August 5, 2010 Edition of The Bay Area Reporter: Proposition 8 declared unconstitutional

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Target faces gay backlash

Out gay clown


Retailer’s San Francisco plans get chilly reception following anti-gay donation.

Billy Murray comes to the Bay Area with Ringling Bros. circus.

Get Outta Town! August travel issue.

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see Arts

see inside


Vol. 40

. No. 31 . 5 August 2010

Serving the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender communities since 1971


Prop 8 loss points to parents P

men and lesbians … Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfillroposition 8 is uning its constitutional constitutional – but obligation.” don’t start ringing The ruling is a first the wedding bells yet. step to nullifying Prop 8, In a sweeping 136-page the two-year-old ban on decision, U.S. District same-sex marriage. But Court Chief Judge Vaughn numerous obstacles reWalker ruled Wednesday main. that California’s ban on Moments after the same-sex marriage violates ruling, young fiancees the United States ConstituVanessa Judicpa and tion. The successful federal Maria Ydil walked to challenge was brought by San Francisco City Hall, attorneys Theodore Olson accompanied by a large and David Boies, in a case crowd, and attempted known as Perry v. to obtain a marriage liSchwarzenegger. cense. They were welCourt watchers at the comed by City AdminFederal Building scramistrator Edwin Lee, Subled to download the decipervisor Bevan Dufty, sion as it was released Maria Ydil and Vanessa Judicpa are followed by well-wishers as they march to City Hall to get a and Supervisor David Wednesday afternoon marriage license upon learning that Proposition 8 had been ruled unconstitutional by a federal Campos, but informed shortly before 2 p.m., read- judge in San Francisco Wednesday. However, a stay of the decision prevented them from marrying. that the city is currently ing the text aloud from unable to issue licenses. their mobile devices to an “Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational Shortly after Walker issued his decision, a noelated crowd. basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for de- tice went out stating that the decision will not go Walker was not swayed by the defendants dur- nial of a marriage license,” Walker wrote. “Califor- into effect until the judge rules on a motion for a ing the trial that took place in January and June. nia has no interest in discriminating against gay

by Matt Baume

by Seth Hemmelgarn he key factor behind the Proposition 8 loss involved parents with children under 18 living at home who were swayed by Yes on 8’s ads shortly before the November 2008 election, David Fleischer according to a report released Tuesday, August 3. The report’s release came one day before U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker was to issue his decision on whether Prop 8 violates the U.S. Constitution. Dave Fleischer, the out gay consultant

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Lydia Gonzales


Gay man takes helm of SF national park DCCC pushes H for vote on ENDA y a unanimous vote at its July 28 meeting, the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee passed a resolution urging the congressional passage of the Employment Non-Discrimina- Nancy Pelosi tion Act. The DCCC’s resolution states, in part, “The San Francisco Democratic Party urges the California Democratic Party, the City and County of San Francisco, and state legislators to request that the congressional leadership pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) in the current session of Congress.” Some version of a bill that would prohibit employment discrimination has languished in Congress for over a decade, but activists have been pushing particularly hard for passage of the current, inclusive version in recent months. The bill now before the House and Senate includes sexual orientation and gender identity. ENDA protesters shut down traffic on the eve of the Netroots Nation conference

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Steven Underhill




Craig Kenkel sits on the deck of the square-rigged Balclutha at the Hyde Street Pier.

$144,990 a year as superintendent. He is also responsible for the park’s maritime library, which is housed at Fort Mason, as well as a historic documents collection numbering 7 million items stored in warehouses around the bay. It is a task for which Kenkel is well equipped, even if he has never captained a sailing ship. He began working for the national parks in 1983 while an architectural student at Iowa State University. Upon graduation he went to work for the national parks’ Denver service center as a fulltime historical architect. “I totally fell into the park service by chance. We were a huge rural farm family; we didn’t really vacation or go to national parks,” recalled Kenkel, 50, the second oldest of 10 brothers and sisters, one of whom is his twin sister. “I just found that summer job in 1983. It was my first exposure to the national parks.” He had envisioned a life designing signature buildings for urban cityscapes. Instead he found himself traipsing through wilderness determined to save aging marine structures or gold mining


outposts. “It stirred a passion in me, I guess,” said Kenkel, whose parents are now in their 70s and still live on the family’s corn and hog farm, which is worked by two of his brothers. “I thought, ‘Wow. We get paid to work in national parks. How amazing is this?’” In 1988, Kenkel transferred to the park service’s Western Regional Office in San Francisco, and served first as a project architect and then as Regional Historical Architect for the national parks of Hawaii, California, Nevada, Arizona and the U.S. territories of the Pacific. While there he worked on the restoration of the Point Reyes Light Station, a landmark feature of the Point Reyes National Seashore. He also had a hand in repairing the Russian Bishop’s House at Sitka National Historical Park in Alaska.

A return to SF Then in 1992 he returned to the Midwest where he continued to work as a historical ar-


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by Matt Baume

aving grown up in a large Iowa farming family, Craig Kenkel lived about as far from the ocean as one could be. He is the very definition of what seamen would call a landlubber. “No, I can’t sing a sea shanty. You don’t want me to,” joked Kenkel when asked if he knows any shipboard working songs. Despite his upbringing, the question is an appropriate one for someone who now finds himself in charge of a floating flotilla of historic oceangoing vessels. In May, Kenkel became the superintendent of the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. The shoreline park lies at the western end of the city’s Fisherman’s Wharf area. It includes Hyde Street Pier, home to five historic ships, and Aquatic Park, with its sandy beach and municipal pier. Three months into the job and the openly gay Kenkel is still finding his seafaring legs and boning up on his sailing jargon. Yet, in many respects, he is the perfect person for the job. He has dedicated his life’s work to maintaining the National Park Service’s treasures. At the maritime park he will find boats in need of repair, a crumbling pier, and a recently renovated boathouse that will be home to a revamped museum exhibition about San Francisco’s nautical past. “My career working in historic preservation is a good fit,” said Kenkel in a recent interview with the Bay Area Reporter while seated on the deck of the square-rigged Balclutha, built in Glasgow, Scotland in 1886. “This park is fundamentally a collection of artifacts that vary in size from a small lapel pin to a floating ferry boat. The park collection, as a museum, is pretty unique.” Initially, the Hyde Street Pier was a state historical park and Aquatic Park was a city property. They were then designated a part of the Golden Gate National Recreational Area upon its creation in 1972; Congress in 1988 then created the separate maritime park to better coordinate the upkeep of its five vessels, which are national historic landmarks similar to the White House or the Statue of Liberty. Kenkel oversees the park’s $11 million yearly budget and manages 80 employees. He earns

Lydia Gonzales

by Matthew S. Bajko

BAY AREA REPORTER . . 5 August 2010



Cabbie accused of slur by Seth Hemmelgarn gay San Francisco bar owner who said a local taxi driver repeatedly called him “faggot” has still not heard from the cab company. In an e-mail to the Bay Area Reporter, David Morgan, owner of the South of Market Street bar Chaps, said that on Wednesday, July 28, he hailed a taxi at 11th and Folsom streets, on his way to the Castro neighborhood. A Town Taxi cab pulled up, and Morgan asked to be dropped off on Market Street between 16th and Sanchez. Morgan, 41, recounted that as the driver traveled east on Folsom, he asked which route the driver was taking. He seemed “a little perturbed and got rude instantly,” wrote Morgan. According to Morgan, the driver started yelling after he suggested a different route. “He said ‘You fucking faggot, faggot, faggot ... you like to take it up the ass don’t you?’” Morgan said. The driver stopped the taxi and told him to “get the fuck out of my taxi faggot, you’re bad, you’re not good people,” according to Morgan. The complaint Morgan filed with a city agency says that after about two and a half blocks, he asked the driver to stop and he got out. The driver then followed him and continued yelling for 15 minutes, the complaint says. Morgan “asked the driver what his problem was and to have a good night but the driver continued being verbally abusive and homophobic,” according to the report, which indicates the incident occurred around 7:45 p.m. In his e-mail to the B.A.R., Morgan wrote that he told the driver, “Asshole, have a good night.” The driver, whose


Lydia Gonzales


Chaps bar owner David Morgan.

name Morgan doesn’t know, parked and started yelling “faggot, you take it up the ass” repeatedly. Morgan wrote that he “flipped [the driver] off,” told him to leave, and to “have a good night.” But the driver stayed, according to Morgan, who said that after “about a minute” of the cabbie’s continued remarks, a biker stopped and started yelling at the driver that such slurs were “not welcome in San Francisco.” A woman who was nearby also yelled at the cab driver, Morgan recalled. The taxi driver tried to get past the biker, who wouldn’t move, and threatened to have Morgan arrested. According to Morgan, the driver edged his taxi forward and “started spitting all over the biker,” who wasn’t moving, and kept screaming. In a phone interview, Morgan said that during the experience, “I thought I was in a movie. I felt like, ‘This really is not happening to me.’” Morgan said he didn’t have contact information for the witnesses. In his e-mail, Morgan wrote that he called Town Taxi, and someone there told him that the manager was

gone but would call him the next day, Thursday, July 29. Morgan said this week that he’s still waiting for a call. Jacob Mayzel, Town Taxi’s manager, told the B.A.R. in a phone interview that the driver’s account didn’t match Morgan’s. According to Mayzel, who wouldn’t provide the driver’s name, the cabbie said that Morgan had slammed the taxi’s sliding door “with such force that the door almost fall [sic] out.” The driver asked, “What are you doing?” or “Can you do it a little easier?” and Morgan replied, “Go fuck yourself,” according to Mayzel. He said the driver told him that he didn’t use the word “faggot” during the incident. Mayzel, who said there was no visible damage to the cab door, said he told the driver that using the word “faggot” isn’t tolerable, “just to make sure he understands that.” The driver isn’t being fired or suspended, said Mayzel. He said he needed to have “independent witnesses.” The driver’s been with the company for about three years and hasn’t been the subject of complaints previously, said Mayzel. Asked Monday if he’d called Morgan, Mayzel said, “No, and I’m not planning to. Okay? Fair enough? Have a nice day,” and hung up the phone. Morgan provided the B.A.R. with a copy of the complaint he filed with what was formerly known as the Taxicab Commission via the city’s 311 Customer Service Center. (As of March 1, 2009, the former Taxicab Commission is merged with the SFMTA as the Division of Administration, Accessible Services and Taxis.) Rose was not able to provide additional information about Morgan’s case by deadline.▼

5 August 2010 . . BAY AREA REPORTER



BAY AREA REPORTER . . 5 August 2010


BAYAREAREPORTER Volume 40, Number 31 5 August 2010 PUBLISHER Thomas E. Horn Bob Ross (Founder, 1971 – 2003) N E W S E D I TO R Cynthia Laird A R T S E D I TO R Roberto Friedman ASSISTANT EDITORS Matthew S. Bajko Seth Hemmelgarn Jim Provenzano CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Dan Aiello • Tavo Amador • Matt Baume • Erin Blackwell Roger Brigham • Scott Brogan • Victoria A. Brownworth Philip Campbell • Chuck Colbert • Richard Dodds Raymond Flournoy • Brian Gougherty David Guarino • Liz Highleyman • Brandon Judell Robert Julian • John F. Karr • Lisa Keen Matthew Kennedy • David Lamble • Michael McDonagh Paul Parish • Lois Pearlman • Tim Pfaff • Jim Piechota Bob Roehr • Donna Sachet • Adam Sandel Jason Serinus • Gregg Shapiro • Gwendolyn Smith Robert Sokol • Ed Walsh • Sura Wood

A R T D I R E C TO R Kurt Thomas P RO D U C T I O N M A N AG E R Tom Dvorak P H OTO G R A P H E R S Jane Philomen Cleland Marc Geller Rick Gerharter Lydia Gonzales Rudy K. Lawidjaja Steven Underhill Bill Wilson I L L U S T R ATO R S & C A R TO O N I S T S Paul Berge Christine Smith G E N E R A L M A N AG E R Michael M. Yamashita C L A S S I F I E D A DV E R T I S I N G David McBrayer D I S P L AY A DV E R T I S I N G Colleen Small Scott Wazlowski N AT I O N A L A DV E R T I S I N G R E P R E S E N TAT I V E Rivendell Media – 212.242.6863 LEGAL COUNSEL Paul H. Melbostad


Donations off Target treated like second-class citizens, wrote Michael etail giants Target and Best Buy are under A. Jones on fire from thousands of people, because It’s important to note that these political conthey gave corporate political donations of tributions came about as a result of the U.S. $150,000 and $100,000 respectively to MinnesoSupreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. ta Forward, an independent expenditure committee that is supporting the elecFederal Election Commission. It was that 5-4 tion of anti-gay Republican Tom decision, with Justice Anthony Kennedy Emmer for governor of that state. casting the swing vote, that will result in More than 75,000 people have a deluge of corporate money in politics. added their names to an open letter The ruling gave corporations the power to the two companies from the to give unlimited amounts to elect or deHuman Rights Campaign, which calls on feat candidates and struck down part of both to make equivalent donations to groups the McCain-Feingold campaign fithat support candidates who will put nance law that banned unions and all of Minnesota’s families first. corporations from paying for politIn addition to the corporate doE DITORIAL ical ads in the final days of camnations, Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel paigns. After the court released its and his wife both gave the maximum decision in January, it was predictallowed, $5,000 each, to the re-election camed that a flood of money would flow from corpaign of anti-gay Congresswoman Michele porations and unions. The decision overturned a Bachmann (R-Minnesota), according to Abe 20-year-old Supreme Court ruling that barred Sauer at the Awl. Bachmann voted against the corporations from spending freely in support or repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Sauer noted that Bachmann supports a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, and has warned that gay marriage would lead to schools where “little children will be forced to learn that homosexuality is normal, natural, and perhaps they should try it.” Steinhafel went into damage control mode, issuing a statement to Target’s employees in which he said that the company “has a history of supporting organizations and candidates, on both sides of the aisle, who seek to advance policies aligned with our business objectives, such as job creation and economic growth.” “Minnesota Forward is focused specifically on those issues and is committed to supporting candidates from any party who will work opposition of candidates. to improve the state’s job climate,” he said. “HowWith the contributions from Target and Best ever, it is also important to note that we rarely Buy, the effect of the Citizens United decision is endorse all advocated positions of the organizaall too clear. How much more money will flow tions or candidates we support, and we do not to anti-gay candidates from supposedly gayhave a political or social agenda.” friendly companies remains to be seen. Most Both Target and Best Buy received 100 perstates don’t have disclosure laws as stringent as cent ratings from the Human Rights Campaign’s Minnesota, so in some cases we may never know. 2010 Corporate Equality Index, released last year. HRC officials told us this week that they are And both companies quickly pointed to that fact examining how they will address the Citizens when news of the political contributions broke. United ruling and the Target and Best Buy conBut if Target really has an “unwavering committributions to Minnesota Forward. HRC’s Corpoment to the LGBT community,” as Steinhafel said rate Equality Index is a workplace rating system. last week, it wouldn’t have given money to a canIt looks at employment policies such as whether didate who says that LGBT people should be a company offers domestic partner benefits. Fred

Sainz, vice president of communications and marketing, told us that the CEI does take into account whether companies contributed for or against specific ballot measures, such as California’s Proposition 8 and Maine’s Question 1; but to date, the CEI does not track political contributions to candidates or independent expenditure committees. In fact, Sainz noted, leaders of virtually every Fortune 1000 company have given money to a Republican member of Congress. And while some companies’ CEOs might not donate to individual candidates, they can donate to groups like Minnesota Forward, which will then funnel their money to an anti-gay candidate. It’s confusing and deliberately so we believe. The Supreme Court has basically issued a blank check for powerful special interests and corporations – and those donations generally go to Republican candidates. “It’s a very sticky wicket,” Sainz said. He also pointed out that HRC is not alone and that other social justice groups are also adapting to the Citizens United decision. Target and Best Buy are stellar employers for LGBT people. They both have LGBT people in leadership positions and meet the other criteria for their 100 percent ratings from HRC. But that luster begins to fade when the companies play a double game by making contributions to groups that promote candidates who are firmly anti-gay. Are a company’s political contributions a measure of their commitment to equality? We think so. And stronger disclosure laws will give the public that information. There’s another option for these companies: they could follow the lead of Goldman Sachs, which, the New York Times reported this week, has decided not to spend any of its vast corporate reserves on political advertising. According to the Times, the investment bank quietly revised its statement on political activities on its website last week, adding a sentence addressing the powers granted under the Citizens United ruling. “Goldman Sachs also does not spend corporate funds directly on electioneering communications,” the firm said in a statement. One attorney told the paper that Goldman’s policy shift could persuade other businesses to refrain from political spending. Let’s hope so. As Target – and to a lesser extent Best Buy – has learned in the last few days, political contributions can have a backlash.▼


SF Dems should stand by Nava endorsement San Francisco Bay Area Publicity Club

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by Tom Ammiano and David Campos ver the last few weeks, a group of individuals, including sitting members of the judiciary, have been conducting a concerted and behind the scenes campaign to persuade members of the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee to take the extraordinary step of rescinding its endorsement of Michael Nava – a superbly qualified lawyer who is running to become San Francisco’s first openly gay judge of color. Nava – a lifelong Democrat – is running against Judge Richard J. Ulmer, until recently a longtime Republican and Schwarzenegger appointee, who is endorsed by the San Francisco Republican Party, and who was a contributor to the campaigns of George W. Bush, John McCain, and other Republican candidates. Supporters of Ulmer want the DCCC to switch its support of Nava to “no endorsement” for the November election. We write today to urge the San Francisco Democratic Party not to cave into behindthe-scenes political pressure and make the grave mistake of retracting its endorsement of a man who, if elected, would be one of the finest judges on the San Francisco bench. Nava has impeccable credentials. A graduate of Stanford Law G UEST School, Nava has a legal career that spans close to 30 years. He has worked for one of the state’s top law firms, has served as a prosecutor, and currently works as an attorney for Justice Carlos Moreno, the only judge on the state Supreme Court to stand up for same-sex marriage in the Proposition 8 case.


Jane Philomen Cleland

Best Bay Area Community Newspaper 2006

San Francisco judicial candidate Michael Nava

Besides his professional accomplishments, Nava has a compelling personal story. He is the child of a teenage mother, the grandson of Mexican immigrants, who grew up in poverty, and who nevertheless distinguished himself because of his intelligence and perseverance. He worked his way through college and law school. He is a superb writer, a gifted public speaker, an acclaimed novelist, and a role model for many groups who have been marginalized in O PINION our society. As the first openly gay judge of color on the San Francisco bench, he would present a face to the public that is sorely unrepresented. Given Nava’s stellar qualifications, it is not surprising that he came in first place in the June primary, polling almost 46 percent of the vote in a three-way race. In fact, Nava would likely have


won outright had there not been another gay candidate, Dan Dean, who has now endorsed Nava. By contrast, 58 percent of the voters rejected incumbent Ulmer. Nava achieved this victory with the support of the LGBT community, including the endorsement of both the Alice B. Toklas and Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic clubs as well as a number of LGBT elected officials, including state Senator Mark Leno and Supervisor Bevan Dufty. Those of us who have supported Nava believe, as he does, that the San Francisco Superior Court should reflect the diversity of the community it serves. Currently, of the 51 judges, only three are Latino and there has never been a gay or lesbian judge of color, even though LGBT people of color are an important and growing part of our community. This is why we believe that Nava will make a great judge, distinguished both for his intellect and his humanity. In making its endorsement a few months ago, the DCCC considered all of the candidates for this position, including Nava and Ulmer. After careful consideration of everyone’s professional experience, accomplishments and background, the DCCC rightly concluded that Nava was the best choice. Except for behind the scenes political maneuvering by some of Ulmer’s supporters, nothing has changed since then – Nava remains the best choice. The DCCC should stand by its endorsement of Nava.▼ Assemblyman Tom Ammiano represents the 13th Assembly District; David Campos is a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and an elected member of the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee.

5 August 2010 . . BAY AREA REPORTER


A fun time at Up Your Alley

evening a losing vote is action, while not having a vote is inaction. Further in the case of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, supporters will know just how close (or how far from) passage we are. Back to candidate Dennis, although he is not your everyday Republican, his views on same-sex marriage (as expressed in your column) are naive at best. Does he really believe that marriage is “not a government issue”? It is unrealistic to think that there will ever be equal rights for all citizens Carlos Chavarin that choose and are able to get married, San Francisco without marriage equality. Such thinking Will vote for Pelosi in November would have delayed the right of “mixed race” opposite sex couples to marry – a In the July 29 issue’s Political Notebook Supreme Court decision in 1967 granted column [“Gay-friendly Republican challenges M AILSTROM that right in the 17 states that at the time, Pelosi”], we are introduced to the Republican still denied such marriages. candidate for the House of Representatives, His comments about “unintended consequences” if running against incumbent Nancy Pelosi. ENDA were passed also display a lack of a grasp of reality As a California registered decline to state voter, I chose and are just an excuse to let his fellow Republicans (and the Republican ballot in the June primary and I voted for others) off the hook for blocking passage of equal rights. John Dennis. As a former Republican, I found his views I know our community is frustrated and angry, but remost like mine (I did not vote for Meg Whitman or Steve placing Bay Area Democrats with Republicans in Congress Poizner). Yet in November I will vote for Pelosi. will not speed up the eventual passage of equal rights. I Am I 100 percent happy with Pelosi? No. urge all eligible citizens to vote (get registered if not all Washington political wisdom as practiced by speakers ready) in the November general election. Further, vote going back decades, is to not schedule House votes unless early or by absentee (mail in) ballot. the vote will pass (if the speaker supports it) or lose (if opposed). Jim DiCarlo I have e-mailed Pelosi, urging her to schedule votes on San Francisco critical issues even if they will fail, my logic being that

The photograph on the front page of the July 29 issue surprised me, but in a good way [“Leather season opens”]. When I attended the Up Your Alley Fair, this year I came away with a good vibe. The photograph just reminded me of what a great time I had people watching and in some cases, running into people I’d not seen in a while. In any case, thanks for publishing the photo.

