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Arts & Entertainment

Area museums offer wide-ranging exhibits

Hot summer days are a great time to stay cool indoors while learning about a range of topics



D.C. museums, gay news, Washington Blade

One of the photos in the ‘SHARKS: On Assignment with Brian Skerry.’ (Photo by Brian Skerry; courtesy National Geographic)

Hot summer days are a great time to stay cool indoors while learning about a range of topics including science, art and history. Whether it’s with kids, friends, a significant other or even a solo trip there are plenty of museum options to take advantage of in the city.

Renwick Gallery is offering “Parallax Gap,” designed by architectural design practice FreelandBuck through Feb. 11, 2018. The piece will be suspended from the ceiling and surround the length of the Renwick. The installation combines both Eastern and Western perspectives in nine depictions of famous American buildings. For more details, visit

National Building Museum (401 F St., N.W.) hosts Hive, a large-scale model built from 2,700 wound paper tubes, from July 4-Sept. 4. The installation is 60 feet tall with a reflective silver exterior and magenta interior. Other Hive summer programming include behind-the-scenes construction tours and an after-hours program for teens on Aug. 10. Tickets are $16 for adults, $14 for students and seniors and $5 for Blue Star children ages 3 and up.The museum will also host Hill Country Backyard Barbecue on the West Lawn on Thursdays and Fridays from 4-9 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m.-9 p.m.For more information, visit

Foundry Gallery (2118 8th St., N.W.) presents, “A Mathematically Transformed World,” an exhibit by artist Allen Hirsh, through July 30. Hirsh distorted images, ranging from abstract landscapes to President Donald Trump, using mathematical programs he designed himself. Admission is free. Visit for more details.

“Connecting the Dots” by Claudia Samper, an exhibit consisting of drawings, paintings and transparencies, is on display at Touchstone Gallery (901 New York Ave., N.W.) from July 5-30. Samper’s work uses avian imagery to examine human communication. Touchstone Gallery will also present its Touchstone Gallery Member Show and work from youth and adults from New Community ArtSpace. Free admission. For more information, visit

The National Museum of Natural History (10th St. and Constitution Ave., N.W.) opens “Narwhal: Revealing an Arctic Legend” on Aug. 3 through 2019. The exhibit will explore the connection between narwhals and the Inuit. Guests can see real narwhal tusks and skulls, Inuit artwork and cultural artifact. An 18-foot, life-sized model of a narwhal will be suspended above the first floor. For more information, visit

The National Museum of American History (14th St. and Constitution Ave., N.W.) presents “JFK Centennial Celebration,” a commemoration of John F. Kennedy’s 100th birthday anniversary, through Aug. 27. The showcase will display nine photographs of Kennedy and his family taken in 1961. It will be included as part of the American Presidency exhibit. Visit for more details.

Artechouse D.C. (1238 Maryland Ave., S.W.) presents “XYZT: Abstract Landscapes,” an interactive, sensory experience, through Sept. 3. Visitors can experience walking on grass or touching sand using modern technology to create a realistic, virtual reality. Guests can view the exhibit during daytime hours from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. or evening hours from 5:30-10 p.m. Guests six and up are invited to the daytime showing. Visitors must be 21 and over for evening hours. General admission tickets are $15. Tickets for children, students and seniors is $10. For more information, visit

U.S. Botanical Garden Conservatory (100 Maryland Ave., S.W.) hosts You Can Grow It through Oct. 15. Visitors can explore the outdoor and indoor gardens while learning the basics of growing plants and how to solve plant problems. The exhibit is recommended for both advanced and beginner gardeners. For more details, visit

National Geographic Museum (1145 17th St., N.W.) presents “SHARKS: On Assignment with Brian Skerry” through Oct. 15. Skerry is an Award-winning National Geographic photographer who documented sharks using photography. His work highlights the importance of sharks in the ecosystem and explores why they should be protected and appreciated. The exhibit also includes models, large-scale images, videos, artifacts, and interactive experiences. Skerry’s new National Geographic book “SHARK” is an accompanied piece to the exhibit. Regular tickets are $15. Member, student, military and senior tickets are $12. Children tickets are $10. Tickets also give entry into “National Geographic Presents: Earth Explorers,” an interactive exhibit that lets visitors emulate National Geographic explorers in the field. For more information, visit

“Drawing Justice: the Art of Courtroom Illustration” is at the Library of Congress (101 Independence Ave., S.E.) through Oct. 28. Original art depicting courtroom dynamics from cases in the last 50 years are on display in the Thomas Jefferson Building. For more details, visit


Bars & Parties

30 LGBTQ events today

Celebrate Pride in the DMV with family and friends



A scene from the 2022 Pride on the Pier. The tradition continues this year. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Happy Pride! Below are our picks for some of the most fun and creative things to do today (Saturday, June 10) in the DMV that are of special interest to the LGBTQ community.


