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Volume 6 Issue 24 Nov. 27 – Dec. 10, 2015

Holiday Guide

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The amazing annual wreath auction

5 NEWS

By Hutton Marshall

A savvy local promoter

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HOLIDAY CALENDAR

Artists and activists

For thousands of years, wreaths have symbolized much more than holiday cheer. From ancient Rome to Renaissance England, wreaths represented everything from allegiance to the crown, to strength, honor and moral virtue. Here in Hillcrest, wreaths take on a new meaning altogether every December with the annual Charity Wreath Auction at Martinis Above Fourth.

(l to r) RC Haus, artistic director of SDGMC; Heather Robert, president of SDWC; Bob Lehman, executive director of SDGMC; and Kathleen Hansen, artistic director of SDWC (Photo by Josh McIntosh)

Check out our holiday calendar

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DINING

United in the belief that music can change the world Morgan M. Hurley | Editor December is a month that many in our community look for ward to. It is a time of gratitude, to celebrate family, spread good cheer, and hope for the new year ahead. It is also when the San Diego Women’s Chorus

Vegan food for carnivores

y THEATER

(SDWC) and the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus (SDGMC) perform their winter concerts, which bring much joy and excitement to those who not only love holiday-inspired music, but the sound of dozens of voices singing together in perfect harmony. Though they have worked together in the distant past — and have been fer vent supporters of each other’s delegation at the Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses (GALA) festival ever y four years — the two choruses have made specific plans to

see Chorus, pg 13

Putting her heart in it every day Local retailer passionate about both her career and LGBT causes By Dave Fidlin

Puzzle.....................12

Regardless of the setting she is in, Magz Lemaster said she aims to be hospitable to the people within her midst. She attributes this character trait to her downhome Kentucky roots. It is only fitting, then, that she take a leadership role within a year-and-a-half old San Diego-based company that has been described as a cross between WilliamsSonoma and Cracker Barrel. As wholesale logistics manager of The Front Porch — a Mission Hills and Coronoado-based offshoot of The Patio restaurants — Lemaster now has a top-level position a company that is expected to expand to eight spots up and down the California coast within the next five years. In addition to growing professionally, Lemaster said she aims to use her new job, which she assumed in July, to shatter stereotypes about lesbians — and the greater

Calendar....................12

see Front Porch, pg 14

A indecent storyline

Index Opinion....…...….....…6

News Briefs.................13 Classifieds................14

Contact Us Editorial/Letters 619-961-1960

morgan@sdcnn.com

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mike@sdcnn.com

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San Diego Community News Network

Magz Lemaster is at home at The Front Porch (Courtesy Veronica Medina)

(l to r) Lady Ajax and Jim Simpson (Photo by Big Mike)

Returning Dec. 10 for its 12th consecutive year, the Charity Wreath Auction raises funds for the Eddie Conlon Youth Fund in a colorful, rarely-seen way: a live auction of dozens of extravagant, colorful and creative wreaths, paired with an evening of holiday celebration. Every year, 40 to 60 local businesses and individuals customdesign holiday wreaths using a large array of materials to create something fit for the auction, as well as Hillcrest mindsets. Top-selling wreaths in past years have gone for more than $2,000. Last year, the auction hit a new high by bringing in more than $30,000. Spicing up the auction are the “Wreath Guys” — the formerly named “Hot Wreath Boys” have apparently grown up — the scantily clad hosts who show off the wreaths during the animated live auction. Ian Johnson has emceed the event since its inception over a decade ago, back when he was a server at Martinis. As the director of events at the San Diego LGBT Community Center — which also houses the Queen Eddie Conlon

see Wreath, pg 10


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GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 27 – Dec. 10, 2015

COMMUNITY VOICES

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Love is … contagious The women’s chorus shares their message of hope Morgan M. Hurley | Editor The San Diego Women’s Chorus (SDWC), guided by Artistic Director Kathleen Hansen and a board of directors led by its current president, Heather Robert, is in its 28th year as a choral group. The chorus currently has 80 active singers ranging in age from 13 to 77, with nearly 30 others on a leave of absence or in a non-singing, volunteer status. This year’s SDWC familyfriendly winter concert, “Love Is,” to be performed Dec. 6 and Dec. 11, focuses on all the ways that love is shared in our lives. Selections involve themes of marriage equality; how love is used to combat violence and hatred in these trying times we are living in. Though it is not a holiday concert, it does include a few holidaythemed songs. “We have a lot to say — a lot to sing about that doesn’t necessarily fit under the holiday umbrella,” Hansen said. “This time of year, there are hundreds of holiday-themed performances in San Diego. We wanted to give our audiences an opportunity to come together for some diverse and beautiful music.” Attendees can expect to hear songs by One Republic, Queen, Eric Whitacre, and an inspiring

song written by the award-winning singer/songwriter Randi Driscoll, “Love Is Love,” a decade after Matthew Shepard’s death. Also included will be a number of classical choral pieces and world music selections that also match the theme. “As artistic director, it is always fulfilling to come across pieces like ‘Love Is Love’ that so perfectly fit our mission and message,” Hansen said. “The fight for equality is not over. We sing this to acknowledge the positive changes we’ve seen, but recognize that there is more work to do.” Hansen, who also performs as artistic director of several other choruses in town, joined the SDWC as an assistant artistic director in 2013 and took the reigns when former artistic director Christopher Allen retired in August of 2014, after 18 years at the helm. “I fell in love with the mission of the SDWC,” Hansen said. “It is wonderful to be part of an organization that ‘encourages women’s creativity and inspires social action.’ The women in the chorus are caring and authentic, and a joy to be around. I also feel fortunate to be able to work with our accompanist, Glenn Ward. He is a top-notch musician and supports our mission 100 percent.” Robert came to the chorus in January of 2009, in the wake of the passage of Proposition 8. She had become disturbed by all the anti-gay sentiment, including her neighborhood of Rancho Peñasquitos. Wanting to become more acquainted with the LGBT com-

munity, she took her daughter to see a San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus holiday concert. An ad for SDWC in their program changed her life. In a letter she wrote to SDGMC last summer (printed in Gay San Diego here tinyurl.com/odoxyqy), Robert explained the experience. SDWC has become my village, my tribe, and those women have played a major role in helping me raise my daughter into a confident and compassionate young woman. So, thank you, gay men of SDGMC, for coming into this straight woman’s life at just the right time. You introduced me to a community that I didn’t even know existed that would truly become my sisterhood. Being able to combine my love of music with my passion for social justice has been one of the most amazing gifts of my life. Robert said the chorus’ leadership recently developed a strategic plan focused on four primar y initiatives: marketing and public relations; infrastructure building; internal communications; and fund development. “I want to make sure that whatever I do for this chorus supports our growth and longevity,” she said. “We’ve grown tremendously in the last few years, in size and in quality and we have so much to offer, both as artists and as activists.” A big surge in the attainment of those goals has been the support of the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation (SDHDF), who stepped in to co-sponsor SDWC’s first performance at the historic Balboa Theatre in May of 2014. The concert, which also featured

(l to r) Kathleen Hansen, artistic director of SDWC and Heather Robert, board president of SDWC wearing their “Love Is” attire (Photo by Josh McIntosh) the Indigo Girls, shared proceeds with SDHDF’s new Lesbian Health Initiative. This collaboration continued this past spring, this time with Frenchie Davis. “We are so grateful for our partnership with SDHDF; it could not have come at a better time,” Robert said. “We’d been increasing our numbers steadily, attracting a steady stream of talented new members, but were still performing primarily in churches and small theaters. We were outgrowing those venues, physically and artistically.” Robert said that first collaboration with SDHDF was “a big boost to our visibility and our funding” and allowed them to “dream bigger and to challenge ourselves to evolve.” Plans are already in place for a third collaboration next spring, “Uprising: Songs of Change.” Details will be released soon. SDWC is always looking for new members at the beginning of each year. This year’s mandator y orientation meeting for new members is Jan. 10, 2016, at Mission Hills

United Church of Christ, located at 4070 Jackdaw St. Rehearsals take place ever y Sunday, from 4 – 7 p.m. at MHUCC, with the first rehearsal of the year Jan. 17. “Interested singers need to register by contacting membership@sdwc.org,” Robert said. “We welcome all women, including transgender women, who are able to match pitch to piano and can hold their part within our SSAA [choral] range.” SDWC will perform “Love Is,” at the Creative, Performing and Media Arts Middle School, located at 5050 Conrad Ave., in Clairemont, on Sunday, Dec. 6 at 4 p.m. and Friday, Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. Free parking is available at the CPMA lot. Tickets can be purchased at sdwc.ticketleap. com/loveis. Discounted tickets for militar y, youth, student, senior and disabled patrons are available. The performance will be ASL-interpreted. For more information about SDWC, visit sdwc.org. —Morgan M. Hurley can be reached at morgan@sdcnn.com.t


NEWS

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Proprietors of peace Gay men’s chorus returns with “Jingle” Morgan M. Hurley | Editor With 12 weeks of preparation and rehearsals under their belt, the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus (SDGMC) is gearing up for their annual holiday concert. Called “Jingle,” this year’s show will be performed Dec. 12 and 13 at the historic Balboa Theatre. SDGMC is directed by RC Haus, who has been with the chorus for more than five years but took over as artistic directorship in 2014. The chorus currently has 160 voices — a combination of tenors, baritones and basses — prepared to perform at the holiday show, with approximately 40 on leave. The current membership is the largest the chorus has ever been. This year’s “Jingle” will include performances from the chorus’ Chamber Chorale and Mood Swings, as well as contemporary, classic and comedy versions of well-known favorites from the rest of the chorus. In years past, some selections and skits were a bit on the risque side, but with a shifting demographic, Bob Lehman, newly hired executive director of the chorus, said it was time to tone that down. “It’s our favorite show of the year, and since RC has taken over, we have formulated everything to

be more family-friendly,” he said, adding that their holiday show audience is now split 50-50 between straights and gays. With LGBT families also on the rise — Haus, a school teacher, also has kids of his own — Lehman said that it only made sense to migrate it towards families. The chorus’ outreach partner for “Jingle” is Lambda Archives of San Diego, which is a good match since this is SDGMC’s 30th anniversar y. The Archives will receive donations requested throughout the show, as well as visibility and awareness, which can lead to more donations. “I think there are so many people in our own community who don’t know what [Lambda Archives] are or what they do,” said Lehman, who sings baritone with the chorus. “It’s fitting because we’ve been collecting our own archives. We created a Facebook alumni page to share stories and we are gathering our own history.” Lehman, who hasn’t missed a show performance since joining the chorus five years ago, had been acting president of the chorus’ board of directors for the last two years. His time on the board was just about up when their search committee asked him to apply for the executive director position. “There is a reason you term out,” he said. “It allows room for new people, new ideas. I was ready

GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 27 – Dec. 10, 2015

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Both men are looking forward to the holiday show. “What I love about the holiday show, it’s something where you’re gonna laugh, you’re gonna cheer, and you’re gonna cry,” Lehman said. “You’re gonna feel all the emotions in one night — it’s not just a concert but a show.” “I think my favorite song this year is absolutely ‘Peace, Peace,’ which we recently posted on Facebook and dedicated from our RC Haus (foreground) conducts the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus at last year’s holiday show chorus to the people (Photo by Jonathan Cervantes) of Paris and those lost during the terrorist attacks,” to leave board, but I wanted to people were dying,” Lehman said. Haus said. “It’s really a simple song keep getting things more and more “Today it’s a family for these guys with a simple yet powerful message: prepared for future boards so they’d — they can’t wait to be together. It’s Peace, peace, peace on earth and be on stronger footing.” safe and it’s fun.” Having spent the last two years “Other than my children and my good will to all. This is a time for joy. This is a time for love. Now let us all acting as both president and execuhusband, this is my greatest joy in tive director, Lehman said he’s been life,” Haus said. “We share a passion sing together of peace, peace, peace on earth.” working on the administrative for music. We share a commitment On Dec. 1, at 6 p.m.,the chorus infrastructure, getting the office to excellence. … Our love for music will have 100 members participatorganized, making their records brought us together, but our love ing in Mama’s Kitchen’s Tree of accessible, and continuing to move for each other keeps us together. Life ceremony to commemorate the chorus forward. I wish everyone could experience World AIDS Day. The ceremony “The last couple years have just what I do as I stand five feet in front takes place at Village Hillcrest on been a renaissance for the chorus, of a wall of men as they sing. It is a Fifth Avenue. we’ve doubled in size and we’ve one-of-a-kind experience. “Jingle” will be performed by the never been more financially secure, “We are one of the few LGBT SDGMC Saturday, Dec. 12 at 8 p.m., so it’s just been a really great time,” organizations with the word gay and on Sunday, Dec. 13 at 3 p.m., at he said. prominently displayed in its title — the historic Balboa Theatre, located The chorus, a community within and we keep it there for a reason,” at 868 Fourth Ave., Downtown. For our community, originally started Haus continued. “We are not hiding VIP or general admission tickets or on a bit of a somber note; but it has who we are as gay men — because more information about the chorus, grown to offer the men within its we want everyone to know there is visit sdgmc.org. midst an important part of their no reason to hide.” daily lives. Lehman said they consider —Morgan M. Hurley can be “We started 30 years ago singthemselves “the ambassadors of the reached at morgan@sdcnn.com.t ing at memorials because so many LGBT community” for that reason.


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GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 27 – Dec. 10, 2015

COMMUNITY VOICES

Philanthropy can be for all of us

ous nonprofits. To date, Johnson has produced concerts to benefit the Avon Breast Cancer Walk and the Autism Society of San Diego, and upcoming shows will support the PFLAG Scholarship Fund at San Diego Human Dignity Foundation, Father Joe’s Villages, and the Second Chance Program, (PSE) in Washington, D.C., a to name a few of the beneficiaries Profiles in company that covered booking, in 2016. managing and producing events, Johnson’s life experiences inAdvocacy and included luminaries such as tersect in relation to being black, Ian Morton Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle and gay, political, and being a lover of Natalie Cole, among others. music. His messaging parallels “Philanthropy” — it’s a conThis effort allowed Johnson to the Black Lives Matter movecept that can be intimidating to ment and its #BlackLivesMatter hone his production skills and dethe everyday person and we often fine his scope of vision for years to hashtag with his own tagline, reserve the title “philanthropist” #BlackLoveMatters. come. In 2010, he formed “Dame for that upper 1 percent of the Having come from D.C., where Ethel Productions” as a subsidiary socioeconomic population. Those black-owned and -operated busiof PSE in tribute to his late mothare the folks for whom hospital er. While Dame Ethel Productions nesses thrive, and black LGBT wings, museums and community networking, social and advocacy was not initially established as a centers are named. I believe that groups abound, Johnson admits philanthropic vehicle, when Don many of us do what we can as moved to San Diego, that transfor- to having been spoiled before ar“donors,” but maybe it is time to riving in San Diego. The absence mation began. give our philanthropic potential a of seats at the “tables of power” As we began to discuss this little more credit. for the local black LGBT commushift, I inquired as to whom or Don Johnson is a recent transnity has been both troubling and what motivated his desire to plant to San Diego, frustrating. To this arriving, as so many end, he has also of us do, from the East chosen to put his Coast. He experienced efforts into serving the loss of his mother, on the leadership Ethel, at the age of 7, team of the San and his father at 14. Diego Black LGBT While painful, this Coalition. helped to cement his As we sit appreciation of “family” together in his and empathy for those home — decked who had to face life’s to the hilt with hardships without that photos of him with centering force. family members, “People really friends and an A-list have situations and cadre of music’s burdens that can drag divas — Johnson is Johnson (left) with one of his celebrity clients (Courtesy Don Johnson) them down and that a bundle of barely has always been a soft contained energy spot for me” he said. “I may have and ambition. The photographs give back. been an orphan and my sister and flow seamlessly together, as “I wouldn’t credit a ‘person’ per I were passed around, but it was one endless circle of family and se, as my understanding of philanalways to family members; there stories. His vision for the future is thropy was rooted in the church,” was always family in my life. I can grand; not only for the benefit of he said. “In Washington D.C., only imagine how my life would the nonprofit community, but also I belonged to a church that did have been different if I hadn’t had for the city he now calls home. everything for its community, and that backbone.” “I want to put San Diego on I participated in the varied ‘service Johnson’s teen years were ministries,’ such as prison outreach, the map for tour routes,” he said. focused on academics and sports, “I’ve seen where artists plan to HIV/AIDS and food distribution. with occasional jaunts into the go, and San Diego is simply not a “I’ve always believed in the music that would eventually be at preferred destination and I mean sometimes controversial idea the center of his life and career. to change that.” of ‘tithing,’ as it relates to one’s At 19, he joined the U.S. Air We look for ward to seeing full life,” he continued. “In Force, where he worked as an that change. churches, there often is a focus aircraft mechanic and went to For information and tickets to on the money aspect, but giving school. He auditioned for the Air of your time and skills is equally the next Dame Ethel Productions Force entertainment program concert, email BlackLoveMatimportant.” at the urging of a roommate, Coinciding with Johnson’s move tersSD@gmail.com. also a member of the program, to San Diego was the commitment and found himself on tour three —Ian D. Morton is the senior to join his friend’s Avon Breast months later. He took this opporprogram analyst at San Diego HuCancer Walk, and the need to raise tunity to not only perfect his vocal man Dignity Foundation and pro$1,800. Though he didn’t know craft, but learn the inner-workings many folks in San Diego at the time, duces the Y.E.S. San Diego LGBTQ of production; something that youth conference. To nominate he knew how to produce a concert. became his passion. an individual or nonprofit for this This was the first of what is In 1995, Johnson established developing into a concert series to column, please email the informaPrivate Stock Entertainment tion to ian@sdhdf.org.t highlight and raise funds for vari-

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The power of silence Life Beyond Therapy Michael Kimmel Recently, I was asked to co-facilitate a workshop with the above title. I wasn’t really sure I wanted to do it. After all, I thought, “What’s so great about silence?” So, I did some research and was surprised at what I found out. I discovered that silence has great power to make our lives calmer and better. No matter where we live, there’s a tremendous amount of “noise” in our lives: both internal (our racing, over-analytical minds) and external (the intense, crazy world that’s all around us). How can we find some silence, or do we even want to? Are we afraid of silence? After all, what would we do with an empty space, with all that nothingness? During November, December and early January, there is an unusual amount of external “noise” called “the holidays.” Finding silence during this time is especially helpful. It’s so easy to get lost in other people’s expectations. All the “shoulds” can make you crazy: You should buy amazing, expensive gifts; you should be happy; you should go to lots of fabulous holiday parties or you’re a loser; you should be generous; you should forgive your family for being selfish/mean/foolish. See what I mean? All this emotional “noise” is confusing and disorienting. It’s an example of what my Buddhist meditation teachers call “monkey mind” — our mind just bounces all around from one thing to another, and as a result, our thinking often feels out of control. If you ever find it hard to stop worrying/analyzing when you want to fall asleep, it’s your monkey mind that’s in control. This is where silence can be useful. Take a moment before you read any further and define “silence” for yourself. Close your eyes and ask yourself: “What is silence for me?” Then, just listen and see what you get. Be willing to be surprised. Done that? Okay, here are some definitions I found: quietude, stillness, tranquility, and peacefulness. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t

it? Well, how do we get there? Consider these questions as a starting point: 1. When is silence easy for you and when is it difficult? 2. What helps you to enjoy silence and what makes it hard for you to enjoy it? 3. How can silence make your life better? When you answer the questions, write the answers down in your phone or on paper, so you can come back to them later. The answers can help open the door to more — and deeper — moments of silence in your life. Here are two ways to experiment with the power of silence that I use with my clients. Most people, no matter how hyper they are, have benefitted from these. The first one only takes a few minutes, the second one – a silent wandering – takes a bit longer: A quick-and-easy silent meditation 1. Take three deep breaths. Enjoy them. Invite your body to relax (it just might do it!) 2. Check in with your emotions; notice if you’re relaxed, sad, angry, or bored. Don’t judge it, just notice. This is what is often called mindfulness. 3. Check in with how your body feels. What do you notice? Is there tension anywhere? Is your body more relaxed than a moment ago? Just notice. 4. Check in with your thoughts: What are you thinking? Again, just be mindful (no need to change anything). 5. Slowly allow your eyes to open and come back to the room. Take your time. Silent wandering Give yourself about half an hour to wander in silence. You can walk through a busy urban area or an open field. Wherever you choose to wander, notice what it’s like to do it in silence. Try to keep your mind silent, too (that’s not so easy) and be aware of the temptation to have a goal. Instead, just wander in silence. During your wandering, you might like to bring back with you an object to represent your silence (e.g., a leaf, flower or found object). Let an object speak to you. If you are quiet enough, it will. When you get home, put your object somewhere where you’ll see it often, so it can remind you of your silent wandering, and perhaps, encourage you to do it again. Let the power of silence be your teacher. —Michael Kimmel is a licensed psychotherapist who specializes in helping LGBT clients achieve their goals and deal with anxiety, depression, grief, sexually addictive behavior, coming out, relationship challenges and homophobia. Contact him at 619-955-3311 or visit lifebeyondtherapy.com.t


