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August 15, 2019




Virginia restaurant ordered to pay gay employee $20,000 after homophobic discrimination. By Rhuaridh Marr


Gregg Barnes pulled out all the colorful, glittery, glamorous stops when designing the 337 costumes for Disney’s Aladdin.


Volume 26 Issue 15


Interview by Randy Shulman


Cate Blanchett gives a performance worth following in the contrived but moving Where’d You Go, Bernadette. By André Hereford

SPOTLIGHT: LAST FERRY p.7 OUT ON THE TOWN p.10 THE FEED: HARMFUL RHETORIC p.19 THE FEED: STOPPING HATE p.19 COMMUNITY: GETTING CHATTY p.21 COMMUNITY CALENDAR p.21 FORUM: SEX WORK IS WORK p.25 STAGE: DEAR EVAN HANSEN p.37 STAGE: WAR BOYS p.38 NIGHTLIFE: PITCHERS/A LEAGUE OF HER OWN p.39 NIGHTLIFE LISTINGS p.40 NIGHTLIFE HIGHLIGHTS p.41 LAST WORD p.46 Washington, D.C.’s Best LGBTQ Magazine for 25 Years Editorial Editor-in-Chief Randy Shulman Art Director Todd Franson Online Editor at Rhuaridh Marr Senior Editor John Riley Contributing Editors André Hereford, Doug Rule Senior Photographers Ward Morrison, Julian Vankim Contributing Illustrator Scott G. Brooks Contributing Writers Sean Maunier, Troy Petenbrink, Bailey Vogt, Kate Wingfield Webmaster David Uy Production Assistant Julian Vankim Sales & Marketing Publisher Randy Shulman National Advertising Representative Rivendell Media Co. 212-242-6863 Distribution Manager Dennis Havrilla Patron Saint Howard Ashman Cover Photography Deen van Meer Metro Weekly 1775 I St. NW, Suite 1150 Washington, DC 20006 202-638-6830 All material appearing in Metro Weekly is protected by federal copyright law and may not be reproduced in whole or part without the permission of the publishers. Metro Weekly assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials submitted for publication. All such submissions are subject to editing and will not be returned unless accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Metro Weekly is supported by many fine advertisers, but we cannot accept responsibility for claims made by advertisers, nor can we accept responsibility for materials provided by advertisers or their agents. Publication of the name or photograph of any person or organization in articles or advertising in Metro Weekly is not to be construed as any indication of the sexual orientation of such person or organization.

© 2019 Jansi LLC.









Last Ferry

N IMPULSIVE TRIP TO UNWIND IN THE FIRE ISLAND Pines turns into a deadly weekend of cat-and-mouse for an unsuspecting gay lawyer in the aptly titled Last Ferry. Directed by Jaki Bradley and starring Ramon O. Torres, Sheldon Best, and Myles Clohessy, the indie thriller screens next Thursday, August 22 — along with Spanish-language gay romance End of the Century — in a suspenseful double-bill for Reel Affirmations’ Xtra monthly film series at Landmark’s E Street Cinema. Torres portrays the central character of Joseph, and wrote the screenplay inspired, in part, by the 2016 Korean horror hit The Wailing, and by the sizzling slow-burn of the 2013 French gay mystery Stranger By the Lake. “We also took some of our inspiration from some of Hitchcock's movies, and tried to use Fire Island as a character,” says Torres, who joined his partner Michael D. Karp among the film’s quartet of producers. Torres recounts that he and Karp had visited the gay beach mecca a few odd weekends long before their challenging shoot on the relatively isolated barrier island, located off the south shore of New York’s Long Island. “The second to last time I’d gone, the season had ended, and so it didn't feel like the images

you see online or the stories people tell,” he says. “And there was a little bit of eeriness in terms of it feeling a little empty and not really fulfilling what I had seen before. In general, the landscape is very beautiful, and [it] can be scary just because it's so far removed from everything, and there aren't roads.” Torres hoped to capture in Last Ferry some of the atmosphere of the ghost stories he grew up hearing from his family, which hails from a small town in Mexico — El Gavilán de Abajo — steeped in urban legends. He also wanted to promote “the thesis that queer experiences run the gamut.” “I was going to a bunch of queer film festivals and realizing that a lot of the festivals were limited in scope in terms of what type of stories they were showcasing. Like, you don't see queer superheroes. You don't see queer buddy comedies. I think it would be a great place where the world in general views your identity just as a part of you, not the holistic person that lends to making decisions. There are people that make good decisions, there are people that make bad decisions, but that should be separate from your sexual identity, or whatever other constructs people sort of put onto people.” —André Hereford

Last Ferry screens Thursday, August 22, at 7 p.m., at Landmark’s E Street Cinema. End of the Century follows at 9 p.m. Tickets for each film are $14. Visit and AUGUST 15, 2019 • METROWEEKLY.COM



Even if you’ve never been to a “Sound of Music” sing-a-long before, you know what it’s all about. It’s fun. It’s camp. And we’re betting you even know the words to all the songs from the classic movie musical, from “My Favorite Things” to “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” to “Edelweiss.” If you’re a bit rusty, though, the lyrics will be displayed along with the movie on Wolf Trap’s huge screen. The outing includes a Sound of Music-inspired costume contest prior to the screening — expect lots of Lederhosen and veils — plus, thankfully, a 15-minute intermission during Robert Wise’s nearly threehour-long film. Saturday, Aug. 24. Gates at 5:45 p.m. The Filene Center, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $25 to $45. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit


It takes some smooth crooning to come close to the vocal greatness that was Grammy-winning R&B legend Luther Vandross. But William “Smooth” Wardlaw comes close enough to live up to his billing as the featured voice of the concert experience he’s fronted for nearly a decade. “We try not to say tribute or impersonation,” Wardlaw told Metro Weekly. “That's why we're called ‘Luther Re-Lives,’ because we want people to relive those moments when Luther was onstage.” The Alexandria native relives his own love for Luther’s music and vocal prowess by performing the artist’s songs, accompanied by two backup singers and a five-piece band. The show is a full, Vegas-style performance that Wardlaw says aims to recapture not just the sublime musical effect of Luther live, but also “the flamboyance, the lighting, the wardrobe.” Friday, Aug. 16. Doors at 6:30 p.m. City Winery DC, 1350 Okie St. NE. Tickets are $35 to $45. Call 202-2502531 or visit (AH)


Al Pacino gives one of his finest screen portrayals as an amateur crook who robs a bank to pay for his partner’s sex-change surgery in Sidney Lumet’s gritty, edgy drama. At t he time, the film challenged social prejudices against the LGBTQ community, and its gay content is relevant enough to make it eligible for the third installment of Metro Weekly’s “25 LGBTQ Films Everyone Should See” series. The film returns to the big screen as part of the Capital Classics series at Landmark’s West End Cinema. Wednesday, Aug. 21, at 1:30, 4:30, and 7:30 p.m. 2301 M St. NW. Happy hour from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $12.50. Call 202-5341907 or visit 8



Held one Friday a month from April through September — plus two Fridays in August — the long-running food truck festival is a showcase for some of the area’s best food trucks. The lineup at the upcoming festival, held at the outdoor venue the Bullpen next to Nationals Park, features food for purchase from trucks including Korean BBQ Taco Box, Superior Eats by Stacey’s Soul Food, Tapas Truck, Lombardo’s Detroit Style Pizza, Reggae Vibes, BBQ Bus, Red Hook Lobster Pound, Tamo Smoothies, Puddin, The Orange Cow, District Jerk, DC Empanadas, Mexicano Square, and FMK Mobile Cuisine. Cold drinks, live music, and games are also on offer at the family-friendly outing presented by Georgetown Events. Friday, Aug. 23, from 4 to 10 p.m. 1201 Half St. SE. Visit


The soul-rattling Alabama Shakes singer is currently on a break from the hit Southern bluesrock band she leads in order to set out on a new, far more personal chapter of her career. Howard tours in advance of her upcoming solo debut Jaime, which gets personal in ways she barely even hinted at previously. For example, there’s the ballad “Georgia,” which she told Rolling Stone is “about being a little gay black girl and having a crush on an older black girl.” The 30-year-old takes the spotlight for two intimate nights at the 9:30 Club, with opening act Thelma and the Sleaze. Friday, Aug. 23, and Saturday, Aug. 24. Doors at 8 p.m. 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $55. Call 202-265-0930 or visit


There’s a sizable cadre of young, queer artists singing openly and honestly about their experiences in today’s landscape — but it was a different story 20 years ago, when Rufus Wainwright launched his career. The son of folk-rock legends Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle, the singer-songwriter returns to the Birchmere for an intimate concert, dubbed “Oh Solo Wainwright,” with an opening set from another legacy folk-rock act — The Rails, the London-based husband-and-wife duo of James Walbourne (a member of The Pretenders) and Kami Thompson, daughter of Richard and Linda and sister to Teddy. Thursday, Aug. 22, at 7:30 p.m. 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Tickets are $89.50. Call 703-549-7500 or visit AUGUST 15, 2019 • METROWEEKLY.COM


Out On The Town


This major exhibition at the National Gallery of Art covers 17 centuries of animal-inspired art — from the 5th century to the present — and across a wide variety of media, everything from sculpture to painting, ceramics to textiles, metalwork to woodblock print. In total, the exhibit includes more than 300 works spread across 18,000 square feet. Artists represented include Sesson Shukei, Katshushika Hokusai, Utagawa Kuniyoshi, Kusama Yayoi, Issey Miyake, Nara Yoshitomo, and Murakami Takashi. To Aug. 18, with the exhibit staying open until 8 p.m. every night to recover hours lost during the partial government shutdown and inclement weather, but also to showcase a rotating group of light-sensitive objects. Concourse Galleries in the East Building, 3rd Street at Constitution Avenue NW. Call 202-737-4215 or visit Compiled by Doug Rule


Rami Malek’s stunning performance as Freddie Mercury — which justifiably earned him the Best Actor Oscar this year — drives Bohemian Rhapsody, Bryan Singer’s music biopic about the legendary rock band Queen and its equally iconic lead singer. On stage, Malek works every inch of the platform, conveying Mercury’s swagger, his confidence, and his sexuality. Off-stage, he delivers Mercury’s development from shy but talented singer to world-conquering star — one enveloped in his own confidence and absolutely sure of what he deserves. Dcenes where the band is rocking out in front of audiences across the world thrill and delight in equal measure. Bohemian Rhapsody screens as the concluding film in the free Capitol Riverfront series organized by the area’s BID. Screening, with captioning, starts at


sundown, approximately 8:30 p.m., but the lawn opens at 7 p.m. for picnickers and those seeking premium spots. Wednesday, Aug. 22. Canal Park at 2nd and K Streets SE. Visit (Rhuaridh Marr)


The AFI Silver Theatre co-presents a free summer outdoor film series at nearby Sonny’s Green, where patrons can bring blankets and lowrise chairs as well as their own food and beverages. The series continues on Friday, Aug. 16, with the animated classic that ushered in the Disney Renaissance of the 1990s. Based on the short story by Hans Christian Andersen, The Little Mermaid was directed by John Musker and Ron Clements and features an Oscarwinning score by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken. The screening begins at sundown, around 8 p.m. Off the parking lot of the Blairs Shopping Center, 1290 East-West Highway. Call 301-495-6720 or visit



After last month’s special 30th anniversary screenings, Edward Zwick’s sweeping Civil War epic returns to the big screen once more as part of the summer-long series at AFI’s Silver Theatre devoted to films featuring this year’s AFI Life Achievement Award recipient, Denzel Washington. Glory, in fact, earned Washington his first Oscar. Called “one of the finest historical dramas ever made” by film critic Leonard Malton, the underrated epic also starred Matthew Broderick, Morgan Freeman, Cary Elwes, and Andre Braugher. Sunday, Aug. 18, at 5:30 p.m. AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $11 to $13. Call 301-495-6720 or visit


After winning the Queer Palm, the top LGBTQ award, during its 2013 premiere at Cannes, Stranger By The Lake went on to critical acclaim, with Time Out New York calling Alain Guiraudie’s erotic thriller “mesmerizing” and “a queer cine-

ma landmark.” Set in and around a nudist beach and gay cruising area in rural France, the story centers on Frank and his sexual attraction to the darkly mysterious Michel. Their relationship deepens but also becomes darker and more dire as a result of a murder investigation into another man’s drowning. Part of the August Screen Queen series at the cozy Suns Cinema in Mount Pleasant. Monday, Aug. 19, at 8 p.m. 3107 Mount Pleasant St. NW. Tickets are $11.49 including service fee. Visit


To kick off Signature Theatre’s 30th season, Eric Schaeffer returns to a show that became the company’s second Sondheim musical (after Sweeney Todd), when Schaeffer directed it 27 years ago. The Tony-winning Assassins twists the American Dream by focusing on nine people from history who tried or succeeded in offing a president. For the cast, Schaeffer tapped a



crisis that leads them to try their hand at living in the motherland. Eileen Rivera as their mother and Michael Glenn as the show’s sole non-Asian actor playing a host of characters complete the cast. To Aug. 18. Mulitz-Gudelsky Theatre Lab, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, Md. Call 301-924-3400 or visit




NoMa Summer Screen, the free screening series organized by the NoMa B.I.D., concludes its 12th season with arguably one of the funniest and sharpest entries from Christopher Guest’s canon of mockumentaries. Best In Show is filled with stellar performances, including Parker Posey and Michael Hitchcock as the Swans, a Starbucks-minted neurotic couple; Fred Willard as an imbecilic, everyman TV co-host for the fictionalized Mayflower Kennel Club Dog Show; and Jennifer Coolidge and Jane Lynch as not-quite-secret lovers, connected by standard poodle Rhapsody in White. The screening is presented in a grassy block in this still-developing neighborhood a few blocks north of Union Station. Patrons are welcome to bring their dogs — provided they keep them on leashes. Ooh Dat Chicken, Swizzler, and Westray’s Finest are among the food trucks expected to be on hand. Tuesday, Aug. 21 at sunset, around 8 p.m. Located at 1150 1st St. NE, at the corner with Pierce St. Call 202-289-0111 or visit

crew of veteran performers with the company, including Christopher Bloch, Kurt Boehm, Evan Casey, Vincent Kempski, Sam Ludwig, Ian McEuen, Tracy Lynn Olivera, Lawrence Redmond, Bobby Smith, Rachel Zampelli, Jimmy Mavrikes, Nova Y. Payton, and Maria Rizzo. In previews, opens Wednesday, Aug. 21. Runs to Sept. 29. MAX Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Call 703-820-9771 or visit


