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Calendar: Dec. 21-Jan. 10, 2018-2019

Dance parties, support groups, Christmas events and more through the holidays and beyond

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gay events dc holidays 2018, gay news, Washington Blade

‘A Charlie Brown Christmas Ice” exhibit is open now through Jan. 1 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center. (Photo courtesy Gaylord)

Friday, Dec. 21

The D.C. Eagle (3701 Benning Rd., N.E.) hosts Pup Night tonight from 8 p.m.-3 a.m. Puppies and handlers are welcome. There will be a large mosh area for play. Kibble and drink specials run all night. Attendees must be 18 to enter and 21 to drink. The drag show begins upstairs at 10:30 p.m. For more details, visit dceagle.com.

The D.C. Eagle (3701 Benning Rd., N.E.) also hosts “The War on Christmas,” a holiday dance party, today from noon-3 a.m. DJ IcyFunk will spin tracks. Free entry before midnight. $5 cover after midnight. For more information, visit dceagle.com.

XX+Crostino (1926 9th St., N.W.) hosts Cuddles and Coco today from 5 p.m.-2:30 a.m. There will be a variety of hot coco, spiked eggnog, Christmas cookies and s’mores. “The Grinch” and two other movies of the crowd’s choosing will be screened. Guests are encouraged to bring a bean bag and blankets. Pillows will be provided. For more details, visit facebook.com/xxcrostino.

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

Macy Gray performs at Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper cLUB (7719 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda, Md.) tonight at 8 p.m. The singer/songwriter with the signature raspy voice will perform songs from her newest album “Ruby.” Tickets range from $67-87. There is a $20 food and beverage minimum per person not included in the ticket price. For more information, visit bethesdabluesjazz.com.

The D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) hosts holiday game night tonight from 7-9 p.m. There will be card and board games provided but attendees are invited to bring their own games to share. For more details, visit thedccenter.org.

Saturday, Dec. 22

Black Cat (1811 14th St., N.W.) hosts Robyn vs. Gaga Dance Party tonight at 9:30 p.m. The venue will only play Lady Gaga and Robyn’s hits, remixes, collaborations and deep tracks all night. Tickets are $10. For more details, visit blackcatdc.com.

The National Museum of American History (14th St. and Constitution Ave., N.W.) screens “Die Hard” for one day only today from 3-5 p.m. Tickets range from $6-10. For more information, visit si.edu/imax/movie.

The D.C. Center volunteers at Food and Friends (219 Riggs Rd., N.E.) today from 10 a.m.-noon. The group will help prepare meals to people living with HIV, cancer and other life challenging illnesses. Duties may include peeling, dicing, portioning, sorting, bagging, labeling and more. For more details, visit thedccenter.org.

The National Symphony Orchestra performs “Handel’s Messiah” at the Kennedy Center (2700 F St., N.W.) tonight at 8 p.m. The show will be conducted by Nicholas McGegan. Tickets range from $15-99. For more information, visit kennedy-center.org.

Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center (201 Waterfront St., National Harbor, Md.) presents “A Charlie Brown Christmas. ICE” today through Jan. 1. Charlie Brown rediscovers the meaning of Christmas through two million pounds of ice sculptures and displays. Attractions in the indoor winter wonderland include the depiction of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and the full nativity scene carved out of ice. Adult tickets are $32 and child ticket are $24. For more details, visit gaylordnationaltickets.com.

Sunday, Dec. 23

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. Performers include Chanel Devereaux, Alexiya-nycole Davenport, Chicki Parm, LaBellela Ziah and Sapphire Ardwick Ardmore-Blue. For more details, visit nelliessportsbar.com.

Downtown Holiday Market’s last day is today from noon-8 p.m. in the center of 8th and F Streets, N.W. The market offers hundreds of gift items such as jewelry, pottery, paintings and more sold by more than 150 regional artisans. There is also live music and food and drink vendors. For more information, visit downtownholidaymarket.com.

Monday, Dec. 24

AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center (8633 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring, Md.) screens “It’s a Wonderful Life” today at 1:45 and 6:45 p.m. The film will be shown in new 4K restoration The 1:45 p.m. showing will include a book event with Jeremy Arnold author of Turner Classic Movies’ “Christmas in the Movies: 30 Classics to Celebrate the Season. “ Tickets range from $5-13. For more information, visit silver.afi.com.