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COMMUNITY VOICES

Tours, visits and events

the Archives attended the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation Ashton-Brooks gala and the San Diego LGBT Multicultural Literary Foundation gala. We staffed an information and how we operate. She also Out of the table at the SDSU Big Queer BBQ enjoyed recognizing photos of old Archives to talk to students about the purfriends on our walls. pose of the Archives and our need Meredith Vezina and Ellen Walter G. Meyer for student interns to help us with Holzman continue to record oral our many projects. We have many histories as part of Trans Narrastudent interns and volunteers tive and shot video of the recent With the help of volunteers from the community at large who help with everything from Kurt Cunningham Celebration o there has been lots more happrocessing collections, identifying Life at The Center to add to the pening at Lambda Archives and photos, digitization, memberarchival record of the late commuch more planned! ship outreach and a host of other munity activist. First, a few dates for upcoming tasks from office work to catalogWe are also proud of the events to put on your calendar: ing — all necessary to keep the Lambda Archives team that carOn Sunday, Dec. 6, Archives running. from 4 – 6 p.m., Bob NelIf you would like to son will generously host earn credits or just a reception to introduce goodwill, please get our 2016 “Heroines, Pioin touch. neers, and Trailblazers.” Finally, everyThere, we will recone at the Archives ognize the remarkable extends our sincere women in San Diego thanks to Pat who responded to the McArron for his early HIV/AIDS crisis. invaluable support Some of these individuand service. For als and groups include many years Pat has “The Blood Sisters,” maintained and founders of AIDS provided hosting Walk, Mama’s Kitchen, of the lambdaarSpecial Delivery, crosschives.org website border services and and is now turning (l to r) Maureen Steiner, Chula Vista Mayor Mary Salas, and Walter more. To learn how the duties over to you can get involved as Meyer during a recent tour of the Archives (Courtesy Lambda Archives) someone else. We a supporter, table capthank Pat for the tain, or donor, please countless hours he RSVP to events@ has devoted to us lambdaarchives.org or and wish him and call 619-260-1522 to get his husband Glenn the address and more well in retirement. information. Space is We look forward limited so make your to seeing you at one reservation soon. of our board meetWednesday, Dec. 9, ings, galas or a future at 7:15 p.m. is our an“Out at the Archives.” nual meeting and board elections at the Ar—Walter G. chives, 4545 Park Blvd. Meyer is the author Meyer and a group of LGBT youth stopped at the John Wear plaque Everyone is welcome, of the critically acwhile on tour of local historic sites (Photo by Vanessa Dubois) though only members claimed gay novel can vote. Come hear “Rounding Third,” about our year in review and a regular contributor to Gay San ried away two awards from AIDS hopes for the next year. Diego, and the manager of Lambda Walk: top fundraiser among nonJoin us on March 6, 2016, at Archives. Reach him at manager. profits, and board member David the San Diego Women’s Club to lambda.archives@gmail.com. Ramos as the second-highest celebrate the “Heroines, Pioneers, individual fundraiser. and Trailblazers” who stepped up —Maureen Steiner, president We are happy to support AIDS when the AIDS crisis first struck of Lambda Archives, contributed to Walk and many other community the gay community. Watch this this report.t partners. Representatives from column, our website, or our Facebook page for more information and tickets when they go on sale. Archives staff and volunteers have been involved in several fun events around the community within the last month. With the help of representatives from San Diego Pride, The San Diego LGBT Community Center, the San Diego LGBT Visitors Center, and other local leaders, Lambda Archives took a walking tour of Hillcrest to identify sites of historic LGBT interest. We identified early gay bars, past locations of The Center, interesting architecture, and other points of historic and community interest. Two weeks later, Walt Meyer of Lambda Archives led 25 people from the Pride Youth Leadership Academy on an educational stroll through the gayborhood, engaging the teens with the history of LGBT San Diego. The new LGBT Visitors Center launched on Nov. 17, with photos from the Archives. We hope to partner with the Visitors Center on many more projects in the future. We opened our doors during Taste of University Heights and over two-dozen people dropped in to visit. On Nov. 19, Chula Vista Mayor Mary Salas paid the Archives a visit. She was impressed by what we have in our collections

GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 27 – Dec. 10, 2015

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Mixing the holidays with community Back Out with Benny Ben Cartwright I was really sick with a stomach infection (I’ll spare you the dirty details) at the end of October and first couple weeks of this month. While I’ve been lucky to have relatively good health — even a more severe illness like this one didn’t have me completely knocked down — I did find myself taking it much easier, staying in a lot more, and missing quite a few community events. Sometimes the number of events taking place within our community gets tiring — even for the most seasoned of socialites — but I remind myself how fortunate I am to live in a place and be part of a community (since I was 16 years old, nearly 20 years now) that offers me such a wide variety of options to mix, connect, meet new people, and to raise funds and support for great causes. In this week of gratitude, I’m thankful for all of you, the opportunities we have to be together and of course for having this platform to share so many of these wonderful community events and opportunities. Happy Thanksgiving! As we head into the busy holiday season, I’ll share some events that I’m looking forward to. Every year on Dec. 1, we honor World AIDS Day. For years, Mama’s Kitchen has been hosting a touching ceremony at Village Hillcrest, lighting the Tree of Life. This beautiful holiday tree stands in the center of the plaza and honors those we have lost to AIDS over the years. Events like these are more important than ever, as we look forward to the new hope in HIV — we can #BeTheGeneration to end new cases of HIV, but we will always honor those we lost and remember the struggles many went through to get us where we are today. More information about this event is here mamaskitchen.org/ events/treeoflife.php.

The San Diego Multicultural LGBT Literary Foundation, established just three years ago, has really grown and come a long way in its efforts to promote the great body of literature by LGBT authors of color. They hosted an outstanding gala earlier this month, and are now focusing on their #ReadNaked campaign. On Friday, Dec. 4, from 5 – 10 p.m., they will have a launch party for their sexy new 2016 calendar at Top of the Bay (Porto Vista in Little Italy). Proceeds from the calendar benefit the Foundation’s work to ensure that LGBT books make it into California’s high school libraries. I got a peek at some of the photos in the calendar, and wow — they mean it when they say “read naked!” Check it out here facebook.com/ events/964044013674954. The Top2Bottom show, an online forum which launched this summer and focuses on the lives of gay men (gay-sd.com/caughton-camera), is having a special live taping for an upcoming docuseries “Behind The Curtain: A Look at Drag Beyond the Stage, Wigs, and Heels.” Community members are invited to the in-studio audience taping, which will feature multiple entertainers from around the country. The event takes place Saturday, Dec. 5 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Rich’s. More information and tickets are here facebook.com/ events/1674793966092901. The Center’s annual community holiday party, Come Home for the Holidays, is scheduled for Dec. 5 at 5 p.m. Everyone is welcome to celebrate the diverse cultures and traditions within our local LGBT community at an event that is familyfriendly and free to all. Guests will be treated to music, dancing, free food, non-alcoholic beverages and lots of community! Call 619-692-2077. By the way, if you’re doing holiday shopping online this year, consider using The Center’s AmazonSmile link and Amazon will give The Center a donation for every purchase. Start

see Benny, pg 13


6

OPINION

GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 27 – Dec. 10, 2015

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Reader's

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Poll Results What local events do you enjoy this time of year? 20% Taste ’n Tinis 20% Tree of Life Ceremony 40% December Nights 20% Luminaria

Guest Editorial

Be a beagle backer and get happy By Speaker Toni G. Atkins and Greg Evans He’s a champion ice skater, bowler, and skateboarder; a world famous attorney, astronaut, and arm wrestler; and, most famously, a World War I Flying Ace. Of course, that’s all when he’s not busy just being the beagle that belongs to that round-headed kid. October marked 65 years (or 455 if you count in dog years) since Snoopy skated, flew, and happy-danced onto the comic pages and into hearts all over the world. That anniversar y provides a good opportunity to remind ever yone about California’s new Snoopy license plate. The Snoopy Plate was created following legislation in 2013. Proceeds from the sales go to the California Cultural and Historical Endowment to help museums make capital improvements to their facilities, which helps keep EDITOR Morgan M. Hurley (619) 961-1960 morgan@sdcnn.com CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Ken Williams, x102 Jeff Clemetson, x119 CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Ben Cartwright Charlene Baldridge David Dixon Dave Fidlin Michael Kimmel Hutton Marshall Walter G. Meyer Ian Morton Frank Sabatini Jr. Ken Williams

their doors open to the public. The new license plate shows Snoopy doing his famous happy dance, and we are grateful to Jean Schulz, the widow of Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz, for donating the image. The bottom of the license plate reads “museums are for ever yone.” As an art lover himself (he favored Van Gogh and Andrew Wyeth) Snoopy is the perfect beagle to lend his support to our museums. To get the Snoopy Plates into production, we need a minimum of 7,500 to be ordered. Right now, we still need about 900 orders. Once the plates are in production and people begin to see them on the state’s streets and highways, we expect orders to soar about as high as a well maintained Sopwith Camel. To help spread interest in the Snoopy Plate, more than 80 California museums are joining together and offering free or WEB & SOCIAL MEDIA Jen Van Tieghem, x118 jen@sdcnn.com COPY EDITOR Dustin Lothspeich ART DIRECTOR Vincent Meehan (619) 961-1961 vincent@sdcnn.com PRODUCTION ARTISTS Todd Kammer, x115 Suzanne Dzialo SALES & MARKETING DIRECTOR Mike Rosensteel (619) 961-1958 mike@sdcnn.com ADVERTISING CONSULTANTS Sloan Gomez, x104 Andrew Bagley, x106 Lisa Hamel, x107

discounted admissions — worth a total of more than $1,000 — to anyone who becomes a “Beagle Backer,” someone who orders an initial plate and helps us reach the 7,500 mark. These one-time admissions will be good for up to a year after the goal is reached. San Diego-area organizations participating in the Beagle Backer program include the Museum of Contemporar y Art, the Museum of Photographic Art, the Mingei International Museum, and the Japanese Friendship Garden. With football season underway, the California Museum in Sacramento is also hosting a special exhibit, “Pigskin Peanuts,” featuring the gang hitting the gridiron — including Snoopy (as both the fiendish Mad Punter and Woodstock’s long-suffering coach) and Charlie Brown tr ying ever y Autumn to kick that football. The museum also has plenty of information on hand on how to get a Snoopy Plate. Snoopy Plates start at $50 for a sequential license plate, but you can also buy a personalized plate for $98. There’s even a gift certificate option at Snoopyplate.com, so you can surprise loved ones who are Snoopy fans, museum supporters, PUBLISHER David Mannis (619) 961-1951 david@sdcnn.com ACCOUNTING Priscilla Umel-Martinez (619) 961-1962 accounting@sdcnn.com WEB DESIGN Kim Espinoza espinozawebworks.com kim@kespinoza.com

DISTRIBUTION Gay San Diego is distributed free every other Friday of the month. COPYRIGHT 2015. All rights reserved.

or both. This is prime Snoopy time. In addition to the 65th anniversar y in October, we also waited once again for the Great Pumpkin to rise on Halloween night. This month, a new Peanuts movie is helping create even more fans. And for the holidays, Snoopy will be making his 39th appearance in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and December will be the 50th anniversar y of “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” What better time to order a Snoopy Plate and help ensure that California museums can continue to reach future generations? We encourage ever yone — whether or not you are a world famous champion — to become a Beagle Backer and order a Snoopy Plate for your car. It honors one of the greatest characters in the comics and it helps a good cause. And who knows? It may even put you in the mood for a happy dance. —Toni Atkins is the Speaker of the California Assembly and the author of the bill creating the Snoopy License Plate. Greg Evans is the award-winning creator of the comic strip Luann, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.t

OPINIONS/LETTERS: Gay San Diego encourages letters to the editor and guest editorials. Please email either to morgan@sdcnn.com and include your phone number and address for verification. We reserve the right to edit letters for brevity and accuracy. Letters and guest editorials do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or staff.

SUBMISSIONS/NEWS TIPS Press releases and story ideas are welcomed. Send press releases, tips, photos or story ideas to editor@sdcnn.com. For breaking news and investigative story ideas contact the editor by phone or email.