Saturday, June 10
3:30 a.m.-9 a.m.
2001 14th Street, N.W.
Some tier 2 priority entry tickets available at $50

Bunker’s late night party rages through 9 in the morning.

LGBTQ+ Pride Brunch

Saturday, June 10
10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Freddie’s Beach Bar
555 23rd Street South
Arlington, Va.

Go Gay DC has organized an LGBTQ+ Pride Brunch at Freddie’s Beach Bar in Arlington, Va. this morning.

Flower Crown Bar for Pride

Saturday, June 10
11 a.m.-1 p.m.
1825 18th Street, N.W.

If you are looking to make a striking impression at Pride, you could make your own rainbow flower crown! Go to the Flower Crown Bar for Pride today from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at PLNTR to make your crown. $25 for materials and instruction.

Friendship Place Pride

Saturday, June 10
11 a.m.-1 p.m.
1436 U Street, N.W.

Organizers promise fun and prizes in the tents and booths set up in the courtyard of Friendship Place for Pride today.

PRIDE Drag Brunch

Saturday, June 10
11 a.m. seating / 12:30 p.m. show
King & Rye
480 King Street
Alexandria, Va.

Evon Dior Michelle hosts a Pride Drag Brunch at King & Rye in Alexandria, Va. today. Performers include Amber St. Lexington, Dee A. Diamond and Stella Ray.

Capital Pride Crack of Noon Pride Parade Brunch

Saturday, June 10
11:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Viceroy Washington D.C.
1430 Rhode Island Avenue, N.W.
$60-$75 / 21+

The Capital Pride Alliance holds its Capital Pride Crack of Noon Parade Brunch on Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Viceroy Washington DC. It is 21+ to enter and tickets range from $60-$75.

Monarch Drag Brunch

Saturday, June 10
11:30 a.m.
Dupont Italian Kitchen Bar
Upstairs at 1637 17th Street, N.W.

The regular Monarch Drag Brunch will be upstairs at Dupont Italian Kitchen Bar this morning.

Capital Pride Block Party

Saturday, June 10
12-10 p.m.
17th Street, N.W.
Between P Street and Q Street

The free Capital Pride Block Party rages on throughout the Capital Pride Parade on Saturday from noon to 10 p.m. on 17th Street between P and Q Streets. There will be booths and entertainment provided with some of D.C.’s best drag kings and queens.

Sassy Saturdays Drag Brunch

Saturday, June 10
12 p.m. seating / 1 p.m. show
Blue Iguana
12727 Shoppes Lane
Fairfax, Va.

Evita Peroxide hosts Sassy Saturday’s Drag Brunch at The Blue Iguana in Fairfax, Va. at noon.

Green Lantern Pride Parade Afterparty by Lobo

Saturday, June 10
Open at 2 p.m. for Supergay Happy Hour / 9 p.m.-3 a.m.
Green Lantern
1335 Green Court, N.W.
No cover / 21+

The Green Lantern is holding a Pride Parade Afterparty sponsored by Lobo. Doors open at 2 p.m. for Supergay Happy Hour with the big party planned for 9 p.m.- 3 a.m.

Lambda Sci-Fi Pride Tabletop Gaming Party and Parade Viewing

Saturday, June 10
2-11 p.m.
1425 S Street, N.W.

Lambda Sci Fi is holding a Tabletop Gaming Party and Parade Viewing at 1425 S Street, N.W. from 2-11 p.m. Bring $10 cash for pizza.

Pride on the Pier and Fireworks Show!

Saturday, June 10
2-9 p.m.
The Wharf DC: District Pier
101 District Square, S.W.

The Washington Blade and the Ladies of LURe present the annual Pride on the Pier and Fireworks Show on Saturday from 2-9 p.m. at the Wharf DC: District Pier. The event is free, but you can purchase a VIP spot in an air conditioned space with an open bar, food, DJs and more.

Uptown Pride

Logo created by Anthony Dihle (Courtesy of Justin Noble)

Saturday, June 10
2-7 p.m.
Kennedy Street and 14th Street, N.W.

A new effort to create a Pride atmosphere for those in the northern part of D.C. who don’t want to brave the crowds of Dupont brings us Uptown Pride.

Capital Pride Parade

A scene from last year’s Capital Pride Parade. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Saturday, June 10
3-7:30 p.m.
Logan and Dupont Circle neighborhoods

The 2023 Capital Pride Parade will follow a 1.5-mile route that begins on 14th Street at T Street, N.W., and ends on P Street at 21st Street, N.W. See the map here:

Pride Tea

Saturday, June 10
4-10 p.m.
2001 14th Street, N.W.