Founded shortly after World War II, National Players has helped launch the careers of numerous stage and performance artists. This summer, the organization, touted as “America’s longest-running touring company,” debuts a production for its 71st season in “pay-what-youcan-previews” at Olney Theatre. This weekend, a 10-person ensemble brings to life Shakespeare’s imaginative tale about city folk venturing into the woods with the classic romantic comedy As You Like It, directed by the company’s Jason


King Jones. Friday, Aug. 16, and Saturday, Aug. 17, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Aug. 18, at 1:30 p.m. 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, Md. PWYC tickets are available only at the box office on the day of performances. Call 301-924-3400 or visit


Dupont Circle’s Keegan Theatre closes out its 22nd season with the stage adaptation of the hit movie, based on Amanda Brown’s novel about effervescent Elle Woods and her journey to Harvard. Ricky Drummond helms Keegan’s production of the show, featuring music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Neil Benjamin, aided by music director Walter “Bobby” McCoy and choreographer Ashleigh King. To Sept. 1. Keegan Theatre, 1742 Church St. NW. Tickets are $52 to $62. Call 202-265-3767 or visit


A rainy day is turned into a miraculous, mayhem-filled adventure in an adaptation of the Dr. Seuss clas-


sic imported from across the pond, via the National Theatre of Great Britain. The theater for young audiences production out at Adventure Theatre-MTC in Glen Echo Park is directed by Adam Immerwahr, who has become known for works that are far more serious and adult in his day job as the artistic director of Theater J. Surely The Cat in the Hat is a nice change of pace, maybe even allowing him, to paraphrase from the late Mr. Geisel’s book, “good fun that is funny.” To Aug. 18. 7300 MacArthur Blvd. Call 301-634-2270 or visit


Described as an outrageous and cutting satire of Asian-American identity, Mike Lew’s latest work closes out the current season at Olney Theatre Center in a production helmed by Helen Hayes Award-winning director Natsu Onoda Power. Regina Aquino and Sean Sekino will star as third-generation Chinese-Americans, affluent Millennial siblings who face something of a late-adolescent identity

Virginia’s Synetic closes out its season with a high seas adventure full of pirates. The original adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel of the same name is the latest caper from a physical theater-focused company that’s made its name producing wordless variations on classics, particularly those by Shakespeare. Synetic’s impressive crew of athletic actors will bring to life the coming-of-age tale focused on the orphan Jane Hawkins and a ruthless band of buccaneers on a wild hunt for buried treasure. To Aug. 18. 1800 South Bell St., Arlington. Tickets are $35 to $60. Call 800-811-4111 or visit


After mastering her craft playing fiddle with the Texas Playboys, this singer-songwriter has gone on to tour and record with artists including John Prine, Justin Townes Earle, Ryan Adams, Lee Ann Womack, and her husband Jason Isbell. In 2017, Shires was honored with the Emerging Artist Award by the Americana Association. Part of the new country supergroup The Highwomen along with Brandi Carlile, Maren Morris, and Natalie Hernby, Shires is currently touring in support of her most recent solo set, 2018’s To The Sunset. Saturday, Aug. 17. Doors at 6:30 p.m. The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW. Tickets are $30 to $60. Call 202-787-1000 or visit


A wide array of talented pop/folk vocalists from around the area are brought together to perform a concert celebrating Woodstock and the legendary musicians who took part, including Jimi Hendrix, Santana, The Band, Sly & The Family Stone, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, The Who, the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplance, and Janis Joplin, among others. Presented by the production company Newmyer Flyer, the concert features Last Train Home, In Gratitude with Dennis Chambers, The Bumber Jacksons Duo, Jon Carroll, The Nighthawks, Patty Reese, Tommy Lepson, Mike McHenry, Margot MacDonald, and The Thrillbillies. Saturday, Aug. 17, at 8 p.m. Warner Theatre, 513 13th



viewing area, and special restrooms. Oregon Ridge Park, 13401 Beaver Dam Rd. in Cockeysville, Md. Call 877-321-FEST or visit


Celebrated local jazz vocalist, composer, and educator leads her ensemble in a mix of jazz standards, Brazilian music, and original compositions, and all as part of the Kennedy Center’s free nightly programming. Friday, Aug. 16, at 6 p.m. Millennium Stage. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


The nine-time Grammy-winning jazz icon Marsalis will be joined by 15 soloists, ensemble players, and arrangers for a swinging evening under the stars. Friday, Aug. 16, at 8 p.m. The Filene Center at Wolf Trap, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $30 to $125. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit



Leo Luganskiy leads this L.A.-based act that, for nearly a decade now, has performed “lovingly recreated” classics by the pioneering English synth/rock band, and staged with set pieces, costume changes, and multimedia projections reflecting on the different eras of the band. All told, the show is meant to be less a tribute show and more “a shared communal fan club celebration of halcyon days of new wave and emerging electronica.” Musicians Brent Meyer as “Counterfeit Martin,” Julian Shah-Tayler as “Oscar Wilder,” and James Evans as “InTheFletch” round out the cover band. And before Strangelove comes a performance by Caligula Blushed, a tribute band to The Smiths. Saturday, Aug. 17, at 8 p.m. Fillmore Silver Spring, 8656 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $15.50 before taxes. Call 301-960-9999 or visit

St. NW. Tickets are $23 to $43. Call 202-783-4000 or visit

and $120 for four with wine. Call 703-436-9948 or visit



The 10th annual summer cabaret series at ArtSpace Falls Church continues with “You Are My Heroine” featuring the Brooklynbased songwriting duo of Bridget Linsenmeyer and Inés Nassarra, who will sing original songs as well as covers by their favorite fellow female artists, on Friday, Aug. 16, “Tell Me A Story,” an evening of story songs performed by Katherine Riddle on Saturday, Aug. 17, and “Bossa Fever” with the acclaimed local chilled-out jazz ensemble Veronneau on Friday, Aug. 23, and Saturday, Aug. 24. All shows at 8 p.m. Series runs to Sept. 14. 410 South Maple Ave. in Falls Church. Tickets are $18 to $22 per show, or $60 for a table for two with wine


Some of the city’s best and bestknown music acts from various genres take the stage at the 9:30 Club next weekend as part of this third annual event, presented by the syndicated FM radio show, podcast, and website DC Music Rocks in collaboration with Girls Rock! DC. The lineup includes Los Empresarios, the all-girl groups More AM Than FM and Iza Flo, the Eli Lev Collective with special guest Jarreau Williams, and Sub-Radio, plus singer-songwriters Daniel Warren-Hill, Jahnel Daliya, Jasmine Gillison, Gabrielle Ziwi, Lauren Calve, and Karen Jones. A portion of the concert’s proceeds benefits The Musicianship, recognized by DC Public Schools as an official After-School provider, one


offering music lessons and opportunities particularly for at-risk and underprivileged populations. And The Musicianship’s drumline program is also set to perform. Saturday, Aug. 17. Doors at 7 p.m. 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $15. Call 202-265-0930 or visit


Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Turkuaz, Billy Strings, and Melvin Seals & JGB are the headliners across the three stages at this folk and bluegrass festival, now in its 27th year. Other acts set to perform include Samantha Fish, Cedric Burnside, the Lil Smokies, the Dirty Grass Players, Larry McCray, Travers Brothership, Vanessa Collier, and the Old Part of Town. Saturday, Aug. 17. Gates at 11 a.m. Tickets are $68 in advance, $87 the day of, or $199 for VIP including parking, alcohol, two meal tickets, special

A summertime staple, the National Gallery of Art offers free outdoor concerts immediately after work every Friday through late August. Bands offering a range of jazz styles, from swing to Latin to ska, perform amidst the museum’s collection of large-scale sculptural works while patrons enjoy food and drinks, including beer, wine, and sangria, as sold by the Pavilion Café. New menu items for 2019 include the popular vegetarian Teriyaki Impossible Burger, a Bahn Mi Turkey Burger with ginger soy aioli, and more traditional sandwiches of pulled pork and beef brisket, all available at grill stations throughout the Sculpture Garden. The series continues with the Dixie Power Trio, a New Orleans-centric jazz ensemble sometimes referred to as the “East Coast’s premier Louisiana variety band,” on Aug. 16, and then concludes with the Connecticutbased seven-piece funk and hip-hop group Funky Dawgz Brass Band on Aug. 23. Evenings from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Sculpture Garden, between 7th and 9th Streets NW. Call 202-2893360 or visit


Grammy Award-winning folk musicians Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer, partners in music and life, are now wrapping up the 11th edition of their popular annual festival at Strathmore devoted to the signature Hawaiian stringed instrument the ukulele. Things wind down — or really up — with the free outdoor UkeFest Finale concert



Shimomura, and Martin Wong are among the artists represented in this display of more than 75 works examining the range of ways artists have chosen to portray themselves. Through Aug. 18. 8th and F Streets. NW. Call 202-633-8300 or visit



He burst onto the scene with what some called an anthem for the slacker generation, yet as a working musician, Beck Hansen — who goes simply by his first name — has been anything but a slacker. He’s been one of the most prolific musicians over the past 25 years, having produced a studio album at least every other year. And the seven-time Grammy winner has also successfully experimented with a divergent range of musical styles on his albums, from folk to hard rock, hip hop to electronic dance music. In advance of his forthcoming 14th album Hyperspace, Beck co-headlines a tour with the Kentucky-rooted psychedelic/garage rock band Cage the Elephant. Something of a mini-festival, the Night Running Tour also features opening sets from Texas-based indie-rock stalwarts Spoon and New York’s jangly indie-pop trio Sunflower Bean. Thursday, Aug. 22. Gates at 5 p.m. Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, Md. Tickets are $29.50 to $200.50. Call 800-551-SEAT or visit

that includes a mass strum-along. The concert comes as part of the Strathmore mansion’s free weekly summer series. Wednesday, Aug. 21, at 7 p.m. Gudelsky Gazebo, 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda. Call 301-581-5100 or visit


An alum of Last Comic Standing, Armour headlines two shows presented by Maryland’s Improbable Comedy and also featuring Loy Lee, D Lo, and Maddox Pennington. Saturday, Aug. 24, at 8 and 10 p.m. Cissel-Saxon American Legion Post 41, 8110 Fenton St., Silver Spring. Tickets are $16 to $25. Call 301-588-8937 or visit


Maryland’s visual arts gallery Pyramid Atlantic presents an inky and dark-hued show featuring the diverse artworks of three contem-


porary printmakers working in the intaglio style, which is the opposite of a relief print and most commonly seen today via paper or plastic currency, passports, and postage stamps. To develop his intaglio prints, New York’s Curt Belshe starts by taking photographs of figures that he then digitally sculpts in 3D software before exposing the images to light-sensitive plates and creating etchings. Meanwhile, Jake Muirhead prints from hand-drawn etching into copper plates and his fellow Maryland-based artist Jenny Freestone works in a mix of styles including drypoint, etching, and gravure. When considered collectively, the prints on display from the three artists have “a velvety and mysterious quality.” To Aug. 18. 4318 Gallatin St., Hyattsville, Md. Call 301-608-9101 or visit


Right now, dinosaurs are in motion and causing a commotion of sorts at the National Zoo — but in as harmless and science-lite a way, and as far from Jurassic Park, as possible. Although they can move, roar, and even spit water, the six


prehistoric creatures roaming the Smithsonian park’s central Olmsted Walk are essentially toys — animatronic replicas of everything from a baby stegosaurus to a 13-foot-tall, 39-foot-long T-Rex. An additional attraction is “Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo Live,” a 30-minute show in which a team of skilled performers and puppeteers bring to life a collection of “lifelike dinosaurs” touted as providing “visual oomph to rival The Lion King.” Multiple shows daily, except Mondays. To Aug. 31. 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW. Zoo entry is free; tickets to “Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo” are $8 to $10. Call 202-633-4888 or visit


Despite its title, this is not an exhibition celebrating the everyday selfie but rather notable, high-quality self-portraits from American artists drawn primarily from the National Portrait Gallery’s vast collection — and the concluding exhibition in the Smithsonian museum’s series celebrating its 50th anniversary. Elaine de Kooning, Edward Hopper, Jacob Lawrence, Diego Rivera, Roger

“What makes a habitat a home?” That was the question that guided artists as they created new works for the latest group exhibition in Target Gallery, the contemporary exhibitions space of Alexandria’s Torpedo Factory Art Center. Ellyn Weiss, a D.C.-based independent artist and curator served as the show’s juror, ultimately selecting 22 works by artists working across the U.S. and in a diversity of media, from sculpture and photography to video and virtual reality. The six area artists with works in the show are Ceci Cole McInturff and Nancy Ramsey of Alexandria, Delna Dastur of McLean, Kamille Jackson of Woodbridge, Pam Eichner of Silver Spring, and Alice Fornari of D.C. Now to Sept. 22. 105 North Union St. Alexandria. Free. Call 703-838-4565 or visit


D.C.’s technology-focused art gallery ArTecHouse presents the first major retrospective of Refik Anadol, a thoroughly 21st-century-focused artist who uses data and computerized networks to create radical visualizations of our digitized memories, expanding the possibilities of architecture, narrative, and the movement. Through site-specific, parametric data sculptures and immersive installations, the L.A.based Turkish artist helps rethink the physical world, our relationship to time and space, and the creative potential where humans and machines interact. The exhibition’s title derives from an infamous, internationally touring immersive installation featuring three infinity boxes and a selection of multimedia works spanning Anadol’s career. To Sept. 2. ArTecHouse, 1238 Maryland Ave. SW. Tickets are $13 to $20, with “after hours” sessions featuring a bar with exhibition-related Augmented Reality cocktails. visit


Before it became a gay desert mecca and a resort for the rich and famous, Palm Springs was a desert outpost — as well as home to the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation. The National Museum of the American Indian shines a light on a land battle in Palm Springs, yet another in a long string of conflicts between western expansion and Indigenous peoples’ rights. The focus is on Section 14, a one-square-mile tract in downtown



