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Calendar: Aug. 2-8

Parties, concerts and events in the week to come



OutWrite, gay news, Washington Blade
OutWrite 2019 runs this weekend.

Friday, Aug. 2

OutWrite 2019’s kickoff event Parties, concerts and events in the week to come is tonight from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at the Ten Tigers Parlour (3813 Georgia Ave., N.W.). OutWrite is a nonprofit festival celebrating LGBT literature and runs through Sunday. This opening event features writers Kristen Arnett, Jericho Brown and Wo Chan with host Rebecca Kling. Event highlights include “Ask an Editor,” impromptu poetry, a genre hybrid conversation, tarot readings and more. Visit for more information. 

The “America is…” national juried show opens at the Touchstone Gallery (901 New York Ave., N.W.) tonight from 6-8:30 p.m. and runs until Aug. 29. During the show artists explore, ask and answer “What is America today?” through varied exhibitions. Hors d’oeuvres and gourmet frozen desserts provided and the event is open to the public. For more information, visit

Saturday, Aug. 3

OutWrite 20 continues today in the Reeves Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. This free event includes readings, panel discussions, a zine-making table, a used book sale and a variety of LGBTQ vendors to explore. More information is available at

Neo-soul singer-songwriter Bilal performs tonight at City Winery (1350 Okie St. N.E.) starting at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $35. Known for his wide vocal range and his work across multiple genres, Bilal has performed with Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar. Visit for tickets and information. 

The World’s Fair is in Washington at the DAR Constitution Hall (1776 D St., N.W.) today from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. This is a free event and audiences can experience the excitement, innovation and wonder of the 1900 World’s Fair. On display will be inventions that thrilled fairgoers from an earlier era as well as booths and activities from local embassies and cultural centers. Girl Scouts can earn a badge by attending the event. For more information visit

Sunday, Aug. 4

OutWrite 2019 continues today from 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m at the Reeves Center (2000 14th St., N.W.). The workshops are free and open to the public. No registration required. Workshops include culinary writing, “Drag Poetics,” query letters to agents, horror writing and more. Visit for more information. 

Tuxedo, a retro band featuring hip-hop producer Jake One and self-titled “elegant funk” singer Mayer Hawthorne, performs tonight at the 9:30 club (815 V St., N.W.). Tickets start at $25 and audiences can expect to be entertained by danceable tunes reminiscent of the late disco era. With eight Grammy nominations between them, their combination is still original in sound and style. For more information visit

The 2019 Mister Nice Jewish Boy Pageant begins today at 2 p.m. at the U Street Music Hall (1115 U St., N.W.). Tickets start at $25. The event is put on by Nice Jewish Boys D.C. and is hosted by NYC drag queen Lady SinAGaga and Mr. Nice Jewish Boy 2018 Jeremy Sherman. Proceeds benefit Kishet and support regional teen LGBTQ and ally Shabbaton. For tickets and information, visit

SIR, an interactive all-male burlesque show hosted at SAX restaurant and lounge (734 11th St., N.W.), is today starting at 11 a.m. This high-energy show is a theatrical experience featuring dancers, aerialists, pole performers, go-go boys and table service studs. SIR takes place at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Sundays, tickets required. For more information, visit

Monday, Aug. 5

The National Portrait Gallery (8th and F St., N.W.) continues to feature works such as David Lenz’s “Eunice Kennedy Shriver” as part of its ongoing exhibition series “The Struggle for Justice.” The portrait series is available for viewing 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m. daily and admission is free. This series showcases historical figures who struggled to achieve civil rights for marginalized groups. For more information, visit

Tuesday, Aug. 6

The Lincoln Theatre (1215 U St., N.W.) presents “An Evening with Dawes” tonight starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are $40 and doors open at 6:30 p.m. Dawes is a Southern California band with a smooth blues rock/folk rock sound that has evolved and grown more electric with time. Visit for tickets and information. 

Wednesday, Aug. 7

The Struts continue their “Young and Dangerous” tour tonight at the 9:30 club (815 V St., N.W.). Doors open at 7 p.m. This riff-heavy rock band has opened for icons such as The Rolling Stones, The Who and Guns N’ Roses. “Young & Dangerous” is their second album and continues the U.K band’s glam-rock revamp with deeper and more inventive sounds. For tickets and information visit

Bookmen DC, an informal men’s gay literature group, discusses William E. Jones’ “True Homosexual Experiences: Boyd McDonald and Straight to Hell” tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Cleveland Park Library (3310 Connecticut Ave.., N.W.). All are welcome. Boyd McDonald’s chapbook of readers’ “true homosexual experiences” was admired by Gore Vidal and William S. Burroughs as one of the first works to combine a contempt for authority with a sharp literary style. For more information, visit

Thursday, Aug. 8

Rufus Du Sol, an Australian three-piece band, performs its live electronic act tonight at The Anthem (901 Wharf St., S.W.). Tickets start at $35 and the show begins at 8 p.m. Rufus has released two platinum-certified albums, “ATLAS” and “Bloom,” and the upcoming album, Solace, explores deeper lyrics which the trio says is “about finding a sense of hope in a darker time.” Tickets and information are on



PHOTOS: DCGFFL 25th Anniversary Party

Gay flag football league marks milestone at Penn Social



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

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



(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.

The Blade may receive commissions from qualifying purchases made via this post.

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

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



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

Through Sept. 24
Round House Theatre
4545 East-West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814

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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