Crimsyn and Brooke N Hyman perform at Bunker’s Pride Tea this afternoon. Music is probvided by Steve Sidewalk and Miscalculated.

Rooftop Day Party

Saturday, June 10
4 p.m.
The Dirty Goose
913 U Street, N.W.

Crystal Edge hosts a Day Party at Dirty Goose today.

Phantom Dupont Circle Pride Afterparty

Saturday, June 10
6-10 p.m.
Phantom Lounge
1327 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.

Phantom Lounge Dupont Circle has its own parade afterparty tonight.

H!Gh Pride Fest

Saturday, June 10
6-9 p.m.
Euphoria DC
611 1/2 Pennsylvania Avenue, S.E.

If you are looking for a buzz among fellow heads, look no further than the H!Gh Pride Fest at Euphoria DC tonight. A $35 donation will garner you a “free gift.”

Capital Trans Pride Pool Party

Saturday, June 10
8 p.m.-12 a.m.
Penthouse Pool and Lounge
1612 U Street, N.W., fourth floor
Free / Ticket required

Cool off at the Capital Trans Pool Party tonight at the Penthouse Pool and Lounge.

Electric Disco

Saturday, June 10
8 p.m.
507 8th Street, N.E.

Scorpio Entertainment and Taoti Creative produce the Electric Disco tonight with DJ Tezrah, DJ Edward Daniels and DJ Philly Phill.

Hellboiz! A priDEMONth Drag King Show

Saturday, June 10
8:30 p.m.
The Runway
3523 12th Street, N.E.
Facebook | Eventbrite

Baphemette hosts “Hellboiz, a priDEMONth Drag King Show tonight at The Runway DC. Performers include Mota, Flirty Rico, Silver Ware and Dr. Torcher.

Revolution! The Official Capital Pride Saturday Party

Saturday, June 10
9 p.m.-3 a.m.
1235 W Street, N.E.

The Capital Pride Alliance holds the official Saturday Pride party at WEG tonight.

Vanguard Pride

Saturday, June 10
9 p.m.-2 a.m.
Safari DC
4306 Georgia Avenue, N.W.

Vanguard Dark Dance Party brings you Vanguard Pride at Safari DC tonight. Admission is $7 in advance, $10 at the door and only $5 with a student ID.

FUSE: Main Womxn’s DC Pride Party

Saturday, June 10
9:30 p.m.-3 a.m.
Howard Theatre
620 T Street, N.W.
$20 / 18+
Facebook | Tickets

The Ladies of LURe and Tagg Magazine present the Main Womxn’s DC Pride Party: fuse. The Howard Theatre event features the DystRucXion Dancers, DJ Honey, DJ Jai Syncere and DJ Eletrox.

All That Glitters Drag Ball

Saturday, June 10
10 p.m.
Shaw’s Tavern
520 Florida Avenue, N.W.

Shaw’s Tavern is holding an “All That Glitters Drag Ball” tonight featuring Sapphire Dupree, Nubia Love Jackson, Genocide Abrasax and Alexa V. Shontelle.

Dirty Pop Pride

Saturday, June 10
10 p.m.-3 a.m.
2001 14th Street, N.W.
Some VIP express entry final tier tickets available at $25

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” alum Aja is featured at Dirty Pop Pride at Bunker tonight.

KINETIC: Candyland with Betty Who

Saturday, June 10
10 p.m.-4 a.m.
2135 Queens Chapel Road, N.E.
$65-$80 (or purchase weekend pass)

The big Pride parties continue with KINETIC: Candyland with Betty Who at Echostage from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.

Kinki. Leather Night

Saturday, June 10
10 p.m.
910 U Street, N.W.
Instagram | Facebook

Kiki is holding its leather night, “Kinki,” tonight at 10 p.m.

Leather Dykes: Pride 2023

Saturday, June 10
10 p.m.-3 a.m.
DC9 Nightclub
1940 9th Street, N.W.

Leather aficionados are spoiled for choice as DC9 Nightclub holds Leather Dykes: Pride 2023 tonight.

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Signature’s acclaimed music director tackles ‘Sweeney Todd’

Kalbfleisch excited to conduct 15-piece orchestration



Jon Kalbfleisch in action. (Photo by Christopher Mueller)

‘Sweeney Todd’
Through July 9
Signature Theatre
4200 Campbell Ave.
Arlington, Va. 22206

Typically, music directors play second fiddle to directors. “That’s just how it is in theater,” says Jon Kalbfleisch, longtime resident music director at Signature Theatre. “It’s different with opera. But those audiences have altogether different expectations.”