Andres and his Mexican outpost Oyamel. Pepino is designed as a preview of Amparo (, Irabién’s forthcoming contemporary Mexican restaurant that is set to open this fall as part of the new Latin marketplace La Cosecha. The pop-up features six special ceviches (priced at $7 to $16 each). Meanwhile, Cotton & Reed complements Irabién’s menu with “Prickled Pink,” a specially concocted slushie consisting of white rum, mezcal, prickly pear, and lime ($12). To Aug. 18. Pepino is open from noon to 8 p.m. on weekends and 4 to 10 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays. 1330 5th St. NE. Call 202-544-2805 or visit and.reed. GARY ERSKINE



A local actor offers the guided tour Investigation: Detective McDevitt, portraying Detective James McDevitt, a D.C. police officer patrolling a half-block from Ford’s Theatre the night President Lincoln was shot. Written by Richard Hellesen and directed by Mark Ramont, the 1.6-mile walking tour revisits and reexamines the sites and clues from the investigation into the assassination. Tours are offered approximately three evenings a week at 6:45 p.m. Ford’s Theatre, 511 10th St. NW. Tickets are $17. Call 202-397-7328 or visit

Palm Springs that forms the heart of the reservation. The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians created the exhibition, which was organized by the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum. On display through Jan. 2020. National Museum of the American Indian, Independence Avenue at 4th Street SW. Call 202633-1000 or visit


For its summer exhibition, Georgetown’s contemporary art gallery Calloway Fine Arts presents “bold and bright” large, abstract paintings on canvas by David Bell, Leslie Nolan, and Karen Silve, plus smaller works on paper from Matthew Langley’s A Painting A Day series, which pull highlights of color from the larger works. To Aug. 24. 1643 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Call 202-965-4601 or visit


Works posing urgent questions about the experiences and perceptions of migration and the current global refugee crisis are the focus of a special summer exhibition at the Phillips Collection. Organized in partnership with the New Museum in New York, The Warmth of Other Suns presents 75 historical and con-


temporary artists, from the U.S. and all over the world, who have reconstructed personal and collective tales of migration via art installations, videos, paintings, and documentary images. The exhibition brings together a multitude of voices and exposes the universality of migration as an experience shared by many. That includes the more than six million African Americans whose exodus from the American South during the Jim Crow era is depicted in Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series, a cornerstone of the permanent collection at the Phillips. To Sept. 22. 1600 21st St. NW. Tickets are $10 to $12. Call 202-387-2151 x247 or visit


Thirty years after Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Moment, the Washington Project for the Arts celebrates the anniversary of that iconically controversial exhibit by inviting acclaimed artist Tiona Nekkia McClodden to curate a program of fresh exploration into The Perfect Moment. The exhibit, featuring the work of photographers D’Angelo Lovell Williams


and George Dureau and including presentations by Alex Fialho, Oluremi C Onabanjo, Mia Kang, and McClodden, is no tribute. “It’s more of a critical inquiry, or a critical read, of not only The Perfect Moment exhibit, but more so what it meant at the time for WPA to, quote-unquote, rescue the works after the Corcoran’s cancellation of the show,” McClodden says. “People may or may not be disappointed by the fact that I’m not really centering this on Mapplethorpe at all.” There Are No Shadows Here: The Perfect Moment at 30 focuses on elements and concepts found in Mapplethorpe’s Moment, “but looking at what’s happening on the periphery of this moment with other photographers — primarily black photographers, as well as photographers that precede and come after Mapplethorpe.” On display through Saturday, Aug. 17. 2124 8th St. NW. Visit (André Hereford)


Cotton & Reed, the rum distillery and tasting room in the Union Market District, plays host to a special culinary pop-up over the next month from Christian Irabién, the Mexican-born, D.C.-based chef who spent years working with José

Area restaurants are currently immersed in this year’s Summer Restaurant Week, the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington’s biannual promotion at over 250 restaurants. On offer are multi-course meals at dinner for $35 as well as fixed-price options at lunch or brunch for $22. “Looking at the range of restaurants participating, you have this nice, inclusive grouping,” says RAMW’s President Kathy Hollinger. “[It’s an] intersection of diners’ favorites from over the years [with] brand-new restaurants. It gives a diner an opportunity to look across the region at all of these developing and emerging neighborhoods and to pick from a variety of restaurants.” Now to Sunday, Aug. 18. For more information, including exclusive deals on meals as well as prizes through RAMW’s Diner Rewards Program, or to make reservations, visit


The Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets’ 10th annual event is designed to celebrate the restaurants and gay-friendly businesses in the blocks of what once was the gayest street in the city. (It’s still plenty gay.) For the occasion, organizers close to traffic the 1500-1600 blocks of the street to set up booths for vendors selling handmade goods — from hats to jewelry to cigars to paintings — with additional booths set up for local nonprofits, for-profit start-ups, local businesses, and community groups, plus a kids’ area. Also on tap at the event, held rain or shine, are live acoustic music performances. Saturday, Aug. 24, from noon to 6 p.m. Call 202-6564487 or visit for more information. l



Virginia restaurant ordered to pay gay employee $20,000 after homophobic discrimination. By Rhuaridh Marr


VIRGINIA RESTAURANT WILL PAY $40,000 TO settle a lawsuit over claims its employees subjected a gay server to homophobic harassment and discrimination. A federal judge has approved a settlement between El Tio Tex-Mex Grill in Gainesville, VA, and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Associated Press reports. It stems from a 2018 lawsuit filed by the server, alleging that he was repeatedly subjected to homophobic slurs and taunts about his sexuality from other employees at the restaurant. The settlement will be split between the server and his heterosexual friend, a busser at the restaurant who claimed he was also subjected to harassment due to their friendship. The deal bars El Tio from condoning or engaging in harassment of employees based on their sexual orientation. Virginia currently lacks comprehensive nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people, though government employ-

ees are protected from discrimination via an executive order issued in 2014 by former Gov. Terry McAuliffe. EEOC regional attorney Debra Lawrence praised the settlement, saying that the EEOC is “committed to ensuring that no employee or applicant is discriminated against or harassed based on sexual orientation.” “We are gratified that El Tio worked with the EEOC to reach an amicable resolution of this lawsuit,” she said, the National Law Review reports. “The consent decree includes significant equitable relief that will benefit all company employees.” Mindy Weinstein, acting director of the Washington Field Office, said, “We commend these employees who bravely stood up for what is right and changed this workplace for the better as a result.” El Tio currently operates in Virginia and D.C., with restaurants in Falls Church, Gainesville, Great Falls, and McLean, and a fifth on 14th Street NW in the District. l


Arizona Republican believes gay people die at 42 because homosexuality is "harmful." By Rhuaridh Marr


FORMER ARIZONA STATE SENATOR BELIEVES that homosexuality is so “harmful” that gay men have an average lifespan of 42. Ron Gould was a member of the state Senate from 2005 to 2013. After reaching his term limit, he tried unsuccessfully to run for the U.S. House of Representatives, and currently serves as Mohave County Supervisor. In an interview with the Kingman Daily Miner, Gould claimed that gay men have an average age of 42 and believes that gay men die younger because of their sexual orientation, saying “That’s why they die.” “We all have our sins, but we should try to suppress them,” he said. “Alcoholism is harmful, too, but we don’t see groups promoting alcoholism.” Gould previously sponsored a ban on same-sex marriage while serving in the state senate, and during the interview said that although gay people have civil rights, that doesn’t

include marriage. “It used to be ‘tolerate us,’; now it’s ‘accept us,’” he said. Gould made a number of eye-raising comments in the interview, including denying the existence of climate change, saying, “Even if we have it, it is not man-caused. Man can’t change the weather.” While Gould cited no specific evidence for his claims that gay men die young because of their sexuality, the Phoenix New Times suggested that he may have been referring to research from 1994 by anti-LGBTQ organization the Family Research Institute. The organization counted obituaries in LGBTQ-focused publications and allegedly found gay men had an average lifespan of 43 years. The figure was even quoted on TV by then-Education Secretary William Bennett, though critics noted that



theFeed the deaths reported included a number of people who had died from AIDS-related complications. “It will overrepresent those whose passing strikes others as newsworthy and underrepresent those who end their days in retired obscurity in some sunny clime,” Slate wrote at the time. A Facebook campaign has been started in the wake of Gould’s comments, urging people to email Mohave County Manager Mike Hendrix and the Board of Supervisors to

express their anger over his antiLGBTQ rhetoric. “At a minimum, the County Administration needs to make a public statement denouncing Supervisor Gould’s comments,” one email states, “and reaffirm Mohave County’s commitment to creating a safe working environment for all employees.” It also calls on the board to “censure Supervisor Gould for his irresponsible antiLGBTQ+ rhetoric.” l


White supremacist arrested over plot to attack gay bars and synagogues in Las Vegas. By Rhuaridh Marr


LAS VEGAS MAN HAS BEEN ARRESTED OVER A white supremacist plot to attack gay bars and synagogues. Conor Climo, 23, was arrested and arraigned in federal court last week after bomb-making materials were discovered in his home by an FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Force investigation, Buzzfeed News reports. Climo reportedly discussed his plans to use either Molotov cocktails or another form of explosives with other white supremacists via encrypted messages. He also told the FBI that he had spent two years considering creating a “sniper platoon” to attack Jewish people. The investigation found that Climo had repeatedly used “derogatory racial, anti-Semitic and homosexual slurs” and spoke with an FBI informant about identifying “possible targets near Las Vegas, including police leadership, synagogues, an area in downtown Las Vegas with gay bars, and the headquarters for the Anti-Defamation League.” According to the FBI, Climo said he “harbors biases and hatred toward various racial and religious groups to include African Americans, Jews, and homosexuals.” An investigation into Climo was opened after the FBI learned he had been communicating with Atomwaffen Division, an extremist white supremacy group. Atomwaffen specifically urges violence against gay people and had connections to an attack in 2018 where gay, Jewish student Blaze Bernstein was stabbed 20 times and buried in a shallow grave in California. The group reportedly celebrated Bernstein’s murder. Climo, who has been arrested on multiple federal charges including possession of an unregistered firearm, faces up to



10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if he is convicted. In a statement, US Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich said, “Threats of violence motivated by hate and intended to intimidate or coerce our faith-based and LGBTQ communities have no place in this country.” JoDee Winterhof, Senior Vice President of Policy and Political Affairs at the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement that HRC was “extremely alarmed to hear that Conor Climo, who was arrested last night in Las Vegas, was allegedly planning to attack a synagogue & LGBTQ bar.” “While Climo’s actions are concerning, they are not in a vacuum,” she continued. “Dangerous & hateful rhetoric start at the top levels of government and heavily influence the rest of American society. Each and every day, the Trump-Pence administration has sought to dehumanize LGBTQ people, undermine our rights and treat us like second class citizens. The LGBTQ community is under attack, and the Trump-Pence administration is fueling the flames.” Three years ago, Climo gained notoriety after local media reported that he planned to patrol his Las Vegas neighborhood while carrying an AR-15-style assault rifle and survival knife. Climo abandoned his plan after neighbors complained, instead saying he would join a neighborhood watch group. Despite white supremacists being responsible for all race-based domestic terrorism in 2018, the Trump administration reportedly blocked a report stating as much from reaching Congress. It has also reduced or eliminated funding and programs designed to combat white supremacists, according to New Civil Rights Movement. l

Community HIV TESTING at Whitman-

THURSDAY, August 15

Walker Health. 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 2:30-5 p.m. at 1525 14th St. NW, and 9 a.m-12 p.m. and 2-5 p.m. at the Max Robinson Center, 2301 MLK Jr. Ave. SE. For an appointment, call 202-745-7000 or visit


Federico’s Ristorante Italiano to discuss Love on Top: A Firefighter Romance by Kristine Cayne. Everyone welcome. 7:30 p.m. 519 23rd St. S., Arlington, Va. Please RSVP in advance by emailing


offers free HIV testing and HIV services (by appointment). 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Decatur Center, 1400 Decatur St. NW. To arrange an appointment, call 202-291-4707, or visit


session at Takoma Aquatic Center. 7:30-9 p.m. 300 Van Buren St. NW. For more information, visit


ning/walking/social club welcomes runners of all ability levels for exercise in a fun and supportive environment, with socializing afterwards. Route distances vary. For meeting places and more information, visit


LGBTQ square-dancing group, features an opportunity to learn about and practice various forms of modern square dancing. No partner required. Please dress casually. 7:30-9:30 p.m. National City Christian Church, 5 Thomas Circle NW. For more info, call 202-930-1058 or visit


practice. The team is always looking for new members. All welcome. 7-9 p.m. Harry Thomas Recreation Center, 1743 Lincoln Rd. NE. For more information, visit


Northern Virginia social group meets for happy hour at Sheraton in Reston. All welcome. 7-9 p.m. 11810 Sunrise Valley Drive, second-floor bar. For more information, visit



The DC Center holds a meeting of its POLY DISCUSSION GROUP, for people interested in polyamory, non-monogamy or other nontraditional relationships. 7-8 p.m. 2000 14th St. NW, Suite 105. Visit


SMYAL’s Q Chat Space is a new platform to foster online discussions among LGBTQ youth.


