Cherry Fever

This weekend's Cherry 2008 event springs forth with a promise to please most everyone

After last year’s grand experiment — moving D.C.’s signature gay party to the same weekend as Capital Pride — Cherry has returned back home to April.

It is, after all, made for spring. Named after Washington’s famed cherry blossoms, Cherry celebrates the end of the winter doldrums and the promise of new things to come.

In fact, this year’s event — the 10th produced by the Cherry Fund, and the 13th Cherry overall — promises to please most everyone: from new promotional partners and several new venues and DJs, to new beneficiaries with a specific focus on local efforts targeting HIV/AIDS, to more bar and lounge events, to a full slate of parties for women.

There are eight men’s parties and four for women, with at least 15 official DJs, both those local or familiar to local partygoers — including upstarts like Jason Horswill and DJ India, local legends BacK2bACk (Alan Chasan and Bill Keart), as well as Cherry 2006’s headliner, veteran Peter Rauhofer — and those with international stature who rarely play D.C., including Mark Anthony and Oscar G. The lineup also boasts more performances than any recent Cherry, including the return of Circuit Mom, the D.C. debut of Tampa’s edgy, androgynous MACAViTi, and self-styled ”Flaggerboy” Phillip Bryan.

”The lineup is very eclectic,” notes Paul Marengo, chair of the Cherry Fund, the all-volunteer nonprofit that produces the event. ”We wanted to make sure we didn’t have a stale lineup. [We didn't want to] just present the same old, same old weekend dance benefit.”

Doug Rule is a theater critic and contributing editor for Metro Weekly.

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