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Cupcakes closes Jewish Film Festival Sunday night

Eytan Fox, Cupcakes, gay news, Washington Blade

Director Eytan Fox with the cast of ‘Cupcakes.’ (Photo courtesy West End Strategy Team)

Cupcakes, a comedy from Israeli filmmaker Eytan Fox, is slated to close the Washington Jewish Film Festival on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. at the D.C. Jewish Community Center (1529 16th St., N.W.).

The comedy follows a group of friends who accidentally enter a Eurovision-style musical contest and their struggle to navigate the sharp elbows of the pop music business. It has several LGBT characters.

Tickets are $12 for single films but the Festival has many other screenings throughout the weekend. Visit wjff.org for a full festival lineup.

06
Mar
2014

Calendar through Feb. 28

Invisible War, gay news, Washington Blade

A still from ‘The Invisible War,’ one of the documentaries nominated for an Oscar that will be screened today at the McGowan Theater in the National Archives Building. It’s from the makers of the LGBT documentary ‘Outrage.’ (photo courtesy Docurama Films)

Friday, Feb. 22

National Archives Experience hosts free screenings of Academy Award nominees in four categories: documentary feature, documentary short subject, live action short film and animated short film at William G. McGowan Theater in the National Archives Building (700 Pennsylvania Ave., NW). Tonight’s lineup, which starts at 7 p.m., includes screenings of “How to Survive a Plague,” “The Invisible War” and “5 Broken Cameras.” Tomorrow the screenings continue at noon with the showing of Live Action Short Film nominees. Screenings of Animated Short Film nominees follow at 3:30 and 5 p.m. The screenings concluded on Sunday at 11 a.m. with showing of Documentary Short Subject nominees. Seating is first come first serve. Free tickets will be handed out at the entrance on Constitution Ave. an hour prior to the event. For more information, visit archives.gov.

Special Agent Galactica returns with her happy hour show this evening at 6 p.m. at Black Fox Lounge (1732 Connecticut Ave., NW). This week she welcomes singer and actress Nora Palka as her special guest. The show includes live jazz, blue cabaret, standards and comedy. There is no cover charge. For more information, visit pinkhairedone.com.

Saturday, Feb. 23

Rooting D.C., a free all-day gardening forum, takes place today at Wilson High School (3950 Chesapeake St., NW) from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This forum aims to educate about urban food production and consumption while cultivating health. Pre-registration is closed but walk ins will be permitted if attendees arrive early. Coffee and lunch will be provided. This event is free. For more information, visit rootingdc.org.

Burgundy Crescent volunteers this morning at Food and Friends (219 Riggs Rd., NE) at 8 a.m. and again at 9:45 a.m. Volunteers will help with food preparation and packing groceries. The shifts are limited to 10 per shift. For more information, visit burgundycrescent.org.

Military Partners and Families Coalition (MPFC) seeks five volunteers to assist in the celebration of the recordings and stories of LGBT military families that are to be archived in the Library of Congress today at 5:30 p.m. at the Human Rights Campaign building (1640 Rhode Island Ave., NW). Volunteers will set-up before the event, staff the check-in table and greet attendees, hand out information and clean-up afterwards. For more information, visit burgundycrescent.org.

GLOE’s Masquerade & Mischief Purim Party, described as the queerest annual Purim Party, takes place tonight at 8:30 p.m. at the DC Jewish Community Center (1529 16th St., NW). Attendees are asked to come in costume and enjoy an open bar, food and performances all night. Tickets are $20 in advance and $30 at the door. For more information, visit washingtondcjcc.org.

Sunday, Feb. 24

Metropolitan Community Church (747 Ridge St., NW) welcomes LGBT Latinos and their friends for a potluck today at 12:30 p.m. Attendees are asked to bring a dish to share. For more information, email churchoffice@mccdc.com.

Monday, Feb. 25

Matchbox 20 brings its “2013 Changed Tour” to the Lyric Opera House (140 West Mount Royal Ave.) tonight at 7 p.m. with all new material from its fourth album “North.” Tickets are $75. For more information, visit 930.com.

