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Best Bets 7.25 – 8.6

Friday, July 23

Melissa Etheridge brings her “Fearless Love” tour to town. 7:30 p.m., Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30339, 770-916-2800,

The kick-off for the Joining Hearts “Splash” party, which benefits Jerusalem House and AID Atlanta, features DJ/Producer Eddie Baez from New York City. Cover is $5 before 11 p.m., $10 after. 10 p.m. Heretic, 2069 Cheshire Bridge Road, Atlanta, GA 30324,

Hotlanta Rubber Group is gearing up for the Southeast Rubber Weekend with Rubber Wrestling. 10 p.m. Atlanta Eagle, 10 p.m., 306 Ponce de Leon Ave., Atlanta, GA 30308,,

“Hairspray” opens tonight and runs through Aug. 8 at the Strand Theatre, 117 N. Park Square, Marietta, GA 30060. 404-377-9948,

It’s Friday Night Live with Traxx and Traxx Girls in the renovated Atlanta Live space a.k.a. Mansion Elan Nightclub. Two floors, hip-hop and house music, go-go dancers. Cover charge is $10-$25. 11 p.m.-5 a.m., 3595 Clairmont Road, Atlanta, GA 30319,,

Friday, July 23-Saturday, July 24

Choreographer Lauri Stallings and gloATL present “Roem,” blending dance, music, multimedia and theatrical design as part of its continuing series. 8 p.m.-9:30 p.m., Woodruff Arts Center, Sifly Piazza, 1280 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta, GA 30309,

Friday, July 23-Sunday, July 25

The annual MEGA Family Vacation travels to Lake Lanier Islands this year. Multiple events throughout the weekend. Visit for more information.

Saturday, July 24

The Human Rights Campaign hosts Gospel & Unity, an afternoon of inspiring gospel music and speakers, including Rev. Kathi Martin. 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m., First Metropolitan Community Church, 1379 Tullie Road, Atlanta, GA 30329.

It’s one of the biggest summer parties of the year and all for a great cause — helping those with HIV/AIDS find affordable housing. Joining Hearts 23, titled “Splash,” takes place at the Piedmont Park Pool with DJ Roland Belmares manning the tables. Unfortunately, the event is sold out but you can still donate to the event that benefits Jerusalem House and AID Atlanta at

Joining Hearts 23 official after party with DJ Oren Nizri. Free with wristband. 10 p.m., Jungle, 2115 Faulkner Road, Atlanta, GA 30324,

The Marietta Rainbow Festival celebrates its first gay pride event with live music, entertainment, food and drinks. The day begins at noon and is family-friendly with adult events starting after 8 p.m. Drag queens and kings, outdoor movie screening at dusk. Free. LeBuzz, 585 Franklin Road, Marietta, GA 30067,

It’s time for the Sweet Summer Smack Down as the Atlanta Rollergirls take to the tracks. First bout with the ARG Dirty South Derby Girls vs. Rhode Island Riveters at 5 p.m., second bout between the Apocalypstix vs. the Denim Demons at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for one bout $15, for both bouts $25, Yaarab Shrine Center, 400 Ponce De Leon Ave., Atlanta, GA 30308,

DJ Jay McCracken spins at Deep House on Peachtree. 7 p.m.-10 p.m., Fresh 2 Order, 860 Peachtree St., Spire Building, Atlanta, GA 30308, 404-593-2333.

The first annual Trans-Health Benefit in memory of Dr. Maxwell Scott Anderson raises funds to continue his documentary on transgender health issues. It features performances by Devin Liquor, Niko, Jackson, Kevin the Performer and Cooter Flame. Food for purchase and cash bar. Doors open at 8 p.m., show starts at 10:15 p.m.  $5 donation. 660 Irwin St., Atlanta, GA 30312.

