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Arts & Entertainment

Calendar: Oct. 19-25, 2018

Parties, concerts, support groups and more for the week ahead

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LGBT events DC fall 2018, gay news, Washington Blade

A scene from ‘The Breeding,’ which will be screened tonight at HRC Headquarters. (Photo courtesy BG Pics)

Friday, Oct. 19

Reel Affirmations presents a screening of “The Breeding” at Human Rights Campaign (1640 Rhode Island Ave., N.W.) tonight at 7 p.m. “The Breeding” is an erotic thriller about an artist who becomes obsessed with a taboo fetish. After the film, there will be a catered cocktail reception and conversation with director Daniel Armando. Rayceen Pendarvis hosts the screening. VIP tickets are $25 and include VIP seating, one complimentary cocktail, beer or wine and movie candy or popcorn and the catered reception. General admission tickets are $12. 

PUTI presents Snatch Game at The D.C. Eagle (3701 Benning Rd., N.E.)  tonight from 7-9:30 p.m. Participants are invited to give their best celebrity impressions. Contestants will receive prizes. Vin Testa hosts the event. There is a $10 donation at the door and raffle tickets will be on sale for $1 throughout the night. Proceeds benefit La Clinica del Pueblo. For more information, visit dceagle.com.

La Fantasy Productions presents Super Hero Underwear Party at L8 Lounge (727 15th St., N.W.) tonight from 10 p.m.-4 a.m. DJ Ivan Gomez and DJ Chord will spin tracks. There will be a $4 coat check. Tickets are $30. All proceeds benefit Casa Ruby. 

The D.C Eagle (3701 Benning Rd., N.E.) hosts Woof: Happy Hour and Porn Star Bingo today from 5-11 p.m. Beaux Banks hosts Porn Star Bingo which will have prizes. There will be free pizza for the crowd at 7:30 p.m. Drink specials run until 11 p.m. No cover before 9:30 p.m. 

Saturday, Oct. 20

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention hosts Out of the Darkness Walk at the Lincoln Memorial (2 Lincoln Memorial Circle, N.W.). The walk helps to raise awareness and funds for research, educational programs, public policy and to support survivors of suicide loss. Registration is at 1 p.m. The walk is from 3-6 p.m. For more details and to register, visit asp.donordrive.com

Shakespeare Theatre Company (507 8th St., S.E.) hosts a costume and prop sale today from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Costumes, props, furniture and more items that were featured on the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s stages will be for sale. For more information, visit shakespearetheatre.org/costume-sale.

CTRL, a gay dance party, presents “Blackout: a Britney Album Celebration” at U Street Music Hall (1115 U St., N.W.) tonight from 10 p.m.-3 a.m. DJ Jeff Prior, DJ Dvonne, DJ Adam-Koussari and DJ Brett Andriesen will play music from Britney Spears’ “Blackout” album as well as electro-pop, nu-disco and house. Cover is $10. For more details, visit ustreetmusichall.com.

Peach Pit, a ‘90s dance party, is at DC9 (1940 9th St., N.W.) tonight at 10:30 p.m. DJ Matt Bailer will pay music. Cover is $5 until midnight and $8 after. For more details, visit dcnine.com.

Trade (1410 14th St., N.W.) hosts “Gay/Bash: Halloweenbash” tonight from 10 p.m.-3 a.m. Jaxknife Complex, Jane Saw, Ana Latour, Donna Slash and Iyanna Deschanel will perform. The Barber Streisand will play music. There will be one show at 11:30 p.m. and another show at 1 a.m. No cover. For more information, visit facebook.com/gaybashdc.

The National Museum of American History (14th St. and Constitution Ave., N.W.) celebrates the return of Dorothy’s ruby slippers from “The Wizard of Oz”  today. At 12:30 p.m. attendees can pose in front of the museum’s new mural for a group photo in an Oz-inspired outfit. Guests are encouraged to come in costume. There will also be screenings of “The Wizard of Oz” in the Warner Bros. Theater at 1:50 and 4:10 p.m. Admission is free. For more details, visit facebook.com/americanhistory.

Sunday, Oct. 21

Nellie’s Sports Bar (900 U St., N.W.) has a drag brunch today with shows at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Drag entertainers will perform as Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Pink and more. Tickets are $41.91 and include an all-you-can-eat buffet and one mimosa or bloody Mary. For more details, visit nelliessportsbar.com.

Monday, Oct. 22

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

Tuesday, Oct. 23

RuPaul’s Drag Race: Werq the Worldstops by for a sold-out show at the Lincoln Theatre (1215 U St., N.W.) tonight at 8 p.m. Season 10 winner Aquaria will perform along with finalists Asia O’hara, Eureka and Kameron Michaels. Fan favorites Valentina, Kim Chi and Violet Chachki will also perform. Bob the Drag Queen hosts the show. 

The Gay Men’s Health Collaborative has free HIV testing and STI screening at the Alexandria Health Department (4480 King St., Alexandria, Va.) today from 5-6:30 p.m. For more details, text 571-214-9617 or email [email protected]

Overeaters Anonymous hosts a meeting specifically for LGBT individuals at St. George’s Episcopal Church (915 Oakland Ave., Arlington, Va.) tonight at 7 p.m. Newcomers welcome. For more information, call 703-521-1999 or email [email protected]

Wednesday, Oct. 24

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

Thursday, Oct. 25

NOVA Pride hosts its weekly Pride Night at Le Kon Restaurant (3227 Washington Blvd., Arlington, Va.) tonight from 6-9 p.m. 15 percent of the proceeds will benefit NOVA Pride. For more information, visit novapride.org.

