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Arts & Entertainment

Calendar: April 1

Concerts, exhibits, parties and more through April 7

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Britney Spears’ new album is the centerpiece of the ‘Femme Fatale Ball’ tonight at Apex. (Photo courtesy of Jive Records)

Friday, April 1

RAW, hosted by DJs Bil Todd and Shea Van Horn with special guest DJ Joshua, will be at Green Lantern (1335 Green Court, N.W.) tonight from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. Free entry before 11 p.m. with a $5 cover after. There will be an open bar from 10 to 11 p.m. Attendees must be 21 or older.

Cobalt (1639 R St., N.W.) presents the Femme Fatale Ball, a release party for Britney Spears’ new album, “Femme Fatale,” from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. with DJs Randy White and Keenan Orr. Attendees will have a chance to win a free copy of the album.

The D.C. Center (1318 U St., N.W.) has its open mic night tonight from 8 to 10 p.m. featuring Avata J and hosted by Mike Brazell. This is a free event.

AnniethingGoes and Forward Fest present Dory, Charles Martin and vANNIEty Kills at Jimmy Valentine’s Lonely Hearts Club (1103 Bladensburg Rd., N.E.) tonight from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. This is Dory’s D.C. debut. Cover is $5 or free with the FWD pass. All attendees must be 21 or older. For more information, visit forwarddc.com.

The Lodge (21614 National Pike) in Boonsboro presents Ten Queens. One Crown. The Journey to Miss Gay Maryland: A Contestant Revue Show hosted by Onyx Revlon and Ashley Bannks. Doors open at 9 p.m. with a $5 cover until 11 and $8 after. The show starts at 10:30 p.m.

Touchstone Gallery (901 New York Ave., N.W.) is hosting an opening reception tonight from 6 to 8:30 p.m. for its newest exhibits, “Grasses” by Mary D. Ott featuring hand-pulled prints of diverse images with grasses as their theme and “Nest with a Twist” by Janet Wheeler featuring mixed media pieces that depict nature’s endless cycle of renewal.

Saturday, April 2

John Doe and Jill Sobule, the singer of the original “I Kissed a Girl,” will be performing at Rams Head On Stage (33 West St.) in Annapolis today at 13:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online at ramsheadonstage.com.

Apex (1415 22nd St., N.W.) presents RuPaul’s DragRace season three star, India Ferrah, tonight at 11 p.m. with Kristina Kelly and Her Girls of Glamour. DJ Gigi will be spinning starting at midnight. There is $10 cover.

Code has its monthly installment tonight at Green Lantern (1335 Green Court, N.W.). Gear, rubber, skin, uniform or leather dress code will be strictly enforced. Music provided by DJ Frank Wild. Admission is $10. Code is an 18-and-older event. There will be an open bar from 9-10.

DJs Will Eastman and Brian Billion return to the 9:30 Club (815 V St., N.W.) with their No Scrubs: ‘90s Dance Party tonight at 9 p.m. featuring music by Salt N Pepa, Nirvana, Ace of Base and more. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online at 930.com.

Busboys & Poets is holding a bake sale for Japan on the patio of its 5th and K Sts. location (1025 5th St., N.W.) at 10 a.m. This is part of a simultaneous national bake sale. All money raised will be donated to Peace Winds Japan. For more information, visit bakesalforjapan.com.

Adventuring, a D.C. gay and lesbian outdoor group, will be hosting a cherry blossom day hike. The group will meet at the station attendant’s kiosk at the Rosslyn Metro at 9 a.m. and hike a trail to the cherry blossoms and back. The only required cost is the $2 trip fee. For more information, visit adventuring.org.

Sunday, April 3

Nicki Minaj will be performing tonight at 7 p.m. at the Verizon Center (501 F St., N.W.) as part of Lil Wayne’s I’m Still Music tour also featuring Rick Ross and Travis Barker with MixMaster Mike. Tickets range from $49.75 to $125.75 and can be purchased online at ticketmaster.com.

For the 2011 Kennedy Center Spring Gala, the Kennedy Center (2700 F St., N.W.) presents “Michael Kaiser at the Kennedy Center: A Celebration of Ten Years” at 8 p.m. hosted by honoree Smokey Robinson with performers like Joshua Bell, Barbara Cook, Audra McDonald and dancers from various ballet companies. Tickets range from $35 to $150. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit kennedy-center.org.

Monday, April 4

The Queer Network of the Women’s Information Network is having a volunteer night at the D.C. Center (1318 U St., N.W.) from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. to make safer sex kits.

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.

Tuesday, April 5

“Shear Madness,” a comedy whodunit, will be performed twice tonight 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. Tickets are $42. Visit kennedy-center.org for more information and to purchase tickets.

