Show-stopping moves at the circus

  • by Donna Sachet
  • Tuesday April 1, 2008
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SF Pride and the Golden Gate Business Association hosted a night at Teatro ZinZanni last Thursday, and the place was packed. It is no wonder that this dinner theatre which came to town for a temporary stay is still regularly selling out eight years later. On the arm of handsome Scott Faber, we joined a colorful crowd of guests in the reception area, where circus-themed decorations and costumed characters greeted us, and raffle ticket sales benefited the Academy of Friends. We were then ushered into the ornate, circular dining tent to enjoy a delicious four-course dinner overseen by Head Chef Bill Bunn , also of the musical trio Basic Black fame, and entertainment varying from stand-up comedy and operatic vocals to amazing acrobatics and soulful solo singing. But the true star of the evening was the internationally renowned Liliane Montevecchi , redefining the French torch song, displaying show-stopping dance moves, flirting shamelessly with the cast and audience, and wearing form-fitting theatrical costumes reminiscent of her days at the Parisian Folies Bergere. This drag queen was green with envy!

Our table was visited by Arturo Galster , Heklina, Marc Huestis, Marga Gomez, Queen Cougar , and many others. Seated with us was a couple from Montana who wondered at all the attention we received. At the end of the evening, after light conversation and the discovery that they were in town to promote a project dedicated to proving the innocence of wrongly incarcerated individuals through modern DNA evidence, the couple identified themselves as Montana State Senator Dan Weinberg and his wife Gayle. What a wonderful place for our worlds to collide!

Last Saturday night was one of those times when a red helicopter would have been handy. Instead, we depended upon the expert guidance of Michael Loftis and Luxor cabs to get us to several events. We started at Gary Virginia and Tommi Avicolli-Mecca 's fundraiser at the new Metro to help defeat the upcoming initiative that would end rent control in San Francisco (No on 98, Yes on 99). SF Supervisor Tom Ammiano opened the event with some caustic comedy and staunch opposition to the misleading Proposition 98. Musical entertainment by the likes of Bliss , Donna Persona, Johnny Cocksville, Emperor John Weber, Joan Crawford-Texas, and Alexis Miranda was enjoyed by the convivial crowd. Fresh from a Mexican vacation, Gary Virginia continues his tireless commitment to community activism.

We then celebrated the 6th anniversary of the LGBT Center at Terra Gallery with an extensive silent auction, free-flowing cocktails, and a smorgasbord of entertainment including Veronica Klaus , Kitten on the Keys , Vinsantos, Kielbasia, Fauxnique , and Juanita More ably emceed by Anna Conda . Recently announced Executive Director Rebecca Rolfe shared her vision of the future of the Center with hundreds of guests, among them Greg Sherrell , Fernando Ventura , Betty Sullivan , Kathleen McGuire , Leslie Katz, Robert Sokol, and Jacques Michaels. The community should be mightily proud of the LGBT Community Center and support it fully for years to come.

The final official stop was City Hall for the Bay Area Red Cross Paint the Town Red Gala. Besides the obvious attraction to the color theme, we were among the SF personalities asked to personalize a Red Cross emergency kit with our own particular sense of humor to be auctioned off at the event. Imaginative choices were made by Willie Brown , Michael Tilson Thomas , Charlotte Schultz , Carlos Santana , and others, but only our emergency kit included a red feather boa and a rainbow-striped mirrored ball.

We wound down the night with quick stops at Truck, 440 Castro, Badlands, and The Edge, where celebrations continued into the night.

Get ready for the opening of a new bar South of Market which promises to honor the tradition of the leather community: Chaps II, opening Friday, April 4, followed by the Mr. SF Leather Competition at Mighty, 119 Utah St., which we will emcee with Lenny Broberg. This is the 30th year for this annual competition, so pay attention, please!

The following week, head over to Oakland as The White Horse, arguably the second oldest GLBT bar in the country, celebrates its 75th anniversary, April 5-13. A good time will be had by all!

And on Tuesday, April 22, Sean Ray brings a talented group of friends to the new Rrazz Room of the Nikko Hotel to benefit AIDS/Lifecycle and Positive Being, emceed by this humble reporter.