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Top pick.

1 Come Out to Play Feb. 1-28 As if our nation's capital wasn't harboring enough drama, Washington, D.C., is enticing queer travelers to enjoy the city's inaugural theater month. Book a hotel package and get discounts to shows like The Velvet Sky by out playwright Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa or Dame Edna. Oh, possums!

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2 Hong Kong Arts Festival February 9-March 12 As a teeming center of life and commerce, Hong Kong recognized the need for a citywide celebration of culture in 1973. Since then it has moved from British to Chinese rule, grown by millions, and seen its gay population boom--all while the festival chugged along, gaining momentum. This year's lineup includes a performance of the gay-inclusive play The History Boys and a revision of the perennial queer favorite A Doll's House. But the highlight may well be a set of gender-bending opera performances, wherein stars of the Beijing and Cantonese opera world will play outside their sex. It ain't over till the fat gentleman sings!

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3 Sitges Carnival February 23-March 1 Held a hop, skip, and a jump from Barcelona, this epicurean extravaganza lures fun-loving gays and lesbians (and seemingly every European drag queen) to the Spanish Riviera Jueves Larclero ("Fatty Thursday") kicks off the festivities with a gut-busting celebration of Catalan cuisine. Lavish parades and outrageous outfits are also on the menu.

4 Tennessee Williams Literary Festival March 29-April 2 Organizers promise the show will in New Orleans for this annual celebration of all things Thomas Lanier Williams, the gay playwright better known as Tennessee Williams. The French Quarter's Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre hosts most events, which include performances and discussions of the dramatist's works. There's even a "Stella-a-a!" shouting contest.

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5 Carnaval in Salvador, Brazil February 22-March 1 Explore the culture of Bahia, a northeastern Afrocentric province awash in diversity. Salvador is the capital, and the city's gay scene, rivaling those in larger cities like Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, is integral to the festivities. Salvador's Camaval is friendlier and more involving than Rio's--a party where you don't just watch floats; you dance on them.

6 Out in Africa Film Festival Through March This lively festival has grown from a grassroots celebration of queer African filmmakers into a month-long "happening" with a diverse program of films from around the globe. Screenings and parties are held in three of South Africa's most distinct cities (bustling Johannesburg, laid-back Cape Town, and exotic Durban). You may even fall in love with a moffie (slang for gay) or two.
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Title Annotation:festivals and carnivals
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Geographic Code:60AFR
Date:Jan 17, 2006
Words:427
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