Sister Dana Sez: Words of Wisdumb From a Fun Nun

danaBy Sister Dana Van Iquity

Sister Dana sez, “Sooooo, have you already broken your New Year’s resolutions? Lose weight? Stop boozing? Change your drag?? Fuhgeddabouddit! Do like Sister Dana does with this fool-proof resolution: ‘I resolve to be the best me I can be.’ Happy Queer New Year, everybuddy!”

There is some holiday stuff I need to get out of the way – events I did not have room to write about last time, which deserve mention. So here we go:

DANCE-ALONG NUTCRACKER was the annual fundraiser for and by the LESBIAN/GAY FREEDOM BAND, entitled NUTCRACKERS OF THE CABIBBEAN, with a pirate theme. ARRRRR!!! Led by Pirate Pete aka Conductor Pete Nowlen, the musical adaptation of the Tchaikovsky classic starred Joe Wicht as Captain Jack Drosselmeyer, Tina Sogliuzzo as Queen Rattannia, Ruby Noto as Clara, Jack Goldfield as brother Fritz, and Flynn DeMarco as director and father Stahlbaum and Emperor Norton – as well as the L/G Freedom Band and members from the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco. In addition to listening to delightful special songs prepared for the show (we even got cannon balled during the 1812 Overture), we wannabe ballet stars got to dance along to the nine movements of the Nutcracker Suite. Sweeet!

16TH ANNUAL HOLIDAY LEATHER BRUNCH was a festive fundraiser produced by King I Gary Virginia and hosted by members of KREWE DE KINQUE for POSITIVE RESOURCE CENTER with PRC Managing Director of Development Leigh Illion handling the door donations. The annual SANTA SCIVVIES RUN, with over 100 Santas and elves in their undies, ran right past the Edge, where the brunch was held, as we inside the warm bar cheered the brave runners out in the cold. KdK King II Mark Paladini sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow; King VII John Weber lip-synched a sacred carol; current reigning Queen X Kitty Tapata lip-synched Millie Jackson’s hilarious “Eff You” while continually giving the bird to the audience; and current reigning King X Kippy Marks played a lively electric violin solo, while Mr. SF Leather 1990 Ray Tilton did an Irish jig.

WORLD TREE OF HOPE was produced by RAINBOW WORLD FUND, the LGBTQ and friends humanitarian service agency, as a gift to the queer community and friends. The public was invited to the official tree lighting in the Rotunda of City Hall – where the huge fir remained through the holidays for viewing. There were performances by the SF Boys Chorus, the Chinese American International School Chorus, Veronica Klaus, and Josh Klipp. Donna Sachet emceed with informative speeches by Rainbow World Fun Executive Director Jeff Cotter, board member Karen Kai, Mayor Ed Lee, Consul General of Japan Masuto Watanabe, author Anne Lamott, and Dr. Clarence Jones, civil rights pioneer, advisor, and speechwriter for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The reading of some of the wishes written on the thousands of folded white crane decorations was conducted by Annie Wong and the San Francisco Bay Times co-publishers Betty Sullivan and Jennifer Viegas.

QUEER LIFESPACE, 2275 Market Street #7, is a nonprofit counseling agency that was formed in July 2011 by four clinicians who met and worked together at New Leaf Services. These clinicians have a combined 35 years of nonprofit experience. Queer LifeSpace seeks to bring low-cost, sustainable, culturally competent and affirming mental health and substance abuse services to the LGBTQQI communities of the Bay Area. Executive Director Nancy Heilner threw a donor/volunteer appreciation party at board member Brian James’ home. Info:  (415) 358-2000, queerlifespace.org.

THE SISTERS OF PERPETUAL INDULGENCE held their SATURNALIA 2013 GRANT DISTRIBUTION PARTY at Toad Hall, combined with a SO YOU THINK YOU CAN GO-GO BOY DANCE CONTEST judged by host Cory and Sisters Selma Soul, Rosemary Chicken, Roma, and yours truly – with the winner being dancing Dale. Mistress of Grants Sister Eden Asp presented funds raised at Sister events to the following grantees: Lesbians Organizing for Change = scholarships for low income participants to attend the 25th Anniversary National Gathering; Earth Abides Land Trust = sliding glass door replacement for pay-what-you-can retreat center for PWAs; Topsy Turvy Queer Circus = queer/trans/gender variant circus performance – funds go to pay for the performance venue; HIV Story Project = video recording of AIDS storytelling project – outreach to under-represented communities; CSC (Center for Sex and Culture) = supporting pro-bono use of facilities. Atmosqueer = event production costs for “Get Involved” community fair; CLGS – Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion = publish curriculum on trans/gender variant issues within communities of faith; St. James Infirmary = funding for “D-SINE,” a program to help sex workers develop skills in apparel construction/design; and Tenderloin Tessie = holiday meals for poor and sick people.

