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SPRING ARTS 2018 EVENTS: This ’n that

Many events don’t fit in our usual spring arts categories — here’s the catch all

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gay events DC spring 2018, Washington Scandals, SportsFest, gay news, Washington Blade

Team D.C. SportsFest (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

There’s a statue dedication for former (and late) Mayor Marion Barry, Jr. on Saturday, March 3 at 11:30 a.m. at 1350 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W. He was mostly LGBT-affirming until his final years in office. 

SAGE and Human Rights Campaign join forces on Sunday, March 4 for “Looking Back, Living Forward: SAGE Multigenerational Discussion” at Social Tables (1325 G St., N.W.).

Pure: the Movie” has its premier at the Green Lantern at 6 p.m. on Monday, March 5. 

The Ask Rayceen Show” has installments on March 7 (season premiere), April 4 (mini ball) and May 2 (community forum). 

Comedian Randy Rainbow, known for his spoof interviews with Trump, plays the Warner Theatre (513 13th St., N.W.) on Friday, March 9 at 7:30 p.m. 

Mixtape is Saturday, March 10 at 11 p.m. with DJs Matt Bailer, Tezrah and Chaotic. 

Story District, which always has LGBT components to its events, has “Beauty & the Beast: Stories About Mismatched Partnerships, Odd Couples or Unlikely Alliances” on Tuesday, March 13 at 8 p.m. at Town (2009 8th St., N.W.). Tickets are $19.50 here

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” champ Bianca Del Rio has a sold-out show on Tuesday, March 15 at 7 p.m. at the Lincoln Theatre (1215 U St., N.W.). 

BARE has its Military Appreciation Night and St. Patty’s Day party on Saturday, March 17 at 10 p.m. at Cobalt (1639 R St., N.W.). Admission is $7 before midnight or $10 after. 

The 11th annual National Rainbow Seder: Reflections on Resistance is Sunday, March 18 at 5 p.m. at Human Rights Campaign (1640 Rhode Island Ave., N.W.). Tickets are $31.50-55.50 here

The National LGBT Bar Association has its D.C. Out & Proud Corporate Counsel Award Reception on Tuesday, March 20 at 6 p.m. at Atria (101 Constitution Ave., N.W.). 

Veterans of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” join up for “Haters Roast: the Shady Tour” on Thursday, March 22 at 8 p.m. at Warner Theatre (513 13th St., N.W.). Tickets are $35-50 here

Team D.C.’s Spring Sportsfest is Thursday, March 22 at Room & Board (1840 14th St., N.W.). Its Night of Champions Award Dinner is Saturday, April 14. Details at teamdc.org.

Pretty Boi Drag has its Amateur King Night on Thursday, March 22 at the Bier Baron Tavern (1523 22nd St., N.W.). Tickets are $12.61. 

Pretty Boi Drag, gay news, Washington Blade

Pretty Boi Drag (Washington Blade photo by Tom Hausman)

The D.C. Area Transmasculine Society will have a transmasc and NB (i.e. non-binary) game night will be held on Friday, March 23 at 7 p.m. at 83 P St., N.W. 

CTRL is Saturday, March 24 at Town. Details here.

LGBT-affirming author/former pastor Rob Bell brings his “Holy Shift Tour” to the Lincoln Theatre (1215 U St., N.W.) on Tuesday, March 27 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $35-60.

Beyonce vs. Rihanna is Friday, March 30 at 9 p.m. at the Black Cat (1811 14th St., N.W.). Tickets are $15 here.

Awesome CON, always a gay ole’ time with its Pride Alley, is March 30-April 1 at the Convention Center (801 Mt. Vernon Pl., N.W.). Details here.

Awesome Con, gay news, Washington Blade

Last year’s Awesome Con drew enthusiasts of many realms of pop culture and sci-fi. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

The GAG Ball 2018: Gays Against Guns is Saturday, March 31 at 6 p.m. at the Living Room D.C. (1008 Vermont Ave., N.W.). Tickets ($10-20) are here.

The Capital Area Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce has its annual LGBT Mega Networking and Social Event on Wednesday, April 4 at 6:30 p.m. at Town (2009 8th St., N.W.). It’s free.

Light City runs April 6-21 in Baltimore with 21 large-scale light installations from local artists. 

