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Out & About: DC and Baltimore events

Swimsuit show and WTF at Town, several black LGBT theater events, a Whitney Houston tribute in Baltimore and more

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A production still from ‘The Ice Child,’ being staged now in Washington. (Photo courtesy Factory 449)

‘Ice Child’ play finds inspiration in creepy Poe tales

Inspired by the chilling tales of Edgar Allan Poe, Factory 449 company members Lisa Hodsoll, Hunter Styles and Rick Hammerly (who is gay) have co-written “The Ice Child,” a terrifying hour-long theater piece guaranteed to resonate with audiences.

Now in production at Mead Theatre Lab at Flashpoint, “The Ice Child” centers on Catherine (Sara Barker), a young woman who awakens to find herself imprisoned in a coffin-sized freezer. Held captive by former co-worker Kidd (Dexter Hamlett), Catherine soon learns her release is not imminent and escape from what could easily be a lethal situation depends on not angering her creepy captor. Meanwhile outside the freezer, Catherine’s treatment and fate is being considered as well.

Slickly produced, “The Ice Child” is compellingly told through a mash up of performance, film, and projected photos. It runs through June 3 at the Mead Theatre Lab at Flashpoint (916 G Street, NW). Tickets are $20. Visit factory449.com for details or call 866-811-4111.

Swimsuits and WTF at Town this weekend

Town (2009 8th St., N.W.) has a couple events happening this weekend.

On Saturday, the club is hosting a swimwear fashion show featuring models in “2xist” swimsuits courtesy of Universal Gear. DJ Chord spins. Doors open at 10 p.m. and cover is $7 until 11 p.m. and $12 afterward.

Sunday brings the return of “WTF” and this week’s theme is airlines. The night will feature several DJs including the Pocket Gays, Aaron Riggins and Ed Bailey. Doors open at 10 p.m. and cover is $5.

Attendees must be 21 or older for both events.

Several black LGBT theater events on weekend slate

Tonight and Saturday, “She’Baltimore” by Ira Kip is premiering in the D.C. area at Warehouse Theater (645 New York Ave.,) as an official part of Black Pride at 8 p.m.

The play, which takes place in Baltimore, deals with issues of battery and abuse in the LGBT community. Admission is $25.

Another official Black Pride theater event is a reading of “The Four of Us” at Mead Lab Theater (916 G St., N.W.) on Saturday at 2 p.m. Admission is $20 and includes a small reception.

Although not an official part of Pride, the African-American Collective Theater is observing the 20th anniversary of its first D.C. Black Pride theater showcase on Sunday with two stage readings of “Here. And Now.” by ACT founding directo Alan Sharpe at Warehouse Theater at 5 and 8 p.m. The play is a family drama in which the relationship of a middle-aged, male couple with two sons is tested. Tickets are $15. Contact [email protected] for more information and advance tickets.

Komen race to benefit Mautner Project

The 23rd annual Susan G. Komen Global Race for the Cure will happen June 2 on the National Mall in Washington. The annual breast cancer benefit awarded a $200,000 grant to lesbian health organization the Mautner Project, which expanded its breast cancer program. The grant was awarded in 2011 and runs for two years.

The event starts at 8 a.m. It’s still possible for those wishing to participate to register. Details are at globalraceforthecure.org. Or call 1-877-GOKOMEN.

Soulful Symphony to honor Houston

Hippodrome Theater at the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center (12 North Eutaw St.) hosts the Soulful Symphony on June 1 at 8 p.m. as it honors the late Whitney Houston.

The concert will feature Houston’s hits ranging from gospel to pop, R&B to film music and more.

This performance will also act as the groups season-ending gala event.

Tickets range from $30 to $250 and are available online at ticketmaster.com. Special gala tickets include dinner, concert and VIP after party.

For more information on Soulful Symphony, visit soulfulsymphony.org.

Grand Central has specials, theme nights and more

Grand Central (1001/1003 N. Charles St.) has several events this week.

Tonight is the club’s weekly dance party with $2.50 drinks until 11 p.m. Sappho’s is having its own happy hour from 8 to 10 p.m.

Saturday has two-for-one drinks until 8 p.m. and Glow with DJ Arturo. Admission to Glow is $5.

Sunday is the club’s kick off to summer beach party with DJ Arturo.

Monday and Tuesday, Grand Central has karaoke with host Nikki Cox from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Wednesday is “Hump Wednesdays,” an electropop, alternative, indie dance night with DJ Arturo.

The week ends Thursday with ladies night featuring DJ Lems and $2.50 drinks until 11 p.m.

Sci-fi/fantasy convention in town this weekend

Balticon 46, the Maryland regional science fiction and fantasy convention, runs today through Monday at Marriott’s Hunt Valley Inn (245 Shawan Rd.) with special guests Jody Lynn Nye, Jim Odbert, Heather Dale, Ben Deschamps and William D. Phillips.

There will be a variety of panels and workshops covering topics such as anime, dance, gaming, music, video and more.

There will also be an art show, various dealers selling books, memorabilia and more.

Registration ranges from $17 for a single day to $62 for the whole weekend for adults and $9 to $31 for children ages 6 through 12.

For more information and to register online, visit balticon.org.

Trans, poz, coming-out groups to meet at Center

The GLBT Community Center of Baltimore and Central Maryland (241 West Chase St.) has several programs this week.

Three groups are slated to meet Saturday: Sufficient As I Am, a group for youth 24 and younger dealing with issues of sexuality, coming out, relationships, family and more, meets in room 201 at 12:30 p.m.; GIG: Baltimore Trans-Masculine Alliance, a FTM support group, meets at 6 p.m. in room 202; and GIG: Tran*quality, a MTF support group, meets at 8 p.m. in room 202.