Brushstrokes, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, sponsors a fundraiser for Jerusalem House and the Grady Infectious Diseases Program. The “Mary Edith Pitts Underwear Fashion Show” with 20 male and female models will work the runway wearing items from the Frank Dandy line. 11 p.m., Burkhart’s Pub, 1492 Piedmont Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30309,,

Sunday, July 25

After hours party for Joining Hearts with DJ/Producer Martin Fry. 2:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. $10 presale, $15 at door. Spring 4th Center, 728 Spring St. NW, Atlanta, GA 30308,

The Hotlanta Softball League’s B, C and D divisions vie for the second berth to the 2010 Gay Softball World Series. 9 a.m.-4 p.m., West Metro Softball Complex, 7301 Campbellton Road, Atlanta, GA 30331,

The Atlanta Dream take on the New York Liberty in a home game. 3 p.m., Philips Arena, 1 Philips Drive, Atlanta, GA 30303,

Monday, July 26

Gay Outreach at AID Atlanta hosts Happy Hour, a new program for first-time participants. This program is focused on Caucasian gay and bisexual men and their allies. 4 p.m.-6 p.m., Burkhart’s Pub, 1492 Piedmont Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30309, 404-870-7763,, email

Meak Productions presents Same Gender Loving Expressions Radio Show every Monday at 8 p.m. The show is broadcast live from Atlanta with host Miko Evans.

Tuesday, July 27

Fourth Tuesday reintroduces its Fourth Tuesday Dinners. Fourth Tuesday is the social arm of the Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative. Drinks at 6 p.m., dinner at 7p.m., Carpe Diem, 105 Sycamore Place, Decatur, GA 30030,

The Sophisticated Ladies of Atlanta Cabaret Show featuring Nicole Paige Brooks, Brent-ta Star and the Lady Phoenix. 10:30 p.m., Shout, 1197 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta, GA 30309,

Wednesday, July 28

The Queer Literary Fiction Book Group meets to discuss “The Big Bang Symphony: A Novel of Antarctica” by Lucy Jane Bledsoe. The story involves three women working in Antarctica and how their lives are transformed by their time on the ice. 7 p.m., Charis Books & More, 1189 Euclid Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307,

Gay Fathers of Atlanta support meeting. 7:30 p.m.-9 p.m., All Saints Episcopal Church, 634 W Peachtree St. NW, Atlanta, GA 30308. Dinner at 6:30 p.m. at Broadway Diner on Peachtree Street at the corner of Peachtree and North.

Devo is back, so whip it good. Chastain Park Amphitheatre. Doors open at 7 p.m., show is at 8 p.m. 4469 Stella Drive, Atlanta, GA 30327. (at the intersection of Powers Ferry Road and Stella Drive),

Thursday, July 29

Sarah Peacock gives a solo acoustic performance. 8:30 p.m.-11 p.m., Bellissima, 560-B Amsterdam Ave., Atlanta, GA 30306 404-917-0220,

It’s Xplosive Thursdays with the Atlanta Xplosion every week. Free entry and free drinks until 11 p.m., $5 cover after 11 p.m. Hookahs for $15. Hosted by the “Beast” Jersey Moulin and music by DJ JRO. 11 p.m., My Sisters’ Room, 1271 Glenwood Ave., Atlanta, GA 30316,

Friday, July 30

Atlanta freelance photographer Laurie Edward Matthews celebrates the launch of his 2011 “Body Beautiful” calendar. Proceeds from sales will go to Atlanta Pet Rescue and Jerusalem House. 7:30 p.m., Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse, 991 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta, GA 30309,

Joan Baez performs at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. 8 p.m. 1345 Piedmont Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30309,

Jill King performs in a live concert at Bellissima. $5 cover. 8:30 p.m., 560-B Amsterdam Ave., Atlanta, GA 30306, 404-917-0220,

It’s the Leo Party where the lions’ roar. Featuring DJ Vicki Powell, DJ Jay McCracken and DJ Mike Pope. Go-go dancers and red carpet entry. Donations accepted at door for CHRIS Kids. 9 p.m., Amsterdam, 502-A Amsterdam Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30306,,

London Calling dance party with Susan Bird. 10 p.m. $5 cover. DJ KT spinning. Free drinks if you wear your English flag. My Sisters’ Room, 1271 Glenwood Ave., Atlanta, GA 30316,

Saturday, July 31

DJ Isaac Escalante returns to Atlanta via Carioca Productions. 10 p.m., Jungle, 2115 Faulkner Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30324,