Rep. Scott Peters recently voted to make it more difficult for Syrian refugees to be accepted into the U.S. How do you feel about that? Very disappointed Neutral on this issue Strongly support his choice

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Business Improvement Association

Gay San Diego 123 Camino de la Reina, Suite 202 East San Diego, CA 92108 (619) 519-7775 sdcnn.com Facebook.com/GaySD Twitter @GaySD


GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 27 – Dec. 10, 2015

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Holiday Guide Grabyour ugly Christmas sweaters Finest City Improv serves up some f**king mockery Ken Williams | Contributing Editor Finest City Improv wades into the pseudo “War on Christmas” waters with an irreverent show that resembles a spoof of “The Office,” combined with a comedic slam on far-right conser vatives who have convinced their followers that Starbucks’ red coffee cup takes Christ out of Christmas. The 90-minute show, “It’s F**king Christmas,” is playing Saturdays through Dec. 12 at 8 p.m. in the Improv club located at 4250 Louisiana St., on the east end of the historic Lafayette Hotel in North Park. “We’re hosting another f**king holiday party, and the employees are forced to do the unthinkable — work

on Christmas,” Improv founder and CEO Amy Lisewski said in a statement. “The best part about the show? We don’t have a script. The audience directs where our performance goes while we act out everyone’s holiday nightmare.” Not only do audience members participate, but they are encouraged to wear their ugly Christmas sweaters or other items common to the holidays. On opening night, Nov. 14, many audience members were indeed dressed appropriately. The moment you arrive at the club, improv performers mingling in the tiny bar are already in character. Guests are greeted and handed a nametag with a phony name listing the department of employment at America’s Finest Ad Agency, like “Derrick Staub from Information Technology,” or “Adela McPhail from Business Development.” Upon entering the performance space, guests — identified as “company employees” for the skit — are invited to take a photograph with Santa and write down on a piece of paper the worst Christmas gift they ever received. That will become part of an improv skit played out throughout the show. Since this is improv, any further description of what happens is surely to be irrelevant at future shows. Suffice to say, it’s full of corny jokes, bawdy humor, silly songs and faux dancing. For tickets to this “blasphemous” Christmas show, visit bit. ly/1QHtKN0

Finest City Improv’s “holiday crew” (Courtesy Finest City Improv)

—Ken Williams is a contributing editor of Gay San Diego. Follow him on Twitter at @KenSanDiego, Instagram at @KenSD or Facebook at KenWilliamsSanDiego.t

Holiday Calendar SATURDAY, NOV. 28

Small Business Saturday: A chance to get holiday shopping done while supporting small local businesses. North Park’s shopping experience offers boutiques, record stores, vintage clothing shops and more. Visit facebook.com/NorthParkMainStreet. Julian Country Christmas: Julian celebrates the start of the holiday season today with performers up and down Main Street. Festivities start at 1 p.m. with a Christmas tree-lighting and arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus at sunset. Visit julianca. com/country-christmas.html. Adams Avenue Spirit Stroll: The debut of the Spirit Stroll invites neighbors to sip, stroll and shop at popular independent businesses throughout University Heights, Normal Heights and Kensington. There will be 12 spirited tastes mixed and poured by top bartenders from Polite Provisions, Sycamore Den, Jayne Gastropub and more at retail locations including Adams Avenue Book Store, La Loupe Vintage, Liquid Eden and more (must be 21 and up to partake). $18 in advance (available online) and $20 on the day of the event (available with cash only at Smitty’s Auto, 3441 Adams Ave.) 2 – 5 p.m. Visit adamsavenuebusiness.com.

see Holiday Calendar, pg 12


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GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 27 – Dec. 10, 2015

GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 27 – Dec. 10, 2015

gay-sd.com

Holiday Guide 1835 Strand Way Coronado, CA 92118 619-435-4856 coronadoplayhouse.com Coronado Playhouse, the oldest, longest-running community theater in San Diego County, has been dedicated to providing quality entertainment to the Coronado community since 1946. The 100-seat, cabaret-style theater overlooks beautiful Glorietta Bay and is part of the beautiful Coronado Community Center. The current venue opened in 2006 with state-of-the-art equipment and a full service bar. We produce high quality productions each year — with the best local talent and production teams available — that entertain, educate and enrich our patrons. In addition, we offer showcases, special events, classes and educational opportunities for students and adults to thrive in the local artistic community. We draw upon local creative and technical talent to give Coronado and San Diego residents vibrant, creative and safe training in the theatrical arts.

4545 Park Boulevard San Diego, CA 92116 619-220-6830 diversionary.org For Christmas, Diversionary Theatre presents Pulitzer Prizewinning playwright Paula Vogel’s “Civil War Christmas: An American Musical Celebration in Concert,” featuring Encore Vocal Ensemble. It’s 1864, and the coldest Christmas Eve in years is whipping through the streets of Washington, D.C. and along the banks of the Potomac River. A country stands torn in two as the president plots his next move, his wife visits convalescing soldiers, an escaped slave finds her freedom, and a young rebel comes face to face with his sworn enemy. This uplifting musical pageant weaves together a stunning tapestry of a community courageously weathering our country’s deepest crisis, showing us that hope, humor and peace are innate to being American. Special performances include a Christmas Eve Cookies and Cocoa reception and a New Year’s Eve party to ring in the New Year, all included with your ticket. Presented Dec. 10 – Jan. 3. Find more information at diversionary.org/civil.

4019 Goldfinch St. San Diego, CA 92103 619-794-0014 fitnesstogether.com/ missionhills PRIVACY, RESPECT FOR YOUR TIME, RESULTS. These are the cornerstones of what Fitness Together is all about. We have created an environment where our clients train in luxur y private suites away from the unwanted stares, and the waiting found in most “gyms.” Our workouts are specifically tailored to you, your goals, and your schedule. Our Nutrition Together program helps you stay accountable to sensible food behavior’s that enhance your transformation. For those seeking serious personal fitness training and nutritional guidance in a private, welcoming and safe studio that allows them to commit to, achieve their wellness goals, Fitness Together offers highly personalized one-on-one workouts with knowledgeable, friendly and skilled trainers in a clean, upscale environment with more focus on individual clients, than is found in any other fitness facility. People that train at Fitness Together GET RESULTS. You CAN have the body you’ve always wanted.

4040 Twiggs St. San Diego, CA 92110 619-337-1525 cygnettheatre.com

Since taking flight, Cygnet Theatre has grown into one of San Diego’s largest theater companies and become known for producing adventurous, entertaining and thought-provoking live professional theater year round. Cygnet Theatre invites you to start your own family tradition with one of ours. This season welcomes the return of the holiday classic adapted from Charles Dickens’ timeless tale of hope and redemption. This re-imagined, fully staged production features original new music, creative stagecraft and puppetry, and live sound effects. Step into a Victorian Christmas card for a unique storytelling experience that is sure to delight the entire family! Don’t miss this wonderful show, playing from Nov. 27 – Dec. 27. To order tickets, call our box office or visit our website.

3131 Dale St. San Diego, CA 92104 619-400-9252 europilates-sd.com Reaching health goals with Pilates is a path anyone can embark on. The gift of Pilates is that exercises can be modified to meet the needs of the individual. EuroPilates is an inspirational private studio, equipped with cutting edge training. The setting is much like your own home — clean, personal and private. As a result, the environment is motivating and non-intimidating — the perfect escape from the stresses of daily life. EuroPilates specializes in pain elimination and injury rehab. Pilates helps with: Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, back pain, spinal cord injuries, new moms shedding baby weight, gym haters who dislike weights and machines, seniors who want to stay fit and healthy and much more! Owner Eva Wennes is a Pilates instructor and an advanced level corrective exercise specialist in the Biomechanics Method. Eva will design an exercise program that’s right for you. Call us to set up an appointment!

1363 Old Globe Way Balboa Park San Diego, CA 92101 619-234-5623 TheOldGlobe.org

SHOP Hillcrest for the Holidays This holiday season dine and shop in Fabulous Hillcrest! Shop Hillcrest for the Holidays to support locally owned Hillcrest businesses. Each visit at a participating location is a chance to win! San Diegans who shop local this holiday season will be rewarded by participating Hillcrest retail shops and restaurants with raffle tickets for customers who purchase items in their establishments throughout the holiday season. At the end of December, one fabulous Hillcrest-shopper will win a Fabulous Hillcrest shopping spree. With more than $1,500 in Hillcrest gift cards and ser vices donated thus far, SHOP Hillcrest for the Holidays is the best way to check ever yone off your list and for YOU to enter into the gift-card drawing simply by shopping. Give back to your favorite neighborhood and let it give back to you! For more information visit ShopHillcrestfortheholidays.com

2910 La Jolla Village Dr. La Jolla CA, 92037 858-550-1070 lajollaplayhouse.org La Jolla Playhouse, a Tony Award-winning professional nonprofit theater, is located in the San Diego coastal suburb of La Jolla, California. Its mission is to advance theater as an art form and as a vital social, moral and political platform by providing unfettered creative opportunities for the leading artists of today and tomorrow. With a youthful spirit and eclectic, artist-driven approach, the Playhouse cultivates a local and national following with an insatiable appetite for audacious and diverse work. Led by Artistic Director Christopher Ashley and Managing Director Michael S. Rosenberg, the Playhouse was founded in 1947 by Gregor y Peck, Dorothy McGuire and Mel Ferrer. The Playhouse has received more than 300 awards for theater excellence, including the 1993 Tony Award as America’s outstanding regional theatre. La Jolla Playhouse is also nationally acclaimed for its innovative productions of classics, new plays and musicals. Scores of Playhouse productions have moved to Broadway, garnering a total of 35 Tony Awards, including “Big River,” “The Who’s Tommy,” “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Tr ying,” “A Walk in the Woods,” “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” “Dracula,” “Billy Cr ystal’s 700 Sundays,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning “I Am My Own Wife,” fostered as part of the Playhouse’s Page to Stage new play development program and the Tony Award winners “Jersey Boys” and “Memphis.” The Playhouse also presents a wide range of education programs that enrich the community and ser ve 30,000 children, students and adults annually.

San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus sdgmc.org It’s the holly jolliest holiday show of the season! Make your season even brighter with holiday favorites from “Jingle Bell Rock” to “Silent Night” and all the familyfriendly fun and frolic our 160 singers are known for! JINGLE tickets are now on sale at sdgmc.org or 619-570-1100 for our Dec. 12 and 13 shows at the festive Balboa Theatre, located in Downtown, San Diego.

1142 Orange Ave. Coronado, CA 92118 619-437-6000 lambsplayers.org Festival of Christmas, with performances from Dec. 2 – 27, is San Diego’s favorite holiday play with music. For 2015 we present “All I Want For Christmas” by Associate Artistic Director Kerr y Meads. This year’s script is set in San Diego’s “Little Italy” district. The year is 1949 and the sleepy little town is going through big changes. It’s a memorable holiday show filled with song, dance, laughter and love ... and great music of the season. A perfect show for the entire family! Appropriate for ages 5+, save $10 on Dec. 26 and Dec. 27 performances Ages 5 – 17 and Active Military (with ID) are HALF PRICE. Ages 18 – 34, join Lamb’s Under 35 Club for 1/2 Price Tickets Seniors (66+) and Veterans (with ID) $5 Off

3940 Fourth Ave. Second Floor San Diego, CA 92103 619-400-4500 martinisabovefourth.com Martinis Above Fourth | Table + Stage is San Diego’s premier cabaret supper club featuring live entertainment seven nights a week with acts from L.A., New York and beyond as well as no cover entertainment. Enjoy a hip, eclectic dining experience in an upscale, yet un-stuffy environment, while enjoying incredible entertainment presented on the MA4 mainstage. We offer the finest American cuisine with an eclectic menu focused on highlighting seasonal flavors and showcasing the culinar y craft of award-winning Executive Chef Tony Wilhelm. But the most important feature of Martinis is the martinis. Over 100 award-winning specialty martinis are available including an extensive collection of spirits, wine and beer with Happy Hour from 4 – 7 p.m. daily and extended hours all night on Monday. MA4 brings all the necessar y elements together for a great night of food, drinks and entertainment and delivers it to you with style, sophistication and most of all, FUN!

“Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” at the Old Globe is a wonderful, whimsical musical based upon the classic Dr. Seuss book. Back for its 18th incredible year, the family favorite features the songs “This Time of Year,” “Santa for a Day,” and “Fah Who Doraze”! Celebrate the holidays as the Old Globe Theatre is once again transformed into the snow-covered Whoville, right down to the last can of Who-hash. For information or tickets visit the website or call the box office.