MYAL OFFERS A WEALTH OF PROGRAMMING FOR LGBTQ youth, four nights a week, every week. That includes special programming based on fun activities and dedicated support programs, such as trans and non-binary nights on Tuesdays, and discussion of health and wellness topics on Thursdays — including PrEP referrals, safe sex, healthy relationships, consent, and communication with partners. But, says Rebecca York, SMYAL’s community engagement and youth leadership manager, despite its efforts some youth are still not engaged. “We have been trying to figure out how to reach young kids who can’t necessarily make it to our drop in programming or in-school programming for whatever reason,” she says. “And we turned out a lot of ideas, but nothing ever really stuck.” In June, SMYAL found its answer: Q Chat Space, a chat-based platform that’s the result of collaboration between CenterLink, a network of LGBTQ community centers, PFLAG, and Planned Parenthood Federation of America. On the Q Chat Space website, youth can “check in” and participate in live discussions, led by a facilitator, about a designated topic. Afterwards, they can chat more informally, and potentially form friendships outside of the group. “The conversations are pretty self-guided by the young folk,” says York. “We are just there to make sure that we are getting to the heart of the issue, or if they are looking for resources, we have them on hand.” Deborah Levine, director of LGBTQ YouthLink, notes that SMYAL is one of seven nonprofit LGBTQ centers across the country partnering with CenterLink to launch Q Chat Space. There are 10 discussion groups in total, with at least one occurring daily throughout the week. “The beauty of this is that SMYAL can promote and encourage the youth here in your key area to attend any of the groups, even though their colleagues out in Arizona are handling Tuesdays,” says Levine. “Youth can join from anywhere, it doesn’t matter.” Levine believes Q Chat Space is already having a positive impact on those who use it. “Just the other day, a youth said, ‘Online is so much easier to talk to people, because in person I feel that there are so many expectations I need to meet,’” she recounts. “‘But online, I am free to be me.’” —John Riley To learn more about Q Chat Space, or to sign up and access discussions, visit SMYAL is located at 410 7th St. SE, Washington, D.C. For more information, call 202-546-5940 or visit

Lane, Suite 210, Alexandria, Va., offers $30 “rapid” HIV testing and counseling by appointment only. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Must schedule special appointment if seeking testing after 2 p.m. Call 703823-4401.


offers free, rapid HIV testing. Appointment needed. 1012 14th St. NW, Suite 700. To arrange an appointment, call 202-8498029.

STI TESTING at Whitman-

Walker Health. 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 2-3 p.m. at both 1525 14th St. NW and the Max Robinson Center, 2301 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave. SE. Testing is intended for those without symptoms. For an appointment call 202-745-7000 or visit


Narcotics Anonymous Meeting. The group is independent of UHU. 6:30-7:30 p.m., 3636 Georgia Ave. NW. For more information, call 202-446-1100.

FRIDAY, August 16 AQUA DC, the group for queer and trans Asians and Pacific Islanders, holds SPILL THE TEA, its monthly social event. Come meet other LGBTQ API individuals and help plan what events you’d like to see carried out in the future. 6-8 p.m. Baan Thai Restaurant, 1326 14th St. NW. For more information, email

GAY DISTRICT, a group for

GBTQQI men between the ages of 18-35, meets on the first and third Fridays of each month. 8:30-9:30 p.m. The DC Center. 2000 14th St. NW, Suite 105. For more information, visit The DC Center hosts an LGBTQ GAME NIGHT where participants can play board and card games and socialize with other people from across the LGBTQ spectrum. All welcome. 7-9 p.m. 2000 14th St. NW, Suite 105. Visit



Weekly Events ANDROMEDA TRANSCULTURAL HEALTH offers free HIV testing

and HIV services (by appointment). 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Decatur Center, 1400 Decatur St. NW. To arrange an appointment, call 202-291-4707, or visit

BET MISHPACHAH, founded by

members of the LGBT community, holds Friday evening Shabbat services in the DC Jewish Community Center’s Community Room. 8 p.m. 1529 16th St. NW. For more information, visit

DC AQUATICS CLUB holds a prac-

tice session at Howard University. 6:30-8 p.m. Burr Gymnasium, 2400 6th St. NW. For more information, visit

HIV TESTING at Whitman-Walker Health. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at 1525 14th St. NW. For an appointment, call 202-745-7000 or visit


Join Bet Mishpachah, D.C.’s LGBTQ synagogue, for an informal PARSHA BRUNCH and discussion of this week’s Torah portion. Bagels will be served. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. The DC Center, 2000 14th St. NW, Suite 105. For more information, visit

KHUSH DC, a support group for

LGBTQ South Asians, hosts a meeting at The DC Center. 1:30-3 p.m. 2000 14th St. NW, Suite 105. For more information, visit The DC Center hosts a monthly LGBT ASYLEES SUPPORT MEETING AND DINNER for LGBT refugees and asylum seekers. 5-7 p.m. 2000 14th St. NW, Suite 105. For more information, visit www. The DC Center hosts a meeting of its LGBTQ PEOPLE OF COLOR SUPPORT GROUP, facilitated by Dakia Davis. 1-3 p.m. 2000 14th St. NW, Suite 105. For more information, visit

Weekly Events

Lane, Suite 210, Alexandria, Va., offers $30 “rapid” HIV testing and counseling by appointment only. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Must schedule special appointment if seeking testing after 2 p.m. Call 703-823-4401.

DC AQUATICS CLUB holds a prac-


walking/social club welcomes runners of all ability levels for exercise in a fun and supportive environment, with socializing afterwards. Route distance will be 3-6 miles. Walkers meet at 9:30 a.m. and runners at 10 a.m. at 23rd & P Streets NW. For more information, visit

offers free, rapid HIV testing. Appointment needed. 1012 14th St. NW, Suite 700. To arrange an appointment, call 202-849-8029.


affirming social group for ages 11-24. 4-6 p.m. 1419 Columbia Road NW. Contact Tamara, 202-3190422,

SMYAL’S REC NIGHT provides a

social atmosphere for LGBTQ and questioning youth, featuring dance parties, vogue nights, movies and games. 4-7 p.m. For more info, email

SATURDAY, August 17 CHRYSALIS arts & culture group

visits the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond to see its lavish exhibition on Pompeii: The Immortal City. Admission is $25 for adults, $23.50 for seniors. Lunch in neighborhood. Carpool at 9 a.m. from the East Falls Church Metro Kiss & Ride lot to form carpools. Return between 7 and 8 p.m. For more information, contact Craig, 202-462-0535 or


tice session at Montgomery College Aquatics Club. 8:30-10 a.m. 7600 Takoma Ave., Takoma, Md. For more information, visit


SUNDAY, August 18 Volunteers are needed to help prepare CASA RUBY’S MONTHLY DINNER. Held on the third Sunday of each month, in conjunction with The DC Center and Food Rescue DC, the event provides a hot meal to those housed at Casa Ruby. Homemade or store bought meals welcome. 7-8 p.m. Casa Ruby Shelter, 1216 Kennedy St. NW. For more information, contact lamar@, jon@thedccenter. org, or visit

Weekly Events LGBT-inclusive ALL SOULS


celebrates Low Mass at 8:30 a.m., High Mass at 11 a.m. 2300 Cathedral Ave. NW. 202-232-4244,


BETHEL CHURCH-DC progressive and radically inclusive church holds services at 11:30 a.m. 2217 Minnesota Ave. SE. 202-248-1895,


practice session at Wilson Aquatic Center. 9:30-11 a.m. 4551 Fort Dr. NW. For more information, visit


walking/social club welcomes runners of all ability levels for exercise in a fun and supportive environment, with socializing afterwards. Route distances vary. For meeting places and more information, visit

DIGNITYUSA offers Roman

Catholic Mass for the LGBT community. All welcome. Sign interpreted. 6 p.m. St. Margaret’s Church, 1820 Connecticut Ave. NW. For more information, visit

FAIRLINGTON UNITED METHODIST CHURCH is an open, inclusive church. All welcome, including the LGBTQ community. Member of the Reconciling Ministries Network. Services at 9:30 and 11:00 a.m. 3900 King Street, Alexandria, Va. 703-671-8557. For more info, visit


welcomes all to 10:30 a.m. service, 945 G St. NW. For more info, visit or call 202-628-4317.

FRIENDS MEETING OF WASHINGTON meets for worship, 10:30 a.m., 2111 Florida Ave. NW, Quaker House Living Room (next to Meeting House on Decatur Place), 2nd floor. Special welcome to lesbians and gays. Handicapped accessible from Phelps Place gate. Hearing assistance. Visit

HOPE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST welcomes GLBT community for worship. 10:30 a.m., 6130 Old Telegraph Road, Alexandria. Visit


new age church & learning center. Sunday Services and Workshops event. 5419 Sherier Place NW. Visit Join LINCOLN


an inclusive, loving and progressive faith community every Sunday. 11 a.m. 1701 11th Street NW, near R in Shaw/Logan neighborhood. Visit


Sunday worship at 8:30 or 11 a.m. Childcare is available at both services. Welcoming LGBT people for 25 years. 212 East Capitol St. NE. Visit


by Rev. Emma Chattin. Children’s Sunday School, 11 a.m. 10383 Democracy Lane, Fairfax. For more info, call 703-691-0930 or visit


services at 9 a.m. (ASL interpreted) and 11 a.m. Children's Sunday School at 11 a.m. 474 Ridge St. NW. For more info, call 202-638-7373 or visit


GLBT fellowship, offers gospel worship, 8:30 a.m., and traditional worship, 11 a.m. 5 Thomas Circle NW. For more info, call 202-232-0323 or visit


a Christ-centered, interracial, welcoming-and-affirming church, offers service at 10 a.m. 680 I St. SW. For more info, call 202-5544330 or visit


multi-ethnic Christian Community” offers services in English, 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., and in Spanish at 5:15 p.m. 1525 Newton St. NW. For more info, call 202-232-0900 or visit


ing-and-affirming congregation, offers services at 10 a.m. Virginia Rainbow UU Ministry. 4444 Arlington Blvd. For more info, visit


invites LGBTQ families and individuals of all creeds and cultures to join the church. Services 9:15 and 11:15 a.m. 10309 New Hampshire Ave. For more info, visit


ing and inclusive church. GLBT Interweave social/service group meets monthly. Services at 11 a.m., Romanesque sanctuary. 1810 16th St. NW. For more info, call 202-387-3411 or visit

MONDAY, August 19

Weekly Events

The Metro D.C. chapter of PFLAG, a support group for parents, family members and allies of the LGBTQ community, holds its monthly meeting at The DC Center. 7-9 p.m. 2000 14th St. NW, Suite 105. For more information, visit


Weekly Events



practice session at Dunbar Aquatic Center. 7:30-9 p.m. 101 N St. NW. For more information, visit


welcomes musicians of all abilities to join its Monday night rehearsals. The group hosts marching/color guard, concert, and jazz ensembles, with performances year round. Please contact Membership@ to inquire about joining one of the ensembles or visit The DC Center hosts COFFEE


14th St. NW. For more information, call 202-682-2245 or visit

US HELPING US hosts a black

gay men’s evening affinity group for GBT black men. Light refreshments provided. 7-9 p.m. 3636 Georgia Ave. NW. 202-446-1100. Visit


p.m. Newcomers with at least basic swimming ability always welcome. Takoma Aquatic Center, 300 Van Buren St. NW. For more information, contact Tom, 703-299-0504 or, or visit

TUESDAY, August 20 CENTER BI, a group of The DC

Center, hosts a monthly roundtable discussion around issues of bisexuality. 7-8 p.m. 2000 14th St. NW, Suite 105. Visit


of The DC Center hosts a “Packing Party,” where volunteers assemble safe-sex kits of condoms and lube. 7-9 p.m. 2000 14th St. NW, Suite 105. For more information, visit

and HIV services (by appointment). 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Decatur Center, 1400 Decatur St. NW. To arrange an appointment, call 202-291-4707, or visit session at Takoma Aquatic Center. 7:30-9 p.m. 300 Van Buren St. NW. For more information, visit


walking/social club welcomes runners of all ability levels for exercise in a fun and supportive environment, with socializing afterwards. Route distances vary. For meeting places and more information, visit

DC SCANDALS RUGBY holds practice. The team is always looking for new members. All welcome. 7-9 p.m. Harry Thomas Recreation Center, 1743 Lincoln Rd. NE. For more information, visit


HIV testing and STI screening and treatment every Tuesday. 5-6:30 p.m. Rainbow Tuesday LGBT Clinic, Alexandria Health Department, 4480 King St. 703746-4986 or text 571-214-9617.

HIV TESTING at Whitman-Walker

Health. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at 1525 14th St. NW, and 9 a.m-12:30 p.m. and 1:30-5 p.m. at the Max Robinson Center, 2301 MLK Jr. Ave. SE. For an appointment, call 202-745-7000 or visit


Lane, Suite 210, Alexandria, Va., offers $30 “rapid” HIV testing and counseling by appointment only. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Must schedule special appointment if seeking testing after 2 p.m. Call 703-823-4401.


offers free, rapid HIV testing. Appointment needed. 1012 14th St. NW, Suite 700. To arrange an appointment, call 202-849-8029 or visit


holds an LGBT-focused meeting every Tuesday, 7 p.m. at St. George’s Episcopal Church, 915 Oakland Ave., Arlington, just steps from Virginia Square Metro. Handicapped accessible. Newcomers welcome. For more info, call Dick, 703-521-1999 or email



STI TESTING at Whitman-Walker

Health. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at both 1525 14th St. NW and the Max Robinson Center, 2301 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave. SE. Testing is intended for those without symptoms. For an appointment call 202-745-7000 or visit

HIV TESTING at Whitman-Walker

Health. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. at 1525 14th St. NW, and 9 a.m-12:30 p.m. and 1:30-5 p.m. at the Max Robinson Center, 2301 MLK Jr. Ave. SE. For an appointment, call 202-745-7000 or visit

US HELPING US hosts a support

JOB CLUB, a weekly support pro-

Whitman-Walker Health holds its weekly GAY MEN’S HEALTH AND WELLNESS/STD CLINIC. Patients are seen on a walk-in basis. No-cost screening for HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia. Hepatitis and herpes testing available for a fee. Testing starts at 6 p.m, but should arrive early to ensure a spot. 1525 14th St. NW. For more information, visit

WEDNESDAY, August 21 BOOKMEN DC, an informal men’s

gay-literature group, discusses Ronald Firbank’s 1926 novella Concerning the Eccentricities of Cardinal Pirelli at The DC Center. All are welcome. 7:30 p.m. 2000 14th St. NW, Suite 105. Visit www.

