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Your one-stop guide to all the D.C.-area Pride events

Awards, concerts, DJs, parties, drag queens and more kick into high gear

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Pride 2019, gay news, Washington Blade
(Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Pride is rapidly approaching with plenty of events to attend in the District. 

Capital Pride Honors is at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (800 G St., N.W.) tonight from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Individuals, leaders and activists who have made LGBT impact both locally and nationally will be recognized. Kimberly Bush, Rea Carey, Ben De Guzman, Martin Espinoza, Amanda Hackett and Tony Nelson will be honored. The Washington Blade will receive the Paving the Way Award.Team D.C. will receive the Larry Stansbury Award. Donald Burch and Alan Thompson will receive the Bill Miles Awards. The National Center for Transgender Equality will be honored with the Community Impact Award. This is a reception prior to the Countdown: Pride Celebration Kick-Off Party. Tickets range from $60-75. Admission includes complimentary cocktails and food tastings.

Rainbow Theatre Project presents “Stonewall 50,” a series of short plays that pay homage to the Stonewall Riots, at D.C. Arts Center (2438 18th St., N.W.) tonight at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, June 1 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, June 2 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $28-35. For more information, visit facebook.com/rainbowtheatreproject. 

Brightest Young Things and Capital Pride Alliance host Countdown: Pride Celebration Kick-Off Party at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (800 G St., N.W.) in the Kogod Courtyard and Luce Foundation Center tonight from 8:30 p.m.-1 a.m. The party will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots and kick off the 2019 Capital Pride celebration. “RuPaul’s Drag Race” season 10 winner Aquaria headlines the party with a DJ set. Leonce and Ase Manual will also spin tracks.There will be dancing, art activities and an opportunity to learn about LGBTQ artists in the Smithsonian’s collection. The outside of the museum will be lit up with rainbow lights. Tickets range from $50-60.

The Qrew hosts Game On: Pride Kickoff at Union Stage (740 Water St., S.W.) tonight from 10 p.m.-2 a.m. DJ KB will play music.There will be swag and prices. Entry is $10. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Trevor Project. For details, visit unionstage.com.

Pride Kickoff II: Pride for the People is at 18th & U Duplex Diner (2004 18th St., N.W.) on Saturday, June 1 from 2-6 p.m. The event will raise money for local LGBTQ charities. Jonathan Shields and Brock Thompson will bartend. Beaumont Brackeen and Shaunda Leer will host the event.

Whitman-Walker Health presents the 2019 Pride Womxn’s Kickoff Party at Big Chief (2002 Fenwick St., N.E.) on Saturday, June 1 from 6-10 p.m. DJ Alex Love will play music. General admission tickets for one person are $15. Deluxe admission is $30 and includes entry for one person and two drink tickets. The VIP Package is $100 and includes entry for two, open bar and food.

Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington presents “Stonewall 50,” a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, at the Lincoln Theatre (1215 U St., N.W.) on Saturday, June 1 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, June 2 at 3 p.m. The concert will include the premier of  “Quiet No More,” a one-act musical commissioned by GALA Choruses in celebration of the anniversary of Stonewall. There will be dancers, costumes, vocal ensembles, the GenOut Chorus and more. The chorus will perform music ranging from Broadway to pop. Tickets range from $25-65.

Annapolis Pride hosts Pride Month Kick Off Party at the Metropolitan Kitchen and Lounge (169 West St., Annapolis, Md.) on Saturday, June 1 from 10 p.m.-1:30 a.m. For more information, visit facebook.com/annapolispride.

Boomerang Tours and Will Call Events presents a Pride Cruise on Sunday, June 2 from 3-5:30 p.m. Washington Heights, Desiree Dik, Baby and Myah Duboise Blue will host the event. DJ Honey will spin tracks. There will be one welcome cocktail and light bites. Check-in is from 2:30-3 p.m. The boat departs from 3100 K St., N.W. Tickets are $25. A portion of ticket sales will go to the D.C. Center. For more information, search “Pride Cruise” on eventbrite. 

