Sister Dana sez, “So it’s been a couple weeks since you made that New Year’s Resolution. Exercise more? Stay on that diet? Stop smoking? No way! Have you already broken your resolution? That’s because you made it too difficult. But I have The Resolution Solution. Each year: ‘I resolve to be the best me I can be.’ Simple. Foolproof. Switch now, so you don’t have to resolve to quit feeling guilty about breaking your resolution!”
PROJECT NUNWAY is an annual fundraiser that THE SISTERS OF PERPETUAL INDULGENCE put on to raise money for numerous organizations that do so much good for the community. Designers pair up with a Sister and create amazing couture looks with recycled and new materials. This year the show was held at DNA Lounge with the theme of 7X7, SAN FRANCISCO HISTORY THROUGH FASHION. Our amazing MC’s were Sister Roma and BeBe Sweetbriar. We were entertained by such talented folks as BeBe singing live her latest single, “Dontcha,” Kylie Minono, Mutha Chucka, Jacques Whitfield, The Devilettes troupe, Bobby Barnaby singing and stripping, and Cruzin D’Loo. Our spotlight beneficiary for this year’s event was THE CHINESE PROGRESSIVE ASSOCIATION, an awesome grassroots organization here in the City that started in the 1970’s to help the low income and working class Chinese immigrant families with job and living opportunities: Fighting the hard fight, keeping fair wages to their community, and slum lords in check! They also have a youth group called YOUTH MOJO, a program that trains young people with leadership, advocacy, communication, research, and organizing skills. Attendees enjoyed us Nuns working the runway (Sister Dana was one of ten models) and celebrated all things that make the Bay amazing through color and fashion! “Make it work,” I somehow heard PROJECT RUNWAY’s Tim Gunn in my ear; and we did!!!
KREWE DE KINQUE, a Mardi Gras themed fundraising club, kicked off Mardi Gras season 2016 with its fabulous ANNUAL TWELFTH NIGHT PARTY last Friday at the Imperial Palace (Donna Sachet’s home)! KdK members and friends wore masks, beads, and Mardi Gras gear, displaying the official colors of purple, green, and gold. Food served was Cajun, Creole, and Southern dishes, of course. Hurricanes and vodka were the preferred libation. In addition to the cutting of the KdK King Cake, we decided our 2016 Bal Masque theme benefiting JAZZY’S PLACE (LGBT Homeless Shelter), and secretly announced to members only the monarchs elect (King & Queen XIII to be crowned at the Bal Masque during Mardi Gras). After helping to tidy up the Palace, we paraded down Castro Street led by King XII Prince Wolfe & Queen XII Cotton Candy to LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL! sfkinque.com
THE ARTFULL CIRCLE THEATRE presented a special holiday cabaret, THE JOAN CRAWFORD CHESTERFIELD CHRISTMAS SHOW at Martuni’s, starring Conrad Frank (aka Katya Smirnoff-Skyy) as Joan Crawford, Mark Johnson as Frank Sinatra, and Mark Sargent as Mae West, and other “dead stars” appeared such as Gloria Swanson and Ethel Merman. Set in December 1950 at a rehearsal for the upcoming CBS broadcast, the show explored the struggle of stars who came of age at an earlier time to adapt to new technology – television – in an attempt to revitalize their flagging careers. The show mixed humor, music, and observations of the meaning of stardom in a new age, while at the same time providing traditional holiday entertainment, and plenty of laughs.
CALAMUS & COMFORT & JOY, two nonprofit organizations dedicated to queer community building presented LUSTRE, an all night extravaganza of brilliance in celebration of the Winter Solstice held at Club 6. The evening began with a scrumptious tableau of food (both vegetarian and omnivore friendly), presented by noted gastronomes Beonda Doubt and Zac Benfield. We noshed and communed with our fellow humans while enjoying a brilliant dinner show featuring: the radiant singer/songwriter Eli Wise and enchanting troubadours The Sweet Trade; the glamorous Roman Avilia presenting “Totems”, a show of his one-of-kind wearable fiber art; a rare solo performance by the inimitable Krylon Superstar; and a screening of artsy porno comedy “100 Boyfriends Mixtape,” a hilariously real exploration of hooking up by LUSTRE muse Brontez Purnell. The evening continued with a shimmering spectacle of drag hosted by Ultra. A glorious collection of DJs took us to fabulous new heights. The upstairs dance floor featured the funky fresh beats of Pleasure Cadet, CBass, Mark O’Brien, Siobhan Aluvalot & mjr. Meanwhile, J. Maximilian and Dulche served sexy down-tempo in the Garden of Earthly Delights. Shimmery art & decor was curated byChickpea. Truly a lustrous evening! twitter.com/comfort_and_joy, commitchange.com/ca/san-francisco/calamus-fellowship
In 1990, SF Gay Men’s Chorus gathered for the first time on Christmas Eve at the Castro Theatre to truly bring the holidays home to those who had none. Thus began the annual tradition of joining together every Christmas Eve for a night of joyous music and heartwarming festivities. Anna Damiani said it best, regarding the 25th annual Christmas Eve Gay Men’s Concert at the Castro Theatre, HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS. So, since I have written a lot about this in the last edition, I will let her words ring true: Anna wrote: “Last night I saw the SF Gay Men’s Chorus concert. It was a lot of fun. In addition to giving us a fun time, they helped to raise badly needed funds for the HARVEY MILK CIVIL RIGHTS ACADEMY [18th & Castro Streets]. It is not too late to donate to this great neighborhood school. An evening of recycled fruit cakes, Rockettes, Santa and Silent Night!” harveymilksf.com, sfgmc.org
The beginning of the New Year is always a dramatic affair and the GOLDEN GATE BUSINESS ASSOCIATION (GGBA) celebrated that very fact at their January MAKE CONTACT. Afterwards we stopped by MAGNET and said good-bye to the place we’ve called home for the past 12years. One last time at 4122 18th Street, it was MAGNET’S “NOT GOODBYE, MORE LIKE SEE YOU SOON” RECEPTION. There is now a new name, STRUT, and a new location in the SF AIDS FOUNDATION building on Castro, but we’ll still get the best sexual/social health services for gay, bi, and trans men in San Francisco. They had some of the materials from their archives on display and a champagne toast by Executive Director Steve Gibson, who said, “It’s been an honor to have provided the best sexual health services at Magnet for these past 12 years! We built Magnet on the foundation that gay, bi, and trans men care about their health, and you embraced our model beyond our wildest dreams! We look forward to continuing to serve you in 2016!”
