Connect with us

Arts & Entertainment

Spacing out the fun

Baltimore, New York, Philly and more have Pride events in coming weeks

Published

on

Baltimore Pride, gay pride, gay news, Washington Blade
Baltimore Pride, gay pride, gay news, Washington Blade

Last year’s Baltimore Pride. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Capital Pride is far from the only gay Pride event in the Mid-Atlantic with fabulous festivities and must-see entertainment. Those celebrating the LGBT community can extend the fun by taking road-trips to festivals in Baltimore, New York, Frederick, Md., and Annapolis, Md.

CHECK OUT ALL OF OUR PRIDE COVERAGE HERE!

The Baltimore Pride Celebration has been Maryland’s largest LGBT visibility event since 1975. Baltimore’s Pride Parade and Block Party are on June 15 from 3:30-9 p.m. in the heart of the city’s historic gay neighborhood, Mount Vernon. The Pride Festival on the following Sunday is held in lakeside Druid Hill Park from noon-5 p.m.

Baltimore Pride attracts roughly 30,000 people annually from all over the Mid-Atlantic. This year, there will likely be an even higher turnout with “WeDo Baltimore,” a mass LGBT marriage ceremony during the festival on Sunday. Carrie Heirs, the event organizer, describes “WeDo” as symbolic of a turning point for Maryland.

“We’re doing the first ever LGBT mass wedding in Maryland. We just won the referendum, so it’s the first time we’ve been able to legally marry during Pride,” Heirs says. “I think it symbolizes what we as a community have always known. We’ve known this in our hearts always: love is love.”

Heirs says it’s time for Maryland to celebrate after years of hard work, but that does not mean the national struggle for LGBT equality is over.

“We are the first state below the Mason-Dixon line for this to happen. It wasn’t just a one-time shot. We’ve always been given the opportunity to celebrate our own uniqueness during Pride, but why not take this chance to say what this actually means,” Heirs says. “I think that we’re celebrating because it’s Pride month, but it should not just be in our state. It should be in all 50 states. It should be the law, the norm.”

In addition to “WeDo Baltimore,” this year’s Baltimore Pride is also introducing “Summer Reign,” a dance party for ladies 25 and over, at Paparazzi Nightclub (407 East Saratoga St., Baltimore) from 9 p.m.-2 a.m. on June 15. Early bird tickets are $10 and tickets the day of are $20. For details and to purchase tickets, visit sumreign.eventbrite.com.

The headlining performer at the Saturday Block Party will be Ultra Naté, a Baltimore native who has proven her talent in a wide span of genres, including R&B, hip-hop, soul, house, rock and electro-pop. J Pope and Funk Friday, a female soul band, headline the Sunday Pride Festival. Septimius the Great, who cites Madonna and Lady Gaga as musical influences, will also be performing at the festival, as well as the Baltimore-based reggae group Unity.

Other Baltimore Pride events include Twilight on the Terrace, a cocktail party benefiting Baltimore Pride on June 14 at Gertrude’s Restaurant at the Baltimore Museum of Art (10 Art Museum Dr. Baltimore) from 7-11 p.m., and the High Heel Race at 3 p.m. on June 15 (corner of Charles and Read Streets in Baltimore). For more details on Baltimore Pride, visit baltimorepride.org.

New York City Pride, of course, is a hugely popular weeklong celebration of LGBT visibility just a bus or train ride away. The NYC Pride Rally kicks off the week’s festivities on June 28 from 7-10 p.m. at Hudson River Park’s Pier 26 in TriBeCa. The Rally features motivating speakers and popular performers who have yet to be announced.

The NYC Pride March has been an annual civil rights demonstration free and open to the public since 1970. The march starts on June 30 at 11 a.m. at 36 St. and 5 Ave.  This year’s grand marshals are Edith Windsor, Harry Belafonte and Earl Fowlkes. Following the march is PrideFest, a massive LGBT public street fair with vendors and entertainers on Hudson St. between Abdingdon Sq. and West 14 St. PrideFest is from 11 a.m. -6 p.m.