Capital Pride hosts Out Spoken: Women’s Spoken Word and Other Queer Expressions at Busboys and Poets Brookland (625 Monroe St., N.E.) on Monday, June 3 from 7:30-10 p.m. Transgender women and cis-women will share their stories through words or music. There will be a mix of professional spoken word performers, first-time perfumers and acoustic musical performances. There will be a full food and drink menu available including Pride-themed drink specials. Tickets are $10. For more details, visit facebook.com/capitalpridedc.

The Washington Blade presents Leslie Jordan’s “Exposedstand-up comedy show to Union Stage (740 Water St., S.W.) on Wednesday, June 5 at 9:30 p.m. Doors open at 9 p.m. General admission tickets are $45. Meet-and-greet passes are an additional $15. A full dinner and drink menu will be available. This is a seated show.

LGBTQ Victory Institute hosts Congressional Pride Reception 2019 at the Hart Senate Office Building (120 Constitution Ave., N.E.) on Thursday, June 6 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Members of Congress and movement leaders will discuss how to advance equality. Refreshments will be provided. For more details, visit facebook.com/victoryinst.

D.C. Brau and Washington Blade present #PridePils Launch at Dacha Beer Garden (1600 7th St., N.W.) on Thursday, June 6 from 6-10 p.m. The winning Pride Pils can will be unveiled.100 percent of proceeds benefit the Blade Foundation and SMYAL.

Capital Pride hosts a Rooftop Rally and Pool Party at the Penthouse Pool Club at the Yards (1212 4th St., S.E.) on Thursday, June 6 from 7-11 p.m. Volunteers, partners, donors, advocates and supporters of the Capital Pride Alliance are invited to enjoy cocktails and appetizers. Tickets are $25.

Capital Pride hosts its Weekend Welcome Pride Happy Hour at the Capital Burger (1005 7th St., N.W.) on Friday, June 7 from 4-7 p.m. Cocktail, beer and wine will be $5. There will be complimentary burger sliders, snacks and appetizers. Tickets are $15 and proceeds benefit the Capital Pride Legacy Fund.

Shaw’s Tavern (520 Florida Ave., N.W.) hosts a Pride drag show on Friday, June 7 from 9:30 p.m.- midnight.Staff members from Shaw’s Tavern will perform. Kristina Kelly hosts the show. No cover. For more details, visit facebook.com/shawstavern.

Fruity Boi Productions hosts Pride After-hours at Tropicalia (2001 14th St., N.W.) on Saturday, June 8 from 3:30-9:30 a.m. DJ Aaron Aanenson and DJ Renato Cecin will spin tracks. Tickets are $40. For more details, visit facebook.com/fruityboi.

Capital Pride hosts “Crack of Noon” Pride Brunch at Human Rights Campaign (1640 Rhode Island Ave., N.W.) on Saturday, June 8 from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. There will be gourmet brunch tasting stations and complimentary Heineken, Barefoot Wine and Bubbly Mimosa Bar and Tito’s Vodka cocktails and bloody Marys. The Pride Parade grand marshals, Pride 2019 honorees and other surprise guests will be in attendance. Alexa V. Shontelle, Jasmen Renee Clitopatra, Chicki Parm, Nubai Love-Jackson and Miss Labella Mafia will perform.Tickets are $55.

The parade is Saturday, June 8 at 4 p.m. Details here.

