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Calendar: Jan. 24-30

Concerts, support groups, meetings and more through Jan. 30

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Foundry United Methodist Church, gay news, Washington Blade
Foundry United Methodist Church, gay news, Washington Blade

Foundry United Methodist Church welcomes Rev. Frank Schaefer for a special service Sunday. Despite anti-gay teaching from its hierarchy, Foundry continues to advocate strongly for LGBT believers. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Friday, Jan. 24

Red Knight Productions presents “The Ballad of the Red Knight,” the story of a prince who must save his kingdom from an evil villain Lord Fango, at Port City Playhouse (1819 N. Quaker Ln., Alexandria, Va.) tonight at 8 p.m. The show runs through Feb. 8 with shows on Fridays at 8 p.m. and Saturdays at 2 and 8 p.m. Tickets range from $9-$16. For more information, visit portcityplayhouse.org.

The 16th annual Sugarloaf Crafts Festival begins today at Dulles Expo Center (4320 Chantilly Shopping Center Dr., Chantilly, Va.) from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. The festival continues through Sunday. Purchase sculpture, glass, jewelry, fashion and more from 250 American artists. Live music, children’s entertainment and food vendors will also be available. Tickets are $8 online and $10 at the door. Children under 12 are free. For details, visit sugarloafcrafts.com.

D.C. Shorts hosts “Pasties and Popcorn” at the U.S. Navy Memorial’s Burke Theater (701 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.) at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Watch sexually themed films from the D.C. Shorts archive, enjoy burlesque shows and see dance and comedic performances. Tickets are $20. For details and to purchase tickets, visit pasties.dcshorts.com.

Women in Their 20s, a social discussion group for lesbian, bisexual, transgender and all women interested in women, meets today at The D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) from 8-9:30 p.m. All welcome to join. For details, visit thedccenter.org.

Saturday, Jan. 25

Burgundy Crescent, a gay volunteer organization, volunteers for Food and Friends (219 Riggs Rd., N.E.) today from 8-10 a.m. Volunteers will chop vegetables and pack groceries. To volunteer, email [email protected]. For more details, visit burgundycrescent.org

The Latino Queer Bilingual Writing Group hosts its monthly workshop at the D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) today from 12:30-2:30 p.m. The focus will be on memoirs. Open to writers of any genre and levels of experience to share creative work in Spanish or English. Workshop is free and no prior experience is necessary. For details, call 202-682-2245 or email [email protected].

Adult entertainment star Ryan Rose appears at Town (2009 8th St., N.W.) tonight. Rose was named Falcon Studios’ 2013 “Man of the Year.” Doors open at 10 p.m. The drag show starts at 10:30 p.m. Drinks are $3 before 11 p.m. The cover is $8 from 10-11 p.m. and $12 after 11 p.m. Admission is limited to guests 21 and over. For details, visit towndc.com.

Brother Help Thyself hosts its grant reception today at Ziegfield’s/Secrets (1824 Half St., S.W.) at 2 p.m. Doors open at 1 p.m. Brother is a community-based organization committed to providing support to non-profit organizations that serve the LGBT and HIV/AIDS community. For details, visit thedccenter.org.

A benefit concert for A Wider Circle featuring the music of Ralph Vaughan-Williams, Gustav Holst and Percy Grainger is tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church (9601 Cedar Lane) in Bethesda. Director Henry Sgrecci will lead the Cedar Lane Chamber Orchestra and Choir. Oboist Jeanine Reinier will also perform. A Wider Circle is a local charitable organization. Admission is free; donations will go to the charity. Open to all.

Concert pianist Denis Matsuev plays Haydn, Schumann, Rachmaninoff and more tonight at 7 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore Hall (5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, Md.). Tickets range from $35-75. Visit Strathmore.org for details.

Sunday, Jan.26

Foundry United Methodist Church (1500 16th St., N.W.) presents “Service of Hope and Justice with Frank Schaefer” today at 9:30 and 11 a.m. Schaefer was recently defrocked for officiating the same-gender marriage of his son. Jimmy Creech, also defrocked for officiating a same-gender marriage, and Beth Stroud, who was defrocked and now is in a same-gender relationship, will also be in attendance. A panel discussion follows at 12:30 p.m. For details, visit foundryumc.org.

Perry’s (1811 Columbia Rd., N.W.) hosts its weekly “Sunday Drag Brunch” today from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The cost is $24.95 for an all-you-can-eat buffet. For more details, visit perrysadamsmorgan.com.

MetroStage (1201 North Royal St., Alexandria, Va.) presents “Ella Fitzgerald: First Lady of Song” today at 3 and 7 p.m. The show chronicles Fitzgerald’s life both onstage and backstage. Tickets are $60. The show runs through March 16. For details, visit metrostage.org.

Monday, Jan. 27

The D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W..) hosts coffee drop-in hours this morning from 10 a.m.-noon for the senior LGBT community. Older LGBT adults can come and enjoy complimentary coffee and conversation with other community members. For more information, visit thedccenter.org.

