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Calendar: Sept. 16

Parties, meetings, performances and more through Sept. 22

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‘Into October’ is one of the pastels by Lou Gagnon on display at Touchstone Gallery. (Image courtesy of Touchstone)

Friday, Sept. 16

Green Lantern (1335 Green Court, N.W.) presents Fahrenheit tonight with Susan Morabito at 9 p.m. Cover is $7.

Busboys & Poets is kicking off a new monthly event, an open mic, jam session and talent showcase, tonight at 10 p.m. hosted by Y’Anna Crawley in the Zinn Room of its Hyattsville location (5331 Baltimore Ave., Suite 104). Admission is $5 at the door.

The Gay District Open House is tonight at 8 p.m. at St. Margaret’s Church (1830 Connecticut Ave., N.W.) from 8 to 11:30 p.m. Gay District is a weekly discussion group for gay men from the ages of 18 to 35.

The D.C. Queer Writers Collective will be holding its monthly writing circle tonight at the D.C. Center (1318 U St., N.W.) at 6 p.m.

D.C. Women in Their Thirties will meet tonight at 8 p.m. at the D.C. Center (1318 U St., N.W.).

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.

Touchstone Gallery (901 New York Ave., N.W.) has two exhibits on display, “The Nature of Joy” featuring pastels by Lou Gagnon and “Off the Square” featuring canvas wall reliefs by Mary H. Lynch. The gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 17

A new gay-welcoming Catholic church, St. Hedwig’s Old Catholic Church, has its first Mass today at 9 a.m. The church will meet each Sunday morning at Palisades Community Church (5200 Cathedral Ave., N.W.) in Washington. The church, not affiliated with the Vatican, describes itself as one with “progressive Catholic values” that welcomes those “disaffected by mainstream traditions” and what some consider “politically distorted teachings of Christ” in other faith traditions. Bishop Michael Seneco, who’s gay, is the pastor. Visit sainthedwigs.org for more information. All are welcome.

The Skullduggery and Skin Show is tonight at Red Palace (1212 H St., N.E.) at 10 p.m. featuring magic and burlesque. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at redpalacedc.com. All attendees must be 21 or older.

DJ Abel will be spinning at Town’s (2009 8th St., N.W.) Red Party tonight at 10 p.m. There is a $8 cover from 10 to 11 p.m. which then goes up to $12. All attendees must be 21 or older.

Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens (4155 Linnean Ave., N.W.) is having its tenth annual Gay Day today from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Partnering with Rainbow Families, the morning starts with a LGBT family garden party. The afternoon will bring square dancing, music, “Punch on the Portico” and more. General admission is $15, $12 for seniors and $10 for members and college students. Children 18 and under will be admitted for free.

The Ladies of Lure present Bare: Ol’Skool Edition with DJ Rosie and DJ Keenan with special guests DystRucXion Dancers at Cobalt (1639 R St., N.W.) tonight at 10 p.m. There is a $7 cover before midnight and $10 after. All attendees must be 21 or older. There will be a cash prize for the best ol’ skool attire.

Black Cat (1811 14th St., N.W.) presents Hellmouth Happy Hour where every week an episode of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” will be screened and drink specials will be offered. This week the episode is “Passion.”

Chris Brown will be performing at the Verizon Center (601 F St., N.W.) tonight at 7 p.m. with Kelly Rowland, T. Pain and Tyga. Tickets range from $39.75 to $85.75 and can be purchased online at ticketmaster.com.

Green Lantern (1335 Green Court, N.W.) hosts “Slippery When Wet: Black Out!” tonight from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. with prize packages and Manhunt giveaway. DJ t-one D.C. will be spinning.

Sunday, Sept. 18

Anniething Goes and 2Tuff present LTJ Bukem at U Street Music Hall (1115 U St., N.W.) with Thunderball, Slant, BJoo and vAnniety Kills tonight at 9 p.m. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online at ustreetmusichall.com.

Zoom Urban Lesbian Excursions presents Hoopnotica today at 3 p.m. The class, which will teach the basic moves of hooping, will take place at Sylvan Theater on the National Mall near the Washington Monument and hoops will be available to rent. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online at phatgirlchic.com/zoom.

 

Monday, Sept. 19

Town (2009 8th St., N.W.) is throwing a New Year’s Eve-style party tonight to countdown to the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” on Tuesday. Doors open at 9 p.m. and there is no cover. This is not a fundraiser and is one of many parties happening around the country. For more information, visit servicemembers.org.

The Library of Congress Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or Transgender Employees presents “The Frank Kameny Papers: A Gallery Talk” today at the Library of Congress (101 Independence Ave., S.E.) at noon, led by John Earl Haynes, a modern political historian at the Library, and focusing on two items from the Kameny Papers currently in the “Creating the United States” exhibit.

 

Tuesday, Sept. 20

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.

The LGBT Congressional Staff Association is hosting a panel discussion tonight from 5 to 7 p.m. at in the Orientation Theatre at the Capitol Visitors Center to discuss racial justice and LGBT equality. Some of the topics will include addressing homophobia, bi and transphobia in the black community, cultural barriers to coming out, how do African-American LGBT images in media shape attitudes and more. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, email [email protected].

 

Wednesday, Sept. 21

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

Jonathan Dillon from American University will be presenting his work and research with three LGBT rights organizations in Uganda at the D.C. Center (1318 U St., N.W.) tonight from 7 to 9 p.m. The presentation will largely focus on the work of these organizations but some research findings will be shared. There is a recommended donation of $5 that will be given to the organizations in Uganda.

 

Thursday, Sept. 22

Gays & Lesbians Opposing Violence (GLOV) is having its monthly meeting tonight in the main room at the D.C. Center (1318 U St., N.W.) from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Stonewall Kickball presents “Chow Down for the D.C. Center” at Level One (1639 R St., N.W.) tonight. All night, twenty percent of the food sales will be donated to the Center.

The D.C. Center (1318 U St., N.W.) and Tongue in You Ear presents the Brother Tongue Poetry Workshop series. Tonight is the first in a series of four workshops led by Regie Cabico, a three time National Poetry Slam finalist who has appeared on two season of HBO’s Def Poetry Jam. All sessions will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $25 for all four sessions. For more information and to register, visit thedccenter.org.

Lambda Sci-Fi, an LGBT science fiction, fantasy and horror group, is having its book discussion group today at 7 p.m. at 1425 S St., N.W. For more information, call James at 202-232-3141, e-mail to [email protected], or visit the group’s website lambdascifi.org.

 

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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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