Conflict Solutions International is hosting an event on Islam and Western Society today at the Western Presbyterian Church (2401 Virginia Ave., N.W.) at 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, April 6

The Tom Davaron Social Bridge Club will meet at 7:30 p.m. at the Dignity Center (721 8th St., S.E.) for social bridge. No partner is needed. For more information, visit lambdabridge.com and click “Social Bridge in Washington, D.C.”

Green Lantern (1331 Green Court, N.W.) will host the weekly Poz D.C. happy hour upstairs from 8 p.m. to midnight. DJs, C-Dubz, Keith Hoffman, Jason Horswill and T-N-T Music factory will be spinning. Jacob Pring will host and bartend.

Thursday, April 7

Team D.C. presents Spring Sportsfest, a happy hour and “open house expo” for LGBT athletes and newcomers interested in joining a team this season today from 7 to 10 p.m. at Room & Board (1840 14th St., N.W.). More than 25 sports groups have been confirmed as being in attendance. For more information, visit teamdc.org.

Nellie’s (900 U St., N.W.) is hosting AIDS Walk 2011 Kick-Off today at 6 p.m. There will be raffle prizes, free fries, free walk registration and fundraising guide and one free beer.

The Crime Victims’ Rights Week National Observance and Candlelight Ceremony is tonight at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (1615 H St., N.W.) from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. featuring Judy Shepard, mother of slain hate crime victim, Matthew Shepard. This is a free event. For more information, visit ncvrw.org.

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Arts & Entertainment

LGBTQ+ ally Jamie Lee Curtis reveals her 25-year-old child is Trans

Curtis and her husband Christopher Guest, British screenwriter, composer, musician, director, and actor have two daughters.

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Screenshot via Page 6 YouTube channel

LOS ANGELES – In a new interview with the American Association of Retired Persons’ magazine, Golden Globe and BAFTA winning actress Jamie Lee Curtis disclosed that her youngest child is transgender. In the interview Curtis reflected that she has “watched in wonder and pride as our son became our daughter Ruby.”

Curtis and her husband Christopher Guest, British screenwriter, composer, musician, director, and actor have two daughters. Ruby, 25, works as a computer gaming editor while Curtis and Guest’s 34-year-old daughter, Annie, is married and works as a dance instructor. Curtis also noted that Ruby and her fiancé are getting married next year in a wedding that Curtis will officiate.

The longtime Hollywood couple have been married for more than 36 years but have no grandchildren, “but I do hope to,” she told the magazine.

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Sports

Non-binary Olympian leaves games without a medal but still a winner

For the first time in my entire life, I’m proud of the person I’ve worked to become. I chose my happiness over medaling

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Alana Smith via Instagram

TOKYO – In a series of firsts for the Summer Olympic Games, Alana Smith left the Tokyo games with a sense of accomplishment and a couple of firsts. The 20-year-old non-binary skateboarder competing in the debut of their sport noted on their Instagram account, “My goal coming into this was to be happy and be a visual representation for humans like me.”

Smith wrote: ‘What a wild f***ing ride…My goal coming into this was to be happy and be a visual representation for humans like me. For the first time in my entire life, Im proud of the person I’ve worked to become. I chose my happiness over medaling. Out of everything I’ve done, I wanted to walk out of this knowing I UNAPOLOGETICALLY was myself and was genuinely smiling.

The feeling in my heart says I did that. Last night I had a moment on the balcony, I’m not religious or have anyone/anything I talk to. Last night I thanked whoever it was out there that gave me the chance to not leave this world the night I laid in the middle of the road. I feel happy to be alive and feel like I’m meant to be here for possibly the first time in a extremely long time. On or off day, I walked out of this happy and alive… Thats all I have ever asked for.

Thank you to all the incredible humans that have supported me through so many waves of life. I can’t wait to skate for the love of it again, not only for a contest. Which is wild considering a contest helped me find my love for it again. 💛🤍💜🖤”

Smith’s Olympic debut was slightly marred by their being misgendered during news coverage of their events by BBC commentators misgendering Smith discussing their performance, which led to protests from LGBTQ+ groups and allies including British LGBTQ+ advocacy group Stonewall UK.

 

During the competition, Smith proudly held up their skateboard, which featured their pronouns they/them written across the top. The misgendering was addressed by NBC Sports which issued an apology Tuesday for streaming coverage that misgendered Smith.

“NBC Sports is committed to—and understands the importance of—using correct pronouns for everyone across our platforms,” the network said. “While our commentators used the correct pronouns in our coverage, we streamed an international feed that was not produced by NBCUniversal which misgendered Olympian Alana Smith. We regret this error and apologize to Alana and our viewers.”

