Metro Weekly

Capital Pride 2017: Your Guide to Everyone Performing at Capital Pride

The lineup of every performer set for Sunday’s Festival

Miley Cyrus

As of press time. Please note: Time windows are approximate. Performers and schedule subject to change without notice.

CAPITOL STAGE

Third Street & Pennsylvania Avenue NW

EMCEES

JERRY HOUSTON

One of the hardest-working men in radio, Houston not only oversees programming and serves as a weekday afternoon host for iHeartRadio’s Pride Radio, he is also a weekend host on Hot 99.5 FM, the area’s leading pop station. For the past five years, he’s also handled the entertainment lineup for Capital Pride.

DESTINY B. CHILDS

One of D.C.’s hardest working drag queens, Childs helms the show at Freddie’s, performs at Ziegfeld’s, and has served as an emcee on the Festival stage for a decade. A former Miss Gaye America DC — to name one of her many crowns — Childs is the drag alter-ego of a former Mr. Remington’s and former U.S. soldier, otherwise known as Richard Legg.

DJ TWIN

One of D.C.’s biggest high-energy/house DJs and promoters, Kurt Graves helps put on the incredibly popular Flashy Sundays party at Flash. A Mississippi native, Graves adopted his DJ handle as a nod to the nickname he was given at Howard University, when people couldn’t tell him and his identical twin brother apart.

2 p.m.

GAY MEN’S CHORUS OF WASHINGTON

D.C.’s 200-plus-member GMCW, one of the world’s largest choruses, has played a pivotal part in the cultural landscape of the city for over 35 years. However cheeky a performance, the group always stays true to its mission of singing to inspire equality and inclusion for all.

VASSY

Born to Greek immigrants in Australia as Vasiliki Karagiorgos, rising singer-songwriter Vassy has spent the past decade pursuing her dreams in Hollywood. From David Guetta to Tiesto to Dave Aude, Vassy has already collaborated with some of the biggest names in dance. See feature on page 73.

COBALT PRIDE IDOL WINNER

The winner was crowned after Metro Weekly went to press by guest judges Kristina Kelly, Robert Bise and Jerry Blackmon. The Pride Idol earns $1,000 in cash as well as the title — and the honor of performing on both stages at the Festival.

ELLA FITZGERALD

Creator of the “Ladies of Illusion” show at Ziegfeld’s and called a “Hurricane on Heels,” Fitzgerald is D.C.’s first lady of drag, and has been at it for nearly 40 years. The lady’s got stamina.

MICHELLE RAYMOND BAND

Although now based in Madrid, Spain, Raymond has been a faithful Festival performer for a decade, serving up her brand of “acoustic folk with a little funk and jam.” The guitar-playing singer-songwriter, known as M-Ray, makes a triumphant return home this year.

TEAM PEACHES

Virginia native Paul Corrie leads a crew of performers from the worlds of dance, cheerleading and stunts to go beyond your standard drag or dance number. The nom de drag was adapted from the Super Mario World character Princess Peach, while the look was inspired by Donatella Versace, Amal Clooney and Beyonce. The result: An athletic, arch glamourpuss.

THE LADIES OF TOWN

A coterie of D.C.’s top drag queens can be found glamming it up twice weekly at Town Danceboutique — and every year on the Festival stage, for that rarest of rare chances to see these amazing ladies of the night — Lena Lett, Shi-Queeta Lee, Ba’Naka, Tatianna, and Riley Knoxx — in broad daylight.

4 p.m.

MYKUL JAY VALENTINE

Attractive and athletic, Valentine is a male entertainer who’s a cut above the Chippendales. With sensual elements drawn from the world of burlesque and striptease paired with striking moves from modern dance and acrobatics, the Kentucky-based artist casts a spell on you as you watch what he and his body can do.

THE POINTER SISTERS

With hits on the pop, R&B, even country charts, this sibling act out of Oakland, Calif., certainly was on “Fire” in the 1970s and ‘80s. Ruth, the eldest Pointer, still leads the group, which has become a showcase of her offspring, with daughter Issa and granddaughter Sadako. See feature on page 71.

FREDDIE’S FOLLIES

Every year the fiercest drag queens in Northern Virginia hop on a pink flamingo at their beach bar to soar across the river. And then they hail a cab. In addition to her duties as Festival co-host, Destiny B. Childs also directs a “Miss Freddie’s Formers Review Show” with Bambi Nicole Ferrah, Ophelia Bottoms, Regina Jozet Adams, Ashlee Jozet Adams, Monet Dupree and Gigi Paris Couture.

RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE SEASON 9 FINALIST

A mere two days after the final episode is broadcast on VH1, the winner and runner-up from the ninth season will fly to D.C. and work the festival runway. Will it be Shea Couleé and Sasha Velour? Peppermint and Trinity Taylor? Or some other pairing? The world won’t know until Friday, June 9.

MR. AND MISS CAPITAL PRIDE

Matthew J. Kelly and Sandra Onassis Lopez became 2017 Capital Pride royalty “based on their gender identity or in drag,” in categories that included talent, interview and Pride Attire.

ENKORE DANCE COMPANY

Damarcko “Retro” Price launched his Maryland-based urban dance company to train young dancers between ages seven and 23 “to sustain a professional career in entertainment.” The group has opened for Wale, Eric Benet, and Bell Biv DeVoe, among others.

6 p.m.

RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE SEASON 9 FINALIST

An encore performance.

TINASHE

Some have touted Tinashe as the heir to Janet Jackson — and the 21-year-old’s debut album, Aquarius, is all slinky-soul goodness thats’s right up Janet fans’ alley. A Los Angeles-born performer of partly Zimbabwean descent, Tinashe got her start as part of a band that opened for Justin Bieber a few years ago. Now she’s a solo act destined for greater fame.

MILEY CYRUS

Hard to believe it’s only been a decade since Cyrus was known as Hannah Montana. A “Wrecking Ball” did away with that persona years ago, leaving us with a pansexual-identified, LGBTQ rights-supporting, “Party in the U.S.A.” pop star as popular and provocative as any Disney princess who came before her.

8  p.m.

DJ TRACY YOUNG: CAPITOL SUNSET DANCE PARTY

Before she became one of the gay circuit’s best-known DJs, as well as one of Madonna’s favorites, Young was just a twentysomething mixer at local radio and storied warehouse dance club Tracks. She certainly hasn’t forgotten her roots, and returns for another year to close out the festival on Pennsylvania Avenue.


MONUMENT STAGE

Sixth Street & Constitution Avenue NW

EMCEE

OPHELIA BOTTOMS

Virginia’s Charles McWilliams will make an appearance on the Capitol Stage as his drag alias Bottoms, performing with the other girls in Freddie’s Follies. Yet the rest of the day, Bottoms will be top draw on the Monument Stage, which seems a fitting perch for such a longtime fixture on the D.C. drag scene.

1 p.m.

KENISHA COLEMAN

An singer-songwriter from Southern Maryland, Coleman will give Pride-goers their first taste of her sultry electronica R&B sound, as captured on debut single “Craving You.”

JORDAN BOLDEN

Another emerging singer-songwriter, the New York-based Bolden writes affirming pop anthems, such as the single “Out,” that he pairs with dramatic videos full of exuberant group choreography. There’s also “We Won’t Live Afraid,” a Pulse-provoked blistering, unapologetic power-ballad.

CAPITAL CABARET DRAG

A rotating crop of local drag queens will take to the stage to entertain the crowd at the Monument Stage with a rather impromptu variety show, offered several different times during the day.

2 p.m.

BILLY WINN

Yet another promising new singer-songwriter, this one a homegrown D.C. R&B/dance act. Winn shouldn’t have any trouble stirring up the crowd with some of his tunes, notably “Future X Boyfriend” and uptempo jam “Against the Rhythm.”

RUSSELL ELLIOT

A D.C. native based in New York, the pansexual-identified Elliot strives to make R&B/pop music that is queer-positive and misogyny-free. Aside from that, Elliot is very much in league with the Weeknd and other hazy electronic- and hip-hop-flavored R&B acts.

CAPITAL CABARET DRAG

See prior entry.

3 p.m.

BRENNA SINCLAIRE

The first transgender woman to sing the national anthem at a professional sporting event — a 2015 Oakland A’s home game — Sinclaire grew up in Baltimore idolizing great African-American female opera stars. The 25-year-old now channels them with her clear and angelically high voice.

THE DC GURLY SHOW

An outgrowth of the former local drag king institution the DC Kings, this isn’t your grandfather’s burlesque show, nor is it even a traditional striptease show. Anybody is welcome, no matter their gender or how they identify, with the focus on expression and individual performance, and more about playing with gender than teasing about sex.

DC FRONT RUNNERS

This group of LGBTQ runners and walkers will get the weekend off to a running start with the Pride Run 5K at the Congressional Cemetery. But it’s the Front Runners parade dance troupe that gets the most mileage out of the weekend, with Saturday’s parade and a performance on the stage.