On Monday, Men Like Me, a support group for adult men who love other men, is facilitated by licensed clinicians and meets 6 p.m. in room 202.

POZ Men, an LGBT-affirming peer support group for all HIV-positive men, meets Wednesday in room 202 at 6 p.m.

Women of Color, a social and discussion group, meets Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in room 202.

The center also has HIV and STD testing on Wednesdays from 5 to 8 p.m. provided through a collaboration between the GLCCB Health Committee and the Baltimore City Health Department.

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Photos

PHOTOS: Baltimore Pride Parade

Thousands attend annual LGBTQ march and block party

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A scene from the 2024 Baltimore Pride Parade. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The Baltimore Pride Parade and Block Party was held on Charles Street in Baltimore, Md. on Saturday, June 15. 

(Washington Blade photos by Michael Key)

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Sports

Washington Mystics to hold annual Pride game

Team to play Dallas Wings on Saturday

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(Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The Washington Mystics will be having their upcoming Pride game on Saturday against the Dallas Wings.

The Mystics Pride game is one of the team’s theme nights they host every year, with Pride night being a recurring event. The team faced off against the Phoenix Mercury last June. Brittney Griner, who Russia released from a penal colony in December 2022 after a court convicted her of importing illegal drugs after customs officials at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport found vape canisters with cannabis oil in her luggage, attended the game. 

Unlike the NBA, where there are currently no openly LGBTQ players, there are multiple WNBA players who are out. Mystics players Emily Englster, Brittney Sykes, and Stefanie Dolson are all queer.

The Mystics on June 1 acknowledged Pride Month in a post to its X account.

“Celebrating Pride this month and every month,” reads the message.

The game is on Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Entertainment and Sports Arena (1100 Oak Drive, S.E.). Fans can purchase special Pride tickets that come with exclusive Mystics Pride-themed jerseys. 

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Theater

Queers win big at 77th annual Tony Awards

‘Merrily We Roll Along’ among winners

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(Photo courtesy of the Tony Awards' Facebook page)

It was a banner night for queer theater artists at the 77th annual Tony Awards, honoring the best in Broadway theater at the Lincoln Center in New York on Sunday. Some of the biggest honors of the night went to the revival of the Stephen Sondheim musical “Merrily We Roll Along” and the dance-musical based on Sufjan Stephens’ album “Illinoise.

“Merrily We Roll Along,” which follows three friends as their lives change over the course of 20 years, told in reverse chronological order, picked up the awards for Best Revival of a Musical and Best Orchestrations. 

Out actor Jonathan Groff picked up his first Tony Award for his leading role as Franklin Shepard in the show, while his costar Daniel Radcliffe earned his first Tony Award for featured performance as Charley Kringas. 

Groff gave a heartfelt and teary acceptance speech about how he used to watch the Tony Awards as a child in Lancaster County, Pa.

“Thank you for letting me dress up like Mary Poppins when I was three,” he said to his parents in the audience. “Even if they didn’t understand me, my family knew the life-saving power of fanning the flame of a young person’s passions without judgment.”

Groff also thanked the everyone in the production of “Spring Awakening,” where he made his Broadway debut in 2006, for inspiring him to come out at the age of 23.

“To actually be able to be a part of making theatre in this city, and just as much to be able to watch the work of this incredible community has been the greatest pleasure of my life,” he said. 

This was Groff’s third Tony nomination, having been previously nominated for his leading role in “Spring Awakening” and for his featured performance as King George III in “Hamilton.” 

Radcliffe, who is best known for starring in the “Harry Potter” series of movies, has long been an ally of the LGBTQ community, and has recently been known to spar with “Harry Potter” creator JK Rowling over her extreme opposition to trans rights on social media and in interviews. It was Radcliffe’s first Tony nomination and win.

Lesbian icon Sarah Paulson won her first Tony Award for her starring role in the play “Appropriate,” about a family coming to terms with the legacy of their slave-owning ancestors as they attempt to sell their late father’s estate. It was her first nomination and win.

In her acceptance speech, she thanked her partner Holland Taylor “for loving me.” Along with Paulson’s Emmy win for “American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson,” she is halfway to EGOT status.

The Sufjan Stephens dance-musical “Illinoise,” based on his album of the same name, took home the award for Best Choreography for choreographer Justin Peck. It was his second win.

During the ceremony, the cast of “Illinoise” performed “The Predatory Wasp of the Palisades is Out to Get Us!”, a moving dance number about a queer romance.

A big winner of the night was the adaptation of the S.E. Hinton novel “The Outsiders,” which dominated the musical categories, earning Best Director, Sound Design, Lighting Design, and Best Musical, which earned LGBTQ ally Angelina Jolie her first Tony Award.

Also a big winner was “Stereophonic,” which dominated the play categories, winning the awards for Best Play, Featured Actor, Director, Sound Design, and Scenic Design.

“Suffs,” a musical about the fight for women’s suffrage in the U.S., which acknowledges the lesbian relationship that suffragist Carrie Chapman Catt had in song called “If We Were Married,” took home awards for Best Book of a Musical and Best Score, both for creator Shaina Taub. 

Had “Suffs” also won for Best Musical, producers Hilary Clinton and Malala Yousafzai would have won their first Tony Awards. 

Other winners include Maleah Joi Moon for her lead role and Kecia Lewis for her featured role in the Alicia Keys musical “Hell’s Kitchen,” Jeremy Strong for his lead role in An Enemy of the People, and Kara Young for her featured role in “Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch.”

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