First SF Age March Sunday compiled by Cynthia Laird uthor and gay activist Barbara Rose Brooker has organized the first-ever San Francisco Age March that will take place Sunday, August 8 at Crissy Field. Registration begins at 9, with a one-hour march starting at 10. Registration costs $10 with no cost for children 10 and under. Brooker, author of The Viagra Diaries, is a 73-year-old native San Franciscan. She said she founded the Age March for men and women of all ages with the goal of celebrating aging as a positive experience. The Age March’s intention is to raise awareness and begin to break down the myths, stereotypes, and social pressures causing age discrimination, shame, and negative attitudes toward N EWS aging in society. More information is available at


ican Legion will have its annual awards ceremony and luau Sunday, August 8 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the San Francisco Veterans Building, 401 Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco. John Caldera, post commander, said there is no cost for the event and members of the public are invited. Those planning to attend are asked to wear Hawaiian shirts. A formal program will begin at 5 p.m., with a performance by Cow Pony and the Hopheads scheduled for 6.

AIDS treatment forum The Stop AIDS Project and the San Francisco Department of Public Health will present information from the recent International AIDS Conference in Vienna at a forum on Wednesday, August 11. Topics to be discussed include news from Vienna about a gel that B RIEFS was shown to prevent HIV transmission in women and information about possible medications to prevent HIV, along with other emerging HIV research. The forum starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Bank of America Community Space at 18th and Castro streets. It will be moderated by Jen Hecht, of Stop AIDS with panelists Matt Sharp of Project Inform; and Drs. Al Liu, Susan Buchbinder, and Grant Colfax of DPH. For more information contact Gavin Morrow-Hall at (415) 437-4696 or or visit Please call in advance if you would like an inter-


Benefit for Hayward center The Lighthouse LGBT Community Center in Hayward will be having another fundraiser at the World Famous Turf Club on Friday, August 6 beginning at 5:30 p.m. A spaghetti dinner will be available for $5, with all proceeds benefiting the center. The Turf Club is located at 22519 Main Street in downtown Hayward.

Luau for Bob Basker legion post Bob Basker Post 315 of the Amer-


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in Las Vegas last month; and last week, eight members of GetEqual were arrested for protesting in the Capitol rotunda in Washington, DC. “There’s a whole giant pool of untapped angry queer people,” Zack Rosen, one of the rotunda arrestees, told the Bay Area Reporter. Rosen, who is also the founder of LGBT counterculture blog The New Gay, prefers civil disobedience over quiet negotiation. “We’ve trained our politicians to think that it’s okay for them to wait,” he said. While grassroots organizations like GetEqual are busy focusing public attention, political insiders are applying pressure on leadership. “The push is now. We’re at that defining moment,” said DCCC Chair Aaron Peskin. “It is time for every political body, from the local DCCC to the California Democratic Party to stand up and urge their representatives

to get ENDA enacted.” For its part, the California Democratic Party won’t be responding anytime soon. The party will only consider resolutions at executive board meetings or conventions, and the next board meeting isn’t until November 19. Despite the long wait, Peskin is confident that resolutions exert significant pressure. “They’re very weighty,” he said, “particularly for the local elected officials, which in this case are two members of Congress.” But while Speaker Nancy Pelosi (DSan Francisco) has expressed hope for ENDA’s passage in 2010 – and promised a vote on the bill this year in a phone call with LGBT leaders in May – Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco) told the B.A.R. last month that the timeframe might be as long as five years. “I’m being realistic,” she said. Indeed, time is running out for an ENDA vote this year. Congress is in recess this month, and likely occupied with elections for most of October. The bill faces numerous time-consuming challenges from Republican

preter or have other needs.

Shanti volunteer training The Shanti Project’s next volunteer caregiver training will begin on Friday, August 13. After completing a 25hour training, Shanti volunteers are matched with a client who has either HIV/AIDS or breast cancer. Volunteers meet with their client weekly to provide emotional support, practical assistance, and companionship. Anyone interested in attending the training sessions should contact volunteer services coordinator Megan O’Brien at (415) 674-4708 or mobrien@shanti .org.

Sober sexuality workshop Marriage and family therapy intern David Burke will present a “Sober Sexuality” workshop for men Saturday, August 21 at the Center for Sex and Culture, 1519 Mission Street (near 11th) in San Francisco. The session runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Burke noted that many men struggle with how to integrate a happy fulfilling sex life while also maintaining their sobriety. Many times sex and addiction are woven together and people make assumptions. Burke’s workshop aims to show that men can be sexual and sober. This is a clothes-on level one workshop for all men in recovery seeking to reclaim their erotic lives. Participants must have a minimum of three years sobriety and a current sponsor. The fee is $95. For more information or to sign up, visit▼

legislators in both the House and Senate, such as a possible “motion to recommit,” whereby opponents could halt its progress with undesirable amendments. Speaking at Netroots Nation, Pelosi admitted that she couldn’t provide a timeline for ENDA’s passage. “I can tell you that it is a priority and it had been our hope to do it this year,” she said. “We have to finish ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and hopefully we can do both this year.” When shouted at from the audience by GetEqual’s Robin McGehee, she responded, “your impatience is justified.” With the end near for the 111th Congress, ENDA’s backers continue to exert pressure both inside and outside of the political machine. “I have no patience to sit around,” said Rosen. Peskin expressed similar sentiments. “The way we get this done is by standing up and fighting for it,” he said.▼



BAY AREA REPORTER . . 5 August 2010


Milk bust sales a bust, so far month. He said he hopes that sales will pick up, so that Milk’s legacy won’t fade away. “The more that Harvey’s name is out there, the more his ideals are out there,” said Nathan. To learn more about the making of the Milk bust in City Hall, the arts commission created a podcast that is available online at

by Matthew S. Bajko few days before San Francisco’s Pride celebration this year, the city’s arts commission announced that people could purchase their own version of the Harvey Milk bust that is inside City Hall. In a deal worked out with sculptor Jonah Hendrickson, the artist won the right to sell replicas of the bronze memorial to the famed gay rights leader, and in return, he agreed to split 60 percent of the proceeds with four local agencies. The San Francisco Arts Commission, the Harvey B. Milk Foundation, the GLBT Historical Society, and LYRIC, the Lavender Youth Recreation and Information Center, will all share in the bust sales. The public can choose among three options varying in price for sale at the website A limited edition of 3,000 “museum quality” reproductions cost $349 each (plus tax and shipping); while 1,500 “classic commemorative” versions can be bought for $999. Both versions measure 9.5 by 8 inches. The most expensive option, at $2,499 each, measures 17 inches by 16 inches and is limited to 750 copies. All three come in a classic brown patina. So far, though, there have been few takers. “Sales have been slow, but we are optimistic that things will pick up once we get a few more stories,” Kate Patterson, the arts commission’s public art project manager, told the Bay Area Reporter last month. After the bust was unveiled May 22, 2008, the date of Milk’s 78th birthday, P OLITICAL the arts commission said it received “numerous calls” from people interested in purchasing their own version. Yet built into the contract with the creators of the bust was a clause stipulating that they could not profit off of it. Members of the Harvey Milk City Hall Memorial Committee that oversaw the bust project pressed for the restriction. [Full disclosure: the Bob Ross Foundation, overseen by B.A.R. publisher Thomas E. Horn, paid for the bulk of the project, which cost nearly $60,000.] Last summer after Hendrickson split from the firm that had created the bust, he approached the arts commission about selling replicas. At first, several members of the committee expressed reservations about the proposal. But they dropped their objections after the deal was worked out that any sales would benefit local nonprofits and other artists. “Originally, I had put in the contract that nothing could be sold unless they approached us first,” said Gary Nathan, a member of the memorial committee. “If anything was sold, I wanted to make sure it kept Harvey’s ideals alive but at the same time contributed to the community.”



Rick Gerharter

South Bay LGBTs to meet with local House members

Harvey Milk City Hall Memorial Committee co-chairs Joey Cain, left, and Dan Nicoletta pose with the new bust of former Supervisor Harvey Milk located outside the Board of Supervisors’ Chambers. It was dedicated on May 22, 2008 in a grand public ceremony in City Hall Rotunda.

Milk became the city’s first openly gay elected official when he won a seat on the Board of Supervisors in November of 1977. Tragically, he died from an assassin’s bullet a year later inside City Hall along with then-Mayor George Moscone. Over the ensuing three decades Milk has become a hero to LGBT people the world over. His political rise in San Francisco was turned into two Oscar-winning films; California created a state holiday in his honor; and President Barack Obama honored him posthumously last summer. Nathan told the B.A.R. that he doesn’t think the lackluster bust sales mean the public’s fascination with Milk has run its course. Rather, he suspects many people don’t realize they can buy a replica. “No one really knows about it yet,” he said. “I know he sold one of the larger N OTEBOOK bronze busts to a couple down in Palm Springs.” Hendrickson said this week that only about four or five busts have been sold so far. But he noted that it’s a “very, very new project.” He said that he kicked off the bust sales over the first Harvey Milk Day weekend back in May, and tried to generate news about them in June during Pride Month. “It’s a seed in the ground,’ Hendrickson said of the commemorative busts. He predicted that as more people become aware that the reproductions are for sale, requests would increase. In the release announcing the bust sales, Hendrickson said his “hope is that these donations will continue Harvey Milk’s legacy of furthering equal rights and also support the great civic work of the Arts Commission, which ensures that the arts are an integral part of the city’s identity.” After raising concerns initially about the bust sales, Nathan not only acquiesced to the proposal; he bought one himself as a 59th birthday present for his partner, David Gin, who shares the same birthday as Milk. Nathan opted for the least expen-

sive of the three options and expects the bust, the first one in that edition to be cast, will arrive sometime this

LGBT leaders in the South Bay are hosting two town halls with their local House members while they are on their summer recess. Both meetings will take place at the Billy DeFrank LGBT Community Center, 939 The Alameda, in downtown San Jose. The forums come as LGBT activists have been stepping up pressure on congressional leaders, particularly House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

(D-San Francisco) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada), to pass several LGBT bills before lawmakers break in October prior to the general elections. A measure to repeal the military’s anti-gay “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy has stalled in the Senate; while Pelosi has yet to schedule a vote in the House on the pro-gay Employment Non-Discrimination Act. With Democrats’ control of the House and Senate in doubt, concern is growing this could be the last chance to move pro-gay bills in Congress if Republicans regain one or both chambers. Such an outcome would likely mean Democrats would have to retake control of Congress in 2012 to see pro-gay bills be back on the table in 2013. To step up pressure on federal lawmakers to act this year, the Human Rights Campaign and the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network have teamed up on what they are calling the “Countdown 2010” campaign. The two national groups launched a website at www.hrc .org/countdown2010 which people

5 August 2010 . . BAY AREA REPORTER

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BAY AREA REPORTER . . 5 August 2010



Anti-gay donation may dampen Target’s welcome in San Francisco by Matt Baume ttempts to open two Target stores in San Francisco may have hit a roadblock in the form of the company’s support for


an anti-gay politician. Target gave $150,000 to Minnesota Forward, a independent expenditure committee backing Republican Tom Emmer for Minnesota governor. Emmer, a state representative, authored a proposed constitutional

amendment to ban marriage equality, and has promoted the work of a religious rock band whose frontman described countries that execute LGBTs as “moral.” Until now, Target has enjoyed a favorable reputation among LGBTs. The company offers domestic partner benefits, sponsors Twin Cities Pride and the Out and Equal Workplace Summit, and has worked with gay designers including Zac Posen, Jean Paul Gaultier, and the late Alexander McQueen. Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel defended the donation as a business decision, citing Minnesota Forward’s focus on job creation. The IEC also advocates for corporate tax cuts. In response, the Human Rights Campaign, which had previously given Target a score of 100 percent on its Corporate Equality Index, placed a letter in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, asking the company to make an equivalent donation to a group supporting equality. In the last week, over 75,000 supporters have signed the letter on-

line, HRC press secretary Michael Cole told the Bay Area Reporter. Mario Guerrero, Equality California’s government affairs director, issued a similar statement. “If Target wants to make this right, they should make an equal donation to pro-equality candidate(s),” he wrote. A marriage equality bill may reach the Minnesota governor’s desk in the next year. “We have strong majorities in the House and Senate,” said Adam Robbins, a coordinator with OutFront Minnesota. His organization supports Margaret Anderson Kelliher (D) for governor in next week’s primary. So far, every candidate but Emmer has voiced support for equality. Target hopes to open two stores in San Francisco in 2011: one in the former Mervyn’s department store at Geary and Masonic, and another in the Metreon. “They can’t segregate what they do in San Francisco from what they do in other states,” said District 5 Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, whose district


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5 August 2010 . . BAY AREA REPORTER

Target’s store in Daly City is the closest one for San Franciscans but plans for stores in the city may run into opposition over the company’s recent donations to a group supporting an anti-gay politician.

Target ▼

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abuts the former Mervyn’s. Constituents have approached Mirkarimi with concerns over Target’s donation. “If they want to come to San Francisco, the epicenter of the LGBT rights movement, they should be very sensitive about their leaning toward rightwing candidates,” Mirkarimi told the B.A.R. “They’re going to have a flaccid grand opening if they’re not connected with the neighborhood.” He plans to communicate his concerns to Target executives. But some people aren’t waiting for diplomacy. Palm Springs residents Michael Paduano and Reidar Arne organized a protest at their local store last weekend. “We were able to get several people to turn around and shop somewhere else,” said Arne. A video of Minnesota mother Randi Reitan cutting up her Target card went viral, with 200,000 views in its first week. “My youngest son is gay, and I love him more than anything I could ever buy at Target,” Reitan wrote on a blog. National days of protest are being planned on Facebook for August 14-15. In addition, HRC may deduct

Politics ▼

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can use to contact their local House members and state Senators while they are in their home districts this month. “Your in-person meeting, e-mail, or call can make a huge impact on the issues we care about,” noted an email from the groups announcing the new campaign. Several local groups teamed up to plan the South Bay meetings, including Marriage Equality Silicon Valley, Song That Radio, Metropolitan Community Church-San Jose, and Equality California. First up will be a chat with Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) at 10 a.m. Saturday, August 7. The following Saturday, August 14 the groups will meet with Congressman Mike Honda (D-San Jose), also at 10 a.m.▼

Corrections In the July 29 article, “Sonoma County settles bias case,” the distribution of attorneys’ fees was incorrect. The article should have stated that the county agreed to pay $300,000 for attorneys’ fees. The National Center for Lesbian Rights, which served as co-counsel, requested that it not receive any fees. In the July 29 travel article “Swiss no miss: Zurich welcomes gays,” should have stated that Zurich is Switzerland’s largest city, not its capital, which is Bern. The online versions have been corrected.

points from Target’s score in the 2011 Corporate Equality Index, set to be released next month. “It’s a conversation that we’re having internally,” said Cole. “There are a number of complicating factors when you’re looking at where to draw the line as to what constitutes an antiLGBT contribution. Certainly this is an egregious example.” He added, “Equality is good for business. And this decision is unfortunately very shortsighted on their part, having not taken into account the damage that is done to their brand and reputation when they make such a sizable donation.” Arne echoed those sentiments. “I love Target,” he said. “But they don’t have my business until they make this right.”▼ For national day of protest details, visit and


BAY AREA REPORTER . . 5 August 2010




A retro feel at start of Gay Games VIII by Roger Brigham he motto of Gay Games VIII, which opened in Cologne, Germany Saturday under threatening clouds in the sky and irrepressibly sunny dispositions on the field, is “Be part of it!” But it could just as aptly have been “The Miracle of Us,” for at its most fundamental levels these Gay Games are about the diversity of our identifies and the strength of our unity. Gay Games hosts invariably believe they will sell out a big stadium with opening ceremonies and then scramble to cover their assets when many of the seats remain unsold. It would appear that Gay Games VIII organizers avoided that fate, stripping the march in of athletes to its spartan bare bones, and spending all of their production money on the entertainment at the end of the evening. It would not have registered on the fabulous meter of past Gay Games, but probably was the closest re-creation possible of the feel of Gay Games I and II. The speeches were short and few. Germany’s openly gay Vice Chancellor Guido Westerwelle was the top political dog to speak, and he preached a political message of aggressive intolerance for intolerance. “No religion can justify murder,” he said in reference to countries that ban homosexuJ OCK al acts or make them punishable by death. “Understand this: we want no privileges. We just want respect.” It was that quest for respect that led Dr. Tom Waddell to found the Gay Olympic Games in 1982, an action that was infamously countered by the United States Olympic Committee, which successfully sued for its


Harry Lit


Members of Team Amsterdam take a break at the Gay Games in Cologne.

right to deny the use of the word “Olympics” it had previously allowed for everyone from canines to cops. Thus, as New York’s Brent Nickerson Earle remarked earlier Saturday, “The word is still there but the ‘Olympic’ is silent.” Earle made the observation at a meeting to announce the winners of the Tom Waddell Award. Joining him in receiving the honor was Oakland’s Sara Waddell Lewinstein, widow of the Gay Games founder and a longtime LGBT sports activist. Appearing at the meeting were Olympic TALK gold medal winner Matthew Mitcham, who said he was profoundly affected by two days at the Gay Games – even before they had officially begun – and moved to tears repeatedly. “That hasn’t happened to me since the Beijing,” he said, referring to his experience at the Summer Olympics in 2008. He said he marveled at the ability to bring close to 10,000 gay and lesbian athletes together. “In China,” he dryly noted, “apparently there is not even one gay person.” For the first time, the 2012 Summer Olympics is actively marketing for a gay audience and has created a trading pin that has a rainbow motif. A representative from the London Olympics’ diversity committee was in Cologne meeting with Federation of Gay Games officials to pledge cooperative ventures to help promote sports inclusion. He said the London organizers saw the Olympics as an opportunity to help change values. Which, of course, is why Waddell created the Gay (———-) Games. A light rain began to fall as the athletes gathered to march into RheinEnergieStadion. In 2006 in Chicago, the athletes filled the stadium floor to form a giant rainbow flag. This go round they were marched the length of the stadium from two entrances and quickly exited the other end. It was visually less impressive for spectators and athletes had trouble hearing much of what was being announced over the sound system, but it was quick and it kept people focused on the entering athletes. These were the first Gay Games to offer a gay orchestra and what a great addition that was. When they first began to play, the quirky sound system almost made it impossible to decipher what was being played. But then the chorus kicked in and the stadium exploded with sound and Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy.” Wow. My journey to the games began last Thursday morning when I departed San Francisco with my suitcase stuffed to the gills with com-


memorative T-shirts for my fellow wrestlers. Alas, in Philadelphia another passenger mistakenly made off with my carry-on bag and I ended up the next morning in Frankfurt minus my essentials. Sigh. At least I had plenty of T-shirts to wear. Over the next few days my carryon and dozens of other pieces of wayward luggage made their way to the athletes and artists in waiting in Cologne. I am quartered with 17 other wrestlers in northeast Cologne, far from the busting party plazas and gay nightlife of the city’s Bermuda Triangle, but let me say this: you haven’t lived till you’ve traveled abroad with a horde of merry matmen. There is such a psychological commonality with this crew: a selfless sense of looking out for others and a self-deprecating sense of humor that makes the inconveniences of spotty or nonexistent Internet connections, endless flights of stairs, and lack of familiarity with everything around us as one endless entertaining adventure. I told the grapplers before we came here they would be blown away by the great food (and half the cost of Los Angeles or San Francisco) and friendly people. And Cologne has more than lived up to that billing. Most of the sports events are at the excellent facilities at Deutsche Sporthochschule Köln, convenient for athletes and spectators alike. The transit is massive (although service virtually shut down early Sunday) and yes, the trains do run on time. While my fellow athletes were running around on the fields outside the stadium, looking for familiar faces and hoping to make new ones, I spent time chatting with representatives from Gay Games IX. Noticeably absent were people with Cleveland Synergy Foundation, which had led the bid for the event but was served with notice last month by FGG that it was invoking its right to terminate the license agreement. But the other partners from the bid (Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, the city of Cleveland) were in Cologne and marching at the front of the procession, so things seem to be resolving on that front. That’s it for now, pumpkins. I was up until the wee hours of the night after the opening ceremonies, chowing down with my wrestlers at a great neighborhood restaurant on the west side of town before they headed out to cruise Cologne and I set out to retrieve my carry-on, at last safely delivered to a friend’s hotel. Hey, it was nice to get it finally, but the carry-on contents that had loomed so large in my concerns just two days earlier seemed suddenly not such a big deal. Making my way to the wrestling warren along the quiet streets of a sleeping city waiting for the morning church bells to peal, I started singing “Ode to Joy” and realized what the real essentials are in life. The miracle of us.▼

5 August 2010 . . BAY AREA REPORTER



New Leaf under fire from union, clients by Heather Cassell nion employees and some clients at New Leaf: Services for Our Community are crying foul at the LGBT mental health and social services agency amid recent layoffs and staff changes. Organizers at SEIU Local 1021, which represents the agency’s union employees, filed complaints against New Leaf last month with the state’s Industrial Welfare Commission and the National Labor Relations Board. Union representatives claim New Leaf ’s management violated its new labor agreement, signed March 4, charging the agency with unfair labor practices. In addition, the union claims the agency is purposefully avoiding accountability and transparency working with it around the city’s budget.

