Connect with us

Arts & Entertainment

Ready for action

Many leagues at capacity but sub spots and waiting lists available

Published

on

Charm City Volleyball in this year’s Pride parade in Baltimore. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Most of the LGBT sports leagues have kicked off their fall season play, but there’s always an opportunity to submit your name to a substitute player list. Among the teams offering a sub list are the Capital Area Rainbowlers Association, League of Women Bowlers and Capital Tennis Association.

Leagues are already in play for the season are the Washington Renegades Rugby Football Club (dcrugby.com), Federal Triangles Soccer Club (federaltriangles.org), Stonewall Kickball (stonewallsports.org — possible openings on the Thursday night league), D.C. Gay Flag Football League (dcgffl.org), Capital Area Rainbowlers Association (carabowling.org), League of Women Bowlers (mysite.verizon.net/vzeo2d8j/) and Capital Tennis Association (capital-tennis.org).

There are plenty of LGBT sports groups offering individual participation for the coming months.

The D.C. Sentinels (teamdcbasketball.org) basketball team is in talks to begin a league that will be launched at the start of 2013. On a weekly basis, the Sentinels offer pickup play at Westland Middle School on Thursdays from 7-9 p.m. and at Turkey Thicket Recreation Center on Saturdays from 1-3 p.m.

The D.C. IceBreakers (dcicebreakers.com) will host a Skate and Social at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Wednesday from 8-9 p.m. (and the third Wednesday of every month). The cost to skate is $8 and skate rental is $3. All skill levels are welcome. After skating, the group heads to a local pub for a social hour.

Ski-Bums (ski-bums.org) have announced their 2013 event offerings for skiing and snowboarding. Upcoming trips include Japan, Switzerland, Argentina, Canada, Colorado, Montana, New York and Vermont. They will also announce local trips in the coming months.

Charm City Volleyball (volleybaltimore.org) is hosting Wednesday social play at the Mt. Royal Recreation Center in Baltimore every week from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Teams are formed by 7 and all skill levels are welcome. The cost is $3 per session. They also host Sunday competitive and scrimmage play/clinics at the Volleyball House in Elkridge, Md., every week from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The cost is $7 per session and NAGVA teams are welcome to play.

The Atlantic States Gay Rodeo Association (asgra.org) sponsors trail rides on horseback on the first Sunday of every month at the Piscataway Stables in Clinton, Md.  The cost is $30 for an hour-long ride that begins at 11 a.m.

The Adventuring Outdoors Group (adventuring.org) will host their fourth edition of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Hike on Sept. 23. Starting from the King Street Metro Station, they will stroll through Old Town Alexandria before arriving at the Wilson Bridge. A detour will be taken to nearby Jones Point for lunch before crossing the bridge. The 1.1-mile crossing of the Potomac will offer magnificent views and a number of interesting interpretive displays, especially on the Maryland side.

The hike will end at the National Harbor development and the group will be carried back to Virginia by water taxi, which will arrive at the Alexandria docks close to the free trolley that heads back to the King Street Metro. Total length of this hike will not exceed 6 miles. Bring plenty of beverages, lunch the $2 trip fee and $8 for the water taxi. The group will meet at 11 a.m. at the station attendant’s kiosk at the King Street Metro. Parking will be free there all day.

Rainbow Climbing D.C. can usually be found at the local rock climbing venues on Tuesday and Thursday nights and sometimes on weekends. Check out their Facebook page under Rainbow Climbing to see if they will be at Earth Treks in Rockville or Sportrock in Alexandria.

The D.C. Front Runners (dcfrontrunners.org) continue with their Tuesday and Thursday evening runs along with their Saturday and Sunday morning runs. The group meets at 23rd and P Streets. The Front Runners also host walks at the same location on Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings at Union Station.

Advertisement
FUND LGBTQ JOURNALISM
SIGN UP FOR E-BLAST

Photos

PHOTOS: DCGFFL 25th Anniversary Party

Gay flag football league marks milestone at Penn Social

Published

on

The D.C. Gay Flag Football league held a party celebrating their 25th season at Penn Social on Saturday. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The D.C. Gay Flag Football League (DCGFFL) held a 25th season anniversary party at Penn Social on Saturday, Sept. 23. Proceeds from the event benefited the LGBTQ youth services organization SMYAL as well as the D.C. Center for the LGBTQ Community.

(Washington Blade photos by Michael Key)

Continue Reading

Books

New book goes behind the scenes of ‘A League of Their Own’

‘No Crying in Baseball’ offers tears, laughs, and more

Published

on

(Book cover image courtesy of Hachette Books)

‘No Crying in Baseball: The Inside Story of ‘A League of Their Own’
By Erin Carlson
c.2023, Hachette Books
$29/320 pages

You don’t usually think of Madonna as complaining of being “dirty all day” from playing baseball. But that’s what the legendary diva did during the shooting of “A League of Their Own,” the 1992 movie, beloved by queers.

