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

Vol. 42 • No. 02 • January 12-18, 2012

LGBT issues on tap at SF City Hall by Matthew S. Bajko

A Jane Philomen Cleland

Supervisor David Campos speaks about the need for supplemental HIV/AIDS funding from the city at Tuesday’s press conference. He was joined by Supervisor Scott Wiener, Mayor Ed Lee, far left, and new Supervisor Christina Olague, right.

Mayor, supes seek AIDS funds by Seth Hemmelgarn


an Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and the city’s out supervisors have introduced a resolution to provide $1.8 million in supplemental funds for HIV/AIDS care and treatment to replace federal funding cuts. The measure, backed by gay Supervisors David Campos and Scott Wiener, and newly appointed bisexual Supervisor Christina Olague, is meant to maintain the level of services promised to people with HIV and AIDS until the end of the fiscal year, Lee said. Typically, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) has been able to successfully roll back cuts to the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Modernization Act. But this time, Congress eliminated funding in its most recent budget bill, and city officials had to devise their own plans. The city was awarded $25 million for March 2012 through February 2013. However, $5 million of that was cut. The $1.8 million supplemental funding would cover the part of the reduction affecting the rest of this fiscal year, which ends June 30. At a press conference on the steps of City Hall on Tuesday, January 10, hours before the resolution was introduced, Lee referred to the Ryan White cut as “a very serious challenge.” The Ryan White act “is a program we know has been effective,” Lee said. “It has saved lives. It has increased quality of life for so many people.” More than half of the people living with HIV and AIDS in San Francisco don’t have private health insurance, according to the mayor’s office. Like others, Lee credited Pelosi for her work over the years to maintain Ryan White See page 12 >>

number of issues important to the city’s LGBT community will be at the top of the agenda in 2012 under San Francisco’s gold-domed City Hall. Hearings will address the needs of LGBT seniors and look at issues impacting the entertainment industry. Concern is already growing on how a redistricting task force will map out supervisor districts, due by April, and several electoral reforms for local races are being floated. Affordable housing, especially for the middle class, will also receive attention from local lawmakers. In his inaugural address Sunday Mayor Ed Lee proposed creating a work-force housing trust fund that could go before voters in November. This week the board’s two gay male members, District 9 Supervisor David Campos and District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener, called for a hearing to explore how, and if, the city is addressing the needs of LGBT seniors. They gained a strong ally on the board to help address the topic in newly appointed Supervisor Christina Olague, a bisexual Latina who had been a senior housing action collaborative coordinator at the Senior Action Network. The hearing is scheduled to take place at 10 a.m. Thursday, January 26, before the board’s

Rick Gerharter

The scene was lively last weekend at Beatbox, one of the clubs along 11th Street in the South of Market area.

Government Audit and Oversight Committee. [See Guest Opinion, page 4.] “One thing we realized talking to many in our community is the large number of seniors within the LGBT community and issues specific to LGBT seniors that, quite frankly,

need to be addressed,” said Campos. “We in the LGBT community and city as well are not really thinking about those issues.” It is estimated that 25,000 LGBT people 60 years of age or older currently live in San See page 13 >>

Tenderloin Health scrambles to find providers, money by Seth Hemmelgarn


ven as officials work to shut down Tenderloin Health, the director of the San Francisco nonprofit said this week that he’s still trying to raise funds to keep it open. Until recently, Executive Director David Fernandez and others have said almost nothing publicly about the deep trouble threatening the nonprofit, which provides housing, medical, HIV/AIDS, and other services to some of the city’s poorest residents. The agency’s thousands of clients are among those who have been kept in the dark. Tenderloin Health, which took a huge funding hit last fall, announced its plans to close in a statement Thursday, January 5. The announcement – which made no mention of efforts to save the organization – came after repeated attempts by the Bay Area Reporter to get details on the agency’s condition, and more than two weeks after its board voted to shut down. Meanwhile, Fernandez and Pamela Fitzgerald, who as development director is tasked with fundraising, are at odds. In a Tuesday, January 10 interview, Fernandez See page 13 >>

Rick Gerharter

Clients of Tenderloin Health, above, have not been aware that the agency’s board voted to close the organization.