Weekly Events AD LIB, a group for freestyle con-

versation, meets about 6-6:30 p.m., Steam, 17th and R NW. All welcome. For more information, call Fausto Fernandez, 703-732-5174.


and HIV services (by appointment). 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Decatur Center, 1400 Decatur St. NW. To arrange an appointment, call 202-291-4707, or visit


holds a practice session at Dunbar Aquatic Center. 7:30-9 p.m. 101 N St. NW. For more information, visit


group for LGBT people looking to quit cigarettes and tobacco use, holds a weekly support meeting at The DC Center. 7-8 p.m. 2000 14th St. NW, Suite 105. For more information, visit


offers Wednesday worship 7:15 a.m. and 12:05 p.m. All welcome. 118 N. Washington St., Alexandria. 703-549-1450,

Support group for LGBTQ youth ages 13-21 meets at SMYAL. 5-6:30 p.m. 410 7th St. SE. For more information, contact Rebecca York, 202567-3165, or visit group for black gay men 40 and older. 7-9 p.m., 3636 Georgia Ave. NW. Call 202-446-1100.



gram for job entrants and seekers, meets at The DC Center. 6-7:30 p.m. 2000 14th St. NW, Suite 105. For more info, email or visit


Lane, Suite 210, Alexandria, Va., offers $30 “rapid” HIV testing and counseling by appointment only. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Must schedule special appointment if seeking testing after 2 p.m. Call 703-823-4401 or visit


free, rapid HIV testing. No appointment needed. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. 1012 14th St. NW, Suite 700. For more information, call 202-849-8029 or visit

NOVASALUD offers free HIV

testing. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. 2049 N. 15th St., Suite 200, Arlington. Appointments: 703-789-4467. Visit

STI TESTING at Whitman-Walker

Health. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at both 1525 14th St. NW and the Max Robinson Center, 2301 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave. SE. Testing is intended for those without symptoms. For an appointment call 202-745-7000 or visit


p.m. Newcomers with at least basic swimming ability always welcome. Takoma Aquatic Center, 300 Van Buren St. NW. For more information, contact Tom, 703-299-0504 or, or visit l



Decriminalizing sex work is a step that can start a monumental series of changes in our community.


By Alexis Arrington

N JUNE, THE DC CENTER FOR THE LGBT Community erupted with anger and sadness as news spread of a weekend filled with anti-LGBTQ hate crimes. As the details of Zoe Spears’ death, marking the 10th transgender woman of color to be murdered this year, spread, it once again became clear that the targeting of Black Trans Women Sex Workers is an epidemic that needs attention and action. At The DC Center, we are constantly hearing stories from the black, trans, working community of harassment imposed by the current legislation in D.C. We are dedicated to ensuring the safety of those in our community and feel that decriminalizing sex work is the best way to ensure those who are working on the streets have access to resources and safety they need to survive. The concept of sex work is a broad umbrella term that encompasses many different professions, but overall, sex work is a way for people to provide for themselves. Decriminalizing sex work promotes a safe environment for persons involved, enabling them to earn a living without being stigmatized, victimized, or arrested. Decriminalization is opposed to legalizing sex work, which would place bureaucratic controlled regulations leading to further discrimination. Under current D.C. law, sex workers are more likely to experience violence from different actors in their community, from those who purchase sex, and the police who are expected to protect them. While sex work is not inherently violent, the criminalization places sex workers at higher risk. Because of the fear of arrest, sex workers often move to isolated areas to avoid the watchful eye of police and thus put themselves in more danger of being victims of violence. When sex workers experience violence, they are unable to report it to the police because they will receive legal repercussions, and this leads to a spherical effect of violence. Criminalization pits police and sex workers against each other, allowing for violence to permit and for the vulnerable members of our community to be continuously victimized. By decriminalizing sex work, it empowers the workers to come forward and report violence, without fear of arrests or other repercussions. Furthermore, decriminalization will lead to the most significant opportunity for funding for health programs, which may include better access to condoms, safety screen-

ings of clients, reduction of STIs and sexual abuse, and sex worker-led programs. The combination of programs provided to sex workers and the lack of fear of harm or arrest would enable workers to access health services without discrimination from healthcare providers. In a society that criminalizes sex work, black and brown women, girls, trans and gender non-conforming folks are victimized continuously at a higher rate than other communities. Current laws intrude into private behaviors of women and LGBTQ people who make up the majority of sex workers worldwide, and this hurts our entire community. When one of us is down, we all fall, which is why it is crucial that we all join the fight to decriminalize sex work. This year, the Community Safety and Health Amendment Act of 2019 was introduced into the D.C. Council. If passed, it would increase the public health and access to safety by removing criminal penalties associated with sex work. This bill would not only decriminalize sex work, but it would create measures to ensure safety for our communities. The call to support sex workers in the effort of decriminalization falls on all of us — members of the LGBTQ community, straight and cis allies, and every member of the D.C. community. If the council passes the bill, we will be one step closer to ensuring safety for our female and trans, Black and brown, old and young, and all other community members who need protection from violence. We may be one step closer to ensuring that another trans woman of color isn't killed for trying to make just enough money for dinner. We may be one step closer to ensuring that all of us are safe from stigma, persecution, and discrimination. Decriminalizing sex work is a straightforward step, but it is a step that can start a monumental series of changes in our community. l

“When one of us is down, we all fall, which is why it is crucial that we all join the fight to decriminalize sex work.”

Alexis Arrington is a third-year student at American University, originally hailing from San Diego, Calif. Currently, she is interning at The DC Center as a Social Media and Advocacy Intern. The opinions expressed in Forum do not necessarily reflect those of Metro Weekly or its employees. Add your voice to Forum. Learn how at



The Costumes of


Gregg Barnes pulled out all the colorful, glittery, glamorous stops when designing the 337 costumes for Disney’s Aladdin. Interview


R andy Shulman

A laddin Costume Illustrations Photography

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OU DON'T BECOME A COSTUME DESIGNer to become famous,” says Gregg Barnes. And yet, while Barnes may not be a household name, chances are, if you’ve seen any Broadway show (or touring production) over the past few decades, you’ve experienced his work. And what work it is. The 62-year-old is responsible for the costumes in some of Broadway’s most popular hits — Kinky Boots, Legally Blonde, Elf, Something Rotten, the revival of Flower Drum Song and, in London, Dreamgirls. He’s been nominated for a handful of Tonys, winning for The Drowsy Chaperone in 2006 and again in 2012 for the Eric Schaeffer-helmed revival of Follies. And in 2016, he won England’s prestigious Olivier Award for Kinky Boots. Barnes has designed costumes for The Radio City Christmas Spectacular and a multitude of ice shows. He has a thing for spectacle and larger-than-life flourish, and yet his work is replete with fine detail, nuance, and precision. His costumes are as much about the person wearing them as they are about the show he’s designing for. “It's rare to have someone care as much as he does,” says Signature’s Eric Schaeffer, who has employed Barnes several times, including for the 2006 revival of Mame at The Kennedy Center starring Christine Baranski, and Allegro at Signature, for which Barnes received a Helen Hayes award. “What I love about working with him is that he is so dedicated to what he does and is so into the sense of detail,” says Schaeffer. “It's not just the overall look of a piece. It's every minute detail that he takes care in. 26



company by

Gregg Barnes Deen



“And he's the nicest man to work with,” the director continues. “I mean, I've never heard him raise his voice or anything. He's just pure joy to be around. And his renderings are all like pieces of art that should be framed in a gallery. I have one hanging in my house that I look at every day.” Barnes’ work is on “living display” in D.C. in Disney’s Aladdin, currently bedazzling the Kennedy Center Opera House through September 7. Based on the 1992 animated film, the musical is an exuberant creation, filled with eye-popping, spare-no-expense design, a handsome, massive cast, and genuine magic (you figure out how that carpet soars around the stage without the aid of visible wires). “Disney really approaches their Broadway musicals with passion,” says Barnes. “When Broadway’s Aladdin came out in 2011, we were not nominated for any design awards. Not just the Tonys, I mean across the boards. Tom Schumacher [president of the Disney Theatrical Group] said, ‘You know, it's just part of our destiny. We are here to do beautiful work.’ Disney celebrates artists, they celebrate storytelling. And, of course, it's a certain kind of story that they're known for telling. I can't say enough about how much the experience working on Aladdin has meant to me.” Indeed, Aladdin is something of a pinnacle achievement for Barnes, utilizing every bit of his design acumen, as you’ll see in the selection of original sketches that adorn the following pages. Barnes, who in conversation is breezy and infectiously joyous, will be the first to admit that naturalism is not his thing. He has an affinity for sparkle. “It comes to me quite naturally,” he says. “Because of my literature background in college, I kept hoping that maybe the

Guthrie would call and I would get to do Hamlet. But that never happened. It’s been all sparkle tights and showgirls. I haven't ever done a proper ballet. A very little, small amount of work in the opera world, a very small festival in New Jersey. So my career has really been all-singing, all-dancing.” METRO WEEKLY: Before we get into the craft of costumes, let’s start

with how you came to be in this career. GREGG BARNES: I grew up in San Diego. My dad was an elementary school principal, and my mom was a mom — you know, a homemaker. They weren't great patrons of the arts, for sure. We were a “little league family,” and I had a brother who filled that place. I loved reading, and I loved fantasy, and I loved stories. Stories have always been my passion, from the time I was a little kid. So I think my parents had a bit of a learning curve with how to nurture a child who didn't fill the expected path in terms of their experience and history. And they were amazing at trying to get inside my little head. But I was a loner, for sure. Very much in my room. I loved to make things. It's in my DNA to create stuff with my hands, so I was always up there making puppets. I was shy, introspective, and fearful. I didn't join the drama club right out of the gate. I didn't want to be onstage. So I knew that there was that kind of push/pull. When I got to college, I was a lit major. I was not in the costume part of it at all. I had never drawn, or sewn, or done any of the arts related to being a designer. I thought I would teach. I didn't really know anything else. I had a big, extended family, and they were all teachers. So I thought, well, I'll teach. Maybe teach English and be the drama guy in a high school. So I started to take these classes, because I figured the drama guy needs to know how to light a show, and figure out a set, and how to costume a show. And when I got into the costume part of it, it was just like — I can't explain it — it was like a sponge. Every single thing that happened, every single thing that was said in that room, I just owned. Instantly. I didn't really, at the moment, know that I was finding my passion. And it was not even a design class. It was a costume history class. We'd been studying the 18th century, talking about Sheridan, and then we would go do research and make a costume plate. The teacher said to me, "We have a professional designer coming here to mentor and speak with our Masters' students, and I think you should go talk to this guy." This was about a week before I graduated with my BFA in Dramatic Lit. And I went and talked to him. 28


His name was Robert Morgan [The Full Monty and How the Grinch Stole Christmas on Broadway], and I owe him my entire career, and really life, in a way. He said, "You need to go to New York. This is extraordinary work. You have a gift." Honestly, it wasn't on my radar. But my friend Kathy Najimy — she also went to San Diego State — was waiting for me outside the door, in the hallway, during this interview. The door was open and she could hear what Bob was saying to me. And when I came out, she was kind of weepy. I said, "What's the matter?" And she said, "That was incredible. That guy just painted a picture of a life for you that you can't even comprehend, one that so many of us aspire to and want. We crave this other, professional life. And he thinks you could have one." So, if it wasn't for him and for her, I never would have packed up, moved to New York and went to NYU. When I got to school, I thought, "Oh, my gosh. I'm a phony here. These students, this has probably been their passion for their whole life. And they've gone to art school.” But I got there and I thought, "No. I fit in. This is a home for me." So that's how I got into it. MW: Your talent was instinctual. BARNES: Well, I worked really hard at it, I have to say. But I did notice in the class that it came to me much easier than it did to most people. I always wonder, do we have the potential to be an incredible polo player, but never got on a horse? What if there's something in us and somebody touched the right button to push us to our potential. I feel that way about this experience. MW: It's a challenge to break into theater and attain the level you’ve reached. What do you ascribe that to? BARNES: I think luck plays a huge part in it. You have to be ready when your luck comes. You have to be fearless, and prepared. But so many people that I have known over the years, that were truly, just exquisitely talented, end up leaving because it is so difficult. I think one of my gifts was my work ethic. Also, I didn't have any other passions. I didn't want to be anywhere, doing anything else. I didn't care about relationships. I didn't care about travel. I didn't care about partying, or all the things when you're young. I wasn't out raising hell. I was honing my drawing skills. MW: When did you come out? BARNES: I didn't explode out of a closet. Actually, I've only had two partners in my life, one female and one male. Sort of a late bloomer. I probably didn't kiss anybody until I was 21, which is sort of shocking. I'm kind of proud of it. I’m sure I was home

drawing. I should have been out kissing. But I always knew. I didn't have any question mark about it. And when I finally came to terms with it publicly, I didn't make a lot of thrashings around. I knew who I was when I was 12. MW: You said one of your partners was a woman, and one was a man. Do you consider yourself bisexual? BARNES: Not now. I hope she doesn't mind my saying, because my first partner was Kathy Najimy. Such a funny thing. She is so extraordinary. I've never loved anybody in the same way. We just clicked on every level except for the sexual part of it. That was fine, too, but I was always worrying about “What if?” I kept thinking, “Well, what if I actually take this to its ultimate, stereotypical goal, and we get married and we have kids, and then I am the one who goes outside the relationship because I have this other thing that is so important to my identity.” But she was my first partner, and I have to say I've never loved anybody like I loved her. And still do. She's an extraordinary, inspiring person. MW: She is a force of nature, and so warm and giving. She told a story in a recent interview we did about how she coerced her way backstage at a Bette Midler concert posing as a singing telegram in a bunny costume. BARNES: Here's a fun fact: That rabbit suit that she wore to give Bette her singing telegram? It was a costume I had designed for Alice in Wonderland at the local community college. And she nipped it up at the end of the show. MW: You’ve worked a lot of ice shows and glitzier productions. Do you think there's a gay sensibility to these types of show costumes? BARNES: I wonder. There are times when either a woman or a straight man will have designed something, and you'll hear somebody say, "Well, they needed a gay man to do this. That wasn't the right person." I think it irks a lot of people that I laugh at that. I think when you're a little kid and you're gay — maybe in my generation — you are fascinated by things that are fantastic. And things that are pretty. Things that you're not supposed to be drawn to. You are supposed to be thinking about baseballs, and mitts, and footballs. And then you watch The Wizard of Oz and there's Glinda the Good Witch, and you think, "That just speaks to me. It's so beautiful. It glitters, it shimmers, and she's strangely maternal. And yet she's all dressed up like a fairy." I think those things get imprinted. MW: Let’s move to Aladdin. I saw it for the first time the other night, and wow, those costumes are — really, there are no words

for what happens on stage costume-wise in this show. I don't think I've ever seen anything like it. From a costume designer perspective, how do you pay tribute to both what they did in the original animated movie, but also make it work for a stage production? BARNES: When we began the process of working on the show, Tom Schumacher, the head of Disney Theatrical, made it clear, very generously, that he wanted us to open the box up, to not put the animated film strictly on stage. We had a lot of discussions, in this case, with Casey Nicholaw, who directed and choreographed it, about exactly where we would honor the animation and where we could have license to run. Of course, it's helpful that it's a beautiful film. It's so beautifully thought through and beautifully designed. One thing that Casey said early in the process was, "Why don't we honor the spirit of animation in general," meaning that often in animation, the backgrounds are always very complicated, because they only have to paint them one time, and then the characters tend to be simpler and more color-blocked in their essence. So when you see the marketplace, for instance, there's a yellow guy, and a turquoise guy, and a green guy, and a squash-colored female, and a raspberry female. In essence, they sit against the backdrop in the way that animation does. And within those colors I plowed in as much texture and interest as I could. Then I thought, "If I was a 7-year-old, 10-year-old, 100-year-old who loved this film, and I came to see the show, when Aladdin appears and when Jasmine appears, I would want to have that thrill of recognition, like ‘There’s my Disney hero. There's my Disney princess.’” Those costumes are true in spirit to the animation. And yet I hopefully elevated them in a way that made them carry a lot of extra storytelling and kind of an old-world Hollywood glamor. MW: You pack a lot of different styles into the show — everything from Bollywood to glittery chorus-line style outfits to feathery showgirls to Zoot Suits. It feels as though it encompasses almost every possible genre. BARNES: It's true. Aladdin’s costumes are like a complicated stew. When we started doing the research part of this, I made folders. We had Orientalism — which is kind of a Victorian's view of the world, this exotic world of the Middle East. And then we had Hollywood Kitsch. And we had the Cotton Club. And we had belly dancing. We had every single thing you could imagine. It was a little bit schizophrenic. Somebody said, "Oh, wouldn't it be funny if at the opening of the second act, the Genie was sort like from the Cotton Club?" AUGUST 15, 2019 • METROWEEKLY.COM




