JUNE 30, 2016

25

CONTENTS

SORRY SEEMS TO BE
THE HARDEST WORD

Apologizing for discriminating against LGBT people is
something few governments are willing to do
by John Riley

FEELING KINKY

From the instant J. Harrison Ghee donned a pair
of heels, he knew he’d found his calling. Now he’s
starring in one of Broadway’s biggest hits

40

Volume 23 Issue 9

by Randy Shulman

30

RECALIFORNICATION
Three decades into their career, the Red Hot Chili
Peppers can still surprise and impress
by Sean Maunier

SPOTLIGHT: A CAPITOL FOURTH p.13 OUT ON THE TOWN p.17
DAY BREAK: SPENCER DAY p.18 THE FEED: SORRY SEEMS TO BE THE
HARDEST WORD p.25 COMMUNITY p.27 COVER STORY: FEELING KINKY p.30
GALLERY: ALMA SELIMOVIC p.39 MUSIC: RED HOT CHILLI PEPPERS p.40
MUSIC: BRENDAN MACLEAN p.41 NIGHTLIFE p.43 COVERBOY: CRAIG p.43
LISTINGS p.45 SCENE: TRADE p.50 SCENE: UPROAR p.52 LAST WORD p.54
The bitches who make this shit... #masthead

Editorial Editor-in-Chief Randy Shulman Art Director Todd Franson Managing Editor Rhuaridh Marr Senior Editor John Riley Contributing Editor Doug Rule
Senior Photographers Ward Morrison, Julian Vankim Contributing Illustrator Scott G. Brooks Contributing Writers Gordon Ashenhurst,
Sean Bugg, Frank Carber, Fallon Forbush, Sean Maunier, Troy Petenbrink, 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 Sahara Davenport Cover Photography Julian Vankim
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.

© 2016 Jansi LLC.

JUNE 30, 2016 • METROWEEKLY

5

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE NSO

Spotlight

Big Bang

The annual “A Capitol Fourth” unites the NSO with Sutton Foster,
Smokey Robinson and Amber Riley

W

E HAVE TRIED HARD TO IMPROVE THE PROgrams over the last number of years, and we haven’t
let rain, bad weather, heat or the elements close
us down,” says “A Capitol Fourth” executive producer, Jerry
Colbert. The concert, broadcast live on PBS, is a mainstay of
Washington, D.C.’s July 4th celebration.
Jack Everly leads the NSO in a recital of American favorites
and classical masterworks, while assorted military bands add
to the patriotic spirit. Scheduled to appear this year: Smokey
Robinson, Kenny Loggins, Gavin DeGraw, Amber Riley, Sutton
Foster and the cast of the Gloria Estefan-themed Broadway
musical On Your Feet. The festivities conclude with what orga-

nizers call “the biggest, most distinctive fireworks display in the
nation,” all set to Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.
“In the three times I’ve done it in the past — and I fully
expect it to be true this time as well — there is such warmth
and such a feeling of family,” says host Tom Bergeron. “And
I don’t care if you’re conservative, liberal, a Democratic or
Republican or Independent. We put all that stuff on the shelf
and come together as Americans and we celebrate our commonality in this amazing environment.” Adds Colbert, “I think
people have come to realize that this is the best Fourth of July
show in the country for patriotism, music and fireworks.”

— Randy Shulman

Monday, July 4, at 8 p.m. on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building. Free. Call 202-467-4600 or
visit kennedy-center.org/nso.
JUNE 30, 2016 • METROWEEKLY

13

Spotlight
UNION MARKET DRIVE-IN: TOP GUN

Union Market revs up its Summer Drive-In Series with
the Tom Cruise blockbuster that skyrocketed the world’s
most famous couch-jumping Scientologist into a viable
career. You don’t have to drive a car to watch the ’80s
classic — alternatively, you can grab a viewing spot in the
free picnic area. Food and beer are available, including
Southern specialties from the Mason Dixie food truck and
popcorn from Stella’s Popkern. There’s even the authentic
experience of delivered right to your car window by the
DC Rollergirls. Other films to screen this summer include
Ratatouille, Grease and Ghostbusters. Friday, July 1. Gates
open at 6:30 p.m., with the movie starting at around 8 p.m.
In the parking lot at Union Market, 1305 5th St. NE. Free
for walk-ups or $10 per car. Call 800-680-9095 or visit
unionmarketdc.com. (Doug Rule)

HILLWOOD’S
ANNUAL FRENCH FESTIVAL

An annual all-day affair for Francophiles in honor of Bastille Day,
where Marjorie Merriweather Post’s French decorative arts collection is just one of many highlights. Performances include the
Happenstance Theater Company, who will recreate the festivities of
French court in a short play, the New York Baroque Dance Company,
and baroque guitarist Kevin Shannon. Washington’s Alliance
Francaise will offer a playful story time and French language lessons.
You can stroll the lush landscape and grounds and enjoy some wine
and a baguette at the Parisian-style sidewalk cafe. Saturday, July 9,
starting at 10 a.m. Hillwood Estate, 4155 Linnean Ave. NW. Tickets
are $18. Call 202-686-5807 or visit HillwoodMuseum.org. (DR)

MARY CHAPIN CARPENTER

Mary Chapin Carpenter began her career in bars and
coffeehouses in the D.C. area in the early ’80s and
she typically pays an annual return visit to Wolf Trap
(“It’s one of my most treasured and favorite places”). She returns in support of her 14th album, The
Things That We Are Made Of, which is focused on
thriving in middle age despite hardships. The Milk
Carton Kids open. Saturday, July 2, at 8 p.m. The
Filene Center at Wolf Trap, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna.
Tickets are $25 to $50. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit
wolftrap.org. (DR)

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JUNE 30, 2016 • METROWEEKLY

Out On The Town

INDEPENDENCE DAY RESURGENCE

HHHHH
The aliens return, this time with a 3,000 mile long spacecraft that plants itself on the Atlantic, felling London in the process (talk about a grand Brexit), in Roland Emmerich’s dismal follow-up to his 1996 blockbuster. By going gargantuan,
Emmerich limits what he can do in terms of action, while the implausibilities of the story run rampant and include an
ending that denies us the joys of watching an apocalyptic destruction in favor of a gentle lift off. (The defeated aliens just
up and fly home. Hopefully for good.) The film is a cavalcade of cheap, cluttered effects, and features some of the worst
3D in recent memory; at times the actors look as though they’re playing in front of postcards. With Jeff Goldblum, Judd
Hirsch and Brent Spiner as Emmerich’s — gasp! — token homosexual. Now playing, but probably not for long given its
paltry box office take last weekend. Area theatres. Visit fandango.com. – Randy Shulman

FILM
EAT THAT QUESTION

Thorsten Schutte’s documentary, subtitled “Frank Zappa in His
Own Words,” features interviews,
concert performances and archival
footage offering insights into the
life and career of the far-out rocker.
Let’s never forget that this is the
musician who sang the lyrics “I’m
gonna ram it, ram it, ram it, ram it
in your poop chute.” Opens Friday,
July 1. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com.

THE BFG

Steven Spielberg helms Walt Disney
Pictures’ adaptation of Roald Dahl’s
beloved classic. Oscar- and Tonywinning British actor Mark Rylance
takes on the title role of an elderly
giant who kidnaps an orphan (Ruby
Barnhill) to keep him company.
Opens Friday, July 1. Area theaters.
Visit fandango.com.

THE LEGEND OF TARZAN

Alexander Skarsgard is Tarzan in
David Yates’ summer blockbuster adventure. Samuel L. Jackson,
Margot Robbie, Djimon Hounsou,
Jim Broadbent and Christoph
Waltz also star in Warner Brothers’
version of the jungle lord who
becomes a pawn in a deadly scheme
in the Congo. We’re betting it’s no
Jungle Book. Opens Friday, July 1.
Area theaters. Visit fandango.com.

STAGE
ANOTHER WAY HOME

Parents visiting a summer camp
find their son has gone missing in
Anna Ziegler’s drama. Directed by
Shirley Serotsky and starring Rick
Foucheux, Naomi Jacobson, Shayna
Blass, Thony Mena and Chris
Stinson. To July 17. (Pride Night is
Thursday, July 7.) The Aaron and
Cecile Goldman Theater, 1529 16th
St. NW. Tickets are $37 to $67. Call
202-777-3210 or visit theaterj.org.

DISTRICT MERCHANTS

HHHHH

Aaron Posner writes for an underserved audience: neurotics who
like their humor fast and sharp
and their hearts and minds challenged by an irreverent but secretly optimistic view of the human
condition. It’s all present and
accounted for in this clever and
literarily imaginative rendering of
Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice
set in a post-Civil War Washington
in which Shylock’s rivals are
African American. Though it tracks
the original plot, for Posner it’s an
opportunity to jet off into race and
gender issues that have contemporary urgency and relevance. Posner
injects not only his usual brand of
irreverent humor, but also a powerfully intelligent ambiguity. We don’t
get any pat answers to its many
moral questions; Posner’s characters and conundrums are just too
complex. The complexity, with all
its moving parts, makes for a challenge the Folger production never

quite conquers. There is an absence
of necessary oomph and only a few
players buck the mood. Still, even if
District Merchants can’t quite drive
Posner’s complex train, it’s a chance
to think about race, religion and
reality without the preacher. Closes
Sunday, July 3. Folger Theatre,
201 E. Capitol St. SE. Tickets are
$35 to $75. Call 202-544-7077
or visit folger.edu. Reviewed
in this issue. (Kate Wingfield)

EVITA

Olney offers an intimate staging of Andrew Lloyd Webber and
Tim Rice’s famed musical about
Argentina’s Eva Peron. After winning the Helen Hayes Award for
best play last year with gay-themed
Colossal, transgender director
Will Davis and choreographer
Christopher D’Amboise team up
again for a smaller-scale production of the musical blockbuster,
intended to help theatergoers “hear
every note and feel every heartbeat.” A regular supporting player

JUNE 30, 2016 • METROWEEKLY

17

on local stages, Rachel Zampelli
makes a diva turn in the title role,
with Robert Ariza starring as narrator Che and a cast that includes
Jonathan Atkinson, Mark Chandler,
Ashleigh King and Kristin Yancy.
To July 24. Mainstage at Olney
Theatre Center, 2001 Olney-Sandy
Spring Road, Olney, Md. Tickets are
$38 to $75. Call 301-924-3400 or
visit olneytheatre.org.

ALYSE GAFKJEN

GET USED TO IT!
A MUSICAL REVUE

DAY BREAK

National exposure on Star Search gave jazz singer Spencer Day a career.
Coming out in The Advocate nearly toppled it.

I

WAS WORKING AS A WAITER, AND NOT A VERY GOOD ONE,” RECALLS SPENCER
Day. “I was very earnest but very clumsy — I would spill a lot of food. A roommate heard
me sing in the shower and said, ‘You should take voice classes.’” Which is exactly what he
did, enrolling to study opera at CalArts, just north of L.A.
But Day, who appears next Thursday, July 7, at Bethesda Blues & Jazz, quickly realized he
had no passion for opera, dropping out after a semester. “The teacher was very supportive,” he
says. “He said, ‘Just go out there and do it and you’ll be fine.’”
The modern jazz singer spent his early 20s performing in “dive bars and retirement homes,”
eventually landing on Star Search, a precursor to American Idol, in which a home audience
voted to keep their favorite performers coming back week to week (Billy Porter and David
Archuleta were among its winners). Day made finalist in 2003. “The home audience kept voting me back on,” he marvels, adding that it didn’t hurt that “some young women had started a
fanclub for me in Iowa.”
The exposure landed the singer-songwriter a contract with two major jazz labels, and his
career began to slowly rise. But things took a momentary tumble in 2010 when Day came out
in The Advocate. Some fans turned their backs on Day, quite vocally. “I got a lot of emails from
people who said, ‘I used to love this song, but now it makes me sick to my stomach,’” he says,
adding, as explanation, “Anytime you sing in a romantic way and people want to imagine themselves in a romantic setting with you, it can be a challenge.”
Raised a Mormon, the 37-year-old has embraced his side-career as an activist, fighting “to
create a bridge between the LGBT community and the faith of my childhood. I feel there’s a
tremendous amount of damage done to young people by telling them that who they love or who
they are is wrong.” The recent tragic events in Orlando have only strengthened his resolve.
“I’m in Florida now,” he says. “I was here a day after the shooting.... If there’s anything
positive to come out of it, it’s just a tremendous amount of solidarity — re-energizing people to
be advocates and activists in their community for real change.” — Doug Rule

Spencer Day performs with Dave Damiani and the No Vacancy Orchestra on Thursday,
July 7, at 8 p.m., at the Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club, 7719 Wisconsin Ave. Tickets
are $25. Call 240-330-4500 or visit bethesdabluesjazz.com.

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JUNE 30, 2016 • METROWEEKLY

The LGBT-focused company
Rainbow Theatre Project presents
a run of composer/lyricist Tom
Wilson Weinberg’s musical revue,
written in 1992 during a low point
for the gay rights movement. But
Get Used To It! remains funny,
touching and timely, with a focus
on the community’s struggles with
politics, religion, love and acceptance, as relayed through 18 original
songs. H. Lee Gable directs. To July
10. Mead Theatre Lab at Flashpoint,
916 G St. NW. Tickets are $35. Call
202-315-1310 or visit rainbowtheatreproject.org.

KINKY BOOTS

Cyndi Lauper produced Tony gold
with songs about a showgirl named
Lola, in a story about the power of
drag queens and shoes. The production stops at the Kennedy Center
as part of its first national touring
production. Directed by Jerry
Mitchell, adapted from the British
film by Harvey Fierstein. To July
10. Kennedy Center Opera House.
Tickets are $25 to $199. Call 202-4674600 or visit kennedy-center.org.

