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‘He can really energize a dancefloor’

DJ Joe starts new monthly residency Friday at Cobalt



Joe Gauthreaux, DJ, music, gay news, Washington Blade
Joe Gauthreaux, DJ, music, gay news, Washington Blade

Joe Gauthreaux (Photo courtesy of Project Publicity)

The first song DJ Joe Gauthreaux remembers hearing on the radio was “Material Girl.” He was 5, it came on the car radio and made an indelible impression.

“It’s the first song I ever remember listening to as a child,” he says during a phone chat from Ft. Lauderdale. “My dad was like, ‘Ugh, that’s that Madonna,’ and … of course because they hated it so much, that made me love it all the more.”

He also feels kinship with Madonna because they share the same birthday — Aug. 16.

Gauthreaux — pronounced GO-troh — has gradually made a name for himself in the gay club scene over the last decade or so. Named “hottest DJ of the year” by Out Magazine in 2005, he’s remixed tracks for Kristine W., Jeanie Tracy and Tony Moran. Working with Joey Arbagey, an A&R rep at Universal, he’s broken into the major label world doing remixes for NeYo, The Wanted and Melanie Amaro. Three of his remixes are on the official maxi for teen idol Justin Bieber’s No. 2 (Hot 100) hit “Boyfriend.”

Now living again in New York after five years in Los Angeles, Gauthreaux is closer to D.C. He’s DJ’ed at Cobalt about four times in the last couple years and has now accepted a residency there that commences Friday from 10 p.m.-3 a.m.. It won’t always be the last Friday of the month — the next two installments are slated for Feb. 15 and March 15 — but Gauthreaux  ( will be there monthly. Cover is $10 and includes free vodka drinks from 11 to midnight. Keenan Orr spins downstairs (

“After I moved back to New York, I talked to (Cobalt manager) Mark (Rutstein) about the idea of starting my own party. I really like the idea of playing somewhere regularly. On one hand, you don’t want to get too exposed, but the flip side is you can really build on it and go somewhere with the crowd over time.”

Rutstein says Gauthreaux’s move back to the East Coast makes it easier to get him down here.

“It’s a lot easier, we don’t have to fly him in from L.A. each time,” Rutstein says. “It’s really super exciting to have Joe here all the time. He has a strong following in D.C. and always packs the house.”

Rutstein also says Gauthreaux is one of the most accommodating DJs he’s worked with.

“Everyone is really different,” he says. “Joe and I just text each other and say, ‘Hey, you wanna spin?’ Drew G is the same thing. Others, like, say Junior Vasquez, take several several several e-mails and calls. Then there are others, like Peter Rauhofer, who has never once even returned my calls, so it just depends.”

Gauthreaux is established enough, he says, that crowds are willing to go where he takes them musically — within reason.

“I’ve been around awhile, so there’s a sense of trust there I think,” he says. “I’ve done my fair share of events so people know, ‘Oh, we’re gonna go hear Joe,’ they almost expect me, I think … they almost expect something a little different. Of course, I’ll play Rihanna, Madonna, but it’ll usually be a different mix they haven’t heard. You don’t want to do a whole hour of stuff they don’t know, even a really adventuresome crowd has a limit, but there’s definitely a happy medium you find. I’d feel guilty if I didn’t throw in at least a few things everybody knows. You tend to think, ‘Oh, the crowd just wants to hear the hits,’ but there’s always 10 people there who want to hear something new, so you have to find that balance.”

Erik Lars Evans, a local DJ who’s followed the gay club scene for years and considers himself a Gauthreaux fan, says Gauthreaux’s willingness to adapt has worked to his advantage.

“He’s very good at what he does and can really energize a dance floor,” Evans says. “I’ve been going to hear him spin as far back as 2002 … and he does exactly what a good DJ is supposed to do — he’s adapted. I’d say his current style is more a mix of progressive beats, house classics and circuit energy and I’d say that’s what makes him stand out in his own way and keeps fans coming to hear him.”

Evans says one of the most noticeable differences in dance music over, say, the last decade is a gradual increase of pop infiltration in gay clubs and not as much the niche artists one traditionally heard on gay dancefloors but nowhere else.

“In modern times, we’ve seen the breakdown of that barrier and you’ve seen mainstream music take over,” Evans says. “You still hear niche artists, but it’s not like it used to be.”

In some ways — and though they share the same Billboard chart — the explosion of dance music in straight culture with Deadmau5 showing up on the Grammys and on the cover of Rolling Stone with a strong rise in popularity for DJs like Skrillex, Swedish House Mafia, Avicii and Tiesto, is its own phenomenon, happening apart of gay DJs.

“I think the separation is just more apparent now because their scene has gotten so big,” Gauthreaux, who’s gay, says. “Dance for straight people was pretty much non-existent 10 years ago. I don’t want to pigeonhole them, but a lot of them were just so into hip-hop, which nowadays has gone more underground, but dance music is on the radio. I mean if you listen to Rihanna’s new album, half the songs are already club ready. Before that would never have been the case and you had to remix everything. It’s just a natural thing with the way music changes. In five years from now, it could be totally different, I’m not sure.”

Gauthreaux says the genres are distinct because gays and straights party differently.

“At the end of the day, there’s a certain comfort at walking into a club and knowing 99 percent of the people there are people you could go up and buy a drink for,” he says. “Nobody wants to be guessing, ‘Is this guy straight?,’ ‘Is this guy gay?’ It’s just a different clubbing culture altogether. Gay people go out and party. They’re not into VIP booths and champagne bottles and buttoned up shirts and girls in high heels. It’s also more violent, typically, at the straight clubs. In the gay clubs, you don’t have to worry about fights breaking out. We don’t care about champagne service. We want a DJ box and we want to get down. I think there’s a long way to go before it’s all intertwined.”

The ‘treau triv

Joe Gauthreaux, DJ, music, gay news, Washington Blade

Joe Gauthreaux (Photo courtesy of Project Publicity)

Current relationship status: Single

Any tattoos? Yes, one. My sign — Leo.

Do you follow astrology? I don’t follow every sign, but I certainly know my sign and I’m so 100 percent my sign, it’s not even funny. I also know the compatible signs for Leos.

But just for fun or seriously? Let’s say this — if I meet somebody and they’re not one of the compatible signs for me, I’m a LOT more cautious. I know that sounds ridiculous, but there’s an aspect to it that I very much believe.

How much of your set is live? “I’ve never not played live. That would just be so weird. It’s not like I’m remixing everything live right there on the spot, of course. If you want to do a mash-up or something, of course, you do that ahead of time on the computer, but that’s just one track. It’s such a creative art form, you have to feed off the crowd and you can’t do that at home by yourself.”

How long do you typically spin? “Usually four to five hours. Sometimes less if there are other DJs on the bill. But you have to take time to get a good grove going.”



PHOTOS: DCGFFL 25th Anniversary Party

Gay flag football league marks milestone at Penn Social



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)

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

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



(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.

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

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



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

Through Sept. 24
Round House Theatre
4545 East-West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814

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.

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