The D.C. Lambda Squares holds its dance series tonight at 7:30 p.m. at National City Christian Church (5 Thomas Circle, NW). The only square dance club located in Washington, the group invites everybody to learn square dancing in just 16 Mondays. No special outfits, partner or prior dance experience is needed. The cost is $100. For more information or to register, visit dclambdasquares.org.

Whitman-Walker Health (1701 14th St., NW) holds its HIV+ Newly Diagnosed Support Group tonight at 7. It is a confidential support group for anyone recently diagnosed with HIV and the group welcomes all genders and sexual orientations. Registration is required and attendees must call 202-797-3580 or email peersupport@whitman-walker.org. For details, visit whitman-walker.org.

Tuesday, Feb. 26

Whitman-Walker Health (1701 14th St., NW) holds its group Starting Over for Women group tonight at 7. The group is for women whose long-term relationship with another woman. Registration is required and attendees must call 202 797 3580 or email peersupport@whitman-walker.org. For more information, visit whitman-walker.org.

Green Lantern (1335 Green Court, N.W.) hosts its Safer Sex Kit-packing program tonight from 7-10:30 p.m. The packing program is looking for more volunteers to help produce the kits because they say they are barely keeping up with demand. Admission is free and volunteers can just show up. For more information, visit thedccenter.org.

Wednesday, Feb. 27

Whitman-Walker Health (1701 14th St., NW) holds its HIV+ Newly Diagnosed Support Group tonight at 7. It is a confidential support group for anyone recently diagnosed with HIV and the group welcomes all genders and sexual orientations. Registration is required and attendees must call 202-797-3580 or email peersupport@whitman-walker.org. For details, visit whitman-walker.org.

The Tom Davoren Social Bridge Club meets tonight at the Dignity Center (721 8th St., SE) at 7:30 p.m. for social bridge. Newcomers are welcome and no reservations are needed. For more information or if you need a partner, visit lambdabridge.com.

Thursday, Feb. 28

Lambda Sci-Fi book group meets to discuss “Black Blade Blues,” by J.A. Pitts this evening at 7 p.m. at 1425 S St, NW. Please bring a snack or non-alcoholic drink to share. For more information, visit lambdascifi.org.

Whitman-Walker Health (1701 14th St., NW) holds its gay men over 50 support group this evening at 6:30 p.m.. The group is for gay men entering a new phase of life. Registration is required to attend. Registration is required and attendees must call 202-797-3580 or email peersupport@whitman-walker.org. For more information, visit whitman-walker.org.

21
Feb
2013

A time of renewal

Bet Mishpachah, JCC, Jewish Community Center, gay news, Washington Blade

Bet Mishpachah meets at the D.C. Jewish Community Center at 16th and Q streets, N.W. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Although many synagogues in the Washington area are LGBT-friendly, Bet Mishpachah is the gayest.

Although it welcomes anyone who wishes to “participate in an inclusive, egalitarian and mutually supportive community,” its raison d’etre is for LGBT Jews and nearly everyone who attends weekly services is LGBT.

As Passover begins at sundown Monday, the synagogue, which meets at the D.C. Jewish Community Center at 16th and Q Streets, N.W. (find it online at betmish.org), is in a time of transition. A search committee that formed late last year is in the final stages of its search for a new rabbi. Three candidates came for tryouts and the committee expects this week to make a recommendation to the synagogue’s board of directors. If the board agrees and the first choice accepts, a new rabbi could be in place very soon.

“Hopefully we’ll be able to hire a new rabbi very soon,” Joel Wind, board president, says. “We’re on the final stretch.”

Rabbi Toby Manewith, who had been with Bet Mishpachah about three years, resigned last year to return to her native Chicago, Wind says. Rabbi Emeritus Robert Saks came out of retirement to help them through the transition time.

Although weekly gatherings at the JCC (every Friday night at 8 p.m. and the second and fourth Saturday mornings at 10 a.m.) are “about 99 percent LGBT,” according to Wind, more allies come out for high holidays and rabbis are not necessarily LGBT themselves.