NYC Pride has many other events during the week, finishing with the glamorous Dance on the Pier party on June 30 from 3-10 p.m. on Pier 26 in Hudson River Park. Tickets are $75 and $125 for VIP passes, and all proceeds go to NYC Pride Week events and community organizations. For more details on NYC Pride, visit nycpride.org.

Frederick Pride 2013 is Frederick, Md.’s second Pride festival after a successful turnout at last year’s event. The gathering takes place in Utica Park (10-200 B Old Frederick, Rd., Frederick, MD) at noon on June 29. Tons of fun outdoor activities will be featured, including Capture the Flag, Football, Dodgeball and a pie-eating contest. For more information, visit the “Frederick Pride 2013” event on Facebook.

For late summer gay Pride, the Chesapeake Pride Festival will be held Aug. 3 from noon-6 p.m. at Mayo Beach Park (4150 Honeysuckle Dr., Edgewater, MD) in the Annapolis area. The afternoon will include a drag performance by Stormy Vain, as well as food, music and other activities. On June 22, guests can board the Richard Lee wooden tour boat for the Chesapeake Pride River Cruise from 6-8 p.m. to benefit Chesapeake Pride. Tickets are $40 and the boat will depart from the Discovery Village Marina (4800 Atwell Rd., Shady Side, MD). For more details and to purchase tickets, visit chesapeakepridefestival.org.

Other nearby pride events include OBX Pridefest in Outer Banks, N.C., the weekend of Sept. 13, Philly Pride this weekend and Pittsburgh Pride next weekend. Roanoke Pride is in September.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
FUND LGBTQ JOURNALISM
SIGN UP FOR E-BLAST

Arts & Entertainment

Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight dazzle at AIDS Healthcare Foundation World AIDS Day Concert at Kennedy Center

Renowned vocalists delivered show-stopping performances

Published

on

Patti LaBelle performs onstage during World AIDS Day 2022 at John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on November 30, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for AIDS Healthcare Foundation)

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) hosted its 2022 World AIDS Day Concert on Wednesday, Nov. 30, at the concert hall of The Kennedy Center in D.C. Renowned multi-Grammy Award-winning vocalists Patti LaBelle and Gladys Knight delivered show-stopping performances to the packed crowd, which included supporters, dignitaries such as: Harold Phillips, Director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy; White House Senior Advisor for Public Engagement, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, and New Orleans Mayor, Mayor LaToya Cantrell, and more, in a night of hope and celebration.

The legendary Gladys Knight performs at the Kennedy Center during a free concert hosted by AHF to commemorate World AIDS Day on December 1, 2022, in Washington. (Joy Asico/AP Images for AIDS Healthcare Foundation)

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), is the world’s largest HIV/AIDS care provider, currently operating in 45 countries. The concert is held every year to commemorate World AIDS Day, observed internationally each year on Dec. 1. This year also marked the global organization’s 35th anniversary. 

At the event, longtime humanitarian and AIDS advocate, Princess Diana was honored, posthumously, with AHF’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Under its “Keep the Promise!” banner, AHF also acknowledged progress made in the global fight against HIV and AIDS and continues to raise awareness about “The Other Pandemic” as a reminder of the significant work still to be done on HIV/AIDS, as well as remembering the lives that have been lost over the years.  

Legendary entertainers Patti LaBelle (L) Gladys Knight (C) and AHF President Michael Weinstein, together at The Kennedy Center during a free concert hosted by AHF to commemorate World AIDS Day on December 1, 2022, in Washington. (Joy Asico/AP Images for AIDS Healthcare Foundation)

Michael Weinstein, President of AHF, said, “As millions remain affected by HIV/AIDS around the globe, World AIDS Day annually provides an opportunity to honor those we’ve lost and those living with HIV/AIDS today, as well as reminding leaders and the community of the work that still remains to address this epidemic. From providing compassionate AIDS hospice care in those darkest early days to growing to become the largest global AIDS organization today, now providing lifesaving care and treatment to more than 1.7 million people around the globe, we also celebrate the tireless work of all those who help make today’s AHF possible: our staff, Board, affiliate organizations and affinity groups, friends, family and elected officials and community partners across the globe, but most of all, our clients and patients—with our annual 2022 World AIDS Day event. It was a momentous night to host our World AIDS Day concert at The Kennedy Center for the first time, and welcome back the legendary Patti LaBelle, and have another great American icon, Gladys Knight join us, while also being able to honor the legacy and humanitarian work of the late Princess Diana.”

