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Calendar Aug. 17-23, 2018

Happy hours, parties, meetings and more in the week ahead

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gay events DC, gay news, Washington Blade

BARE White Party (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Friday, Aug. 17

The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (729 15th St., N.W.) hosts its 2018 LGBT Biz Pitch Competition today from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Finalists will present on stage in front of the conference audience. The winner will receive $50,000 in cash and prizes including a $25,000 cash prize and a $25,000 business consulting package. Participation is open to chamber-certified LGBT Business Enterprises and LGBT entrepreneurs who are eligible and intend to obtain a LGBTBE Certification or International LGBTI Supplier Registration through the chamber. For LGBTBE Certification or International LGBTI Supplier Registration eligibility, a business must be 51 percent or more LGBT-owned and operated. For registration details, visit facebook.com/nglcc. 

Geek Nite Out hosts a meet up for a screening of Blockbuster hit “Black Panther” at Farragut Square (912 17th St., N.W.) tonight at 7:30 p.m. The screening is part of Farragut Square’s Golden Cinema series. Admission is free. For more information, visit facebook.com/geekniteout.

R&B singer/actress Melba Moore performs at Blues Alley (1073 Wisconsin Ave., N.W.) tonight at 8 p.m. Moore’s career achievements include four Grammy nominations and a 1970 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical. Tickets are $35. There is a $12 food/beverage minimum per person. Doors open at 6 p.m. For more details, visit bluesalleylive.com. 

XX+ Crostino (1926 9th St., N.W.) hosts Slumber Party, a ladies dance party, tonight at 9 p.m. Dress code of pajamas and other slumber party attire is encouraged. There will be a popcorn bar, ice cream bar, $1 Jello shots, $5 cotton candy shots, dancers, pillow fights and more. At midnight, there will be a lingerie and onesie competition. Winner receives a $20 bar tab and a special gift. DJ Honey will play music. Cover is $5 at the door. For details, visit facebook.com/xxcrostino. 

D.C. Bear Crue hosts Bear Happy Hour at Uproar Lounge & Restaurant (639 Florida Ave., N.W.) tonight from 5-10 p.m. Drink specials include $5 rail cocktails and $5 draft pitchers. Free appetizers will be handed out all night. For more information, visit facebook.com/bearhappyhour. 

The D.C. Eagle (3701 Benning Rd., N.E.) hosts Exile, a 18-and-older dance party, tonight from 10 p.m.-4 a.m. At 10:30 p.m. the Birds of Prey Drag Show kicks off hosted by Ba’Naka. Brie Devine, Jaxknife Complex, Iyana Deschanel and Brooklyn Heights will perform. DJ C Dubz will spin tracks. For more details, visit facebook.com/eagledc. 

Saturday, Aug. 18

Nellie’s Sports Bar (900 U St., N.W.) hosts a drag brunch today with shows at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Chanel Devereaux and her girls will perform imitations of Lady Gaga, Pink, Beyonce and more. Tickets are $41.91 and include an all-you-can-eat brunch buffet. Food items on the menu include roast pork, vegetarian pasta, grits, salad and more. The first mimosa or bloody Mary is free. For more information, visit nelliessportsbar.com. 

Freed Bodyworks (1337 Pennsylvania Ave., S.E.) hosts Yoga and Queer Identity with Melanie Williams today from 1-4 p.m. The workshop will begin with a brief meditation followed by a discussion on the eight limbs of yoga through a queer lens. Afterwards, there will be another brief meditation and an hour-long, all-levels asana practice. The session will close out with savanna and a final guided meditation. The workshop is meant to be a LGBT-only space. Tickets are $35 but a sliding scale is available. For more details, visit facebook.com/freedbodyworks. 

The Ladies of LURe hosts BARE’s ninth annual White Party at Cobalt (1639 R St., N.W.) tonight from 10 p.m.-3 a.m. Dress code is white. There will be a wet T-shirt contest hosted by MC Alesia Michelle. Participants must bring their own towel but T-shirts will be provided. The top three winners, based on crowd applause, will receive cash prizes. DJ Rosie will spin tracks. The DystRucXion dancers will perform. Drink specials run all night. Cover is $7 before midnight and $10 after. For more information, visit facebook.com/lurewdc. 

Sunday, Aug. 19

Bar Roubaix (1400 Irving St., N.W.) hosts D.C. Sassy Brunch today from noon-2 p.m. Desiree Diks hosts the show with performances by Laronica Vegas, Paul and special guests Rose and Mariah Black. Online tickets are $21 and include the show and one entree. Tickets are available at the door for $6 with purchase of food or $10 with no food purchase. Drink specials include $18 bottomless mimosas, bloody Marys and Bloody Marias. For more information, visit facebook.com/sassydragbrunch. 

Monday, Aug. 20

PFLAG hosts its monthly meeting at the D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) tonight from 7-9 p.m. Parents, families and friends of the LGBT community are invited to provide encouragement and resources. For more details, visit the dccenter.org. 

Tuesday, Aug. 21

The D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) hosts its monthly Bi roundtable discussion tonight at 7 p.m. People are invited to discuss issues related to bisexuality in a private setting. For more details, visit thedccenter.org. 

Wednesday, Aug. 22

Ben’s Chili Bowl (1213 U St., N.W.) hosts its 60th anniversary with a block party today from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. featuring performances by Maysa, Rare Essence, EU featuring Sugarbear, Soul Searchers, DJ MelloT, Ozone and more. At 7:30 p.m. there will be a tribute to owner Virginia Ali at Lincoln Theatre (1215 U St., N.W.). Tickets range from $60-150. Proceeds will benefit the Ben’s Chili Bowl Foundation. For more details, visit benschilibowl.com. 

The Lambda Bridge Club meets 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.

Thursday, Aug. 23

The second annual D.C. Burger Battle is at Hill Country Backyard BBQ at the National Building Museum (401 F St., N.W.) tonight from 6-9 p.m. Restaurants will compete to create the best burgers. Tickets are $30 and include burger samples from each restaurant, complimentary beer, live music and games. Ticket proceeds will be donated to SOME (So Others Might Eat). For details, visit dcburgerbattle.com. 

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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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