Budget crisis For two consecutive years New Leaf, a 35-year-old agency that provides mental health and social services to an estimated 1,300 clients a year, has been hit with deep budget cuts from the city’s general fund. The once nearly $3 million agency saw its budget reduced by $200,000 in 2009-2010 and it was facing a $400,000 cut this fiscal year, said Thom Lynch, interim executive director. The budget crisis and the current economic climate forced the agency’s management to make difficult decisions because it hasn’t been able to make payroll, Lynch said. Management and staff took voluntary resignations, layoffs, and temporary pay cuts to the city’s minimum wage, which is $9.79 an hour, in July. Lynch said that employees were paid in full on their last checks, issued July 31. That’s an estimated 50 percent to 60 percent pay cut for union clinicians who earn anywhere from $40,000 to $50,000 or more depending on the level of education and training, according to the union’s agreement. Lynch didn’t increase his $104,000 salary when he increased his hours from part-time to full-time, he said. The position was part-time when he took temporary leadership of the agency nine months ago. The executive director search is currently on hold, he added. Benefits weren’t a part of Lynch’s original contract, but when he went full-time about five months ago he began receiving health insurance. He doesn’t get retirement, federal or state holidays, or paid vacations, he said. “I’m very aware that this is a hardship for everyone,” said Lynch, who has been working with openly gay Supervisor Bevan Dufty along with a coalition of other agencies and posted an open letter to the community on New Leaf’s website. Dufty didn’t respond to repeated requests for comment by press time. Mayor Gavin Newsom signed the $6.5 billion 2010-2011 city budget last week. Lynch was relieved by the budget news and restoration of an estimated $44 million to programs citywide. New Leaf expects to see an estimated $124,000 in city funding, he said.

Union calls foul “The city may pay them and the agency may very well make good on it, but it is clearly against the law,” said Don Evans, a SEIU 1021 representative who negotiated the new contract earlier this year. He pointed out that the agency expected union staff to continue working and serving clients at the minimum wage rather than at the contract rate. Evans was warned of the pending budget cuts by management in early June and requested a plan for the worse case scenario along with a current budget and names of employees

Rick Gerharter


New Leaf interim Executive Director Thom Lynch

who volunteered to be laid off. Union representatives claim the agency didn’t follow layoff procedures for union employees and rejected a list of eight employees who volunteered to be laid off; didn’t provide the requested information; and failed to pay annual step increases to union employees that went unnoticed for the past three years, said Evans and Kellyn Antolak, a queer clinician who is also the shop steward at New Leaf. The budget still hasn’t materialized nor was the union provided with criteria for the layoff, they said. Lynch said New Leaf complied with the request and that the union received the agency’s new budget a week after it was approved by the board of directors. He also doesn’t recall rejecting any of the volunteer layoffs on the list provided. A total of 11 staff no longer work for New Leaf. According to Lynch, three clinical staff were laid off, one manager was let go, and seven staff resigned or volunteered to be laid off. Three of those resignations, Lynch added, occurred prior to the announcement of layoffs. Three unfilled open positions are not included in those figures. Employees received a standard two-week notice to make arrangements with clients, said Lynch. Staff is also developing a list of high priority clients with care plans as well as clients who can be discharged for city officials. “We are going to try to make this as uneventful to clients as possible,” Lynch said, adding that the San Francisco Department of Public Health and mayor’s office have a subsidized program for low-income clients to see private psychologists. Antolak and Evans disagreed with Lynch. “We have a major problem with this due to the contract and labor agreement with them and we will fight it tooth and nail,” said Evans, who called the layoff options given to agency staff “very nasty.” According to Antolak and Evans, many of the employees were forced to either increase their work hours from part-time to full-time or be laid off, something many workers couldn’t do because they had private practices in addition to their work at New Leaf or were required to work part-time for medical reasons. The agreement stipulates a 30-day period and a tiered structure for layoffs. New Leaf staff are “passionate about their work” and “clients are taking it pretty hard. They are losing some very important support,” said Antolak.

Clients upset Some of the agency’s queer senior women clients are boycotting the agency after what they say was the unjust firing of Jan Couvillon, New Leaf Outreach to Elders’s activities director, about four months ago. They also claim New Leaf drastically reduced NLOE’s

robust program to a mere shadow of what it was just this past winter. In addition to Couvillon’s departure, the Friendly Visitors program, which matched seniors with volunteers, was defunded. Its director, Patricia Jackson, was on medical leave when the program was defunded and she declined the activities director position offered to her when she returned, Lynch and Jackson said. Last month, Janaki Tompkins, NLOE director, was laid off. “I was shocked, horrified, and angry,” said Laura Bock, a NLOE client, about Couvillon’s firing. “I felt very mistrustful and betrayed.” “These are tough times for every social agency, but the way they are handling this is really disrespectful to us, the community, and their clients,” said Bock, 64, who with her partner of 10 years, Suzanne Gary, 70, depend on the queer-friendly services the agency provided. Both women are disabled. Lynch wouldn’t speak about Couvillon’s dismissal for legal reasons. Couvillon only said the reasons for her dismissal were “unfounded”and came after two years of the agency leadership’s attempts to push her out. Mitch Marquez, a clinical manager of psychiatry services and medication, took over the NLOE program at the end of July and the agency is on the verge of hiring a new senior activities director, Lynch said. “Some of the seniors are upset,” Lynch acknowledged, pointing out that New Leaf is working with partner agencies to maintain and redirect services. “My number one interest is that clients have the services that they need.” The Family Caregivers Alliance resurrected the visitors program under its umbrella, according to Lynch and Kathleen Kelly, FCA executive director.▼ A longer version of this article is online at


BAY AREA REPORTER . . 5 August 2010


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chitect. Stationed in Omaha, Nebraska the single Kenkel came out of the closet. Within five years he had been promoted to chief of the cultural resources division for the Midwest region, supervising a 30-person staff that included historians, curators, archivists, and cultural anthropologists. In October 2005 Kenkel returned to San Francisco to become chief of GGRNA’s cultural resources division. “I enjoyed being on that wild, urban edge. San Francisco and the Bay Area region has amazing amenities that anyone who wants to live in a

Paul W. Thorndal, Attorney at Law

Deborah H. Wald, Attorney at Law

world-class city can find here. But also to be so close to this dynamic wild space on the edge of the continent for me is very wonderful,” he said. Last year he was named acting deputy superintendent of the sprawling national park, and this spring took the helm at the maritime park. “I think he is an incredible selection. He is low-key and very thoughtful in his decision-making process. He is a quiet leader, which in superintendents is a really good thing,” said Rich Weideman, the park services’ acting associate director of partnerships and visitor experience in Washington, D.C. Weideman, who is also openly gay, was colleagues with Kenkel at the GGNRA, where he was chief of public affairs and special events until he was promoted this past spring.

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“What a good superintendent is is a good leader, a community organizer and good partner to the community just in general. I think Craig, very much so, brings all of that into the position,” said Weideman. “He was very well respected at Golden Gate by his co-workers and supervisors.” Kenkel is the third out person to be appointed to a high-ranking park service position in the Bay Area in recent years. In February 2009 Naomi Torres, an out lesbian, became superintendent of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail. The park retraces the explorer’s trek through California and Arizona; Torres is based out of Oakland. Last month Christine S. Lehnertz was named the park service’s Pacific West regional director responsible for 3,000 employees and 58 national parks visited by more than 56 million people annually. She will begin work in mid-August and will be based in Oakland. Lehnertz and her partner of 16 years, Shari Dagg, are in the process of moving to the Bay Area with their golden retriever rescue from D.C. where she had been acting associate director for cultural resources. Prior to that Lehnertz was deputy superintendent of Yellowstone National Park. “The parks in the Pacific West region are an amazing microcosm of the entire National Park System: a mix of stunning natural beauty and authentic American history,” stated Lehnertz in a press release announcing her hire. “While the responsibilities of regional director are daunting, I am excited about taking on the challenge and with the prospect of working with the top-notch employees, partners, and volunteers who work in the Pacific West and throughout the National Park Service.” Throughout the National Park Service are high-ranking LGBT employees, said Weideman. “It really proves there is no lavender ceiling in the park service,” said Weideman, whose partner works as a park policeman. He said Kenkel’s hiring is of particular importance considering how important tourism and the LGBT community are to the fabric of San Francisco. “He has a unique opportunity to educate a group of maritime people

who might not have had as much exposure to the city’s gay population,” said Weideman. “Externally, Craig really understands the importance of tourism to San Francisco and the maritime park is a part of that tourism. For the LGBT community it is a win-win.” One of Kenkel’s primary tasks will be to work with his park’s staff on finding ways to make the maritime park and its holdings remain a draw for locals and tourists. “It is a challenge for me and my staff to promote why our maritime heritage is significant to people today. We want both San Franciscans and visitors to understand why their maritime heritage is significant and still relevant today” said Kenkel. “We have a great need to reconnect Americans with the national parks. We have a challenge of making all national parks relevant to Americans.” He readily admits that he hasn’t fully answered that question himself about why people should visit the maritime park. “I have only been here two months,” said Kenkel. “We are interested in knowing what our citizens, both locally and nationally, want our park to be.” An answer can be discerned from Kenkel’s response when asked to name his favorite overlooked properties in the park system. In addition to Point Reyes and the GGNRA’s Sweeney Ridge and Milagra Ridge areas, Kenkel pointed to Hawaii’s Kalaupapa National Historical Park on Molokai, home to the still functioning colony for Hansen’s disease (leprosy) patients. “There we can learn lessons as a nation on how we treat people who are lesser advantaged,” said Kenkel. “It is one of those parks that speaks to a darker time in our nation’s history. It touches my soul.” He will be exploring how to tell as powerful a story at the maritime park as Kenkel and his staff work on new exhibits for the park’s museum. Housed in the Aquatic Park Bathhouse Building, the museum closed in 2006 so park staff could renovate the structure and rebuild its bleachers facing the lagoon. It is set to re-open in 2014, and Kenkel has oversight over what story park staff will tell using various nau-

tical artifacts in its collection. One theme is likely to be how San Francisco has always been a beacon for people looking to reinvent themselves. “People still move around the globe seeking a better life. It is a reason many people moved here in San Francisco, dating back to the Gold Rush,” said Kenkel. “This city has always provided people with an amazing opportunity for a new career and for recreating yourself.” Next year Kenkel expects to begin work on a new general management plan to guide the maritime park over the next 20 years. He is looking at how to increase the number of visitors. Today 3 to 4 million people explore Aquatic Park each year and 750,000 people board the ships at the pier. (They are open to visitors who buy a $5 ticket good for 7 days) “Absolutely, I want to see visitorship increase. But it depends on our capacity,” he said. “We don’t want too many visitors to come here so your visit is diminished.” In 2016 work on the three-masted schooner named the C.A. Thayer should be completed. The ship was built in 1895 in Fairhaven, California and will be able to set sail again once it is repaired. “The goal is to have her fully restored and be able to sail her then,” said Kenkel. Another project looming on the horizon is repairing the park’s pier that juts out into the bay. Kenkel said it would cost $68 million to fix the municipal pier, which vehicles at one time could drive out on and turn around. It was used to board cars onto ferries headed to Sausalito. For now Kenkel’s hope is that the city’s residents and visitors, straight and gay alike, will visit the unique park he is tasked with preserving and promoting. You may even hear a sea shanty or two. “Coming to the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park is part of the real and authentic experience of knowing and understanding San Francisco,” said Kenkel.▼ To learn more about the park, visit

Prop 8 ruling ▼

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long-term stay filed by the defendants. “There was about eight minutes of uncertainty,” City Attorney spokesman Matt Dorsey said, referring to the period between Walker’s decision being issued and the subsequent notice from the court. Although Walker has declared Prop 8 unconstitutional, his decision faces appeals that could drag on for several years. During that time, Prop 8’s proponents have asked that the court prevent gay couples from marrying. Attorneys for the plaintiffs – a gay couple from Burbank and a lesbian couple from Berkeley – were elated with the decision. “On no less than 14 occasions, the Supreme Court has held that marriage is a fundamental right. This decision recognizes that Proposition 8 denied the plaintiffs, and tens-of-thousands of other Californians, that fundamental constitutional right and treated them unequally,” said Olson. In requesting the stay, attorney Charles Cooper stated, “Proponents are likely to succeed on appeal should this court rule that Prop 8 is unconstitutional.” He added that because LGBTs’ marriages might be eventually invalidated, they “would inflict harm on the affected couples and place administrative burdens on the state.” He went on, “a stay would at most subject plaintiffs to a period of additional delay pending a final determination of whether they may enter a legally recognized marriage relationship. ... It is not even clear that plaintiffs would opt to marry if given the

Lydia Gonzales

National park


“It’s amazing,” said Shree “Red” Bornand after learning that Proposition 8 had been overturned. Bornand joined others who waited outside the Federal Court Building to hear the decision Wednesday afternoon.

choice while appeal of this case is pending.” Nevertheless, Prop 8’s foundation has been weakened. In his decision, Walker wrote, “gays and lesbians are the type of minority strict scrutiny was designed to protect.” His use of the term “strict scrutiny” is crucial, and signifies that any law that discriminates against LGBTs must pass the strictest possible legal examination. In addition, Walker found significant fault with David Blankenhorn, a witness for the Prop 8 proponents. “Blankenhorn’s testimony constitutes inadmissible opinion testimony that should be given essentially no weight,” Walker wrote. “His opinion lacks reliability.” Marriage equality advocates were further encouraged by Walker’s finding that Prop 8 violates the due process and equal protection clauses of 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The case will next be heard by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. At a

forum last month, federal court reporter Dan Levine observed that 9th Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski is “very interested” in hearing the Perry appeal. Last year, Kozinski wrote a stronglyworded administrative decision affirming health benefits for spouses of same-sex federal workers. No matter how the 9th Circuit rules, the case will likely be appealed again, this time to the U.S. Supreme Court. It could take years for the case to reach that final appeal, during which time the makeup of the Supreme Court could change and unexpected precedents may be established. But a string of recent legal successes may give equality advocates cause for optimism. Last month, a 1st Circuit judge found the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, and the Supreme Court upheld a San Francisco law school’s right to enforce an LGBT non-discrimination policy. If the Supreme Court hears the


page 13

5 August 2010 . . BAY AREA REPORTER


Parents ▼

page 1

behind “The Prop 8 Report: What Our Defeat in California Can Teach Us About Winning Future Ballot Measures on Same-Sex Marriage,” said that during the six weeks before Election Day, 5 percent of California voters decided to switch sides and oppose marriage equality. “That may not sound like much, but that’s almost 700,000 voters,” Fleischer, who currently works with the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, said during in a conference call during the report’s release. Prop 8 was passed by a margin of just under 600,000 votes, amending the state’s constitution to ban samesex marriage. More than 500,000 of the people who changed sides were parents with children under 18 living at home, said Fleischer. Fleischer said the No on 8 campaign’s “single biggest mistake” was allowing the Yes on 8 campaign to air its infamous TV ads for more than two weeks without a rebuttal. The ads suggested to parents that their children would be harmed if Prop 8 was defeated. That rebuttal finally came with an ad that featured state schools chief Jack O’Connell. Fleischer said that ad was “too little, too late,” but it was effective and “it shows that when we directly rebut the opposition, we can win back some of these voters. We don’t have to be frightened of confronting this issue.” Asked about the Yes on 8 campaign swaying parents during a phone interview, Marc Solomon, marriage director for Equality California, said, “Clearly, the issue of ads our opponents ran about kids in schools is something that is a key priority for us,” but ultimately, No on 8 lost because “more people were against us than were for us.” Equality California was one of the groups involved in the No on 8 campaign. Solomon didn’t join the organization until 2009. Solomon said the report is “helpful” and said, “I look forward to really looking at it carefully,” but he added, “It’s always hard to figure out what exactly the cause was” for such a vote. Solomon noted an estimated 18,000 same-sex couples married legally in California before Prop 8 passed, meaning “parents are now in a better position to evaluate the truthfulness of our opponents’ ads. ... I think they’re better able to evaluate for themselves whether the fear tactics of our opponents have come to light or not. I think the answer is ‘No.’” Among other activities, EQCA has launched a speakers bureau and will be sending couples out “to talk to groups that are mixed” around the state, he said.

Prop 8 ruling ▼

page 12

case, its ruling would have national ramifications. For that reason, Olson and Boies initially drew strong criticism for filing the case. Organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund were initially opposed, stating that it would be too difficult to recover from a loss in such a high-stakes case. Numerous California politicians praised the ruling Wednesday. “This decision affirms the full legal protections and safeguards I believe everyone deserves,” stated Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (DSan Francisco) agreed. “I am extremely encouraged by the ruling today,” she said in a statement. California Attorney General Jerry Brown (D), who’s running for governor, also welcomed the ruling. Brown’s office had the opportunity to defend



Voter confusion Voter confusion over what a yes vote meant also played a big role in the Prop 8 victory, according to Fleischer. He said that if everyone had voted as they’d intended, Prop 8 would have passed by 54 percent to 46 percent, an even wider margin than the official 52 percent to 48 percent. This means “we have a steeper hill to climb” than people think, said Fleischer. Fleischer cited pre-vote polling that he said sought clarity on whether people intended to eliminate same-sex marriage, rather than just asking them which way they would vote on Prop 8. But the report’s finding on wrong-way voting is being criticized by some. For example, a memo from David Binder Research dated Monday, August 2, said that “wrong-way voting occurred on both sides of the issue in even proportions.” Binder is pollster whose work has been highly regarded by equality advocates. Asked about the Binder memo during the conference call, Fleischer defended his data, saying that it came from polls done “in the heat of the campaign,” unlike Binder’s research, which he called “after-the-fact.”

2012 repeal possibilities As to whether he thinks it’s possible to try to repeal Prop 8 in 2012, Fleischer said, “We have a lot of homework to do before we go back to the ballot.” He said “I don’t think anybody’s made the case” that a repeal effort should come in November 2012, and it’s important not to return to the ballot “just because we’ve got an itch that we want to scratch.” Geoff Kors, Equality California’s executive director, has recently suggested that 2012 could be too soon to attempt repeal. But Solomon said this week, “We’re preparing to go back to the ballot in 2012.” He said he and Kors are “in sync” on the issue. Solomon said that as the result of efforts such as the door-to-door canvassing his organization’s been doing for more than a year, “we’re making strides in the polls.” A March survey report from the Public Policy Institute of California put support for same-sex marriage at 50 percent, marking the first time a PPIC poll has found more than 45 percent support for same-sex marriage since it began asking about marriage equality in 2000. “Our job between now and [November 2012] is to continue to boost our numbers and boost our support,” said Solomon. “That’s the work in front of us, and we really feel that if we really take the work hard, we can just keep boosting our support and be in a strong place to win.”▼ To view the report, visit

Prop 8, but refused. His response to Walker’s ruling, Brown stated, “Judge Walker came to the same conclusion I did when I declined to defend it: Proposition 8 violates the equal protection guarantee of the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution.” It remains to be seen whether the 9th Circuit will uphold the ruling. But Walker’s factual findings will form the basis of its ruling, and many of those findings adhere to the arguments advanced by Olson and Boies. Among those findings: “Same-sex couples are identical to opposite-sex couples in the characteristics relevant to the ability to form successful marital unions;” “Domestic partnerships lack the social meaning associated with marriage;” and “Sexual orientation is fundamental to a person’s identity and is a distinguishing characteristic that defines gays and lesbians as a discrete group.” As of press time, the Prop 8 proponents had not issued a response to the ruling. ▼






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BAY AREA REPOR TER . . 5 August 2010



LEGAL NOTICES above listed fictitious business name or names on 06/17/10. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 06/17/10.

JULY 15,22,29, AUG. 5, 2010 STATEMENT FILE A-032890700 The following person(s) is/are doing business as:Bay Motor Works, 800 Folsom Street, San Francisco, CA 94107. This business is conducted by an individual, signed Clifford Kwong. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 07/07/10. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 07/07/10.

JULY 15,22,29, AUG. 5, 2010 STATEMENT FILE A-032884700


The following person(s) is/are doing business as:Natural - Max, 1341 Stockton Street,#J, San Francisco, CA 94133. This business is conducted by an individual, signed Kenny Cheung. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 07/01/10. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 07/02/10.

JULY 15,22,29, AUG. 5, 2010 STATEMENT FILE A-032868500 The following person(s) is/are doing business as:1.Off The Grid Services LLC,2.Off The Grid: Fort Mason Center, 3.Off The Grid: San Francisco, 4.San Francisco Cart Project, 625 Villanova Drive, Davis, CA 95616. This business is conducted by a limited liability company, signed Matthew Cohen. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 06/22/10. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 06/25/10.

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JULY 15,22,29, AUG. 5, 2010 STATEMENT FILE A-032844700 The following person(s) is/are doing business as:So Fresh Services, 1338 Eddy Street, San Francisco, CA 94115. This business is conducted by an individual, signed Sanu Dhillon. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on NA. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 06/16/10.


