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    Donna’s Chronicles, “As we begin the cautious process of returning to some semblance of life…”

    By Donna Sachet–

    As we begin the cautious process of returning to some semblance of life before COVID, we applaud those venues that are fashioning creative approaches to live entertainment and those audience members who follow prescribed safety protocols in order to experience artistic performances. The renowned Feinstein’s at Hotel Nikko used their dark time to make improvements and has now opened an additional theatrical space of equal size with a little different ambiance. We were there last week to check it out with Paula West on stage. We missed the booths and banquettes, but otherwise the sound, lights, and feel of the room lended nicely to this accomplished singer, backed by skilled musicians on piano, bass, guitar, and percussion. Paula again confirmed her reputation for claiming well known songs as her own, employing elements of jazz, blues, pop, and more, and the capacity audience was entranced and enthusiastic. Watch for opportunities soon to enjoy both spaces at Hotel Nikko, from established entertainers to new musical concepts. If you’ve missed the performing arts as we have, Feinstein’s is bound to please!

    What began as merely an attempt to provide a gathering spot and time for the many women of our LGBTQ+ Community has quickly become a highly anticipated and enthusiastically attended monthly event for women and their many supporters. Divas & Drinks is a collaboration between the San Francisco Bay Times and The Academy and the fourth one, Friday, August 27, honored Dykes on Bikes®, celebrating 45 years of camaraderie, pride, and motorcycles! Joining us again were DJ Rockaway, Heather Freyer and her team from Bacardi, and Jimmy Consos providing food from Grubstake. The heart of the program was the roaring arrival in front of The Academy of around 20 motorcycles from Dykes on Bikes®, ridden by members and friends of the group and led by President Kate Brown. As they entered the open-air patio of the club, Imani Rupert-Gordon, new Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) read the names of the many groups represented there in honor of the Dykes on Bikes®, including both the Alice B. Toklas and Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Clubs, Castro LGBTQ Cultural District, Castro Street Fair, Galeria de la Raza, HRC SF, Lyon-Martin Health Services, LYRIC, SF Lesbian & Gay Freedom Band, SF LGBT Community Center, SF Pride, Women’s Building, and Women’s March SF. City Supervisor Rafael Mandelman was on hand with an appropriate certificate and introduced SF Fire Department Chief Jeanine Nicholson. We even raised a bit of money for the club by auctioning off a bottle of “Nasty Woman” wine with Kate’s image on the bottle!

    After those festivities, Divas & Drinks returned to its game format, this time presenting Team Gay Softball League and Captain Liz Gonzales vs. Team Dykes with Drills and Captain Julie Peri in a spirited version of Name That Tune! After cocktail demos from Bacardi and a vigorous competition, Team Gay Softball League came out on top. Among the crowd cheering them on were Openhouse SF’s Dr. Marcy Adelman, SF Pride’s Carolyn Wysinger, photographer Rink, SF Democratic Party’s Honey Mahogany, the Pink Triangle Project’s Patrick & Hossein Carney, Golden State Warriors’ Alysha Lofton, and Michelle Jester & Mary Sager. Everyone left with a gift bag that included a limited edition shot glass commemorating Rikki Streicher’s legendary bar Amelia’s. What a fitting souvenir of a night recognizing women in leadership roles, changing the world, and making an important difference.

    D’Arcy Drollinger should be so proud of her film, Sh*t & Champagne, that had a full-scale premiere at the Castro Theatre last Saturday night! The event had all the trappings of a Hollywood debut with red carpet, celebrity appearances, and costumes inspired by the film gathered in front of the theatre. What a treat to mingle with VIPs, congratulate cast members, and sip Champagne with Mark Calvano, Matthew Martin, Sister Roma, Jorge Hernandez, and Carissa Hatchel, to name a few. Once inside, some over-the-top strippers gave us a preview of what to expect during the film. We won’t say too much about the film itself since it will soon be available through several streaming channels, but suffice it to say, the title is no exaggeration; D’Arcy takes us on a rollicking romp with local and international guest stars and myriad cameo appearances. San Francisco Chronicle’s Tony Bravo led a brief, but stimulating on-stage interview with attending stars of the film at its conclusion. Kudos to the creator of this film for her tremendous creativity, demonstrable video talents, and remarkable perseverance. No wonder Oasis, D’Arcy’s popular club, has weathered the storm of this pandemic and is back on the map providing a home for incredible talent and enthusiastic audiences!

    Finally, although we are sure that many others are much more knowledgeable in matters political, some of whom write columns in this very publication, nevertheless, we feel compelled to weigh in on the upcoming California election on Tuesday, September 14. We support Governor Gavin Newsom and consider his leadership in the face of so many obstacles prudent, pragmatic, and courageous. The money required to launch this recall effort is substantial and, in our opinion, a ridiculous waste of much needed funds. It is vital for California’s elected officials and its citizens to put this distraction behind us and to move forward to face the monumental challenges ahead. We urge you to vote NO on September 14.

    Donna Sachet is a celebrated performer, fundraiser, activist, and philanthropist who has dedicated over two decades to the LGBTQ Community in San Francisco. Contact her at

    Calendar a/la Sachet

    Saturday, September 11
    SF Pride Annual General Meeting
    Online meeting to elect Board, select theme, and more
    Voting is limited to active members
    11 am

    Tuesday, September 14
    California Election Day
    Vote NO on Governor’s recall
    7 am–8 pm

    Sunday, September 19
    Golden Gate Gaymes & Picnic
    Imperial Court of SF sponsored title event
    Outdoor competition & shenanigans
    Mariposa Bay Front Park, 824 Terry A. Francois Boulevard
    11 am–5 pm

    Sunday, September 19
    Golden Gate Finale & Crowning
    Wrap-up of contest & raffle ticket sales
    Powerhouse Bar, 1347 Folsom Street
    6–9 pm

    Saturday, September 25
    SF Ducal Coronation 47
    Bordello at St. Basil’s Cathedral
    Step-down of Grand Duke Tim Valdivia & Grand Duchess Katherine Rose
    Emerald Ballroom of Holiday Inn Golden Gateway, 1500 Van Ness Avenue
    6 pm

    Thursday, September 30
    Divas & Drinks @ The Academy
    Donna Sachet hosting, DJ Rockaway, drinks curated by Bacardi VP Heather Freyer
    Additional details TBA
    6 pm–10 pm

    Published on September 9, 2021