Tuesday, Dec. 25

The Yards D.C. (301 Water St., S.E.) presents Light Yards tonight from 6-10 p.m. This event includes outdoor public light art installations including worldwide traveling light installations “The Pool” by Jen Lewin Studio and “Angels of Freedom” by OGE Group. On “The Pool,” visitors can hop, skip and jump on 106 interactive circular pads of light. “Angels of Freedom” turns visitors into angels when they pose in front of five giant, neon-colored wings and white halos. Admission is free. For more details, visit theyardsdc.com.

Wednesday, Dec. 26

Freddie’s Beach Bar Bar (555 23rd St. S, Arlington, Va.) hosts Beach Blanket Drag Bingo  tonight from 8-10 p.m. Entry is free and there will be prizes. After bingo, there will be karaoke. Ms. Regina Jozet Adams, Ophelia Bottoms and Ashlee Jozet Adams host the event. For more information, visit facebook.com/freddiesbeachbararlington.

Anita Baker performs at MGM National Harbot (101 MGM National Ave., Oxon Hill, Md.) tonight at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $95-350. For more details, visit mgmnationalharbor.com.

Thursday, Dec. 27

Le Kon Restaurant (3227 Washington Blvd., Arlington, Va) hosts its weekly Pride Night today at 6 p.m. Fifteen percent of all bar proceeds will be donated to NOVA Pride. For more information, visit facebook.com/lekonrestaurant.

Friday, Dec. 28

XX+Crostino (1926 9th St., N.W.) hosts “Get On Bad: Holiday Fete,” a queer dance party, tonight from 10 p.m.-1 a.m. DJ Elle Groove will spin Soca, dancehall and afro-beats. There will be food and drink specials. Free admission. For more details, visit facebook.com/xxcrostino.

Gamma D.C., a support group for men in mixed-orientation relationships, meets at Luther Place Memorial Church (1226 Vermont Ave., N.W.) today from 7:30-9:30 p.m. The group is for men who are attracted to men but are or were in relationships with women. For more information about the group and location, visit gammaindc.org

Saturday, Dec. 29

U Street Music Hall (1115 U St., N.W.) hosts “U Sleaze Holiday Party” tonight from 10 p.m.- 3 a.m. Diyanna Monet, Lemz and Kennan Orr will perform. Jane Saw hosts the party. Admission is $5 in advance and $10 after midnight. For more information, visit ustreetmusichall.com.

Queer Girl Movie Night hosts its Holigay edition at Black Cat D.C. (1811 14th St., N.W.) tonight from 8-11 p.m. The group will screen “Disobedience” starring Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams. Doors open at 8 p.m. and the screening starts at 8:30 p.m. For more details, visit facebook.com/queergrrrlmovienight.

Sunday, Dec. 30

Hempen Hill BBQ (13208 Fountain Head Plaza, Hagerstown, Md.) hosts a holiday drag brunch today from 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Nicole James, Stephanie Michaels, Chi Chi Ray Colby, Sasha Renee, Ashley Bannks and Chasity Vain will perform. Araya Sparxx hosts. Tickets include brunch buffet and two drink tickets. Tickets are $35 for adults and $25 for children under two. For more details, visit hempenhillbbq.com.

Flash (645 Florida Ave., N.W.) hosts Flashy Holiday Edition tonight from 8 p.m.-2 a.m. DJ Twin and DJ Sean Morris will spin tracks. Admission is free. For more information, visit facebook.com/flashydc.

Monday, Dec. 31

The Yards D.C. (301 Water St., S.E.) presents Light Yards tonight from 6-10 p.m. This event includes outdoor public light art installations including worldwide traveling light installations “The Pool” by Jen Lewin Studio and “Angels of Freedom” by OGE Group. On “The Pool,” visitors can hop, skip and jump on 106 interactive circular pads of light. “Angels of Freedom” turns visitors into angels when they pose in front of five giant, neon-colored wings and white halos. Admission is free. Light Yards runs through Jan. 5. For more details, visit theyardsdc.com.

Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019

Shaw’s Tavern (520 Florida Ave., N.W.) hosts New Years Day Drag Brunch today from 11 a.m.- 4 p.m. Kristina Kelly and her Ladies of Illusion will perform. Seating will be from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 2-4 p.m. For reservations, email [email protected].

