Connect with us

Bars & Parties

Let it ‘Snow’



The relationship between the Evil Queen and Snow White in “Snow White and 175 Faeries,” this year’s holiday show for the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, is, as you might expect, much different from the relationship the actors playing them have. The Queen, of course, wants Snow White killed, but the actors are enjoying a cross-generational camaraderie and mentorship.

Chip Crews, 59, who plays the Queen, says he has little in common with his character, the only female role in the cast, which he plays in drag.

“I’m tempted to say hardly anything [in common] at all because I’m such a lovely person,” Crews says with a self-deprecating laugh. “I don’t think I act like that but, in fact, I do understand her.”

Jay Garvey, 25, whose Snow White is a male character in this parallel universe re-imagining, says he kids Crews, telling him Crews is “my mama.” Crews has been in the Chorus for 19 years. This is Garvey’s first show.

“When I’m there and Jay, who’s absolutely charming, I have no trouble,” Crews says. “I project as his rival, which I never would in real life. I don’t want to be Jay. I can be up there on the stage and I think he is a little better looking than me after all, so I just decide I have to have him killed.”

In the show’s back story, the Queen is the widow of Snow White’s father. The malevolence the Queen feels toward Snow White, presented here as a young, gay romantic lead, requires some acting, Crews says.

“The role here is to be threatening and the director has been very supportive about making her not just a bitchy drag queen,” he says. “She orders Snow White killed and is delighted when she thinks it’s happened. I don’t know if there’s been a time in my life when I’ve ordered somebody killed. I’d like to think I would never do that, but it’s a fun thing to do on the stage.”

This show, which debuts tonight in the Lisner Auditorium on the George Washington University campus and plays throughout the weekend, was conceived as a gay adaptation of the classic fairy tale. About 200 singers and actors will be on stage. Rehearsals began in late summer. Director John Moran, who has directed several shows for the Chorus since returning in 2005 after a lengthy hiatus, says several Chorus members conceived the show and fleshed it out together over many months.

“It’s not like doing ‘My Fair Lady’ where you’re presented with a script that many professionals have worked on and all the kinks are worked out,” he says. “This arrives as a skeleton and you have to flesh it out. Sometimes it’s as simple as just making sure it makes sense.”

Those involved are describing this incarnation as “a musical farce.” The evening will be divided into two halves. The first is more of a concert, featuring seasonal favorites like “Deck the Halls,” “Sleigh Ride” and “Winter Wonderland.” A contemporary song called simply “Snow,” which Chorus member Stu Wales calls “beautiful” and “stirring,” will also be performed. Then “Snow White” comprises the second half.

So what does “Snow White” have to do with Christmas?

“Overall the show is called ‘Snow,’ with the first half being very holiday oriented,” says Jarred Harrison, who plays Nancy, one of the seven dwarves, re-imagined here as gay archetypes (the others are Sturdy, Cuddly, Spanky, Hose and Bitter). “Snow White fit in with the snow theme and the mini musical in the second act, it really brings a light holiday feel even though it’s not specifically holiday oriented. But it’s a fairy tale we all know and love and as with all GMCW shows, our goal is to entertain but we also try to advocate and educate about LGBT people and who we are and what we’re about.”
That will come about in a couple ways, cast members say.

Harrison calls Nancy, the “diva dwarf.”

“We have fabulous costumes and choreography,” he says. “It’s very boy band meets 17th Street. The dwarves represent the gym rat, the leader of the pack, the uber queen. I think the audience will really recognize their friends and perhaps even themselves. It’s really just a new and upbeat and very gay take on the original fairy tale.”

Moran says it’s not all fluff, though. The show climaxes with Prince Charming proposing to Snow White, a story point that the Chorus uses to make a point about same-sex marriage.

“Fairy tales always have a moral or a lesson to teach,” he says. “That’s what they do best.”

Continue Reading

Bars & Parties

KINETIC: Pride DC launches with 3 major events

Weekend kicks off Friday with UNCUT XL at BLISS



KINETIC: Pride DC will partner with Capital Pride Alliance to celebrate Pride month with three official events that will feature leading gay DJs: Abel, Ben Bakson, Joe Pacheco, Dan Slater and Alexis Tucci.

The weekend kicks off Friday, June 10 at 10 p.m. with UNCUT XL at BLISS Nightclub. Grammy-nominated DJ Abel will headline the city’s “most risqué circuit event of the year” at BLISS nightclub.

“Uncut is returning to DC Pride for the first time in four years so there will be lots of sweating, dancing, and men bumping and sliding into one another on the main floor as well as in the play zone,” said producer Jesus Quispe in a press release late May.

 KINETIC: Pride Galactic Edition will be on Saturday, June 11 at 10 p.m. at Echostage. DJs Dan Slater and Ben Bakson will perform back-to-back sets. DJ Joe Pacheco will open the night.

