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Calendar: Feb. 25

Concerts, exhibits, parties and more through next week

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Betsy Forster's "After the Storm" is part of her exhibit, "Inspirations" at Touchstone Gallery.

Friday, Feb. 25

Beat City, a rock and roll lounge party for queer folks and their friends, is tonight from 9 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. upstairs at Chief Ike’s Mambo Room (1725 Columbia Rd., N.W.). There is no cover for this event and all attendees must be 21 or older.

Caliente Grande is tonight at Apex (1415 22nd St., N.W.) starting at 9 p.m. DJ Michael Brandon will be spinning the Latin dance party in the main hall. There is a $10 cover charge. Attendees must be 18 to enter, 21 to drink.

The D.C. Cowboys host Brodeo tonight at Remingtons (639 Pennsylvania Ave., S.E.) from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. The party will feature country/western and disco/club music, live performances, giveaways, Jell-o shots and an auction.

DJ Chord Bezzera will be at Cobalt (1639 R St., N.W.) tonight at 10 p.m. as part of Club London. There will be free vodka drinks from 11 p.m. to midnight and attendees could win a roundtrip ticket to London.

Women in Their Twenties, a social discussion and dinner group, will be meeting tonight from 8 to 9 pm. at the D.C. Center (1318 U St., N.W.).

Lace Lounge (2214 Rhode Island Ave., N.E.) presents Social Climax tonight from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. There is a $10 cover all night and free drinks before 11:30 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 26

Burgundy Crescent Volunteers will be helping Food and Friends with food preparation and packing groceries today from 8 to 10 a.m. For more information, e-mail [email protected].

Lincoln Congregational Temple UCC presents “From Slavery to Freedom: An Historical Musical Perspective” performed by the Community Chorus of Washington today at 3:30 p.m. at Lincoln Congregational Temple (1701 11th St., N.W.).

Every fourth Saturday of the month, Green Lantern (1335 Green Court, N.W.) is hosting Jocks vs. Jocks from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Cover is $5 if wearing sports attire, $7 if not. There’s a trophy and cash prizes for the winning team.

Shift presents “Surrender. Your. Booty.” a celebration of its two year anniversary tonight at Cobalt (1639 R St., N.W.) from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. The party will feature resident DJ MAJR and guest DJs Matt Bailer of Mixtape, Junebullet of She-Rex and Zack Rosen of Homo/Sonic. Brightest Young Things will be there judging pirate costumes and the best dressed will win two tickets to Kylie Minogue at the Patriot Center on April 30.

DJ Escape will be at Town (2009 8th St., N.W.)tonight. Music and videos downstairs will be by Wess. Drag show starts at 10:30 p.m. Doors open at 10 pm. Cover is $8 before 11 p.m. and $12 after. All attendees must be 21 or older.

Sunday, Feb. 27

Flip-Out, D.C.’s LGBT flip cup league, has its weekly games today at 5 p.m. at Cobalt (1639 R St., N.W.). For more information, visit flipoutdc.com.

Lace Lounge presents “Lyrics and Lace,” an open mic, live entertainment exhibition. Appetizers will be half off and there will be drink specials. The Coolats band will be performing an the show starts at 8 p.m. E-mail dcl[email protected] to perform. Visit lacedc.com for more information.

The Catholic University of America presents “She Said/She Said” by Rebecca Gingrich-Jones. Tickets range from $3 to $15. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit drama.cua.edu/hartke-season.cfm.

Nellie’s (900 U St., N.W.) is hosting an Oscars watch party today starting at 5 p.m.

The D.C. Center presents “Glamour, Glitter and Gold,” its sixth annual Oscar celebration from 7 to 11:30 p.m. at Town (2009 8th St., N.W.). Tickets range from $20 for general admission to $50 for V.I.P.

Monday, Feb. 28

Bears do Yoga at Green Lantern (1335 Green Court N.W.) tonight at 6:30 p.m. Class lasts for an hour and serves as an introduction to yoga for people of all different body types and physical abilities. It’s taught by Michael Brazell. For more information, visit dccenter.org.

SAGE Metro D.C. is having its monthly meeting tonight from 7 to 8 p.m. at the D.C. Center (1318 U St., N.W.).

Tuesday, March 1

Join Burgundy Crescent Volunteers to help pack safer sex kits from 7 to 9 p.m. tonight at FUK!T’s new packing location Green Lantern, 1335 Green Ct., N.W.

Mautner Project presents SHE Circle, a wellness community by and for African-American lesbian and bisexual women, today from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Unity Fellowship Church (502 Rhode Island Ave., N.W.). For more information and to RSVP, e-mail [email protected] or [email protected].

“A Room of Our Own,” an exhibit at Pepco Edison Place Gallery (702 8th St., N.W.) by the f11 Women’s Photography Collective opens today. The gallery is open from noon to 4 p.m. The exhibit will be on display through April 1.