79 Horton Plaza San Diego, CA 92101 619-544-1000 | sdrep.org We are Downtown San Diego’s resident professional theater — celebrating year-round on our three stages and in our art galleries the diversity and creativity of our community. As the resident and managing company of the Lyceum Theatre, we produce and host over 300 events and performances a year. Our mission is informed by having a commitment to artistic virtuosity, partnerships with singular artists and our inquisitive neighbors, and lively conversations about our role as citizens in the bi-national region we call home. We choose provocative works of theatre to inspire our audiences and artists to build the communication bridges needed to understand who we are today, and who we might become. We produce an eclectic mix of world premieres, brilliant contemporary plays and re-imagined classics. To enhance the theater experience and encourage dialogue around each REP production, over 50 surround events are offered free of charge throughout the season — a diverse assortment of pre- and post-performance salons, mini concerts, and forums with area scholars and artists.t

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GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 27 – Dec. 10, 2015

GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 27 – Dec. 10, 2015

gay-sd.com

Holiday Guide 1835 Strand Way Coronado, CA 92118 619-435-4856 coronadoplayhouse.com Coronado Playhouse, the oldest, longest-running community theater in San Diego County, has been dedicated to providing quality entertainment to the Coronado community since 1946. The 100-seat, cabaret-style theater overlooks beautiful Glorietta Bay and is part of the beautiful Coronado Community Center. The current venue opened in 2006 with state-of-the-art equipment and a full service bar. We produce high quality productions each year — with the best local talent and production teams available — that entertain, educate and enrich our patrons. In addition, we offer showcases, special events, classes and educational opportunities for students and adults to thrive in the local artistic community. We draw upon local creative and technical talent to give Coronado and San Diego residents vibrant, creative and safe training in the theatrical arts.

4545 Park Boulevard San Diego, CA 92116 619-220-6830 diversionary.org For Christmas, Diversionary Theatre presents Pulitzer Prizewinning playwright Paula Vogel’s “Civil War Christmas: An American Musical Celebration in Concert,” featuring Encore Vocal Ensemble. It’s 1864, and the coldest Christmas Eve in years is whipping through the streets of Washington, D.C. and along the banks of the Potomac River. A country stands torn in two as the president plots his next move, his wife visits convalescing soldiers, an escaped slave finds her freedom, and a young rebel comes face to face with his sworn enemy. This uplifting musical pageant weaves together a stunning tapestry of a community courageously weathering our country’s deepest crisis, showing us that hope, humor and peace are innate to being American. Special performances include a Christmas Eve Cookies and Cocoa reception and a New Year’s Eve party to ring in the New Year, all included with your ticket. Presented Dec. 10 – Jan. 3. Find more information at diversionary.org/civil.

4019 Goldfinch St. San Diego, CA 92103 619-794-0014 fitnesstogether.com/ missionhills PRIVACY, RESPECT FOR YOUR TIME, RESULTS. These are the cornerstones of what Fitness Together is all about. We have created an environment where our clients train in luxur y private suites away from the unwanted stares, and the waiting found in most “gyms.” Our workouts are specifically tailored to you, your goals, and your schedule. Our Nutrition Together program helps you stay accountable to sensible food behavior’s that enhance your transformation. For those seeking serious personal fitness training and nutritional guidance in a private, welcoming and safe studio that allows them to commit to, achieve their wellness goals, Fitness Together offers highly personalized one-on-one workouts with knowledgeable, friendly and skilled trainers in a clean, upscale environment with more focus on individual clients, than is found in any other fitness facility. People that train at Fitness Together GET RESULTS. You CAN have the body you’ve always wanted.

4040 Twiggs St. San Diego, CA 92110 619-337-1525 cygnettheatre.com

Since taking flight, Cygnet Theatre has grown into one of San Diego’s largest theater companies and become known for producing adventurous, entertaining and thought-provoking live professional theater year round. Cygnet Theatre invites you to start your own family tradition with one of ours. This season welcomes the return of the holiday classic adapted from Charles Dickens’ timeless tale of hope and redemption. This re-imagined, fully staged production features original new music, creative stagecraft and puppetry, and live sound effects. Step into a Victorian Christmas card for a unique storytelling experience that is sure to delight the entire family! Don’t miss this wonderful show, playing from Nov. 27 – Dec. 27. To order tickets, call our box office or visit our website.

3131 Dale St. San Diego, CA 92104 619-400-9252 europilates-sd.com Reaching health goals with Pilates is a path anyone can embark on. The gift of Pilates is that exercises can be modified to meet the needs of the individual. EuroPilates is an inspirational private studio, equipped with cutting edge training. The setting is much like your own home — clean, personal and private. As a result, the environment is motivating and non-intimidating — the perfect escape from the stresses of daily life. EuroPilates specializes in pain elimination and injury rehab. Pilates helps with: Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, back pain, spinal cord injuries, new moms shedding baby weight, gym haters who dislike weights and machines, seniors who want to stay fit and healthy and much more! Owner Eva Wennes is a Pilates instructor and an advanced level corrective exercise specialist in the Biomechanics Method. Eva will design an exercise program that’s right for you. Call us to set up an appointment!

1363 Old Globe Way Balboa Park San Diego, CA 92101 619-234-5623 TheOldGlobe.org

SHOP Hillcrest for the Holidays This holiday season dine and shop in Fabulous Hillcrest! Shop Hillcrest for the Holidays to support locally owned Hillcrest businesses. Each visit at a participating location is a chance to win! San Diegans who shop local this holiday season will be rewarded by participating Hillcrest retail shops and restaurants with raffle tickets for customers who purchase items in their establishments throughout the holiday season. At the end of December, one fabulous Hillcrest-shopper will win a Fabulous Hillcrest shopping spree. With more than $1,500 in Hillcrest gift cards and ser vices donated thus far, SHOP Hillcrest for the Holidays is the best way to check ever yone off your list and for YOU to enter into the gift-card drawing simply by shopping. Give back to your favorite neighborhood and let it give back to you! For more information visit ShopHillcrestfortheholidays.com

2910 La Jolla Village Dr. La Jolla CA, 92037 858-550-1070 lajollaplayhouse.org La Jolla Playhouse, a Tony Award-winning professional nonprofit theater, is located in the San Diego coastal suburb of La Jolla, California. Its mission is to advance theater as an art form and as a vital social, moral and political platform by providing unfettered creative opportunities for the leading artists of today and tomorrow. With a youthful spirit and eclectic, artist-driven approach, the Playhouse cultivates a local and national following with an insatiable appetite for audacious and diverse work. Led by Artistic Director Christopher Ashley and Managing Director Michael S. Rosenberg, the Playhouse was founded in 1947 by Gregor y Peck, Dorothy McGuire and Mel Ferrer. The Playhouse has received more than 300 awards for theater excellence, including the 1993 Tony Award as America’s outstanding regional theatre. La Jolla Playhouse is also nationally acclaimed for its innovative productions of classics, new plays and musicals. Scores of Playhouse productions have moved to Broadway, garnering a total of 35 Tony Awards, including “Big River,” “The Who’s Tommy,” “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Tr ying,” “A Walk in the Woods,” “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” “Dracula,” “Billy Cr ystal’s 700 Sundays,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning “I Am My Own Wife,” fostered as part of the Playhouse’s Page to Stage new play development program and the Tony Award winners “Jersey Boys” and “Memphis.” The Playhouse also presents a wide range of education programs that enrich the community and ser ve 30,000 children, students and adults annually.

San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus sdgmc.org It’s the holly jolliest holiday show of the season! Make your season even brighter with holiday favorites from “Jingle Bell Rock” to “Silent Night” and all the familyfriendly fun and frolic our 160 singers are known for! JINGLE tickets are now on sale at sdgmc.org or 619-570-1100 for our Dec. 12 and 13 shows at the festive Balboa Theatre, located in Downtown, San Diego.

1142 Orange Ave. Coronado, CA 92118 619-437-6000 lambsplayers.org Festival of Christmas, with performances from Dec. 2 – 27, is San Diego’s favorite holiday play with music. For 2015 we present “All I Want For Christmas” by Associate Artistic Director Kerr y Meads. This year’s script is set in San Diego’s “Little Italy” district. The year is 1949 and the sleepy little town is going through big changes. It’s a memorable holiday show filled with song, dance, laughter and love ... and great music of the season. A perfect show for the entire family! Appropriate for ages 5+, save $10 on Dec. 26 and Dec. 27 performances Ages 5 – 17 and Active Military (with ID) are HALF PRICE. Ages 18 – 34, join Lamb’s Under 35 Club for 1/2 Price Tickets Seniors (66+) and Veterans (with ID) $5 Off

3940 Fourth Ave. Second Floor San Diego, CA 92103 619-400-4500 martinisabovefourth.com Martinis Above Fourth | Table + Stage is San Diego’s premier cabaret supper club featuring live entertainment seven nights a week with acts from L.A., New York and beyond as well as no cover entertainment. Enjoy a hip, eclectic dining experience in an upscale, yet un-stuffy environment, while enjoying incredible entertainment presented on the MA4 mainstage. We offer the finest American cuisine with an eclectic menu focused on highlighting seasonal flavors and showcasing the culinar y craft of award-winning Executive Chef Tony Wilhelm. But the most important feature of Martinis is the martinis. Over 100 award-winning specialty martinis are available including an extensive collection of spirits, wine and beer with Happy Hour from 4 – 7 p.m. daily and extended hours all night on Monday. MA4 brings all the necessar y elements together for a great night of food, drinks and entertainment and delivers it to you with style, sophistication and most of all, FUN!

“Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” at the Old Globe is a wonderful, whimsical musical based upon the classic Dr. Seuss book. Back for its 18th incredible year, the family favorite features the songs “This Time of Year,” “Santa for a Day,” and “Fah Who Doraze”! Celebrate the holidays as the Old Globe Theatre is once again transformed into the snow-covered Whoville, right down to the last can of Who-hash. For information or tickets visit the website or call the box office.

79 Horton Plaza San Diego, CA 92101 619-544-1000 | sdrep.org We are Downtown San Diego’s resident professional theater — celebrating year-round on our three stages and in our art galleries the diversity and creativity of our community. As the resident and managing company of the Lyceum Theatre, we produce and host over 300 events and performances a year. Our mission is informed by having a commitment to artistic virtuosity, partnerships with singular artists and our inquisitive neighbors, and lively conversations about our role as citizens in the bi-national region we call home. We choose provocative works of theatre to inspire our audiences and artists to build the communication bridges needed to understand who we are today, and who we might become. We produce an eclectic mix of world premieres, brilliant contemporary plays and re-imagined classics. To enhance the theater experience and encourage dialogue around each REP production, over 50 surround events are offered free of charge throughout the season — a diverse assortment of pre- and post-performance salons, mini concerts, and forums with area scholars and artists.t

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GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 27 – Dec. 10, 2015

gay-sd.com

Holiday Guide

Ian Johnson (left) with the “Wreath Guys” and Lady Ajax (Photo by Big Mike) FROM PAGE 1

