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    Sister Dana sez, “Trump calls FBI’s James Comey a ‘slime ball.’ Yeah, well, people in glass White Houses shouldn’t throw stones!”

    By Sister Dana Van Iquity–

    Sister Dana sez, “Trump calls FBI’s James Comey a ‘slime ball.’ Yeah, well, people in glass White Houses shouldn’t throw stones!”

    In 1998, Larry Hashbarger and Skip Young opened AsiaSF. This restaurant-lounge-dance club quickly became a San Francisco entertainment landmark and a true celebration of diversity. Its world famous transgender stars, the beautiful and talented Ladies of AsiaSF, have always been the focal point of the AsiaSF experience. This positive, trans-awareness experience to guests of all ages from everywhere in the U.S. and the world is celebrating its 20th year, so naturally they had to throw an anniversary party on April 17. It started with a red-carpet welcome and paparazzi snapping photos. Inside was an open bar, including signature cocktails, and some of the Ladies of AsiaSF served canapés. Larry and Skip spoke of the history of AsiaSF, reminisced, and informed us of the summer renovation plans, including possibly expanding to another similar venue in Palm Springs. They introduced show director and choreographer Ronnie Reddick, who is responsible for the lively floor show (or rather top of the bar runway show) with the Ladies of AsiaSF giving us life in dancing up a storm to both old and new tunes. Emcee and longtime performer Tita Aida brought on the girls, including two veteran dancers. By the way, the Mayor proclaimed it was officially AsiaSF Day in San Francisco, and the Senate sent a certificate of recognition. For the encore of the evening, the ladies and attendees sang along to Sister Sledge‘s “We Are Family,” because we truly felt like family that night. To top it all off, we were each given fancy souvenir inscribed champagne glasses to take home.  

    The RICHMOND/ERMET AID FOUNDATION presented DONNA SACHET’S SONGS FOR NO REASONThe Big Gay Comedy Extravaganza, at The Russian Center for an evening of stellar standup and musical comedy. It was a benefit for POSITIVE RESOURCE CENTER and REAF produced by directors Ken Henderson & Joe Seiler. Donna (unusually gold this time, and not yet in her traditional red for the second half) took the stage, dragging behind her a fabric train that reached halfway as long as the stage. We laughed, we cried and we peed our pants over these talented performers, who are also good friends: Bruce Vilanch (TV, Broadway star); Shawn Ryan (America’s Got Talent finalist) Ronn Vigh (TV star Comedy Central)/comedian); Brian Kent (singer, recording artist); Jessica Coker (cabaret star/actress); and Kitty Tipata (San Francisco Bay Times columnist and comedienne). Being slightly biased as a Sister of Perpetual Indulgence, I could not help but relish the Donna and Bruce odd offspring twin duet singing live “Sisters” from the classic White Christmas. As the lyrics so succinctly state, “Lord, help the mister who comes between me and my sister; and Lord, help the sister who comes between me and my man.” So, you may not have noticed, but this show now replaces the annual December show, Songs for the Season. That one is no more. Look for this new fun show popping up again and again, but probably not in December.  

    D’Arcy Drollinger is presenting San Francisco’s living legend, Matthew Martin, as Joan Crawford in the delicious drag parody of the 1970 British science fiction horror film, TROG! It is not a requirement to know every single movie La Crawford has ever made, but at least having enjoyed the Mommie Dearest bio movie send-up is helpful. Also, a little Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? viewing will be a bonus. But just keep in mind that Joan was a total ham in so many of her flicks when realizing how well Martin perfectly portrays her on stage. Arguably one of the “worst/best” movies ever made, and Joan Crawford’s last film, it follows anthropologist Dr. Brockton (Martin) and her discovery of a living troglodyte (an Ice Age “missing link” half-caveman, half-ape, one quarter vaudevillian). The doc manages to domesticate him—until he’s let loose by an irate land developer to go on a killing rampage. Also, for no reason at all but to the joy of all, they suddenly break into a musical production number. On opening night, Sister Dana got a shout-out as one of the paparazzi journalists in the audience haranguing Doc Brocton. By the way, I was quite fortunate to catch this live show 12 years ago with Martin and Heklina in equally humorous starring roles. But this update is even more fabulous. Trog! features drag star Heklina along with a hilarious cast that includes queens, comedians, and clowns: Sue Casa, Adam Roy, Michael Phillis, Rory Davis and special guest appearance by Sara Moore. Directed by Cindy Goldfield. Don’t be prehistoric and miss this hysterical hissstory in the mis-making! Now through May 12 at Oasis, 298 11th Street. sfoasis.com