President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Michael Weinstein and Director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy, Harold Phillips attend World AIDS Day 2022 at John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on November 30, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for AIDS Healthcare Foundation)
Congresswoman, Sheila Jackson Lee and Patti LaBelle attend World AIDS Day 2022 at John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on November 30, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for AIDS Healthcare Foundation)
Derek J. attends World AIDS Day 2022 at John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on November 30, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for AIDS Healthcare Foundation)
Continue Reading

Music & Concerts

Streisand’s ‘Live at the Bon Soir’: Birth of a diva

Album finally released 50 years after being recorded

Published

on

Album cover for 'Barbara Sreisand: Live at the Bon Soir.'

Happy days are here again!

Sixty years ago, for three nights in November 1962, Columbia Records recorded a young (20-year-old) singer as she performed at the Bon Soir, a small nightclub in Greenwich Village. The singer’s name was Barbra Streisand, and the recording was slated to be her debut album. Streisand wasn’t that widely known then. But as (the character) Miss Marmelstein, Streisand was stopping the show nightly in the Broadway production “I Can Get It for You Wholesale.” After the show’s curtain call, she took a cab to perform at the Bon Soir club, according to the website barbra-archives.info.

But though the recording of Streisand live at the Village club was talked about the way you’d chat about an awesome legend, the album was shelved for more than half a century. Instead of releasing the “Live at the Bon Soir,” Columbia in 1963 released “The Barbra Streisand Album” (which was recorded in a studio) as Streisand’s debut album.

If you’re queer, you know Streisand rules! To the delight of critics, fans and mid-century history aficionados, on Nov. 4, six decades after it was recorded, “Live at the Bon Soir,” wonderfully remastered, was released on vinyl and SACD. It is also available on streaming services.

If you’ve fantasized about spending an intimate evening with Streisand (Barbra singing and engaging in witty repartee for just you and your intimates), “Live at the Bon Soir” is a dream come true. When Streisand says, “I wish there were another word for thank you…I mean, like, anything, you know” and introduces the club audience to her “boyfriend’s suit,” you feel that she’s talking directly to you.

Streisand’s voice is at its youthful, gorgeous best and her one-of-a-spectacular-kind personality comes through in her banter between songs. Listening to the album is an immersive experience. You’re witnessing the birth of a diva.

The album’s 24 tracks range from an indelible version of the torch song “Cry Me a River” to a playful rendition of “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?”

One of the best things about “Live at the Bon Soir” is its comprehensive, illuminating liner notes. Produced by Streisand, Martin Erlichman and Jay Landers, the CD of the album is packaged in a hardcover book with 32 pages of historical notes, photos and a message from Streisand. The vinyl version comes with a 12-page booklet. The notes provide insight into not only the making of the album, but of most interest to Streisand devotees, what it was like to perform live at the beginning of her career.

“I had never even been in a nightclub until I sang in one,” Streisand writes in the album’s liner notes about performing at and recording “Live at the Bon Soir.”

“I sang two songs in a talent contest at a little club called the Lion and won,” Streisand adds, “which led to being hired at a more sophisticated supper club around the corner called the Bon Soir, with an actual stage and a spotlight.”

The sound on the restored version of “Live at the Bon Soir” is much better than it was on the original recording.

“The science of recording has made quantum leaps since 1962,” writes Landers on the album’s liner notes, “Grammy Award winning engineer, Jochem van der Saag, has subtly solved audio issues in ways his predecessors could hardly have fathomed.”

Streisand has recorded albums with political and contemporary songs. These recordings are often superb. (Is anything by Streisand ever remotely bad?)

But “Live at the Bon Soir” is a gift to anyone who loves standards from the American song-book – from “I Hate Music” (Leonard Bernstein) to “Right as the Rain” (Harold Arlen/E.Y. Harburg) to “Come To The Supermarket (in Old Peking)” (Cole Porter) to “Happy Days Are Here Again” (Jack Yellen/Milton Ager).