The Victory Fund’s National Champagne Brunch is Sunday, April 8 at 11 a.m. at the Omni Shoreham Hotel (2500 Calver St., N.W.). Tickets at victoryfund.org.

Champagne Brunch, gay news, Washington Blade

Victory Fund National Champagne Brunch (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Out comedian David Sedaris plays the Kennedy Center (2700 F St., N.W.) on Monday, April 9 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $39-79.

HRC’s Global Innovative Advocacy Summit is April 9-12 at HRC Headquarters. 

CAMP Rehoboth Women’s Fest is April 12-15 in Delaware. 

Food & Friends’ Dining Out for Life is Thursday, April 12. 

Queer-helmed Church Night has its fifth anniversary event on Friday, April 13 at 9:30 p.m. at the Black Cat (1811 14th St., N.W.). 

Equality Virginia’s 15th annual Commonwealth Dinner is Saturday, April 14 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. 

There are many events associated with the National Cherry Blossom Festival. The parade is Saturday, April 14 from 10 a.m.-noon on Constitution Ave., N.W. 

The National Association of Gay & Lesbian Real Estate Professionals has its LGBT Housing Policy Summit April 17-18 at HRC Headquarters (1640 Rhode Island Ave., N.W.). 

GLAA usually has its Distinguished Service Awards April 26. 

GLAA Distinguished Service Awards, gay news, Washington Blade

GLAA Distinguished Service Awards (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

The Imperial Court of Washington has its Spring Fling! event Saturday, April 21 at 6 p.m. at the D.C. Eagle (3701 Benning Rd., N.E.). 

BARE has its Spring Fling on Saturday, April 21 at 10 p.m. at Cobalt (1639 R St., N.W.) Look for the event on Facebook for details.

The sixth annual Superhero 5k & Fun Run is Saturday, April 21 at 8 a.m. at East Potomac Park (1090 Ohio Dr., S.W.). Registration details here.

GLSEN’s National Day of Silence is Friday, April 27.

Capital Pride’s Spring Outdoor Movie Night is Monday, April 30 in Stead Park. 

We the People and Us Helping Us are joining forces for a month-long series of events in the region devoted to “May Is? All About Trans: 31 Days Celebrating, Being, Living & Loving Transgender People” including a trans summit, trans awards dinner, mini ball for youth and more. 

Rainbow Families has its 2018 Family Conference & Gathering on Saturday, May 5 at 8: a.m. at Georgetown Day High School (4200 Davenport St., N.W.). Details here.

The AIDS Walk & Run Baltimore is May 6 at 7 a.m. 

Gay Day at the Zoo is Sunday, May 6 from noon-5 p.m. at the National Zoo (3001 Connecticut Ave., N.W.). 

The Capital Pride Heroes Gala is Saturday, May 12. 

The Helen Hayes Awards for Washington theater is Monday, May 14. 

Helen Hayes Awards, gay news, Washington Blade

Helen Hayes Awards (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Capital Trans Pride is May 18-20. 

Capital Trans Pride, gay news, Washington Blade

Capital Trans Pride (Washington Blade photo by Tyler Grigsby)

Out comedian Margaret Cho brings her “Fresh Off the Bloat” show May 18-19 to the D.C. Improv. Comedy Club (1140 Connecticut Ave., N.W.). 

Margaret Cho, gay news, Washington Blade

Margaret Cho (Washington Blade photo by Michael Ke

GLOE (GLBT Outreach & Engagement at the Edlavitch D.C.-JCC) will host “Hineni: a New Seminar on LGBT Jewish Leadership” on Tuesday, May 22 at 7 p.m. at Adas Israel Congregation (2850 Quebec St., N.W.). Details here.

Whitman-Walker Health’s Going the Extra Mile benefit is Wednesday, May 23 at the Hamilton (600 14th St., N.W.). 

D.C. Black Pride is, as always, Memorial Day Weekend and runs May 24-29. Omega Entertainment’s Supreme Fantasy Event is May 24, one of 10 scheduled throughout the weekend. Various packages are available. Details here,

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” vet Shangela plays Black Pride on Friday, May 25, among many other official Black Pride events. This year’s theme is Communities Together Building Community. 

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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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