WREATH Youth Fund — Johnson now helps organize the event and continues to emcee the evening along with Lady Ajax, the event’s auctioneer. Johnson said the event has intentionally not changed much over the years, partly due to how successful it has remained. “It’s kind of like when you have a great recipe that’s working really

well,” Johnson said. “Not too many changes and every year we have new wreaths — wreaths that you’ve never seen before — I think that’s what keeps it fresh and exciting.” The wreaths are meticulously handcrafted by the Hillcrest community and some have been presenting their handiwork at the event since the inaugural auction in 2003. Johnson said he’s seen a remarkable range of wreath designs over the years, from those made in rustic, rod-iron bike frames, to battery-powered wreaths that come

to life. He said the San Diego American Flag Football League (SDAFFL) has even occasionally pushed the auction’s limits, with a few creatively lewd designs. “They’ve done some crazy ones,” Johnson said of the SDAFFL, “… and I’ll kind of leave it at that.” Wreath-makers don’t receive any material prize, per say, but Johnson said that the thrill of seeing their work auctioned off and fussed over makes the experience rewarding. “So when you’re a wreath maker, and you find out your wreath has gone for like $1,500, it’s a pretty amazing feeling. That’s the prize,” he said. For wreath-making hopefuls, Johnson explained that the most successful wreaths are often “midsized,” or about 36-inches tall, so they can actually fit on the purchaser’s door. Sparkly designs and those with added little extras, such as gift cards, typically also do well. “The ones that people have taken time on” are the most successful, he said. Funds dedicated to the Queen Eddie Conlon Youth Fund provide assistance to San Diego youth for education-related expenses, such as books, school supplies, backpacks and clothing. The fund was created by the Imperial Court de San Diego in honor of the late Queen Eddie Conlon, an army veteran, a Gay and Lesbian Times newspaper columnist, and a leader in San Diego’s LGBT community for more than 30 years. Johnson said that Martinis’ previous owners — Dale Dubach, Chaz Weathers and John Osgood — were very close with Conlan, and honoring him fueled the event’s early years, but he attributes the passion of current owners, Jim Simpson and Doru Tifui, for the auction’s continued success. “They’re very much wanting this event to continue and keep it the amazing thing that it is,” Johnson said. The 12th annual Charity Wreath Auction begins at 6 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 7, with registration and a preview of the wreaths beginning before the live auction at 7:30 p.m. A $10 donation will be accepted at the door. For more information and wreath details, visit event.thecentersd.org/wreathauction. —Hutton Marshall is a freelance writer. Reach him at jhuttonmarshall@gmail.com.t


DINING

gay-sd.com

GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 27 – Dec. 10, 2015

11

Native nachos

Indulging in plant life Restaurant Review Frank Sabatini Jr. Like a slow-growing oak tree, Native Foods Café has increased its size ever so gradually since the concept first took root in Palm Springs some 20 years ago. As one of the first fast-casual vegan eateries to break away from flavorless, esoteric cuisine that kept non-vegans at a distance, Native Foods has mastered the art of removing animal fats from familiar dishes that normally depend on them. With nearly two-dozen locations in five states, and three in San Diego, it’s where you’ll find tasty spin offs on spicy nachos, Greek gyros, meatball submarines, assorted burgers, and more. Forget plain ol’ tofu as a primary meat substitute. Native Foods relies on housemade wheat gluten (seitan) and cultured soybeans and millet (tempeh) to mimic things like corned beef, sausage and burger patties. For dishes alluding to poultry, such as the chili-spiced Japanese chicken bites richly encrusted with sesame seeds, the kitchen uses a blend of soy, wheat and pea proteins to pull them off. Our trio was less awed by the chicken bites compared to the seitan taco meat drap-

ing an order of nachos, which were accented by creamy chipotle sauce and fresh, slivered jalapenos. The dish kept us reaching for our refillable apple-cinnamon “chaiders” to pacify the taunting kick. Set these nachos in front of a gang of carnivores watching football, and nobody will know they’re partaking in veganism, at least until swapping a chip through the cashew “cheese” served alongside, which resembled dense, but delicious hummus. The showstopper on our table was the BBQ chicken salad, a harmonious arrangement of roasted corn, tender black beans, crisp jicama, toasted pepitas, and fresh avocado. Adding richness to the scheme was smoky tofu bacon, along with the faux chicken that tasted more appealing in this case because of its mild barbecue flavor and diced cut. In sections where we encountered the jalapeno-cilantro dressing, the salad tasted all the more lush. Burger options run the gamut from Southwestern and blackened styles to buildyour-own, involving five categories of choices that allow you to pick the type of patty, bread, veggies, sauce, and toppings. We spared ourselves the indecision and chose the portobello and seitan sausage burger with pumpkin seed pesto and vegan mayo. Not bad, but our palates were still in a love affair with the nachos and chicken salad for us to become enamored by a sturdy

Japanese sesame-crusted chicken bites (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.)

Native Foods Cafe 3369 Rosecrans St. (Loma Portal) 619-225-1155; nativefoods.com Prices: Soups, salads and appetizers, $2.99 to $9.99; sandwiches, wraps, burgers and bowls, $8.99 to $10.99 veggie burger you can find pretty much anywhere these days. When I eventually got around to my Reuben sandwich and passed it around the table, we unanimously gave Native Foods a firm thumbs-up – three carnivores highly pleased rather than merely tickled by everyday dishes constructed without the menacing fat and calories normally associated with them. Except for the absence of butter on the grilled bread, the Reuben tasted spot-on. So did an a-la-carte side of dill-spiked potato salad dressed in olive oil and lemon juice instead of mayo, and the dairy-less peanut butter cookie and chocolate cupcake we devoured for dessert.

The BBQ chicken salad In keeping with its culinary philosophy, “Native to all countries and cultures,” other menu choices include Bangkok curry bowls, Baja tacos, Moroccan-spiced veggies with quinoa and tofu, and a Midwest-inspired “Oklahoma classic” sandwich of sliced seitan, melted vegan cheddar, tofu bacon, barbecue sauce and ranch dressing. The company’s “earth-friendly” dining approach extends also to the design of its cafes. Each location is LEED-compliant and energy efficient. Tables are constructed from reclaimed oak and the lighting fixtures are made from recycled cardboard. With flavorful food and friendly staffers who are knowledgeable about every ingredient that goes into the meals, should you inquire, Native Foods appears primed for expanding its reach into more cities around the country. It’s one of the few chain restaurants I wouldn’t mind seeing replace some of the others that tempt us with the same types of dishes in fattier, less-wholesome form. The other San Diego locations are at 5604 Balboa Ave. in Clairemont, and 127 N. El Camino Road in Encinitas. —Frank Sabatini Jr. is the author of “Secret San Diego” (ECW Press), and began his local writing career more than two decades ago as a staffer for the former San Diego Tribune. You can reach him at fsabatini@ san.rr.com.t


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gay-sd.com

GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 27 – Dec. 10, 2015

FROM PAGE 7

HOLIDAY CALENDAR SUNDAY, NOV. 29

South Park tree lighting: South Park’s Luminaria season of lights is underway through New Year’s Day with sparkling trees lining the streets. One special event of this season will be this community tree lighting with a custom-made tree. There will also be guest speakers, music and treats. The event begins at 6 p.m. and the lighting will take place at 6:30 p.m. at the Grape Street Square on Grape and Fern streets. Visit SouthParkSD.com.

MONDAY, NOV. 30

A John Waters Christmas: A special holiday comedy show with director, screenwriter and cult icon John Waters. $45 – $100. 9 p.m. The Observatory North Park, 2891 University Ave. Visit observatorysd.com.

TUESDAY, NOV. DEC 1

Mama’s Kitchen’s 24th annual Tree of Life tree lighting ceremony: This annual event commemorates World AIDS Day, while recognizing the ongoing efforts to end the epidemic. Several trees will be decorated with personalized ornaments in honor of those affected by HIV/AIDS. They can be purchased for $15 each or two for $25. A candlelight vigil will commemorate those lost to AIDS and the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus will perform holiday tunes. Free. 6 p.m. Village Hillcrest, 3965 Fifth Ave. Visit mamaskitchen.org.

WEDNESDAY, DEC 2

Ho-Ho-Hoppy Holidays beer pairing: Barons Market locations will host this festive pairing event with several menu items paired with Alesmith beers. Proceeds will benefit the San Diego Food Bank. $15. 6 – 8 p.m. Local Barons’ locations include Point Loma (4001 W. Point Loma Blvd.), Rancho Bernardo (11828 Rancho Bernardo Road) and Alpine (1347 Tavern Road). Visit bit.ly/1NLF05Q. GSDBA’s annual holiday social and toy drive: Toys (new and unwrapped) and blankets donated will go to the Imperial Court de San Diego for distribution in San Diego and Tijuana. $15 includes light appetizers and first adult beverage. 6 – 8 p.m. The Westin San Diego, 400 W. Broadway, Downtown. Visit gsdba.org.

THURSDAY, DEC. 3

Sock and glove drive: Splash Wine Lounge will collect socks and gloves to be gift wrapped and delivered by Dignity Delivery to homeless San Diegans. 6 – 9 p.m. 3043 University Ave., North Park. Visit on.fb.me/1SfRy9j.

FRIDAY, DEC. 4

Balboa Park December Nights: For the 38th consecutive year this two-day festival kicks off with participating muse-

ums opening their doors free of charge. 350,000 visitors are expected to partake in the food, music and entertainment of the weekend. 3 – 11 p.m. (noon – 11 p.m on Saturday, Dec. 5). Visit balboapark.org/ decembernights.

SATURDAY, DEC. 5

Gay for Good at December Nights: Gay for Good volunteers can take on various jobs at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center during December Nights. Shifts start with dinner and orientation at 4 p.m.; individual tasks begin at approximately 5 p.m. 1875 El Prado, Balboa Park. Visit on.fb.me/1kQmpis. Little Italy tree lighting and holiday shopping: The Little Italy Association presents their 16th annual tree lighting. Attendees can do some holiday shopping with Mercato Farmers Market vendors throughout the “Christmas Village.” Festivities are from 4 – 8 p.m. with tree lighting at 5:30 p.m. Visit facebook.com/ LittleItalyMercato. 36th annual Ocean Beach Holiday Parade: Newport Avenue will be lined with floats, classic cars, marching bands and more. Free. 5:05 p.m. Newport Avenue from Sunset Cliffs to Abbott Street. Visit obtowncouncil.org.

SUNDAY, DEC. 6

‘Holiday Wonderland’: For 12 nights Petco Park will be transformed into a wonderland complete with lighting displays, Polar Express train rides, live reindeer, photos with Santa Claus near a 40-foot-tall Christmas tree and more. $15 for adults; $10 for children; Free for children under 3. 4:30 – 9:30 p.m. Petco Park, 100 Park Blvd., East Village. Visit sandiego.padres. mlb.com/sd/ticketing/holiday.jsp. 7th annual ‘We Care Mixer’: Several San Diego LGBTQ sporting leagues come together for this special holiday mixer. Guests are encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy for the Imperial Court’s Toys for Kids drive. Raffle tickets will be sold with proceeds benefiting youth programs at The Center. 6 p.m. Visit on.fb. me/1N4zsTr.

MONDAY, DEC. 7

12th annual Charity Wreath Auction: 42 creative and unique wreaths made by individuals and businesses will be auctioned off at this annual event benefitting the Queen Eddie Conlon Youth Fund. Wreath preview and registration at 6 p.m.; live auction at 7:30 p.m. $10 suggested donation. Martinis Above Fourth, 3940 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest. Visit events.thecentersd.org/wreathauction or martinisabovefourth.com/wreath.

THURSDAY, DEC. 10

Taste ‘n’ Tinis: A festive way to get holiday shopping done — this self-guided walking tour will include stops for food samples, retail shopping and, of course, martinis. $25. 4 – 9 p.m. Will call at Rite Aid (535 Robinson Ave.) and Heat Bar & Kitchen (3797 Park Blvd.). Visit fabuloushillcrest.com/events/taste-n-tinis.

