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Calendar: Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2018

Dances, concerts and more in the week to come

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gay events 2018, gay news, Washington Blade

Alex Newell of ‘Glee’ fame performs at The Red Party Saturday night. (Photo courtesy Capital Pride)

Friday, Nov. 30

The D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) hosts Queer Tango Class tonight from 7-9 p.m. Liz Sabatiuk, instructor of Tango Mercurio, will lead the class. The course is designed for beginner dancers to learn tango vocabulary and technique. The class will also discuss the assumptions of gender in dance and welcomes students to experiment with both gender roles. There is a $10 donation to support the D.C. Center. Sliding scale tickets are also available. For more information, visit thedccenter.org.

The D.C. Eagle (3701 Benning Rd., N.E.) hosts Woof Happy Hour and Porn Star Bingo today at 5 p.m. Eddie Danger hosts the party. There will be free pizza at 7:30 p.m. Drink specials include $4 rail drinks, $4 draft beers and more. For more details, visit dceagle.com.

Saturday, Dec. 1

Capital Pride Alliance celebrates its 10th anniversary with the Red Party at Echo Stage (2135 Queens Chapel Rd., N.E.) tonight from 9 p.m.-3 a.m. There will be performances from “Glee” star Alex Newell, “RuPaul’s Drag Race” alum Jujubee, local and veteran queen Kristina Kelly and Pretty Boi Drag co-producer Pretty Rik E. DJ Tezrah, DJ Wess and DJ Tracy Young will play music. Tickets are $15. Total ticket proceeds will benefit the Capital Pride Legacy Fund. For more information, visit capitalpride.org.

Whitman-Walker Health and Real Talk D.C. host Walk & 5K to End HIV at Freedom Plaza (14th St., N.W. and Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.) today from 7-11 a.m. Check-in starts at 7:30 a.m. The 5K begins at 9:15 a.m. and the walk is at 9:20 a.m. Post-event actives begin at 10 a.m. Runner registration is $25, walker registration is $25, student/senior walkers are $15 and “Sleepwalkers,” those who cannot attend the event, are $40. Register at walktoendhiv.org.

The D.C. Eagle (3701 Benning Rd., N.E.) hosts Daddy, a men’s jock and underwear party, tonight from 8 p.m.-4 a.m. DJ Strike Walton Stone and DJ Dean Douglas Sullivan will spin tracks. Bryan Thompson will be the go-go dancer for the evening. VIP meet and greet tickets are available. General admission tickets are $12. For more details, visit facebook.com/eagledc.

Sunday, Dec. 2

Swazz Bazaar, a queer holiday bazaar, is at 1620 North Capitol St., N.W. today from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. There will be queer vendors selling and displaying art, fashion, magazines and other products. There will also be performances from local queer musicians, performance artists and designers. For details, visit facebook.com/swazzevents.

“Waiting to Exhale Twisted” is at Chateau Remix (3439 Benning Rd., N.E.) tonight at 7:30 p.m. The sold-out play follows two drag queens and two transgender female friends as they navigate relationships with transgender and gay men and each other. Shi-Queeta-Lee, Riley Knoxx, Tanya Clarke and Capri Bloomingdale star. Dinner starts at 6 p.m. For more information, visit facebook.com/queetaspalace.

Friendship Place hosts Winter Warmth, a free winter clothing drive, hot meal, hair cut and shave event, at Washington Hebrew Congregation (3935 Macomb St., N.W.) today from 2:30-5:30 p.m. There will be a shuttle bus from Tenleytown Metro for people attending the event. For more information, visit friendshipplace.org.

Pop a cappella group Pentatonix performs at the Anthem (901 Wharf St., S.W.) for their “The Christmas is Here Tour” tonight at 7 p.m. Tickets range from $59.50-149.50. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. For more details, visit theanthemdc.com.

