Connect with us

Arts & Entertainment

Best of Gay D.C. 2016: COMMUNITY

Blade readers voted for their community favorites



community, gay news, Washington Blade

Best Art Gallery

Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum

1661 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.

Runner-up: The Phillips Collection

Renwick Gallery (Photo public domain)

Renwick Gallery (Photo public domain)

Best Adult Store

Bite the Fruit

1723 Connecticut Ave., N.W.

Runner-up: Trick Box

Bite the Fruit

Bite the Fruit

Best Car Dealership

BMW of Fairfax

8427 Lee Highway, Fairfax

Runner-up: Audi of Tysons

BMW of Fairfax (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

BMW of Fairfax (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Best Apartment/Condo Building

Atlantic Plumbing

2112 8th St., N.W.

Runner-up: The Shay

Atlantic Plumbing (Photo courtesy Atlantic Plumbing)

Atlantic Plumbing (Photo courtesy Atlantic Plumbing)

Best Doctor/Medical Provider

Ray Martins, Whitman-Walker Health

Runner-up: Dr. Robyn Zeiger

Best of Gay D.C.

Ray Martins (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Best Fitness or Workout Spot

VIDA Fitness

1517 15th St., N.W.

1612 U St., N.W.

999 9th St., N.W.

(A perennial favorite in this category)

Runner-up: YMCA

VIDA Fitness (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

VIDA Fitness (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Best Gayborhood


Runner-up: Logan Circle

Shaw (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Shaw (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Best Hardware Store

Logan Hardware

Logan Hardware

1734 14th St., N.W.

Runner-up: Annie’s Ace Hardware

MidCity Dog Days, gay news, Washington Blade

Logan Hardware (Washington Blade photo by Antwan J. Thompson)

Best Home Furnishings

Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams

1526 14th St., N.W.

Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams is featured on the 2016 Best of Gay DC cover.

Runner-up: Room & Board

Mitchell Gold, Bob Williams, furniture, design, home, gay news, Washington Blade

Mitchell Gold, on left, and business partner Bob Williams at their Washington store for an event in 2013. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Best Home Improvement Service

The Organizing Agency

811 4th St., N.W., Suite1013

(Winner of last year’s Best LGBT-owned Business award)

Runner-up: Hourly Husbands

Organizing Agency founder Scott Roewer (Photo courtesy of the Organizing Agency)

Organizing Agency founder Scott Roewer (Photo courtesy of the Organizing Agency)

Best Hotel

The W

515 15th St., N.W.

(Second consecutive win in this category)

Runner-up: Donovan House

The W Hotel (Photo courtesy of the W)

The W Hotel (Photo courtesy of the W)

Best House of Worship

Empowerment Liberation Cathedral

633 Sligo Ave., Silver Spring


(Second consecutive win in this category)

Runner-up: All Souls Unitarian

Bishop Allyson Abrams of the Empowerment Liberation Cathedral (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Bishop Allyson Abrams of the Empowerment Liberation Cathedral (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Best Lawyer

Peter Glazer

The Glazer Law Firm

Business attorney

Runner-up: Amy Nelson

Peter Glazier (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Peter Glazier (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Best LGBT Social Group

Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington

Runner-up: D.C. Rawhides

The Gay Men's Chorus of Washington (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Best LGBT Support Group


Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders

410 7th St., S.E.

(Second consecutive win in this category)

Runner-up: HIPS

SMYAL (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

SMYAL (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Best LGBT Sports League

D.C. Rollergirls

Runner-up: Stonewall Kickball

Teammates on D.C. Rollergirls say the league feels like family.

Founded in 2006, D.C. Rollergirls is centered around the group’s love for roller derby. In addition to games, the team also prides itself on contributing to community service with organizations that promote female empowerment, physical fitness and awareness of issues women, children and families face in the D.C. area.

League president Dawn Sherman, also known by her team nickname Aurora Borey All-Ass, says what makes the team stand out is the diversity of its members.

“We have women from all different walks of life,” Sherman says. “We are an inclusive environment so we have cis-gender women and we are very open to LGBT women. The fact that we all come together for this crazy common sport that we love just makes it amazing.”

Women of all skill levels are welcome on the team especially beginners. JaeLee Waldschmidt, nicknamed Switch Please, says she stepped into the world of roller derby after a friend invited her to a match.

Waldschmidt admits she was clueless and outside her comfort zone.

“My friend was like, ‘You should come watch my team play.’ I was like, ‘Play what?’ ‘Roller derby,’” Waldschmidt says. “I was like, ‘What’s that?’ I watched one of their games and showed up to D.C. Armory like, ‘Where do I get in?’ and my friend was like, ‘The door. You go in through the door.’”