LA CAGE AUX FOLLES

HHHHH

Good-natured
and
cheerful,
Signature’s La Cage aux Folles
works hard to please its crowd.
There will be no surprises in
the story of longtime gay couple
Georges and Albin and the comic
conundrum of how to entertain the
homophobic parents of their son’s
fiancée without revealing their
identities. Put simply, if you are a
devotee, it delivers: you will hear
the songs, enjoy the jokes, and share
the moments. Director Matthew
Gardiner delivers a show that’s fastpaced and punchy, moving seamlessly between the La Cage nightclub and the behind-the-scenes
dramas of Georges and Albin. Lee
Savage’s sets and Frank Labovitz’s
costumes keep it bold with an
eye-popping palette of garishly gorgeous color. To July 10. Signature
Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., in
Arlington. Tickets are $40 to $95.
Call 703-820-9771 or visit signature-theatre.org. (Kate Wingfield)

MOXIE: A HAPPENSTANCE
VAUDEVILLE

A theatrical collage inspired by the
Great Age of Vaudeville, infused
with the joys and struggles of the

JUNE 30, 2016 • METROWEEKLY

19

450-2917 or visit songbyrddc.com.

PHOTO COURTESY SCOPE GALLERY

CREATIVE CAULDRON CABARET:
THREE FOR A SONG

ENCHANTMENT UNDER THE SEA

The Washington Ceramic Guild offers a beach-themed show at Alexandria’s Torpedo
Factory Art Center with works touted as “coastal classics in clay.” Everything from functional pottery to decorative statuettes will be for sale, in a show featuring works by the 40-plus
area artists in the guild. Now through July 31. Scope Gallery in the Torpedo Factory Art
Center, 105 North Union St. Alexandria. Free. Call 703-548-6288 or visit torpedofactory.org.

lives of the performers who will perform the work. Directed by Sabrina
Mandell and Mark Jaster, Moxie
offers hijinks, live music, period
costumes, nostalgic beauty and
physical comedy in its homage to
popular late 19th century theatrical
style. Produced by Happenstance
Theater. To July 17. Round House
Theatre, 4545 East-West Highway,
Bethesda. Call 240-644-1100 or visit
roundhousetheatre.org.

NEXT TO NORMAL

Keegan Theatre serves up Tom
Kitt and Brian Yorkey’s moving and modern Pulitzer Prizewinning show, that deals with the
devastating toll that mental illness
can have on a relationship and a
family. Mark A. Rhea and Colin
Smith direct a cast featuring Kari
Ginsburg, Chad Wheeler, David
Landstrom, Caroline Dubberly,
Christian Montgomery and Scott
Ward Abernethy. To July 10.
Keegan Theatre, 1742 Church St.
NW. Tickets are $45 to $55. Call
202-265-3768 or visit keegantheatre.com.

THE BOY FROM OZ

Richmond Triangle Players presents Martin Sherman and Nick
Enright’s musical tale about the life
of Peter Allen, the Australian star
and songwriter discovered by Judy
Garland who went on to marry her
daughter Liza Minnelli before his
death to AIDS-related complica-

20

tions. Justin Amellio directs and
choreographs a production featuring Chris Hester as Allen, Grey
Garrett as Garland and Anna Grey
Hogan as Minnelli. To July 16.
Richmond Triangle Players, 1300
Altamont Ave. Richmond. Tickets
are $35. Call 804-346-8113 or visit
rtriangle.org.

THE BRIDGES OF
MADISON COUNTY

Robert James Waller’s bestselling
novel about an Iowa housewife
and her life-changing, whirlwind
romance with a traveling photographer gets the musical treatment in this Tony Award-winning
production by composer Jason
Robert Brown and Pulitzer Prizewinning writer Marsha Norman
(’night, Mother). Bartlett Sher
directs. To July 17. Kennedy Center
Eisenhower Theater. Tickets are
$49 to $129. Call 202-467-4600 or
visit kennedy-center.org.

MUSIC
ABOVE AND BEYOND

Club
Glow
presents
an
“IndepenDANCE weekend” with
one of the biggest and longest-lasting sensations in contemporary
dance music. Founded in 2000, the
London-based trio of DJs/producers Jono Grant, Tony McGuinnes
and Paavo Siljamaki run the influential progressive house label

JUNE 30, 2016 • METROWEEKLY

Anjunabeats and produce trance-influenced, pop-oriented original
tracks with a roster of regular
vocalists, many of whom join for a
full-scale live touring production
that goes, well, above and beyond
the typical DJ night out, whether
at a warehouse club or an outdoor
festival. Friday, July 1, and Sunday,
July 3. Doors at 9 p.m. Echostage,
2135 Queens Chapel Rd. NE. Tickets
are $40 to $50. Call 202-503-2330
or visit echostage.com.

BE STEADWELL

Local live-looping artist Be
Steadwell offers a blend of soul,
folk, hip-hop and jazz she calls
“queer-pop,” drawing inspiration
from her experiences as a queer,
black woman. In addition to using
a loop pedal for vocal layering,
Steadwell sings, raps and beatboxes
in her intriguing, memorable compositions, including the sweet love
letter to her D.C. hometown, “Not
Gonna Move to New York.” Yet
her latest song, a commission by
Strathmore, is what she describes as
a “sad love song” to the city. As she
told Metro Weekly before a recent
concert at Strathmore, “Home” is
about “looking for home when my
hometown is really rapidly changing to the point where I feel like I
don’t belong anymore.” Nuex and
Anastasia Antoinette also perform.
Friday, July 8, at 8:30 p.m. Songbyrd
Music House, 2477 18th St. NW.
Tickets are $10 to $12. Call 202-

Tenor Doug Bowles, musical actress
Iyona Blake and “novelty pianist”
Alex Hassan form the swing jazz
trio Three for a Song, which kicks
off the 7th annual summer cabaret series at ArtSpace Falls Church.
The series runs every weekend
through September 19 and features Nora Palka, Katie McManus,
Dani Stoller, Jade Jones, Sandy
Bainum, Alan Naylor, Matt Conner
and Stephen Gregory Smith, Sam
Ludwig and Susan Derry with the
National Broadway Chorus. Three
for a Song, which has been featured
on NPR’s All Things Considered,
performs the program “Cocktails
for Three, Parts 1 & 2” on Friday,
July 1, and Saturday, July 2, at 8
p.m. ArtSpace Falls Church, 410
South Maple Ave. in Falls Church.
Tickets are $18 to $20, or $50 for
a table for two with two glasses
of wine, $100 for four and a bottle
of wine. Call 703-436-9948 or visit
creativecauldron.org.

NATIONAL SYMPHONY
ORCHESTRA

As part of a concert celebrating
the National Park Service’s centennial, multimedia artist Nicholas
Bardonnay of Westwater Arts premieres the “National Park Suite”
image collection, displayed on
in-house screens at Wolf Trap as
the NSO performs Dvorak’s New
World Symphony. Emil du Cou
conducts the NSO in this “America
the Beautiful” program, including Bernstein’s Fanfare for the
Inauguration of John F. Kennedy,
Copland’s “Promise of Living” from
The Tender Land, Grofe’s “On The
Trail” from Grand Canyon Suite, a
new work featuring bass-baritone
singer Alan Held, and patriotic
favorites. Friday, July 1, at 8:15 p.m.
The Filene Center at Wolf Trap,
1551 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are
$20 to $58. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or
visit wolftrap.org.

MELISSA ETHERIDGE
WITH PAT BENATAR

Wolf Trap offers a double-bill of
two of the most empowering and
powerfully-voiced women in pop
music. Also on the bill: Neil Giraldo,
Benatar’s husband and right-handman. Thursday, July 7, at 8 p.m.
The Filene Center at Wolf Trap,
1551 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are
$30 to $60. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or
visit wolftrap.org.

PATTI LABELLE

Strathmore presents a rescheduled run of dates by the Grammywinning soul singer, who had to
cancel her original April dates on
doctor’s orders. Labelle has been
an influence to everyone from Mary
J. Blige to Alicia Keys to Christina
Aguilera, whom she advised on the

recent season of NBC’s The Voice.
Rolling Stone has called her one of
the “Greatest Singers of All Time.”
Thursday, June 30, and Friday, July
1, at 8 p.m. The Music Center at
Strathmore, 10701 Rockville Pike,
North Bethesda. Tickets are $65
to $150. Call 301-581-5100 or visit
strathmore.org.

PHOEBE RYAN

Though a native of Texas, Ryan
sounds more like a Swedish pop
singer in the Tove Lo or Zara
Larsson mold, from her voice and
strong, provocative lyrics to her
catchy, dance-tipped hooks. The
25-year-old is gearing up for the
forthcoming release of her debut
album and a headlining tour supporting lead singles “Chronic” and
Boyz N Poizn.” Cardiknox and
Secret Weapons open. Tuesday,
July 5, at 8 p.m. Rock and Roll
Hotel, 1353 H St. NE. Tickets are
$14. Call 202-388-ROCK or visit
rockandrollhoteldc.com.

SAM GLEAVES AT OLD TIME
BANJO FESTIVAL

Hosted by Cathy Fink and Marcy
Marxer, who were married in
2012, the 10th Annual Mike Seeger
Commemorative Old Time Banjo
Festival is capped by a performance
from Virginia-born, Kentuckybased musician Sam Gleaves, who
writes songs with queer themes —
most recently “Pulse,” about the
Orlando tragedy. Saturday, July 9,
at 7:30 p.m. The Birchmere, 3701
Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria.
Tickets are $29.50. Call 703-5497500 or visit birchmere.com.

SIGNATURE’S SIZZLIN’ SUMMER
CABARET SERIES

Signature’s cabaret series features
regulars Will Gartshore and Susan
Derry as well as the Gay Men’s
Chorus of Washington, plus cabaret debuts from Claybourne Elder
— last seen in the company’s production of Sunday in the Park with
George — and singer/songwriter
Robbie Schaefer from the acclaimed
indie-band Eddie from Ohio. Things
kicks off on Tuesday, July 5,with
Signature veteran Erin Driscoll
(Road Show, The Threepenny Opera)
in “Arias and Attitude,” exploring
the evolution of opera. The series
runs to July 22 in the Ark at 4200
Campbell Ave., Arlington. Tickets
are $35 per show, or $175 for an
All-Access Pass. Call 703-820-9771
or visit sigtheatre.org.

TORTURED SOUL, AMADOU
KOUYATE, SOL POWER ALL
STARS

A multi-genre concert featuring three notable local acts led by
Tortured Soul, a Prince-influenced
trio whom Gilles Peterson has touted as the future of house music.
Also on the bill: Amadou Kouyate
playing the kora, a 21-string West
African instrument, and the Afro-

Latin/Caribbean group, Sol Power
All Stars. Thursday, July 7, at 9 p.m.
at Tropicalia, 2001 14th St. NW.
Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at
the door. Call 202-629-4535 or visit
tropicaliadc.com.

YAHZARAH

“Purple Reign: A Tribute to the
Outrageous Life of Prince” is the
focus of a concert by the GhanaianAmerican D.C. native and graduate of the Duke Ellington School
of the Arts, who has recorded
with Erykah Badu and toured with
Anthony Hamilton and Lenny
Kravitz. Friday, July 8, at 7:30
p.m. The Birchmere, 3701 Mount
Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Tickets
are $29.50. Call 703-549-7500 or
visit birchmere.com.

DANCE
ASANGA DOMASK’S
SERENDIBDANCE

Asanga Domask’s SerendibDance
performs A Single Cycle of the Sun,
a folktale about community, culture and harmony, featuring the
hallmarks of Sri Lankan dance,
including intricate movements,
rhythmic sounds and exquisite costumes. Tuesday, July 5, at 10:30
a.m. at Theatre-In-The-Woods at
Wolf Trap, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna.
Tickets are $8. Call 703-255-1900 or
visit wolf-trap.org.

COMEDY
DMV COMEDY SHOWCASE

Martin Amini hosts a showcase
of local comics at the DC Improv,
including Randolph Terrance, Chris
Milner, Sean Savoy, Walker Hays
and Russ Green. Saturday, July 9,
at 7:30 p.m. at the DC Improv, 1140
Connecticut Ave. NW. Tickets are
$17, plus a two-item minimum. Call
202-296-7008 or visit dcimprov.
com.

SARA SCHAEFER

A native of Richmond, Va., Schaefer
earned two Emmy Awards as a
writer and blogger for Late Night
with Jimmy Fallon. A co-host of
MTV’s late-night show Nikki &
Sara Live, she’s been a guest on
Comedy Central’s @Midnight and
Inside Amy Schumer. Friday, July 8,
at 7 p.m. Drafthouse Comedy, 1100
13th St. NW. Tickets are $25. Call
202-750-6411 or visit drafthousecomedy.com.

THE SECOND CITY’S ALMOST
ACCURATE GUIDE TO AMERICA

What if the history of America were
written by some of the country’s
most revered contemporary comedians? That’s the premise behind
The Second City’s Almost Accurate
Guide to America, which the
Kennedy Center co-commissioned
from the leading improv comedy
troupe as part of the District of

JUNE 30, 2016 • METROWEEKLY

21

patriot and Baltimore entrepreneur Charles Carroll III. Over the
next two months, the Mansion is
open for tours and hosts design
competitions and culinary experiences highlighting Baltimore’s
role in shaping various aspects of
American culture and commerce,
with an emphasis on furniture, textile, tableware and fashion design.
To July 12. Carroll Mansion, 800 E.
Lombard St. Baltimore. Tickets are
$15 in advance or $20 at the door.
Call 410-605-2964 or visit carrollmuseums.org.

BRAD FOWLER

FORD’S THEATRE’S
HISTORY ON FOOT

SUEDE

A mix of Adele, Diana Krall and Bette Midler, the lesbian cabaret artist has spent decades
wowing crowds with her rich contralto voice and playful, charismatic stage presence.
Suede occasionally plays the trumpet, guitar and piano in her performances of jazz standards, which also contains a smattering of pop and a lot of blues. Friday, July 8. Doors at 7
p.m. At Ram’s Head On Stage, 33 West St., Annapolis. Tickets are $30. Call 410-268-4545
or visit ramsheadonstage.com.
Comedy Festival. The show will
even uproot the stalwart Shear
Madness for a six-week run in the
Theater Lab. To July 31. Kennedy
Center Theater Lab. Tickets are $49
to $64. Call 202-467-4600 or visit
kennedy-center.org.

EXHIBITS
A COLLECTOR’S VISION:
WASHINGTONIANA COLLECTION

In addition to incorporating
the Textile Museum, the recently opened George Washington
University Museum also houses the
Albert H. Small Washingtoniana
Collection. The exhibition A
Collector’s Vision serves as a perfect
introduction to the collection, featuring maps and prints, rare letters,
photographs and drawings documenting the history of Washington,
D.C. and donated by Small in 2011.
Ongoing. The George Washington
University Museum, 701 21st St.
NW. Call 202-994-5200 or visit
museum.gwu.edu.