Us Helping Us  (3636 Georgia Ave., N.W.) holds a support group for gay black men to discuss topics that affect them today, share perspectives and have meaningful conversations. For details, visit uhupil.org.

The D.C. Center presents “When Social Security and Same-Sex Marriage May Not Be Enough” at The Residences at Thomas Circle (1330 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.) today from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Attorney Michele Zavos and Financial Advisor DeWayne Ellis will discuss the issues that LGBT people face when they are not fully legally protected. Light refreshments will be provided. For more information, visit thedccenter.org.

Tuesday, Jan. 28

Genderqueer D.C. holds a discussion group at The D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W..)  at 7 p.m. tonight. The group is for anyone who identifies outside of the gender binary. For more information, visit thedccenter.org.

Bachelor’s Mill (1104 8th St., S.E.) offers all drinks half price tonight until 2 a.m. Enjoy pool, video games and cards. Admission is free. Must be 21 and over. For more details, visit bachelorsmill.com.

SMYAL (410 7th St., S.E.) provides free and confidential HIV testing drop-in hours today from 3-5 p.m. For more information, visit smyal.org.

Wednesday, Jan. 29

The Lambda Bridge Club meets tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Dignity Center (721 8th St., S.E.) for duplicate bridge. No reservations required and new comers welcome. If you need a partner, call 703-407-6540.

Fresh Market (3680 King St., Alexandria, Va.) opens its new location today at 8 a.m. Enjoy chef demonstrations, food samplings throughout the store and drawings for The Fresh Market gift cards. The first 1,000 customers receive a sample bag of Fresh Market coffee and a reusable shopping bag. For details, visit thefreshmarket.com.

Thursday, Jan 30

Nellie’s Sports Bar (900 U St., N.W.) hosts its weekly “Beat the Clock Happy Hour” tonight from 5-8 p.m. Drink specials start at $2 and increase by a dollar each hour. For more information, visit nelliessportsbar.com.

Rude Boi Entertainment hosts “Tempted 2 Touch,” a ladies dance party, at the Fab Lounge (2022 Florida Ave., N.W.) tonight. Doors open at 10 p.m. Drink specials $5 and vodka shots $3 all night. No cover charge. Admission limited to guests 21 and over. For more details, visit rudeboientertainment.wordpress.com.

SMYAL (410 7th St., S.E.) hosts “Café SMYAL,” a fun event to get out of the cold, today from 4-5 p.m. Drink hot cocoa, play board games and make new friends. For more information, visit smyal.org.

Whitman Walker provides HIV testing at Glorious Health Club (2120 West Virginia Ave., N.E.) tonight from 10:30 p.m.-1 a.m. For details, visit Whitman-walker.org.

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Bars & Parties

Blade’s summer closing party set for Sept. 17 in Rehoboth

Benefits journalism scholarship

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Rehoboth Beach Museum, Joe Maggio Realty, gay news, Washington Blade
(Washington Blade file photo by Daniel Truitt)

The Washington Blade’s 15-year tradition of hosting a summer kickoff party in Rehoboth Beach was disrupted due to COVID restrictions. In lieu of that May event, the Blade is hosting a summer closing party on Friday, Sept. 17 at 6 p.m. at The Pines (56 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach, Del.). 

Tickets are $20, which includes two drinks and appetizers. The event benefits the Blade Foundation’s Steve Elkins Memorial Journalism Fellowship, a 12-week program in which an LGBTQ student journalist covers stories of interest to Delaware’s queer community each summer. 

All COVID safety protocols will be followed, including a requirement that attendees furnish proof of vaccination to gain entry. 

If you are unable to attend you can make a donation to the Blade Foundation at BladeFoundation.org. Sponsors of the event include Delmarva Power and The Pines.

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Bars & Parties

Rehoboth to close out summer with SunFest

Series of events to replace long-running Sundance due to pandemic

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This year’s Sundance in Rehoboth is renamed SunFest and will look different from this scene in 2019 due to the pandemic. (Blade file photo by Daniel Truitt)

SunFest will feature a week of live performances, dances, and a live auction, sponsored by non-profit LGBTQ+ center CAMP Rehoboth.

The weeklong festival runs from Aug. 29 to Sept. 5 and is a change from the annual SunDance that CAMP Rehoboth has sponsored since 1988. This transformation began last year when the event was forced to go digital due to the coronavirus and the in-person events scheduled this year are important, according to development director and co-coordinator of SunFest Anita Broccolino.

“We love that community feel and the in-person makes all the difference in the world for us. Not being able to do it last year just reminded everyone how important we all are to one another,” Broccolino said. “I think that bringing back these events this year is just huge for us and it will be extra celebratory as a result.”

The festival begins with a 5k race and online auction opening on Sunday. Monday night features a give-back event at Iron Hill Brewery while Tuesday’s agenda is still to be determined, said Broccolino. Diego’s will host a Studio 54 give-back dance party on Wednesday and Thursday is the Port 251 women’s give-back. 

Live performances featuring the Skivvies, Randy Harrison and Diane Huey are scheduled for Friday night and Jennifer Holiday will follow with a performance on Saturday night, both at the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center. The festival closes out Sunday with auction pick-ups and Fun in the Sand and Sun, according to the CAMP Rehoboth website.

