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Social agenda for March 5

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Friday, March 5

Join the DC Front Runners for their First Friday Happy Hour from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Green Lantern, located at 1335 Green Court, N.W.

Participate in Gay District from 8:30-10:30 p.m. at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church. Gay District is a weekly, non-church affiliated discussion and social group for GBTQ men between 18 and 35. The group meets at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church (1820 Connecticut Ave., N.W., just north of Dupont Circle. For more information, e-mail [email protected]

Raw, held from 10 p.m.-3 a.m., returns to the Green Lantern, 1335 Green Court, N.W. Raw is an electro-disco party on the first Friday of each month at the Green Lantern, inspired by gay parties of the early 80s. Join your host, Karl Marks, and resident DJs, Shea and Bil, for some retro fun, fog, lasers, strobe lights and throbbing music. Free entry before 11 p.m., cover is just $3 after that.

Town Danceboutique, located at 2009 8th St., N.W., presents its “So, you think you’re a drag queen?” competition. Doors open at 10 p.m. with the drag show/contest at 10:30 p.m. Contestants must arrive at the club by 10 p.m. (no later than 10:15) and bring a CD with a song you want to perform. Makeup should be done before your arrival. The audience decides the winner with a grand prize of $250.

Burgundy Crescent, a gay volunteer organization, holds its March Post-Valentine Sweet & Sentimental Social. To participate, visit www.burgundycrescent.org.

Saturday, March 6

Join your hosts and DJs Richard Morel and Bob Mould for Blowoff at the 9:30 club, located at 815 V St., N.W. Doors open at 11:30 p.m. with a $12 cover.

DC Metro LGBT IT Professionals meets from 10-11 a.m. at SteamCafe, 17th & R streets. RSVP at meetup.com at: http://www.meetup.com/GayDigerati/

Thom Bierdz will create a painting to be auctioned off to support Out for Work on Saturday, March 6 from 6-9 p.m. at MOVA Lounge (formerly Halo) at 1435 P St., N.W. Bierdz is the first openly gay actor to play an openly gay character, Phillip Chancellor III, on CBS’ “The Young & the Restless.”

EFF Winter Dance Party is held from 9 p.m.-2 a.m. at Freddie’s Beach Bar, 555 23rd St., South Arlington, Va. Party is 21+. There is a $5 cover, which benefits Capital Pride.

The March edition of the monthly gear/fetish party CODE at Motley Bar above EFN Lounge, 1318 9th St., N.W., 9 p.m.-3 a.m., will feature DJ Shea Van Horn. Admission is $10. Code is an 18+ event. Gear, rubber, skin, uniform or leather dress code will be strictly enforced.

JAM @ MOVA Lounge at 1435 P St., N.W., 9 p.m. – 3 a.m. Join B.O.I. and the ladies of Mixology as they take over MOVA Lounge. Come out and mingle, dance, drink or chill.

In recognition of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, Food & Friends will host a free community event 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Riggs LaSalle Community Center, 501 Riggs Rd., N.E. Free shuttle from the Fort Totten Metro Station (on the Red, Green-Yellow Lines). This free community event is open to all ages and includes free HIV testing and counseling, educational workshops and free food and entertainment.

DCist.com holds its fourth annual DCist Exposed Photography Show at Long View Gallery, March 6-21. Out of more than 1,000 entries submitted through Flickr.com, 47 winning images were selected by a panel to be included in this year’s DCist Exposed exhibit. This year’s opening reception will be Saturday, 6-10 p.m., $5 at the door. Long View Gallery is located at 1234 9th St., N.W., just a few blocks from the Mt. Vernon/Convention Center Metro.

A Night Out at Silo Point, a benefit for Moveable Feast. Built in 1923, the B&O Railroad grain terminal in Baltimore was the biggest and fastest grain elevator in the world. Today, it’s a contemporary 24-story condo tower rising above the Inner Harbor. Tour the building and help Moveable Feast while you’re at it — food and cocktails, dance to DJ D-Rizzo and tour six decorated models, 8 p.m.-12 a.m., 1200 Steuart St., Baltimore. Tickets are $45 per person or $75 per couple, purchase online at mfeast.org.

Sunday, March 7

Join the DC Center at Town Danceboutique, 2009 8th St., N.W., for the 5th Annual Oscar celebration, “Glamour, Glitter, & Gold.” Doors open at 7 p.m.; general admission is $15 in advance or $20 at the door. V.I.P. admission, $100. Purchase tickets at thedccenter.org or for more information e-mail [email protected]

AZÚCAR DC at EFN Lounge, 1318 9th St., N.W., 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Ginger Glamour joins the Queen of the House Alondra St. Cartier on the Azúcar stage and DJ Michael Brandon plays your favorite hits. Always 18 to dance, 21 to drink.

The Oscars at Black Fox Lounge. Black Fox is located two blocks north of Dupont Circle on Connecticut Avenue, between R and S Streets. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres, black tie optional. Prizes for Best Dressed Male and Best Dressed Female. 8-11:30 p.m. No cover.

Thom Bierdz will be signing copies of “Forgiving Troy,” at the Books-A-Million, Dupont Circle location from 3-5 p.m.

Monday, March 8

GLBT Youth Support Group will meet from 4:30-6 p.m. at the GW Center Clinic, 1922 F St., N.W., Suite 103.

Burgundy Crescent, a gay volunteer organization, has volunteer opportunities for Food & Friends and for the HRC phone banks. To participate, visit www.burgundycrescent.org.

Tuesday, March 9

Town Danceboutique, located at 2009 8th St., N.W., presents “Speakeasy.” The topic is “American Idol: Stories about brushes with fame.” Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. $10 cover, 21+. To sign up or for more info visit speakeasydc.com.