AMENDING AMERICA

Featuring more than 50 original documents from the National
Archives, this exhibit highlights the
remarkably American story of how
we have amended, or attempted to

22

amend, the Constitution in order
to form “a more perfect union.” Of
course it all started 225 years ago
when the Bill of Rights was ratified, addressing some of the most
pressing issues of the day that are
still very much timely. Since then,
there have been 11,000 proposed
amendments — but only 17 ratified. Through Sept. 4. Lawrence
F. O’Brien Gallery of the National
Archives Museum, Constitution
Avenue at 9th Street NW. NW. Call
202-357-5000 or visit archives.gov/
nae.

RENWICK GALLERY: WONDER

As part of the immersive exhibition Wonder, nine leading contemporary artists, including Gabriel
Dawe, Patrick Dougherty and Maya
Lin, have each taken over different galleries in the newly renovated
Renwick Gallery, the first building
in the U.S. designed expressly as
an art museum. Through July 10.
Renwick Gallery, Pennsylvania
Avenue at 17th Street NW. Free.
Call 202-633-1000 or visit renwick.
americanart.si.edu.

THE BIG HOPE SHOW

Baltimore’s American Visionary
Art Museum offers its 21st annual
exhibition, featuring over 25 artists
offering works in various media that

JUNE 30, 2016 • METROWEEKLY

champion the radiant and transformative power of hope. It’s an original and unabashedly idealistic exhibition, curated by Rebecca Alban
Hoffberger, founder and director
of this original and unabashedly unusual 20-year-old museum. Through Sept. 4. American
Visionary Art Museum, 800 Key
Highway. Baltimore. Tickets are
$15.95, or $20 for the preview party.
Call 410-244-1900 or visit avam.org.

POST-CORCORAN

Dupont’s Studio Gallery presents a
show featuring recent graduates of
the Corcoran School of Art, showcasing the next generation of artists.
Reception is Saturday, July 9, from
4 to 6 p.m. Exhibition runs through
July 16. Studio Gallery, 2108 R St.
NW. Call 202-232-8734 or visit studiogallerydc.com.

ETC.
BALTIMORE’S
AMERICAN TREASURES:
CARROLL MANSION

Partly in cooperation with official
Baltimore boosters, the nonprofit
Made: In America offers a celebration of “American Treasures”
centered on the Carroll Mansion,
named after 18th-century Maryland

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
fords.org.

SALVATRUCANS ONCE AGAIN

An evening of Salvadoran artists
working in various genres, organized by poet Quique Aviles in
honor of the 25th anniversary of
the 1991 Mount Pleasant Riots. The
evening includes an art exhibition
of works by Aviles and visual artists
Alfredo Herrera and Juan Lopez,
with dancing and music by Hugo
Najera aka DJ Mezkla and percussionist Ivan Navas. Friday, July 8,
at 8 p.m. GALA Theatre at Tivoli
Square, 3333 14th St. NW. Tickets
are $10 and includes a cash bar.
Call 202-234-7174 or visit galatheatre.org.

*SPARKLE* QUEER OPEN MIC

Every month the 14th and V location of Busboys & Poets hosts
“Sparkle,” a queer-focused reading
series featuring LGBT-dedicated
poets started by slam poet Regie
Cabico. Co-emceed with Danielle
Evennou. Sunday, July 3, at 8 p.m.
Langston Room at Busboys & Poets,
2021 14th St. NW. Cover is $5. Call
202-387-POET or visit busboysandpoets.com.

THE ASK RAYCEEN SHOW

For July, Rayceen Pendarvis brings
together Burlesque performer Che Monique, singer Anthony
Newman, the Improv Imps, Darryl
Moch, Shannon Garcon and Joseph
Williams. With music by DJ Honey.
Wednesday, July 6, from 6 to 9
p.m. at the HRC Equality Center,
1640 Rhode Island Ave. NW. Free.
Call 202-505-4548 or visit facebook.
com/AskRayceen. l

JUNE 30, 2016 • METROWEEKLY

23

Oral
Fixation
you can listen
to any story at

MetroWeekly.com
just look for the
“speak” button

24

JUNE 30, 2016 • METROWEEKLY

LONG THIÊN

theFeed

Pope Francis

SORRY SEEMS TO BE THE
HARDEST WORD

Apologizing for discriminating against LGBT people is something
few governments are willing to do by John Riley

F

ORGIVENESS IS NOT THE EASIEST THING TO GRANT, HENCE THE
truism, “To err is human; to forgive, divine.” If that’s the case, the LGBT community will have to exercise both patience and benevolence when it comes to
the countless slights and injuries it has received throughout history.
Appropriately, religious groups are leading the way when it comes to seeking
repentance for harming LGBT people, exemplifying the Bible’s teachings about turning the other cheek. Last weekend, Pope Francis declared that the Catholic Church
should ask for forgiveness from gay people and others it has wronged over the years.
“We Christians have to apologize for so many things, not just for this,” the Pope
said. “But we must ask for forgiveness, not just apologize! Forgiveness! Lord, it is a
word we forget so often!”
Francis isn’t alone in acknowledging his church’s wrongdoings against the LGBT
community — in 2007, Bishop Desmond Tutu, a social justice advocate and retired
Anglican bishop, apologized for the Anglican Church’s persecution of gays. “For me
that is quite un-Christlike and, for that reason, it is unacceptable,” Tutu said. “I’m
sorry for the hurt, for the rejection, for the anguish that we have caused to such as
yourselves.”
It was a sentiment echoed in January by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin
Welby, who apologized for the Anglican Church’s marginalization and rejection of
LGBT people over the years. However, while a majority of the Church of England’s
congregants support same-sex marriage, the church itself does not. Old habits die
hard.
Religion isn’t the only institution complicit in LGBT people’s suffering. Religious
doctrine may have helped to spread anti-LGBT sentiment, but governments and
rulers enshrined it in law. Political figures have been all too willing to target a historically disenfranchised community, one with very little power or influence. Whether
motivated by religious beliefs, animus towards a “lifestyle” they don’t understand,

an “ick” factor over the thought of
gay sex, or the oft-cited “security
risk” posed by living openly, the
political class has used the LGBT
community as its whipping post for
generations.
Unfortunately, even as laws
have become more LGBT-friendly,
most governments have been
unwilling to admit to the nature
and scope of their discrimination.
There have been small concessions
along the way, but most have either
dealt with specific events or certain
LGBT individuals. The community
at large has mostly been ignored.
The most obvious example of a
government-issued apology is Alan
Turing, the British scientist who
helped crack the Nazi’s Enigma
Code during World War II. In 2009,
former U.K. Prime Minister Gordon
Brown apologized for the forced
chemical castration of Turing after
it was revealed he was homosexual. Turing committed suicide at 41.
In 2013, almost 60 years after his
death, he received a royal pardon
from Queen Elizabeth II. That same
year, in the United States, John
Berry, former director of the Office
of Personnel Management, issued
a formal written apology to LGBT
rights activist Frank Kameny, who
was fired from the U.S. Army Map
Service in 1957 because of his homosexuality. But neither the British
nor U.S. governments have apolo-

JUNE 30, 2016 • METROWEEKLY

25

gized to the much greater number of people also persecuted any time soon would be futile. So far, neither Congress nor
or mistreated because of their sexual orientation or gender the White House has even raised the possibility of apologizidentity, and who lack the fame of a Turing or a Kameny.
ing for the persecution and mistreatment of LGBT people by
Sometimes, what appears to be an apology (or at least an the U.S government.
admission of guilt) is an attempted justification for targetThe most egregious action taken against the LGBT
ing LGBT people. In 2010, Fidel Castro, former President community occurred during the “Lavender Scare,” a period
of Cuba, told the Mexican newspaper La Jornada that he when the United States was enthralled by McCarthyism
took responsibility for the discrimination or mistreatment and red-baiting. During that period, gays and lesbians were
of members of the LGBT community.
fired because they were thought to be
During the ’60s and ’70s, many LGBT
easy targets for blackmail and infilpeople were fired, imprisoned or sent
tration by Communists, and thereTimeline of States
to “reeducation camps.” But even as
fore security risks. The Mattachine
Decriminalizing Gay Sex
he admitted ignoring the plight of
Society of Washington, D.C., a local
LGBT people on the island nation,
LGBT group, is currently suing
Castro tried to reason with his govthe Department of Justice to turn
1960s
ernment’s actions.
over papers, memoranda, and corIllinois
“At the time we were being sabrespondence related to President
otaged systematically, there were
Eisenhower’s Executive Order
armed attacks against us, we had
10450, which banned homosexuals
1970s
too many problems,” Castro said.
and “sexual perverts” from workCalifornia, Colorado, Connecticut,
“Keeping one step ahead of the CIA,
ing for the federal government. That
Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa,
which was paying so many traitors,
order was subsequently enforced by
Maine, Massachusetts, Nebraska,
was not easy.”
the Civil Service Commission, now
New Hampshire, New Jersey,
So much for taking responsibility.
the Office of Personnel Management
New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio,
Given the history of “apologies”
(OPM).
Oregon, South Dakota, Vermont,
offered to the LGBT community,
“We tried to get a meeting with
Washington, West Virginia,
many of them half-hearted or mealyOPM this year, and they wouldn’t see
Wyoming
mouthed, it came as a surprise last
us,” says Charles Francis, president
month when the government of
of the Mattachine Society. “We met
Victoria, in Australia, issued a formal
with them last year, and they saw our
1980s
apology for laws that criminalized
presentation. We discovered the files
Alaska, New York, Pennsylvania,
homosexuality, often resulting in jail
in the National Archives of the Office
Wisconsin
sentences of up to 15 years.
of the General Counsel of the Civil
“I can’t possibly explain why we
Service Commission and the Office
made these laws and clung to them
of Personnel Management. We found
1990s
and fought for them,” said Victorian
the papers.... It was sickening. They
Premier David Andrews. “It is the
fought gay equality every step of the
D.C., Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland,
first responsibility of a governway for 40 years.
Montana, Nevada, Rhode Island,
ment to keep people safe. But the
“And so we said, ‘We don’t want
Tennessee
Government didn’t keep LGBTI peoan apology. An apology is for indiple safe. The Government invalidated
viduals. You apologized to Frank
2000s
their humanity and cast them into a
Kameny.’ How do you apologize
nightmare.”
to tens of thousands? And not just
Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas,
With Victoria opening the door,
the people that were fired, but their
Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana,
LGBT activists have seized upon
families and their children that are
Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi,
an opportunity to obtain apologies
alive today? I don’t think you can. To
Missouri, North Carolina,
from governments that once persethose tens of thousands, we want a
Oklahoma, South Carolina,
cuted them. Germany has promised
‘truth and reconciliation’ approach.
Texas, Utah, Virginia
to overturn the convictions of men
We want a statement of recognition
who had been sentenced under a
of what happened. And then OPM
now-defunct law. Although it began
got hacked in 2015. Then they had a
under the Nazi regime, the law was
change in leadership, and then they
used to prosecute people well into the 1960s, and remained wouldn’t discuss it with us again.
on the books until 1994. In Canada, LGBT activists have
“I want a statement of recognition from OPM that their
issued two separate reports, one of which calls for an apol- lawyers, government attorneys, who worked diligently to
ogy from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government and continue the firing and the investigating, to keep us out,
restitution for those prosecuted under anti-LGBT laws. The until it finally ended with Clinton, in his executive order,”
second calls for an apology to former public servants or mil- he continues. “It should be: ‘We recognize that tens of thouitary members who were dismissed because of their sexual sands of LGBT Americans were investigated and many fired
orientation or gender identity.
through five presidencies.’ Really stepping up and admitting
As for the U.S. government, hoping for a formal apology what happened.” l

26

JUNE 30, 2016 • METROWEEKLY

DUDAREV MIKHAIL

Community

ADVENTURE TIME

I

WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP
INSTITUTE for young LBTQ

women, 13-21, interested in
leadership development. 5-6:30
p.m. SMYAL Youth Center, 410
7th St. SE. 202-567-3163, catherine.chu@smyal.org.

An LGBT group known for its hikes gears up for a busy
Fourth of July weekend

REMEMBER WHEN I DID MY VERY FIRST ADVENTURING HIKE,” SAYS JEFF HUGHES,
president of the LGBT outdoors activity group Adventuring. “At the time I was running regularly,
and it was a 10-mile hike. I thought ‘Oh my god, I run 10 miles, this isn’t going to bug me at all.’ But
it’s very different walking on rocks and roots and climbing up and down things. I was exhausted and
sore by the end.”
The group has become famous for their one-day adventures, which range in difficulty and showcase the diverse geography of the Mid-Atlantic region. Recent adventures have included a moonlight
bike ride by the monuments, kayaking down the Potomac River, and camping out in cabins in the
Shenandoah Valley. The group has two outings planned for the upcoming July 4 weekend — a leisurely walk down the C&O canal capped by the Independence Day fireworks displays, and the annual
“Blackberry Ice Cream Hike.”
“We hike in the upper elevations of Shenandoah National Park,” Hughes says of the 7-mile hike.
“Shenandoah’s very well-known for growing blackberries, and they’re also known for making their
own blackberry ice cream. We always end up indulging in ice cream, as well as things like blackberry
prohibition drinks.” — John Riley
Adventuring’s Blackberry Ice Cream Hike takes place on Sunday, July 3, with a carpool leaving from the
East Falls Church Metro Kiss & Ride lot at 9 a.m. For more information, visit adventuring.org.

THURSDAY, June 30
Weekly Events
DC LAMBDA SQUARES gay
and lesbian square-dancing
group features mainstream
through advanced square
dancing at the National City
Christian Church, 5 Thomas
Circle NW, 7-9:30 p.m. Casual
dress. 301-257-0517, dclambdasquares.org.
The DULLES TRIANGLES
Northern Virginia social
group meets for happy hour

at Sheraton in Reston, 11810
Sunrise Valley Drive, second-floor bar, 7-9 p.m. All welcome. dullestriangles.com.

Appointment needed. 1012 14th
St. NW, Suite 700. 202-6380750.