Wednesday, March 2

The Tom Davaron Social Bridge Club will meet at 7:30 tonight at the Dignity Center, 721 8th St., S.E., (across from Marine Barracks) for social bridge. No partner is needed. Visit lambdabridge.com and click on “Social Bridge in Washington” for more information.

Bill Briggs and David Mariner invite executive directors of local LGBT organizations to join them for a local LGBT leader lunch today. The group will meet at the D.C. Center (1318 U St., N.W.) at noon and go to a local restaurant from there.

Touchstone Gallery (901 New York Ave., N.W.) has two exhibits opening today: “Inspiration” with paintings by Betsy Forster and “Surfaces” with paintings by Michelee Cormier. Forster paints landscapes, particularly uninhabited areas. Cormier “captures the deterioration of urban surfaces over time.” The gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the exhibits will be on display through March 27.

The D.C. Center (1318 U St., N.W.) presents a speech by Opening Horizons founders Tony and Christina Vanderveldt on polyamory, open relationships and swinging from 7 to 9 p.m.

Thursday, March 3

“Shear Madness,” a comedy whodunit, will be performed at the Kennedy Center Theater Lab (2700 F St., N.W.) at 5 and 8 p.m. “Madness” takes place in present-day Georgetown, in the Shear Madness Hair Styling Salon. Visit kennedy-center.org for more information and to purchase tickets.

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Taste of Pride celebrates LGBTQ and allied restaurants

Weeklong event will feature local eateries and bars

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Kareem Queeman, known as Mr. Bake, will headline the opening event for Taste of Pride.

Get ready to celebrate LGBTQ-owned, managed, and allied restaurants at Taste of Pride from Oct. 2-8. 

The weeklong event is a new initiative by Capital Pride Alliance. In 2021, the organization put on a single-day brunch event in June at LGBTQ and allied restaurants, but this is the first weeklong iteration. 

About 15 local restaurants and bars are set to participate, including As You Are, Shaw’s Tavern, Jane Jane, and Code Red. There’s also an opening party on Monday, Oct. 2 featuring food and drink vendors without a traditional brick-and-mortar space, like Suga Chef and Vegan Junk Food. 

Taste of Pride will raise funds for the Pride365 fund, which supports local LGBTQ organizations. There will be a three-course prix fixe menu at several of the participating locations, with lunch and brunch menus offered at $30, and dinner menus offered at $40 or $55. 

Kareem Queeman, known as Mr. Bake, will be headlining the opening event on the evening of Oct. 2 at Lost Generation Brewery. Queeman, the founder and owner of the renowned bakery Mr. Bake Sweets and a James Beard Award semi-finalist, said he’s excited to spotlight LGBTQ chefs and mixologists. 

Queeman said he’s proud to be a part of bringing queer culinary experts together to celebrate the work they’ve all done and discuss what changes need to come to the industry — there will be a panel discussion on Oct. 2 covering those topics. LGBTQ chefs have long gone unnoticed, he said, despite the innovative work they’ve done. 

“Queers have been in the industry doing the work for a very long time and we just haven’t really gotten that acknowledgment,” Queeman said. 

Providing this space for LGBTQ people in the restaurant industry is paramount to giving a sense of power and ownership in the work they do, Queeman said. He wishes there was this kind of space for him when he was coming up as a chef when he was younger. 

Taste of Pride is also a great opportunity for LGBTQ people looking to get into the industry to find safe spaces to work that are run by queer people, Queeman said. 

Rob Heim, the general manager at Shaw’s Tavern, said he’s looking forward to being a part of the event. And new fall menu items at Shaw’s Tavern will be available during Taste of Pride, which he’s thrilled to showcase. 

“I was really excited to help out and participate,” he said. “It’s a great idea.” 

The smaller number of participating restaurants in Taste of Pride is intentional, said Brandon Bayton, a volunteer executive producer organizing Taste of Pride. It’s so each restaurant can be well-represented during the week, and different restaurants will be highlighted on social media on separate days. Capital Pride Alliance is also partnering with influencers to get the word out. 

From left, food from 801 Restaurant and Bar and a drink from Code Red. (Code Red photo by Michael Emond; photos courtesy of Capital Pride Alliance)

Visibility — all year long 

It’s important to have events like Taste of Pride outside of June, Bayton said. 

“We exist 365 days,” Bayton said. “So we need to make sure that we continue the celebration and invite others to celebrate with us and just be authentically ourselves. We enjoy and do a lot of things other people do. There’s no reason why we should just be constrained to one month.”

Queeman agrees. His identity as a queer Black man doesn’t stop or start at any given month. 

“I’m not just a queer or gay man in June or I’m not just a Black man in February,” he said. 

And food is a major intersection that all people of all identities enjoy, Bayton said. It’s a simple way to bring people together. 

“We do the exact same things that everyone else does,” Bayton said. “We all eat. We all love to eat.” 

Taste of Pride will run from Oct. 2-8. For more information and to make reservations, visit capitalpride.org/event/taste-of-pride.