Monday, Dec. 3

The Internet brings its “Hive Mind Tour” to the Fillmore (8656 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring, Md.) tonight at 8 p.m. The indie-R&B band features lesbian lead singer Syd Tha Kid and bisexual guitarist Steve Lacy. Moon Child opens the show. Tickets are $35. For more details, visit fillmoresilverspring.com.

Pride Fund to End Gun Violence hosts Cocktails with a Cause Happy Hour at Number Nine (1435 P St., N.W.) tonight from 7-9 p.m. The happy hour will celebrate the Pride Fund’s successes from 2018 and prepare for a new year of advocacy. General admission tickets are $50. Young Professional tickets are $25. For more information, visit facebook.com/pridefund.

Tuesday, Dec. 4

Rainbow Youth Alliance hosts a Happy Hour at Nellie’s Sports Bar (900 U St., N.W.) today at 6 p.m. All adults who support LGBT youth are welcome to attend. Drag bingo kicks off at 7 p.m. Nellie’s will donate a portion of the evening’s proceeds to Rainbow Youth Alliance. For more details, visit facebook.com/ryamoco.

Capital Pride hosts its Holiday Heat Wave party at Human Rights Campaign (1640 Rhode Island Ave., N.W.) tonight from 7-10 p.m. There will be culinary stations from Asia Nine Bar & Lounge, Mason Dixie Biscuit Co., Mixology Bartending & Catering and more. Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Heineken and Tito’s will provide beverages. General admission tickets are $15. VIP tickets with open bar are $30. For more information, visit facebook.com/capitalpridedc.

StartOut Rising D.C. hosts a LGBT entrepreneurs and startup happy hour at Number Nine (1435 P St., N.W.) tonight from 6-8 p.m. StartOut’s mission is to connect and educate LGBT entrepreneurs and to create jobs for LGBT individuals in the local community. No cover. For more details, visit meetup.com/startout-rising-dc.

Wednesday, Dec. 5

Bookmen D.C., an informal men’s gay literature group, discusses “The Immoralist” by Andre Gide at the Cleveland Park Library (3310 Connecticut Ave., N.W.) tonight at 7:30 p.m. All are welcome. For details, visit bookmendc.blogspot.com.

The Tom Davoren Social Bridge Club meets tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Dignity Center (721 8th St., S.E.) for social bridge. No partner needed. For more information, call 301-345-1571.

Thursday, Dec. 6

GLOE, Bet Mishpachah, Nice Jewish Boys DC and Nice Jewish Girls host Oh Gaydel, Gaydel, Gaydel! Queer Chanukah Happy Hour at Pitchers (2317 18th St., N.W.) tonight from 6-9 p.m. This is an annual gathering of the local LGBT Jewish community. No cover. For more information, search the event on Facebook. 

Reel Affirmations screens “Buddies” at Human Rights Campaign (1640 Rhode Island Ave., N.W.) tonight at 7 p.m. in honor of World AIDS Day. The film, directed by Arthur J. Bressan Jr., tells the story of a young gay man who volunteers to be a “buddy” to an AIDS patient. There will be a possible cast talk back and catered cocktail reception with co-star David Schachter. Rayceen Pendarvis hosts the screening. VIP tickets are $25 and include VIP seating, one complimentary cocktail, beer or wine and movie candy or popcorn. General admission tickets are $12. For more details, visit thedccenter.org/events/buddies.

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Photos

PHOTOS: DCGFFL 25th Anniversary Party

Gay flag football league marks milestone at Penn Social

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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)

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Books

New book goes behind the scenes of ‘A League of Their Own’

‘No Crying in Baseball’ offers tears, laughs, and more

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(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.

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Theater

Rupert Murdoch’s powers on full display in ‘Ink’

Media baron helped pave the way for Brexit, Prime Minister Thatcher

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Cody Nickell (Larry Lamb) and Andrew Rein (Rupert Murdoch) in ‘Ink’ at Round House Theatre. (Photo by Margot Schulman Photography)

‘Ink’
Through Sept. 24
Round House Theatre
4545 East-West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814
$46-$94
Roundhousetheatre.org

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.

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