JULY 15,22,29, AUG. 5, 2010



LEGAL NOTICES NOTICE OF APPLICATION TO SELL ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES To Whom It May Concern: The name(s) of the applicant(s) is/are: Wolfgang Puck Catering & Events LLC. The applicants listed above are applying to the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control at 71 Stevenson Street, Suite 1500, San Francisco, CA 94105 to sell alcoholic beverages at: 1805 Geary Blvd., 2nd & 3rd Floors,San Francisco, CA 94115-3519. Type of license applied for:

47-ON-SALE GENERAL EATING PLACE AUG. 05, 2010 NOTICE OF APPLICATION FOR CHANGE IN OWNERSHIP OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE LICENSE To Whom It May Concern: The name(s) of the applicant(s) is/are:Sameer Fahed Issa Beru. The applicants listed above are applying to the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control at 71 Stevenson Street, Suite 1500, San Francisco, CA 94105 to sell alcoholic beverages at: 1115 Taraval Street,San Francisco, CA 94116. Type of license applied for:

41-ON-SALE BEER AND WINEEATING PLACE AUG. 05, 2010 STATEMENT OF ABANDONMENT OF USE OF FICTICIOUS BUSINESS NAME: #0302731-00 The following persons have abandoned the use of the ficticious business name known as 1.The Guillen Company,2.Fuente de Juventud, 20 Alton Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94116. This business was conducted by an individual, signed Bayardo Guillen. The ficticious name was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 04/30/07.

JULY 15,22,29, AUG. 5, 2010 STATEMENT OF ABANDONMENT OF USE OF FICTICIOUS BUSINESS NAME: #0305182-00 The following persons have abandoned the use of the ficticious business name known as 1.The Guillen Company,2.Fuente de Juventud, 20 Alton Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94116. This business was conducted by an individual, signed Bayardo Guillen. The ficticious name was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 08/08/07.

JULY 15,22,29, AUG. 5, 2010 STATEMENT FILE A-032887000 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: Winks Handmade Creations, 380 Eddy Street, #202, San Francisco, CA 94102. This business is conducted by an individual, signed Amanda Wang. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on NA. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 07/06/10.

JULY 15,22,29, AUG. 5, 2010

STATEMENT FILE A-032891000 The following person(s) is/are doing business as:, 584 Castro Street, #850, San Francisco, CA 94114. This business is conducted by a corporation, signed Eric Chamberlain. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 07/01/10. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 07/07/10.

JULY 15,22,29, AUG. 5, 2010 STATEMENT FILE A-032869800 The following person(s) is/are doing business as:Maria’s Cleaning Services, 2087 Palou Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94124. This business is conducted by an individual, signed Maria C. Rojas de Mis. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on NA. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 06/28/10.

JULY 15,22,29, AUG. 5, 2010 STATEMENT FILE A-032896000 The following person(s) is/are doing business as:American Cafe, 995 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94103. This business is conducted by an individual, signed Prativa Sahu. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on NA. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 07/09/10.

JULY 15,22,29, AUG. 5, 2010 STATEMENT FILE A-032895500 The following person(s) is/are doing business as:Psychotherapy in Motion, 3769 Folsom Street, San Francisco, CA 94110. This business is conducted by an individual, signed Kathi Grace Barg. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 07/01/10. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 07/09/10.

JULY 15,22,29, AUG. 5, 2010 STATEMENT FILE A-032902300 The following person(s) is/are doing business as:Guest House, 3535 Clement Street, San Francisco, CA 94121. This business is conducted by an individual, signed Dong Young Lee. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 07/13/10. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 07/13/10.

JULY 15,22,29, AUG. 5, 2010 STATEMENT FILE A-032849300 The following person(s) is/are doing business as:Ming Yuet Stylist, 1920 B Ocean Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94127. This business is conducted by an individual, signed Annie Mac. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the

To Whom It May Concern: The name(s) of the applicant(s) is/are: Electra Inc. The applicants listed above are applying to the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control at 71 Stevenson Street, Suite 1500, San Francisco, CA 94105 to sell alcoholic beverages at: 39 New Montgomery Street,San Francisco, CA 94105-3438. Type of license applied for:

48-ON-SALE GENERAL PUBLIC PREMISES JULY 29, AUG. 5,12, 2010 STATEMENT FILE A-032905900 The following person(s) is/are doing business as:GoPhoto, 932 Broderick, Street, #3, San Francisco, CA 94115. This business is conducted by a limited liability company, signed Stephan Blendstrup. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on NA. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 07/14/10.

JULY 22,29, AUG. 5,12, 2010 STATEMENT FILE A-032889600 The following person(s) is/are doing business as:ACER CAB LIMO, 1230 Market Street, #244, San Francisco,CA 94102. This business is conducted by an individual , signed Jose Luiz Dopradofilho. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 07/07/10. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 07/07/10.

JULY 22,29, AUG. 5,12, 2010 STATEMENT FILE A-032903300 The following person(s) is/are doing business as:Pillar6 Benefits & Insurance Services, 2737 Polk Street,A, SF,CA 94109. This business is conducted by an individual , signed Roman Polnar. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 07/13/10. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 07/13/10.

JULY 22,29, AUG. 5,12, 2010 STATEMENT FILE A-032902700 The following person(s) is/are doing business as:Plumbing Supply Warehouse, 5835 3rd Street, San Francisco,CA 94124.This business is conducted by an individual, signed Riad Khano. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 07/13/10. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 07/ 13/10.

JULY 22,29, AUG. 5,12, 2010 STATEMENT FILE A-032878000 The following person(s) is/are doing business as:Jacobson Door and Hardware, 165 13th Street, San Francisco,CA 94103. This business is conducted by a corporation, signed William J. Jacobson. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 01/01/10. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 06/ 30/10

JULY 22,29, AUG. 5,12, 2010

STATEMENT FILE A-032895700 The following person(s) is/are doing business as:Cafe Capriccio,2200 Mason Street, San Francisco, CA 94133. This business is conducted by a husband and wife, signed Jalpa Patel. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on NA. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 07/09/10.

JULY 22,29, AUG. 5,12, 2010 STATEMENT FILE A-032909900 The following person(s) is/are doing business as:Miller Legal Services, 158 Shrader Street, San Francisco, CA 94177. This business is conducted by an individual, signed Brooke Miller. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 07/01/10. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 07/15/10.

JULY 22,29, AUG. 5,12, 2010 STATEMENT FILE A-032925500 The following person(s) is/are doing business as:Cy Flooring, 901 Bayshore Blvd,#404, San Francisco, CA 94124. This business is conducted by an individual, signed Chun Yi Zhung. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 07/22/10. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 07/22/10.

JULY 22,29, AUG. 5,12, 2010 STATEMENT FILE A-032908300 The following person(s) is/are doing business as:Hot Find Homes, 1247 Potrero Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94110. This business is conducted by an individual, signed Karen Everett. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 07/10/10. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 07/15/10.

JULY 22,29, AUG. 5,12, 2010 STATEMENT FILE A-032913400 The following person(s) is/are doing business as:Wine Task, 1740 Washington Street, #303, San Francisco, CA 94109. This business is conducted by an individual, signed Claudia Zimmerman. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on NA. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 07/16/10.

JULY 22,29, AUG. 5,12, 2010 STATEMENT FILE A-032875200 The following person(s) is/are doing business as:FidesReef, 228 Ocean Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94112. This business is conducted by an individual, signed Sehat Rosny. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 06/01/10. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 06/29/10.

JULY 22,29, AUG. 5,12, 2010 STATEMENT FILE A-032913900 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: iManageRent, 1182 Folsom Street, San Francisco, CA 94103. This business is conducted by a corporation, signed Hatef Moghimi. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 07/15/10. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 07/16/10.

JULY 29, AUG. 5,12,19, 2010 STATEMENT FILE A-032916400 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: School 2 Career Coach, 442 Collingwood Street San Francisco, CA 94114. This business is conducted by an individual, signed Yukari Baba. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 07/19/10. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 07/19/10.

JULY 29, AUG. 5,12,19, 2010 STATEMENT FILE A-032927700 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: The Irish Times, 500 Sacramento Street San Francisco, CA 94111. This business is conducted by a limited liabilitycompany, signed John Lillis. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 04/30/10. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 07/22/10.

JULY 29, AUG. 5,12,19, 2010 STATEMENT FILE A-032929000 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: Brass Fly, 25 Capra Way, Suite 305,San Francisco, CA 94123. This business is conducted by a general partnership, signed Victor Colborn. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 07/01/10. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 07/23/10.

JULY 29, AUG. 5,12,19, 2010 STATEMENT FILE A-032927000 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: Dos Lagos Regional Center, 10508 Lower Azusa Road,#202, El Monte, CA 91731. This business is conducted by a corporation, signed Chuan Dong. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on NA. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 07/22/10.

JULY 29, AUG. 5,12,19, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA RAPID TRANSIT DISTRICT NOTICE TO PROPOSERS GENERAL INFORMATION The SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA RAPID TRANSIT DISTRICT (“District”), 300 Lakeside Drive, Oakland, California, is advertising for proposals to provide consulting services for BART'S Regional Anti-Terrorism and Integrated Law Enforcement System, Request for Proposals (RFP) No. 79HP-120, on or about July 30, 2010, with proposals due by 2:00 PM local time, Tuesday, September 14, 2010. DESCRIPTION OF SERVICES TO BE PROVIDED The District is soliciting the services of a consulting firm for BART's Regional Anti-Terrorism and Integrated Law Enforcement System. The services shall be performed in accordance with the Scope of Services specified in Exhibit 1, Attachment A, of the Request for Proposals. The services are not necessarily limited in performing services, and supplying software licenses, as necessary, to implement a state-of-the-art turnkey integrated computer aided dispatch (CAD), records management system (RMS), mobile data system (MDS), with GIS-based Situational Awareness and internal and external system interfaces. Estimated Cost and Time of Performance: The District intends to make one award from this RFP. It is anticipated that the total cost for the Agreement will be between $2,000,000 and $3,000,000. The term of the agreement entered into pursuant to the RFP will be five years. Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program: There is no Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) goal for this RFP. Although there is no DBE participation goal for this RFP, the Proposer is encouraged to take all steps to provide an equal opportunity for DBEs to participate. Non-Disclosure Agreement: The selected Consultant is required to sign a Consultant Non-Disclosure Agreement for Release of Security Sensitive Information (Consultant NDA) with the District. In addition, the Consultant shall require any third party including subconsultants, suppliers involving access to SSI or Restricted Areas, to enter into a Third Party Non-Disclosure Agreement for Release of Security Sensitive Information (Third Party NDA). A copy of the Consultant NDA and Third Party NDA are included in the RFP. Pre-Proposal meeting: A Pre-Proposal Meeting will be held on Thursday, August 12, 2010. The Pre-Proposal Meeting will convene at 1PM at the District's Administrative Offices located at 300 Lakeside Drive, 15th Floor, Conference Room 1500, Oakland, California. At the Pre-Proposal Meeting the District's Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Programwill be explained. All questions regarding DBE participation should be directed to Mr. Ron Granada, Office of Civil Rights at (510) 464-6103 – FAX (510) 464-7587. In addition, the District's requirements for the Non-Disclosure Agreement will be explained. Prospective proposers are requested to make every effort to attend this only scheduled Pre-Proposal Meeting. WHERE TO OBTAIN OR SEE RFP DOCUMENTS (Available on or after July 30, 2010) Copies of the RFP are available free of charge and may be obtained: (1) By email request: Proposers may request an electronic copy of the RFP by directing an email to Gary Leong, Contract Administrator, email address: The email request shall include the following information: company name, address, city, telephone number, fax number and designate a contact person and their email address. (2) By written request to the District’s Contract Administrator, 300 Lakeside Drive, 17th Floor, Oakland, CA 94612. Reference RFP No. 79HP-120 - BART’s Regional Anti-Terrorism and Integrated Law Enforcement System. The written request may also be send to the District’s Fax No. (510) 464-7650. (3) By arranging pick up at the above address. Call the District’s Contract Administrator, (510) 287-4717, prior to pickup of the RFP. Dated at Oakland, California this 29th day of July, 2010. /s/ Kenneth A. Duron Kenneth A. Duron, District Secretary San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District

BAY AREA REPORTER STATEMENT FILE A-032931500 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: THEFASHIONSENCE.COM, 1248 24th Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94122. This business is conducted by an individual, signed Haihua Mai. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 07/26/10. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 07/26/10.

JULY 29, AUG. 5,12,19, 2010 STATEMENT FILE A-032915200 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: Skymont, 580 California Street,Suite #500,San Francisco, CA 94104. This business is conducted by a general partnership, signed Fang Hu. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 07/08/10. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 07/19/10.

JULY 29, AUG. 5,12,19, 2010 STATEMENT FILE A-032924200 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: 1.Winery-SF, 2.Vie Winery, 3.Chateau par la Baie, 200 California Avenue,Building 180 North,Treasure Island, CA 94130. This business is conducted by a limited liability company,signed Kenneth Bryan Kane. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 07/01/10. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 07/21/10.

JULY 29, AUG. 5,12,19, 2010

5 August 2010 . . BAY AREA REPOR TER 15








The following person(s) is/are doing business as: Carina Mobile, 210 Fell Street, #4, San Francisco, CA 94102. This business is conducted by an individual, signed Tim DeBenedictis. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed ďŹ ctitious business name or names on 07/05/10. The statement was ďŹ led with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 07/26/10.

The following person(s) is/are doing business as 1.Afello Enterprise, 2.Afello Design, 148 Laidley Street, San Francisco, CA 94131. This business is conducted by an individual, signed Hadley Fellows. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed ďŹ ctitious business name or names on 07/22/10. The statement was ďŹ led with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 07/22/10.

The following person(s) is/are doing business as Butties, 30 Grand View Avenue, #102, San Francisco, CA 94114. This business is conducted by an individual, signed Kenneth Souza. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed ďŹ ctitious business name or names on 07/30/10.The statement was ďŹ led with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 07/30/10.

JULY 29, AUG. 5,12,19, 2010 STATEMENT FILE A-032936700 The following person(s) is/are doing business as: Distractions, 1552 Haight Street, San Francisco, CA 94117. This business is conducted by an individual, signed James O. Siegel. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed ďŹ ctitious business name or names on 06/01/82. The statement was ďŹ led with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 07/28/10.

AUG. 5,12,19,26, 2010 STATEMENT OF ABANDONMENT OF USE OF FICTICIOUS BUSINESS NAME: #0298858-00 The following persons have abandoned the use of the ďŹ cticious business name known as Capital City Electric, 870 Market Street, Suite 353, San Francisco, CA 94102. This business was conducted by an individual, signed Bradford Adams. The ďŹ cticious name was ďŹ led with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 12/05/06.

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Lamplighter Music Theatre’s ‘Pirates of Penzance’ opens.

Rufus Wainwright on his new album, ‘All Days Are Nights.’

page 21

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Vol. 40 . No. 31 . 5 August 2010

hen people ask Billy Murray’s boyfriend what his sweetie does for a living, the job description is clear enough. “He’s a clown.” But, Murray said, it does sometimes put a pause into the conversation. “But it’s not like I’m twisting balloons at a kid’s birthday party. I’m a clown with the most famous circus in the world.” It was a posting on Craigslist that changed the young college dropout’s life last year. After quitting the Art Institute of Philadelphia and moving to Los Angeles in 2007 with no specific career in mind, Murray had been earning a living as a gymnastics instructor and a few gigs as an extra. But then he saw an audition call in Hollywood for clowns on Craigslist. The poster just happened to be Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. “Auditioners will be asked to show their ability to display exaggerated facial expressions, athleticism or any unique physical skills, as well as a sense of personality and why they wish to become part of The Greatest Show on Earth,” read the ad. Murray got the job, broke the news to his boyfriend about their upcoming longdistance relationship, and was soon packing for Tampa, where the latest edition of the circus with roots dating back to 1834 would be put together. Producers Nicole and Alana Feld, daughters of Ringling Bros. impresario Kenneth Feld, were in charge for the first time, and they helped Murray find his clown character. “I’ve got tons and tons of energy, so they started with that,” he said. The boyish, diminutive performer (a mere 5-foot-2) became the friendly clown who could break the ice with kids (and adults) with an aversion to clowns. In addition to ongoing shenanigans and a pre-show meet-and-greet, when audiences are invited to the arena floor to mingle with the performers, try on costumes, and watch an elephant paint a picture, Murray and his fellow clowns have a major sketch in each of the two acts. In the first act, in honor of the 200th anniversary of the birth of P.T. Barnum, the clowns stage their own version of Barnum’s famous sideshows. Murray is outfitted as a half-man/half-woman character for that gag, and in the second act he plays Electric Man in a spoof of superheroes. This

Meet out gay Ringling Bros. clown Billy Murray

Courtesy Feld Entertainment

by Richard Dodds

page 28


Director Todd Solondz on ‘Life During Wartime’


series of what are usually thought of as sordid choices. They’re choices, however, that can be experienced as a mixture of bitter humor humanely laced with pathos and a profound knowledge of life’s everlasting sorrows. In a candle-lit nightclub, an older woman who has made no effort to mask the ravages of time gets right down to business with a middle-aged, seemingly prosperous and most definitely attractive male stranger. “Mind if I join you?”


page 28


f you’re a hardcore fan, the best news about Life During Wartime is that the question, “Has success spoiled Todd Solondz?” can be answered with a resounding no! The fact that this much-anticipated sequel to the filmmaker’s 1998 dark comedy Happiness is, like its predecessor, as much a primal scream as a traditional yukfest, is testament to just how much the art of this singular American artist has evolved. As with Happiness, Life During Wartime is filled with acidly funny conversational set-pieces between characters whose lives have devolved into a


Francisco Román

~by David Lamble ~


Dylan Riley Snyder and Allison Janney in Life During Wartime.


BAY AREA REPORTER . . 5 August 2010



Queer summer books quiz! by Roberto Friedman n the spirit of summer frivolity as well as intellectual nourishment, instead of providing straightforward blurbs about some newly published books, we’re going to present a few unattributed excerpts from them, and it’s up to you to guess which books they’re from! Pencils ready? Here are the books we’ve excerpted: A. I Was Born This Way – A Gay Preacher’s Journey Through Gospel Music, Disco Stardom, and a Ministry in Christ by Archbishop Carl Bean with David Ritz (Simon & Schuster, $24). B. Medium Raw – A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook by Anthony Bourdain (Ecco, $26.99). C. Theater Geek: The Real Life Drama of a Summer at Stagedoor Manor, the Famous Performing Arts Camp by Mickey Rapkin (Free Press, $25). D. Working with Bernstein by Jack Gottlieb (Amadeus Press, $24.99). Now here are the excerpts:


In this issue

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1) “‘I’m thinking that the further away I get from you, Alex Bradford, the happier I’ll be.’ “‘We’re taking Cope to Broadway,’ Alex reminded me. ‘You’ve been talking bout playing Broadway ever since I’ve known you. So I don’t believe you, Baby Boy – not for a single minute. You ain’t walking. No one walks out on a chance to perform on Broadway.’ “‘I do.’ “And I did.” 2) “We request something from the hotel to tack up [name redacted] posters in the room. Bellboy: ‘Voulez-vous scotch?’ (meaning Scotch tape). [Name redacted] overhears him and says, ‘We have scotch here’ (meaning Ballantine’s liquid gold).” 3) “But I don’t know what I would do if I Googled ‘I Hate [name redacted]’ and saw a million or so hits, like Jamie would find if he Googled the same phrase but with his name.” 4) “To [name redacted], Esq., “I hereby testify that you were right, I was wrong. God bless you, you clever wolverine. “Respectfully submitted, “[name redacted], Ignoramus “10 Jan., 1969.” 5) “Early in the show, Pseudolus is accused of ‘parading’ as a citizen. ‘Believe me, master,’ Pseudolus states, ‘I was not parading.’ With that, Harry throws his left hand in the air and does an exaggerated jaunt across the stage. [beat] O UT ‘This is parading.’ The cast can barely keep it together.” 6) “My parents brought me up to believe that showing off was a bad thing, a sign of generally bad manners. (I’m not saying those values took hold, just that I might have heard them mentioned.)” Pencils down! Answers are at the bottom of the column.

Catching ‘Flies’ This summer also brought the publication of the first biography of the Nobel Prize-winning novelist William Golding – The Man Who Wrote ‘Lord of the Flies’ by British critic John Carey (Free Press, $32.50). Golding always felt that the phenomenal success of Flies, his first novel, would eclipse the rest of his career, and despite receiving a Nobel Prize for Literature in 1983, a Booker Award for Rites of Passage in 1980, and a knighthood in 1988, he was undoubtedly right. By all accounts he was a nasty man, abusive to his wife, given to depression and vanity, an outsize alcoholic. Carey makes the case that he was also a repressed homosexual, an analysis Golding himself probably would not have disputed. “His journal, and especially his accounts of dreams, show that he was acutely aware of his own ‘homosexual component,’ as well as of his tendency to deny it. ‘I pretend to be immune to such bent delights as homosexuality and transvestism,’ he remarks, after dreaming of dressing up in his mother’s clothes. But his unconscious tells him otherwise: ‘My dreams won’t let me get away with standard attitudes about myself.’ Though he reckoned himself ‘wholly heterosexual,’ his dreams, he believed, restored him to the ‘human situation of being omnisexual.’” It was a demimonde with which he was well familiar, having served in the wartime Royal Navy. “Another

direction in which Golding’s education was extended on board Galatea was the sexual. On the lower deck he observed a thriving homosexual underworld, and gained knowledge of its routines and vocabulary. He learnt that the slang for buggery was ‘having a bit of a grommet.’ Recording this in his journal later he added the scholarly gloss that there was a Spanish and Portuguese word grumete, meaning a ship’s boy, which became ‘grommet’ in Elizabethan English, and that the word also denoted a circle or loop of rope that was shaped like a sphincter.” Golding put this expertise to good use in his naval novels Rites of Passage and its sequel Close Quarters. In the latter, “a friendship develops between [protagonist] Talbot and Lieutenant Benét. Their friendship arousT HERE es the jealousy of poor Lieutenant Charles Summers, who, it is evident (to the reader, though not to Talbot), is in love with Talbot.” Homosexuality may have been a recurrent motif in Golding’s books not only because of his latent homo-potential, but because he admired such peers as homosexuals E.M. Forster and Angus Wilson. He seems to have been a rough character, but for all his faults, surprisingly “gay-friendly.”