The series of events will wrap up on Sunday June 12 with DC Pride’s official closing party, “discoVERS” at 10 p.m. at SAX in Downtown D.C. Disco-diva Alexis Tucci will spin an open-to-close set with Disco, Nu-Disco, and Disco House music all night long. Special performances throughout the night will be integrated into her high-energy disco set as well.

To purchase tickets, visit KINETIC: Pride DC.

Continue Reading

Bars & Parties

Beyonce vs. Rihanna dance party

Music provided by DJ Just Different at Union Stage



R² Productions LLC and Union Stage are teaming up to host  R² Productions’ inaugural “MEGA Dance Party” on Thursday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. at Union Stage at The Wharf.

The event will be a night full of dancing to music by pop stars Beyonce and Rihanna. DJ Just Different will be performing at the event. 

General Admission tickets cost $25 and Premier Plus tickets cost $35. For more information about ticket purchases, visit Union Stage’s website.

Continue Reading

Bars & Parties

Kiki quickly becomes popular LGBTQ destination

New bar on U Street plans summer expansion, patio space



Kiki, at 915 U St., is already drawing crowds. (Blade photo by Michael Key)

After a New Year’s Eve soft opening, Kiki has become one of the most popular LGBTQ destinations in Washington, D.C.

The two-floor bar takes over the space vacated by Velvet Lounge and Dodge City on the 900 block of U Street. Both closed during the pandemic. The locale is directly adjacent to another gay bar, Dirty Goose.

Owner and gay man Keaton Fedak, a general manager at Dirty Goose, noticed that these two next-door bars had gone dark during the pandemic, and met with the owners of the two buildings, who are cousins. Plans quickly developed to use both buildings to craft an expansive, interconnected, inclusive space to transform the city’s gay bar landscape.

Fedak called the bar “Kiki” both after himself (it’s a nickname) and for its connection with the LGBTQ community. “The word wasn’t invented by the Scissor Sisters song,” he explains. “It’s been an important concept in the community for decades.”

The first half of Fedak’s vision has already opened. The ground floor of the 915 U St. building is open-plan space with bar stools and a color-block wall of rainbow panels. A bar sits in the back up a short flight of stairs. This level will feature music, but quieter than the second-floor space. There, a DJ booth presides over a large dance floor. Disco lights flood this space; there is a bar on this level as well. The elevated dance floor is set to hold drag shows.

In the spring, a small patio will open, strung with fairy lights. It will have a “backyard aesthetic,” he says, to be green, bright, and relaxing. “It’s a good place to chill on a nice day outside.” It may even be reminiscent of Town Danceboutique’s popular patio.

The second half, at 917 U St., is still waiting for permits, and Fedak hopes to open this section in the summer.

It will connect to the current space via the outdoor patio. This section will have more of a sports bar feel, given Fedak’s connection to D.C.’s Gay Flag Football League (he is a former board member). The bar will welcome Stonewall Sports and other LGBTQ sports teams, and will be replete with plenty of mounted TVs to show various games.

After the closing of Cobalt and Town, Fedak wanted to ensure that Kiki was “an inclusive space, so that there’s vibes for everyone,” he says. “It should be a place where regulars would just show up and hang out.” He made sure that he recruited staff from different professional and personal backgrounds.

Fedak began working in food and hospitality at age 17 in his hometown in Pennsylvania. After moving to the D.C. area for work, he continued to moonlight as a bartender. Fedak joined Dirty Goose as general manager in 2019 before starting his Kiki journey.

To stock the bar, Fedak has plenty of spirits to go around. There is a focus on the vodka offerings, but he ensures that local distilleries take center stage: He carries District Made Vodka and Rye Whiskey, as well as Green Hat Gin. The beer game is also a winning strategy: there are more than 25 bottles and cans available, with three beers on tap. Local options are first-string, including selections from DC Brau, Right Proper, and Anxo Cider. Finally, the bar comes complete with a house margarita on tap (“ it’s a homemade recipe,” notes Fedak, using agave nectar syrup instead of sugar). The 16-ounce marg is always on special for $10.

While Kiki doesn’t serve food, Fedak is exploring options for a small truck or stand in the backyard.
Moving forward, Kiki will host weekly events. The bar already hosts drag shows during “RuPaul’s Drag Race” viewing parties. Fedak plans to begin a “Cobalt-style underwear contest” as well. Once COVID cases decline, he also wants to resurrect the Sunday funday parties that Cobalt would host with sports teams.

Fedak’s mantra for Kiki is evident in the mural that will take up the backyard patio – a quote from “Schitt’s Creek”: “I like the wine and not the label.”

Continue Reading

Follow Us @washblade

Sign Up for Blade eBlasts