Even if you’re allergic to show tunes, you’ll be entranced by “Live at the Bon Soir.”

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

Continue Reading

Calendar

Calendar: December 2-8

LGBTQ events in the days to come

Published

on

Friday, December 2

Center Aging Friday Tea Time will be at 2 p.m. on Zoom. This is a social hour for older LGBTQ+ adults. Guests are encouraged to bring a beverage of choice. For more details, contact Adam ([email protected]).

GoGay DC will host “LGBTQ+ Social” at 7 p.m. at The Commentary. This event is ideal for making new friends, professional networking, idea sharing, and community building. Admission to the event is free and more details are available on Eventbrite

Saturday, December 3

Virtual Yoga Class with Jesse Z. will be at 12 p.m. online. This is a free weekly class focusing on yoga, breath work, and meditation. Guests are encouraged to RSVP on the DC Center’s website, providing their name, email address, and zip code, along with any questions they may have. The link to the class will be sent out at 6 p.m. the day before the event.

LGBTQ People of Color Support Group will be at 1 p.m. on Zoom and in-person at the DC Center for the LGBT Community. This peer support group is an outlet for LGBTQ people of color to come together and talk about anything affecting them in a space that strives to be safe and judgment-free. For more information and events for LGBTQ People of Color, visit thedccenter.org/poc or facebook.com/centerpoc.

Sunday, December 4

GoGay DC will host “LGBTQ+ Coffee + Conversation” at 12 p.m. at As You Are. This event is for those looking to make more friends in the LGBTQ community and trying to meet some new faces after two years of the pandemic. This event is free and more details are available on Eventbrite

AfroCode DC will be at 3 p.m. at Decades DC. This event is an experience of non-stop music, dancing, and good vibes, and a crossover of genres and a fusion of cultures. Tickets cost $40 and can be purchased on Eventbrite

Monday, December 5

Center Aging Monday Coffee and Conversation will be at 10 a.m. on Zoom. LGBT Older Adults — and friends — are invited to enjoy friendly conversations and to discuss any issues you might be dealing with. For more information, visit the Center Aging’s Facebook or Twitter

Center Aging Advocacy Meeting will be at 3:30 p.m. at the DC Center for the LGBT Community. Participants are welcome to provide guidance and feedback on programs and services for LGBT older adults here at The DC Center for the LGBT Community. Second, this group will focus on advocating for LGBT older adults in the District of Columbia. For more information, email [email protected]

Tuesday, December 6

Center Aging Women’s Social & Discussion Group will be at 6 p.m. at the DC Center for the LGBT Community. This group is a place where older LGBTQ+ women can meet and socialize with one another. To register for this event, visit the DC Center’s website

Gay Men’s Chorus will be at 7:30 p.m. at Washington DC Temple Visitors’ Center. The Gay Men’s Chorus will perform at the Washington DC Temple Visitors’ Center for Festival of Lights. Tickets are free and can be purchased on Eventbrite

Wednesday, December 7

Job Club will be at 6 p.m. on Zoom. This is a weekly job support program to help job entrants and seekers, including the long-term unemployed, improve self-confidence, motivation, resilience and productivity for effective job searches and networking — allowing participants to move away from being merely “applicants” toward being “candidates.” For more information, email [email protected] or visit www.thedccenter.org/careers

BookMen DC will be at 7:30 p.m. on Zoom. This is an informal group of men who are interested in fiction and non-fiction gay literature. For more details, visit BookMen’s website.

Thursday, December 8

The DC Center’s Food Pantry Program will be held all day at the DC Center for the LGBT Community. To be fair with who is receiving boxes, the program is moving to a lottery system. People will be informed on Wednesday at 5 p.m. if they are picked to receive a produce box. No proof of residency or income is required. For more information, email [email protected] or call 202-682-2245. 

Comedy and Cocktails will be at 6 p.m. at Pure Lounge. Guests are encouraged to come out for laughs, libations and drinking games with the best DMV comics. There will be a comedy show, live DJ, dancing, 2 for 1 drinks and drinking games. Tickets cost $15 and can be purchased on Eventbrite.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Sign Up for Weekly E-Blast

Advertisement

Follow Us @washblade

Advertisement

Popular