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Photos

PHOTOS: DCGFFL 25th Anniversary Party

Gay flag football league marks milestone at Penn Social

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The D.C. Gay Flag Football league held a party celebrating their 25th season at Penn Social on Saturday. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The D.C. Gay Flag Football League (DCGFFL) held a 25th season anniversary party at Penn Social on Saturday, Sept. 23. Proceeds from the event benefited the LGBTQ youth services organization SMYAL as well as the D.C. Center for the LGBTQ Community.

(Washington Blade photos by Michael Key)

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Books

New book goes behind the scenes of ‘A League of Their Own’

‘No Crying in Baseball’ offers tears, laughs, and more

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(Book cover image courtesy of Hachette Books)

‘No Crying in Baseball: The Inside Story of ‘A League of Their Own’
By Erin Carlson
c.2023, Hachette Books
$29/320 pages

You don’t usually think of Madonna as complaining of being “dirty all day” from playing baseball. But that’s what the legendary diva did during the shooting of “A League of Their Own,” the 1992 movie, beloved by queers.

“No Crying in Baseball,” the fascinating story behind “A League of Their Own,” has arrived in time for the World Series. Nothing could be more welcome after Amazon has cancelled season 2 of its reboot (with the same name) of this classic film.

In this era, people don’t agree on much. Yet, “A League of Their Own” is loved by everyone from eight-year-old kids to 80-year-old grandparents.

The movie has strikes, home runs and outs for sports fans; period ambience for history buffs; and tears, laughs and a washed-up, drunk, but lovable coach for dramady fans.

The same is true for “No Crying in Baseball.” This “making of” story will appeal to history, sports and Hollywood aficionados. Like “All About Eve” and “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “A League of Their Own” is Holy queer Writ.

Carlson, a culture and entertainment journalist who lives in San Francisco, is skilled at distilling Hollywood history into an informative, compelling narrative. As with her previous books, “I’ll Have What She’s Having: How Nora Ephron’s three Iconic Films Saved the Romantic Comedy” and “Queen Meryl: The Iconic Roles, Heroic Deeds, and Legendary Life of Meryl Streep,” “No Crying in Baseball,” isn’t too “educational.” It’s filled with gossip to enliven coffee dates and cocktail parties.

“A League of Their Own” is based on the true story of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL). From 1943 to 1954, more than 600 women played in the league in the Midwest. The league’s players were all white because the racism of the time prohibited Black women from playing. In the film, the characters are fictional. But the team the main characters play for – the Rockford Peaches – was real.

While many male Major and Minor League Baseball players were fighting in World War II, chewing gum magnate Philip K. Wrigley, who owned the Chicago Cubs, founded the league. He started the AAGPBL, “To keep spectators in the bleachers,” Carlson reports, “and a storied American sport–more important: his business afloat.” 

In 1943, the Office of War Information warned that the baseball season could be “scrapped” “due to a lack of men,” Carlson adds.

“A League of Their Own” was an ensemble of women’s performances (including Rosie O’Donnell as Doris, Megan Cavanagh as Marla, Madonna as Mae, Lori Petty as Kit and Geena Davis as Dottie) that would become legendary.

Girls and women  still dress up as Rockford Peaches on Halloween.

Tom Hanks’s indelible portrayal of coach Jimmy Dugan, Gary Marshall’s depiction of (fictional) league owner Walter Harvey and Jon Lovitz’s portrayal of Ernie have also become part of film history.

Filming “A League of Their Own,” Carlson vividly makes clear, was a gargantuan effort.  There were “actresses who can’t play baseball” and “baseball players who can’t act,” Penny Marshall said.

The stadium in Evansville, Ind., was rebuilt to look like it was in the 1940s “when the players and extras were in costume,” Carlson writes, “it was easy to lose track of what year it was.”

“No Crying in Baseball” isn’t written for a queer audience. But, Carlson doesn’t pull any punches. 

Many of the real-life AAGPBL players who O’Donnell met had same-sex partners, O’Donnell told Carlson.

“When Penny, angling for a broad box-office hit chose to ignore the AAGPGL’s queer history,” Carlson writes, “she perpetuated a cycle of silence that muzzled athletes and actresses alike from coming out on the wider stage.”

“It was, as they say, a different time,” she adds.

Fortunately, Carlson’s book isn’t preachy. Marshall nicknames O’Donnell and Madonna (who become buddies) “Ro” and “Mo.” Kodak is so grateful for the one million feet of film that Marshall shot that it brings in a high school marching band. Along with a lobster lunch. One day, an assistant director “streaked the set to lighten the mood,” Carlson writes.

“No Crying in Baseball,” is slow-going at first. Marshall, who died in 2018, became famous as Laverne in “Laverne & Shirley.” It’s interesting to read about her. But Carlson devotes so much time to Marshall’s bio that you wonder when she’ll get to “A League of Their Own.”

Thankfully, after a couple of innings, the intriguing story of one of the best movies ever is told.

You’ll turn the pages of “No Crying in Baseball” even if you don’t know a center fielder from a short stop.

The Blade may receive commissions from qualifying purchases made via this post.

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