After the bomb A special event coming up in Japantown: “VIZ Cinema, the nation’s only movie theatre dedicated to Japanese film, presents screenings on Aug. 6 & 7 of Academy Awardwinning filmmaker Steven Okazaki’s White Light/Black Rain, a moving documentary about the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that brought about the end of WWII. Tickets are available to attend a Premiere Event for White Light/Black Rain on Fri., Aug. 6, at 7 p.m. that will include a Q&A session with several survivors and the Friends of Hibakusha, an SF organization dedicated to supporting survivors of radiation exposure from the bombings. A portion of ticket sales will be donated directly to the Friends of Hibakusha.” Tickets are $15, available at www.vizcinema .com. General admission on Sat., Aug. 7 (no reception or Q&A) is $10. P.S. Thanks to readers who insisted we catch Matthew Barney’s De Lama Lamina. Barney masturbates while suspended from the undercarriage of a monster truck during the Carnaval de Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. A figure representing Julia Butterfly Hill cavorts on a float. Barney molds clay on the turning axis, then rubs his hard dick on it. Has to be seen to be believed.▼ Answers to book quiz: 1.) A, 2.) D, 3.) B, 4.) D, 5.) C, 6.) B.

5 August 2010 . . BAY AREA REPORTER



The very model of a modern ‘Penzance’ Lamplighters Music Theatre’s ‘Pirates’ are on their way to San Francisco by Philip Campbell an Francisco’s beloved Gilbert and Sullivan troupe the Lamplighters, “ranking somewhere between sourdough bread and cable cars,” opened their 58th season last week with The Pirates of Penzance. I caught the show on the second night in Walnut Creek, with some alternate cast members, but the run will continue to the end of August, wending its way through Yountville, Mountain View, Livermore and, of course, at home in San Francisco in the Novellus Theater at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. After years of absence on my part, it seemed like a good idea to become reacquainted with the best Savoyards this side of the Atlantic for a midsummer night’s entertainment in the balmy evening air of the East Bay. It was as if I never went away. There was all the old professionalism: attention to musical values and characterization, avoidance of parody, and endearing lack of pretension intact. The old gang had me back in their clutches from the first strains of the Overture. Any visiting or local musical shows could learn a thing or two from conductor and Music Director Monroe Kanouse about making a 21-piece orchestra sound virtually symphonic, without synthesizers or even electronic amplification. If there was one thing that really made this Pirates sparkle and delight, it was the uniformly excellent musical response from both orchestra and singing ensemble. The sets remain lovably old-fashioned, though the lighting has become more sophisti-

Jason Sarten as the Pirate King in Lamplighters Music Theatre’s The Pirates of Penzance.

cated over the years with updates to technology, and the costumes are still bright, witty and wonderfully detailed. That is the tradition of Lamplighters Music Theatre. I also appreciate the standards applied to acting. No false British accents (Americans never seem to get them right, anyway) – the right tone is simply achieved using proper English pronunciation. No one camps or hams about the stage unless the script demands it, and thus, the ridiculously silly plot twists and revelations appear almost (well, almost, almost) plausible. Of course, no one expects great drama

‘Sex Tapes for Seniors’ heats up the Victoria Theatre by Jason Victor Serinus

Kent Taylor Photography


Charmaine Hitchcox, Rebecca Mills, Nancy Helman Shneiderman in Sex Tapes for Seniors.

oriented theatre on subjects such as AIDS and violence reduction. He was also working with company members as a registered psychodramatist, and directing, choreographing, and performing in various regional theater companies. Sex Tapes for Seniors had its first airing in New Hampshire in 2006. Given Cossa’s background, it comes as no surprise that half the characters in the progressive retirement community are lesbian and gay. No wonder they feel free to grapple with issues of sexual vitality, evolving relationships, and new social and interpersonal roles. In January 2009, Cossa moved to the Bay Area. His motivation was dual: to escape the cold winters of the Northeast, and find the perfect place to direct the premiere of the final version of Sex Tapes for Seniors. The show should be right at home on the stage of the Mission’s Victoria Theatre, which is large enough to accommodate a range of musical styles that include tango, jitterbug, soft shoe, and that perennial senior citizen fave, rap.

page 22

Chris Shuford and Jason Sarten in Lamplighters Music Theatre’s The Pirates of Penzance: the ridiculously silly plot twists appear almost plausible.

of Gilbert and Sullivan, the fun is in the glorious word play, punning and seemingly endless supply of melodies. Of all the operettas in the canon, Pirates of Penzance ranks near the top, alongside The Mikado, H.M.S. Pinafore and Iolanthe. It also seems to be one of the best-known to American audiences. That is probably due to the hit Broadway run of many years ago, starring Kevin Kline as the Pirate King and Linda Ronstadt as Mabel. Well, I’m old enough to remember that rather tarted-up version, and both Kline (superb) and Ronstadt (a terrific surprise) are etched in memory. Replacing the impression of their defining performances might have

Senior moments he epiphany came over coffee. In 2005, playwright Mario Cossa, then 57, was hanging with his friend Deb, reminiscing about Barbra Streisand’s movie Meet the Fockers. Deb recalled the scene where Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro are driving, only to be stopped by police who find a load of sex videos in the trunk. “Hey, we can make a fortune making sex tapes for seniors,” Deb quipped. “Deb, that’s the name of our new musical!” Cossa replied. The two grabbed a computer and started to brainstorm. Soon they had a story about some folks in Shambhala Springs, a New Age retirement community, who get the idea to market sex-instructional videos for senior citizens. The fledgling musical soon evolved from a simple, light-hearted romp into a story about finding passion, excitement and meaning at the time of life when we no longer define ourselves by the central motivators of the young, which include how we look and what we do for a living. As the show developed into a twoact, fully choreographed production with 17 musical numbers by Tyler Flanders, a host of characters emerged between the ages of 52 and 75. Conflict came in the form of the seniors’ adult children, who are outraged at their parents’ actions. Equally perturbed are other members of the retirement community. Cossa, who spent nine years living in a commune in New Hampshire, first came out in 1969. At the time the musical birthed, he was running a program for teenagers in New Hampshire, directing improvisational, issue-

David Allen

David Allen


proved difficult, but I need not have worried. The leading roles, including the pirate apprentice Frederick (a very pretty Rex Smith in the Broadway cast), were all well done here, and in the case of Brett Ruona’s gorgeously sung Mabel, exceptional. Jason Sarten’s Pirate King swaggers convincingly, and fills out his black leather leggings with bravado. He is funny and vocally nimble, but his performance was eclipsed somewhat by the superior singing and utterly apt characterizations of the lovers Mabel and Frederick (a very good tenor with ringing sound, Joshua La Force). Ms. Ruona perfectly captured the essence of a G&S heroine, showing the surpassing intelligence of women

against the blustering, blundering males, and contrasting nicely with the ditzy chorus of simple-minded sisters. As Major-General Stanley, Jonathan Spencer gets one of the best patter songs ever, “I am the very model of a modern Major-General,” and with bright diction and incredible speed, he makes a real meal of it. He might have stolen the show, but his performance only (fittingly) stopped it. Spencer is one of the best character actors imaginable, and he clearly didn’t intend on upstaging anyone else. As Ruth, pirate maid of all work, the one who sets the whole deliciously convoluted plot in motion, Katy Daniel was quite good, but she is still a tad too young-looking for the part, and her voice could do with a little darker mezzo tone. The only minor drawback was the Sergeant of Police, Chris Shuford. He looked and acted the role with plenty of comedic energy, but alone in the cast, he was hard to hear and understand. The employment of a subtle low-class accent was amusing enough and the supertitles made his words clear, but we shouldn’t have to read his part along with him. It was hardly enough to mar an otherwise surpassingly enjoyable show, and as the crack pit-band played us out, I found myself happily humming along with the rest of the crowd.▼ The Pirates of Penzance, or The Slave of Duty (Stage Director: Phil Lowery; Choreographer: Erica Smith) plays Aug. 19-22 at the Novellus Theater, YBCA, 700 Howard St., SF. Tickets ($15-$40): (415) 978-2787.


BAY AREA REPORTER . . 5 August 2010


Pundits, poufs & Pussy Galore he summer TV landscape used to be littered with B-grade miniseries of the disaster sort. We thought of these as the Shirley Sherrod story hit the tube and refused to go away, much as the Obama Administration would like it to. Talk about your made for – or made up for – TV stories. Start with a FOX News habitué, Andrew Breitbart. This guy has already been caught out in previous doctored videos of the sort that would


make the perpetrators of Alien Autopsy look like pikers. Remember the ACORN pimps-and-whores video? Yep, that was Breitbart’s work. Nevertheless, FOX News ran with Breitbart’s truncated video of Shirley Sherrod, for which they cannot really be blamed because they hate black people, believe that reverse racism is a serious threat to all we hold dear as Americans, and never learn from their mistakes. So we can forgive FOX for being FOX: when you can’t think past your ideology, you’re hopeless. What we have difficulty forgiving is CNN and MSNBC, so-called “liberal”

media, who also ran with the truncated video. Keep in mind, folks, that these TV networks had easy access to the original video of Sherrod’s speech in its entirety. If we can fact-check here, you can fact-check there. These TV errors would have been bad enough, but apparently the White House and the NAACP use FOX as a primary news source as well. Sherrod told of having to pull over on the side of the road and e-mail her resignation letter to the White House, while the NAACP was excoriating her and essentially saying she’d set civil rights back a generation, single-handedly.

FOX News pundit Andrew Breitbart.

Ellen DeGeneres leaves American Idol: it was never a good fit.

ting president ever to be on a daytime TV Whatever happened to fact-checking, show was how the TV tabloid shows prodeep breathing and taking a step back mo’d it. Pundits far and wide weighed in to assess the situation? on whether or not it was presidential to Sherrod has no history of racism. go there. Former View co-host Rosie Her husband is a revered civil rights O’Donnell said she thought the activist. Surely Shirley was vetted bePresident shouldn’t be on “fluffy” fore she was ensconced in her position TV shows, but said it was a coup for in the Obama Administration? (Well, The View. Pennsylvania Gov. Ed maybe not – there was that matter of Rendell (D), a rumored presidential Tim Geithner’s tax issues.) But botcontender for 2016 and former DNC tom line: Why would anyone in the chair, said it just wasn’t serious. Obama White House take FOX News’ But on Hardball with Chris word for anything? Andrew BreitMatthews, Salon editor-in-chief Joan bart’s “story” originated there. Walsh said that she thought the punThere have been apologies from ditry was being a little extreme. She everyone in the ensuing days. thinks Obama was reaching “We’re so sorry we immediout to constituents he’s ately assumed you were losing – women – with a racist and didn’t check his appearance on The out the story until after View. According to the elderly white couple Walsh, Obama had a whose farm you saved “good time” when he apcame forward in tears peared on The View prebegging for your reinviously, found it statement to your easy to deal with the job.” L AVENDER T UBE co-hosts, and got a Except there is no big poll bump from reinstatement. In the his appearance. Walsh also noted that news you’re not seeing, yes, Sherrod the women of The View “ask good has been offered some vaguely undequestions.” fined job in the Obama AdministraThe complaints are more from the tion that has no title, no funding and press corps. As one ABC News reno staff. But since this debacle happorter queried of an Obama pened within the past two weeks, why spokesperson, “He hasn’t had a hasn’t she just been given her old job prime-time press conference in more back? Considering how slowly the than a year. Is this an end run around Obama Administration fills positions, the press?” we know it’s still vacant. Seems rhetorical to us. If you had Meanwhile, on July 29, Sherrod the choice of being grilled by the perannounced that she was mulling son who stands up for Mel Gibson, suing Breitbart. Right idea, wrong Michael Vick and Roman Polanski, or course. Breitbart needs a good smackthe Washington press corps, who ing, but is he the only villain in this would you choose? What was the likepiece? No, no, a thousand times no! lihood that Whoopi would put the We think the real villain is Obama’s President on the spot if she comes to obsession with the delusion of biparthe aid of anti-Semitic/racists, dogtisanship. That’s what led to Sherrod’s killers and pedophiles? As we said, immediate firing before a single rhetorical. member of his Administration had Speaking of rhetoric, can Americhecked to see if the allegations can Idol survive the loss of three of its against her were true. four judges? First Kara DioGuardi Sherrod has no case against Breitsaid she was leaving next season. Then bart; any attorney will tell her that. the show’s co-creator, Simon Cowell, But she does have a case against her said he was leaving for his new show, boss, the person who fired her, and his The X Factor. July 29, Ellen DeGeneres boss, the person who is now apolobecame the third defector. The diva of gizing every day and may invite her daytime said that it was “never a good for a beer summit soon. fit” because she “didn’t like hurting Mismanagement and incompepeople’s feelings.” tence often seem indistinguishable The show worked best with Cowfrom one another. Breitbart had a Tea ell, Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul. Party axe to grind. What was Obama’s Letting Abdul go was a huge mistake excuse? Memo to the Prez: In future, on the part of FOX. But with only get your facts from someplace other Jackson left, are there judges who can than FOX News. As one could readily really replace the controlled viciousinfer from their hit show, they are not ness of Cowell and the sweet crazy smarter than a fifth-grader. that Abdul brought? DioGuardi’s apEpic fail pearance signaled the demise of Abdul. Plus, she has always been a Anyone who thinks TV doesn’t inweak judge. fluence the zeitgeist isn’t paying attenDeGeneres is right that AI wasn’t a tion. WikiLeaks + Nightline = 102 good fit for her. She and Cowell House Democrats finally voting clashed, but not in the fun, “what will against the failing war in Afghanistan that crazy duo do next?” ways that nine years in. California’s Barbara Lee Cowell and Abdul did. The show’s demust have felt so vindicated, since she clining ratings have reflected how bad had once been the only vote against the mix has been. If FOX had any that war. Who says old blue dogs can’t sense, they’d let AI die a quick death. learn new tricks? Sure, it would be great to have a 10th Meanwhile, when the President season. But a 10th season with the wasn’t trying to extricate himself from weakest of the original judges? Jenthe Sherrod mess, he was back to nifer Lopez has been suggested as a doing his 50-state reunion tour, landing on The View July 29. The first sitpage 21

by Victoria A. Brownworth

5 August 2010 . . BAY AREA REPORTER



Upcoming Castro attractions From Dennis Hopper tribute to ‘Fruit Fly,’ ‘Metropolis’ & more Dennis Hopper and Isabella Rossellini in Blue Velvet.

Rossellini), who sings faux jazz at the Slo Club (a roadhouse dive that would be more at home in Hell’s Kitchen than in North Carolina, posing as logging country). Vallens is having a dangerous affair with a serious madman, Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper, in a career-reviving turn that only he could pull off). Frank, who cut off the ear Jeffrey finds in a field, and is holding its former owner and Dorothy’s child hostage to compel Dorothy to perform a bizarre ritual that mixes sex, torture and mayhem, is in Hopper’s hands a uniquely horrible and fully human creature, the embodiment of Freud’s worst fears, who puts all previous movie monsters to shame. It’s Lynch’s unique achievement to have us view Frank through Jeffrey’s eyes, as if life’s most dangerous knowledge could be had spying on one’s parents. The movie’s pivotal 22-minute sequence, climaxing in the beating and symbolic rape of Jeffrey by Frank, takes Jeffrey on a “joy ride” that mimics every stage of an adolescent’s struggle for autonomy and independence from the parental bond, in a nightmare tableau of sights and sounds. Lynch imitates Raging Bull’s demented collage of animal noises, and puts them to even more fiendish use. Frank and Jeffrey are a study in

Piotr Redlinski, courtesy Sony Pictures Classics


Catherine Keener in Please Give: an extended family of guilty liberals.

Lavender Tube ▼

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possible replacement judge. To which we can only say, Chanel and AI will never mix.

Blood and guts Speaking of Chanel, Project Runway began season eight July 29 just in time to celebrate Tim Gunn’s 57th birthday. Go ahead, try not to watch. Just remember, real men do watch Lifetime. One of our favorite summer shows has been ABC’s Boston Med. The blood-and-guts series profiles real medical cases and real doctors in three of Boston’s major hospitals. This season, the series has a lesbian ob/gyn among its doctors. Kelly has told her story along with the other docs profiled. She had fallen in love with a

woman she thought would be the one she would marry. But like many of the partners of these round-the-clock docs, it didn’t last. This week Kelly noted, “I don’t worry what people think about my being gay.” Explaining her break-up, she said, “I just came out to my parents, I was working nights all the time. Totally out of the blue, she cheated on me. That was it.” At the end of last episode she had met someone new online, and they were meeting for the first time. But the woman was late. Will she stand the lovely Kelly up? We hope not. (Check out this phenomenal series at if you’ve missed it. But be forewarned, not all the patients survive.) Speaking of not everyone surviving, General Hospital has been building one of their summer extravaganzas, focusing on the younger (read:

contrasts: Frank is the raging Id (“Ill fuck anything that moves,”) while Jeffrey strives to be the Superego. “Why are there people like Frank? Why is there is so much trouble in this world?” Homoeroticism ceases to be subtext and gets to run in a mad cesspool, along with the world’s oddest beer-tasting competition and Roy Orbison look-alike contest. If the film is Lynch’s greatest hit, it’s probably because its inspired lunacy is so perfectly focused in two brilliantly conceived screen characters. MacLachlan and Hopper should both receive career Oscars for rendering two of great American archetypes: the good boy trying to outrun the bad daddy, while the whore and the Madonna nervously await the outcome. Lumberton ’R Us. (8/5, with River’s Edge) Fruit Fly He’s not Larry Hart, Cole Porter or Stephen Sondheim, but San Francisco’s own H. P. Mendoza does have a witty way with a lyric, especially in a bawdy bar ballad sung by two unattached gay boys who discover that they’re magnificently incompatible, in Mendoza’s follow-up to his 2006 Bay Area songa-thon Colma: the Musical. “I’m what you call a versatile bottom, I’ll give it a shot but I’d rather you top.” “We’re versatile bottoms!” “I don’t like people who hold in their voices. You should shout it loud when you’re being plowed.” “Don’t worry, honey, I’ll shatter your windows. This chicken will cluck when he’s being fucked!” Mendoza’s Fruit Fly picks up where Colma left off as a deliciously dishy assortment of metrosexuals, gay boys, fag hags, lesbians and straight, ego-inflating performance artists battle for their share of coveted spots onstage. In the spirit of Avenue Q, Fruit Fly’s frisky cast musically opines about our notoriously fickle public transit systems, shared housing arrangements and such messy questions as, when does a blind date morph into a hookup? (8/11, 12) Please Give In this bold, acutely observed family comedy, Nicole Holofcener zeroes in on an extend-

hot) members of the cast. James Franco (Milk, Spider Man) has been a recurring guest star on the soap, and he is mesmerizingly good as the homicidal artist Franco. So yes, he is playing an alter ego of himself (in real life, Franco is also a painter and is breathtakingly accomplished). On GH, Franco is obsessed with Sonny Corinthos’ head mobster, Jason. He has repeatedly called Jason his soulmate. Last week and this, in an elaborate performance piece which included a black tranny lip-synching that was filmed in West Hollywood at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Franco commits suicide. Or does he? The episodes are well worth watching (on Hulu or for Franco’s crazy performance and for the not-so-hidden homoeroticism.

rom now through Labor Day, the Castro Theatre does what it does best: showcase an awesome variety of contemporary and classic cinema. The month begins with a tribute to Dennis Hopper (Blue Velvet, River’s Edge, Aug. 5; Rebel without a Cause, Hoosiers, Aug. 6; and Giant, Aug. 8); continues with a modern queer classic, H.P. Mendoza’s musical Fruit Fly (Aug. 11-12); features the spectacular restoration of the great silent classic Metropolis, with new discovered footage (Aug. 13-15); takes time out for a modern comedy double-feature, Greenberg and Please Give (Aug. 19); then wraps up with a nine-day spectacular series, Blonde Bombshells (Aug. 27-Sept. 4). More info: Blue Velvet “I don’t know if you’re a detective or a pervert.” “That’s for me to know, and you to find out.” Sandy Williams (Laura Dern, doing one of her smoothest highwire acts, the good girl sharing the front seat of red convertible, minus a bra) is getting a little wet for Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle MacLachlan, his black suit and tiny gold earring giving him the off-kilter aura of someone who’s answered of those TV ads for the Academy of Art). It’s the first act of the greatest film released during the Reagan Administration. Noir to the core, yet a completely original oedipal comedy, David Lynch’s Blue Velvet is a B movie only when you’re trying to find it at the video store. A work of true genius by one of the rare artists who is able to channel his unconscious without pretense, it’s an art film that doesn’t thumb its nose at the mainstream, by a filmmaker who’s been trying to live it down (or live up to its promise) ever since. Over cokes at the malt shop, Jeffrey sweet-talks Sandy into playing Nancy Drew to his Frank Hardy, so they can spy on a mysterious chanteuse, Dorothy Vallens (Isabella

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ed family of guilty liberals peculiar to West Side Manhattan. Kate (Catherine Keener) runs a high-end recycled furniture store with hubby Alex (Oliver Platt). The two have developed a highly profitable knack for skimming the gems from the estates of recently deceased New Yorkers, often by bamboozling the children of the newly dead about the real market value of some wretched old couch that their late mom couldn’t bear to part with, but that they the kids consider worse than junk. The film is horribly funny about the private shames and indulgences of the undeserving (at least to themselves) affluent. By film’s end, we have been brought hilariously close to the logic behind middle-age adul-

tery and stalking an ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend; we know the odd pleasure in having a height-challenged partner, and the stark reality of death close-up. We also feel the guilt pangs inspired when you know you won’t miss the newly deceased, and in fact stand to be quite a bit better off because of her passing. (8/19) Greenberg By the time an LA personal assistant with huge self-esteem issues decides to hook up with a failed rock musician almost twice her age – a musician who sabotaged not only his career, but those of his one-time bandmates – the biggest question posed in this invigorating