Sister Dana sez, “Eighteen million Americans watched as Republican presidential candidates savaged Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton incessantly in their ‘Fear and Loathing’ debate in Las Vegas – the perfect venue for an expensive, over-produced, s#!t show and living rant! When will we actually hear actual plans for the nation, should [gawd forbid] a Repugnican takes the White House?!”
CASTRO FACES: PORTRAITS BY THOMASINA DEMAIO is a beautiful portrait show at 518 Castro Street and 18th, Friday, January 22nd, 6-9:30 pm, depicting faces seen often in the gay neighborhood of The Castro. They are of living and dead legends, but mostly of the local people. All portraits go home with the sitters that evening as a gift from the artist, Thomasina, in appreciation for the love she feels for and from the Castro. It also serves as a birthday party for Thomasina and a belated New Year’s Day birthday party for Sister Dana aka Dennis McMillan (whose portraits of both beings will be on display that night). Food and beverages will be served. Come see your personal “heroes” of the gayborhood! thomasinasmurals.blogspot.com
The winter 2016 program series at the GLBT HISTORY MUSEUM will include a look at preservation of GLBT historic sites and a discussion of queer themes in American comics. Events take place at the museum at 4127 18th Street in the Castro. Admission: $5; free for members. For more information, visit glbthistory.org Next up is an Illustrated Talk: MISSING PLACES: LOST AND ENDANGERED QUEER HISTORIC SITES OF SAN FRANCISCO AND THE BAY AREA on Thursday, January 14, 7–9 pm. Drawing on examples from San Francisco and the Bay Area from the 1930s to the present, Historical Society founding member Gerard Koskovich focuses on processes that have led to the loss of GLBT historic sites and to their absence from public memory. He’ll also discuss ways to commemorate such missing places and will highlight forces that currently threaten sites central to the city’s GLBT history. Koskovich presented the talk to an enthusiastic audience at the University of London in November. The GLBT History Museum presentation marks its U.S. debut.
STAR TREK LIVE! returns in January 2016 for just a few more performances! Because of popular demand and a sold out run in October last year, they are holding return engagements. OASIS presents Star Trek Live!: “Mudd’s Women” now through January 23rd, (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday, 7pm) at Oasis, 298 11th at Folsom. Come see Amber Sommerfeld (Spock), Leigh Crow (Captain Kirk), Honey Mahogany (Uhura) and others in Trekkie gear! sfoasis.com
If you have heard the rumor that San Francisco chanteuse BeBe Sweetbriar is releasing her first dance single in four years, it is true! With three previous independently released singles under her belt, Save Me and Free To Be Me (both produced by DJ Pornstar) and Show It Off, Sweetbriar has now teamed with renowned LFB Music producer/remixer Leo Frappier (Sylvester, Rihanna, Mary J. Blige, Kristine W., Icona Pop, Carly Rae Jepson) and his record label, Hit Save Music to celebrate the 10 Year Anniversary of the Pussy Cat Doll’s hit, Don’t Cha (CeeLo Green and Sir-Mix-A-Lot) by releasing a cover rendition. Yes, BEBE SWEETBRIAR is dropping her latest CD, “DONTCHA” BY BEBE SWEETBRIAR FEATURING LEO FRAPPIER at her release party on Friday, January 15, at The Café, 2369 Market Street & Castro. This is the hot number by the Pussy Cat Dolls re-imagined by Bebe and Leo, now on #itunes & #amazon. #supportindependentartists
THEATRE RHINOCEROS presents Noël Coward’s A Song at Twilight, as Part 1 of their Coward Celebration, now through January 31 at Z Below – 470 Florida Street (at Mariposa in Potrero Hill). Wednesday, Thursday, 7:30 pm; Friday, Saturday, 8 pm; Saturday Matinee, 3 pm. This bittersweet comedy is the story of a cosmopolitan author caught in his declining years between two women, one being his wife of convenience for twenty years, the other, one of his former lovers. When this former lover threatens to reveal secrets of his past, secrets about his sexuality, he is terrified into action. A battle of wills ensues. TheRhino.org
Sister Dana sez, “To all my readers, friends, and lovers: Happy Queer New Year, dear!”