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    Donna’s Chronicles: As much as we hate to begin a column with an apology, we regret missing this past weekend’s activities, by and large, due to a minor, but painful foot accident.

    By Donna Sachet–

    As much as we hate to begin a column with an apology, we regret missing this past weekend’s activities, by and large, due to a minor, but painful, foot accident. Yes, even drag queens are susceptible to injury! Sorry if we missed one of your favorite events.  Nevertheless, life goes on and injuries mend, so you can fully expect to see us at the many events listed on this issue’s calendar!

    Our recent visit to the AIDS Memorial Grove in Golden Gate Park for Flagging in the Park was the perfect remedy to lift our spirits! Imagine descending the winding path into the Grove as the throb of dance music swells and suddenly seeing colorful fabric whipping in the wind, hundreds of participants sprawled on blankets or dancing in the grass, and beaming smiles on every face surrounded by nature! The weather couldn’t have been more perfect for this periodic celebration of flagging, originated and lovingly perpetuated by Xavier Caylor and other devotees. Visiting DJ Dawna Montell kept the favorites coming and the only interruption was a brief program thanking all of the organizers and recognizing this event’s beneficiary, the AIDS Memorial Grove. It was an afternoon of reunions with friends of all kinds, including Race Bannon, Julian Marshburn, Rusty Best, Steven Satyricon, Leo Frappier & Jeffrey Goins, Bruce Beaudette and Diana Wheeler. We even brought our little four-legged companion Peanut along for her first Golden Gate Park experience! Needless to say, she had an incredibly busy day of sniffing. All in all, we were reminded of the beauty and significance of the AIDS Memorial Grove, recaptured by the dramatic flair of flagging, and captured by the welcoming atmosphere of this legendary city park.

    Our only foray into all things Up Your Alley related was Sunday’s Play T-Dance, a Brian Kent Production at City Nights. This raucous event lived up to its original concept by P. Tyrone with hundreds of frisky dancing kinksters twirling on the dance floor to the music of DJ Russ Rich with partial proceeds going to the Grass Roots Gay Rights Foundation. And when you see Sister Roma and BeBe Sweetbriar at a party, you know you are in the right place! Outstanding San Francisco iconic decor, fantastic lighting and other special effects, and a venue with multiple levels and spaces, combined to create a memorable finale to the weekend!

    Last Wednesday, we joined Gary Virginia at Lookout to thank our loyal group of volunteers and media sponsor San Francisco Bay Times who ensured the success of the 21st annual Pride Brunch in June. Guests included Ken Henderson, Deana Dawn, Jim Gatteau, Colby Michaels, Karin Jaffie & Lori Howes, Jim Oerther, Susan Fahey, Joanie Juster and Veronica Guevera & Wendy McPherson; and they enjoyed hot hors d’oeuvres from Lookout’s kitchen, complimentary raffle prizes, step-and-repeat banner for photos and gratitude all around. When an event generates over $45,000 for PRC, a celebration is in order! Of particular note was a brief reflection from Joe Mac, who has attended every one of the twenty-one Pride Brunches, starting at Stars restaurant, through many years at Hotel Whitcomb, and this year at the Westin St. Francis Hotel in Union Square. He shared three specific memories, one very funny and two deeply touching. This is why Pride Brunch has become such a beloved event and why we continue to do the hard work required each year to perpetuate it. Grand Marshals and Honorees of the San Francisco Pride Parade have a few minutes to share personal remarks that frequently amuse, often inspire, and sometimes genuinely pull the heart strings. We hope to share this very special and personal project with you next year for SF Pride’s 50th anniversary celebration on the Saturday morning of Pride Weekend.

    With so many events listed on our calendar this time, we want to highlight a few of particular importance. We proudly serve on the Board of Directors of the Rainbow Honor Walk and can’t wait to see eight new bronze plaques join the others embedded in the sidewalks of the Castro neighborhood. Thanks to generous cooperation with the San Francisco Department of Public Works, up and down Market Street from Castro to 15th Street, we’ll be honoring Freddie Mercury, Maria Equi, Chavela Vargas, Lou Sullivan, W. H. Auden, Gerry Studds, Alvin Ailey and Josephine Baker. No other city gives such wonderful visible recognition to LGBTQ individuals who have significantly contributed to the world we live in today!

