Why have all the lesbians gone to Alexandria?
That may be the question on many minds next weekend, when the Birchmere hosts a couple shows with great variety and wide appeal, but featuring a definite lesbian bent.
The weekend starts early, in fact, with a show next Thursday, Oct. 20, featuring Chely Wright, country's first major artist to come out as gay. The charming, beautiful, Kansas-born Wright must be falling in love with our area, since this is her third area stop since headlining 2010's Capital Pride. It's already her second stop at the Birchmere this year. Opening for Wright is Lucy Wainwright Roche, also making her second stop at the Birchmere this year. Talk about lesbian appeal: Her mother is in the folk trio the Roches, her father is folk legend Loudon Wainwright III, her half-siblings are Rufus and Martha, and she's toured with the Indigo Girls. Who cares if the sweet-voiced folk singer is straight?
And then Saturday, Oct. 22, the Birchmere switches it up, offering a night of cabaret and comedy with the stunning lesbian performer Suede and lesbian standup comedian Vickie Shaw. Suede got her start in D.C. and Baltimore, so the Cape Codder is no stranger to these parts, and Shaw is a Texas-raised spitfire who you've no doubt seen on Comedy Central, if not an Olivia Cruise. Put them together on one bill, and you've got a knock-out of a night.
Actually, if you see more lesbians in Alexandria this Saturday, Oct. 15, you can blame the Birchmere too. Comedian Paula Poundstone will be yukking it up. While the longtime standup describes herself as ''asexual,'' there's no doubt her appeal is quite queer.
As is the Birchmere's. We could certainly get used to it. -- Doug Rule
All shows at 7:30 p.m. The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Call 703-549-7500 or visit birchmere.com.