I had this piece of research on Zoot Suits. We looked at it. We thought, "Ironically, the pants look like the Genie's pants.” We can introduce him in a way that sort of honors this anachronistic spirit of the film, where Robin Williams brought his amazing imagination to the film. Hopefully, we've achieved that, but it took a lot of different paths to get to a single road. MW: The color of that suit in particular is sublime. A lot of these costumes look like they're very substantial, but they're much lighter than what we would imagine, I’m guessing. BARNES: Yeah. Whenever there is dance in what you're working on, you want to have the clothes be able to catch the wind, and to be a partner in the dance in some way. Early in the workshopping process, we built a series of skirts in different shapes, with different volumes, and different patterning. Even maybe more unusually, we did a lot of men's harem pants in different shapes. We found that if you spin, the pants catch the air. They fill with almost like a kind of buoyant life. We tried to always keep in mind that the clothes don't exist in a museum or on a runway. They exist to tell a story, to help the actor, to be a companion to everybody's collective vision. A lot of experimentation went in. Truthfully, some of the heaviest parts of the costumes are those that are laying on the body, like a corset or a beaded bra or beaded belt, things that don't depend on movement. If it's a

palace costume, for instance, you want it to have this sparkling kind of rich texture, but the skirts are always very, very light. MW: There are 337 costumes in the show, based on 137 original designs by you. Is Aladdin the biggest challenge you've ever had to meet? BARNES: In many ways, yes. It was about a four-year process, even though, of course, I had other irons in other fires that I was working on, but Aladdin was an epic undertaking. Every show depends on the collaboration and the elements hopefully being in harmony, but this one was particularly vast, just because of the numbers of things. The props guy came to me and said, "We want to build some racks to put in the wings to hold the turbans as the guys are coming off in the Prince Ali parade number, so that they're not being thrown into baskets. How many turbans are in the parade?" I said, "I think there are about eighty." He said, "No, no, no, no, not in the whole show. I just mean in the Price Ali parade." I said, "Yeah. I heard you. I think there are about eighty." He was gobsmacked. That one moment at the start of act two is about a three-minute number, and there are eighty costumes in it. As the actors go into the wings, they have about nine-to-fourteen seconds to change and get back onto the stage in a new color-palette

“When Aladdin appears and when Jasmine appears, those costumes are true in spirit to the animation. And yet I hopefully elevated them in a way that made them carry A LOT OF EXTRA STORYTELLING AND KIND OF AN OLD-WORLD HOLLYWOOD GLAMOR.” AUGUST 15, 2019 • METROWEEKLY.COM


costume. If you look at it carefully when it all starts, you can tell they look a little puffy at the top of the number, and then they get thinner as we get to the finish. MW: You’re stripping away costumes as they go. BARNES: Yeah. They layer up, maybe four different costumes. It's funny, because I think in some subliminal way the audience thinks, "There are eighty people back there," because we don't really reveal the quick changes on stage. In, for instance, the recent Cinderella, you see her spin and the dress changes, and you know that you're witnessing a tour de force moment of costume quick-changery, but with us, we do it all in the wings. It’s quite a feat, it takes a huge amount of coordination with the dance department, the dressers department, the financial department. All of those things have to get together to figure out how to do this in the most elegant way. MW: There are some visible quick changes in the show. The transformation of Aladdin into Prince Ali — that was a neat little trick. BARNES: I have to just say, "Disney Magic," because I can't reveal my methods. Also, Jafar changes two times right before your eyes. That was a nice little moment. MW: The stats also note there are 8,644 Swarovskî crystals on each

of the chorus men’s gold outfits in the “Friend Like Me” number. That’s astonishing. Isn’t that a ton of maintenance? BARNES: It is a ton of maintenance. The show is very, very complicated and in part, it is hard to maintain it, because the nature of a bead is that it's a piece of glass. You're putting it on with a piece of thread, and the glass is rubbing against that piece of thread. But, for instance, on that statistic, which I think is for the trousers on the men in the Cave of Wonders, we do a combination of things. Those are crystals — rhinestones — from Swarovskî that are applied with a glue with heat, and they really don't come off. In the center of that big starburst of stones, there is a custom-beaded side stripe. And that is the thing that takes the maintenance. MW: I would imagine using name-brand crystals like Swarovskî is more expensive than your standard-issue rhinestone. What does that choice mean artistically? BARNES: You always work within the box you're given, conceptually and economically. All of those things come into play. If the choice was to use a lesser quality product, I might think of the garment in a different way. I maybe wouldn't depend on the beautiful flash that a Swarovskî rhinestone brings to the table. I

“When you’re a little kid and you’re gay, you are fascinated by things that are fantastic and pretty. You watch The Wizard of Oz and there’s Glinda the Good Witch, and you think, ‘THAT JUST SPEAKS TO ME. IT GLITTERS, IT SHIMMERS.’” 32


“You work within the box you’re given, conceptually and economically. If the choice was to use a lesser quality product, I might think of the garment in a different way. I wouldn’t depend on THE BEAUTIFUL FLASH THAT A SWAROVSKÎ RHINESTONE BRINGS TO THE TABLE.” might do a different approach. But that was within the box that I was given to play with, and so you make choices. As with any business, really, there's a give-and-take to where the story is asking you to pull out all the stops. And that number is the place where you want to pull out all the stops. Swarovskî will love me saying this, but you're not going to get that flash and that beautiful shine from anything else. MW: Let’s be clear, when we say crystals, we're not talking about incredibly valuable crystals. BARNES: [Laughs.] No, no, no, no. It's not that precious a thing. I mean, the funny thing is the real cost with any costume is always in the labor. If you have a garment that cost — I'm going to just throw out a $5,000 figure, but it can be a $10,000 figure, it can be $20,000, sometimes costumes cost as much as a car — if you look at the materials that go into making the costume, that might be not even ten percent of that. Basically it's the labor. Worldwide, every shop has health benefits, and rent, and garbage pick-up, and electrical bills. Maintaining these huge spaces, a single costume shop may have maybe the entire floor of a building with eighty people working in it, so all of that is spread out over the cost of making a garment. In the case of rhinestones, I don't know exactly what the cost would be per unit of costume. Sometimes, too, we get a deal.

Like Swarovskî will sponsor. I think in London they sponsored Aladdin. When I did Dreamgirls there, the same thing happened. They gave us $100,000, basically like a gift card. I could buy that much of their product with this card, and in turn they get sponsorship. They do special events, and they film you working on things. They show how you're using the product, hopefully in imaginative and different ways. MW: Your drawings for Aladdin are gorgeous. I’m curious, are you ever surprised by the tangible results either in a good way or in a bad way? BARNES: Both, truthfully. I mean, of course, the hope is that when the actual costume comes out for the first time you will be delighted, and it will be more than you imagined. But there are times when it comes out, and you want to put a leash on it and walk it around the block. You never really know. I think it's why, when you look at any program, you'll see that the director very often works with the same team, because they have a history. You become like a family. They're hoping that you will deliver what you promised on that two-dimensional piece of paper. I take the sketching part very seriously, maybe in some ways too seriously, because nobody ever sees those. They're really there to inform the director what you're up to. MW: I’m glad you adhered to the original cartoon and allowed



Aladdin to be shirtless under the vest. One of the problems I had with the recent live-action movie was that they stuck him in like a Brooks Brothers shirt under the vest. I'm thinking, "This makes utterly no sense. He’s in the desert!" BARNES: We never considered for a second putting him in a shirt. I read a little blurb about that exact question, the decision to put him in a shirt in the movie. Somebody — I don't think it was even the designer — said that they thought it would be distracting for somebody to look at a naked torso for the arc of the film. I thought, "Wow. That never came up for us." We did have discussions about belly buttons, like how much belly button, especially on the women, should we show? Again, Tom Schumacher, in his wisdom, was like, "You know, if we have an issue, and somebody is picketing the theater because we're exploiting something, we'll deal with it then. But why don't we just make it beautiful?" MW: With all the shows you've done, is there a “favorite child?” BARNES: Oh, my God. It's like Sophie's Choice, isn't it? It took 34


fifteen years to get my first Broadway show after leaving NYU. And then it took another six to get my second one. Not to say that that's everybody's goal, but for me, that was always kind of one of the things that said, "You've arrived." So that first Broadway show was the original Side Show in 1997, which was not a commercial success at all. It only ran three months. But I remember I started weeping the morning of the opening night of that show. I've never cried that much — it just was so overwhelming. I had worked so hard to get to that night. And my family was there and they understood what a momentous thing it was that had happened for me. So I'll say Side Show, just because of the emotions, and the feeling like I finally feel like I maybe am starting. It was the first rung of the ladder. MW: Now you're pretty much the top of the ladder. BARNES: I always feel like I'm hanging on to somebody's shoe! But I bet everybody would say the same. I'm just thrilled to get to work at this level, when you're getting to work with the most incredible artisans. MW: You’ve been nominated for several Tonys and have won two for your work on Follies and The Drowsy Chaperone. What did it feel like to win? BARNES: Well, you know the first time I went, which was when I was nominated for the revival of Flower Drum Song, and when the moment came, I prayed not to win. "Please God, don't make me get up, and go up there on that stage, at Radio City, with 6,000 people." And at the time, they televised the design awards, which they no longer do. I was just so terrified of it. I'm not good at receiving awards. But I have to say, once you get through the horrible minute of saying everything you didn't mean to say, it is a sort of a — I don't know — it's like a lot of things in life, there's a ying and a yang to it. I don't do it to get awards, but when you get one, you think, “Attention was paid!” And sometimes, of course, you can sit and think, "Oh, I don't think that deserved it." Obviously, the flashier the project, the more likely it is to win. They’re not going to give a Tony to something that was modern dress work, even though that's so difficult to do. But in the big picture, I certainly love my Tonys. I have two of them, and I'm so honored to have them. You know, costumes are not acknowledged much. Nobody knows your name. I think maybe Edith Head, people know that name. But you're sort of an invisible part of the story, and yet, I think, a very important part of the show. And when anybody else wins a Tony for costume design, I always think, "Oh, this is a good deed in a naughty world." l Disney’s Aladdin runs through September 7, at the Kennedy Center Opera House. Tickets are $39 to $179. Call 202-467-4600, or visit


She Went South

Cate Blanchett gives a performance worth following in the contrived but moving Where’d You Go, Bernadette. By André Hereford


HERE THE GREAT CATE BLANCHETT GOES, GENERALLY ADVENTURE promises to follow, even if the vehicle is the lukewarm, late-summer dramedy Where’d You Go, Bernadette. The Oscar-winning Aussie consistently inhabits every role she undertakes with tremendous force and, paradoxically, abandon. If she believes in the journey of the person she’s portraying, the audience most likely will believe, too. That movie star magnetism didn’t necessarily sell Blanchett’s crystal skull-wielding Soviet agent in the Spielberg sequel that shall not be named, but her committed performance is practically enough to make an audience believe in Where’d You Go, Bernadette (HHHHH), based on the 2012 best-seller by Maria Semple. As well-to-do Seattle wife, mom, and relative recluse Bernadette Fox, Blanchett channels a woman spiraling slowly, then all too quickly, towards emotional and social breakdown. Swooping around as the pushiest parent at the private school attended by daughter Bee (Emma Nelson), Bernadette has allowed her gumption to curdle into abrasiveness. A former wunderkind architect who retreated utterly from her professional life, she might be suffering some form of social anxiety, or it might be a case of that vague, psychic fatigue that often plagues the bright but unfulfilled heroines of these cinematic Eat, Pray, Love excursions. Directed by Richard Linklater, Bernadette snuggles into place within a fairly reliable sub-genre, traceable past — Eat, Pray, Love, Under the Tuscan Sun, How Stella Got Her Groove Back to at least as far back as the 1989 hit Shirley Valentine. Call them “Mom’s last hurrah before the school year starts,” and pencil one in for August, or to drift down with the autumn leaves, to chart the creative and/or sexual awakening of a woman of

experience, who’s just been feeling constricted lately. Of course, “Mom’s last hurrah” movies aren’t just for moms, they’re for all of us — although uncommunicative husbands and boyfriends might not feel so well-represented by the genre. Bernadette’s neglectful spouse is tech wizard Elgie (played by aging-likefine-wine Billy Crudup), a Microsoft bigwig who seems distracted but not uncaring. The couple’s failures to connect are depicted with deft simplicity in one well-acted sequence cross-cutting between Bernadette and Elgie’s very different assessments of the twenty years they’ve lived in Seattle. At other times, their malaise seems based on the sort of contrived movie misunderstandings that normal adults could clear up in a few sentences. Linklater, who co-wrote the script with Holly Gent and Vince Palmo, awkwardly intersperses chilly, dramatic scenes of Bernadette and Elgie’s marital discord among scenes of her more comedic clashes with the snooty moms at Bee’s school, led by next-door neighbor Audrey (Kristen Wiig). Blanchett and Wiig, performers with very different acting styles, are an odd-couple onscreen pairing that oddly works. The



feud between Bernadette and Audrey, abetted by the shenanigans of Audrey’s mean-mom lieutenant Soo-Lin (Zoë Chao), escalates along totally predictable lines, but it’s still funny. Less funny, and even more predictable, the film’s back half, takes off with Bernadette in search of the self she forgot. But, rather than jaunting to the hot, tempting climes of Tuscany

or Greece, Bernadette chases a dream to the South Pole, or to somewhere close, that’s definitely not warm. She gets suspiciously far on her ability to persuade anyone who might stand in her way how much she really, really needs this. And she leaves behind in the Emerald City not just Elgie and the therapist, Dr. Kurtz (Judy Greer), that he’d turned to in an effort to get through to his wife, but she leaves behind her dear daughter Bee. The film might waste Megan Mullally and Laurence Fishburne, among others, in flat cameos, but the casting really pays off in the mother-daughter chemistry between Blanchett and Nelson as Bernadette and Bee. The only character whose point-of-view matters as much in the film as Bernadette’s, Bee projects a touching affection for her mom, and a fierce determination to protect her from anyone who would diminish her. Their devotion to each other survives Bernadette’s vanishing act, and sustains them through what might be the worst separation they might ever face. More than just driving the film’s race-to-the-finish climax, Bee’s beeline search for her mom keeps the movie afloat after the Bernadette-finding-herself plotline has gone dead in the water. l