COBALT PRIDE IDOL WINNER

See entry under Capitol Stage.

THE OASIS DANCE CO.

Steven Wilson founded this community dance group in 2003 as a way to help those ”who may have dance as a passion but may not have the funds to pay” for lessons to build skills with the art form. All dancers, whether LGBTQ or an ally, are welcome to perform with Oasis.

4 p.m.

CAPITAL CABARET DRAG

See prior entry.

POSH HAMMER

The Setayesh siblings — twin sisters Tasnim and Tiam and older brother Navied — are a synth-pop trio from Asheville, North Carolina. Now fully grown, the three were homeschooled by their parents so as to best focus on their musical craft.

ERICK BLU

A 20-year-old New York-based singer-songwriter, Blu tours in support of his debut album Electric, full of dance-pop tracks such as the single “Victorious.”

CHEER DC

Revived last fall, this all-volunteer LGBTQ squad of cheerleaders and dancers roots on various area sports leagues, including those part of Team DC, as well as other community events. They’ll give festival-goers an afternoon pep boost.

THE BOY BAND PROJECT

“An international contemporary boy band cover group,” this New York outfit reimagines boy band tunes and choreography from the 1990s to today — from N’Sync to One Direction.

5 p.m.

ROBERT BALL

A neo-soul singer with jazz sensibilities inspired by Luther Vandross, Sammy Davis Jr. and John Legend, Toronto-native Ball has worked Off Broadway and as a session singer for notable soul producers. He tours in support of his second EP Need.

CAPITAL CABARET DRAG

See prior entry.

HEATHER MAE

Sometimes touted as “the queer Adele,” Mae is a power-piped singer-songwriter whose earnest and affirming folk/pop music, as captured on new five-song EP I Am Enough, is very much in the mold of Mary “Same Love” Lambert. Mae calls her style “pop music with a mission.”

ALISE KING

A soul shouter from Detroit who has received various local awards, King is working to expand her cachet nationally. Capital Pride is one stop on a summer Pride & Soul Tour. King will bring down the house on the Monument Stage.


DUPONT DANCE TENT

Sixth Street and Pennsylvania Avenue

12 p.m.

KEENAN ORR

Few DJs are as versatile as Virginia-native Orr in mixing up both musical genres and crowds. In any given week, Orr is likely to spin soul and funk at a hip bar, downtempo house/electronica at a swanky lounge, and dance-pop/EDM at a gay club — or three. He’s the right DJ to set the festival and dance tent mood.

1 p.m.

MIKE REIMER

Although he had been DJing for years, Reimer’s career really took off after he won Cobalt’s Amateur DJ competition in 2010, earning him his first of many Cherry DJ slots. More recently, he’s become a regular at DistrktC at the DC Eagle. Especially known for playing fun, upbeat house music, Reimer is a natural for Pride.

2 p.m.

ANDRE GUTARRA

Also known simply as DJ Andre, Gutarra is an up-and-coming local who has only been at it for about five years. In the past year he’s played at Cobalt and made his debut at Otter Crossing at the Green Lantern. He’s sure to keep it deep and funky during his debut at Pride.

3 p.m.

LEMZ

Baltimore native Steve Lemmerman is full of surprises. He regularly throws old-school curveballs at Nellie’s in the middle of au courant dance/pop sets. At his new, popular party Sleaze at Wonderland, the focus is on discofied “bathhouse music…and future techno.” Whatever surprises he might haul out for Pride are sure to cure any mid-afternoon slump.

4 p.m.

VODKATRINA

Another Nellie’s resident — who has also regularly tag-teamed with Lemz — Katrina Noplos grew up with Baltimore club music. She’s a resident at Charm City’s popular lesbian party Rehab at Grand Central. Known for a lively mix of mash-ups and mixups, from Motown to jock jams, Vodkatrina is also known for her love of a certain distilled spirit.

5 p.m.

THE BARBER STREISAND

You can guess what Bryan Smith does by day. But by night — or, you know, come the festival — he drops the scissors, then the needle, and gets grooving. What he does not do, other than perhaps a certain Duck Sauce ditty, is make a habit of playing tunes by his alter-ego namesake.

 6 p.m.

NICK AYLERS

A Los Angeles-based DJ who works with major record labels and television studios, Aylers is regularly on the road as a resident at Hard Rock hotels in San Diego and Las Vegas. But the Buffalo native is not a total stranger to D.C.: He spins events for the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.

For updates, visit capitalpride.org.

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