Burgundy Crescent, a gay volunteer organization, volunteers today for the Safer Sex Kit Packing Program. To participate, visit www.burgundycrescent.org.

Wednesday, March 10

Hollaback Transgender Support Group meets from 6:30-8 p.m. in the DC Center Activity Room. Hollaback is a program of the DC Community AIDS Network. The DC Center is located at 1810 14th St., N.W., convenient to the U Street/Cardozo Metro stop, and on the 14th Street bus lines.

Thursday, March 11

Whitman Walker: “Ready for Change” Harm Reduction Group, MRC, 2301 MLK Ave., S.E. from 3-5 p.m.

Dining Out for Life, an annual benefit for Food & Friends is held tonight at various restaurants around the city that donate a percentage of their take to charity. The Burgundy Crescent has related volunteer opportunities available. To participate, visit foodandfriends.org or burgundycrescent.org.

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Photos

PHOTOS: GMCW Holiday Show

Chorus performs at Lincoln Theatre

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(Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington performed its “Holiday Show” at Lincoln Theatre on Saturday. The Chorus has performances on Dec. 11 and 12. For tickets and showtimes, visit gmcw.org.

(Washington Blade photos by Michael Key)

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Photos

PHOTOS: International LGBTQ Leaders Conference opening reception

Politicians and activists from around the world met and mingled at the JW Marriott

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Politicians and activists from around the world met and mingled at the JW Marriott. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The LGBTQ Victory Institute held an opening reception for the 2021 International LGBTQ Leaders Conference at the JW Marriott on Thursday.

(Washington Blade photos by Michael Key)

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Theater

Meet the husbands and creative partners behind ‘Christmas Angel’

A funny, redemptive world premiere with a diverse cast

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Stephen Gregory Smith and Matt Conner with pugs Edgar Allan Pug and Lord Byron.

The Christmas Angel
Dec. 9-19
Creative Cauldron
410 South Maple Avenue
Falls Church, VA 22046
Tickets:  $35. Students $20.
Masks and proof of vaccination are required
creativecauldron.org

“Ours is like a lava lamp,” says composer Matt Conner describing the collaborative creative process he shares with musical writing partner and husband Stephen Gregory Smith. “We move together in motion in a continual ebb and flow.” 

A couple for 23 years, married for eight, and making musicals together for 11, the talented pair’s current offering is “The Christmas Angel,” opening on Dec. 9 at Creative Cauldron in Fairfax. 

A musical adaptation of the same-named 1910 novel by Abbie Farwell Brown, it’s the story of Angelina Terry (Kanysha Williams), a wealthy embittered recluse who learns the lessons of Christmas from a box of old toys that she casts into the street. Also featured in the hour-long one-act are Ryan Sellers as Horton, Angelina’s butler, and Carl Williams who plays her brother. The angel and toys are brought to life by an ensemble of a dozen teens plucked from the company’s musical theater training program. 

Via phone from their home in Arlington, Smith and Conner shared thoughts on their new show and working style. In attendance are pug dogs Edgar Allan Pug and Lord Byron, whom they call Eddie and Byron in public – otherwise “it’s just too much,” says Conner whose ultimate fantasy involves living on a pug farm where he’d write music and present the occasional show.

Rather than finish each other’s sentences, the duo (both Helen Hayes Award winners – Smith for acting and Conner for directing) expound on one another’s thoughts.

While Conner composes the music, Smith writes the book and lyrics, and together they co-direct. “But there’s no end and beginning where my job ends and his begins,” says Smith. “What we do complements each other’s work.”

Still, there are differences. Smith’s approach is focused. He writes pages at night and edits in the morning. Conner’s method is more relaxed, preferring to sit at the keyboard and talk rather than writing things down. But throughout the creative process, there’s never a moment when the project isn’t on their mind. They can be watching TV or buying milk when an exciting idea pops up, says Conner. 

A clever nod to Dickens, the novel is more than just a female “Christmas Carol,” says Smith. And in some spots, he’s beefed up the 55-page book, fleshing out both storyline and characters including the toys whose shabby appearance belies a youthful confidence. 

He adds, “Every holiday season you go to the attic and pull down the box, or boxes in my case, of holiday decorations and it’s all old but it’s new. That’s the nostalgic feeling of toys from the attic that we’re trying to find through the show.”

The music is a combination of traditional carols performed by a hand bell chorus, and original Christmas songs that intentionally sound very familiar. The score includes songs “Don’t Hide Your Light,” “The Sweetest Gift,” and “Yestermore” – the moment when the past, present, and future come together. 

Also, there’s Angelina’s Bah! Humbug! number “Fiddlesticks,” her great renunciation of the holidays. She believes the world a disappointing place to be, and the sooner realized the better. 

Conner and Smith aren’t new to Creative Cauldron. Through the company’s Bold New Works project, the team was commissioned to write five world premiere musicals in just five years. The result was “The Turn of the Screw,” “Monsters of the Villa Diodati,” “Kaleidoscope,” “Witch” and “On Air.”

Judging from some of the titles and their slightly macabre content, it seems the duo was better poised to write for Halloween than Christmas, but nonetheless, they were commissioned. Creative Cauldron’s producing director Laura Connors Hull brought them the obscure yet charming book that surprisingly had never before been reworked for stage or celluloid, and the pair got to work last spring. 

Conner and Smith agree, “The show is a lot of things rolled up into one.”

Not only is it a funny, redemptive world premiere with a diverse cast, but it’s also a story largely unknown to today’s audiences. Additionally, the show boasts intergenerational appeal while holding messages about Christmas, family, and finding light when you’re in a darker place. 

More information about Conner and Smith, including links to their music and popular podcast “The Conner & Smith Show,” can be found on their terrific website at connersmithmusicals.com.   

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