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Calendar: Sept. 9

Parties, meetings, performances and more through Sept. 15

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An ABBA tribute concert plays Wolf Trap Sunday. (Photo courtesy of Wolf Trap)

TODAY (Friday)

Women in Their Twenties, a social discussion and dinner group, meets tonight from 8 to 9:30 p.m. at the D.C. Center (1318 U St., N.W.).

Busboys & Poets presents “The 11th Hour” poetry slam hosted by “2Deep” the Poetess, tonight at 11 p.m. in the Langston room at its 14th and V streets location (2021 14th St., N.W.). There is a $5 admission at the door starting at 10:30 p.m.

So Addictive Lounge (733 Elden St.) in Herndon presents “T.Gay.I.F.” tonight with music, dancing and more from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.

The Lodge (21614 National Pike) in Boonsboro is hosting “Miss Gay America or Bust,” a benefit show to help Maryland drag queens go to Miss Gay America featuring Miss Gay Maryland 2011 Chi Chi Ray Colby and Araya Sparxx, first alternate to MGM, tonight starting at 9 p.m. There will also be performances by Ashley Bannks, Brooke Lane, Miss D Meaner, Chanel Van Cartier Couture, Nicole James, Butch Kelly and more from 10 to 11:30 p.m. The cover is $5 before 11 and $3 afterward.

Town (2009 8th St., N.W.) is having its weekly Bear Happy Hour tonight starting at 6 p.m. There is no cover for this 21 and older event.

Saturday, Sept. 10

Mixtape is celebrating its third anniversary tonight at Town (2009 8th St., N.W.) from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. Mixtape is a dance party for queer music lovers and their pals that features DJs Shea Van Horn and Matt Bailer playing an eclectic mix of electro, alt-pop, indie rock, house, disco, new wave and anything else danceable. There is a $8 cover from 10 to 11 p.m. that goes up to $12 for this 21-and-older event.

The D.C. Center (1318 U St., N.W.) will be having an introduction to Adobe Photoshop today from 2 to 4 p.m. There will also be free HIV testing at the center from 4 to 7 p.m.

Kings Dominion is having its annual gay and lesbian night benefitting Brother, Help Thyself, tonight from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Attendees will be able to enjoy the rides throughout the night and at 11 p.m. DJ Steve Henderson will be spinning at the dance party on International Street. Tickets are $33 in advance and $36 at the gate. Visit kingsdominion.com/shop/shopping_corporate_partners.cfm and enter “gaynight” as the company ID to get the special price.

Blowoff, a dance party featuring gay DJs Bob Mould and Richard Morel, will be at 9:30 club (815 V St., N.W.) tonight. Doors open at 11:30 p.m. Attendees must be 21 or older. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased at 930.com.

S.h.e. productions presents Rehab at Grand Central Disco and Sapphos (1001 N. Charles St.) in Baltimore featuring the power hour and a half with $2.50 domestic and rail drinks until 10:30 p.m. Doors open at 9 p.m. and there is a $5 cover for this 21 and older event.

Just Circuit will be at Cobalt (1639 R St., N.W.) tonight featuring DJs Sean Morris and Mike Reimer with DJ Kuhmeleon at 10 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 11

Nellie’s (900 U St., N.W.) has its weekly drag brunch hosted by Shi-Queeta Lee today starting at 11 a.m. The brunch buffet is $20 and includes a free mimosa. Also at Nellie’s is the “Guil-Tea Dance” with DJ Shea Van Horn at 3 p.m.

Burgundy Crescent Volunteers will be helping fight hunger in the D.C. area today from 9 a.m. to noon, with D.C. Central Kitchen. Volunteers will help cook, working along chefs who have graduated from DCCK’s job training program. No experience is required, just an interest of cooking. DCCK provides job skills by using rescued and donated ingredients to teach unemployed and homeless individuals how to cook, then turns this food into free meal services. E-mail [email protected] for more information.

Lambda Sci-Fi, an LGBT science fiction, fantasy and horror group, is having its monthly meeting and social today starting at 1:30 p.m. at 1414 17th St., N.W. Participants are asked to bring a snack or a non-alcoholic drink to share. For more information, call James at 202-232-3141, e-mail to [email protected], or visit the group’s website lambdascifi.org.

ABBA — The Concert will be performed at the Filene Center at Wolf Trap (1645 Trap Rd.) in Vienna, tonight at 8 p.m. Tickets are $38 for in-house and $25 for the lawn. For more information and to purchase tickets online, visit wolftrap.org.

Monday, Sept. 12

There will be a Youth Working Group meeting today at the D.C. Center (1318 U St., N.W.) at 6:30 p.m. This is a group of people who are committed to impacting the lives of D.C. area youth.

The D.C. Lambda Squares are holding an open house/ice cream social today from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Scott Hall at the National City Christian Church (5 Thomas Circle, N.W.). No previous experience is necessary.

Busboys & Poets is hosting “10 Years Later: 9-11 — Lessons Learned,” a discussion with Ralph Nader, Mike German and Bruce Fein, at 12:30 p.m. at its 14th and V location (2021 14th St., N.W.) to mark the anniversary of the attacks.

Tuesday, Sept. 13

D.C. Bi Women will have its monthly dinner at Dupont Italian Kitchen (1637 17th St., N.W.) tonight from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Remington’s (639 Pennslyvania Ave., S.E.) is hosting D.C. Drag Idol tonight from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. hosted by Raquel Savage Black. Admission is $5.

Wednesday, Sept. 14

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

Green Lantern (1331 Green Court, N.W.) will host the weekly Poz D.C. happy hour upstairs from 8 p.m. to midnight.

Thursday, Sept. 15

“Shear Madness,” a comedy whodunit, will be performed tonight at the Kennedy Center Theater Lab (2700 F St., N.W.) at 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.

 

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Photos

PHOTOS: Baltimore Pride in the Park

Annual celebration featured vendors, performers

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(Washington Blade photo by Linus Berggren)

Baltimore Pride in the Park was held at Druid Hill Park on Sunday, June 16.

(Washington Blade photos by Linus Berggren)

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Photos

PHOTOS: “Portraits”

The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington performs at the Kennedy Center

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A scene from "Portraits," as performed in a technical rehearsal at the Kennedy Center on Saturday, June 15. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington performed “Portraits” at the Kennedy Center on Sunday, June 16.

(Washington Blade photos by Michael Key)

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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. 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. But I’m on the journey and excited to be where I am, and who I am. 

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