“No Crying in Baseball,” the fascinating story behind “A League of Their Own,” has arrived in time for the World Series. Nothing could be more welcome after Amazon has cancelled season 2 of its reboot (with the same name) of this classic film.

In this era, people don’t agree on much. Yet, “A League of Their Own” is loved by everyone from eight-year-old kids to 80-year-old grandparents.

The movie has strikes, home runs and outs for sports fans; period ambience for history buffs; and tears, laughs and a washed-up, drunk, but lovable coach for dramady fans.

The same is true for “No Crying in Baseball.” This “making of” story will appeal to history, sports and Hollywood aficionados. Like “All About Eve” and “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “A League of Their Own” is Holy queer Writ.

Carlson, a culture and entertainment journalist who lives in San Francisco, is skilled at distilling Hollywood history into an informative, compelling narrative. As with her previous books, “I’ll Have What She’s Having: How Nora Ephron’s three Iconic Films Saved the Romantic Comedy” and “Queen Meryl: The Iconic Roles, Heroic Deeds, and Legendary Life of Meryl Streep,” “No Crying in Baseball,” isn’t too “educational.” It’s filled with gossip to enliven coffee dates and cocktail parties.

“A League of Their Own” is based on the true story of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL). From 1943 to 1954, more than 600 women played in the league in the Midwest. The league’s players were all white because the racism of the time prohibited Black women from playing. In the film, the characters are fictional. But the team the main characters play for – the Rockford Peaches – was real.

While many male Major and Minor League Baseball players were fighting in World War II, chewing gum magnate Philip K. Wrigley, who owned the Chicago Cubs, founded the league. He started the AAGPBL, “To keep spectators in the bleachers,” Carlson reports, “and a storied American sport–more important: his business afloat.” 

In 1943, the Office of War Information warned that the baseball season could be “scrapped” “due to a lack of men,” Carlson adds.

“A League of Their Own” was an ensemble of women’s performances (including Rosie O’Donnell as Doris, Megan Cavanagh as Marla, Madonna as Mae, Lori Petty as Kit and Geena Davis as Dottie) that would become legendary.

Girls and women  still dress up as Rockford Peaches on Halloween.

Tom Hanks’s indelible portrayal of coach Jimmy Dugan, Gary Marshall’s depiction of (fictional) league owner Walter Harvey and Jon Lovitz’s portrayal of Ernie have also become part of film history.

Filming “A League of Their Own,” Carlson vividly makes clear, was a gargantuan effort.  There were “actresses who can’t play baseball” and “baseball players who can’t act,” Penny Marshall said.

The stadium in Evansville, Ind., was rebuilt to look like it was in the 1940s “when the players and extras were in costume,” Carlson writes, “it was easy to lose track of what year it was.”

“No Crying in Baseball” isn’t written for a queer audience. But, Carlson doesn’t pull any punches. 

Many of the real-life AAGPBL players who O’Donnell met had same-sex partners, O’Donnell told Carlson.

“When Penny, angling for a broad box-office hit chose to ignore the AAGPGL’s queer history,” Carlson writes, “she perpetuated a cycle of silence that muzzled athletes and actresses alike from coming out on the wider stage.”

“It was, as they say, a different time,” she adds.

Fortunately, Carlson’s book isn’t preachy. Marshall nicknames O’Donnell and Madonna (who become buddies) “Ro” and “Mo.” Kodak is so grateful for the one million feet of film that Marshall shot that it brings in a high school marching band. Along with a lobster lunch. One day, an assistant director “streaked the set to lighten the mood,” Carlson writes.

“No Crying in Baseball,” is slow-going at first. Marshall, who died in 2018, became famous as Laverne in “Laverne & Shirley.” It’s interesting to read about her. But Carlson devotes so much time to Marshall’s bio that you wonder when she’ll get to “A League of Their Own.”

Thankfully, after a couple of innings, the intriguing story of one of the best movies ever is told.

You’ll turn the pages of “No Crying in Baseball” even if you don’t know a center fielder from a short stop.

The Blade may receive commissions from qualifying purchases made via this post.

Continue Reading

Theater

Rupert Murdoch’s powers on full display in ‘Ink’

Media baron helped pave the way for Brexit, Prime Minister Thatcher

Published

on

Cody Nickell (Larry Lamb) and Andrew Rein (Rupert Murdoch) in ‘Ink’ at Round House Theatre. (Photo by Margot Schulman Photography)

‘Ink’
Through Sept. 24
Round House Theatre
4545 East-West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814
$46-$94
Roundhousetheatre.org

Yes, Rupert Murdoch’s loathsome traits are many, but his skills to succeed are undeniably numerous. 