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by David Lamble


BAY AREA REPORTER . . 5 August 2010


by Tim Pfaff t the if-you’re-somebody-youhave-to-be-there level, the bigticket item in opera this summer was the Bayreuth Festival’s new production of Wagner’s Lohengrin, with the more-handsome-by-theday Jonas Kaufmann in the title role. To gander at the stills, the comely Kaufmann looks a trifle bored among the lab rats with which the animal-fetishistic director Hans Neuenfels littered the Festspeilhaus stage. I suppose that’s one way to take attention away from that pesky swan Wagner left directors to deal with, but maybe, as everyone said, you had to be there. Those of us who could not bip off to Bavaria in our private jets got a juicy consolation prize by way of Decca’s nearly simultaneous release of a DVD of Kaufmann’s debut in the role in the Bavarian State Opera’s new Lohengrin last summer. Its director, Richard Jones, knew better than to try to get between Kaufmann’s virility and the people who love it, but, that said, he did put the tenor and the entire cast in a thought-provoking production that at least didn’t trivialize the work. Perhaps oddest of all, it just let the swan be there, plunk, as a no-doubt-about-it swan right where


Wagner specified. Jones places the story in a society in what feels like between-the-worldwars Germany, a state in a proto-totalitarian stage of seeking a new leader. His production – realized on the stage by the cryptically named designer Ultz – works well at the level of telling a story his Munich audience might relate to. It has all the consistency Wagner’s highly problematic libretto allows. Ultz’s signature stage pictures feature mostly flat planes in strong, saturated though not quite primary colors. There’s a nod toward the traditional Lohengrin soft blue, but here the centerpiece is the white brick house Elsa is building, brick by brick, in her coveralls, as she awaits with supernaturally focused patience the arrival of the man of her dreams – who, when he does arrive, helps with the bricklaying. Jones’ concept made the role of the Herald – here the propagandist public voice of an Orwellian authority, keeping a cowed public “informed” from behind a big, cobalt microphone – make sense to me for the first time. Where the sharp-lined pictures go blurry for me is in the way the production depicts the contenders for leader of this anxious herd all too eager to be governed. Ortrud and Telramund, usually presented with almost cartoonish,

Boris and Natasha unalloyed, oozing malevolence, are a comparatively bland couple here, and any sense of Ortrud’s being from the dark side is sacrificed to her almost glow-in-thedark blond wig, which all but screams Aryan. Who are these people? It’s hard to take them seriously, and it doesn’t help that the singers, Wolfgang Koch and Michaela Schuster, lack zoots and are little more than obedient to the notes and the stage direction. Wagner’s quandaries are greater than Jones and Ultz could either solve or complicate, but at least Jones keeps us on the line while the ravishing performances by Kaufmann and Anja Harteros, as Elsa, play out. They are the dark, smoldering beauties of this production, though you wouldn’t for an instant miss that they’re German. But the purity they exude is not the Aryan variety, and singing as sensitive yet intense as these two offer comes along once in a decade, if that. Kaufmann’s “In fernem Land” is pure transport, sung as if on a single breath, hushed and heroic in one long, smoldering arc. It strains credibility to think that only two months earlier, Jones and Ultz had staged Verdi’s Falstaff for Glyndebourne, but there’s a live performance on DVD (Opus Arte) to prove it. It is sheer, gleaming genius from all concerned. Its setting is post-

Wilfried Hoesl

Lohengrin variations

Jonas Kaufmann and Anja Harteros in Lohengrin.

WWII, early 1950s England, and the updating is as surefooted and arresting in every sparkling detail as Verdi’s astonishing final score. It has a typical Glyndebourne cast of singers you’ve mostly never heard of who are to a one wonderful and here whipped into a spinning comic frenzy of ensemble that never lets up yet never seems overwrought or anything other than organic. Vladimir Jurowski, conducting his London Philharmonic Orchestra, puts every last gem in Verdi’s tirelessly inventive score on display without distracting from the show. I

can only assume that the subtitles are the same ones the Glyndebourne audience got, but they’re also pitch-perfect, deftly keyed to both the quintessential Britishness of this production (both Jones and Ultz are British) and, against all odds, Verdi’s italianita, too. But first among equals is Christopher Purves’ astonishing Falstaff. As we see in his semi-nudity at the beginning of Act III, there’s no fake padding in his larger-than-life Falstaff, and there isn’t a wasted or false gesture in his singing or acting. Everything about this Falstaff is magical. ▼

teo), flirty smokers (Ethan Hawke, Maggie Q, Robin Wright Penn and Chris Cooper), film-score composers (Orlando Bloom), meddling phar-

macists (James Caan), promnight revelers (Anton Yelchin), pickpockets (Hayden Christensen and Andy Garcia), crotchety old married couples (Cloris Leachman and Eli Wallach), and more. Sadly, with only one remotely intriguing story (starring Julie Christie as an aging opera singer which could have taken place anywhere), there’s nothing to love about New York, I Love You. DVD special features include two more films: the sepia-toned These Vagabond Shoes, directed by Scarlett Johansson and starring Kevin Bacon; and Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Apocrypha, which at the very least features a queer actress (Heather Matarazzo) and an Auden poem (read in Russian). There are also interviews with five of the directors, including Nair and Yvan Attal.▼

Green card melodrama by Gregg Shapiro ay director/writer/actor Casper Andreas takes a giant leap away from his sexually overt and graphic comedies such as Slutty Summer and A Four Letter Word, getting serious with his drama Between Love & Goodbye (Embrem), now on DVD. Kyle (Simon Miller) and Marcel (Justin Tensen), a young, gay New York couple, find their love threatened on a few different fronts. Marcel’s sham marriage to lesbian Sarah (Jane Elliot), made so that he can get a green card, hangs in the balance. Sarah’s commitment to the marriage, which basically involves her playing her part, especially for the immigration interview, seems to be too much bother for her. But it’s the arrival of Kyle’s trans sister April (Rob Harmon) that presents the biggest threat. After not


speaking to Kyle for a year, April, who turned tricks for cash, reappears, causing Kyle to behave irresponsibly and neglect his relationship with Marcel. Manipulative and jealous, as well as lazy, April pits Kyle against Marcel, and openly disrespects her brother’s boyfriend. Regardless of all the negative energy, Marcel and Sarah ace the immigration interview. This only seems to spur April’s determination to destroy what Kyle and Marcel have. April, who decides to assume her male identity of Cole after a botched breast job, performs with Kyle in his band and constantly belittles Marcel, bringing about the end of the relationship. Andreas has a knack for capturing the venom and cruelty of people at the point of no return, and he uses it to powerful effect. He also earns his dramatic if mildly predictable conclusion.

Not New York It’s almost unfathomable, but none of the writers (including Israel Horovitz, Scarlett Johansson and the late Anthony Minghella) and directors (including Mira Nair, Brett Ratner, Shekhar Kapur and Natalie Portman) behind the abysmal anthology flick New York, I Love You (Vivendi) saw fit to include storylines with African-American, Puerto Rican or LGBT characters. How it was possible to make a movie titled New York, I Love You and not show some love to the inhabitants of Chelsea or Harlem is beyond me, but somehow they managed to do just that. Instead, the heavily hetero composite piece is a sloppy patchwork quilt of diamond dealers (played by Natalie Portman and Irrfan Khan), one-night-standers (Bradley Cooper and Drea de Mat-

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Emmy-winning Chicago native, Kathy Griffin, a multi-faceted performer with a rapid fire wit, is originally best known for her four-year stint on the NBC sitcom "Suddenly Susan" as Vickie Groener, Brooke Shields' acerbic colleague. Kathy has performed very successful stand-up specials for Bravo including the first in 2005 called "Kathy Griffin....Is Not Nicole Kidman" and the second in May of 2006 called "Strong Black Woman." Kathy's DVD stand-up special "Alegedly" is in stores. In August 2005 Kathy's reality show, "Kathy Griffin: My Life On The D-List," debuted on Bravo to rave reviews.

Email with your email address to win!

Speaking of homoeroticism, Neil Patrick Harris is one of the highest paid actors on the tube. He’s also one of the most prolific, with roles on two networks (CBS’ How I Met Your Mother and FOX’s Glee), and the goto guy for hosting awards shows. He also does magic. And directing (he’s doing Rent now). Oh, and he’s the only big-name out gay actor on the tube (don’t argue: he is). On July 30, he was on Craig Ferguson’s Late Late Show talking about

Sex Tapes ▼

Sign up for Bay Area Reporter ’s weekly newsletter to win a pair of tickets to see KATHY GRIFFIN on Sept. 18 & 19 at Davies Music Hall, San Francisco!

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One of Cossa’s coups was to engage Scrumbly Koldewyn, the man responsible for the music in the Cockettes’ Pearls Over Shanghai, as Musical Director. He in turn directed Cossa to seven of the cast members, all of whom participate in Oakland’s Stagebridge Theater Company. The oldest senior theater company in the United States, Stagebridge uses theatre and storytelling to bridge the generation gap by breaking down stereotypes and stimulating more positive attitudes toward aging.

work, his domestic partner (actor David Burtka) and his dogs. At the end of the segment, he was talking about his Silly Bands. Ferguson noted that his son also wore them. Harris took his off one at a time, explaining why he liked each one – “this one’s a pineapple, because I like pina coladas. And this is a rooster because I like –” Check it out at This performance followed the previous night’s visit by Carrie Fisher, who, when asked by Ferguson if she liked the movie Octopussy, said she would go to see anything with “pussy” in the title. We so love TV. Stay tuned.▼ “The show appeals to people of all different ages,” Cossa says. “One audience member in his 30s commented to me that the play gave him new insights into his parents’ lives and issues. “One of the best comments I remember was from a woman in her 80s. She came up to me after the show and said, ‘You know, I’m a bit of a prude. But I think your show was very funny.’”▼ Sex Tapes for Seniors runs Aug. 5 (preview) through Aug. 22, Thursdays through Sundays, 8 p.m., at the Victoria Theatre, 2961 16th St. For tickets, (800) 838-3006 or www.brownpapertickets .com

5 August 2010 . . BAY AREA REPORTER



Rufus Wainwright, all day & all night ulti-talented out performer Rufus Wainwright has returned with All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu (Decca), his first studio album of new material since 2007’s Release the Stars. He’s been keeping himself busy in-between albums, releasing a pair of concert albums and working on his opera Prima Donna. He was also dealing with his mother Kate McGarrigle’s illness and her subsequent passing, earlier this year. The melancholy and emotional All Days Are Nights is reflective of this period. Difficult and possibly Wainwright’s least immediately accessible release, it is nevertheless well worth the investment of time and psychic energy. A sort of mourner’s prayer, the album finds a way to celebrate life that is to the credit of Wainwright’s bountiful talents.


Gregg Shapiro: I want to begin by offering my sincerest condolences on the passing of your mother, Kate.

Rufus Wainwright: Thank you. I had the honor of interviewing her for The McGarrigle Hour, the 1998 disc on which you also performed, which is being reissued in a vinyl edition. Are you involved with that project?

Well, I am in spirit and historically. But that’s really Anna McGarrigle’s territory at the moment. I’m really happy that it’s coming out, I think it’s a fantastic album. I do intend, along with Martha, to further my mother’s legacy down the line, for sure. But at the moment, we’re just trying to get our act together in general! There is a void. But it’s great that that’s coming out. All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu and your previous release, the live

album Milwaukee at Last!, are released domestically on Decca. Does being on Decca give you freedom to pursue the more classical side of yourself?

It definitely ensures that the album will be made, and that there won’t be too much interference. Which I did experience a little bit of before on Geffen and Interscope, which was where I was before. It was such a pop label. But on the other hand, a huge major label is a huge major label. When you get a project out with one of those companies, you do have a lot more power, and it goes a lot further. At the end of the day, it works out to be about the same! You’re on a nice little label where you can do what you want, but they can’t push it as hard as someone who has more might. So it all comes out to be the same in the end. All Days Are Nights includes both a song from your opera Prima Donna and three selections from your collaboration with Robert Wilson. With so much to choose from, how did you go about selecting what to include?

That group of songs, All Days Are Nights, they’re all flowers from a garden that I’ve been growing for at least 20 years; whether it’s the most complicated piano/vocal arrangement that I’ve ever come up with, or the opera, or the sonnets. I had to squeeze my artistic sensibilities to the max in order to come up with this rarified mix of material. There wasn’t a lot of sifting through songs. I knew that these were the songs of a lifetime, so I had to put them all together. The three selections from the Wilson collaboration Sonette – “Sonnet 43,” “Sonnet 20” and “Sonnet 10” – are Shakespeare sonnets that you set to music. On Graphic as a Star, Josephine Foster sets some Emily

Cocks on campus by Jim Piechota The Unborn Spouse Situation by Matt Rauscher; Lethe Press; $18

att Rauscher’s ambitious, oversexed, uneven debut novel The Unborn Spouse Situation opens with, well, sex! On the campus of the Midwestern college where horny 22-year-old August “Augie” Schoenberg (“half French, half German, latently Jewish, and all faggot”) lives with his frat brothers, it is Victor, his Indian housemate, who ends up taking center stage. Right from the first chapter (there’s 48 in all), where Victor asks Augie to “exchange boxers” with him, he gets his hopes up. The games begin as Victor shows Augie his “disproportionately large” dick and big, brown ass that the new underwear is, of course, hardly able to contain. There are a lot of scenes like that – too many, in fact – and while intermittently titillating, they do tend to suffocate the kind of narrative momentum the author may have been hoping to generate. The story is set in and around The Harley Hutt, which is the unnamed university campus’ biggest frat house, a transitory party pad housing an ever-revolving carousel of sex-starved straight boys. While Augie, as an out and gay student, has taken a huge risk in moving there (since homophobia rears its ugly head on more than one occasion), he doesn’t feel any of the implications, since every room brims with young, muscled eye-candy for him to drool over. The frat boys play Truth or Dare, constantly marinate themselves in cheap beer, and find Augie’s ogling of their bulging crotches implausibly hilarious. Our hero navigates the varied struggles in-


herent in desperately desiring a gay relationship (like the one he’d had at 18) when very few potential prospects are available to him. Things with Victor ramp up, but Augie has suspicions about the dark, sad place their intimacy will lead to, since Victor is engaged to be married. Rauscher’s debut amounts to an overwritten yet moderately entertaining mix of raunch, drama, naked boys, and homoerotic hijinks, and the book has the kind of handsome cover art that will entice store-browsers. But

the regrettable title, an overload of dick descriptions, misplaced Emily Dickinson quotes, and the fact that Augie is a depressive, relatively unlikable protagonist are total turn-offs. The author has a few literary lessons to learn, but in the end, this is the kind of book that has enough gay sex and straight-boy longings to carry casual gay fiction readers through more than a few summer beach days.▼

have to master these treacherous compositions and get from one end to the other without being cute – because that’s what I’m doing with this album. It’s a very serious show. I’m just going through the motions of grief, but artistically. One of the stops on your concert tour includes a return to the Pabst Theater, where Milwaukee at Last! was recorded. How was that venue chosen for the live CD and DVD? Were you always intending to return there to perform again?

Kevin Westenberg

by Gregg Shapiro

Rufus Wainwright: ‘I had to squeeze my artistic sensibilities to the max.’ Dickinson poems to music, while Natalie Merchant set poems by 19th and 20th century poets to music on her new disc Leave Your Sleep, and five classical composers set the poetry of Billy Collins to music for The Billy Collins Suite. What do you think about this trend of setting existing poetry to music?

I think everything happens for a reason. I’m a strong believer in serendipity, so I’m not surprised. But one of the arguments for this behavior is, let’s face it, the era of songwriting was better when you had lyricists working with musicians! This thing of a musician having to write their own lyrics is slightly dubious. I do it. I think I get away with it, somewhat. But in general, I think it was sort of the wrong way to go for most musicians. It’s a good thing to start looking at words as equally important, and equally difficult

to master. “Martha” and “Zebulon” are among your most deeply personal compositions. Can you say something about the experience of exposing yourself in such a way through your work?

Yeah. Probably due to the fact that I am a musician first and secondly a lyricist, my lyrics have to be really, really potent. They come with an ounce of blood, shall we say! They’re most effective when they’re closest to my personal life and there’s a certain truth that shines through. I have to do that in order to maintain my ability as a songwriter. Would you say that the emotional and raw tone of the material on All Days Are Nights has had an effect on your recent live performances?

If anything, it mirrors what’s really going on in my soul. I’m in heavy-duty mourning, and when I get out there, I

Yes! That theater, specifically, has been a real milestone for me in terms of maintaining a stronghold in Middle America, and also bringing back a kind of European, sophisticated sensibility that I think once existed in America, which that theater embodies. It’s a magical place. Also, I have to say that the owners of theater are just wonderful, they’re a great family. That really has to be supported in this day and age. You gave a memorable performance in the 2005 movie Heights. Any upcoming movie roles?

Nothing set yet. But if they come to me with a good offer, I may accept. I’m not saying that I don’t want to act. But I would say that it is a little bit spooky how many music people do go into that field. I guess there’s a reason for it. But I’m battling opera at the moment. Battle on!

Hollywood will have to wait!▼ Rufus performs on Aug, 21 in Oakland at the Fox Theater, with Martha Wainwright; Aug. 22 in Napa at the Uptown Theatre Napa, with Martha Wainwright; Aug. 23 in Saratoga at the Mountain Winery; and on Nov. 11-13 in San Francisco at Davies Symphony Hall.


BAY AREA REPORTER . . 5 August 2010

Joan Armatrading at the Palace of Fine Arts, Tue.

Pixar: 25 Years of Animation. See New Exhibits at Oakland Museum, Sat.

OUT&ABOUT Cat on a Hot Tin Roof @ Actors Theatre

by Jim Provenzano Aloha Festival

Tennessee Williams’ acclaimed Southern family drama gets a local production. $26$38. Wed-Sat 8pm. Thru Sept. 4. 855 Bush St. at Mason. 345-1287.

The Cremaster Cycle @ Roxie Cinema

ach week, putting together what readers and PR people still call the “Calendare,” even though it hasn’t been called that in three years, is an earnest endeavor to seek out the most culturally diverse and LGBTinclusive arts events around the Bay. Some weeks, like this one, prove to be a veritable rainbow of diversity. Let’s start with a favorite. The Aloha Festival at the Presidio Parade Grounds –the annual two-day celebration of Pacific Islander music, dance, food, crafts and culture– includes performances all day, both days, plus delicious food, a kids’ space, workshops, … oh, and, uh, hot guys dancing in Pa’u (skirts). Bring blankets, lawn chairs, etc. Free; $10 parking nearby. 10am-5pm. Friday & Saturday, August 7 & Aug. 8. www.picaorg Want a little more Hawaiian fun? Members of the Bob Basker American Legion Post 315 (named after the gay veteran and civil rights activist) will hold their annual awards ceremoney and Hawaiian-themed luau, which will include a roasted pig. Wear Hawaiian shirts or other in-theme garb. Honorees include veterans’ rights activists and artists Mart Downing, Nadya Williams, Judith Sandoval and Jamie Lopez. Sunday, August 8, 4pm-7pm. 401 Van Ness Ave. Room 223. International Black LGBT Film Festival Disney movie musicals have a spotty history when it comes to accurate depictions of people of color. Either they’ve been villains, henchmen or stereotypes. Disney’s Aladdin, while no beacon in the realm of uplifting depiction of ethnic characters, at least has Arab lead roles. Berkeley Playhouse’s production of the kid-friendly stage adaptation of the Disney animated film includes a special LGBT family matinee Aug. 8, with a pre-show reception at 3:30pm. $15-$33. Fri-Sun at various times thru Sept. 5. 2640 College Ave. (510) 665-5565. The Afro Solo Arts Festival, at various venues through October 15, gets underway August 8. The 17th annual showcase of theatre, dance, forums, visual arts and more includes Performance for Peace with Colette Eloi, Paco Gomes, Genny Lim, Raymond Nat Turner, and Dr. Brenda Wade. $35-$100. Aug. 8, 3pm at the African American Art & Culture Complex, 762 Fulton st. Thru Oct. 15. 771-2376. Wanna see a movie? Wanna meet the director of a movie? The Oakland International Black LGBT Film Festival plays at various venues around the East Bay. The kick-off party for the three days of film screenings, workshops and parties takes place August 10, 7pm-1am, at Era Art Bar & Lounge, 19 Grand Ave. at Broadway. Films include Children of God, Hooters, Mississippi Damned, and Disney’s Aladdin several short films. Thru Aug. 14. What’s so funny about being a gay Native American? Find out when comic Charlie Ballard performs at Dark Room Theater August 12. This taping for a TV show also includes fellow comics Kaseem Bentley, Heather Isaacs Royce and Ricky Luna. 21+. Naughty words will be uttered, thank goodness. $10. 7:30pm. 2263 Mission St. Okay: big finale! See dancing bears, singing bottoms, Filipino fag hags and many more all-too familiar types dancing all over our fair town in the Mission hipster movie musical Fruit Fly at the Castro Theatre, August 11 & 12. H.P. Mendoza, creator of the adorably droll Colma: The Musical, returns with the story of a Filipino woman who moves in with the eccentric characters in a Mission district art Charlie Ballard commune. Mendoza revives the ailing musical film genre with local settings and dead-on localized social commentary. $10. 2:30, 4:445, 7pm, 9:30pm.Also Aug. 12. 429 Castro St. ▼


Fruit Fly

Matthew Barney’s strange and compelling 7.5-hour symbolic art film series screens in a rare complete schedule; not on DVD, ever, allegedly. Also, Barney’s De Lama Lamina, filmed at a Brazilian Carnival. $9.75. allday passes for complete screenings Aug 7 & 8 are $24. Thru Aug. 8. 3117 16th St. at Valencia. 431-3611.