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Theater

‘Blindness’ explores a terrifying new pandemic

Sidney Harman Hall production features immersive sound, light installation

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The audience takes the stage in ‘Blindness.’ (Photo by Helen Maybanks)

‘Blindness’
Through June 13
Shakespeare Theatre Company
Sidney Harman Hall
610 F St., N.W.
$44-54
Shakespearetheatre.org

Masks and social distancing, yes, but I never expected a return to live theater to include a stage without actors and an audience seated onstage. But that’s exactly how it went it down on a recent sunny Saturday morning in Washington.

We longed for something, and after a year of indisputably warranted darkness, the Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC) has obliged by reopening Sidney Harman Hall with Donmar Warehouse’s terrifyingly enthralling production of “Blindness,” an immersive sound and light installation anchored by Juliet Stevenson’s astonishing recorded vocal performance heard — jarringly, soothingly, eerily — through binaural headphones.

Adapted by Simon Stephens from Nobel Prize winner José Saramago’s same-titled dystopian novel, and staged by Walter Meierjohann (“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”), the London born, 75-minute tale begins with narrator Stevens matter-of-factly relaying the details surrounding the outbreak of a pandemic that causes blindness. What starts off as an alarming, isolated incident, rapidly devolves into something all-encompassing and petrifying.

Uncannily, Saramago’s 1995 book, both looks back to plague stories and prophetically toward COVID-19.
In addition to narrator, Stevenson (an Olivier Award-winning stage actor also known for films like “Truly, Madly, Deeply”) plays the wife of an ophthalmologist whose office is where patient zero spreads the disease to various other patients – a little cross-eyed boy, an alluring young woman hiding a case of conjunctivitis behind dark sunglasses, a thief, an older gent sporting an eye patch, and sundry others.

The doctor’s wife, who is immune to the new sight-stealing disease, is doomed/blessed to become the lone eyewitness to violence, injustices, and death as the situation becomes progressively scary, primitive, and dangerous.

Rather than darkness, the afflicted are submerged into a world of milky whiteness. The pandemic – a new pathogen whose means of transmission is unknown – moves quickly throughout the city, then the nation, and beyond. Early in the outbreak, the health ministry is reluctant to get too involved, choosing instead to minimize the seriousness of what’s happening. Sounds familiar, I know.

Like the story, Jessica Hung Han Yun’s lighting design becomes increasingly menacing as things move along. Originally playfully colorful fluorescent tubes suspended high from the ceiling, they turn stark white and are lowered to audience members’ line of sight. Then they are darkened altogether, interrupted by occasional bright colorless flashes.

Through headphones, the audience hears rain storms, harsh announcements, barricades being dragged, screams, sobs, footsteps, and gunshots. At times, Stevenson whispers in your ear. Once, I mechanically answered “Yes, I’m here.”

Masked, seated often in total darkness, headphones, it’s immersive, sometimes claustrophobically so. (If it becomes too much, there’s a flash light attached to the leg of each metal chair. Turn it on and an usher will escort you off the stage.)

During the pandemic STC has developed health and safety measures that include masks, air filtration, social distancing, etc.

For “Blindness” only 40 patrons are allowed per viewing. No one is seated next to someone outside of their own party, and a limited number of single tickets are available for purchase by calling the box office. Headsets, seats, and flashlights are disinfected before every performance, and all bathrooms and lobby spaces will be cleaned prior to the next seating group enters the building.

Exiting the Harman, you might think how odd it is to have been on stage before the actors’ union has allowed them to perform indoors before a live audience.

Outdoors, the warm wind feels invigorating against your face as you walk down the street. Still, the nearby upscale Mexican restaurant’s windows remain boarded and the half dozen people around you are walking determinedly, all — except one — wearing a mask.

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Movies

Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs screens ‘Eat With Me’

David Au’s directorial debut presented

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In celebration of Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, The Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs, DC Public Library, and the Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs host a screening of “Eat With Me” for May’s #DCQueerFlix on May 14, beginning at 6 p.m.

“Eat With Me,” David Au’s directorial debut, features the story of a mother and her gay son learning to reconnect while trying to keep their business afloat. The film offers a novel take on love, life, and food in the center of Los Angeles.

“Eat With Me” will be available on the Kanopy streaming service and is free for D.C. library patrons.

To register for this virtual event, visit the Eventbrite page.

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Out & About

Virtual panel tackles Va. trans student policies

Equality Virginia event to dissect VDOE guidance

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inclusive curricula, Frederick County School Board, transgender students, gay news, Washington Blade

Equality Virginia hosts a virtual panel focused on dissecting the Virginia Department of Education’s (VDOE) newly released guidance concerning the treatment of transgender and non-binary youth in schools. This event will be on May 12 at 6 p.m.

Perspectives from LGBTQ youth, parents, legal experts, and community leaders will be shared to shed light on VDOE’s new policies set to go into effect during the 2021-2022 school year.

Event registration is available here.

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