IDENTITY offers free and

3-5 p.m., by appointment and
walk-in, for youth 21 and
younger. 202-567-3155 or testing@smyal.org.

confidential HIV testing
in Gaithersburg, 414 East
Diamond Ave., and in Takoma
Park, 7676 New Hampshire
Ave., Suite 411. Walk-ins 2-6
p.m. For appointments other
hours, call Gaithersburg, 301300-9978, or Takoma Park,
301-422-2398.

METROHEALTH CENTER

offers free, rapid HIV testing.

SMYAL offers free HIV Testing,

US HELPING US hosts a

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

FRIDAY, July 1
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. 2000 14th St.
NW, Suite 105. For more information, visit gaydistrict.org.

LGB PSYCHOTHERAPY
GROUP for adults in

Montgomery County offers a
safe space to explore coming
out and issues of identity.
10-11:30 a.m. 16220 S. Frederick
Rd., Suite 512, Gaithersburg,
Md. For more information, visit
thedccenter.org.
The DC Center hosts a meeting of its TRANS SUPPORT
GROUP for transgender people
and those who identify outside
of the gender binary. 7-9 p.m.
2000 14th St. NW, Suite 105.
For more information, visit
thedccenter.org.

Weekly Events
ANDROMEDA
TRANSCULTURAL HEALTH

offers free HIV testing, 9-5 p.m.,
and HIV services (by appointment). 202-291-4707, andromedatransculturalhealth.org.

DC AQUATICS CLUB (DCAC)

practice session at Hains Point,

JUNE 30, 2016 • METROWEEKLY

27

927 Ohio Dr. SW. 6:30-8 p.m. Visit
swimdcac.org.

NW. RVSP preferred. brendandarcy@gmail.com.

PROJECT STRIPES hosts LGBT-

SUNDAY, July 3

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

SMYAL’S REC NIGHT provides a

social atmosphere for GLBT and
questioning youth, featuring dance
parties, vogue nights, movies and
games. More info, catherine.chu@
smyal.org.

SMYAL offers free HIV Testing, 3-6
p.m., by appointment and walk-in,
for youth 21 and younger. Youth
Center, 410 7th St. SE. 202-5673155, testing@smyal.org.

SATURDAY, July 2
CHRYSALIS arts and culture group

visits the Folger Shakespeare
Library on Capitol Hill to see
an exhibition on “America’s
Shakespeare.” Free. Lunch in the
neighborhood to follow. Meet at 11
a.m. in the Folger Gift Shop at 2nd
and East Capitol Street SE. Contact
Craig, 202-462-0535 or craighowell1@verizon.net.

Weekly Events
ANDROMEDA TRANSCULTURAL
HEALTH offers free HIV testing,

9-5 p.m., and HIV services (by
appointment). 202-291-4707 or
andromedatransculturalhealth.org.

BET MISHPACHAH, founded by

members of the LGBT community,
holds Saturday morning Shabbat
services, 10 a.m., followed by
Kiddush luncheon. Services in
DCJCC Community Room, 1529
16th St. NW. betmish.org.

BRAZILIAN GLBT GROUP, includ-

ing others interested in Brazilian culture, meets. For location/time, email
braziliangaygroup@yahoo.com.

DC AQUATICS CLUB (DCAC)

practice session at Hains Point, 972
Ohio Dr., SW. 8:30-10 a.m. Visit
swimdcac.org.

DC FRONT RUNNERS running/

walking/social club welcomes all
levels for exercise in a fun and supportive environment, socializing
afterward. Meet 9:30 a.m., 23rd &
P Streets NW, for a walk; or 10 a.m.
for fun run. dcfrontrunners.org.

DC SENTINELS basketball

team meets at Turkey Thicket
Recreation Center, 1100 Michigan
Ave. NE, 2-4 p.m. For players of all
levels, gay or straight. teamdcbasketball.org.

GAY LANGUAGE CLUB discusses

critical languages and foreign languages. 7 p.m. Nellie’s, 900 U St.

28

ADVENTURING outdoors group

hikes 7 moderately strenuous
miles, with 1200 feet of elevation
gain, to view major waterfall in
Shenandoah National Park. Bring
plenty of beverages, lunch, sunscreen, bug spray, sturdy boots and
about $15 for fees. Refreshments
at Skyland Resort follow hike.
Carpool at 9 a.m. from the East
Falls Church Metro Kiss & Ride
lot. For more information, contact Craig, 202-462-0535, or visit
adventuring.org.

Weekly Events
BETHEL CHURCH-DC progressive
and radically inclusive church
holds services at 11:30 a.m. 2217
Minnesota Ave. SE. 202-248-1895,
betheldc.org.
DC AQUATICS CLUB (DCAC)

practice session at Hains Point,
972 Ohio Dr., SW. 9:30-11 a.m. Visit
swimdcac.org.

FIRST CONGREGATIONAL
UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST

welcomes all to 10:30 a.m. service,
945 G St. NW. firstuccdc.org or
202-628-4317.

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

HSV-2 SOCIAL AND SUPPORT
GROUP for gay men living in the

DC metro area. This group will be
meeting once a month. For information on location and time, visit
H2gether.com.
Join LINCOLN

CONGREGATIONAL TEMPLE –
UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST for

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

METROPOLITAN COMMUNITY
CHURCH OF NORTHERN
VIRGINIA services at 11 a.m., led

by Rev. Emma Chattin. Children’s
Sunday School, 11 a.m. 10383
Democracy Lane, Fairfax. 703-6910930, mccnova.com.

NATIONAL CITY CHRISTIAN
CHURCH, inclusive church with

GLBT fellowship, offers gospel worship, 8:30 a.m., and traditional worship, 11 a.m. 5 Thomas Circle NW.
202-232-0323, nationalcitycc.org.

ST. STEPHEN AND THE
INCARNATION, an “interra-

cial, multi-ethnic Christian

JUNE 30, 2016 • METROWEEKLY

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. 202-232-0900, saintstephensdc.org.

with at least basic swimming ability
always welcome. Tom, 703-2990504, secretary@wetskins.org,
wetskins.org.

UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST
CHURCH OF SILVER SPRING

HIV/AIDS Support Group for
newly diagnosed individuals,
meets 7 p.m. Registration required.
202-939-7671, hivsupport@whitman-walker.org.

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. uucss.org.

WHITMAN-WALKER HEALTH

TUESDAY, July 5

MONDAY, July 4

Weekly Events

ADVENTURING outdoors group

ANDROMEDA TRANSCULTURAL
HEALTH offers free HIV testing,

hikes 5 easy miles at Great Falls,
Md. Bring beverages, lunch, sunscreen, bug spray and about $5
for fees. Carpool at 11 a.m. from
Tenleytown Metro Station, return
by mid-afternoon. More info,
contact Jeff, 301-775-9660 or visit
adventuring.org.
The DC Center hosts a

VOLUNTEER NIGHT for commu-

nity members to lend a hand with
various duties, including cleaning,
keeping safe-sex kit inventory, and
sorting through book donations.
Pizza provided. 6:30-8:30 p.m.
2000 14th St. NW, Suite 105. For
more information, visit thedccenter.org.

Weekly Events
DC SCANDALS RUGBY holds

practice, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Garrison
Elementary, 1200 S St. NW. dcscandals.wordpress.com.

GETEQUAL meets 6:30-8 p.m. at
Quaker House, 2111 Florida Ave.
NW. getequal.wdc@gmail.com.
KARING WITH INDIVIDUALITY
(K.I.) SERVICES, 3333 Duke St.,

Alexandria, offers free “rapid” HIV
testing and counseling, 9 a.m.-4
p.m. 703-823-4401.

NOVASALUD offers free HIV testing. 5-7 p.m. 2049 N. 15th St., Suite
200, Arlington. Appointments: 703789-4467.
SMYAL offers free HIV Testing, 3-5
p.m., by appointment and walk-in,
for youth 21 and younger. Youth
Center, 410 7th St. SE. 202-5673155 or testing@smyal.org.
The DC Center hosts COFFEE

DROP-IN FOR THE SENIOR LGBT
COMMUNITY. 10 a.m.-noon. 2000

14th St. NW. 202-682-2245, thedccenter.org.

US HELPING US hosts a black gay
men’s evening affinity group. 3636
Georgia Ave. NW. 202-446-1100.

WASHINGTON WETSKINS
WATER POLO TEAM practices 7-9

p.m. Takoma Aquatic Center, 300
Van Buren St. NW. Newcomers

9-5 p.m., and HIV services (by
appointment). 202-291-4707,
andromedatransculturalhealth.org.

ASIANS AND FRIENDS weekly

dinner in Dupont/Logan Circle
area, 6:30 p.m. afwash@aol.com,
afwashington.net.

DC AQUATICS CLUB (DCAC)

practice session at Takoma Aquatic
Center, 300 Van Buren St. NW.
7:30-9 p.m. swimdcac.org.

DC FRONT RUNNERS running/

walking/social club serving greater D.C.’s LGBT community and
allies hosts an evening run/walk.
dcfrontrunners.org.

THE GAY MEN’S HEALTH
COLLABORATIVE offers free

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.
james.leslie@inova.org.

HIV TESTING at Whitman-Walker
Health. At the Elizabeth Taylor
Medical Center, 1701 14th St. NW,
9 a.m.-5 p.m. At the Max Robinson
Center, 2301 MLK Jr. Ave. SE, 9
a.m.-4:30 p.m. For an appointment
call 202-745-7000. Visit whitman-walker.org.
THE HIV WORKING GROUP of
THE DC CENTER hosts “Packing

Party,” where volunteers assemble
safe-sex kits of condoms and lube.
7 p.m., Green Lantern, 1335 Green
Court NW. thedccenter.org.

METROHEALTH CENTER

offers free, rapid HIV testing.
Appointment needed. 1012 14th St.
NW, Suite 700. 202-638-0750.

OVEREATERS ANONYMOUS—

LGBT focused meeting every
Tuesday, 7 p.m. St. George’s
Episcopal Church, 915 Oakland
Ave., Arlington, just steps from
Virginia Square Metro. For
more info. call Dick, 703-5211999. Handicapped accessible.
Newcomers welcome. liveandletliveoa@gmail.com.

SMYAL offers free HIV Testing, 3-5
p.m., by appointment and walk-in,
for youth 21 and younger. Youth
Center, 410 7th St. SE. 202-5673155, testing@smyal.org.

SUPPORT GROUP FOR LGBTQ
YOUTH ages 13-21 meets at

SMYAL, 410 7th St. SE, 5-6:30 p.m.
Cathy Chu, 202-567-3163, catherine.chu@smyal.org.

US HELPING US hosts a support

group for black gay men 40 and
older. 7-9 p.m., 3636 Georgia Ave.
NW. 202-446-1100.
Whitman-Walker Health’s GAY

MEN’S HEALTH AND WELLNESS/
STD CLINIC opens at 6 p.m., 1701

14th St. NW. Patients are seen on
walk-in basis. No-cost screening
for HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea and
chlamydia. Hepatitis and herpes
testing available for fee. whitman-walker.org.

WEDNESDAY, July 6
BIG GAY BOOK GROUP meets

to discuss Beijing Comrades by
Bei Tong (translated by Scott E.
Myers). Newcomers are welcome.
7 p.m. Trio Restaurant, 1537 17th St.
NW. For more information, contact
biggaybookgroup@hotmail.com.

BOOKMEN DC, an informal men’s
gay-literature group, discusses
“Gay Artists in Modern American
Culture,” by Michael S. Sherry. All
are welcome. 7:30 p.m. Cleveland
Park Library, 3310 Connecticut
Ave NW. More info, bookmendc.
blogspot.com.
THE GOLDEN CROWN LITERARY
SOCIETY, an organization support-

ing lesbian literature, hosts its 12th
annual conference at the Hilton
Alexandria Mark Center from July
6-10. The conference offers various
panels, seminars and workshops
for readers and authors of lesbian
literature. Every hour will spotlight five authors with readings
and chats. The organization also
awards “Goldies,” or awards for
excellence in lesbian literature, on
July 10. Event times vary. 5000
Seminary Rd., Alexandria, Va. For
more information, visit goldencrown.org.

THE TOM DAVOREN SOCIAL
BRIDGE CLUB will meet for

Social Bridge. 7:30 p.m. Dignity
Center 721 8th St., S.E. (across
from Marine Barracks). No partner
needed. 301-345-1571 for more
information.

Weekly Events
AD LIB, a group for freestyle con-

versation, meets about 6:30-6 p.m.,

Steam, 17th and R NW. All welcome. For more information, call
Fausto Fernandez, 703-732-5174.

a.m.-4:30 p.m. For an appointment
call 202-745-7000. Visit whitman-walker.org.

ANDROMEDA TRANSCULTURAL
HEALTH offers free HIV testing,

IDENTITY offers free and confidential HIV testing in Gaithersburg,
414 East Diamond Ave. Walk-ins
2-7 p.m. For appointments other
hours, call Gaithersburg at 301300-9978.

9-5 p.m., and HIV services (by
appointment). 202-291-4707,
andromedatransculturalhealth.org.

DC AQUATICS CLUB (DCAC)

practice session at Hains Point,
927 Ohio Dr. SW. 7-8:30 p.m. Visit
swimdcac.org.

DC SCANDALS RUGBY holds

practice, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Garrison
Elementary, 1200 S St. NW. dcscandals.wordpress.com.

FREEDOM FROM SMOKING, a
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 thedccenter.org.
HISTORIC CHRIST CHURCH

offers Wednesday worship 7:15 a.m.
and 12:05 p.m. All welcome. 118 N.
Washington St., Alexandria. 703549-1450, historicchristchurch.org.

HIV TESTING at Whitman-Walker
Health. At the Elizabeth Taylor
Medical Center, 1701 14th St. NW,
9 a.m.-5 p.m. At the Max Robinson
Center, 2301 MLK Jr. Ave. SE, 9

JOB CLUB, a weekly support program for job entrants and seekers,
meets at The DC Center. 6-7:30 p.m.
2000 14th St. NW, Suite 105. For
more info, www.centercareers.org.
METROHEALTH CENTER offers

free, rapid HIV testing. No
appointment needed. 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
1012 14th St. NW, Suite 700. 202638-0750.

