics and HIV testing providers will have HIV testing vans parked outside the Mead Center on select weekends and panel discussions with guest speakers will follow select matinees.

Arena Stage and the Washington AIDS Partnership will host a benefit performance on July 23. The evening will include a pre-performance VIP cocktail hour, intermission champagne toast and a dance party following the performance.

Tickets range from $40-$94. Tickets for the benefit performance events start at $75.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit arenastage.org.

Wolf Trap features bounty of summer shows

Wolf Trap’s summer season is heating up with a week full of concerts.

World-renowned contemporary instrumentalist Yanni begins the week tonight at 8 p.m. The concert will include music from his previous shows as well as songs from his newest album, “Truth of Touch.” Tickets range from $30-$55.

Gavin DeGraw and Colbie Caillat come together on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. The duo has performed several duets during previous joint tours. Tickets range from $25-$40.

Wolf Trap has its 23rd annual Louisiana Swamp Romp on Sunday at 2 p.m. The concert will feature Allen Toussaint Band, Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Big Sam’s Funky Nation. Southern dishes will also be available on the plaza. Tickets are $25.

Country superstar Martina McBride comes to Wolf Trap on Wednesday with Grammy-nominated David Nail. McBride is a four-time Country Music Awards Female Vocalist of the Year and dedicated her single, “I’m Gonna Love You Through It” to cancer survivors, performing on a pink-li Empire State Building to raise breast cancer awareness. Tickets range from $35 to $48.

Bonnie Raitt plays Thursday with special guest Mavis Staples. Tickets range from $30-$48.

For more information on the concerts and to purchase tickets, visit wolftrap.org.

‘Drag Race’ alums at Town this weekend

Town (2009 8th St., N.W.) is kicking off Pride weekend with performances from the stars of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Sharon Needles, Phi Phi O’Hara and Dida Ritz will all be performing during the club’s drag show starting at 10:30 p.m. They will also be sticking around to sign autographs and take pictures after the show.

The club is continuing its Pride celebration with a dance party on Saturday featuring DJ Manny Lehman, the Ladies of Town and Tha Dance Camp.

The Town drag show is hosted by Lena Lett and stars Tatiana, Shi-Queeta–Lee, Epiphany B Lee, Ba’Naka and special guests.

Doors open at 9 p.m. and admission is $20. Friday night attendees must be 18 or older and Saturday night attendees must be 21 or older.

For more information and future events, visit towndc.com.

STAY ON TOP OF ALL THINGS PRIDE! DOWNLOAD THE DIGITAL PRIDE GUIDE TODAY!

‘Pariah’ screenings at Busboys & Poets

Busboys & Poets is offering a free screening of the film, “Pariah” at each of its four locations throughout the month continuing Sunday at its 14th and V streets location (2021 14th St., N.W.) at 8 p.m.

Written and directed by Dee Rees, the film follows Alike, a 17-year-old African American woman who lives with her parents and younger sister in Brooklyn, as she embraces her identity as a lesbian and wonders how much she can confide in her family.

The film stars Adepero Oduye as Alike, Kim Wayans as her mother Audry, Charles Parnell as her father Arthur, Sahra Mellesse as her sister Sharonda, Pernell Walker as her friend Laura and Aasha Davis as Bina, a potential love interest.

The other screenings will be June 17 at the Shirlington location at 7 p.m. and June 24 at the 5th and K streets location at 8 p.m.

— JULIETTE EBNER

Bock’s minimalist play is journey of self-discovery

Iron Crow Theatre Company’s “The Typographer’s Dream,” a play by Adam Bock, runs through June 16 at the Johns Hopkins University’s Swirnow Theatre (33rd St. and Charles St., Baltimore).

The play centers on a three characters: a stenographer, geographer and typographer. As the play progresses, the characters reveals how they’re defined by their jobs and the meaning and notions of their lives are called into question.

Bock is gay and has been nominated for two Outer Critics Circle Awards.

The play runs every night at 8 p.m. Regular tickets are $17 while students and seniors are $12.  For more information, go to ironcrowtheatre.com

Mount Vernon club starts Baltimore Pride celebrations

S.H.E. Productions is kicking off Baltimore Pride at Grand Central (1001 North Charles St., Baltimore) with a party event on Thursday at 9 p.m.

S.H.E. Productions is an event production company in the Baltimore area that specializes in LGBT events of various types. Its staff often performs at clubs but they also host high energy boot camps for fitness and outings/excursions.

Grand Central is surrounded by several eateries and is within walking distance of the Inner Harbor and the Walters Art Museum.

Cover is $5 at the door. For details, visit centralstationpub.com or visit sheproductionsevents.com.

Baltimore Hons commemorates ‘60s culture

HonFest, an annual festival that celebrates the historic working women of Baltimore, is this weekend on 36th Street in the Hampden neighborhood.

Started in 1994, HonFest has grown into a nationally recognized festival. Women can participate to become Baltimore’s Best Hon by sporting beehive hairdos, bright-blue eye shadow and spandex pants. Exhibitions include local musicians and artists.

The event is free but it will be $5 to park.  For more information, visit honfest.net.

Twilight on the Terrace starts Pride weekend

Twilight on the Terrace benefit cocktail party will be held at Gertrude’s Restaurant at the Baltimore Museum of Art (10 Art Museum Drive) on June 15 from 7-11 p.m.

The evening will include a silent auction including artwork, gift certificates to restaurants and shops, themed gift baskets, a Myrtle Beach vacation, an autographed photo of Doris Day and dates with local celebrities. Guests will also be able to meet Baltimore actor Vincent de Paul.

There will be hors d’oeuvres, a four-hour open bar and dancing to DJ Alex Funk.

Tickets are $100. For details, visit baltimorepride.org.

— ERIN DURKIN

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