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Calendar for April 9

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Friday, April 9

Thank GLAAD it’s Friday from 7-9 p.m. at Nellie’s Sports Bar, 900 U St., N.W.

Bachelor Auction at EFN Lounge, 1318 9th St., N.W., from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Complimentary Admission, must be 21+ to enter

Volunteers are needed for the Capital Area Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce’s 20th Anniversary Dinner at the Mandarin Oriental. If you would like to volunteer, please e-mail [email protected]. CAGLCC will honor local leaders in the business community, including PR guru Cathy Renna, at the dinner. Tickets start at $180 for members. Silent auction begins at 6:30 p.m.; dinner and program start at 8 p.m. Visit caglcc.org for information.

The Julliard String Quartet plays at the Library of Congress at 8 p.m. in the Jefferson Building, ground floor, Coolidge Auditorium. Admission is free. Call 202- 707-5502 for further information.

Saturday, April 10

National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade 10 a.m. – noon, rain or shine. The parade runs along Constitution Avenue from 7th to 17th Streets, N.W.

The Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival is held 11 a.m.-6 p.m., 12th Street and Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.

David Sedaris brings his comedy show to Baltimore’s Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St., at 8 p.m. Tickets range $30-40; call 410-783-8000 for box office.

Metro DC PFLAG holds its 13th annual gala dinner at 6 p.m. at the Grand Hyatt, 1000 H St., N.W. Tickets are $175; visit pflagdc.com for information. The evening will be emceed by Ann Gillespie and will feature an appearance by Mike Manning of MTV’s “Real World D.C.”

Sunday, April 11

Trans Town Hall Dinner from 2-5 p.m. at HIPS, 1309 Rhode Island Ave., N.E., 2B. For more information, visit dctranscoalition.org or call 202.557.1951.

The Vajrayogini Buddhist Center, 1803 Connecticut Ave., N.W., 2nd floor, conducts its Dharma for Kids and Families from 10-11 a.m. This class is a place families can go to learn together how to develop harmony, confidence and methods to calm minds. Kids are $4, parents $6 and suitable for ages 4-12. Visit meditation-dc.org for more information or contact the center at 202-986-2257 or [email protected].

Monday, April 12

Bears do Yoga. Classes begin at 6:15 p.m. in the DC Center Activity Room, 1810 14th St. N.W., and last for one hour. There is a suggested $5 donation. To RSVP, e-mail [email protected].

Volunteers are needed for Food and Friends. Volunteers will help with food preparation (chopping veggies) and packing groceries. If you are interested in volunteering, please e-mail [email protected]

Tuesday, April 13

DC Agenda is co-sponsoring a series of three financial seminars along with the DC Center and Equality Maryland. The free seminars are conducted by financial planner Joseph Kapp and will help answer financial questions related to same-sex marriage laws in D.C. and Maryland. The first is April 13 at 7 p.m., Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations, 190 W. Ostend St., Suite 201, Baltimore.

Wednesday, April 14

The Vajrayogini Buddhist Center 1803 Conn. Ave. NW 2nd FL. conducts it’s General Program which provides an introduction to basic Buddhist view, meditation, and practice. Each class is self-contained. You can drop in at any point. Visit www.meditation-dc.org for more information or contact the center at 202-986-2257 or [email protected]

The second financial seminar sponsored by DC Agenda, the DC Center and Equality Maryland is held at 7 p.m. at the Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations, 8720 Georgia Ave., Ste. 303 (at Cameron St.), in Silver Spring, Md.

Thursday, April 15

Galactica and the Chocolate Factory. Ganymede Arts’ Special Agent Galactica will perform a two-set act at ACKC Cocoa Bar Café, 1529 14th St., N.W., from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Free admission.

The third financial seminar sponsored by DC Agenda, the DC Center and Equality Maryland is held at 7 p.m. at 1330 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.

Team DC and Jacob Pring Events present: Jock-A-Thon at Town Danceboutique, 2009 8th St., N.W., from 8-11 p.m. (Gaming night will go until close.) Players representing several LGBT area recreational sports teams will be present to recruit, gain new supporters and network with the other sports teams. This event will also kick off the Team DC monthly Gaming Night at Town that will be held on every third Thursday each month. Entry is free from 8-9 p.m.; $5 after 9 p.m. with unlimited game play. 21+ to enter

CHERRY WEEKEND EVENTS

The Cherry Fund Presents: “Cherry Weekend: A Return to Tradition.” Some of the hottest DJs are in town this weekend for a series of parties for the annual Cherry Weekend. The Cherry Fund was incorporated in 1999 and has made more than $900,000 in grants to various community organizations, of which 95 percent comes from individual ticket sales.

This year’s VIP Event Pass is $125 and grants entry into all Cherry Weekend events, including the Deborah Cox show at Town. Tickets can also be purchased for individual events. Visit cherryfund.org for more information.