    We joined Queen XV Miss Chief and King XV Gooch of KREWE DE KINQUE as we hosted our monthly $10 Beer/Soda Bust at the EDGE. People won fabulous raffle prizes including 2 tickets to Heklina‘s “Mother” at Oasis, champagne, California Wines, a $15 Starbucks gift card and a Haircut at Fellow Barbers. Folks supported our fundraising efforts and bought Jell-O shots for friends and family. We had some of the best Drag and Live entertainers in the City in this open show, such as Aja Monet-Ashton and Kelly Rose, with tips going to our next beneficiary via our Bal Masque Fund. As ever, Queen VII Sister Dana was “door whore” collecting all of the generous $$$ donation$ for charity. Come join us every third Saturday at the Edge, 4–7 pm for more Mardi-Gras themed Krewe de Kinque fun! Let the good times roll!

    I caught the closing week of MEGABYTES! THE MUSICAL in its world premiere at Shelton Theater. The show took a really humorous look at how we navigate technology in our lives. It was all about the frustrations, anxieties, annoyances, and occasional joys we encounter as we all struggle to cope with the frustrating challenges created by technology. Some of my fave moments addressed such frustrations as: butt dialing; twitter trending; finding a suitable password with the right combinations of letters (lower case and caps), numbers, underlines, hyphens, and ampersands; and the agony of being on hold forever and ever with horrendous background music. The tremendously talented ensemble cast of four, Deborah Russo, David Goodwin, Lisa McHenry & Kim Larsen, addressed all of that and more. Now through May 5 at 533 Sutter Street. megabytesthemusical.com

    LYRIC (LAVENDER YOUTH RECREATION AND INFORMATION CENTER) turned 30, and they celebrated with a night of community and LYRIC youth creativity. We looked back on 30 years of cultivating leadership, strength and solidarity. The theme was UNITY IS RESILIENCE. LYRIC’s 30th anniversary party was on April 26 at their headquarters on 127 Collingwood Street in the heart of the Castro. I was thrilled when Executive Director Jodi L. Schwartz told me they did not rent the space but owned it and were close to paying off the mortgage. This means that they are not subject to ridiculous rent increases in the Castro. LYRIC’s mission is to build community and inspire positive social change through education enhancement, career trainings, health promotion, and leadership development with LGBTQQ youth, their families, and allies of all races, classes, genders, and abilities. LYRIC envisions a diverse society where LGBTQQ youth are embraced for who they are and encouraged to be who they want to be. By working towards social justice and supporting young leaders, their families and allies, LYRIC is building a world that honors, respects and appreciates LGBTQQ youth and their contributions. I was given a tour of all three floors by Chad and Kelsey, where I learned the reason their HQ was painted lavender and their first name was “Lavender” was because of the historic time of the “Lavender Scare” in the early 50s when federal and state governments investigated and fired thousands of employees who were suspected of being gay or lesbian, claiming that they were “security risks” who were vulnerable to Soviet blackmail. As historian David Johnson explained, “Many politicians, journalists, and citizens thought that lesbians and gay men posed more of a threat to national security than Communists.” Ironically, this government persecution of gay men and lesbians brought more visibility to LGBT people, which led them to seek each other out and form communities and political consciousness. In celebration of their 30 years, LYRIC honored their alumni for their leadership, contributions to LYRIC’s past, current, future, and ongoing commitment to community, especially to LGBTQQ youth. They were excited to honor LYRIC Star Leaders Marvin Matamoros, Tracy Zhu, and Luis Gutierrez-Mock that Thursday. State Asssemblyman Phil Ting presented a Certificate of Recognition, and Supervisor Jeff Sheehy also sent a Certificate.  

    THE VINE, our Wednesday night (6:30 pm) contemporary worship community, was inspired by the Grace Cathedral YEAR OF TRUTH theme and initiated a preaching series specifically to raise up the voices of women. Last week they focused on Mary Magdalene. For their April 25 Vine worship service at Grace, the Rev. Yolanda Norton, Assistant Professor of Old Testament at San Francisco Theological Seminary, was preaching. Rev. Norton created a “BEYONCÉ AND THE HEBREW BIBLE” class at the Seminary that draws on Beyoncé’s music to raise awareness about the spiritual experience of Black women and the issues they face in our society. We sang many of the Queen B’s classics such as “Survivor,” “Listen,” “Freedom,” “All the Single Ladies,” and “I Was Here.” As supporters of the Cathedral, how important it is for us to be involved in the public life of our City and the world. A longing for justice lies at the heart of our identity. Grace Cathedral has a tradition of engaging popular culture on issues of social justice that stretches back long before their controversial Duke Ellington Jazz Service in the mid-1960s. People who feel this is sacrilegious might want to note that God is in all the world, and that Beyoncé is made in God’s image. The church has not treated women of color fairly, and it is time to face this truth. And sing out! gracecathedral.org

    Sister Dana sez, “And while we’re talkin’ ’bout truth, let’s give a great big hand (SLAP across their two-faced faces) for both the Senate and the House Congressional Repugnicans spending our tax money to conclude there was no collusion with the Russians.Oh puh-leeeeze. You lie. Pants on fire, liars!”