Washington Blade and LURe D.C. host the second annual Pride on the Pier at the Wharf (760 Maine Ave., S.W.) on Saturday, June 8 from 2-9 p.m. There will be DJs, dancing and other entertainment. Alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase. DJ Rosie will spin tracks from 2-5 p.m. followed by Brothers Brau from 5-7 p.m. DJ Drew G closes out the night with music from 7-9 p.m. Pride on the Pier Fireworks Show, presented by Compass, is at 9 p.m. Free admission. Guests can enjoy the VIP experience in the Dockmasters Building. There will be an air-conditioned lounge, catered food, private restrooms and an open bar. The first VIP session is from 2-5 p.m. and the second session is from 6-9 p.m. Tickets for the first VIP session are $75 Tickets for the second session are $125. The Transit Pier will have a family zone with activities for all ages. For more information, visit prideonthepierdc.com

Washington Blade hosts a Pride Parade Viewing Party at Studio Theatre (1501 14th St., N.W.) on Saturday, June 8 from 4-7 p.m. There will be light food, drinks and music. Tickets are $40. Proceeds will benefit the Washington Blade Foundation. Visit bladefoundation.org/pride for more details. 

Loyalty Books (827 Upshur St., N.W.) hosts a Pride reading featuring authors Gregg Shapiro (“More Poems About Buildings”) and Philip Dean Walker (“Read By Strangers”) on Saturday, June 8 at 5 p.m. Free admission.

Swazz Events hosts Cirque du So Queer, a circus-themed LGBTQ dance party, at Pie Shop D.C. (1339 H St., N.E.) on Saturday, June 8 from 9 p.m.-2 a.m. DJ Uni and DJ Kryptk will play music. There will be pie, cocktails and a costume contest with prizes. Tickets are $10 online and $15 at the door. For more information, visit facebook.com/swazzevents.

Defiance D.C. Pride 2019 is at City Winery (1350 Okie St., N.E.) on Saturday, June 8 from 9 p.m.-3:30 a.m. DJ Kidd Madonny, DJ AJ Reddy, DJ Twin, DJ Randy White and DJ Sean Morris will play music. Maddelynn will perform.The dance party will take place on four floors. Food will be available.

Avalon Saturdays hosts an 18-and-over Pride party at Soundcheck (1420 K St., N.W.) on Saturday, June 8 from 9 p.m.-4 a.m. Tatianna, Ba’naka, Brooklyn Heights, Lena Lett, Kristina Kelly, Iyana Deschanel and Crystal Edge will all perform. Drag show starts at 10 p.m. General admission tickets are $30. VIP tickets are $50 and include express entry and access to a private VIP lounge with a dedicated bar and bartender.

Distrkt C Pride is at Karma D.C. (2221 Adams Pl., N.E.) on Saturday, June 8 from 10 p.m.-6 a.m. Maya Simantov will give her first performance in D.C. DJ Joe Gauthreaux, DJ Seth Breezy and DJ Cajjmere Wray will spin tracks. Karma will unveil its new 400-person outdoor patio and new sound system. Tickets are $70. For more information, visit distrktc.com.

Mixtape Pride Party is at 9:30 Club (815 V St., N.W.) on Saturday, June 8 at 10 p.m. DJ Matt Bailer, DJ Lemz, DJ Tezrah and DJ Keenan Orr will spin tracks for the night. Tickets are $18.

The Capital Pride Festival and Concert is on Pennsylvania Ave., N.W. between Seventh and Third Streets on Sunday, June 9 from noon-10 p.m. The 2019 Pride Concert headliners include Marshmellow, Zara Larsson, Todrick Hall, Shea Diamond, Calum Scott, Nina West and Big Dipper. There will be three stages of entertainment. Admission to the concert is free. The Concert VIP Experience Pass is $175 and includes a private bar, private air-conditioned restrooms, complimentary beer and wine, complimentary light fare, view of backstage, access to the VIP concert pit and more. Performances are from 1-8 p.m. followed by the sunset dance party from 8-10 p.m. The festival will have 300 organizations providing services, job and volunteer opportunities and more. There will also be four beverage gardens. For details, visit capitalpride.org.

The Cherry Fund hosts Action: After-hours Saturday Night Pride at Flash (645 Florida Ave., N.W.) on Sunday, June 9 from 3:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m. DJ Nina Flowers, DJ Serving Ovahness and DJ Shane Marcus will spin tracks. Tickets are $55.