FRIDAY, NOV. 27

Fab Fridays on the free ParkHillcrest Trolley: You can park for free at the Hillcrest DMV (3960 Normal St.) and hop on the ParkHillcrest trolley for a chance at winning prizes, plus the guarantee of fun, live entertainment and great stops all around Hillcrest. Tonight’s entertainment: live music by Sister Speak. Trolley rides are free and take riders up and down University Avenue between Normal Street and Fifth Avenue from 5 – 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. For details and routes visit accesshillcrest.com/ events/fab-fridays-rock. ‘The Big Lebowski’: Cinema Under the Stars presents the Coen brothers’ cult favorite starring Jeff Bridges and John Goodman. 8 p.m. $15. Additional screening on Saturday, Nov. 28. 4040 Goldfinch St., Mission Hills. For more info visit topspresents.com or call 619-295-4221. ‘Friendsgiving Friday’: Before tonight’s performance of “Bright Half Life,” Diversionary Theatre and the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation will host this pre-show reception and fundraiser. The event will benefit the Lesbian Health Initiative by Bcause Fund. Use code: BCAUSE for $20 tickets. 8 p.m. Diversionary Theatre, 4545 Park Blvd. #101, University Heights. Visit diversionary.org.

SATURDAY, NOV. 28

Fall Beer and Cider Fest: The Bing Crosby Season at the Del Mar Racetrack continues with this special event featuring 100 local and international craft brews – including seasonal ales and ciders. $20 for five 7-ounce samples. Gates open at 11 a.m.; the fest starts at noon; and the races begin at 12:30 p.m. A free concert by Sublime with Rome will follow the festival and races. Del Mar Racetrack, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar. Visit dmtc.com. Live music — Celeste and The Upbeats with Cantina Renegades: A chance to dance off your turkey dinner with this post-Thanksgiving shindig. $5 includes free raffle. 9 p.m. – midnight. Pier View Pub, 301 Pier View Way, Oceanside. Visit on.fb.me/1MNqnza.

TUESDAY, DEC 1

UC San Diego to commemorate World AIDS Day: The campus will sponsor several activities in honor of World AIDS Day. Sections of the AIDS Memorial Quilt

will be on display in the Price Center Ballroom East from noon – 9 p.m. A presentation on PrEP will take place in the Price Center John Muir College Room from 12:30 – 2 p.m. Plus additional talks will be given at various times and locations. UC San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla. Visit worldaidsday. ucsd.edu/events.html. Young Professionals Council December social: Join the YPC for a gathering to follow the Mama’s Kitchen’s annual World AIDS Day Tree of Life Ceremony. 7 p.m. Babycakes, 3766 Fifth Ave., Hillcrest. Contact YPC co-chairs Rick Cervantes (ricky. rc.cervantes@gmail.com) or Prabha Singh (prabha711@ gmail.com) for more information. Visit facebook.com/ YPCSD.

WEDNESDAY, DEC 2

KPBS Local Heroes celebration: A celebration to honor those recognized by KPBS’ Local Heroes program. Reception to follow. 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, 700 Prospect St., La Jolla. Visit kpbs.org/heroes.

SATURDAY, DEC. 5

Vinavanti Wines Grand Opening: The urban winery will celebrate the opening of their new Hillcrest location with an all-day party. A portion of wine proceeds from the day will be donated to the San Diego Roots Sustainable Food Project to support Wild Willow Farm. 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. 1477 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit facebook. com/vinavanti. South Park Summer Walkabout: Quarterly event by South Park businesses between Juniper and 30th/Fern streets and 30th and Grape streets offering specials, entertainment and extended hours. Free and open to all ages. 6 – 10 p.m. Visit SouthParkScene.com/Walkabout.html. ‘Behind the Curtain: a look at drag beyond the stage, wigs and heels’: The Community Engagement Multimedia Project and The Top2Bottom show invite you to be part of the studio audience for the first taping of a docu-series on the art of drag and female impersonation. Format: group and one-on-one interviews, as well as questions from viewers and studio audience members. Attendance is free, but must be 18 and up and dressy attire is required. Jackets/dress shirts and slacks

SUNDAY, DEC. 6

Red Dress Ride: This second annual event by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence includes a fun, leisurely bike ride to commemorate World AIDS Day (Dec. 1) and benefit AIDS/LifeCycle. $10 suggested donation. Registration at 11 a.m.; ride at noon. Plaza de Panama, Balboa Park. Visit reddressride.org. ‘Love Is’ concert: San Diego Women’s Chorus will present their annual winter concert with music that celebrates all types of love. $18 – $27. 4 p.m. (Additional performance on Friday, Dec. 11 at 7 p.m.). Creative Performing and Media Arts School, 5050 Conrad Ave., Clairemont. Visit sdwc.ticketleap.com/loveis. ‘2016 Heroines, Pioneers and Trailblazers’: A reception to introduce the women who will be honored during Women’s Month (March 2016) for their remarkable acts during the early days of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in San Diego. 4 – 6 p.m. RSVP to events@lambdaarchives.org for address of event. Visit on.fb. me/1PVV6hF.

TUESDAY, DEC. 8

Free legal consultations: A free legal clinic held the second Tuesday of each month by Access to Law Initiative. Attorneys will be available for 30-minute consultations to help evaluate legal issues. 9 a.m. San Diego LGBT Community Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. For appointment or info, contact Joshua Bruser at 858-342-0551 or josh@ bruserlaw.com.

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 9

Feeling Fit Club: New 50 or Better class for older adults and suitable for all levels on Mondays and Wednesdays. Improve balance, strength, flexibility, etc. Exercises can be done sitting or standing. 1 – 2 p.m. For more info contact La Rue Fields at seniors@thecentersd. org. The Center, 3903 Centre St., Hillcrest. Visit thecentersd.org. —Compiled by Jen Van Tieghem. Email calendar items to morgan@sdcnn.comt

QSyndicate.com

Q Q PUZZLE PUZZLE

solution on page 14

PATRICIAN LITERATURE ACROSS

DOWN

1 “Funny Girl’s” Fanny 6 Soccer legend 10 Initiated phone sex 14 “Hot dog!” 15 Russian sea 16 Spread out on the breakfast table 17 Part of a “Tommy” lyric 18 Blaringly colorful 19 Jazz singer Anita 20 With 48-Across, she has the title role in “Carol” 21 Portrayer of Therese Belivet in “Carol” 23 Like a muscle Mary’s waist 25 Hit the books hard 26 Patricia, who wrote the novel of this puzzle 30 Sail supports 34 Gide’s soul 35 Caesar’s post-orgasm cry? 36 Canvas covering 37 Fourth of the Stooges’ threesome 39 Auberjonois on “Deep Space Nine”

1 Fruit with a peel 2 Carla portrayer on “Cheers” 3 Sceptic’s response 4 O’Neill’s “The Iceman ___” 5 “Queer ___ for the Straight Guy” 6 Golden stallion 7 Suffix with smack 8 Send toward Uranus 9 Old-timer 10 Rose to Dorothy, on “Golden Girls” 11 Gallo portrayer in “And the Band Played On” 12 Songwriter Holly 13 Maja painter 21 What a hoar! 22 Tasty tuber 24 Say whether or not you’re coming 26 Door attachments 27 Bottom line? 28 Susan’s partner in “Thelma and Louise” 29 Like some pools 31 Debussy contemporary Erik

41 Liza’s ex Allen 42 Needle dropper 43 Part of San Francisco’s BART 45 Pinch opening? 46 Dandy’s footwear 48 See 20-Across 50 Arthur of the AIDS Quilt 52 Ballet dancer’s skirt 53 With 57-Across, novel on which “Carol” is based 57 See 53-Across 61 “Uh-huh” 62 Othello was one 63 “Boys Don’t Cry” actress Sevigny 64 Coin for Kahlo 65 Prefix with science 66 “Amadeus” star 67 Baltic Sea tributary 68 “___ Horny” (2 Live Crew hit) 69 Race site in Britten’s land

preferred for men. Guests not dressed appropriately may be denied admission. “Behind the Curtain” will tape from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Rich’s San Diego, 1051 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit bit.ly/1NLJPMl for more information and to register to attend the taping.

32 A Lott of Mississippi 33 Jack, who licked it clean 38 “All the world’s a stage,” for example. 40 “I Am Harvey Milk,” for one 41 Warsaw agreement 44 “No mo’!” to Gomer 47 Cold War abbreviation 48 Turn into 49 Stonewall it 51 Words mouthed to a camera 53 “Equal justice under law,” to a gay basher 54 What you pay to a master 55 Make less difficult to bear 56 Years on end 58 Start of a Shakespearean title 59 Nuts 60 Overflow 63 “Evita” role for Antonio or Mandy


NEWS / COMMUNITY VOICES

gay-sd.com FROM PAGE 1

CHORUS collaborate more in the future. The artistic and administrative leaders of the two groups said they met in recent months and have decided to take a slow, but deliberate march toward that goal. “We are excited to continue to develop our relationship with SDGMC,” said Kathleen Hansen, artistic director of SDWC. “We don’t currently have very much overlap in our audience base and we look forward to showcasing each of our ensembles for new audiences. “We each have strong ties to the LGBT community in San Diego and value the strength and beauty that we can bring to the community.” Tentative plans are for a contingent of SDGMC to sing at the women’s concert next spring, and for SDWC to return the favor the following year with a select group performing on stage with the men. Eventually, the two choruses hope to perform a concert together. “There are so many reasons why I want to work on projects together with the SDWC,” said RC Haus, artistic director of SDGMC. “First of all, they are a tremendously talented group … I have such high respect for Kathleen and what her leadership has brought to the musicality and professionalism of this incredible group of singers. “Secondly, I want to provide a wonderful opportunity for the guys in the chorus to meet other people — women, straight and lesbian — who share a common interest: the love for choral music.” The SDGMC and the SDWC, for 30 and 28 years, respectively,

have gathered together in song; not only to entertain, but to also provide their members a safe space for musical and personal growth, fellowship, and community, with a focus on outreach, inclusion, and social change. While they aspire to meld their missions in the future, for now their attention is fixed on their individual shows in December, which will highlight their abilities, engage their audiences, and infuse positivity into today’s challenging world. SDWC will perform their winter concert, “Love Is,” at the Creative, Performing and Media Arts Middle School, located at 5050 Conrad Ave., in Clairemont, on Sunday, Dec. 6 at 4 p.m. and Friday, Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. Free parking is available at the CPMA lot. For tickets, visit sdwc. ticketleap.com/loveis. For more information about the chorus, visit sdwc.org. SDGMC will perform their holiday concert, “Jingle,” Saturday, Dec. 12 at 8 p.m., and on Sunday, Dec. 13 at 3 p.m., at the historic Balboa Theatre, located at 868 Fourth Ave., Downtown. For tickets or more information about the chorus, visit sdgmc.org. For more information about each chorus and their December shows, continue reading on pages 2 and 3 of this issue. —Morgan M. Hurley can be reached at morgan@sdcnn.com.t

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@GaySD

FROM PAGE 5

BENNY here smile.amazon.com/ch/237332048. And of course, another beloved holiday tradition is the annual Wreath Auction, scheduled for 6 p.m., Dec. 7 at Martinis Above Fourth. This over-the-top event includes a live wreath auction, “wreath boys,” and lots of holiday cheer benefiting the Queen Eddie Conlon Youth Fund, which provides grants for youth scholarships, school supplies and housing. Community members, businesses and other organizations all work really hard to make some pretty outrageous wreaths that are so much fun to look at. More information is here facebook.com/ events/162843877402590.

We can’t forget Fernando Junior’s annual We Care holiday mixer, which brings together numerous San Diego LGBT sports leagues to raise funds for the youth programs at The Center and the Memorial Prep Academy. This event started with one community member wanting to give back and has turned into something really big! This year’s event is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 6 at 6 p.m. at Rich’s. Details are here facebook.com/ events/131924130500630. Finally, we’ve watched the corner of University Avenue and Herbert Street in Hillcrest transform from a run-down discount store to a beautiful new urban wine bar. Vinavanti Urban Winery is in its soft-opening phase and I’m so looking forward to their grand opening celebration on Dec. 5. More info is here facebook. com/events/1630921273813280.