After attending roller derby boot camp Waldschmidt found herself competing on the team.

She encourages other women interested in trying something new to do the same. Try out sessions are open to anyone regardless of experience level. Each Sunday the team has a roller derby boot camp where anybody, with the appropriate safety gear, can learn the fundamentals of roller derby. The next try out date is Sunday, Oct. 23 at the DCRG Warehouse (5706 LaFayette Pl., Hyattsville, Md.) from 12:30-3:30 p.m. The team consists of about 40 players, including dozens of volunteers, beginner boot campers and retired derby members who still like to stay connected.

Another big part of being a D.C. Rollergirls team member is picking a nickname that suits you.

For Sherman the name was all about who she was as a person.

“I wanted to find something that kind of gave people a little glimpse into my life,” Sherman says. “My quirky sci-fi side. Kind of just being a general science geek and my physique. So my name is Aurora Borey All-Ass and that kind of encompasses all those things.”

Waldschmidt chose her name Switch Please, from the character Switch from “The Matrix.”

Feeling comfortable to share parts of themselves with their team is the best part about the league, Waldschmidt says.

“Being a trans woman, it’s kind of hard in this world trying to find a place that accepts you for who you are,” Waldschmidt says. “I mean there are pockets here and there but roller derby was like ‘Alright, cool.’ It was a really empowering opportunity to be authentic and not have to try to conform to people’s expectations of what a man or woman is, to be myself.” (Mariah Cooper)

DC Rollergirls (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

D.C. Rollergirls (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Best LGBT-Owned Business

Capital Center for Psychotherapy and Wellness

1330 U St., N.W.

Runner-up: Town, Number Nine and Trade

Gregory Jones of Capital Center for Psychotherapy and Wellness (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Gregory Jones of Capital Area (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Most LGBT-Friendly Workplace

Human Rights Campaign

1640 Rhode Island Ave., N.W.

Runner-up: Whitman-Walker Health

Human Rights Campaign (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Human Rights Campaign (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Best Non-Profit

Whitman-Walker Health

Runner-up: Capital Pride

Whitman Walker Health at the Walk to End HIV (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Whitman Walker Health at the Walk to End HIV (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Best Pet Business

Metro Mutts

508 H St., N.E.

Runner-up: City Dogs

dog_insert_by_bigstockBest Place to Buy Second-Hand Stuff

Miss Pixie’s Furnishings and Whatnot

1626 14th St., N.W.

Runner-up: Buffalo Exchange

Miss Pixie's (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Miss Pixie’s (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Best Place to Take the Kids

Smithsonian’s National Zoo

3001 Connecticut Ave., N.W.

(Second consecutive win in this category)

Runner-up: Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum

panda bear, National Zoo, Last-minute gifts, holiday gift guide, Christmas, gay news, Washington Blade

(Photo courtesy of the National Zoo)

Best Rehoboth Business

Blue Moon

35 Baltimore Ave.

Rehoboth Beach, Del.

(Also won Best Rehoboth Bar)

Runner-up: Purple Parrot

Blue Moon (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Blue Moon (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Best Salon/Spa

Logan 14 Aveda Salon & Spa

1314 14th St., N.W.

(Second consecutive win in this category)

Runner-up: Salon Quency

Michael Hodges of Logan 14 Aveda (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Michael Hodges of Logan 14 Aveda (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Best Reason to Go to Baltimore

National Aquarium

501 E. Pratt St., Baltimore

(Second consecutive win in this category)

National Aquarium in Baltimore (Photo public domain)

National Aquarium in Baltimore (Photo public domain)

Best Theater

Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

2700 F St., N.W.

(Second consecutive win in this category)

Runner-up: Arena Stage

Kennedy Center, culture, gay news, Washington Blade

The Kennedy Center (Photo by Steve via Wikimedia Commons)

Best Theater Production

“Kinky Boots” (Kennedy Center)

Runner-up: “La Cage Aux Folles” (Signature Theatre)

Kinky Boots, gay news, Washington Blade

(Photo courtesy Kennedy Center)

Best Vet

CityPaws Animal Hospital

1823 14th St., N.W.

(Second consecutive win in this category)

Runner-up: Union Veterinary Clinic

City Paws (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

City Paws (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

To see winners in other categories in the Washington Blade’s Best of Gay D.C. 2016 Awards, click here.



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)

Continue Reading


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.

Continue Reading


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.

Continue Reading

Sign Up for Weekly E-Blast

Follow Us @washblade