Noni’s celebrates its second anniversary with DJs Vicki Powell, Jeff Meyers of Sound Table, Kimber & Doppelganger, Chad of Rarefied, William Roman and Kyle Keyser. Free tacos from 2 p.m.-5 p.m. 358 Edgewood Ave., Atlanta, GA 30312,

The annual Atlanta Team Tennis Association Variety Show is the organization’s largest fundraiser of the year and this year benefits Positive Impact and YouthPride. $5 cover fee or table near the stage for six for $100. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., show begins at 7 p.m. Jungle, 2115 Faulkner Road, Atlanta, GA 30324,

Dog Daze Launch Party for Lu & Coco features hostess Bubba D. Licious and is a fundraiser for Pets Are Loving Support. Cyndi Lauper ticket giveaways. 7 p.m. The Artmore Hotel, 1302 W. Peachtree St., Atlanta, GA 30309,

The Music of Queen, a Rock & Symphonic Spectacular, with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. 8 p.m. 4469 Stella Drive, Atlanta, GA 30327 (at the intersection of Powers Ferry Road and Stella Drive),

Fetish, a night about gear and those in it. Wear your rubber, leather, biker or sport gear. Demos from Alan Penrod, Mr. Atlanta Eagle 2009; and Chandler Bearden, Mr. Atlanta Eagle 2010. 10 p.m., Atlanta Eagle, 306 Ponce de Leon Ave., Atlanta, GA 30308,

Sunday, August 1

American Idol Live! Tour 2010 featuring the top 10 finalists Aaron Kelly, Andrew Garcia, Casey James, Crystal Bowersox, Didi Benami, Katie Stevens, Lee DeWyze, Michael Lynche, Siobhan Magnus, and Tim Urban. 7:30 p.m., The Arena At Gwinnett Center, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30097,

Backpack in the Park with For the Kid in All of Us brings the community together to gather school supplies for children in need. To attend, bring either a $30 gift card or a new unwrapped backpack with six folders, two spiral notebooks, one filler paper 150 sheets, three pink erasers, one ruler, one glue stick, one 12-pack of No. 2 pencils, one 24-count crayons, one 12-pack of colored pencils, one pencil sharpener and one pack of 3”x5” index cards. 4 p.m.-8 p.m., Piedmont Park,

Monday, August 2

Tom Mendicino signs his book “Probation,” the story of a married man who is arrested at a highway rest stop for an “indiscretion in a men’s bathroom” and is forced to reevaluate his life. 7:30 p.m. Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse, 991 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta, GA 30309,

Wednesday, Aug. 4

“Epidemic Chronicles” screens at Midtown Art Cinema. Filmed in Atlanta, the movie chronicles the lives of five African-American men from five cities who have contracted HIV from the same person. Tickets are $15. 7 p.m., 931 Monroe Drive NE, Atlanta, GA 30308,

Thursday, Aug. 5

A Very Dirty Thirty birthday for Justin Ziegler and fundraiser for AID Atlanta. Beats by DJ Vicki Powell, underwear contest, special appearance by Nicole Paige Brooks of “Rupaul’s Drag Race” as well as performances by Bubba D. Licious, Wild Cherry Sucret, Atlanta Cotillion debutantes, some of the Armorettes and more. 9 p.m.-midnight. $10 minimum donation. Jungle, 2115 Faulkner Road, Atlanta, GA 30324.

Atlanta’s homegrown country duo Sugarland performs at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Alpharetta. 7:30 p.m. at 2200 Encore Parkway, Alpharetta, GA 30009.

Friday, Aug. 6

Cyndi Lauper joins forces with Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings and David Rhodes. Doors open at 7 p.m., show starts at 8 p.m. Chastain Park, 4469 Stella Drive, Atlanta, GA 30327, After the concert, join Chris Coleman Enterprises for an after party at Compound. No cover with wristband from concert. A portion of each ticket sold will go to Pets Are Loving Support. DJs Sean Mac and Mike Pope will be spinning. 1008 Brady Ave., Atlanta, GA 30318,,