    Donna devotees celebrated A BIRTHDAY AFFAIR WITH DONNA SACHET at The Edge bar with the theme of XANADU on April 26. Xanadu is defined as “an idyllic, exotic, or luxurious place”; or any place when Donna Sachet enters the room! It was an awesome affair as we close friends (including fabulous hosts Gary Virginia, James Holloway & Deana Dawn) honored the birthday of community icon Donna Sachet! Festive attire was encouraged. So, of course, Sister Dana wore a red sequined habit in honor of Donna, who donned her most festive red outfit. The red theme continued with red strawberry birthday cupcakes and strawberry cheesecake and candles. After we sang to her the traditional “Happy Birthday Song,” Donna then jumped up onto the bar to twirl and swirl and hang from the rafters doing the classic “Xanadu.” The joint utterly erupted into tremendous applause and hooting. Later on, we stuck around for the weekly MONSTER SHOW at 10 pm hosted by marvelous Miss Sugar Betes and her incredible crew of DQs.  

    We let our May 1 May Day night come into focus with Juanita MORE‘S 2018 Pre-Pride event: QUEER LENS at Ian Stallings Design at 1100 Sutter Street. We came to gaze, muse, discuss, and ponder artistic works from our queer community. Each year, Juanita MORE!’s annual nonprofit event focuses on supporting some of EssEff’s most needy organizations. This year Juanita chose TRUTH (TRans yoUTH), a joint program between Transgender Law Center and GSA Network. This program seeks to amplify the voices of trans and gender non-conforming young people by offering a safe place to share struggles, learn empathy and build public understanding. These youth have attempted suicide, experienced harassment or discrimination in school—some so severe, they had to leave elementary or high school. TRUTH is allowing these youth to lead the way to end the isolation and stigma that trans youth face so these statistics can reach zero. These are the youth of our future and they have the power to change both minds and policies through their stories.

    Sister Dana sez, “Did all my ‘buds’ out there properly celebrate 4/20 Day? Pot is finally legal in EssEff. But please do not be obnoxiously high at these upcoming high-level events!”   

    For the merry month of May, STRUT is exhibiting the work of Anand Vedawala, titled “HOT CHACHAS!” Come celebrate and support queer artists at Strut, 470 Castro Street, 8 to 10 pm on May 4 for a party that will take place on all three floors. The Art at Strut program has been exhibiting the work of local Gay or Queer artists once a month for over 14 years, and I am very much looking forward to this upcoming exhibition! “Chacha” is a Hindi word that translates to “uncle” in English. So “hot chachas,” obviously, means hot uncles, but then, are there really any other kind? Growing up in the U.S. since age 10, and looking up bear/daddy porn since age 16, Vedawala realized only last year that Indian websites refer to older men as uncles rather than daddies. Come visit your uncles! Free drinks and light snacks provided. And I just cannot resist the awful Star Wars pun: “May the 4th be with you.” Gag. strutsf.org

    The award-winning musical revue Howard Crabtree’s WHEN PIGS FLY will premiere at NCTC starting May 10. Don’t miss this “good old-fashioned revue given a gay new-fashioned twist” that follows Howard as he ignores his high school counselor who told him that he’d only be big in show biz “when pigs fly” and creates the musical revue of his dreams. Save on tickets with the discount code “Oasis” at nctcsf.org

    MAY DAY was on May 1. Celebrations on May 1 have long had two seemingly contradictory meanings. On one hand, May Day is known for maypoles, flowers and welcoming spring. On the other hand, it’s a day of worker solidarity and protest. So, always do your thing (whatever that May be) on May Day. CINCO DE MAYO is May 5, the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War; so, let’s please por favor just have one stinking day that we don’t talk about Trump’s stupid WALL! MOTHER’S DAY is May 13. Be sure to celebrate your mother (and that includes drag mothers!). And by the way, May is also Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. There’s a lot to celebrate in May!