Wednesday, Jan. 2

Freddie’s Beach Bar Bar (555 23rd St. S, Arlington, Va.) hosts Beach Blanket Drag Bingo  tonight from 8-10 p.m. Entry is free and there will be prizes. After bingo, there will be karaoke. Ms. Regina Jozet Adams, Ophelia Bottoms and Ashlee Jozet Adams host the event. For more information, visit facebook.com/freddiesbeachbararlington.

Thursday, Jan. 3

The D.C. Eagle (3701 Benning Rd., N.E.) hosts Blackout Thursdays tonight from 9 p.m.-3 a.m. This is a party with no lights. Guys in gear receive $3 rail drinks or domestic beers. For more details, visit dceagle.com.

Friday, Jan. 4

Go Gay D.C. hosts a Friday happy hour social at the Pinzimini lounge in Westin Arlington Gateway (801 N Glebe Rd., Arlington, Va.) tonight from 6-9 p.m. All are welcome. No cover. For more details, visit gogaydc.org.

Gay District meets at the D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) tonight from 8:30-9:30 p.m. The facilitated group discussion covers building understanding of gay culture and personal identity and awareness of community events for LGBT men between the ages of 18-35 in the D.C. area. For more details, visit gaydistrict.org.

Saturday, Jan. 5

OutWrite presents Unspeakable Crimes: LGBTQ Mystery Writing at East City Bookshop (645 Pennsylvania Ave., S.E.) today from 6-8 p.m. There will be selected readings from Brenda Buchanan, John Copenhaver and Cheryl Head. Sherry Harris from Sisters of Crime will moderate. For more information, visit thedccenter.org/events/unspeakable.

The D.C. Eagle (3701 Benning Rd., N.E.) hosts Daddy, a men’s jock and underwear party, tonight 8 p.m.-4 a.m. DJ Strike Walton Stone and DJ Dean Douglas will play music. Bryan Thompson will go-go dance for the night. General admission tickets are $10. VIP meet-and-greet tickets are available. For more details, visit dceagle.com.

Sunday, Jan. 6

The fifth edition of Glow in Georgetown holds its finale night tonight from 5-10 p.m. The light-art exhibit features installations from numerous artists set up throughout the neighborhood. The event is free and open to the public. There are also a number of walking tours attendees can choose from that incorporate the light art as well as other information such as historical facts about Georgetown or photography lessons. For more information, visit georgetownglowdc.com.

Monday, Jan. 7

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, Jan. 8

Republic (6939 Laurel Ave., Takoma Park, Md.) hosts Alegre Happy Hour, an LGBT happy hour, this evening from 5-7 p.m. For more information, visit republictakoma.com.

The D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) hosts its trans support group tonight from 7-8:30 p.m. The group is meant to provide an emotional and physical safe space for transgender individuals and those questioning their gender identity. For more information, visit thedccenter.org.

The D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) hosts a coming-out discussion group tonight at 7 p.m. This peer-peer-facilitated discussion will open the conversation about coming out experiences. All are welcome. For details, visit thedccenter.org.

Wednesday, Jan. 9

D.C. Fray Softball hosts Men Seeking Men Speed Dating at Grand Central (2447 18th St., N.W.) tonight at 7 p.m. This happy hour speed dating event is for local, single men in their 20s and 30s. Extended happy hour specials run until 10 p.m. There will also be a chance to win raffle prizes. D.C. Fray staff will guide the experience. Participants must be 21 and over. For more information, visit dcfray.com to register.

Thursday, Jan. 10

OutWrite presents its inaugural Queer Book Club in the lounge of the D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) tonight at 7 p.m. The group will discuss “Dodging and Burning” by John Carpenter. All are welcome. For more details, visit thedccenter.org.

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Photos

PHOTOS: Cupid’s Undie Run

Scantily-clad joggers face freezing temperatures for a cause

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Cupid's Undie Run was held at The Wharf DC on Saturday. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Cupid’s Undie Run, an annual fundraiser for neurofibromatosis (NF) research, was held at Union Stage and at The Wharf DC on Saturday, Feb. 17.

(Washington Blade photos by Michael Key)

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Photos

PHOTOS: Queen of Hearts

Katie D. Lite was crowned the winner of 42nd annual drag pageant

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Katie D. Lite was crowned the Queen of Hearts. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The 42nd annual Queen of Hearts pageant was held at The Lodge in Boonsboro, Md. on Friday, Feb. 16. Eight contestants vied for the title. Katie D. Lite was crowned the winner.