PRIME TIMERS OF DC, social club
for mature gay men, hosts weekly
happy hour/dinner. 6:30 p.m.,
Windows Bar above Dupont Italian
Kitchen, 1637 17th St. NW. Carl,
703-573-8316.
Submit your community event for
consideration at least 10 days prior
to the Thursday publication you
would like it to appear. Email to calendar@metroweekly.com. l

JUNE 30, 2016 • METROWEEKLY

29

Feeling
e

Kinky
From the instant J. Harrison Ghee donned a pair of heels, he knew he’d found his calling. Now
he’s starring in one of Broadway’s biggest touring hits.
Interview by Randy Shulman // Photography by Julian Vankim
Photo at right by Matthew Murphy

“I just turned 27 yesterday!”
J. Harrison Ghee gracefully settles his lanky, 6’4” frame into
one of the antique settees in the Kennedy Center’s renowned
“Bird Room,” where all manner of stuffed winged creatures peer
ominously from glass cases. He shrugs it off the notion of working on his birthday with a laugh.
“Being the star of a show at The Kennedy Center for your
birthday? I’ll take it.”
Ghee plays Lola in the national touring company of Kinky
Boots, the Tony-winning Broadway musical featuring a bright,
buoyant score by Cyndi Lauper and a book by go-to playwright
Harvey Fierstein. Billy Porter originated the role on Broadway,
winning a Tony for his wry, emotional portrayal of a drag queen
who saves a small, north England shoe company from ruin by
devising a thigh-high heel exclusively for drag queens.
Anyone who saw Porter would agree that his was a hard act
to follow — it was one of those forever-defining performances,
much like Jennifer Holliday’s Effie in Dreamgirls — but Ghee
is remarkable in his own right, bringing a sense of style, snap
and sizzle and walking away with the audience’s heart. His
Lola conveys a warrior spirit — especially at the character’s
most emotional moment where, in the evening’s showstopping
anthem “Hold Me in Your Heart,” the survivor spirit emanates
to the upper reaches of the Opera House. Ghee’s performance is
both measured and unrestrained. If there weren’t about a dozen
or so other reasons to see Kinky Boots, Lola would be enough.
“It’s therapy for me,” says the actor, smartly outfitted in a
cobalt blazer, pastel yellow bowtie and brightly checkered shirt.
30

JUNE 30, 2016 • METROWEEKLY

“I put my mess into the show.”
That “mess” began in North Carolina, where Ghee was
reared in the strict environs of a Baptist family. He found solace
in music, however, and started singing in the family’s church
choir at an early age.
“There are pictures of me at age three with a mike in hand,
singing,” he says. “It’s what I’ve always done. Music is my safe
place. It’s where I can express myself. It’s where I can live and
thrive and inspire and encourage, and do so many things. Music
is my life.”
Another, more secretive part of Ghee’s life was drag. Bullied in
school for his effete mannerisms, he moved to New York as soon
as he was 18 and looked to drag as a way to empower himself. “I
feel invincible when I’m in drag,” he says of his alter-ego, Crystal
Demure, who for several years hosted a weekly show in New
York City. “It’s helped me break out of my shell and live honestly.
It’s helped me to live out loud.” He still brings Crystal out on
occasion, but the rigors of a national tour have kept her in the
background. For the moment, Lola is the woman in Ghee’s life.
“Everything about this show is special — the energy of it, the
heart of it, the message of it, is progressive and forward,” he says.
“All I want to do is affect people’s lives. I want to inspire and to
encourage. It’s been the most amazing thing to be able to do talkbacks after the show with LGBT youth across the country. To
hear their stories and to know that they were affected.
“If I had seen Kinky Boots when I was younger,” he sighs, “oh,
my God, things would have been a lot easier.”

y
JUNE 30, 2016 • METROWEEKLY

31

METRO WEEKLY: Let’s start with a quick bio.
J. HARRISON GHEE: I’m originally from Fayetteville, North

my son. You’re a part of me. You represent me, and I love you.”
That was all I needed to hear from him. He could add any scripCarolina, born and raised. My father is a Missionary Baptist pas- ture, any philosophy he wanted to say otherwise, but all I needed
tor, and is also an educator — he’s the dean of a Bible college. He to know is that he loved me.
has a PhD in philosophy and history. I have one older brother.
Meanwhile, I didn’t hear from my mother for three days, and
I moved to New York when I was 18 to study musical theater. my mother is my best friend. We talk all the time about everyWorked at Tokyo Disney for a couple years. Worked on cruise thing. It kind of shocked me that I hadn’t heard from her after
ships for a while. Now I’m here.
this email. The only sentence I remember from her email when
MW: When you told the parents, “I want to go into musical the- she finally wrote back was the very first sentence: “LOL, I’ve
ater,” how did they react?
known as long as you’ve known.” I thought, “Did my mother just
GHEE: My father said I was being disrespectful and disobedient. LOL me for coming out to her?” That’s our relationship.
He didn’t understand why I was moving all the way to New York MW: Has your father come to terms with it?
GHEE: It’s still something we don’t talk
to pursue this. “Do something in science
about, but we’ve grown in our relationand math. People always need someone
ship. We’ve come to a place where we
in those fields. Do something like that. Be
can just be, just like the show tells us to
a scientist. Go be a doctor, be a lawyer, do
“The only sentence I
be. We thrive and we live, and we love
anything.”
remember from her
MW: How did you respond?
each other. He’s grown, because of me, in
email when she finally
so many ways.
GHEE: I just said, “This is something I’ve
dealt with. It’s something I’ve prayed
MW: A major underlying theme of the show
wrote back was the
about. And I feel like this is what I need
is the relationship sons have with their
very first sentence:
to do.” It didn’t make sense to him until
fathers.
I graduated. He came to my graduation
GHEE: I often joke, “Somebody must have
‘LOL, I’ve known as
and my teachers assured him, “You’ve
been following my life when they wrote
long as you’ve known.’
raised a great son. You don’t have to
this musical.” Even the lyrics of “Not
worry about him. He will work.” I had
my Father’s Son” — “With the strength
I THOUGHT, ‘DID MY
already booked my first job before gradof Sparta and the patience of Job.” My
MOTHER JUST LOL
uating, so that was proof to him. He says
father having a PhD in philosophy and
now that there’s mud on his face, and it
history, and being a pastor, and I have to
ME FOR COMING OUT
smells good.
sing that every night, about not being my
TO HER?’”
father’s son.
MW: He can’t have imagined you dancing
I started the tour as an understudy
in six inch heels.
GHEE: I’ve been doing drag outside of the
and a swing, so I wasn’t on every night.
When our original Lola from the tour left,
show for six years now. He didn’t know
I had been doing it before I got this job. He joked with me one everybody was saying, “You are a real-life Lola. This is you. They
day and said, “It’s fun — you get paid to imitate drag queens. have to give this to you.” I said, “I’m not going to hold my breath.
Just don’t bring any wigs home.” I was like, “Okay, ummm....” It I understand in this industry how things work, and I don’t have
wasn’t until the day before he was going to see the show that I the credits to pull.” I didn’t get my hopes up. I re-auditioned,
and luckily I have the opportunity now to live in this role, and to
told him I had been doing drag. He was like, “Wait, what?”
He said, “So this drag thing, what is this about?” I said that share this message and to carry it across the country.
it’s a part of my creative expression. It wasn’t that I want to be a MW: I’ve always been curious, if you’re understudying a role, you
woman. It wasn’t anything deviant. I had to remove all the pre- have to know the role inside and out. You have to be ready to go on....
conceived notions that he may have had, and just express to him GHEE: ...at any time.
that it was a part of me being creative and changing the world.
MW: But there’s also the chance that you don’t go on. Is it frustratI like to make people think and feel. You wouldn’t expect this ing to know a role so well yet potentially never perform it?
6’4” black man to be a beautiful woman. I showed him pictures GHEE: For the first three months of the tour, I didn’t go on as
and he said, “That’s my son? That’s you?” I said, “Yeah.” He anything. I didn’t even have Lola costumes — they weren’t made
said, “You own all of this stuff?” I said, “Yeah, I did the makeup, yet. I was on tour with no Lola costumes, no Angel costumes. I
I styled the hair, I put all of it together, and I did that photo had factory worker costumes, but the people I covered weren’t
shoot.” He just said, “I get it, I understand.” I just had to put it in out of the show for any reason, so I was just like, on tour.
terms that he would understand.
I was the assistant dance captain, so I knew the show inside and
MW: I take it he likes the show.
out. A lot of these people that I’m working with now, I taught
GHEE: Oh, he loves it. He’s seen it three times. His favorite song them the show, and then took over as Lola. Now, I’m essentially
is “The Sex is in the Heels.” He was joking, “I’m going to play it the leader of the company.
in church somehow. I’m going to sneak it in there.”
MW: Had you gone on at all while understudying?
MW: When did you come out to the family?
GHEE: I had. Billy Porter took a leave of absence from the
GHEE: When I was 21. I was working in Japan at the time. I was Broadway company, so they took our Lola back to Broadway for
prepared for my father to disown me. Because there was a time three months, and me and another understudy split that time. I
difference, and I wanted both of my parents to know at the same had a solid month and a half of just being Lola.
time, I just sent them both an email. My dad e-mailed me within MW: What was it like going on the very first time?
fifteen minutes, and was like, “I don’t know where this is coming GHEE: It was overwhelming. It was in San Francisco and it was
from. I don’t know what I did wrong,” making it about himself a scheduled date. Our Lola had a personal day, and I knew I was
and all of those things. He also said, “I won’t disown you. You’re going on. My costumes got there literally the day before. The
32

JUNE 30, 2016 • METROWEEKLY

JUNE 30, 2016 • METROWEEKLY

33

34

JUNE 30, 2016 • METROWEEKLY

cast was so supportive: “You got this, just do it.” It was amazing. “faggot, homo,” just blatant. At the time, I didn’t understand
or know. I said, “I don’t even know what that means. What are
It felt comfortable.
MW: When somebody like a Billy Porter originates a role in a you talking about? I’m just myself.” It didn’t make sense. Middle
Broadway show, wins a Tony for it, becomes known for it, claims school, I got very defensive. If anybody said anything, I would
it, as it were, do you follow stricture to perform it just as he did, or just bite back immediately.
do you find ways to make it your own?
MW: Why do you think they pegged you?
GHEE: You’re given guidelines, and you know what it is. GHEE: Just because I was different, and because I’ve always
There are certain things you have to stick with. I spoke with been a people person. I love people. Sometimes I don’t, but for
Billy before taking on the role, and he just told me, “Just be the most part, and I would do anything for everyone. I would
yourself. As long as you’re true and honest to you, you will always make a point for Valentine’s Day, in elementary school, I
do the role justice.” Harvey [Fierstein] did an amazing job would be like, “Mom, I have to go to Bath and Body Works and
with the book of the show. If you trust
get all my girl classmates their favorite
the material, you can’t fail anyway. You
hand sanitizer scent.” I would get all the
just have to be honest to the material
girls their little favorites and all the boys
and to yourself, and you will succeed.
were like, “Man, you little faggot.” They
“KINKY BOOTS IS
At some point along the way, you find
were just mad because I was friends with
nuances and you find things that, for you
all the girls. I was like, “What? I’m being
OPENING PEOPLE’S
as an actor, makes sense and feels right.
me. I’m doing me.”
EYES. Things that
You go with the journey, and you go with
MW: At the performance, I noticed the
the flow. You just allow the world, the
reaction of the older couples around me.
they’d never imagined
land of Lola, to take over.
They were roaring whenever Lola had
they would agree with
a triumph or a character had a visible
MW: Do you feel like you own it more at
change of heart toward her. It occurred to
this point?
or understand or even
GHEE: Oh, absolutely. I’m so comfortable
me, how can any of them be homophobic
experience, they’re
and I’m so settled in it now. I am Lola.
when they’re cheering like this?
Lola is me. We are one and the same.
GHEE: Kinky Boots is starting that converexperiencing because
MW: There are several triggers withsation. It’s dispelling all of the pre-conof Kinky Boots.”
in Kinky Boots to allow people to cheer
ceived notions. It is opening the eyes of
at moments of self-discovery for various
the understanding of people. Things that
characters. When I first saw it in 2013, we
they’d never imagined they would agree
didn’t have marriage. Transgender people
with or understand or even experience,
weren’t in the national conversation in the
they’re experiencing because of Kinky
way that they are now. Now, every single person, young and old, in Boots. We happen to use a medium of drag to tell a message, and
that theater, has our issues on their minds in one way or the other. it’s unexpected. Season ticket holders just come because they’re
How important is culture and a show like this in helping to win like, “I have these tickets, so I guess I’ll go see this show.” They
over the hearts and minds of Americans?
have no idea what Kinky Boots is.
GHEE: Every morning when I wake up, I check in with myself:
Of course, the moment they see Lola they’re like, “Wait,
“How do I feel? How does my body feel? Am I good?” There what? Oh.” Then they see that Lola is just another person. Lola
are days where I wake up and, even though I love what I do, I has issues, too. Lola is struggling with the father/son issue, and
say, “Oh, if I could just stay in this bed all day, it would really be people in the audience can relate to it, because everyone wants
nice.” But I know I have to go affect someone’s life, and someone to be loved and accepted and understood for their differences.
has to see this show, and see how I personally bring this message Everybody wants what’s best for anyone. As a human, you want
across, and put myself on stage and be vulnerable, so that some- acceptance. At the end of the day, you just want to be accepted
one can change their mind.
for who you are.
This show, as the actors on stage, is therapy for us. Doing it MW: For years, drag has been popular in Broadway musicals — we
for each other, with each other, and for the audiences, and even have La Cage, Priscilla, this. What is it about drag and Broadway
sometimes in the most random places, it’s something so special that mixes so well?
and so beautiful. And in this time that we live in, everyone needs GHEE: It’s fun, it’s fanciful, it’s fabulous. It’s campy, but at the
to see it and understand it.
same time, even with this show, we’re showing you that drag is
We’ve been to North Carolina already, twice. With this trans- just another thing. It’s a man in a dress. You can laugh at it. You
gender bathroom situation and all that jazz. I’m so excited to go can be entertained by it. You don’t have to think that it’s someback because it’s like, “Did you not get the message when we thing dark or there’s something tied to it.
were there before? All right, so you need us to come back, so that MW: Yet Lola’s character is clearly uncomfortable when she comes
you can really understand.”
in dressed as a man. She’s unprotected.
MW: How do you feel about your home state’s recent legislation?
GHEE: Even with my personal life, I started doing drag because it
GHEE: It blows my mind that my home state is having all of these was a way for me to escape. It was somewhere for me to go to just
issues. It baffles me, but at the same time it makes sense, because forget about my worries and my cares and just have fun. To just be.
it’s where I grew up, and it’s part of why it took me so long to MW: What’s your drag name?
get to being me. I didn’t live out loud in North Carolina. I moved GHEE: Crystal Demure. I’ve been doing it forever. When I startout as soon as I was done with high school. That’s when I started ed doing drag I said, “I’m a drag artist. Don’t call me a queen. I
don’t want to be a stereotypical drag queen.” Who am I kidding?
finding me, when I got out of there.
MW: Were you bullied?
I was young Lola. I was in my mother’s closet when I was little,
GHEE: Throughout my life, yes. In elementary school it was playing in her heels when they left the house, and then covering
JUNE 30, 2016 • METROWEEKLY