NBC also reported that this is the first Olympics in history that has featured skateboarding, with 16 athletes traveling to Tokyo to represent the United States. Smith qualified for the third Olympic spot in the women’s street category after competing at the World Skate World Championships in 2019, according to Dew Tour, which hosts international skateboarding competitions.

According to Outsports, the online LGBTQ+ Sports magazine and NBC Sports, Smith is one of more than 160 openly LGBTQ athletes competing at this year’s Tokyo Olympics and one of at least three openly nonbinary or Trans athletes.

Quinn, a midfielder for the Canadian women’s soccer team who goes by only their first name, is the first openly Trans athlete and nonbinary athlete to compete in the games. Laurel Hubbard, a Trans woman from New Zealand will compete in the super heavyweight 87 kilogram-plus (192 pound-plus) weightlifting category on August 2.

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Books

‘Playing the Palace’ a campy, fun rom-com read

What happens when a prince meets an event planner

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‘Playing the Palace’
By Paul Rudnick
c.2021, Berkley
$16/272 pages

If you loathe romance or hate to laugh, then skip this book.  

If you’re looking for a rom-com that’s as fab and campy as Provincetown or Rehoboth Beach on a summer night, “Playing the Palace” by Paul Rudnick is the book for you.

Reading “Playing the Palace” is like sipping a delicious frozen Daiquiri.

Carter Ogden, the neurotic, good-hearted, Jewish, funny, out, gay narrator of this frothy romance, becomes your BFF and drinking buddy at the opening sentence, “It’s still weird, waking up alone.”

The plot of the book is simple: Carter, 29, is an associate “event architect” (in plain English – event planner) in New York City. He makes ends meet by living with wacky, supportive roommates.

Carter, a native of Piscataway, N.J., and IHOP aficionado, is feeling dejected as he approaches his 30th birthday. His ex, an actor, has left him. He can’t help but wonder if he’ll ever find love again.

Until, at work, he meets Edgar, the Prince of Wales. Edgar has come over from the United Kingdom to speak at a charity event for a group that works to provide clean water to countries that need it. And, this being a fictional prince in a rom-com, Edgar is openly gay. 

As you’ve been forewarned, we’re not dealing with realism here.

Edgar sees Carter and asks him to give him tips on how he can get his speech across more effectively.  

From that moment on, the two – the IHOP-loving event planner and the future King of England — are in a fine romance. (Edgar is an orphan. His parents were killed in a plane crash.)

Their quest for the happily-ever-after involves pancakes, projectile vomiting, social media and a Thanksgiving meet-up of Carter’s Jewish aunts and Edgar’s grandmother, the Queen of England.

By itself, the story of “Playing the Palace” might seem predictable. What makes it sizzle – why you laugh out loud even as you root for the romance to work out – is its narrative voice.

“Playing the Palace” is a funny, sometimes touching monologue in the voice of Carter.

You’d have to have a heart of stone not to love Carter when he says he “addressed my problems to the framed photo of the late beloved Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the wall of my tiny, partitioned bedroom.”

Writing a whole novel as a monologue could fizzle out if other writers tried it.  

But, Rudnick a gay novelist, playwright, essayist, screenwriter and humorist, is a master of this form.

His plays, produced on and off-Broadway include “Jeffrey,” “I Hate Hamlet,” “The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told” and “The New Century.” He’s won an Obie Award, two Outer Critics Circle Awards and the John Gassner Playwriting Award.  

Rudnick’s novels include “Social Disease” and “I’ll Take It.” “Gorgeous” and “It’s All Your Fault” are among his YA (young adult) novels.

His screenplays include “Addams Family Values,” “In & Out,” the screen adaptation of “Jeffrey” and “Sister Act.” He wrote the screenplay for “Coastal Elites,” the comedic satire that debuted on HBO last year.

Something of a polymath, Rudnick is, according to his bio, “rumored to be quite close” to film critic Libby Gelman-Waxner, whose reviews have appeared in Premiere magazine and Entertainment Weekly.

A frequent contributor to The New Yorker, his essays have appeared in Vanity Fair, The New York Times and Vogue.

As you might expect, the volume is chock full of pop culture references and wit. “I took a shower using my new manly body wash,” Carter says, “which is exactly the same as the female version, only with simplified graphics and a steel-gray, squared-off bottle, as if it contains motor oil and testosterone.”

It’s not surprising that Rudnick told Entertainment Weekly that he’s working on a musical of the movie “The Devil Wears Prada.”

Reading “Playing the Palace” is like seeing a Broadway musical.  

“I was looking into eyes that were so radiantly blue I either wanted to faint or yell ‘just stop it,’” Carter says when he first sees Edgar.

“Playing the Palace” is a show-stopper.

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