In the first scenes of John Graham’s West End and Broadway hit drama “Ink,” an exciting year-long detail from the life of a burgeoning media baron, Murdoch’s powers of persuasion are on full display.

It’s 1969 London. Over dinner with editor Larry Lamb, a young Murdoch shares his plan to buy the Sun and rebrand the dying broadsheet, replacing the Daily Mirror as Britain’s best-selling tabloid. What’s more, he wants to do it in just one year with Lamb at the helm. 

Initially reluctant, Lamb becomes seduced by the idea of running a paper, something that’s always eluded him throughout his career, and something Murdoch, the outsider Australian, understands. Murdoch taunts him, “Not you. Not Larry Lamb, the Yorkshire-born son of a blacksmith, not the guy who didn’t get a degree from Oxford or Cambridge, who didn’t get a degree from anywhere. Not you.”

Still, Lamb, played convincingly by Cody Nickell in Round House Theatre’s stellar season-opener, a co-production with Olney Theatre Center, remains unsure. But Murdoch (a delightfully brash Andrew Rein) is undeterred, and seals the deal with a generous salary. 

Superbly staged by director Jason Loweth, “Ink” is riveting. Its exchanges between Lamb and Murdoch are a strikingly intimate glimpse into ambition involving an ostensibly average editor and a striving money man who doesn’t like people.  

Once on board, Lamb is trolling Fleet Street in search of his launch team, played marvelously by some mostly familiar actors. He makes his most important hire — news editor Brian McConnell (Maboud Ebrahimzadeh) — in a steam bath. The remainder of the Sun’s new masthead falls handily into place: Joyce Hopkirk (Kate Eastwood Norris) the women’s page editor whose forward thinking is marred by her casual racism; Zion Jang plays Beverley Goodway, an awkwardly amusing young photographer; persnickety deputy editor Bernard Shrimsley (Michael Glenn) who learns to love ugly things; and an old school sports editor who proves surprisingly versatile, played by Ryan Rillette, Round House’s artistic director. 

At Lamb’s suggestion, the team brainstorms about what interests Sun readers. They decide on celebrities, pets, sports, free stuff, and —rather revolutionarily for the time —TV.  Murdoch is happy to let readers’ taste dictate content and the “Why” of the sacred “five Ws” of journalism is out the window. 

Murdoch is portrayed as a not wholly unlikable misanthrope. He dislikes his editors and pressman alike. He particularly hates unions. His advice to Lamb is not to get too chummy with his subordinates. Regarding the competition, Murdoch doesn’t just want to outperform them, he wants to grind them to dust. 

Loewith leads an inspired design team. Scenic designer Tony Cisek’s imposing, inky grey edifice made from modular walls is ideally suited for Mike Tutaj’s projections of headlines, printed pages, and Rein’s outsized face as Murdoch. Sound designer and composer Matthew M. Nielson ably supplies bar noises and the nonstop, pre-digital newspaper clatter of presses, linotypes, and typewriters.

From a convenient second tiered balcony, the Daily Mirror’s establishment power trio Hugh Cudlipp (Craig Wallace), Chris Lee Howard (Chris Geneback) and Sir Percy (Walter Riddle) overlook all that lies below, discussing new tactics and (mostly failed) strategies to remain on top.   

Increasingly comfortable in the role of ruthless, sleazy editor, Lamb is unstoppable.

Obsessed with overtaking the Daily Mirror’s circulation, he opts for some sketchy reportage surrounding the kidnapping and presumed murder of Muriel McKay, the wife of Murdoch’s deputy Sir Alick (Todd Scofield). The kidnappers mistook Muriel for Murdoch’s then-wife Anna (Sophia Early). Next, in a move beyond the pale, Lamb introduces “Page 3,” a feature spotlighting a topless female model. Awesta Zarif plays Stephanie, a smart young model. She asks Lamb if he would run a semi-nude pic of his similarly aged daughter? His reaction is uncomfortable but undaunted. 

For Murdoch’s purposes, history proves he chose well in Lamb. By year’s end, the Sun is Britain’s most widely read tabloid. Together they give the people what they didn’t know they wanted, proving the pro-Labour Daily Mirror’s hold on the working class is baseless and paving the way for things like Brexit and a Prime Minister Thatcher. 

“Ink” at Round House closes soon. See it if you can.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Sign Up for Weekly E-Blast

Follow Us @washblade

Advertisement

Popular