35

up the heel marks in the carpet just to make sure nobody knew.
MW: Is it like putting on armor for you?
GHEE: Oh, absolutely. I feel invincible when I’m in drag. I can do
anything. I can get away with anything, without trying, sometimes. I can walk up to a stranger and start a conversation, which
I wouldn’t normally do. It’s helped me break out of my shell and
live honestly. It’s helped me to live out loud.
MW: Does some of Crystal find her way into Lola?
GHEE: Lola is informed by Crystal. I couldn’t portray Lola the
way I do had I not had my personal experience in drag.
MW: Watching it, I was thinking, “Wow, he’s so good in the heels.”
Obviously you’ve had a lot of practice. Are the boots at all difficult
to walk in?
GHEE: They’re so comfortable. They’re custom-made. They do 15
measurements on each leg and foot, so they are made just for me.
I could run a marathon in those things.
MW: Be honest, do you ever get bored up there? It’s a job.
GHEE: No. I find some way to make it fresh, some way to make it
new. There’s always something. One of our original Angels said
it best. On television, you get the take, and you record it, and then
that’s what it is. That’s what’s printed. In theater, you get a new
chance every night — make a new choice, find something new.
Whether it’s the biggest thing or the smallest thing, you find
something. I’m always finding something new vocally to sing,
or in my voice. I’m like, “Oh, I didn’t know I could do that.” I’m
finding new things musically.
MW: Do you think Lola could be played by a white actor?
GHEE: No.
MW: Why not?
GHEE: We joke about it all the time. People are like, “You can
never beat the big, black drag queen.” In a sense, she has to be
big, bold and black. Billy said to me, “For this to be successful,
you need a black church sissy. Hire a black church sissy as Lola,
and you won’t fail.” There’s so many layers and so many stories.
Also, Lola’s flamboyant, but he’s actually written to be a heterosexual male.
MW: Are you saying that Lola’s not gay?
GHEE: Lola can be whatever Lola wants to be.
MW: Wait a minute —
GHEE: You’re like, “Wait, this drag queen is straight?” That’s
what the song “What a Woman Wants” is. When [factory foreman] Don is like, “Wait, you like women?” Lola is like, “I adore
them, I worship them. My whole being is dedicated to loving
them, and they love me right back.” Lola can love anyone.
MW: I figured that was all metaphorical. So Lola is written as a
straight character?
GHEE: It says in the script, “Lola, heterosexual boxer.”
MW: And you? What do you interpret Lola’s sexuality as?
GHEE: My stance on what my Lola is? My Lola loves everybody.
MW: That’s a cop-out.
GHEE: When I was a kid, and when I was buying my classmates
their hand sanitizers and all of that, I said to myself, “I know
one of my purposes in life is to make women happy.” That is
one of my personal views. I know I am put on this earth to make
women happy. I happen to make women happy by how well I
do my make-up, and how well I can do it on them, and the way I
treat a woman, and respect a woman, and give them energy. I’ve
dated women.
MW: I’m stunned. I genuinely assumed the character was gay.
GHEE: That is what Kinky Boots is doing. It’s opening the conversation of so many things that we don’t talk about.
MW: Do you think audiences get that, though? I think we assume
she’s gay.
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JUNE 30, 2016 • METROWEEKLY

GHEE: You have to see it so many times, and catch new things

each time, but yes, you assume that Lola’s gay. He’s prancing
around in heels, and so fabulous. Apparently in the original,
when they were workshopping all of that, Lola and Pat, the redheaded character, had a thing.
MW: Let’s switch gears. Sunday morning, we wake up. We’re going
to Pride, and we hear the news of what happened in Orlando. What
went through your mind when you read the news?
GHEE: It blew my mind, because we were just in Orlando in
February, and I was at Pulse. That night, I got to meet a drag
queen that I had been following for years, and it meant the world
to me. We have pictures, just living our lives and smiling and
having a great time. To know what that space was, and to think
something so horrific happened there, in this place that is just
where people go to dance and live and have a good time.
So it blew my mind. It also made the show even more important. Those shows that Sunday — that was one of the days where I
kind of woke up, and before having seen that I was just like, “All
right, there’s a one o’clock matinee and a six thirty show. Let’s
warm up, let’s get it together, pray, just do your show, we’ll be
fine.” I was end of the week tired. But when I saw what had happened, I was re-energized, and the shows just meant something
different that night.
The message was more important. There was an urgency.
There was no way I could fail that day, because the message
had to be told. I had to do it. The show had to be done. It was
an unconscious happening. The fire was lit, and we had to do it.
I’ve never been a political person. I stay out of it as much as I
can, because the weight of it is too much to think about. I’ve tried
my best not to, but with this happening I was like, “Why is this a
thing? Why [are guns like] this even allowed?” Everything about
it makes no sense to me, none. It blows my mind.
MW: You say you’re not a political person, but as you become more
and more vocal and visible, do you think that you have an obligation as a celebrity to make a stand?
GHEE: Absolutely, and I know that is inevitable in that way.
You have to stand somewhere. You have to have some kind of
voice. You have to speak out for someone. It’s something I’m
slowly working towards and getting better at, understanding my
responsibility that comes along with this life that I’ve been given.
MW: Who do you speak for?
GHEE: That’s something I’m in the process of figuring out. In
everything I do, I do it with purpose. I don’t commit to anything,
unless I know exactly why I’m doing it. Right now, my heart is
for LGBT youth, specifically. We’ve had a lot of situations, we
were just in San Francisco not too long ago and a young guy
had just come out to his family — a young Asian guy, and they
disowned him, kicked him out, took him out of all of his theater
courses and just shunned him.
The show got him tickets, and he came and saw us after.
There was something about that interaction that I had with him.
I was like, “Okay, these are the people that I’m fighting for, that
I’m representing. Because I was there at one point, being that
young person not feeling comfortable to talk to people or do
things.” And youth specifically — that’s a pivotal time. They need
someone to be there to aid them in knowing that whatever their
choices are in life — gay, straight, bi, transgender, whatever it is,
that it’s okay. They need someone to encourage them. My stance
is with the LGBT youth. They’re our future. l
Kinky Boots runs through July 10 at the Kennedy Center Opera
House. Tickets are $25 to $199. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.

Gallery

Alma Selimovic

Clockwise from Top: Raven and Raven, 2016, Welded steel, stone, copper patina, 25”x60”x22” - Next Right, 2016, Polymer gypsum, fiberglass, print, 38”x48”x2”
Collision, 2016, Polymer gypsum, fiberglass, print, 30”x40” - Siblings, 2016, Polymer gypsum, fiberglass, print, house paint, 16”x11”x4”
Alma’s studio is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11am until 5pm at the
Otis Street Arts Project - 3706 Otis Street, Mount Rainier, MD 20712 otisstreetarts.wixa.com/otisstreetarts

almaselimovic.com

JUNE 30, 2016 • METROWEEKLY

39

STEVE-KEROS

Music

Recalifornication
Three decades into their career, the Red Hot Chili Peppers can
still surprise and impress by Sean Maunier

S

TARTING OUT FRESH CAN BE A DAUNTING TASK, ESPECIALLY IF YOU
happen to be one of the most celebrated alt-rock acts of the last three decades.
With this in mind, it’s probably to the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ credit that they
opted to innovate on what was already there, rather than build a new sound from the
ground up.
] is best described as a rebirth than a reinvention. Other
The Getaway [
recent releases gave the feeling that the band was trying too hard to be everything at
once — exciting, relevant, and true to the idiosyncratic style that marked Californication.
The Getaway instead takes a welcome step back, with a somewhat stripped-down tone
that allows the band to play to their strengths and innovate in ways that feel fresh
rather than contrived. For an album that is so thematically focused on nostalgia and the
passage of time, The Getaway avoids being stuck too much in the band’s past. They still
have their fixation with all things California, but the angst that has previously characterized them gives way to a more mature and reflective sound.
The Chili Peppers’ eleventh release marks the first time since 1989 that they have
used a producer other than Rick Rubin, and it seems to have paid off. Brian Burton (better known as Danger Mouse) boasts an impressive list of credits, ranging from Gorillaz
to Beck to Adele, and brings a fresh approach to this album, helping shake off some
of the more stagnant aspects of the band’s sound. The gritty punk rock elements are
certainly still there, but they are much less overwhelming, and Anthony Kiedis’ vocals
work in harmony with the guitar and bass, rather than coming off as a shouting match
as they sometimes have in the past. The title track and lead single “Dark Necessities”
are both rich and almost anthemic, characterized by sleek production, tense bass, and
swelling instrumentals. “Sick Love” features Elton John hammering away on the piano
40

JUNE 30, 2016 • METROWEEKLY

alongside an energetic, choppy guitar and
a backdrop of neo-soul that combines to
make it one of the album’s highlights.
Even outside the knockouts The
Getaway is built around, there are plenty
of moments to appreciate. Tracks like “Go
Robot” and “Feasting on the Flowers”
borrow from psych and electronica, while
“Goodbye Angels” brings a more classic Chili Peppers blend of funk and rap
rock. “This Ticonderoga” is an energetic,
orchestral epic that might be the biggest
and most welcome surprise of the album.
So much is packed into the song that it
plays like an epic closer, with the final
three tracks an unnecessary victory lap
in its wake. Even the lyrically rich “The
Hunter” and the sweeping, cinematic
“Dreams of a Samurai” come off as somewhat underwhelming.
Beneath all the innovation, The
Getaway remains at its core true to the
Chili Peppers’ sound. The elements that
have defined the band since the early ‘90s
are all still there. True to form, Kiedis’
often-inane lyrics have to be taken on their
own terms and appreciated for what they
are — absurdity for its own sake. On “We
Turn Red,” as he repeats the line “Give me
all your sick and your tired / Races that
we admire,” it’s easy to get the impression
that there’s some vague statement on the
absurdity of politics in 2016 buried beneath

some otherwise absurd lyrics and gritty
guitar lines that could have easily been
recorded in a garage. It’s a strange bit
of pseudo-profundity that doesn’t make
much sense, but on the other hand, it is
a key part of the approach that has long
defined the Chili Peppers. Falling back
on what has worked before is not necessarily a weakness, especially for a band
that has achieved such universal acclaim
over and over again.
For all the innovations on on The
Getaway, what is remarkable is how
little the band’s sound has actually
changed. After all, the Chili Peppers

have been making music since the ‘80s,
giving them literally decades of experience, and even more importantly,
a confidence about who they are and
what works best about their music.
Perhaps the band’s greatest strength
on this album is in their ability to bring
a new approach while remaining true
to their idiosyncratic sound. Balancing
both is what gives this album its most
memorable moments. Fifteen years
beyond their peak, their edginess has
worn off somewhat, but The Getaway
shows us that they can still surprise
and impress. l

The Getaway is available to buy and stream now on most digital platforms.

PURE POP FUN

Brendan Maclean’s seven-track EP is a dazzling collection of
upbeat pop goodness by Sean Maunier

I

F YOU’VE NEVER COME ACROSS BRENDAN MACLEAN BEFORE, YOU MIGHT NOT
realize that a gay Australian pop star is exactly what you need in your life. While he has
never quite broken into the mainstream, the debut of funbang1 at the top of the Australian
iTunes chart could indicate that his star is finally on the rise. The hype is deserved, too — his
newest EP is unabashedly and unironically bright, theatrical and celebratory.
Maclean doesn’t waste a single moment on funbang1 [HHHHH]. The record is crammed
full of infectious beats and incredibly catchy hooks, from the soaring “Never Enough” to the
boisterous pop punk swagger of “Hugs Not Drugs (Or Both).” Like any good pop hit, opener
“House of Air” hits you over the head with bass before giving way to an energy that carries
right on into “Tectonic,” released as a single late last year. Slightly heavier in subject matter,
but just as energetic and infectious, it has an incredible music video to match. Arguably the
highpoint of the EP, “Free to Love” features some incredible Freddy Mercury falsetto. The
only subdued track on offer is “Undetectable,” but far from weighing the record down, it is
intimate and atmospheric, with a soft R&B vibe that gradually builds up in the background.
Its other stellar qualities aside, it stands out for being possibly the first ever song to rhyme the
words “amyl nitrate.”

The album also features a couple of excellent collaborations.
“Never Enough” owes much to
having RuPaul’s longtime friend
and producer Lucian Piane on
board. Meanwhile, cabaret royalty Amanda Palmer (who Maclean
has previously toured with) takes
the spotlight on the final track,
“On the Door.” Closing out with
someone else’s vocals is a bit of a
strange choice, but the song is so
fun and fits so well on the album
that you might not even notice.
While funbang1 is first and
foremost a collection of standalone knockouts, it contains an
energy that carries through the
entire record. Each song holds its
own, and as a whole the record
sounds like nothing else out there
at the moment. While Piane and
Palmer bring talent and star
power to funbang1, it’s Maclean
himself who carries the record
with versatility, a flair for spectacle, and plenty of his own sparkling queer charm. l

funbang1 is available to buy and stream now on most digital platforms.
JUNE 30, 2016 • METROWEEKLY

41

NightLife
Photography by
Julian Vankim

JUNE 30, 2016 • METROWEEKLY

43

CoverboyConfidential
Craig

Interview by Randy Shulman
Photography by Julian Vankim

S

OMEBODY CALLED ME ‘DADDY’ OVER PRIDE WEEKEND,” LAUGHS
Craig. “But they said ‘Hot Daddy.’ And I was like, as long as they’re saying
hot, I’m not going to be offended.” The 49-year-old Baltimore native, who
works as the marketing director for the vaunted Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington,
decided to apply for Coverboy because “there was this part of me that was like,
‘Hey, I may be a little older, but I can still compete with the younger guys.’” (He’ll
get his chance directly as our first Coverboy-of-the-Month competition launches this
weekend. Sign up to get a ballot at metroweekly.com/join.)
Craig feels there’s been a shift in the gay community with regard to age. “When
I was in my 20s, a lot of the younger guys would always kind of like, ‘Who’s that
old thing sitting at the end of the bar there?’ And the guy would probably have
been 42 or something. I don’t hear that as much now that I’m nearing 50. I see a
lot of younger men dating older guys, too. Maybe it’s still happening and I’m just
not aware of it.”