Passes will be available to purchase online. Visit boxofficetickets.com/cherry and click “Contributions” and make a $125 contribution. Print out your confirmation and bring it to the Welcome Center located at the DC Center, 1810 14th St., N.W., on Friday, April 9 from noon-9 p.m. Tickets for individual events will be sold at the door at the appropriate venue.

This weekend’s schedule of events for “Cherry Weekend: A Return to Tradition” is as follows:

Friday, April 9

• Bachelor Auction at EFN Lounge, 1318 9th St., N.W., 6:30-9:30 p.m. Complimentary Admission, must be 21+ to enter

• Night Party with DJ Alyson Calagna and opening/backroom DJ Jason Horswill at Apex, 1415 22nd St., N.W. from 10 p.m.-4 a.m. Individual event ticket price is $12, 18+ to enter

Saturday, April 10

• Moody Mia (Moody’s birthday party) with DJ Joe Gauthreaux at Town Danceboutique, 2009 8th St., N.W. from 2-7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased separately through appropriate organization. 21+ to enter.

• Town presents Deborah Cox w/ DJ Ed Bailey (sanctioned event) at Town Danceboutique, 2009 8th St., N.W. from 9 p.m.-4 a.m. Individual event ticket price is $25; 21+ to enter.

Sunday, April 11

• Morning Party w/ DJ Susan Morabito at Cobalt, 1639 R St., N.W., from 4:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m. Individual event ticket price is $15; 21+ to enter.

• Closing Party w/ DJ Abel, opening dj tim e at Town Danceboutique, 2009 8th St., N.W. from 8:30 p.m.- 2 a.m. Individual event ticket price is $20; 21+ to enter.

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Theater

Sophie Zmorrod embracing life on the road in ‘Kite Runner’

First national tour comes to Eisenhower Theater on June 25

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Sophie Zmorrod (Photo courtesy of Zmorrod)

‘The Kite Runner’
June 25 – 30
The Kennedy Center
$39-$149
Kennedy-center.org

Newly single, Sophie Zmorrod is enjoying life on the road in the first national tour of “The Kite Runner,” Matthew Spangler’s play with music based on Khaled Hosseini’s gripping novel about damaged relationships and longed for redemption. 

“It’s a wonderful time for me,” says Zmorrod. “I’m past the breakup pain and feeling empowered to explore new cities. A lot of us in the cast are queer, so we figure out the scene wherever the show goes.” 

What’s more, the New York-based actor has fallen in love with the work. “I love how the play’s central character Amir is flawed. He is our antihero. He has faults. As a privileged boy in Kabul, he bears witness to his best friend’s assault and doesn’t intervene. He lives with that guilt for decades and gets that redemption in the end.” 

“He does what he can to right wrongs. For me who’s regretted things, and wished I could go back in time, it resonates. Watching someone forgive themselves and do the right thing is beautiful.” 

Via phone from Chicago (the tour’s stop before moving on to Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater on June 25), Zmorrod, whose background is Lebanese, happily chats about sexuality, ethnicity, and acting. 

WASHINGTON BLADE: Looking at your resume, I see you’ve been cast in roles traditionally played by men. And have you played queer characters? 

SOPHIE ZMORROD: Oh yes, both. Whether or not they’re written on the page as queer, they sometimes turn out that way. And that holds true for this show too.  

With “The Winter’s Tale” at Trinity Rep, I played Leontes — the king who banishes his wife — as a woman. So, in that production it was about two women and touched on the violence that women sometimes inflict on other women.

And there was Beadle Bamford in Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd” also at Trinity Rep; I played him as a woman who was masculine and wore a suit. It was a great opportunity to explore myself and gender expression. That was a really good experience. 

BLADE: Are you an actor who’s often be called in for queer roles? 

ZMORRAD: Not really. I’m what you might call straight passing. Sometimes I’ve had to advocate for my queerness. To be a part of something. 

Similarly with my ethnicity. I’m called in to audition for the white and Arab roles. It gets tricky because I’m not the exactly the white girl next door and I’m not exactly Jasmine from Disney’s “Aladdin” either. 

This is one of the reasons, I really want people to come see “The Kite Runner,” Audiences need to experience the reality of the wide diversity of Middle Eastern people on the stage. We’re all very different.

And not incidentally, from this 14-person cast, I’ve met some great people to add to those I know from the Middle Eastern affinity spaces and groups I’m connected to in New York.

BLADE: In “The Kite Runner” what parts do you play?

 ZMORRAD: Three characters. All women, I think. In the first act, I’m an elderly eccentric pomegranate seller in the Afghan market, waddling around, speaking in Dari [the lingua franca of Afghanistan]; and the second act, I’m young hip and sell records in a San Francisco market; and at the end, I’m a buttoned-down American immigration bureaucrat advising Amir about adoption.