Where’d You Go, Bernadette is rated PG-13, and opens nationwide on Friday, August 16. Visit





Big Little Lies


The phenomenal Ben Levi Ross leads a smoothly polished touring company of Dear Evan Hansen at the Kennedy Center. By André Hereford

EAR EVAN HANSEN ENTERED A WORLD PRE-TOO MANY THINGS TO mention, at a moment of unimaginable innocence compared to the here and now. The musical, with a book by Steven Levenson, and music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, had its world premiere at D.C.’s Arena Stage in 2015 and enjoyed a moment practically to itself at the forefront of a nuanced conversation about teens and depression, guns, suicide, and the pervasive influence of social media. The lore is long surrounding Michael Greif’s original production — perhaps most fervently among those who missed it — and the early revelation of seeing Ben Platt perform the title role. That was before Pasek and Paul had cemented their golden rep as the Oscar-winning lyricists of La La Land’s “City of Stars,” and composers of original songs like “This Is Me” for Hugh Jackman’s blockbuster hit The Greatest Showman. That was before director Greif took Evan Hansen to Broadway and the show earned six Tonys, including Best Musical and Best Actor for Platt. Eras and movements have come and gone since the show helped frame new ways of considering a host of hot-button issues — chiefly teenage mental health — and before shocking real-world events, from Parkland to presidential politics, kept reshaping the conversation at a grueling and violent pace. Dear Evan Hansen ( ) now comes back around in the touring production of Greif’s Broadway staging, booked for a four-week, sold-out run at the Kennedy Center, but no longer upholding the mantle of this season’s edgiest pop culture phenom about disaffected teens. In fact, a few years of audience-pleasing commercial success might have smoothed some of the show’s formerly sharp edges. As, say, NBC’s

Hairspray Live! is to John Waters’ film Hairspray, so does this touring iteration of Evan Hansen appear to be a well-executed version of a version of something that likely felt more authentic in an earlier form. Levenson’s book holds up as a fascinating story of a bad lie told with good intentions, and then spun by social media and hashtag activism into a paradigm-shifting crusade. Pasek and Paul’s plunking piano-pop score, however, might beg the question, “Dear Evan Hansen, why do so many of your songs sound the same?” Still, it’s hard to imagine anyone singing the title part any better than this production’s Ben Levi Ross. Ross, who understudied the role on Broadway, fully commands here as the leading man whose performance defines the mood and dynamics of this alternately comic, or profoundly tragic, tale. From his soaring “Waving Through a Window,” to his powerful “Words Fail,” and every poignant note in between, he carries Evan’s heavy singing load with a clean delivery that doesn’t sacrifice emotion for melodiousness. His Evan, desperate to connect with the family of loner classmate Connor Murphy (Marrick Smith), and particularly with Connor’s sister Zoe (Maggie McKenna), skirts an intriguing line between genuine and calculating, and



his singing is truly spectacular. He and McKenna duet warmly on “Only Us,” one of the show’s stronger examples of piano-pop uplift. McKenna’s Zoe stands out, in song or in tears, for looking, acting, and sounding like an actual teenager who’s navigating a terribly confusing time in her life. Jared Goldsmith, as Evan’s cynical friend Jared Kleinman — “We’re family friends. That’s a whole different thing, and you know it.” — likewise captures the sense and voice of a whip-smart teen with a lot to say, who reveals even more by what his words fail to say. By contrast, the parents in the play — Evan’s stressed-out single mom Heidi (Jessica Phillips), and Connor and Zoe’s combat-

ive parents Cynthia (Christiane Noll) and Larry (Aaron Lazar) — register as mere theatrical vessels for involving grownups in this important conversation. Phillips and Noll are convincing in their motherly roles, but the show really pulses to life with the interaction between the kids, Evan and Jared and Connor and Zoe, and Alana Beck (Phoebe Koyabe), the quiet classmate who seizes upon Evan Hansen’s big little lies in order to grab some ill-gotten glory for herself. There’s something so disappointingly dishonorable, yet credible, about Alana’s conduct in spinning fake news into a fullscale scam. Time will tell, but she might wind up someday being the show’s signature character. l


Dear Evan Hansen runs through September 8, at the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater. Tickets are $79 to $175. The show is sold-out, but last-minute tickets may become available for some performances. Check for availability. Call 202-467-4600, or visit

War Is Hell


The actors shine but the text perplexes in Ally Theatre’s underwhelming drama, The War Boys. By André Hereford

TRIO OF TALENTED YOUNG ACTORS GET STRANDED IN THE STARK desert night of playwright Naomi Wallace’s cryptic drama The War Boys (HHHHH). Perhaps familiar to some from the 2009 film adaptation, Ally Theatre’s production takes an oblique approach to Wallace’s story of three mismatched friends standing sentry at a remote section of the U.S.-Mexico border. David (Eli Pendry), Greg (Jhonny Maldonado), and George (Robert Pike) aren’t members of law enforcement, or any official government agency. They’re barely of drinking age, if that, and more a ragtag band of restless vigilantes than stalwart guardians of the nation’s borders. They’re scared, angry kids — southwestern analogues to the suburban teens in Dear Evan Hansen, but hopped up on beer and hateful rhetoric, and with way too much idle time on their hands. Bouncing off each other on their patch of Emily Lotz’s expansive desert set, evoc-

atively lit by Katie McCreary, the boys while away the night chasing migrants away from the border. They boast of a deal with the Feds to earn ten dollars-ahead apprehending the men, women, and children who might make it across, but the trio lends greater focus to the stories they tell each other in the dark. Pendry, as so-called “M-C-er” David — that is, middle-class and tightly wound — supplies a fuel line of post-collegiate resentment, and Maldonado is his combustible match as half-Texan, half-Mexican Greg. With Pike’s sensitive, working-class George, who lives to raise hell with his friends and take care of his ailing little brother, the trio conjures a potent atmosphere of macho anxiety and defensiveness. There’s sexual tension too, but no gay story content, despite the boys’ homoerotic habit of using each other to stand in for the women they fantasize about dominating. Their stories, some involving sexual assault and gun violence, sound both painfully real, and exaggerated for maximum shock value. And, relayed via chunky stretches of monologue, the boys’ posturing yarns combine for an unwieldy whole. Are they entertaining each other, or explaining themselves to...somebody important? As an exploration of young male conscience, it’s the play that leads the audience into the desert, then draws a gun but no conclusions. Director Matt Ripa sets a proper mood, but without lashing these wild boys to a defining rhythm or structure to help focus those meandering monologues. The War Boys’ schtick and crude follies gradually grow wearisome, even while their collective company retains a spark of suspense and intrigue. l

The War Boys runs through August 31 at Joe’s Movement Emporium, 3309 Bunker Hill Road, Mt. Rainier, Md. Tickets are $17 to 25. Call 301-699-1819, or visit 38


NightLife Photography by Ward Morrison




A League of Her Own & Pitchers - Friday, August 9 - Photography by Ward Morrison See and purchase more photos from this event at

DrinksDragDJsEtc... Thursday, August 15 A LEAGUE OF HER OWN Open 5pm-2am • Happy Hour: $2 off everything until 9pm • Video Games • Live televised sports

of Bud Products all night • Sports Leagues Night NUMBER NINE Happy Hour: 2 for 1 on any drink, 5-9pm • No Cover

GREEN LANTERN Happy Hour, 4-9pm • Shirtless Thursday, 10-11pm • Men in Underwear Drink Free, 12-12:30am • DJs BacK2bACk

PITCHERS Open 5pm-2am • Happy Hour: $2 off everything until 9pm • Video Games • Foosball • Live televised sports • Full dining menu till 9pm • Special Late Night menu till 11pm • Thirst Trap Thursdays, hosted by Venus Valhalla, 11pm-12:30am • Featuring a Rotating Cast of Drag Performers • Dancing until 1:30am

NELLIE’S SPORTS BAR Beat the Clock Happy Hour — $2 (5-6pm), $3 (6-7pm), $4 (7-8pm) • $15 Buckets

SHAW’S TAVERN Happy Hour, 4-7pm • $3 Miller Lite, $4 Blue Moon, $5 House Wines, $5 Rail

FREDDIE’S BEACH BAR Crazy Hour, 4-8pm • Karaoke, 9pm

Destinations A LEAGUE OF HER OWN 2317 18th St. NW 202-733-2568

Drinks • Half-Priced Pizzas and Select Appetizers • Half-Priced Bottles of Wine, 5pm-close TRADE Doors open 5pm • XL Happy Hour: Any drink normally served in a cocktail glass is served in an XL glass for the same price, 5-10pm • Beer and wine only $5 ZIEGFELD’S/SECRETS All male, nude dancers, 9pm-close • “New Meat” Open Dancers Audition • Music by DJ Don T. • Cover 21+

FREDDIE’S BEACH BAR Crazy Hour, 4-8pm • Karaoke, 9pm GREEN LANTERN Happy Hour, 4-9pm • $3 Rail and Domestic • $5 Svedka, all flavors all night long • Rough House: Hands On, Lights Off, 10pm-close • Featuring DJ Lemz • $5 Cover (includes clothes check)

Friday, August 16

NELLIE’S SPORTS BAR Open 3pm • Beat the Clock Happy Hour — $2 (5-6pm), $3 (6-7pm), $4 (7-8pm) • Buckets of Beer, $15 • Weekend Kickoff Dance Party, with Nellie’s DJs spinning bubbly pop music all night

A LEAGUE OF HER OWN Open 5pm-3am • Happy Hour: $2 off everything

NUMBER NINE Open 5pm • Happy Hour: 2 for 1 on any drink, 5-9pm

FREDDIE’S BEACH BAR 555 23rd St. S. Arlington, Va. 703-685-0555

AVALON SATURDAYS Soundcheck 1420 K St. NW 202-789-5429 AvalonSaturdaysDC 40

until 9pm • Video Games • Live televised sports


GREEN LANTERN 1335 Green Ct. NW 202-347-4533

• No Cover • Friday Night Piano with Chris, 7:30pm • Rotating DJs, 9:30pm PITCHERS Open 5pm-3am • Happy Hour: $2 off everything until 9pm • Video Games • Foosball • Live televised sports • Full dining menu till 9pm • Special Late Night menu till 2am SHAW’S TAVERN Happy Hour, 4-7pm • $3 Miller Lite, $4 Blue Moon, $5 House Wines, $5 Rail Drinks • Half-Priced Pizzas and Select Appetizers • Comedy Show, Second Floor, 7:30pm TRADE Doors open 5pm • XL Happy Hour: Any drink normally served in a cocktail glass is served in an XL glass for the same price, 5-10pm • Beer and wine only $5 • Otter Happy

Hour with guest DJs, 5-11pm ZIEGFELD’S/SECRETS Men of Secrets, 9pm • Guest dancers • Rotating DJs • Kristina Kelly’s Diva Fev-ah Drag Show • Doors at 9pm, Shows at 11:45pm • Music by DJ Jeff Eletto • Cover 21+

Saturday, August 17 A LEAGUE OF HER OWN Open 2pm-3am • Video Games • Live televised sports AVALON SATURDAYS @Soundcheck 1420 K St. NW LGBTQ Dance Party, featuring DJ Sean Morris, 10pm-4am • $15 Cover, $20 Cover for VIP • Drink

NELLIE’S SPORTS BAR 900 U St. NW 202-332-6355 NUMBER NINE 1435 P St. NW 202-986-0999 PITCHERS 2317 18th St. NW 202-733-2568



This Saturday, Aug. 17, ushers in the first daytime pub crawl among four watering holes in the Shaw neighborhood, as a benefit for Casa Ruby, which serves the most vulnerable members of the area’s LGBTQ community. A $10 wristband grants barhoppers “super cheap” food and drink specials at each participating establishment, capped off by a free shot to those dedicated day drinkers who hit all four venues between 2 and 8 p.m. At Nellie’s Sports Bar (900 U St. NW), those donning a wristband will pay $3 for their first Absolut-centered beverage and then $5 for refills, while across the street at the Dirty Goose (913 U St. NW), the same deal applies for those drinking Deep Eddy Vodka. Orange Crushes are the chief $3-then-$5 drink specials on offer a few blocks east at Shaw’s Tavern (520 Florida Ave. NW), which adds food to the mix with $5 Fried Green Tomatoes and $5 Hushpuppies. Finally, at Uproar (639 Florida Ave. NW), you can enjoy a $3 Bud Light draft and then a $5 “Bear-sicle Watermelon,” as well as $5 Bourbon BBQ wings. Search “Summer in Shaw” at