DrinksDragDJsEtc...
Thursday
June 30
9 1/2
Happy Hour: 2 for 1
on any drink, 5-9pm •
Multiple TVs showing
movies, shows, sports
• Expanded craft beer
selection • Music videos
featuring DJ Wess
COBALT/30 DEGREES
Happy Hour: $6 Call
Martini, $3 Miller
Lite, $4 Rail, $5 Call,
4-9pm • $3 Rail Drinks,
10pm-midnight, $5 Red
Bull and Frozen Virgin
Drinks • Locker Room
Thursday Nights •
DJs Sean Morris and

MadScience • Best
Package Contest at midnight, hosted by Ba’Naka
& Kristina Kelly • $200
Cash Prize • Doors open
10pm, 21+ • $5 Cover or
free with college ID
DC EAGLE
Doors open at 5pm •
Strip Down Thursdays
— Happy Hour starts
with shirtless men drink
$2 rail and domestic,
5-8pm • Men down to
their underwear drink
$1 rail and domestic,
10pm-12am • DJ Kudjo
Onyx starts spinning,
9pm-1am • No Cover
• 21+

FREDDIE’S BEACH
BAR
Crazy Hour, 4-7pm •
Karaoke, 8pm

NUMBER NINE
Happy Hour: 2 for 1 on
any drink, 5-9pm • No
Cover

GREEN LANTERN
Happy Hour, 4-9pm •
Ladies Drink Free Power
Hour, 4-5pm • Shirtless
Thursday, 10-11pm •
DJs BacK2bACk

SHAW’S TAVERN
Happy Hour 4-7pm •
$3 Miller Lite, $4 Blue
Moon, $5 Rails and
House Wines and HalfPriced Pizzas • Lobster
Thursdays, 5pm-close •
Paint Nite, Second Floor,
7:30pm

JR.’S
All You Can Drink for
$15, 5-8pm • $3 Rail
Vodka Highballs, $2
JR.’s drafts, 8pm-close •
Flashback: Music videos
from 1975-2005 with DJ
Jason Royce, 8pm-12am
NELLIE’S SPORTS BAR
Beat the Clock Happy
Hour — $2 (5-6pm), $3
(6-7pm), $4 (7-8pm) •
Buckets of Beer $15 •
Drag Bingo

THE HOUSE
NIGHTCLUB
Throbbing Thursdays
• Diverse group of all
male, all nude dancers
• Doors open 9pm •
Shows all night until
close, starting at 9pm
• $5 Domestic Beer, $6
Imports • $12 cover •

For Table Reservations,
202-487-6646 • rockharddc.com

Friday
July 1

TOWN PATIO
Open 6pm • Happy Hour
all night, $4 drinks and
draughts • 21+

9 1/2
Open at 5pm • Happy
Hour: 2 for 1 on any
drink, 5-9pm • Friday
Night Videos with
resident DJ Shea Van
Horn • VJ • Expanded
craft beer selection •
No Cover

TRADE
Doors open 5pm • Huge
Happy Hour: Any drink
normally served in a
cocktail glass served in a
huge glass for the same
price, 5-10pm • Beer and
wine only $4
ZIEGFELD’S/SECRETS
All male, nude dancers •
Shirtless Thursday • DJ
• 9pm • Cover 21+

COBALT/30 DEGREES
All You Can Drink Happy
Hour • $15 Rail and
Domestic, $21 Call &
Imports, 6-9pm • Guys
Night Out • Free Rail
Vodka, 11pm-Midnight,
$6 Belvedere Vodka
Drinks all night • DJ
MadScience upstairs
• DJ Keenan Orr
downstairs • $10 cover
10pm-1am, $5 after 1am

Coverboy of the Month Contest

Welcome to the All-New Nightlife Coverboy Contest! At the close of each month, we’ll have a mini-Coverboy Contest at MetroWeekly.com
to select a finalist who will then go on to compete in the Coverboy of the Year competition in November. June’s finalist will receive a miniprize package from this month’s sponsors. Join our e-mail list and be alerted as soon as the contest goes live online, as well as get the full
coverboy interview and more photos delivered directly to your inbox! Sign up now at MetroWeekly.com/join.

June’s Prize Package

June’s Coverboy is Sponsored By

Avenue Jack - $50 Gift Certificate
Bite the Fruit - $50 Gift Certificate
JR.’s - 10 free drink cards
Shaw’s Tavern - $100 Gift Certificate
Signature Theatre - A pair of tickets to
Signature Theatre’s upcoming production
of Jelly’s Last Jam

JUNE 30, 2016 • METROWEEKLY

45

What’s on your
nightstand?
Pictures of family and
friends and a lamp.
What’s in the
nightstand?
It’s a little bit of a
junk drawer. I have
condoms and lube.
But I also have things
like sunglasses, some
necklaces, a watch,
bills that need to
get paid.

DC EAGLE
Doors open at 5pm •
Happy Hour, 5-8pm •
$2 Bud and Bud Light
Draughts, $3 Domestic
Bottles, $4 Rail and
Import Bottle Beer, $6
Call • Mid-Atlantic
Kennel Korps on Club Bar
— Trainers and Puppy
Mosh, 9pm-1am • Fetish
Friday — Pups with collars and leashes, $1 off
drinks, 8-10pm • 21+
FREDDIE’S BEACH
BAR
Crazy Hour, 4-7pm •
Karaoke, 8pm
GREEN LANTERN
Happy Hour, 4-9pm •
$5 Smirnoff, all flavors,
all night long • Otter
Den DC presents Otter
Crossing, 9pm-close • $5
Cover after 10pm
JR.’S
Happy Hour: 2-for-1,
4-9pm • $2 Skyy
Highballs and $2 Drafts,
10pm-midnight • Pop
and Dance Music Videos
with DJ Darryl Strickland
• $5 Coronas, $8 Vodka
Red Bulls, 9pm-close

46

JUNE 30, 2016 • METROWEEKLY

What’s the last thing you bought?
Clothes, actually, just yesterday. I bought a
new pair of shorts and two tank tops from
Universal Gear. I needed some summer
clothes.
If you could have any superpower,
what would it be?
The super power that Wolverine has. No matter what happens to your body, it just goes
right back to the way it was before. That way
I could eat whatever I wanted and my body
would just go right back to looking like what it
did before.
I’m not sure it works that way.
It probably doesn’t, but I’m going to go with it.

NELLIE’S SPORTS BAR
DJ Matt Bailer • Videos,
Dancing • Beat the
Clock Happy Hour — $2
(5-6pm), $3 (6-7pm), $4
(7-8pm) • Buckets of
Beer $15

downstairs following the
show • GoGo Boys after
11pm • Doors open at
10pm • For those 21 and
over, $12 • For those
18-20, $15 • Club: 18+ •
Patio: 21+

NUMBER NINE
Open 5pm • Happy Hour:
2 for 1 on any drink,
5-9pm • No Cover

TRADE
Doors open 5pm • Huge
Happy Hour: Any drink
normally served in a
cocktail glass served in a
huge glass for the same
price, 5-10pm • Beer and
wine only $4

SHAW’S TAVERN
Happy Hour 4-7pm •
$3 Miller Lite, $4 Blue
Moon, $5 Rails and
House Wines and HalfPriced Pizzas • Luke
James Shaffer playing
live, 8pm
TOWN
Patio open 6pm • DC
Bear Crue Happy Hour,
6-11pm • $3 Rail, $3
Draft, $3 Bud Bottles •
Free Pizza, 7pm • No
cover before 9:30pm •
21+ • Drag Show starts
at 10:30pm • Hosted by
Lena Lett and featuring
Miss Tatianna, ShiQueeta-Lee, Riley Knoxx
and Ba’Naka • DJ Wess
upstairs, DJs BacK2bACk

ZIEGFELD’S/SECRETS
All male, nude dancers,
hosted by LaTroya Nicole
• Ladies of Ziegfeld’s,
9pm • Rotating Hosts •
DJ in Secrets • VJ Tre in
Ziegfeld’s • Cover 21+

Saturday
July 2
9 1/2
Happy Hour: 2 for 1 on
any drink, 3-9pm • $5
Absolut & Tito’s, $3
Miller Lite after 9pm
• Expanded craft beer

What’s the last movie you saw?
X-Men Apocalypse.
And?
I enjoyed it. I’m easy to please. If it’s an entertaining movie and I’m having a good time, then
I’m probably going to like it.
Who was your first celebrity crush?
Christopher Atkins in The Blue Lagoon. I
remember seeing that movie and thinking he
was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen.
The blond hair, blue eyes. And he was naked
through most of the movie.
Name three musical artists you’re
currently listening to.
Ariana Grande, Kylie Minogue and Adele are
big on my playlist right now. That sounds
very gay, doesn’t it?

selection • No Cover •
Music videos featuring
various DJs
COBALT/30 DEGREES
Drag Yourself to Brunch
at Level One, 11am-2pm
and 2-4pm • Featuring
Kristina Kelly and the
Ladies of Illusion •
Bottomless Mimosas and
Bloody Marys • Happy
Hour: Tops Down $6
Top Shelf, Bottoms Up
$3 Rail, $3 Bud Light,
4-9pm • Latin Night,
10pm-close • $5 Rail
Drinks all night • Doors
open 10pm • $5 Cover
• 21+
DC EAGLE
Doors open at 8pm •
Happy Hour, 8-10pm •
$2 Bud and Bud Light
Draughts, $3 Domestic
Bottles, $4 Rail and
Import Bottle Beer, $6
Call • Mr. DC Eagle on
Club Bar — $2 Draughts
and Jello Shooters • No
Cover • 21+

FREDDIE’S BEACH
BAR
Drag Queen Broadway
Brunch, 10am-3pm
• Starring Freddie’s
Broadway Babes • Crazy
Hour, 4-7pm • Freddie’s
Follies Drag Show,
8-10pm, hosted by Miss
Destiny B. Childs • No
Cover
GREEN LANTERN
Happy Hour, 4-9pm • $5
Bacardi, all flavors, all
night long • REWIND:
Request Line, an ‘80s
and ‘90s Dance Party,
9pm-close • Featuring
DJ Darryl Strickland •
No Cover
JR.’S
$4 Coors, $5 Vodka
Highballs, $7 Vodka
Red Bulls
NELLIE’S SPORTS BAR
Guest DJs • Zing Zang
Bloody Marys, Nellie
Beer, House Rail Drinks
and Mimosas, $4,
11am-5pm • Buckets of
Beer, $15

You’ll get no judgement from us. What are
your three favorite nightspots?
I like JR.’s. I like Cobalt. I like Nellies. I like
Shaw’s Tavern also, but that’s usually more for
food. I go there a fair amount.
Pick three people, living or dead, you’d like
to have drinks with.
Bob Fosse, because he was a genius in the
arts and dance and theater. Ellen DeGeneres,
because I think she’s really funny. And Colton
Haynes — he’s one of the most beautiful men
I’ve ever seen and I want to marry him.
Grindr, Scruff, or in person?
In person. I’m old school. I’ve used Grindr and
I’ve used Scruff. But I prefer meeting people
face-to-face. You’re trying so hard to sound
sexy in a text message. I’d much rather meet

NUMBER NINE
Happy Hour: 2 for 1
on any drink, 3-9pm
• Jawbreaker’s 2nd
Year Anniversary Party,
9:30pm • Featuring DJ
Chord and DJ Kelly • $5
Absolut and $5 Bulleit
Bourbon • No Cover
SHAW’S TAVERN
Bottomless Mimosas,
10am-3pm • Happy
Hour, 5-7pm • $3 Miller
Lite, $4 Blue Moon, $5
Rails and House Wines
& Half-Priced Pizzas
TOWN
Patio open 2pm • DJ
Matt Bailer of Mixtape,
10pm-close • DJ Wess
spins downstairs • Drag
Show starts at 10:30pm
• Hosted by Lena Lett
and featuring Miss
Tatianna, Shi-QueetaLee, Riley Knoxx and
Ba’Naka • Doors open
10pm • $12 Cover • 21+
TRADE
Doors open 2pm • Huge
Happy Hour: Any drink
normally served in a
cocktail glass served in a

huge glass for the same
price, 2-10pm • Beer and
wine only $4
ZIEGFELD’S/SECRETS
Men of Secrets, 9pm •
Guest dancers • Ladies
of Illusion with host Ella
Fitzgerald • Doors at 9
p.m., first show at 11:30
p.m. • DJs • Doors open
8pm • Cover 21+

Sunday
July 3

somebody over a drink where you can actually
have a conversation with them.
Is it even possible to sound sexy
in a text message?
Probably not. I think sexy is more about your
personality and how you carry yourself. You
can’t convey that in a text message. A text
message is just words.
Describe your dream guy.
Handsome. Good body. Good sense of humor.
Loves the arts. Theater, dance, all that kind of
stuff. Passionate. Confident. Likes to
have fun in bed.