Dave Koz, Jonathan Butler @ Montalvo, Saratoga Out gay jazz saxaphonist performs with Butler, and special guest Sheila E. $45-$85. 7:30pm. Montalvo Arts Center, 15400 Montalvo Road. (408) 961-5800.

Dennis Hopper Films @ Castro Theatre Three-day double-feature films starring the recently deceased actor. Aug. 5, Blue Velvet, 2:30 & 7pm. River’s Edge, 4:55, 9:20pm. Aug. 6, Rebel Without a Cause (co-starring James Dean, of course) 2:30, 7pm, and Hoosiers, 4:40, 9:10pm. Aug. 8, Giant (with co-stars Elizabeth Taylor, James Dean and Rock Hudson) 2pm, 7pm. $7-$10. 429 Castro St.

Don Rizzo @ Magnet Opening reception for Fragments of Color, Rizzo’s exhibit of paintings of drag queens, homoerotic poses and more. Free. 8pm10pm. Exhibit thru August. 4122 18th St. at Castro.

The Green Bird @ Steve Silver Theater Local production of David Bridel’s translated adaptation of Carlo Gozzi’s classic Commedia dell’Arte play about love, betrayal, megalomania and magic. $10-$15. 8pm. Thru Aug. 21. 1101 Eucalyptus Drive. 699-1079.

Laura Arrington, Jesse Hewit @ CounterPulse Paired concert of works by the gay and lesbian choreographers, who each take on sexism and feminine identity in darkly comic ways. $15-$20. 8pm. Thru Aug. 8. 1310 Mission St. at 9th.

Leanne Borghesi @ New Conservatory Theatre Center Bubbly local singer performs Divalicious, cabaret-style tunes made famous by gay divas from Streisand to Cher. $22-$40. Wed-Sat 8pm. Sun 2pm. Thru Aug. 22. 25 Van Ness Ave at Market, lower level. 861-8972.

Marilu Henner @ The Rrazz Room Star of musicals and the TV show Taxi performs her new cabaret act. $40. 7pm. Also Aug. 7 & 8, 7pm. Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason St. (866) 468-3399.

Odd Films @ Oddball Films Three screenings of propagandistic, satiric and just plain strange short found-footage films, curated by Stephen Parr. Tonight, 8:30pm, Historical/Hysterical, about guns and gun nuts. Aug 7, 8:30pm is Opticalia, shorts all about eyes. Aug 7 at 10pm, Wildlife Tunes, an animated projected performance by Amanda Hendricks. $10 each. 275 Capp St.

Orlando @ Lumiere Cinema Re-release of Sally Potter’s brilliant film adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s classic novel, about a British noble who lived four hundred years, first as a man, then as a woman; Tilda Swinton stars, with Billy Zane, and Quentin Crisp as Queen Elizabeth I. Also at Berkeley’s Shattuck Cinema. 1572 California St. at Polk. 267-4893.

Piaf: Love Conquers All @ Eureka Theatre Naomi Emmerson stars as French chanteuse Edith Piaf in the Off-Broadway musical hit. $25-$36. Tue-Sat 8pm. Also Sat 3pm. 215 Jackson St. Thru Aug. 7. (800) 838-3006.

The Real Americans @ The Marsh Dan Hoyle (Tings Dey Happen) premieres a new multiple-character solo show based on

his road trip to Middle America to explore the profound disconnect in a politically polarized country. $15-$50. Thu-Fri 8pm. Sat 5pm. Thru Sept. 25. 1062 Valencia St. at 21st. (800) 838-3006.

Sex Tapes for Seniors @ Victoria Theatre Mario Cossa and Tyler Flanders’ new musical comedy about senior citizens who make educational sex tapes, despite outrage from younger adults. $20-$40. Fri-Sat 8pm. Sun 2pm. Thru Aug. 22. 2961 16th st. at Capp.

TechnoCraft @ Yerba Buena Center for the Arts New exhibit of work subtitled Hackers, Modders, Fabbers, Tweakers, and Design in the Age of Individuality, which includes works in many media by dozens of technicians, artists and designers who remake and revision technology, art and culture. Special evening shows with music groups and shows on various Thursday, Friday eves and Sunday afternoons. $12-$15 Exhibit Thu-Sat 12pm-8pm. Sun 12pm-6pm. 700 Mission St. 978-ARTS.

This Is All I Need @ Noh Space Mugwumpin’s collaborative theatre work about possessions, collectors, hoarders and the strange anxieties people have about stuff. $15-$30. 8pm. Thu-Sat thru Sept. 4. 2840 Mariposa St.

13th Floor Dance Theater @ ODC Studio B Jenny McAllister’s renamed and revamped dance company presents Lightning Strikes Anonymous, about a support group for people struck by lightning. $10-$20. 8pm. 351 Shotwell St.

African Continuum @ Museum of the African Diaspora New exhibit of prints by Bay Area historian Bryan Wiley documenting altars and ritual practices of U.S. African descendants of other countries. $5-$10. Wed-Sat 11am6pm. Thru Aug. 28. 685 Mission St. at 3rd.

Animation Exhibits @ Walt Disney Museum See biographical exhibits about Walt Disney, early sketches and ephemera from historic Disney movies. Frequent lectures and film screenings. $12-$20. 104 Montgomery St., The Presidio.

The Art of Dr. Seuss @ Dennis Rae Fine Art Fascinating exhibit of rarely seen prints, paintings, sculptures and a few of the more known drawings by Theodor Geisel, the author/illustrator of the immensely popular children’s books. Ongoing, with updates and new items. 351A Geary St. 391-1948.

Beach Blanket Babylon @ Club Fugazi Musical comedy revue, now in its 35th year, with an ever-changing lineup of political and pop culture icons, all in gigantic wigs. $25$80. Wed, Thu 8pm. Fri, Sat 6:30, 9:30pm. Sun 2pm, 5pm. (Beer/wine served; cash only). 678 Beach Blanket Babylon Blvd. 421-4222.

Blithe Spirit @ Live Oak Theatre, Berkeley

The Fantastiks @ SF Playhouse Local production of the classic Off-Broadway musical about young love and interfering parents. $30-$50. Wed-Sat 8pm. Also Sat 3pm. Thru Sept. 4. 533 Sutter St. at Powell. 6779596.

GAWK @ Magnet Jon Suger welcomes queer artists in many genres in an all-ages show. Free. 7pm. 4122 18th st.

Gem of the Ocean @ Next Stage August Wilson’s first of a ten-part series of plays about the African-American experience. $30. 1/2–price Thursdays. Thu-Sat 8pm. Sun 7pm. 1620 Gough St. 333-6389.

Local Wonder @ Tenderloin Community Gallery Art by Tenderloin artists challenging stereotypes about local residents. Fri-Sat 12pm3pm. Thru Aug. 31. 134A Golden Gate Ave. at Jones.

Night of 1000 Showgirls @ Castro Theatre Peaches Christ presents a screening of Showgirls, the unintentional campfest film about female strippers (All About Eve in Vegas), plus an army of slutty lap dancers (free with a large popcorn), and a Nomi Malone lookalike contest judged by Heklina, Lady Bear and Martiny (dresss in your best “Vursayse”), all celebrating the 15th anniversary of one of the best-worst films of all time. $15-$18. 8pm. 429 Castro St.

New Exhibits @ Oakland Museum of California Oakland Museum re-opens after major renovations. Exhibits include Pixar: 25 Years of Animation, opening July 31, with more than 500 drawings, paintings and sculptures from their hit films (Thru Jan 8, 2011). Also, Bay Area figurative art, Dorothea Lange archive, Early landscape paintings, Gold Rush Era works, California ceramics. Gallery of California Natural Sciences focuses on California’s unique status as a region of extreme biological and geological diversity. $6-$12. 1000 Oak St. Oakland. (510) 238-2200.

Oakland East Bay Men’s Chorus @ California Ballroom, Oakland Cabaret summer pops concert includes table seating, a bar, silent auction, and a concert of fabulous choral music. $30 (theatre seats) to $250 (full table). 6:45 reception, 7:30pm show. 1736 Franklin St. (800) 706-2389.

Pastor Tom Show @ KUSF Dr. Tom Polcari’s LGBT music and talk show. 4pm. Weekly on 90.3 FM.

Pearls Over Shanghai @ The Hypnodrome Thrillpeddlers’ revival of the comic mock operetta by Link Martin and Richard Koldewyn, performed by the gender-bending Cockettes decades ago, and loosely based on the 1926 play The Shanghai Gesture; with an all-star cast. $30-$69. 18 and over only! Extended, Sat 8pm, Sun 7pm, thru Dec 19. 575 10th St. at Division. (800) 838-3006.

Actors Ensemble of Berkeley’s production of the Noel Coward comedy about a man and his two wives, one of them a ghost. $12-$15. Thu-Fri-Sat 8pm. Thru Aug. 21. 1301 Shattuck Ave. at Berryman. (510) 649-5999.

Le Perle Degli Squallor @ Hot Spot

Calder to Warhol @ SF MOMA

Queer Couture @ Femina Potens

The first public exhibit of some of the works collected by the Fishers (The GAP empire owners), with some pivotal works by Andy Warhol, Alexander Calder, Frank Stella, Chuck Close and others. Other exhibits include visually striking contemporary works. Free-$18. Thru Sept. 19. Fri-Tue 10am5:45pm. Thu til 8:45pm. 151 Third St. at Mission. 357-4000.

Enrique Chagoya @ Galeria de la Raza YTREBIL, an exhibit of politically satirical prints and drawings. Exhibit thru Aug. 28. Tue 1pm-7pm. Wed-Sat 12pm-6pm. 8268009. 2857 24th St.

Divey cruisy retro fun with cheap drinks; like a gay pulp fiction paperback come to life; DJ Bus Station John grooves ya. $5. 10pm-2am. 1414 Market St. at Van Ness Ave.

Opening reception for a group exhibit of designs, textile art, photography and more by Najva Sol, Molly Crabapple, Mev Luna, Jesse Trepper, Corey Gunter Brown & Cassidy Wright. 7pm-10pm. Exhibit thru Aug. 28. 2199 Market St. 864-1558.

Taming of the Shrew @ Forest Meadows Ampitheatre, San Rafael Shakespeare’s feistiest lovers pair off in a swashbuckling version of the classic sexist comedy. $20-$35. Fri & Sat 8pm. Sat & Sun 4pm/5pm. 1475 Grand Ave., Dominican University. 499-4488.

5 August 2010 . . BAY AREA REPORTER

Don Rizzo’s art at Magnet, Fri.

Denise Perrier @ The Rrazz Room Local vocalist performs classic songs sung by Bessie Smith and Dinah Washington. $30. 8pm. Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason St. (866) 468-3399.

Funny Tuesdays @ Harvey’s Ronn Vigh hosts the weekly LGBT and gayfriendly comedy night. Tonight, Chantal Carrere headlines. One-drink minimum. 9pm. 500 Castro St. at 18th. 431-HARV.

Wicked @ Orpheum Theatre Mega-hit musical based on the book about the two famous Oz witches as young college roommates. $30-$99. Tue-Sat 8pm. Wed, Sat, Sun 2pm. Sun 7:30pm. Thru Sept. 1192 Market St. at 8th. $30. 512- 7770.

Sundance Saloon @ Space 550 Country-Western dancing with lessons. $5. Free clothes check. Beginner lessons at 5:30pm, dancing til 10:30. 550 Barneveld Ave. 820-1403.

Joan Armatrading @ Palace of Fine Arts Slim’s Steps Out presents a rare concert by the acclaimed composer-singer. Jamie McLean opens. $40, $65, $100. 8pm. 3301 Lyon St. 522-0333.

Chris Schiavo @ ArtHaus Bijou @ Martuni’s It’s all-original music night at the eclectic cabaret show in the famous martini bar, with singer-composer Brendan Getzell, Megan Keely, Jeb Haven and Tweaka Turner; Trauma Flintstone hosts. $5. 7pm. 4 Valencia St. at Market. 241-0205.

Comedy Night @ Actors Theatre Natasha Muse and Ryan Cronin cohost a parody talk show, with guest comics Marcella Arguello, Red Scott, Greg edwards, Mike Spiegelman and Brian Fields. $10. 7pm. 855 Bush St. 345-1287.

Happy Hour @ Energy Talk Radio Interview show with gay writer Adam Sandel as host. 8pm.

Mitchell Gold @ Ruby Livingdesign Gay home furnishing chain store owner, and author of The Comfortable Home signs copies of his latest book (2 for 1 offer at event); free bundt cake and champagne. 1pm. 1919 Fillmore St.

San Francisco Theatre Festival @ Various Venues With 120 shows on 14 stages throughout the city, it’s impossible to list even the highlights. But LGBT performers include musical/comedy duo Fifi and Fanny; performance troupe SF Boylesque; comedians Janine Brito, Julia Jackson and Nicole Maxali; and solo artists Martha Rynberg and Enzo Lombard-Quintero. 543-1718.

SF Hiking Club @ San Bruno Mountain Join GLBT hikers for an 11-mile hike on San Bruno Mountain. Bring hat, sunscreen, layers, sturdy boots, lunch, water. Carpool meets 10:00 at Safeway sign, Market St. at Dolores. (650) 763-8537.

Sunday’s a Drag @ Starlight Room Donna Sachet and Harry Denton host the fabulous weeklybrunch and drag show. $45. 11am, show at noon; 1:30pm, show at 2:30pm. 450 Powell St. in Union Square. 395-8595.

13th Floor Dance Theater at ODC Studio B, Sat.

Al “A. Jay” Shapiro @ James Snidle Fine Art Exhibit of original drawings by the late gay erotic cartoonist and creator of Harry Chess and other muscular comic characters. Open run. Also, the Rodney Thompson Estate collection. Mon-Fri 9am-5pm. Sat 9am-2pm. 1190 Bryant St. 552-0500.

The B-52s @ Uptown Theatre, Napa The classic fun rock band performs at the cool theatre in wine country. $75-$85. 8pm. 1350 3rd St. Napa. (707) 259-0123.

Comedy Night @ El Rio Marga Gomez, Lisa Geduldig, Edwin Okong’o, Brian Malow, Janine Brito perform at the cool club. $7-$20. 8pm. 3158 Mission St. at Precita. (800) 838-3006.

Heather Gold, Bill Santiago @ The Garage Comedy duo share an evening of smart wit. $7-$10. 8pm. 975 Howard St.

Queer Ballroom @ Live Art Gallery Weekly beginners same-sex dance classes in salsa and other styles. Also swing classes on Wednesdays, Standard ballroom Thursdays, $10 each, $35 for series. 151 Potrero Ave. 305-8242.

Sidney June @ Castro Country Club Seeds of Love, the artist’s exhibit of iconic symbol art. Thru Sept. 15. 4058 18th St.

Shoshana Bean @ The Rrazz Room Broadway star of Wicked and Hairspray performs music from her new R&B album, Superhero. $35. 8pm. Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason St. (866) 468-3399.

Ten Percent @ Comcast 104 David Perry’s new talk show about LGBT local issues. New times: Mon-Fri 11:30am & 10:30pm, Sat & Sun 10:30pm.

The Backyard, an exhibit of darkly witty photos of cluttered Queens, New York back yards. Also a garden installation by Deanna Glory. Thru Sept. 30. Tue-Fri 11am-6pm. Sat 12pm-5pm. 977-0223.

Del Shores’ A Sordid Affair @ The Rrazz Room Comic writer presents his stand-up act, and special guests from his comedy TV show Sordid Lives. $35-$55. Thru Aug. 14, 9:30pm. Aug. 14, 4pm. Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason St. (866) 468-3399.

David Jedeikin @ Books Inc. Author of Wander the Rainbow, a memoir about an epic journey by a gay man who also donates his liver to his ailing partner. Free. 7:30pm. 2275 Market St. at Noe. 8646777.

Garrin Benfield @ Café DuNord Local folk-rock singer opens for Chuck Regan. $10. 9pm. 2170 Market St.

Impressionism at Twilight @ de Young Museum Thursday evening parties featuring reduced admission fees for extended viewing hours for Birth of Impressionism through 8:45 pm, a special French menu in the de Young Cafe, and magnificent sunset views of the city and the Pacific from the de Young Tower’s ninthfloor observation deck. $10-$16. Also, During the Musee d’Orsay exhibitions, the Friday Nights at the de Young series celebrates Impressionism and Post-Impressionism with lectures, music, and artist demonstrations. Thursdays thru Sept. 2. Golden Gate Park, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive. 7503600.

Joshua Klipp @ Enrico’s Popular local vocalist performs jazz standards with his band, The Klipptones. No cover. 7pm-10:30pm. 504 Broadway.

Passionate Struggle @ GLBT Historical Society Exhibit about Bay Area LGBT historical events and people. Also, Man-I-Fest, an exhibit of letters and documents by FTM transgender pioneer Lou Harrison and friends. Free/donations. Wed-Sat 1pm-5pm. 657 Mission St. #300. 777-5455.

What Cannot Be Taken Away @ SOMArts Gallery Family and Prisons Project present an exhibit about families of people in prison. Artist talk and opening reception tonight, 6:30pm. Exhibit thru Sept. 11, with other public programs. 934 Brannan St. 863-1414.

To submit event listings, email Deadline is each Thursday, a week before publication.

For bar and nightclub listings, go to our new website and monthly print nightlife guide,


BAY AREA REPORTER . . 5 August 2010


Imperial festivities by Donna Sachet e send our very best wishes to Sweet Lips, now enjoying retirement from writing the longest continuously running column in this esteemed paper, and in direct response to his challenge not to let the Tenderloin and Polk areas suffer from a lack of coverage, we will make a special effort to visit those bars and events with more regularity. Last Sunday, Aunt Charlie’s hosted Christmas in July, the 10th year that Mama Sandy Reinhardt, Grand Duke Robb Esmond, and Grand Duchess Colette LeGrand have teamed up to gather toys and raise money for kids who might otherwise be forgotten come December. The bar was decked in red garland, twinkling lights, and other holiday paraphernalia, and the drag show line-up included a tremendous variety of talent. Joining the festivities were the Reigning Emperor Steven Dorsey and Reigning Empress Renita Valdez, Reigning Grand Duke Patrick Noonan and Reigning Grand Duchess Pollo del Mar, Absolute Dowager Emperor & EmO N T HE press 28 John Marques & Jessica Avalon, Grand Duke & Duchess Peter Padilla & Ruby Sippers, and too many other

Steven Underhill


Sondra St. James with Gladys Bumps at The Final Cattle Call in the Rainbow Room of the LGBT Community Center.

titles to list. Last Tuesday, Dr. Jerome Goldstein & Tommy Taylor opened their lovely home for a preparty for the Horizons Foundation’s 30th annual fall gala. Overcast weather cleared, enabling the guests to relish the sprawling views while sampling hors d’oeuvres and wine. Executive Director Roger T OWN Doughty described an incredible Oct. 2 event at the Westin Market St., when Annise Parker, Mayor of


Houston, will be the honoree, and table hosts were lining up enthusiastically. Guests included Richard Sablatura, Russell Kassman, Jewelle Gomez, Jeff Lewy & Ed Eishen, Paula Morris & Cory Pohley, Lisa Schoonerman & Jan Zivic, and Mark Small. Saying good-bye is never easy, but last Saturday’s midday cruise onto the Bay to scatter ashes, share memories, and salute heroes was a lovely way to remember Quentin Easter & Stanley Williams of the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, who recently died within months of each other. These two led