“Our first rabbi, he was with us 18 years, was not gay,” Wind says. “It’s not that important, not a requirement. There are other more important things we’re looking for like a good teacher and someone who can lead. Someone who has a good rapport with congregants.”

Bet Mishpachah formed in 1975. Attendance averages between 25-30 on an average Friday night, about 15 on a Saturday. Wind, who has attended since 1980, says attendance was higher in previous years. He cites gays moving away from 14th Street, overall worship service across religions being down in general and other synagogues being more gay-welcoming than they’ve been in years past, as factors.

“Our current board is going to figure out what we can do to increase attendance, so we’ll see,” he says.

The synagogue has never owned its own building. It’s been meeting at the JCC for nearly 20 years.

Several special services and events are planned for the coming weeks. Visit the synagogue online for details.

22
Mar
2013

D.C. arts briefs: Dec. 28

Bevy of New Year’s Eve options available

Looking for a party on New Year’s Eve? Here are a few shows and places that are sending 2012 out in good fashion:

Special Agent Galactica returns with her show at the Black Fox Lounge (1723 Connecticut Ave., NW) to ring in the New Year Monday night at 10. Galactica’s show is very appropriate for the holiday since the performer’s birth on New Year’s Eve 2003. She will be performing with her live jazz band with special guests Barbara Papendorp, DonMike Mondoza, Regie Cabico and Russwin Francisco. Party favors and a countdown are included with the show. There is no cover for this event. For more information, visit blackfoxlounge.com.

Cobalt (1639 R St., N.W) hosts its New Year’s Eve party Monday night at 9 p.m. with DJ Madscience and recording artist Debby Holiday. There is a $15 cover or $75 all-inclusive with open bar and pre-sale tickets. For more information, visit cobaltdc.com.

The Black Cat (1811 14th St., N.W.) has its New Years Eve Ball with Peaches O’Dell and her orchestra Monday night at 8 p.m. Peaches offers a blend of swing dance music, romantic fare from the 1930s and 1940s, Latin style music including rumbas and tangos and Hollywood’s greatest hits. DJs will also be throwing down on their backstage. Cover is $25.

Jackson rings in new year at Kennedy Center

Out actor/singer Cheyenne Jackson plays D.C. on New Year’s Eve.  (Photo by Karl Simone; courtesy Jackson)

Out actor/singer Cheyenne Jackson plays D.C. on New Year’s Eve. (Photo by Karl Simone; courtesy Jackson)

The Kennedy Center (2700 F St., NW) spends New Year’s Eve night in style with Cheyenne Jackson and Music of the Mad Men Era tonight at 8:30 pm.

Jackson, a Broadway, film and television star, is joined by vocalist Nina Arianda and members of the National Symphony Orchestra as they perform sounds of the 1950s and 1960s.

After the show patrons are welcome to celebrate the New Year with dancing and music by D.C. jazz band Chaise Lounge in the Grand Foyer.

Tickets are $50 to $150. For more information, visit kennedy-center.org.

Jewish Film Festival features gay content

The Washington Jewish Film Festival kicks off Jan. 3 and features a gay-themed romantic comedy set in France called “Let My People Go!” that will be screened on Jan. 10 at 6:30 p.m. at La Maison Francaise at the Embassy of France (4101 Reservoir Road, NW) and Jan. 12 at 8:30 at the D.C. Jewish Community Center (1529 16th Street, NW).

Reuben and his mother in a scene from ‘Let My People Go!’ a gay-themed French comedy that will be screened in D.C. as part of the Jewish Film Festival. (Still courtesy JFF)

Reuben and his mother in a scene from ‘Let My People Go!’ a gay-themed French comedy that will be screened in D.C. as part of the Jewish Film Festival. (Still courtesy JFF)

This French film with English subtitles tells the story of lovelorn Reuben, a French-Jewish mailman living in Finland with his gorgeous Nordic boyfriend. Just before Passover, a lovers’ quarrel exiles Reuben back to Paris and his zany family—including Almodovar goddess Carmen Maura as his ditzy mom, and Jean-François Stévenin as his lothario father.

Visit wjff.org for ticket prices and more information.

27
Dec
2012