CUMMING UP!

The Obie Award winning, off-Broadway ROAD SHOW is a fast-paced musical comedy by Stephen Sondheim (Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods) and John Weidman, now playing at THE EUREKA THEATRE, 215 Jackson Street at Front/Battery, through January 19, produced by THEATRE RHINOCEROS. From the Alaskan Gold Rush (the multi-syllabic “Gold!” song and reprise) to the Florida real estate boom (bouncy “Boca Raton”), Road Show is the story of two brothers (one, Addison, a practical, fairly honest, lovable, gullible soul; and the other, Wilson, an impractical, charming, scheming, dishonest scoundrel) willing to take risks to grab their piece of the American dream and strike it rich. Spanning forty years (1890-1933), Road Show specifically focuses on the manic Mizner brothers (the story is semi-biographical) and their ups and downs. They are on the road (thus the title, Road Show) to find their destinies, and we follow our wanderlusting travelers from Benicia and San Francisco to the Klondike, Hawaii, India, China, Guatemala, New York City, Palm Beach, and Boca Raton – picking up souvenirs at each stop. The play opens as a sort of autopsy of the dead Addison and the amazing people he met in life – not every one a fan. Eventually art meets architecture, resulting in millions for all – for a while. Schemes can only be stretched so far, ya know.

Addison and Wilson – brilliantly played by Bill Fahrner and Rudy Guerrero respectively – are the leads. The extremely talented seven-member ensemble cast of Michael Doppe, Kim Larsen, Justin Lucas, Kate McCarthy, Ae’Jay Mitchell, Kathryn Wood, and Sarah Young (in alphabetical order) play numerous varying roles (lover, doting mother, disapproving father, minister, bookkeeper, businessmen, revolutionaries, prospectors, loose women, well-to-do socialites, schnooks, real estate agents, and more) in constantly changing sets (courtesy of a rolling, rotating box-like alternating platform, coffin, bed, ship’s bow, and more) with elaborate period costume changes and an assortment of bizarre props. The songs probably don’t translate to mainstream use, but nevertheless are Sondheim hidden gems. Particularly touching is the romance between two men and the love song, “The Best Thing That Has Ever Happened,” which could easily be sung outside the confines of the theatre. John Fisher brilliantly directs. Musical direction by Dave Dobrusky. And, hey, it’s Sondheim for gawd’s sake! Wednesdays – Saturdays, 8pm; Sundays - 3pm. TheRhino.org.

GEORGE KREVSKY GALLERY is honored to present BETH VAN HOESEN: PORTRAITS FROM THE CASTRO. For more than forty years, Beth Van Hoesen (1926-2010) and her husband, artist and designer, Mark Adams (1925-2006), lived in an old firehouse on 22nd Street at the top of the Castro Street hill, where they hosted weekly drawing sessions and captured on canvas Castro district regulars. Artworks of Castro personalities range from leather-clad, dyed, and tattooed punks and queers, to well-known figures such as the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and the late Jose Sarria, known as The Widow Norton. Thanks to this generous gift from the artist’s estate, these portraits are now available to benefit the Rainbow Honor Walk, creating sidewalk monuments featuring bronze plaques honoring noted personalities in LGBTQ history. The opening reception at the gallery (77 Geary Street, 2nd floor) is January 9, 5:30-7:30 pm, and the exhibit runs through March 1st. georgekrevskygallery.com.

Sister Dana sez, “RepubliCAN’Ts need to make a New Year’s resolution to stop blocking progress for equality for all Americans!”

Doing what he does best, Sister Dana gets out and about incognito as Dennis. Here he is ready to raise a toast at the Academy of Friends Holiday Party at Gump’s.