DC EAGLE
Doors open at 12pm •
$2 Bud and Bud Light
Draughts all day and
night, $3 Domestic
Bottles, $4 Rail and
Import Bottle Beer, $6
Call • DC Eagle celebrates Independence
Day, 6pm • Inaugural 3rd
Floor Balcony Bash and
Block Party — Enjoy the
city skyline, a dazzling
light show and BBQ •
No Cover • 21+
FREDDIE’S BEACH
BAR
Champagne Brunch
Buffet, 10am-3pm •
Crazy Hour, 4-7pm •
Karaoke, 8pm-1am

9 1/2
Happy Hour: 2 for 1
on any drink, 3-9pm •
Multiple TVs showing
movies, shows, sports
• Expanded craft beer
selection • No Cover
COBALT/30 DEGREES
Happy Hour: Tops Down
$6 Top Shelf, Bottoms
Up $3 Rail, $3 Bud Light,
4-9pm • Homowood
Karaoke, hosted by
Robert Bise, 10pm-close
• 21+

and $3 Skyy (all flavors),
all day and night
NELLIE’S SPORTS BAR
Drag Brunch, hosted
by Shi-Queeta-Lee,
11am-3pm • $20
Brunch Buffet • House
Rail Drinks, Zing Zang
Bloody Marys, Nellie
Beer and Mimosas, $4,
11am-close • Buckets of
Beer, $15
NUMBER NINE
Pop Goes the World
with Wes Della Volla at
9:30pm • Happy Hour: 2
for 1 on any drink, 3-9pm
• No Cover

GREEN LANTERN
Happy Hour, 4-9pm
• Bears Can Party,
featuring DJ Jeff Eletto,
6-10pm • No Cover •
Mama’s Trailer Park
Karaoke downstairs,
9:30pm-close

SHAW’S TAVERN
Brunch with Bottomless
Mimosas, 10am-3pm •
Sunday Funday Karaoke,
2nd Floor, 3-7pm • $5
Stoli Cocktails • Happy
Hour, 5-7pm • $3 Miller
Lite, $4 Blue Moon, $5
Rails and House Wines
& Half-Priced Pizzas

JR.’S
Sunday Funday • Liquid
Brunch • Doors open at
1pm • $2 Coors Lights

THE HOUSE
NIGHTCLUB
Rock Hard Sundays •
Diverse group of all

JUNE 30, 2016 • METROWEEKLY

47

What makes a person fun in bed?
Somebody who wants to enjoy it and not be
shy or timid. If we’re going to get naked and do
this, let’s enjoy it. Let’s go out on the balcony.
Let’s have sex in the kitchen.

painted on?” Meaning that if you started playing with my nipples, would I get really turned
on, or would it have no effect on me? That was
probably the oddest thing I’d ever had a guy
say out of the blue.

What was your first pet’s name?
Muffin.

I think you’ve just answered my next question: What’s the most unusual place you’ve
ever had sex?
I had sex once on a picnic table in the backyard
of my then boyfriend’s aunt’s house. Granted,
it was late at night, so it was dark out, and people weren’t around.

What’s your greatest fear?
I have a really bad fear of falling from high places. When I get on balconies, if it’s too high up,
I start to get vertigo.

Muffin Colonial is your porn name.
Not exactly a sexy name. Porn name fail.

What’s the most memorable
pickup line you’ve ever heard?
God. I was shirtless. A guy came up to me and
said, “Your nipples. Are they hardwired or

male, all nude dancers
• Doors open 9pm •
Shows all night until
close, starting at 9pm
• $5 Domestic Beer, $6
Imports • $12 cover •
For Table Reservations,
202-487-6646 • rockharddc.com
TOWN PATIO
Open 2pm • Cornhole,
Giant Jenga, and Flip-cup
inside Town
TRADE
Doors open 2pm • Huge
Happy Hour: Any drink
normally served in a
cocktail glass served in a
huge glass for the same
price, 2-10pm • Beer and
wine only $4
ZIEGFELD’S/SECRETS
All male, nude dancers •
Decades of Dance • DJ
Tim-e in Secrets • Doors
9pm • Cover 21+

48

Monday
July 4
9 1/2
Happy Hour: 2 for 1
on any drink, 5-9pm •
Multiple TVs showing
movies, shows, sports
• Expanded craft beer
selection • No Cover
ANNIE’S
4@4 Happy Hour, 4-7pm
• $4 Small Plates, $4
Stella Artois, $4 House
Wines, $4 Stolichnaya
Cocktails, $4 Manhattans
and Vodka Martinis
COBALT/30 DEGREES
Happy Hour: Tops Down
$6 Top Shelf, Bottoms
Up $3 Rail, $3 Bud
Light, 4-9pm • Monday
Night’s A Drag, hosted
by Kristina Kelly •
Doors open at 10pm •
Showtime at 11:30pm
• $3 Skyy Cocktails,
$8 Skyy and Red Bull •
$8 Long Islands • No
Cover, 18+

Wait. Earlier you said you’d have sex
on a balcony.
I just was naming weird places to have sex.
I’m not saying that I would actually do that. If
you’re only a few floors up it would be fine, but
if it starts to get too high up, then I can
get a little shaky.

DC EAGLE
Doors open at 5pm •
Endless Happy Hour
prices to anyone in a
DC Eagle T-Shirt • DC
Eagle Independence Day
Celebrations continue
with Inaugural 3rd Floor
Balcony Bash, Fireworks
Viewing and Block Party
• No Cover • 21+
FREDDIE’S BEACH
BAR
Crazy Hour, 4-7pm •
Karaoke, 8pm
GREEN LANTERN
Happy Hour all night
long • Puppy-Oke: Open
Mic Night Karaoke,
9:30pm-close
JR.’S
Happy Hour: 2-for-1,
4-9pm • Showtunes
Songs & Singalongs,
9pm-close • DJ James •
$3 Draft Pints, 8pm-midnight
NELLIE’S SPORTS BAR
Beat the Clock Happy
Hour — $2 (5-6pm), $3
(6-7pm), $4 (7-8pm) •
Buckets of Beer $15 •

JUNE 30, 2016 • METROWEEKLY

Texas Hold’em Poker,
8pm • Dart Boards
NUMBER NINE
Happy Hour: 2 for 1 on
any drink, 5-9pm • No
Cover
SHAW’S TAVERN
Happy Hour, 4-7pm •
$3 Miller Lite, $4 Blue
Moon, $5 Rails and
House Wines and HalfPriced Pizzas
TRADE
Doors open 5pm • Huge
Happy Hour: Any drink
normally served in a
cocktail glass served in a
huge glass for the same
price, 5-10pm • Beer and
wine only $4

Tuesday
July 5
9 1/2
Happy Hour: 2 for 1
on any drink, 5-9pm •
Multiple TVs showing
movies, shows, sports
• Expanded craft beer
selection • No Cover

What was the street you grew up on?
Colonial Road.

What would you like to be remembered for?
That I was a really good person who worked
really hard and helped people in some way.
That I made their lives easier or happier
because they knew me.

ANNIE’S
4@4 Happy Hour, 4-7pm
• $4 Stella Artois,
$4 House Wines, $4
Stolichnaya Cocktails, $4
Manhattans and Vodka
Martinis
COBALT/30 DEGREES
DJ Honey Happy Hour:
Tops Down $6 Top Shelf,
Bottoms Up $3 Rail, $3
Bud Light, 4-9pm • SIN
Service Industry Night,
10pm-close • $1 Rail
Drinks all night
FREDDIE’S BEACH
BAR
Crazy Hour, 4-7pm •
Karaoke, 8pm
GREEN LANTERN
Happy Hour all night
long, 4pm-close
JR.’S
Birdie LaCage Show,
10:30pm • Underground
(Indie Pop/Alt/Brit Rock),
9pm-close • DJ Wes
Della Volla • 2-for-1,
5pm-midnight

NELLIE’S SPORTS BAR
Beat the Clock Happy
Hour — $2 (5-6pm), $3
(6-7pm), $4 (7-8pm) •
Buckets of Beer $15 •
Karaoke and Drag Bingo
NUMBER NINE
Happy Hour: 2 for 1 on
any drink, 5-9pm • No
Cover • Safe Word:
A Gay Spelling Bee,
8-11pm • Prizes to the
top three spellers • After
9pm, $3 Absolut, Bulleit
& Stella
SHAW’S TAVERN
Half Priced Burgers &
Pizzas, 5pm-close • $5
House Wines & Sam
Adams Drafts, 5pm-close
TOWN PATIO
Open 6pm • Yappy Hour
• Bring Your Dogs • $4
Drinks and Draughts
TRADE
Doors open 5pm • Huge
Happy Hour: Any drink
normally served in a
cocktail glass served in a
huge glass for the same
price, 5-10pm • Beer and
wine only $4

Would you rather live longer or
be wealthier?
I’d rather live a really, really long life and be
happy. Even if I’m always watching the bank
account.
Who’s your idol?
President Obama. I think history will show that
he’s probably been one of our best presidents
ever. He’s managed to get a lot done despite a
lot of opposition. He’s had to overcome a lot of
hurdles to get to where he is, and I think that’s
really, really admirable, and the fact that he’s
been able to keep his cool. A lot of the time,
with so much adversity in front of him, and so
much opposition in front of him, he perseveres,
he stays calm and collected and tries to speak
logically to people. I think that’s amazing and
I really admire that.

Wednesday
July 6

GREEN LANTERN
Happy Hour all night
long, 4pm-close

9 1/2
Happy Hour: 2 for 1
on any drink, 5-9pm •
Multiple TVs showing
movies, shows, sports
• Expanded craft beer
selection • No Cover

JR.’S
Buy 1, Get 1 Free, 4-9pm
• Trivia with MC Jay
Ray, 8pm • The Feud:
Drag Trivia, hosted by
Ba’Naka, 10-11pm, with
a $200 prize • $2 JR.’s
Drafts and $4 Vodka ($2
with College ID or JR.’s
Team Shirt)

COBALT/30 DEGREES
Happy Hour: Tops Down
$6 Top Shelf, Bottoms
Up $3 Rail, $3 Bud Light,
4-9pm • Wednesday
Night Karaoke, hosted
by Miss India Larelle
Houston, 10pm-2am •
$4 Stoli and Stoli Flavors
and Miller Lite all night
• No Cover • 21+
FREDDIE’S BEACH
BAR
Crazy Hour, 4-7pm • $6
Burgers • Drag Bingo
Night, hosted by Ms.
Regina Jozet Adams,
8pm • Bingo prizes •
Karaoke, 10pm-1am

NELLIE’S SPORTS BAR
SmartAss Trivia Night,
8pm and 9pm • Prizes
include bar tabs and tickets to shows at the 9:30
Club • $15 Buckets of
Beer for SmartAss Teams
only • Bring a new team
member and each get a
free $10 Dinner
NUMBER NINE
Happy Hour: 2 for 1 on
any drink, 5-9pm • No
Cover

What’s your
philosophy of life?
Believe in yourself
and keep moving forward. Don’t let somebody try to knock you
down or try to tell
you that you’re insignificant or that you
don’t matter. Just
keep striving. l

SHAW’S TAVERN
Happy Hour, 4-7pm •
$3 Miller Lite, $4 Blue
Moon, $5 Rails and
House Wines and HalfPriced Pizzas • Piano Bar
Second Floor, 8pm-close
TOWN PATIO
Open 6pm • $4 drinks
and draughts, 6-9pm •
Nashville Wednesdays:
Pop-Country music and
line dancing, with line
dancing lessons from DC
Rawhides every other
week
TRADE
Doors open 5pm • Huge
Happy Hour: Any drink
normally served in a
cocktail glass served in a
huge glass for the same
price, 5-10pm • Beer and
wine only $4
ZIEGFELD’S/SECRETS
All male, nude dancers •
Shirtless Night, 10-11pm,
12-12:30am • Military
Night, no cover with military ID • DJ Don T. in
Secrets • 9pm • Cover
21+ l

JUNE 30, 2016 • METROWEEKLY

49

Scene

50

Trade - Friday, June 24
Photography by Ward Morrison
See and purchase more photos from this event at www.metroweekly.com/scene

JUNE 30, 2016 • METROWEEKLY

JUNE 30, 2016 • METROWEEKLY

51

Scene

52

Uproar - Sunday, June 26
Photography by Ward Morrison
See and purchase more photos from this event at www.metroweekly.com/scene

JUNE 30, 2016 • METROWEEKLY

JUNE 30, 2016 • METROWEEKLY

53

LastWord.
People say the queerest things

“I regret not coming out sooner and helping more people, and
I regret not coming out during the show.”
—SEAN HAYES, speaking with Playbill. Hayes expressed regret that he didn’t come out during his time on Will & Grace, but
admitted that he wasn’t ready. “Everybody in the gay community knew I was gay, but it was this fight I had with the press
because they want you to come out on their terms,” he said. “If you don’t come out on their terms you’re just an asshole,
and you’re wrong.”

“This is a universe with Wookies, Jawas, and Hutts, so
why can’t there be a visible LGBT character on
screen?”
—JOSHUA YEHL , close friend of Christopher Leinonen, one of the victims of the Orlando shootings, in a petition. Yehl is
asking Disney and Lucasfilm to honor Leinonen and the Orlando victims by using him as inspiration for the first LGBT
character in a Star Wars film. “He and I bonded over many things, but nothing brought us together like Star Wars,” Yehl
wrote. “This character will not only honor Drew but all of the other victims at Pulse in Orlando, including his boyfriend
Juan Ramon Guerrero, and every LGBT person to ever lose their life to hate.”

“I’m not anti-Republican, I’m not anti anything. I’m pro human being.
I just don’t like bullies.”
— ELLEN DEGENERES, speaking with ABC News about Donald Trump. “He’s a bully. He represents a bully,” she said. “He can
deny that but I think anybody that looks up the definition of a bully [will see that.]”

“You’ve got to stay angry,
and you’ve got to stay vigilant.

—Actor VAN HANSIS, speaking with Playbill about the importance of being at New York Pride in the wake of the Orlando
massacre earlier this month. “I think it’s really important to stay out there and keep fighting and to not let something like
this terrible tragedy stop the celebration and the ownership of how far we’ve all come,” he continued. “You have to ask
for more than just moments of silence and prayers at times like this.”

“ With three broken teeth and six stitches in my forehead,
I’ve never felt so terrified to be a gay man
in the public eye.

—YouTube personality CALUM MCSWIGGAN, in an Instagram post. McSwiggan claimed he was assaulted by three men outside a
gay nightclub in West Hollywood, but police told The Advocate he faked the hate crime.They arrested him for vandalizing a
car, after which McSwiggan was “observed injuring himself with the handle and receiver to a payphone inside the cell.” They
took him to hospital, which is where he posted about the attack.

54

JUNE 30, 2016 • METROWEEKLY

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