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Coming up in leather & kink >> Thur., Aug. 5: Hot Draw! at the Mark I. Chester studio (1229 Folsom). Through Aug. 22: Men: photographs by German photographer Ulli Richter. Viewing hours 1-6 p.m. Go to: Thur., Aug. 5: Locker Room at Chaps Bar (1225 Folsom). Featuring DJ Hotwire. Pumping music at 9 p.m. Comp clothes check provided by the SoMa Guardians. 9 p.m.-close. Go to: Thur., Aug. 5: EduKink – Your First Scenes class at the SF Citadel (1277 Mission). How does one go from kinky fantasy, or attending fetish parties, to playing comfortably? We cover how to select toys, how to structure a scene, how to find and prepare a partner, and what techniques to try first. Doors open at 7 p.m., program from 7:30-10:30 p.m. $15-$25 admittance, sliding scale. Go to: or or Thur., Aug. 5: Red Hanky Night at Chaps Bar. 9 p.m.-close. Sponsored by Hell Hole. Go to: or www.chapsbarsanfrancisco .com. Fri., Aug. 6: Jockstraps at Chaps Bar. Go-Go Studs at 11:30 p.m. Lots of hot men into jocks. Free clothes check if you strip to your jock with the SoMa Guardians. DJ Sam La Belle. Bootblack on duty. 9 p.m.close. Go to: Fri., Aug. 6: Bent: Paradise, a play party for kinky youth at the SF Citadel. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Join Bent hosts Stefanos and Chey for some sex and sadism under the (artificial) sun! Bent is the Citadel’s biggest ongoing dungeon event, attended by over 200 of SF’s hottest pervs. Break out your swimsuit or other sexy tropical attire and join us for a lusty luau! The first 50 people in the door with be guaranteed to get leied. Upstairs: DJs Rave, Feem Mystique, and Slaveboy, dance space, stripper pole, social area, and succulent snacks. Watch for sexy performances starting at about 10:10 p.m. Downstairs: 2,500+ square feet of sex-positive dungeon space, with room for flogging or fucking. $20 at the door. Bent is for kinky youth; for the purposes of this party, “youth” is 18, 19, 20s and 30s. Go to: Sat., Aug. 7: Men in Gear at Chaps Bar. Hosted by Men in Gear. from leather to sports gear to rubber to boots to military to uniforms to Nasty Pig gear. Featuring DJ Six. Bootblack on duty. Go to: Sat., Aug. 7: Photography for Perverts - A Workshop With Master Photographer Charles Gatewood at the SF Citadel (1277 Mission). Learn the dos and don’ts of adult photography, how to meet and work with exotic models, information on getting published and exhibited, model releases, record-keeping, tech tips, and lots more. Students are encouraged to bring their cameras and examples of their work for critique. One or more nude models will be present to pose for all who attend. 2-5 p.m. Doors open at 1:30 p.m. Admission: $50. Go to: Sat., Aug. 7: Revolution at the SF Citadel. An open play party takeover for People of Color and their

friends, lovers and allies. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. $25 at the door. Go to: Sat., Aug. 7: Back Bar Action at the Eagle Tavern (398 12th St.). Back-patio bar open to all gear/fetish/leather. 10 p.m. to close. Go to: Sat., Aug. 7: Bearracuda at Deco Lounge (510 Larkin). Party for bears, cubs, and other wildlife. Free massages, great tunes, tasty snacks and friendly guys. $7 cover/$5 before 10 p.m. 9 p.m.-3 a.m. Go to: Sun., Aug. 8: Castrobear presents Sunday Furry Sunday at 440 Castro. 4-10 p.m. Go to: www.castrobear .com. Sun., Aug. 8: SF Men’s Spanking Party at 385A 8th St., above Mr. S Leather. 1-6 p.m. This is not a S&M Leather group. More for guys into Spanking & Spanking Fantasies like traditional Old-Fashioned Spanking over Daddy’s Knee or a Fraternity-style Pledge Initiation Paddling. This is a safe place for beginners to explore their Spanking Fantasies. Info: (415) 864-2766, or check the Bulletin Board Tue., Aug. 10: 12-Step Kink Recovery Group at the SF Citadel (1277 Mission). 6:30-8 p.m. Go to: Wed., Aug. 11: SoMa Men’s Club. Every Wed., the SoMa Clubs (Chaps, Powerhouse, Truck, Lone Star, Hole in the Wall, the Eagle) have specials for those who have the Men’s Club dogtags. See your favorite SoMa bar for details. Wed., Aug. 11: Busted! at Chaps Bar (1225 Folsom). Spanking hosted by Daddy Tony. Starts at 9 p.m. Go to: Wed., Aug. 11: Golden Shower Buddies at Blow Buddies (933 Harrison), doors open 8 p.m., play til late. Cost: $12 entry (Blow Buddies membership required, $8 for 6 months). Private membership club for hot guys into Wet play. Get here early, we shut the doors when full. Our dress code encourages sleazy play clothes like leather, rubber, uniforms, jockstraps, spandex, Levis, tank tops, underwear or no wear, buddy. Fragrances are not allowed. You might want to bring a change of clothes, buddy. Go to: Mark your calendars: Tues., Aug. 24: Watch your favorite 2011 Bare Chest Calendar men walk the catwalk as the auctions get a facelift. They’re teaming up with Donna Sachet and Lenny Broberg for a new gala at the Empire Ballroom of the Sir Francis Drake Hotel. All 12 men will be auctioned off after a formalwear and sportswear fashion show. Go to: Fri., Aug. 27 is the 10th (yes, 10th!) annual Breast Cancer Emergency Fun at 7 p.m. at the City Forest Lodge ( in SF. Thank you, Sandy “Mama” Reinhardt, for starting this worthy cause in 2000. Tickets are $22 at: www.brownpapertickets. com/event/113713/.

5 August 2010 . . BAY AREA REPORTER


Comeback studs by John F. Karr ell, bless my eyes and glands. but holy honkers if I don’t think Falcon Studios is reheated, reborn, rejuvenated. In the years following the death of Falcon’s founder, the company had a difficult time cultivating and maintaining a new-era identity. But it seems now as if Falcon’s finally coming out of that rough patch. I think the moment may have come to say that Falcon’s back. Back with a bang. Make that several bangs. It’s an across-the-line sort of thing. Director John Bruno, who was brought on to re-brand the über-masculine Mustang line, has found his skills flowering when applied to the more mainstream Falcon line. New blood was again needed for Mustang, and while several recruits have been okay, none have showed the instantaneous élan of Erik Rhodes. Let’s stick for the moment with Falcon-brand movies, which have suddenly accrued a sense of style, with handsome new logo and graphics. The creative team remains the same, while showing new flair: videographers Adam Killian and Brad Austin, film editor Tony Biscotti, and especially music composer E.M. Diaz, whose background music is worthy of foreground listening. A while back, I wrote about my pleasure in much of Morning Wood. It incorporated elements of what now emerges in a pair of features as a freshly minted style for Falcon. Most of all, it’s their look. The films are suffused with light; figures are dramatically backlit and surrounded with a dazzling white glow. And the sex manages the neat trick of being both idyllic and intense. You’ll notice it right off in John Bruno’s follow-up to Morning Wood, the feature White Hot. It’s just what the title says. Blazing white light; blazing hot sex. Though newcomer Gavin Waters is a thrill ride, his partner Blake Montana isn’t (though he’s got killer nipples). But three other scenes cook in all ways. John Mag-


On the Town ▼

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this nascent theatre group from humble beginnings to a national reputation as a preeminent producer of African American theatre, and their sudden and untimely demise leaves the theatre world in shock and pain. We accompanied about 50 friends and family, including Al Dixon, Celestine Lyons, Bert van Aalsburg, Yvonne CobbsBey, Michael Leroy Brown, Yolanda Cato Freeman, and Marc Paquette. The future of this theatre group remains hopeful due to the commitment of these guests and others. Watch for their annual fundraising gala in October. Later on Saturday night, the LGBT Community Center’s Rainbow Room was the site of The Final Cattle Call, a country-themed party celebrating the successful year of Mr. Cowboy Brent Olivier and Miss Cowgirl Saybeline. Faced with dwindling interest in this title, the Imperial Council of SF decided that this would be the final year. We can’t recall seeing the Rainbow Room ever being so delightfully crowded, including many San Francisco Monarchs like the Reigning Emperor & Empress, Emperors Jerry Colletti, Jacques Michaels, T.J. Istvan, John Carrillo, Tom Basch (yes, that’s right!), Fernando, Jason Ladd, and John Weber, Empresses Remy Martin, Marlena, Alexis Miranda, Chablis, Galilea, Chika, Cher a Little, and Angelina Josephina Manicotti, and a plethora of Imperial, Ducal, Leather, and Rodeo title-holders from across the state. Other pleased guests included Lenny Broberg & George, Michael Loftis, Emma Peel, Sammy Sampson, Roxie

num and Brandon Lewis begin sensuousn-slow, which lets us luxuriate in their horny feelings. Don’t worry – they build to boffo. I’ve been taken with sturdy, upright Landon Conrad (with the sturdy, upright dick). He’s great with newcomer Josh Griffin, a hunky young muscle-stud who’s gonna be a husky dad in a few years. If I thought White Hot had a momentary dip, I have no qualms about Bruno’s next, Inntrigued. That’s not a misspelling, but a pun; this one’s set in a B&B that’s so busy serving up balls-n-banging that no one ever gets to Continental Breakfast. Jordan and Aden Jaric are at their yummy best (for the last time?). Accompanied by a sultry samba, Aden bones up in his bathroom. When Jordan enters, he’s bewitched, and soon bothers his way right up Aden’s butt. The next scene is equally fab, as naptime turns into nookiefest for Landon Conrad and the redoubtable Rod Daily. They’re joined by John Magnum, who is thick all over, but most especially where thickness really counts. I swear, cocks have never seemed so big and beautiful. And I swear I wasn’t stoned. Leo Gamiani’s cock also seems larger than ever, in a scene with salacious young Tommy Defendi. And then – may my eyes not blow out of their sockets – the endlessly beautiful Benjamin Bradley takes every advantage of the nearly-as-fine Roman Heart. What can be said about this pair? Oh, the splendors! From start to finish, then, Inntrigued is super-duper by me. If you’re worried that the lush style of these movies means Bruno has foregone grit, check out his new sport-fuck feature, the sensational Snap Shot. The backlighting in the

Hart, Coy Ellison & Sal Meza, and Gary Virginia. Former Mr. Cowboys and Miss Cowgirls dating back to the 70s were appropriately honored on stage, and raffle prizes were awarded. The entire event, from mailed invitations with personal messages to colorful posters, online promotions, and underbudget expenses, reflected the excellent leadership that Saybeline had demonstrated all year long. Great job! If you find yourself in the Union Square area next week, enjoy SF Chefs 2010, a huge celebration featuring the food, wine, and spirits of the city in tents, booths, and stages throughout the square. Enjoy samplings, demonstrations, classes, and celebrity chef sightings. On Sat., Aug. 14, around 9 p.m., the ladies of Sunday’s a Drag at Harry Denton’s Starlight Room will be the featured entertainment on the main stage. The next big event on the horizon is Richmond/Ermet AIDS Foundation’s Help in on the Way XVI, That’s Entertainment, on Sun., Aug. 15, at Herbst Theatre. Director David Galligan has assembled another incredible evening of performers, including Carol Channing, Melissa Manchester, Kimberley Locke, La Toya London,

industrial setting of Snap Shot is golden, a warm amber halo cradling action that starts and stays pretty rough. Brandon Lewis is an exciting cock-rider when straddling the newly tough-looking Jeremy Bilding (that’s what cropping your hair can do). Erik Rhodes tops former rodeorider and reality-TV star Steven Daigle. He’s a player, that Daigle, deep-throating all seven yards of Rhode’s cock, and not even flinching when it blasts up his butt. Two other scenes feature the ruler of my heart, Adam Killian. Exciting bottom Gavin Waters is brazen with Killian, shoving a dildo rudely up Killian’s bronzed butt while Killian is cramming his cock up Waters’ asshole. And I don’t think there’s anything more I can say about the last scene except: Adam Killian and Landon Conrad DP Jayden Grey. Yow. Next time, I’ll get to Erik Rhodes’ fine directorial efforts for the Mustang brand. I’ll close right now by swearing – dammit! The new Falcon stuff is mighty fine.▼

Carole Cook, Lisa Vroman, David Gaines, and Paula West. Start with the VIP reception at 5 p.m. in the lobby of the War Memorial Building, then enjoy the show at 7:30 p.m., followed by a reception with the cast in the Green Room upstairs. Check out the great range of ticket prices, and don’t miss this extraordinary show! Further out is the newly envisioned Gala Auction on Tues., Aug. 24, when the 12 models of the 2011 Bare Chest Calendar, benefiting Positive Resource Center and AIDS Emergency Fund, are auctioned by Lenny Broberg for dinner dates at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel. This year’s event includes a short presentation of the models in a fashion show format in a beautiful ballroom with cocktails and food. The following Sun., Aug. 29, the winners will dine at Scala’s Bistro with celebrity Chef Jen Biesty, and attend Starlight Magic, a new variety show which will include magician Walt Anthony, singer Irene Soderberg, and this humble reporter, in the luxurious Starlight Room. Snap up a handsome date or simply enjoy the show while helping two of our favorite charitable organizations! We hope to see you there.▼



BAY AREA REPORTER . . 5 August 2010


Surfer boys in black & white sunshine Tai Sun and Rich: Puna Boys by David Aden Sprigle (FotoFactory, $45). 81 duotone plates, 98 hardbound pages.

he title of Tai Sun and Rich: Puna Boys, a books of photographs by David Aden Sprigle, refers to a pair of super-slim, tan-lined, nude surfer-type dudes on the big island of our exotic and tropical Hawaiian archipelago. Neither one of the 20something guys is a professional model. You get the feeling that they could be a pair of lifeguards living at the next beachhouse down the coast. Not one of the pictures seems posed, there is a spontaneous quality permeating every composition. Obviously the boys know they are being


Murray ▼

page 17

edition of the circus is dubbed FUNundrum!, and begins its Bay Area tour in Oakland on Aug. 11 before moving to San Jose. As a gay man, Murray has no agenda beyond classic tomfoolery when he is on stage. “But I am an out clown, and proud of who I am, so I hope by talking about it I can get more people who are like me out to the show, and show me some support, and show some for the other performers who may be homosexual but may not be out as well.” But Murray has found an agenda behind the scenes. “We’ve got performers from six continents, some from places where being a homosex-

Castro Theatre ▼

page 21

neurotic comedy from Noah Baumbach (The Squid and the Whale) is whether she’ll choose to flee a toxic relationship with only physical scars. The movie unfolds in one of those meteorologically pristine Southland

ual is not acceptable, and now they’re on our turf,” he said. “When we were in Tampa, maybe I wasn’t connecting to these folks right away because I’m an open homosexual, but now they’re starting to get to know Billy, me, for who I am, and it’s really cool to see people from around the world start changing their views.” Murray had early practice in the power of openness. “I grew up in a very small, very conservative place in New Jersey, and I came out in my freshman year of high school, which was pretty young, especially for that area. I mentioned how I’ve affected people from around the world in the circus, well, coming out so early in my high school really had an effect on my peers, and I think paved the way for students in classes under me.” His early out-and-proud stance

neighborhoods whose inhabitants get to farm out their boring everyday chores – shopping, cooking, child and canine maintenance – so they can focus on big-picture items like family trips to picturesque Third World countries. In the family’s absence, Florence (Greta Gerwig) is looking forward to putting her normal routines on auto-

was at first initiated by his deteriorating relationship with his parents. “We weren’t getting along, because I wasn’t being honest with them. I wrote my parents a letter, and I wrapped it and put it in their stockings on Christmas, so when they opened their presents I thought I was giving them the best gift in the world, the gift of letting them know who their son is. My parents are very accepting now, but maybe Christmas morning wasn’t the best time to do it.”▼

“As a gay man, Murray has no agenda beyond classic tomfoolery when he is on stage.

pilot, until she discovers she’s been given a far more daunting project: the welfare of her employer’s black-sheep brother Roger (Ben Stiller). One of the funniest and bravest scenes in the movie unfolds as Roger becomes a very naughty boy, going on a drug-fueled binge, break-dancing over couples, and refusing to yield control of the stereo at a 20something

Francisco Román

page 17

Ally Sheedy, Paul Reubens and Shirley Henderson in Life During Wartime.

ly nuanced exploration about the limits of grief, the possibilities of redemption and forgiveness, and a brilliant counterargument to the traditional American belief that one is always entitled to and capable of having a fresh start in a new place where no one even suspects your terrible secrets. Director Solondz has totally recast this most unusual sequel, with no actor reprising his part from the original film. Some of the characters have aged at different rates. One, the obscene phone-caller Allen, has undergone a race change, now hauntingly portrayed by Michael Kenneth Williams from HBO’s The Wire. All seem like damaged survivors from a barely afloat ship of fools. Filmmaker Solondz and I met for a lively Q&A in the same downtown

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus’ FUNundrum! will run Aug. 11-15 at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, and Aug. 18-22 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose. Tickets are available at or (800) 745-3000.

Clown Billy Murray as himself.

Life/Wartime “Please.” “Forgive me, please tell me you’re straight!” “I am.” “Thank god!” Later that night, the woman will be appalled but not surprised to see the gentleman rummaging through her purse for an after-date tip. Viewing herself as a monster, she instructs him where to find the cash, not realizing that this cad is hiding a secret that no amount of cosmetic surgery could ever mask. As an audience, we know that this man, Bill (Ciaran Hines), once a successful psychiatrist who was later revealed to be a serial pedophile who preyed on his son’s classmates, is on his way to apologize to his older son, Billy (Chris Marquette), before disappearing from his family’s lives forever. Meanwhile, his still-traumatized exwife Trish (Allison Janney) has finally started dating again, and in a low-key scene, is conversing with an equally stressed-out widower (Michael Lerner) about just how much they‘re willing to reveal about themselves. “What you’re feeling is normal.” “I can’t talk about my sex life.” “I can’t talk about mine, either.” “There’s so much I don’t understand.” “Sometimes it’s better not to understand.” Life During Wartime is a beautiful-

body hair other than a thick bush down below. These black & white photos were taken many years before guys began trimming their bushes and shaving their chests. There is virtually no sexual content, except for one shot of the stringy-haired blonde with a respectable hard-on, and another shot of him jacking off furiously. But there is no overt evidence that they are a gay male couple, other than they are there alone and together, and obviously enjoying each other’s company. Leafing through Puna Boys is like reliving your youth. It’s like peeking back in time to a more innocent age, when the most serious question anyone asked you was, “What’s your sign?” The book is beautifully printed in Korea, but other than that, this is an All-American vision, a distinctly different volume from the typical German import.▼

drawn. He looks good wearing his almostmandatory puka-shell necklace. The tiny, white seashells contrast well with his sundrenched dark skin. While I refer to these guys as surfers, there is, in reality, never an actual surfboard in sight. Perhaps beach bums would be a more appropriate term, but I think bum is a bit extreme. You see the pair walking along the surf or in the rain forest with their two mutts tagging along, picnicking on the coast, and lying on deserted black-sand beaches. Neither boy has any

photographed so they are at least minimally posed, but my favorite shot is of the handsomer, more well-defined, darker-haired, lightly tattooed Rich in mid-flight, seemingly suspended in mid-air, his legs splayed wide open like a pair of scissors over his lighter-haired, plainer buddy Tai Sun, who is seated, legs crossed, on the palm-fringed beach. Rich has a sunburst tattoo in the small of his back, and a simple ink outline of a skull-like Joker on his right breast. Both tats look home-

Courtesy Billy Murray

by Ernie Alderete

hotel room where we conversed about his Sound of Music spoof Palindromes five years ago. David Lamble: Why a second film, why this film?

Todd Solondz: That’s a mystery I can never fully answer for you. When I made Happiness, I never envisioned I would ever revisit any of these characters ever again, but evidently my imagination was not so fertile, because in fact, 10 years later, I did write the first scene of this movie. I thought of recasting as a way to help me bring a fresh angle and light onto the experience. It’s got its own life. If you’re looking for a replication of Happiness, you’ll be disappointed. It’s its own film, it has its own life. Paul Reubens plays the Jon Lovitz character. They’re both very funny

party. It’s filled with the texting, metrosexual-friendly, social-networking, iPod-addicted kids who have, in his eyes at least, unfairly inherited the career and social perks he foreswore when he inexplicably refused to sign his ex-band’s breakout first record contract. Rudely ascribing his own misdeeds to his bemused partymates (who refuse to take the bait), Roger,

who has never held down a real job, concocts a boomer indictment of the digital generation’s alleged sins of entitlement. “I’m freaked out by you kids. Your parents were all too perfect to parent, all that baby Mozart, you’re all ADD and carpal-tunnel. I hope I die before I meet one of you in a job interview.” (Castro, 8/19)▼

people, but with Paul this time, I felt that the poignancy, the pathos would be so much more felt knowing the whole history of Paul Reubens, and to be able to share with the audience what people might not be aware what he is even capable of doing as an actor. The playful side in me is knowing that he’s playing a character who probably has his own PeeWee Herman doll. I loved Dylan Baker in Happiness, but here I wanted a kind of gravitas, a kind of Dead Man Walking, ghost-like shell of a soul, and I needed the kind of weight that an actor like Ciaran Hinds could provide. I didn’t want anyone to remind the audience of Philip Seymour Hoffman. When Michael Kenneth Williams read for me, and I hadn’t seen The Wire, it was an astonishing moment, he was so powerful. So I just retooled the part of Allen a little bit, rewrote it to adapt to his particular qualities. Because it was a different actor I had that freedom, I wasn’t bound by the literalness of what had transpired in the earlier movie.

the father searches for his brother, who’s now in college, Billy. It’s not redemption I think that he’s after, he’s beyond that: there can be no sympathy for the man who has committed such crimes. His son says to him, “I have no sympathy for you,” yet he loves his father, and it is this double edge that brings a kind of attention, pathos and moving quality to that final encounter with the son.

In some ways the movie revolves around Billy and Timmy: they’re our ultimate teachers of what they learn from the tragedy of their father.

Timmy is the bar mitzvah boy, that means he’s becoming a man and wants to know his father who has been a mystery for him, whom he had thought dead, gone. There’s something about this child that I could speak through him in his un-ironic, earnest manner. I could articulate things which are always more difficult with adults. So I was very moved by his quest. As he searches for his father,

Did anything about the Catholic priest scandal influence you in the writing of this?

Pedophilia is not of great interest to me in and of itself, but as a metaphor for that which is most demonized and ostracized, fear and loathing, as a kind of test to what extent we can embrace humanity – what are our limits – it’s somewhat of a moral dilemma there. I’ve always found the father to be not a sympathetic character, but a tragic one. Tragic because he loves his son, he’s a great father, but not anyone who I could have sympathy for, given what he had done. I think it’s a very hard thing for the audience and all of us to acknowledge that even he has a human pulse. When I think of what is most emblematic of the most demonized, I think that probably most Americans would more readily have Osama Bin Laden at their table than a pedophile. If Life During Wartime were someone’s first exposure to you, how would you want them to take it?

The best thing is to have an open mind with these characters, so one can experience the comedy with the sorrow.▼

5 August 2010 . . BAY AREA REPOR TER 29






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