ROUGH HOUSE specials • Drag Show, 10:30-11:30pm, hosted by Ba’Naka and a rotating cast of drag queens • $4 Asbolut Drinks, 10pm-midnight • 21+ • Visit www. FREDDIE’S BEACH BAR Saturday Breakfast Buffet, 10am-3pm • $14.99 with one glass of champagne or coffee, soda or juice • Additional champagne $2 per glass • Crazy Hour, 4-8pm • Freddie’s Follies Drag Show, hosted by Miss Destiny B. Childs, 8-10pm • Karaoke, 10pm-close GREEN LANTERN Happy Hour, 4-9pm • $5 Bacardi, all flavors, all night long • The Bear Cave: From Retro to Electro, 9pm-close • Featuring DJ Popperz • No Cover

NELLIE’S SPORTS BAR Drag Brunch, hosted by Chanel Devereaux, 10:30am-12:30pm and 1-3pm • Tickets on sale at • House Rail Drinks, Zing Zang Bloody Marys, Nellie Beer and Mimosas, $4, 11am-3am • Buckets of Beer, $15 • Guest DJs playing pop music all night NUMBER NINE Doors open 2pm • Happy Hour: 2 for 1 on any drink, 2-9pm • $5 Absolut and $5 Bulleit Bourbon, 9pm-close • THIRSTY, featuring DJ Chord Bezerra, 9:30pm PITCHERS Open Noon-3am • Video Games • Foosball • Live televised sports • Full dining menu till 9pm • Special Late Night menu till 2am

SHAW’S TAVERN 520 Florida Ave. NW 202-518-4092 TRADE 1410 14th St. NW 202-986-1094 ZIEGFELD’S/SECRETS 1824 Half St. SW 202-863-0670

The Green Lantern hosts another round of a “dance party celebrating our beats and your bodies” that goes by the tagline “Hands On, Lights Off.” DJ Lemz will spin sexy beats in tag-team fashion with The Barber Streisand. This Friday, Aug. 16, starting at 10 p.m. at the Green Lantern, 1335 Green Ct. NW. Cover is $5 and includes clothes check, although those seeking to strip down to nearly nothing are asked to stick to the second floor — “please keep jockstraps upstairs.” Also: “No photography please.” Call 202-347-4533 or visit


Founded by former DC King Pretty Rik E and co-produced with the DC Gurly Show’s Lexie Starre, this troupe of drag kings offers several “open mic” events throughout the year where seasoned drag dabblers can take the stage, though the focus is on those “queer, androgynous, gender-neutral, and masculine-of-center folx...who want to give the art of drag kinging a try in a safe, fun environment.” Those planning to make their drag debut at the next #OpenKingNight, set for Thursday, Aug. 22, at 8 p.m., will undergo a “Drag King 101” session to help them get ready. Bier Baron Tavern, 1523 22nd St. NW. Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door. Call 202-293-1887 or visit


Self-billed as “D.C.’s Own Blowup Doll,” Desiree Dik has been blowing up alright: Dik has quickly become one of the most prolific queens on the D.C. scene. Earlier this year she started presenting and hosting a fourth Fridays event at Petworth’s “rock n’ roll burger joint” Slash Run focused on a “delicious and different type of drag...and just plain odd fun.” The ball gets rolling next Friday, Aug. 23, at 10 p.m. Slash Run is at 201 Upshur St. NW. Cover is $5. Call 202-838-9929 or visit


Launched a dozen years ago in Toronto, the popular traveling #ChunkParty for “bubbas, bears, and babes” — one that values “diversity and equity of every kind” as well “body positivity” — comes to D.C. for an evening of “free hugs, cuddle piles,” and dancing at the Dew Drop Inn. D.C.’s most versatile and popular DJ Keenan Orr will be spinning some hot hits and plus-size beats along with Chunk’s own DJ Cakes. Smiffy, Caleb, and Jaxknife will serve as hosts for a party that also promises “hot gogo bears all night long.” Friday, Aug. 23, starting at 10 p.m. The Dew Drop Inn, 2801 8th St. NE. Tickets are $10 in advance, more (if available) at the door. Call 202-791-0909 or visit l AUGUST 15, 2019 • METROWEEKLY.COM


SHAW’S TAVERN Brunch with $15 Bottomless Mimosas, 10am-3pm • Happy Hour, 5-7pm • $3 Miller Lite, $4 Blue Moon, $5 House Wines, $5 Rail Drinks • Half-Priced Pizzas and Select Appetizers • Shaw’s Summer Fundraiser for Casa Ruby, with Nellie’s, The Dirty Goose, and Uproar, 2-8pm TRADE Doors open 2pm • XL Happy Hour: Any drink normally served in a cocktail glass is served in an XL glass for the same price, 2-10pm • Beer and wine only $5 • Gay Bash: The Alt Dance Party and Home for Unconventional Drag in the Nation’s Capital, 10pm • Hosted by Donna Slash • Featuring JaxKnife Complex, Salvadora Dali,


Jane Saw, and special guests • Music by The Barber Streisand ZIEGFELD’S/SECRETS Men of Secrets upstairs, 9pm-close • Guest dancers • Ladies of Illusion Drag Show with host Ella Fitzgerald in Ziegfeld’s • Doors open at 9pm, Show at 11:45pm • Music by DJs Keith Hoffman and Don T. • Cover 21+

Sunday, August 18 A LEAGUE OF HER OWN Open 2pm-12am • $4 Smirnoff and Domestic Cans • Video Games • Live televised sports

FREDDIE’S BEACH BAR Ella’s Sunday Drag Brunch, 10am-3pm • $24.99 with four glasses of champagne or mimosas, 1 Bloody Mary, or coffee, soda or juice • Crazy Hour, 4-8pm • Karaoke, 9pm-close GREEN LANTERN Happy Hour, 4-9pm • Karaoke with Kevin downstairs, 9:30pm-close NELLIE’S SPORTS BAR Drag Brunch, hosted by Chanel Devereaux, 10:30am-12:30pm and 1-3pm • Tickets on sale at • House Rail Drinks, Zing Zang Bloody Marys, Nellie Beer and Mimosas, $4, 11am-1am • Buckets of Beer, $15 • Guest DJs


NUMBER NINE Happy Hour: 2 for 1 on any drink, 2-9pm • $5 Absolut and $5 Bulleit Bourbon, 9pm-close • Multiple TVs showing movies, shows, sports • Expanded craft beer selection • Pop Goes the World with Wes Della Volla at 9:30pm • No Cover PITCHERS Open Noon-2am • $4 Smirnoff, includes flavored, $4 Coors Light or $4 Miller Lites, 2-9pm • Video Games • Foosball • Live televised sports • Full dining menu till 9pm SHAW’S TAVERN Happy Hour, 5-7pm • $3 Miller Lite, $4 Blue Moon, $5 House Wines, $5 Rail Drinks • Half-Priced Pizzas and Select Appetizers • Dinner and Drag with Miss Kristina Kelly, 8pm • No

Cover • For reservations, email TRADE Doors open 2pm • XL Happy Hour: Any drink normally served in a cocktail glass is served in an XL glass for the same price, 2-10pm • Beer and wine only $5

Monday, August 19 FREDDIE’S BEACH BAR Crazy Hour, 4-8pm • Singles Night • Half-Priced Pasta Dishes • Karaoke, 9pm

GREEN LANTERN Happy Hour, 4-9pm • $3 rail cocktails and domestic beers all night long • Singing with the Sisters: Open Mic Karaoke Night with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, 9:30pm-close NELLIE’S SPORTS BAR Beat the Clock Happy Hour — $2 (5-6pm), $3 (6-7pm), $4 (7-8pm) • Buckets of Beer, $15 • Half-Priced Burgers • Paint Nite, 7pm • PokerFace Poker, 8pm • Dart Boards • Ping Pong Madness, featuring 2 PingPong Tables NUMBER NINE Happy Hour: 2 for 1 on any drink, 5-9pm • No Cover SHAW’S TAVERN Happy Hour, 5-7pm • $3 Miller Lite, $4 Blue Moon, $5 House Wines, $5 Rail



Drinks • Half-Priced Pizzas and Select Appetizers • Shaw ’Nuff Trivia, with Jeremy, 7:30pm TRADE Doors open 5pm • XL Happy Hour: Any drink normally served in a cocktail glass is served in an XL glass for the same price, 5-10pm • Beer and wine only $5

Tuesday, August 20 A LEAGUE OF HER OWN Open 5pm-12am • Happy Hour: $2 off everything until 9pm • Video Games • Live televised sports


FREDDIE’S BEACH BAR Crazy Hour, 4-8pm • Taco Tuesday • Karaoke, 9pm GREEN LANTERN Happy Hour, 4-9pm • $3 rail cocktails and domestic beers all night long NELLIE’S SPORTS BAR Beat the Clock Happy Hour — $2 (5-6pm), $3 (6-7pm), $4 (7-8pm) • Buckets of Beer $15 • Drag Bingo with Sasha Adams and Brooklyn Heights, 7-9pm • Karaoke, 9pm-close NUMBER NINE Open at 5pm • Happy Hour: 2 for 1 on any drink, 5-9pm • No Cover

PITCHERS Open 5pm-12am • Happy Hour: $2 off everything until 9pm • Video Games • Foosball • Live televised sports • Full dining menu till 9pm • Special Late Night menu till 11pm SHAW’S TAVERN Happy Hour, 4-7pm • $3 Miller Lite, $4 Blue Moon, $5 House Wines, $5 Rail Drinks • Half-Priced Pizzas and Select Appetizers • Half-Priced Burgers and Pizzas, 5-10pm • The Inner Loop Reading Group, Second Floor, 7pm TRADE Doors open 5pm • XL Happy Hour: Any drink normally served in a cocktail glass is served


in an XL glass for the same price, 5-10pm • Beer and wine only $5 • Sissy That Tuesday: A Monthly Cabaret hosted by Pussy Noir with special guests, 8pm • Music by WesstheDJ

Wednesday, August 21 A LEAGUE OF HER OWN Open 5pm-12am • Happy Hour: $2 off everything until 9pm • Video Games • Live televised sports FREDDIE’S BEACH BAR Crazy Hour, 4-8pm • $6 Burgers • Beach Blanket Drag Bingo Night, hosted by Ms. Regina Jozet Adams, 8pm • Bingo prizes • Karaoke, 10pm-1am

GREEN LANTERN Happy Hour, 4pm-9pm • Bear Yoga with Greg Leo, 6:30-7:30pm • $10 per class • $3 rail cocktails and domestic beers all night long NELLIE’S SPORTS BAR SmartAss Trivia Night, 8-10pm • Prizes include bar tabs and tickets to shows at the 9:30 Club • $15 Buckets of Beer for SmartAss Teams only • Absolutely Snatched Drag Show, hosted by Brooklyn Heights, 9pm • Tickets available at NUMBER NINE Happy Hour: 2 for 1 on any drink, 5-9pm • No Cover

PITCHERS Open 5pm-12am • Happy Hour: $2 off everything until 9pm • Video Games • Foosball • Live televised sports • Full dining menu till 9pm • Special Late Night menu till 11pm SHAW’S TAVERN Happy Hour, 4-7pm • $3 Miller Lite, $4 Blue Moon, $5 House Wines, $5 Rail Drinks • Half-Priced Pizzas and Select Appetizers • Piano Bar and Karaoke with Jill, 8pm TRADE Doors open 5pm • XL Happy Hour: Any drink normally served in a cocktail glass is served in an XL glass for the same price, 5-10pm • Beer and wine only $5 l



LastWord. People say the queerest things

“In New York we have zero tolerance for this sort of vile and cowardly act of hate.” — New York Gov. ANDREW CUOMO, in a tweet after a man sprayed “Kill the Gay Away” on a building in Manhattan. Police are searching for the suspect. “I’m directing the State Police Hate Crimes Unit to assist the NYPD with its investigation to ensure those responsible are held accountable to the fullest extent of the law,” Cuomo added.

“Don’t make me come in to an actual gym because an in-person meeting won’t be pretty.” — WILSON CRUZ, in an email he sent to Equinox Fitness, after the gym chain refused to cancel his membership. The Star Trek: Discovery actor was one of the first to call for a boycott of Equinox after it was revealed that its owner Stephen Ross was hosting a fundraiser for Donald Trump.

“Don categorically denies these claims and this matter does not merit any further comment at this time. ” — CNN, in a statement responding to a lawsuit accusing anchor Don Lemon, who is gay, of sexually assaulting a man in a Long Island dive bar in 2018. Dustin Hice is accusing Lemon of putting his hand down Hice’s shorts and “vigorously” rubbing his genitals, and is suing for “emotional pain and suffering.” CNN said that Hice “has previously displayed a pattern of contempt for CNN on his social media accounts” and said Hice had demanded $1.5 million from Lemon in return for not filing a lawsuit.

“IMDb now permits the removal of birth names

if the birth name is not broadly publicly known and the person no longer voluntarily uses their birth name.

— The INTERNET MOVIE DATABASE, in a statement announcing that transgender artists can request for their birth name to be removed from their profile. IMDB’s policy of deadnaming trans artists came under fire from GLAAD, who commended IMDB’s new policy but said “it remains imperfect,” as deadnames will be retained in parentheses on some listings.

“The principal and I have spoken with the teacher about why we believe this was a poor decision.” — Denair Unified School District Superintendent TERRY METZGER, speaking to the Modesto Bee after a teacher at Denair Middle School in California was stopped from handing out a worksheet about gender identity, gender expression, and attraction. Luis Davila Alvarado, who prefers the title Mx. instead of Mr., wanted their students to understand their nonbinary identity, but was stopped by the school’s principal.





Profile for Metro Weekly

The Costumes of Aladdin  

The Costumes of Aladdin: Gregg Barnes pulled out all the colorful, glittery, glamorous stops when designing the 337 costumes for Disney’s Al...

The Costumes of Aladdin  

The Costumes of Aladdin: Gregg Barnes pulled out all the colorful, glittery, glamorous stops when designing the 337 costumes for Disney’s Al...