BLADE:  Your training is impressive: BA cum laude in music from Columbia University, an MFA in acting from Brown University/Trinity Repertory Company, and you’re also accomplished in opera and playwrighting, to name a few things. Does “The Kite Runner” allow you to flex your many muscles? 

ZMORROD: Very much. Playing multiple roles is always fun for an actor – we like malleability. Also, there are instruments on stage. I like working with the singing bowl; it’s usually used in yoga as a soothing sound, but here we save it for the dramatic, uncomfortable moments. I also sing from offstage. 

We are creating the world of the play on a very minimal set. Oh, and we do kite flying, and I’m able to use the some of the languages I speak. So yeah, lots of challenges. It’s great. 

BLADE: It sounds like you’re in a good place both professionally and personally.

ZMORROD: It’s taken a long time to feel comfortable. My being gay was never something I led with. But I’m on the journey and excited to be where I am, and who I am. 

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Out & About

Orioles to host Pride night on June 27

Baltimore faces off against reigning World Series champion

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The Baltimore Orioles host the annual Pride night Thursday, June 27. (Washington Blade file photo by Kevin Majoros)

The Baltimore Orioles will host “LGBTQ+ Pride Night” on Thursday, June 27. There will be a live DJ at Legends Park before the 6:35 p.m. game against the reigning World Series champion Texas Rangers.

The event, co-sponsored by the Washington Blade, will feature Pride-themed activities such as Pride face painting, a 360 photo booth, Pride temporary tattoos, and more. All these events will be in the Bullpen Picnic Area. In addition, the first 10,000 attendees receive a free Pride jersey.

For more details, visit the Orioles’ website

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Calendar

Calendar: June 21-27

LGBTQ events in the days to come

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Friday, June 21

Center Aging Friday Tea Time will be at 2 p.m. on Zoom. This is a social hour for older LGBTQ+ adults. Guests are encouraged to bring a beverage of choice. For more information, email [email protected]

“LGBTQ+ Pride Comedy Series” will be at 8:30 p.m. at DC Comedy Clubhouse. Get ready to celebrate love, diversity and unity through comedy. Tickets cost $15 and are available on Eventbrite.

Saturday, June 22

Go Gay DC will host “Pride Month Brunch” at 11 a.m. at Freddie’s Beach Bar & Restaurant. This fun weekly event brings the DMV area LGBTQ+ community, including allies, together for delicious food and conversation. Attendance is free and more details are available on Eventbrite.

Go Gay DC will host “LGBTQ+ Pride Month Social in the City” at 7 p.m. at Hotel Zena. Attendance is free and more details are available on Eventbrite.

Sunday, June 23

Go Gay DC will host “LGBTQ+ Pride Month Funday Social and Games” at 3 p.m. at Moxy. There will be monopoly, chess, checkers, Jenga and many other games. Attendance is free and more details are available on Eventbrite.

AfroCode DC will be at 4 p.m. at Decades DC. This event will be an experience of non-stop music, dancing, and good vibes and a crossover of genres and a fusion of cultures. Tickets cost $40 and can be purchased on Eventbrite

Monday, June 24

Center Aging: Monday Coffee & Conversation will be at 10 a.m. on Zoom. This is a social hour for older LGBTQ+ adults. Guests are encouraged to bring a beverage of their choice. For more details, email [email protected]

“Queer Book Club” will be at 6:30 p.m. on Zoom. This month’s reading is “Glitter + Ashes: Queer Tales of a World that Wouldn’t Die.” For more details, email [email protected]

Tuesday, June 25

Pride on the Patio Events will host “LGBTQ Social Mixer” at 5:30 p.m. at Showroom. Dress is casual, fancy, or comfortable. Guests are encouraged to bring their most authentic self to chat, laugh, and get a little crazy. Admission is free and more details are on Eventbrite.

Coming Out Discussion Group will be at 7 p.m. on Zoom. This is a peer-facilitated discussion group and a safe space to share experiences about coming out and discuss topics as it relates to doing so. For more details, visit the group’s Facebook page. 

Wednesday, June 26

Job Club will be at 6 p.m. on Zoom. This is a weekly job support program to help job entrants and seekers, including the long-term unemployed, improve self-confidence, motivation, resilience and productivity for effective job searches and networking — allowing participants to move away from being merely “applicants” toward being “candidates.” For more information, email [email protected] or visit thedccenter.org/careers.

Thursday, June 27

The DC Center’s Fresh Produce Program will be held all day at the DC Center for the LGBT Community. No proof of residency or income is required. For more information, email [email protected] or call 202-682-2245. 

Virtual Yoga with Charles M. will be at 7 p.m. on Zoom. This is a free weekly class focusing on yoga, breathwork, and meditation. For more details, visit the DC Center for the LGBT Community’s website.

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