This event is also important to the organization’s contributions to the community, said Broccolino.

“The essential services we provide for free to the community, which is a huge amount of health and wellness activities, as well as arts programming, a lot of youth programming and the community counts on us for those things. We never stopped during COVID, we made as much as we could virtual, but we took quite a hit not being able to raise those funds and awareness of the programs,” Broccolino said. “We invite the entire community to come celebrate with us and make it to Rehoboth Beach, and let’s make it joyful, and wonderful and make sure we’re living up to the standards of all the people who helped found CAMP Rehoboth and live up to their legacy and beyond.”

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Arts & Entertainment

Rehoboth Beach welcomes Christopher Peterson back

Drag legend to perform weekly beginning July 4

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Christopher Peterson, drag, gay news, Washington Blade
Drag legend Christopher Peterson. (Photo courtesy Peterson)

Christopher Peterson will celebrate 25 years of performing his brilliant show EYECONS when he brings it back to Rehoboth Beach this summer. He will be at Clear Space Theatre every Saturday at 10 p.m. and Sunday at 9 p.m. from July 4 to Sept. 5.

I have seen the show a number of times over the years from when he performed at the Renegade showroom (youngsters may not remember the Renegade out on the highway) to now at the Clear Space Theatre, so I am biased in saying it is always worth the price of a ticket. In fact it is worth a lot more because Christopher is an amazing talent. In addition to his own show he can be seen in “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” at Clear Space.

I recently had the opportunity to chat with Christopher. He has lived in Key West, Fla., for years and performs there during the winter and when he isn’t booked around the country. Christopher told me he was born Moncton, New Brunswick but grew up in Halifax (actually Dartmouth across the harbor) Nova Scotia, Canada 58 years ago.

We talked about gay life today and I asked him when he came out and he responded: “in the womb.” He told me he always knew who he was even before he knew you could call it gay. He told me he was lucky and grew up in a family that always accepted him for who he was. I asked him if he was excited about coming back to Rehoboth and he told me he sometimes thought of this as his final ‘widow tour’ as it is his first time back at the beach since he lost the love of his life, James Mill, in September of 2019. They were together for 35 years and James was not only his partner in life but in business. Many in Rehoboth knew James and will miss seeing him at Christopher’s side. He was a beautiful man.

Christopher has been called North America’s greatest female impersonator and though I haven’t seen all of them, I have seen enough to thoroughly concur with that. He not only impersonate the characters, he seems to become them. He never lip-syncs but sings their songs and talks in their voice. Christopher once said his only vocal training was in high school and in church choirs but you would never know that when listening to him sing. Christopher also designs all of his own costumes and they are incredible. It’s amazing how quickly he can change from Marilyn Monroe and become Cher with just a new gown and new wig that he has stashed in the closet at the side of the stage. The transformation is mesmerizing.

Over the years he has impersonated so many iconic women, including Marilyn Monroe, Carol Channing, Madonna, Joan Rivers, Reba McEntire, Bette Midler, Tina Turner, Julie Andrews, Barbra Streisand, Liza Minnelli, Judy Garland, Eartha Kitt, Cher, Bette Davis, and Lucille Ball. He will add a new character once in a while if he feels comfortable having tried them out — one being Lady Gaga.

I asked him if he has a favorite character and he said, “That’s like asking me if I have a favorite child. These are all my children and they each represent something special to me.” He said, “as an example Streisand is the voice and Garland is the heart.” I remember he was once quoted as saying Judy Garland is his favorite to do and since he told me she represents the heart it didn’t surprise me as Christopher has a big heart. He often saves her for the end of the show and when you see her you leave wanting more.

I asked Christopher about the weirdest thing that ever happened during his show. He told me the story about an evening during the show, when he talks with an audience member, he leaned over the stage and began to chat with a table on the right of the stage and asked an older gentleman, Christopher called him Mary, how he liked the show. After saying he loved it the next thing Christopher saw was Mary keeling over. Turns out he had a heart attack. Christopher said he told the audience there would be a pause in the show and asked if there was a doctor in the house. One came forward and attended to the man and called 911. The gentleman seemed to recover and after they took him out on a stretcher the show went on. Christopher said this has happened more than once at his shows. Maybe it’s the excitement.

I asked him if any of the women he impersonates have been to see the show and was surprised when he said no. I would think any of those still alive would be honored to see how Christopher does them and shows them off so well.

This will be an exciting summer in Rehoboth and Christopher is prepared for visitors to come to the show and still follow any restrictions in effect for the pandemic. The theater has said it will continue to abide by all COVID restrictions in order to ensure the safety of both the actors and the audience. Clear Space Theatre has been doing this all winter and doing it safely.

I urge anyone who has never seen Christopher Peterson to get your tickets early as anyone who has seen him will be buying tickets to his shows and you don’t want to miss this chance to have a great fun evening in the theater.

Christopher Peterson as Lucille Ball. (Photo courtesy Peterson)

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