Chita & the Wolf

  • by Roberto Friedman
  • Tuesday November 15, 2011
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That 100-year-old baby the San Francisco Symphony announced last week that Broadway legend Chita Rivera, she of the starring performances in West Side Story, Bye Bye Birdie and Kiss of the Spider Woman, is to be the special guest narrator for the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra 's three performances of Sergei Prokofiev 's great Peter and the Wolf on Sat., Dec. 10, in Davies Symphony Hall, and Sun., Dec. 11, at the Flint Center in Cupertino.

Actress/singer/dancer Rivera has won two Tony Awards as Best Leading Actress in a Musical and received seven more Tony nominations. Her electric performance as Anita in the Broadway premiere of West Side Story (1957) brought her stardom, which she repeated in London. Rivera's career is highlighted by starring roles in Bye Bye Birdie, The Rink (Tony Award winner), Chicago, Jerry's Girls, Kiss of the Spider Woman (Tony Award winner), and the original Broadway casts of Guys and Dolls, Can-Can, Seventh Heaven and Mr. Wonderful. In recent years, Rivera starred in the Broadway and touring productions of The Dancer's Life, a new musical celebrating her career written by Terence McNally and directed by Graciela Daniele . She recreated her starring role in The Visit, the new Kander/Ebb /McNally musical, at the Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA (originally done at the Goodman Theatre, Chicago in 2001). She also starred in the revival of the Broadway musical Nine with Antonio Banderas. That's a legendary career.

San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra Wattis Foundation Music Director Donato Cabrera leads the orchestra in the classic children's favorite, part of SFS' 2011 holiday concert season. In addition to Peter and the Wolf, the orchestra will also perform spirited holiday songs and music from The Nutcracker and Romeo and Juliet , Johann Strauss Sr.'s Radetsky March, and others. Highlights of the SFS 2011 holiday concert line-up at Davies Hall also include classical Christmas concerts performed by the SFS and Chorus; the Duke Ellington Orchestra's swinging holiday hits and standards; three performances of Handel's Messiah with the SFS Chorus; and of course the New Year's Eve Masquerade Ball.

More holidays in Davies: The Snowman animated film, Colors of Christmas with Peabo Bryson, Jennifer Holliday , Lea Salonga and Ben Vereen, Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jose Hernandez, and Deck the Hall children's concerts are also featured on the SFS holiday performance schedule. Full info at

Out gay chef Yigit Pura (Tout Sweet) is Mr. December in the 2012 Chefs of the Bay Area calendar.

Top chefs

Twelve superstar chefs from the San Francisco Bay Area have come together to create the 2012 Chefs of the Bay Area calendar, benefiting Meals On Wheels of San Francisco (MOWSF) and their efforts to serve one of the city's most vulnerable populations, homebound seniors. Orders of the limited edition calendar ($20) are available now through Jan. 15 at The calendars are also on sale at Macy's Union Square Cellar (170 O'Farrell St., SF) and participating chefs' restaurants. Every month features a superstar chef in a tasty pose, plus a recipe from each of the chefs. So here's your chance to try your hand at Jake Godby's Salt and Pepper Ice Cream, Annie Somerville 's Corn and Cherry Tomato Salad with Arugula, and Kory Stewart's Black Walnut Sbrisolona. We can't even spell Sbrisolona.

"I love contributing to Meals On Wheels of San Francisco," said David Bazirgan, Executive Chef at Fifth Floor Restaurant. "It's an important cause to me and gets back to the reason I'm a chef: to cook for people. It brings me joy to know that I'm able to help those in need through my passion." And it brings Out There joy to note that out gay chef Yigit Pura (Tout Sweet), who makes a fetching Mr. December 2012, is photographed bare-chested and covered in yummy sprinkles. How'd they do that?

Daddy dearest

Rad Dad: Dispatches from the Frontiers of Fatherhood, edited by Tomas Moniz and Jeremy Adam Smith (PM Press), combines pieces from Moniz's zine Rad Dad with entries from Smith's blog Daddy Dialectic. That's a lot of Daddy, and all the contributions show that we've evolved far beyond the era of Father Knows Best.

Queer performance artist Keith Hennessy gets the party started in his "Notes from a Sperm Donor." "And then we did it. Which means I came into a bowl, and then one woman, using a small syringe (I don't think anyone uses turkey basters), shot my cum inside her lover. Then we held hands, wished for a baby, and I left them to orgasm on their own. Conception happened the first time we tried."

It gets complicated, as seen in Simon Knapus ' "Fighting the Market: Parenting and Gender." "I was an established radical queer tranny vegan anarchist commie before I ever started trying to have kids, so I knew that somehow I would have to navigate for my child the space between our home and mainstream culture. Now the wide-eyed papa of a magical almost-three-year-old, I am beginning to realize what a firm grip the rest of the world has on our little universe."

Here's how author Cory Doctorow mediates between tech culture and his child (from "Jack and the Interstalk"): "I use a free, open-source video player called VLC, which plays practically every format ever invented. You can tell it to eliminate all its user interface so that it's just a square of movable video, and the Gnome window-manager in Linux lets me set that window as 'always on top.' I shrink it down to a postage stamp and slide it into the top right corner of my screen, and that's Poesy 's bit of my laptop." Uh, Daddy, could you read me a story from a picture book instead?

Span fan

Happy 75th birthday to our secret boyfriend, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge! Yes, that old tart, the Golden Gate Bridge, always gets all the press, but the Bay Bridge has forever been our man-crush. It stands proud, strong, with its zany art deco styling and an air of industrial chic. It has an artificial island stuck smack-dab in the middle of it. It starred in Mike Nichols' The Graduate. And it connects two rather incredible cities.

We're all for the abstract light installation that's proposed for the span, now undergoing the Caltrans approval process. The artwork under consideration is a project by light artist Leo Villareal, whose work with LED lights in patterns composed with computer-generated algorithms we know from the National Gallery of Art and a terrific solo exhibition last year at the San Jose Museum of Art. He's brilliant. Since the light sculpture would be privately funded, one can't even invoke austerity budgets in opposition to this. We say go for it, Caltrans!

RIP Lesbian literary leading light, Naiad Press founder Barbara Grier, 78, a pioneer.

OK, play us off, LGBT Keyboard Cat !