For the hugely talented Kalbfleisch, vying for attention has never been a concern. With 10 Helen Hayes Awards and an astounding 30 nominations under his belt, he’s had his time in the limelight, and more importantly, the out music director is focused on the work.

Currently he’s music directing his fourth production of composer Stephen Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd” at Signature Theatre and he couldn’t be happier. He counts the famously hard to sing “Sweeney” as both his favorite Sondheim show and among his all-time favorite scores overall. He says “like all Sondheim shows it has a lot of challenges, the ensemble stuff is particularly hard and the finale is really tricky. When it goes perfectly though, it’s wonderful.”

A tale of revenge soaked in melodrama and dark humor, the 1979 hit musical set in grubby 19th century London is rife with memorable numbers including “The Worst Pies in London,” “A Little Priest,” “Johanna” and “Not While I’m Around.” In Signature’s current offering directed by Sarna Lapine, Sweeney, the disgruntled, murderous barber, and his ruthless pie-making accomplice Mrs. Lovett are played respectively by Broadway actors Nathaniel Stampley and Bryonha Marie.

Kalbfleisch first music directed “Sweeney” (Signature’s first ever musical) in 1991 at the company’s then home, the Gunston Arts Center in Arlington; his second Signature “Sweeney” starring Norm Lewis and Donna Migliaccio was in 1998 at Signature’s legendary garage space; and there was a third production in the MAX Theatre, their top-notch permanent home in Shirlington in 2010 with Ed Gero and Sherri L. Edelen.

“What makes the current production unique,” explains Kalbfleisch, who lives just a short walk from Signature, “is a 15-piece orchestration that Jonathan Tunick [famed longtime Sondheim collaborator] did for a production in the UK. When Tunick takes his own work and makes it for a small ensemble it feels utterly complete. The way he redid it, it doesn’t feel smaller than the original.”

Long before the cast convenes, Kalbfleisch begins his preparation, attacking a score as if he’s never seen it before. For several weeks, he rehearses the orchestra, ensemble, and leads separately and together. Once the show opens, he conducts the 15-piece orchestra at every performance. Arduous? Maybe. But he enjoys every moment.

A meticulous professional prone to generous laughter, Kalbfleisch’s first love is piano, but conducting runs a close second. He says “the opportunity to stand up and conduct 15 players with the terrific cast of ‘Sweeney’ that we have right now I’m in a very happy place.”

Like many talented young pianists, the Lawton, Okla., native was recruited into musical theater: “My high school’s choir director said you’re going to be my accompanist. Similarly, my band director volunteered me to play piano for the school music ‘You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown’ I had little choice.”

“The experience was lots of fun, but it never occurred to me that it would be a big part of my career.”

He studied classic piano at Cameron University in Oklahoma, and went on to earn a Master of Music, at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. It was in Texas that he really dipped his toe into music direction at a small professional theater with shows like “Pirates of Penzance” and a fully orchestrated “A Chorus Line.”

Over his more than 30-year tenure at Signature, Kalbfleisch has music directed 33 Sondheim musicals. As an integral part of Signature, a Tony Award-winning regional theater, he’s had the chance to collaborate with Broadway luminaries including Sondheim, Angela Lansbury, Chita Rivera, and Tunick. He’s humbled and happy by the way things have worked out.

Looking forward, Kalbfleisch is ready for more pared down, big music Sondheim shows. He says, “Matthew [Matthew Gardiner, Signature’s artistic director] is very appreciative of the music and keen on maintaining doing shows with as big of an orchestra that we can manage.”

He’s a terrifically busy guy. In addition to his work at Signature, Kalbfleisch is – among a zillion other things — the conductor of his hometown Lawton Philharmonic Orchestra and serves as the music director and organist at Capitol Hill United Methodist Church.

Sundays can be complicated. They might include church service, a matinee, and an evening performance. When his schedule is tight, it’s just eating, sleeping, and working and not much else.

And when “Sweeney” closes in July? Kalbfleisch says he’ll drop. Until the next job.

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Out & About

Virginia Queer Film Festival to debut

Inaugural event to hold screenings at ODU’s University Theater



(Screen capture via Virginia Queer Film Festival YouTube)

The inaugural Virginia Queer Film Festival will start on Wednesday, June 14 on the campus of Old Dominion University at the University Theater.

More than 35 films, including short packages, features and documentaries, will be screened. In addition to the films, there will be filmmaker talkbacks, educational workshops and opening and closing ceremonies.

Tickets are available on the festival’s website.

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