    We’ve attended nearly every one of Richmond/Ermet Aid Foundation’s annual Help is on the Way musical benefits and their twenty-fifth celebration on Sunday, August 18, will be spectacular. Confirmed performers include Tyne Daly, Sharon Gless, Constantine Maroulis, Lisa Vroman, Sam Harris, Franc D’Ambrosio, Kimberley Locke, Bruce Vilanch, Paula West, Del Shores, Eileen Blum and Lea Bourgade. We could not be more thrilled that Carole Cook will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award. Hers has been a colorful life on stage and screen and a deeply caring life in response to the AIDS epidemic. And somehow, she has shown us how to laugh along the way. What a remarkable woman!

    The annual Pride Brunch Benefit Appreciation Party, held at the Lookout on July 20, celebrated the largest amount ever raised at a Pride Brunch in SF. Co-hosts Donna Sachet and Gary Virginia enjoyed the party with friends.

    And finally, the captivating voice and presence of Veronika Klaus returns to San Francisco for two days and four shows at Martuni’s at the end of the month. After sharing her talents here for decades, Veronika moved back to the East Coast to pursue a personal goal of reviving an unusual property into a bed and breakfast with room for musical performances and diverse camaraderie. She definitely left her mark on San Francisco and we look forward to seeing and hearing her here again.

    Oh, and congratulations to lovely Linda Lee on her recent feature article in the San Francisco Chronicle Style section!  Not only has Linda become one of the most frequently seen people at events across the City, but she adds to any gathering with her smile, her wit and her ever-present camera.

    So, get out of the house and support the many events around the corner! You’ll be glad that you did and we’ll be happy to see you!

    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 empsachet@gmail.com

     


    Calendar a/la Sachet

    Every Sunday
    Sunday’s a Drag!
    The Starlight Room
    Sir Francis Drake Hotel
    10:30 am Brunch, 11:30 am Show
    $75 inclusive
    https://starlightroomsf.com/sundays-a-drag

    Friday, August 9
    Rainbow Honor Walk Plaque Installation
    New historic plaques will be placed up and down Market Street
    10:30 am
    Free!
    http://rainbowhonorwalk.org/

    Sunday, August 11
    Vanessa Bousay
    I’ve Gotta Be Me! with Tom Shaw, Steven Satyricon, Roberta Drake
    Oasis, 298 Eleventh Street
    7 pm
    $25
    https://sfoasis.com/

    Thursday, August 15
    Drunk Drag Dizney
    Hilarious musical variety show
    Thursday–Saturday for 2 weeks
    Oasis, 298 Eleventh Street
    7 pm
    $25–$50
    https://sfoasis.com/

    Saturday, August 17
    Daytime Diva’s
    T-Dance w/80s & 90s music, DJ Wayne G
    Virgin Hotel Rooftop Deck, 250 Fourth Street
    1–6 pm
    $25
    https://briankentproductions.com/

    Saturday, August 17
    Empress Show
    Misty Blue hosts this all-Empress show
    Benefiting the José Sarria International Scholarship
    Beaux, 2344 Market Street
    4–7 pm
    Free!
    http://www.imperialcouncilsf.org/

    Sunday, August 18
    Help is on the Way XXV: Celebrating Broadway
    Silver Anniversary Gala
    Herbst Theatre, War Memorial Building
    7 pm
    $150 & up
    https://www.reaf-sf.org/

    Saturday, August 24
    Cirque du Runway
    GAPA’s annual extravaganza
    Herbst Theatre, War Memorial Building
    7 pm
    $25–$50
    https://www.cityboxoffice.com/

    Thursday August 29–31
    Star Trek Live
    Drag Kings parody the popular TV show
    Oasis, 298 Eleventh Street
    7 pm
    $27.50–$50
    https://sfoasis.com/

    Saturday, August 31 & Sunday, Sept. 1
    Veronika Klaus & Tammy Hall Trio
    Popular chanteuse returns to SF for 4 shows
    Martuni’s, 4 Valencia Street
    4 pm & 7 pm
    $40
    https://www.brownpapertickets.com/