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GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 27 – Dec. 10, 2015

13

With this latest opening, it got me thinking about the many other long-standing wine bars in the neighborhood. With North Park being a big craft beer scene, could Hillcrest become a wine bar destination? Something to think about. On top of all of these community events, I know many of us will be attending holiday parties for work, organizations we’re involved in, and of course with friends, family, acquaintances. Rather than stress out, just take a deep breath, take it easy, and enjoy the beginning of the holiday season! —Benny Cartwright is the director of community outreach at the San Diego LGBT Community Center. He can be reached at 619-692-2077 ext. 106 or outreach@thecentersd. org. Note: Byline photo by Rob Lucas Modern Aperture Photography.t


14

GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 27 – Dec. 10, 2015

FROM PAGE 1

FRONT PORCH LGBT community. “This is a job that very much fits with my taste,” Lemaster said. “People might not think it, just by looking at me, but I like nice, finer things, and that’s what [The Front Porch] has to offer.” The Front Porch, described as a retailer offering an array of unusual products and accessories not readily available elsewhere in San Diego, is the fourth start-up company Lemaster has worked for in her professional career. She most recently worked as an assistant general manager at Eclipse Chocolate in South Park. Since stepping into her role at The Front Porch, Lemaster said her workplace has become a ver y family-like setting, a good scenario for someone working upward of 60 hours per week. “To work in a job like this, you have to believe in what you’re doing,” she said. “You have to put your heart into what you’re doing. It’s a team effort here, and we all rely on one another for support.” The seed for The Front Porch was planted in March 2014, when Melissa Scott Clark — an actress who has been turning some of her attention toward entrepreneurial efforts in recent years — teamed up with local restaurateur Gina Champion-Cain. Within the span of five months, Clark and Cain took the shop from concept to reality when the Mission Hills doors opened for the first time in August 2014. The Coronado store opened this past July, just as Lemaster joined

Melissa Scott Clark (Courtesy The Front Porch)

Magz Lemaster

(Courtesy Veronica Medina

FEATURE / CLASSIFIEDS the expanding company. “There’s that saying out there about eating globally, but thinking locally; that’s what we’re about,” said Clark, whose acting credits include two seasons playing a lifeguard on “Baywatch.” As with most from-scratch, emerging companies, The Front Porch is a work in progress with an evolving product line. The fluidity is a challenge that Lemaster said she welcomes and enjoys, day in and day out. The stores’ product lines include kitchen accoutrement, curated curios and a range of assorted housewares. Additionally, a product line within the stores under the banner of The Patio carries a line of healthy, gourmet food products. With an ever-evolving inventor y, Clark said Lemaster has been ideally suited for the challenging role of determining what should be integrated into The Front Porch’s product line. “I’ve been so impressed with Magz,” Clark said. “She has this cool, hipster feel about herself that fits in well here. She’s been a great addition to our executive team and is at the front of this whole concept and where we’re taking it.” Though there haven’t been any firm announcements regarding new locations to date, Clark said they are looking for “ver y specific pockets” within the communities they are focusing on. For her part, Lemaster said she is eager to begin planning for the next phase of The Front Porch’s evolution. Her passion to be kind and make the world a better place is, perhaps, best demonstrated through some of the LGBT-related causes she rallies behind. Annually, she pitches in and helps out in any way she can during San Diego LGBT Pride. An avid cyclist, Lemaster also taken part in the ambitious AIDS/Lifecycle fundraiser, where she has trekked the 535-mile stretch from Los Angeles to San Francisco. The money she has raised has benefited the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles LGBT Center. For a woman who grew up in a small Kentucky town with a population of about 1,100, and a large, close-knit family, Lemaster readily recognizes her own life has been an ongoing series of growth steps. She has enjoyed taking those steps with her partner, local photographer Veronica Medina. And while the world around her has changed by leaps and bounds, Lemaster said she never has forgotten her small town heritage, which she pays tribute to daily at The Front Porch. “We want to give people an experience at the store, and we want them to feel at home,” Lemaster said. “When people come back, we make it a point to mention them by name.” The Front Porch’s Mission Hills location is at 928 Fort Stockton Drive. The retailer’s new Coronado store is at 918 Orange Ave. For more information, visit thefrontporchretail.com or call 619-822-2190. —Dave Fidlin is a freelance journalist with a special affinity for San Diego and its people. Contact him at dave.fidlin@ thinkpost.net.t

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THEATER

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Controversial drama revisited By David Dixon Some notorious works of theater become less controversial over time, but others continue to maintain their edge throughout the years. One such play has come to San Diego. Polish-Jewish writer, Sholem Asch’s 1907 script, “God of Vengeance,” takes place in a brothel and includes a lesbian relationship between a young girl and a prostitute. The latest work from Pulitzer Prize-winning dramatist, Paula Vogel — who received the award for the critically acclaimed show “How I Learned to Drive” — currently playing at the La Jolla Playhouse (LJP) is the period piece, “Indecent,” based on Asch’s script. The music-filled evening explores the lives of the artists involved with “God of Vengeance,” Asch included, and the extreme reactions audiences had to the material after its Broadway premiere in 1923. LJP’s resident dramaturg, Shirley Fishman, read “God of Vengeance” when she was in her 20s. “I was surprised that a theatrical piece about lesbians in the early 1900s was actually written at that period of time,” she said. “However, the plot is about so many other things. The tale focuses on hypocrisy, assimilation, and religion.” Fishman has been helping both Vogel and director Rebecca Taichman develop “Indecent” after a run at the Yale Repertory Theatre in October. Some of the ways she has contributed include doing research, helping the actors with information about the time period, and aiding the director in unique ways. “Taichman once asked if I could help her find pictures of Yiddish theater at the turn of the century,” she said. “The director was looking for the kind of expressionistic gestures the actors were making when acting. The gestures I found are incorporated in the tale and have become a motif in the movement of the piece.” One of the most fascinating aspects about the 1900s that the dramaturg learned was how Jewish culture changed. “People were moving away from the Jewish Enlightenment [from] the early 18th century and were moving into much more modern thinking known as Naturalism,” she said. “Asch was writing in that moment in time when culture was chang-

ing politically and socially.” On Nov. 2, there was a free reading of “God of Vengeance” in collaboration with the San Diego Jewish Community Center at LJP’s Rao and Padma Makineni Play Development Center. This event was meant to give theatregoers more appreciation for “Indecent.” “People wanted to know more about Asch and Yiddish theater, which was great,” Fishman said. Although society has changed significantly since the premiere of “God of Vengeance,” Fishman believes the narrative would still be controversial in 2015. “The storyline bring up issues that are still relevant and recognizable today,” she said. “Asch hits the reality of the moment, even though the events take place in another time.” Vogel does not sugarcoat the complicated and humanely flawed ways Asch represented Jews onstage. “He loved the Jewish people, but he honestly brought up the not so ideal aspects of the Jewish population,” she said. “That does play a part in [the play].” She stated that the script for “Indecent” has been revised since leaving Connecticut, for its staging at LJP. “Certain songs have been added and one specific tune has been dropped,” she said. “There are changes to the text, but the story was well developed at Yale.” While Fishman acknowledges that the dramatization of historical events largely deals with Jewish culture, she thinks that the production has universal appeal. “Anyone who loves theater and wants to understand how important it is to a specific culture will relate to the show,” she said. Fishman said she wants readers to know that a primary goal of the night is to entertain the audience. “There is a little bit of vaudeville, Borscht Belt, Broadway and klezmer music,” she said. “It’s an incredible evening of theater.” “Indecent” will be performed at the La Jolla Playhouse through Dec. 10. For tickets or more information, visit lajollaplayhouse.org or call 858-550-1010. —A fan of film and theater from a very young age, David Dixon has written reviews and features for various print and online publications. You can reach him at daviddixon0202@gmail.com.t

GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 27 – Dec. 10, 2015

‘Indecent’ a paean to the theater

(l to r) Adina Verson and Katrina Lenk in the world premiere of La Jolla Playhouse’s “Indecent” (Photo by Carol Rosegg)

Theater Review Charlene Baldridge Continuing at La Jolla Playhouse through Dec. 10, the co-world premiere production (along with Yale Repertory Theatre) of Paula Vogel and Rebecca Taichman’s play with music, “Indecent,” is an examination and exhumation of many things important to creative people. The playwright examines the colossal brouhaha created when Sholem Asch’s play, “The God of Vengeance,” which had been playing for years in Yiddish theaters here and abroad, was translated into English and made its Broadway debut in 1923 at the Apollo Theatre.

“Indecent” Written by Paula Vogel, directed by Rebecca Taichman Through Dec. 10 7:30 p.m., Tuesdays & Wednesdays 8 p.m., Thursdays – Saturdays 2 and 7 p.m., Sundays La Jolla Playhouse Mandell Weiss Theatre 2910 La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla Tickets lajollaplayhouse.org or 858-550-1010

Rabbi Joseph Silverman of New York’s most prestigious synagogue filed an obscenity complaint and after a lengthy trial, the actors, producer and the theater owner were convicted for “indecent acts onstage.” According to a program note, the conviction was later overturned, but meanwhile the show had been forced to end its run. Vogel looks at surrounding events through the eyes of a troupe of Yiddish players, beginning the work in a Warsaw literary salon in 1907, when the 20-year-old Asch presents a reading of his first play, “The God of Vengeance.” Asch’s script concerns the family of a Yiddish brothel owner, who lives upstairs with his wife, a former prostitute, and their virginal daughter, for whom they’ve arranged a marriage with the rabbi’s son. The daughter falls in love with a prostitute; they begin an affair (a passionate lovemaking in the rain that’s been compared to “Romeo and Juliet”) and run away. The daughter is found and denounced by her father, who literally throws the Torah at her — the end of Asch’s three-act “Vengeance” and the beginning of Vogel’s “Indecent,” which goes on for one hour, 45 minutes without interval. I wish I could say I was consistently entranced with Vogel’s marvelously acted ensemble piece (seen Nov. 20), which is directed by co-creator Taichman. Though it seems repetitive and uncertain where to end, there are moments so beautiful that one forgets to breathe. Furthermore there is a touching revelation that is weighty in context of what was going on internationally. Relationships are extremely touching

see Indecent, pg 16

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GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 27 – Dec. 10, 2015

FROM PAGE 15

INDECENT as well, specifically that of the two women (Adina Verson and Katrina Lenk) in both “Vengeance” and “Indecent,” and that of young Asch (Max Gordon Moore) and his wife (Verson), who was supremely supportive of his work lifelong. Over the course of Vogel’s play one learns in subtle ways that the closing of “The God of Vengeance” was about much more than the lesbian relationship at its core. “Indecent” concerns theatrical dedication, glorifies ensemble acting and celebrates the determination of all those who dare to question, dare to create, and dare to devote their lives to such endeavor. From the ensemble of seven actors and three musicians, impressive men are Tom Nelis as Joseph Schildkraut, who plays the father in “Vengeance,” and Richard Topol, who is the de facto stage manager, Lemml. Others in the ensemble are Mimi Lieber and Steven Rattazzi. It’s wonderful to have composers Lisa Gutkin and Aaron Halva plus musician Travis W. Hendrix in the company, playing Gutkin and Halva’s original music live, occasionally joined by others. David Dorfman is choreographer. Scenic design by Riccardo Hernandez and costume design by Emily Rebholz lend period authenticity. Matt Hubbs is sound designer, Christopher Akerlind, the lighting designer, and Tal Yarden, projection designer. — Charlene Baldridge has been writing about the arts since 1979. You can follow her blog at charlenebaldridge.com or reach her at charb81@ gmail.com.t

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