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Calendar: Nov. 4

Concerts, parties, exhibits and more through Nov. 10



Lesbian singer Brandi Carlile plays the Birchmere next week. (Photo courtesy Columbia Records)

TODAY (Friday)

The D.C. Center (1318 U St., N.W.) is holding its monthly open mic night tonight from 8 to 10 p.m., featuring guests Eryca Kasse, a Jewish lesbian, writer and social worker, and Jessica Genia Simon, who has been writing poetry since she was 7 and has been published in “New Voices: National Jewish Student Magazine.” The event is hosted by Mike Brazell.

Green Lantern (1335 Green Court, N.W.) presents Fahrenheit tonight from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. featuring music by DJ Joey-O. There’s a $5 cover after 10 p.m. and free rail vodka on the second floor from 10 to 11 p.m.

Busboys & Poets presents First Fridays: A Local Arts Exploration tonight at 5:30 p.m. in the Zinn room at its Hyattsville location (5331 Baltimore Ave., Suite 104). This event combines a reception, artist talk and the opportunity to meet other local artists, and see their work. This month’s presenters are Chanel Compton, Charles A. Sessoms, J.J. McCracken, Bensonn Anspach and Brooke Kidd.

Strathmore presents Friday Night Eclectic featuring D.C.-based world funk ensemble Funk Ark and special guest Fort Knox Five’s Mustafa Akbar, tonight at 8 p.m. at the Mansion (10701 Rockville Pike) in North Bethesda. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

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, Nov. 5

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

The Capital Pride Symphonic Band is having its fall concert Architects of Music tonight at the Columbia Heights Education Campus Auditorium (3101 16th St., N.W.) at 8 p.m. The concert will be emceed by Martin Moeller, author of the AIA Guide to the Architecture of Washington D.C., and conducted by Nancy Plantinga.3

Phase 1 (525 8th St., S.E.) is hosting a Deaf Women’s Happy Hour tonight from 7 to 10 p.m. There is a $5 cover and all proceeds will go toward the Deaf Abused Women’s Network. All attendees must be 21 or older.

Tayisha Busay, an electro-dance band from Brooklyn, will be at The Islander (1201 U St., N.W.) followed by a dance party. Tickets are $6 in advance, $10 at the door and $5 after midnight for the dance party only. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. and all attendees must be 21 or older.

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. All attendees must be 18 or older. There will be an open bar from 9 to 10 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 6

The Bet Mishpachah Education Committee is hosting a brunch today from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the DCJCC (1529 16th St., N.W.) featuring a screening of the 1977 film, “Word is Out: Stores of Some of Our Lives.” The film was the first feature-length documentary about gay and lesbian identity made by gay filmmakers. For more information and to RSVP, visit

Signature Theatre (4200 Campbell Ave.) in Arlington, is hosting a CD launch party for local gay composer Matt Conner from 5 to 7 p.m. to celebrate the release of his second Christmas CD, “Snow.” The wine and cheese reception will take place in the lobby and will feature Conner performing selections from his album, including classics as well as two original compositions. The party is free and open to the public.

Busboys & Poets presents Photoworks Photo SLAM tonight at 8 p.m. in the Langston Room at its 14th and V. streets location (2021 14th St., N.W.). The slam will feature photo artists projecting their portfolios in front of a panel of celebrity judges and the winner gets an exhibit at Photoworks gallery during FotoWeek 2012. This is a free event.

A new gay-welcoming Catholic church, St. Hedwig’s Old Catholic Church, has Mass today at 9 a.m. The church meets 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 for more information. All are welcome.

Monday, Nov. 7

The D.C. Center (1318 U St., N.W.) is having its monthly volunteer night tonight from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tonight’s activities could range from sorting through book donations, cleaning up around the center and taking inventory for Fuk!ts, as well as socializing. Pizza will provided.

Green Lantern (1335 Green Court, N.W.) hosts Bears Do Yoga from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. upstairs followed by Queer Pong hosted by Andy from 8 p.m. to midnight.

Tuesday, Nov. 8

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.

Today is Digital Capital Week’s Fashion Day at the Washington Economic Partnership (1495 F St., N.W.) with three panels discussing the different aspects of life in the fashion industry in D.C. starting at 1 p.m. The first panel will include Daniella Kallmeyer, winner of Bravo’s “The Fashion Show,” discussing the role of technology in creativity and design. The second panel will be about business and retail development, while the third panel will focus on the role of social media. The day will end with a fashion show held at Bloomingdales. This is a free event. To RSVP, visit

Nellie’s (900 U St., N.W.) is hosting a City Dogs Rescue fundraiser during Drag Bingo this week from 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. with $1 from every Nellie beer sold going to City Dogs, an organization formed to rescue adoptable dogs in high-kill shelters where resources are limited. For more information on the organization, visit

Wednesday, Nov. 9

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.

Bet Mishpachah, GLO, Nice Jewish Girls, Nice Jewish Boys and Gayyim join up at a free happy hour tonight from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Dirty Martini (1223 Connecticut Ave., N.W.) to celebrate Mautner Project. RSVP at

Brandi Carlile plays the Birchmere (3701 Mt. Vernon Ave.) in Alexandria tonight at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $45 and can be purchased online at

Thursday, Nov. 10

Helping Our Brothers and Sisters is holding its annual fundraiser dinner tonight at the Eatonville Restaurant (2121 14th St., N.W.) at 6 p.m. with a social hour followed by the dinner and program at 7:30 p.m. The event will also celebrate the life of Frank Kameny. Tickets are $150 and can be purchased online at



PHOTOS: Baltimore Pride in the Park

Annual celebration featured vendors, performers



(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: “Portraits”

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



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

First national tour comes to Eisenhower Theater on June 25



Sophie Zmorrod (Photo courtesy of Zmorrod)

‘The Kite Runner’
June 25 – 30
The Kennedy Center

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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