The D.C. Center hosts the Capital Pride Interfaith Service at the Adas Israel Congregation (2850 Quebec St., N.W.) on Tuesday, June 11 from 7-8:30 p.m. For details, visit thedccenter.org/faith.

The Washington Blade hosts a Pride Yappy Hour at Milk Bar (1525 15th St., N.W.) on Wednesday, June 12 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Dogs can enjoy activities by District Dogs. Owners can indulge in tastings from Please Bring Chips and Timber Pizza Company. For those who don’t have a dog, there will be birthday truffle making in the classroom for an optional donation to the Blade Foundation.

Pretty Boi Drag hosts an #OpenKingNight Pride Spectacular at the Bier Baron Tavern and Comedy Loft (1523 22nd St., N.W.) on Thursday, June 13 from 8-11 p.m. Both new and seasoned drag kings are welcome to perform. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door.

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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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Arts & Entertainment

Miss Richfield debuts new show at Rehoboth’s Blue Moon

Celebrating ‘40 Years on the Throne’

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Miss Richfield, gay news, Washington Blade

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. — Miss Richfield 1981, the longtime drag star known for Provincetown residencies and performances aboard gay cruises, debuted a new show here Monday for an invitation-only audience at the Blue Moon.

The show, dubbed “40 Years on the Throne,” celebrates Richfield’s four decades entertaining largely LGBTQ audiences with tales from her hometown “where butter is a spice and gravy is a beverage.”

Coincidentally, the Blue Moon is also celebrating 40 years in business this year.

Russ King, a Minnesota native, created the Miss Richfield persona to chronicle “her lifelong goal of being crowned beauty queen of her first-ring suburb of Minneapolis.”

Monday’s show — a dress rehearsal before it heads to Provincetown — got off to an unintentionally hilarious start, when Richfield tripped and fell onto the stage. She laughed it off, blaming a nearby female patron for “pushing me.” Then Richfield left the stage and started over.

The riotous show included a rendition of Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5” that brought the audience up to date on Richfield’s recent travels; a video montage of her many outrageous TV appearances, including on “Cake Boss”; and a beauty pageant quiz show with two audience members. Longtime fans will be relieved to know that the new show includes Richfield playing the saw.

At the end of the show, Richfield solicited audience feedback as she refines it for her summer residency. Richfield is scheduled to open the show on May 29 at the Pilgrim House in Provincetown, Mass., and it’s slated to run through the summer, wrapping on Sept. 18. (Tickets are $30 for general admission and $40 for VIP at pilgrimhouseptown.com.)

King now lives in Rehoboth and is planning to return for a one-night-only performance of “40 Years on the Throne” on June 21 at the Blue Moon. (Visit BlueMoonRehoboth.com for tickets, $40.)

The Blue Moon has a full summer of entertainment planned, including performances by the Boy Band Project (June 7, July 19, and Aug. 30); Lady Bunny (July 5, Aug. 23); and Sherry Vine (Aug. 16). The talented Nate Buccieri returns for another summer on the piano, Sundays through Thursdays, 6-8:30 p.m. The award-winning “Climax! With Magnolia” continues on Sundays at 9:30 p.m.

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Bars & Parties

Red Bear offers Valentine date nights

Event held this weekend complies with CDC guidelines

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date night, gay news, Washington Blade

Red Bear Brewery (209 M St., N.E.) hosts Brewery Date Nights this Valentine’s Day weekend from Friday, Feb. 12 at 1 p.m. to Sunday, Feb. 14 at 10 p.m.

This event could be a good opportunity for those looking for a holiday cuddle with their favorite bear over a choice brew for two. Red Bear complies with D.C. and CDC pandemic guidelines while offering a rerelease of their Cupid’s Black Heart Strawberry Chocolate Bock and Cupid’s Arrow Chocolate Raspberry Chocolatini.

For more information or to monitor pandemic-related changes, visit redbear.beer.

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