(Washington Blade photos by Michael Key)

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Theater

Deaf, gay actor on gripping, funny ‘Private Jones’

Musical makes premiere at Signature with Obie winner Dickie Drew Hearts

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Dickie Drew Hearts (Photo by Matthew Murphy)

‘Private Jones’
Through March 10
Signature Theatre 
4200 Campbell Ave.
Arlington, Virginia 22206
$40-$99 
Sigtheatre.org

Set against the harsh vicissitudes of the Great War, “Private Jones” a new musical written and directed by Marshall Pailet, is currently making its world premiere at Signature Theatre in Arlington. 

Touted as gripping, unexpectedly funny, and purportedly true, it’s the story of Gomer Jones, a young Deaf Welshman who after wriggling his way into military service becomes a celebrated sniper only to learn there might be more to life. 

The production features a cast of hearing, Deaf, and hard-of-hearing actors including Dickie Drew Hearts, the Deaf, gay, and affable actor who recently won an Obie Award for “Dark Disabled Stories” at the Public in New York, and is probably best known for his performance of Mateo in Netflix’s “Tales of the City” (2019 miniseries).

Gathered around the end of a long conference table in the Sondheim Multipurpose Room at Signature Theatre, Hearts and I along with two top notch interpreters (one to sign my questions and another to voice the actor’s replies) dive into conversation. 

Hearts plays Henry, a Deaf munitions factory worker whose sister Gwenolyn (Leanne Antonio) becomes the love interest of Gomer (played by hard-of-hearing actor Johnny Link). It’s Henry who teaches Gomer sign language and essentially introduces him to Deaf culture, which isn’t unusual, says Hearts. It’s often through other Deaf people that the Deaf themselves get introduced to the Deaf community and signing world.

When the actors met in 2018, says Hearts, “Johnny [Link] was just learning sign language. I assured him that those who are hard-of-hearing are automatically very welcome members of the deaf community. Point blank. There are no qualifications.”

And now, six years later, Hearts is thrilled to be working with Link. “It’s amazing to see Johnny again, and to be having full conversations with him in sign language both on and off stage.” 

Not only is “Private Jones” a physically demanding show, but because it’s performed in spoken English as well as some American Sign Language (ASL) and British Sign Language (BSL) it presents some extra difficulties.

To play Henry, Hearts – a native ASL user since childhood – has had to learn BSL, tantamount to doing the show in an entirely new and different language. Hearts says, “I hope people recognize that. And signing along musically in BSL adds a layer of challenge beyond signing BSL dialogue.” 

Of course, he remains undaunted. It’s about the job and getting the character right. And for the thirtysomething actor that means going deep.  

“I would like to think Henry is a closeted gay man. Henry has ‘a roommate,’ is how I thought of his backstory.”

Hearts adds, “I know that queer people have always been here and I like to infuse that into the characters I play whether or not it’s stated. I look for those moments of where it might be hinting at sexuality, and ask what was it like at the time, was it safe to be out?”

Born Deaf in Queens, New York, into a hearing family who’d recently immigrated from formerly British Guyana in South America, Hearts grew up in Newport News, Va. 

A childhood spent watching captioned TV shows taught him both English and how to impersonate characters, an obsession that he took out into the neighborhood. “Eventually, somebody said there’s a thing for what I do. It’s called theater,” he signs with a grin. 

While attending Gallaudet University here in D.C., Hearts focused on film until his senior year when he randomly auditioned for the musical comedy “Urinetown” and landed the lead role of dashing Bobby Strong. A love for acting resurfaced and took hold. 

After graduating, Hearts came out and promptly moved to L.A. where he spent the next six years skirmishing over a dearth of Deaf parts. When a gig led him to New York in 2018, his luck changed. 

“Being a Deaf, gay, BIPOC actor was amazing for finding stage and film work in New York. But just when a lot of doors were opening for me, the pandemic hit and everything stopped.” 

Slowly things picked up. And in 2021 he became part of a new project. He was soon reporting to a nondescript high rise in midtown Manhattan workshopping what would become “Private Jones.” 

Now at Signature, Hearts is busy bringing Henry to life. “It’s been an amazing journey and I’m really fortunate to have witnessed its evolution from the beginning. It’s become grander, more elevated, and the characters more complex. It’s a wonderful thing” 

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