    CASTRO ART WALK is on May 3, 6 to 9 pm throughout the Castro District. It’s free, and some places offer snacks and drinks. Music is provided in Jane Warner Plaza, and sometimes in the studios. You just have to walk and find out. These are the participating venues: Art Attack 2358 Market Street Ste. 1; Spark Arts, 4229 18th Street; The Artist’s Gallery, 4406 18th Street Ste. A; Ruby’s Clay Studio & Gallery, 552A Noe Street; Norden Living, 3618 17th Street; Local Take, 3979 17th Street; Dog Eared Books, 489 Castro Street; Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Drysdale Properties, 2324B Market Street; Blackbird Bar, 2124 Market Street; Brewcade, 2200 Market Street; and The Apothecarium, 2029 Market Street. Take a hike and go immerse yourself in local art talent!

    STEEL MAGNOLIAS, the tearjerker of a drama adapted into a film starring Sally Field, Shirley MacLaine, and Dolly Parton, is required viewing for gay men and others. It’s only natural then that PEACHES CHRIST PRODUCTIONS would flip the script into drag parody called Steel DRAGnolias. It’s a gender-bending tale of friendship, love, loss, and wigs set in steamy Chinquapin, Louisiana. Six southern “ladies” come together to trade advice and hairspray in this raucous take on one of the classics of the American stage. See the Southern-fried play at the Castro Theatre, 429 Castro Street in San Francisco, where it will be followed by a screening of the beloved 1989 film. Saturday, May 5, at 3 pm and 8 pm. store.peacheschrist.com/products/204-steel-dragnolias

    MAITRI is presenting its annual BLISS 2018 (31st Year Anniversary) on Sunday, May 6, 4:30–8 pm at Julia Morgan Ballroom, 465 California Street. Maitri will be honoring former Executive Director Bill Musick and super volunteer Kirsten Havrehed for 20 years of service to the Maitri family. Special guest Grammy winning vocalist and original Dreamgirl Jennifer Holliday. Don’t miss Bliss! maitrisf.org  

    Please join PAWS (PETS ARE WONDERFUL SUPPORT) in celebrating 31 years of maintaining the human-animal bond for our most vulnerable neighbors at PAWS’ signature event, PETCHITECTURE. This event is unlike any other in San Francisco—bringing together humans, animals, and premier Bay Area architects to create a spectacular evening of fun, fundraising, and pet-friendly architecture (available for bidding). Held at the Fairmont Hotel, Wednesday May 9, 6–8:30 pm with Reception and Silent Auction, passed dog treats for our canine guests and hors d’oeuvres for their humans. Includes Formal Program, Awards Presentation, and Pet Idol Contest. Attire: Your Classy Cat and Top Dog best. Full licensed and vaccinated pups (on leash) are most welcome! shanti.org

    Each year EQCA (EQUALITY CALIFORNIA) presents the EQUALITY AWARDS to honor the inspirational leaders and outstanding allied organizations whose selfless work helps to create a more fair and just society. These are special times to celebrate community achievements while renewing the commitment to the fight for equality. Among California’s premier gala events, attendants regularly include leaders of the LGBT equality movement, and leaders from the business, nonprofit, civic and political landscapes. This year the event will be held at the Westin St. Francis, 335 Powell Street on Saturday, May 12 at 6 pm. Among those honored: Senator Tammy Baldwin (WI), the first LGBTQ member of the United States Senate; Congressman Mark Takano (CA-41), the first and only openly LGBTQ person of color to serve in Congress; and Bay Area icon LaVerda Allen and BART, for their inspiring work to support local small businesses run by women and members of the LGBTQ community. (See story on page 7.) eqca.org

    GAY ASIAN PACIFIC ALLIANCE presents LEGACY: GAPA’s 30th Anniversary Banquet & Gala Celebration on Saturday, May 12, 6 pm at Century Club of California, 1355 Franklin Street. Featuring Keynote Speaker Sam Park, Emcee Tita Aida with Community Award Presentations and Performances by GAPA Men’s Chorus, GAPA Theater, Mr. GAPA 2017 Danny Chung, and special guests. Over the past three decades, GAPA has been a vanguard for the LGBT Asian and Pacific Islander community, actively promoting the visibility and awareness of queer Asians and Pacific Islanders and helping to forge an unprecedented sense of community. The Banquet is GAPA’s major fundraiser of the year, and provides support for its many social, political and cultural activities. As GAPA commemorates 30 years of achievement and looks toward a continuing legacy of advocacy and activism, it is an auspicious time to join in celebrating its enduring impact on the community.

    Sister Dana sez, “Why does Presi-dense Dotard Trump have to resort to offensive, nasty name-calling all of the time? Whoops, uh-oh, there I go acting all Trumpishly presidential!”