<< Inauguration

2 • BAY AREA REPORTER • January 12-18, 2012

Controversy greets city’s new sheriff, DA by Matthew S. Bajko and Seth Hemmelgarn


ours after George Gascón was sworn into a full four-year term as San Francisco’s district attorney, news broke that his first controversial decision would be whether to file domestic violence charges against the city’s newly elected sheriff, Ross Mirkarimi. The former District 5 supervisor is accused of allegedly grabbing his wife, Eliana Lopez, during a New Year’s Eve incident that reportedly left marks on her arm. A neighbor called police to report the incident last week, and police inspectors obtained a search warrant and confiscated a video reported to contain evidence of Lopez’s injuries as well as a cell phone with text messages confirming what occurred. The explosive allegations surfaced in the press two days ahead of Mirkarimi’s Sunday, January 8 swearing in. The couple used the occasion to portray a loving, happy family and held a news conference afterwards to deny theirs is a troubled marriage. “I don’t have any complaint against my husband,” Lopez, a former Venezuelan telenovela star, told reporters. When asked about the images of bruises, however, Lopez refused to comment. And Mirkarimi declined to go into details about what happened the night in question. “This is a highly sensitive matter, a private family matter,” he told reporters. When asked if there had been any physical or verbal abuse, he simply said, “No.” “I trust in the system,” he said. “We will allow the system to sort this out.” Omid Talai, a spokesman for the D.A.’s office, said Tuesday, January 10 that no decision had been made yet to press charges. “We are currently in the process of reviewing all that information. For obvious reasons, we do not want to rush to a decision,” he said. Given the nature of what allegedly happened, it’s possible that Mirkarimi could face a misdemeanor charge. A decision could come as soon as today (Thursday, January 12). Asked about how the matter may

Jane Philomen Cleland

Former Mayor Art Agnos, right, administers the oath of office to Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi as his wife, Eliana Lopez, and son, Theo, look on.

Jane Philomen Cleland

Fabiola Kramsky-Gascón holds the Bible as her husband, District Attorney George Gascón, is sworn in by retired California Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno.

impact the D.A.’s relationship with the sheriff ’s office, Talai said he didn’t know. “Wherever the facts and the law take us, we will go,” Talai said. The controversy has also created a potentially acrimonious nature between Mirkarimi and the police department. Police Chief Greg Suhr and Gascón were no shows at Mirkarimi’s swearing in, as was Mayor Ed Lee, who took his oath of office just hours prior. “I would like to believe there aren’t forces at work trying to stop me from being sheriff,” said Mirkarimi, alluding to rumors that the police who leaked the investigation to

reporters were upset he had defeated their candidate, Chris Cunnie, a former undersheriff, police officer and head of the police union. Rick Galbreath, a gay man who was a City Hall aide for Mirkarimi, questioned not only the timing of the revelations but law enforcement officials’ handling of the matter. “I find it very curious the police and D.A. are commenting on an ongoing investigation, which they never do or haven’t done in the past,” he said. A number of LGBT officials sat prominently in the front row watching Mirkarimi take his oath of office, including District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener, city Treasurer Jose Cisneros, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), and state Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), who married the couple. Leno told the B.A.R. he couldn’t comment on the allegations but did say his thoughts go out to the couple and their son, Theo. “It’s a beautiful family,” said Leno. “If everyone takes a deep breath, it will all unfold.” Reminders of the controversy were evident throughout the swearing in ceremony, foremost with the fact that presiding San Francisco Superior Court Judge Katherine Feinstein recused herself from administering the oath of office to avoid a potential conflict of interest should charges be filed. Former Mayor Art Agnos presided instead. Soprano Raekka ShehabiYaghmai told the packed audience, which several times gave Mirkarimi a standing ovation, that her song selection from the opera Madama Butterfly – “Un Bel Di” – was about the title character’s “beloved husband who will come back and everything will be fine.” See page 13 >>

Inauguration >>

January 12-18, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 3

San Francisco welcomes its ‘dragon’ mayor by Matthew S. Bajko


nder the Chinese zodiac 2012 will mark the Year of the Dragon. The strongest of the 12 animals in Chinese astrology, the mystical creature is associated with personalities that are driven and unafraid to tackle thorny issues. San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee, whose birth in 1952 coincided with a previous Year of the Dragon, embraced those character traits during his inaugural speech after being sworn in January 8 as the city’s 43rd mayor and first Chinese American to be elected to the post. “The dragon is the most powerful of all animals in the Chinese zodiac. Therefore the Year of the Dragon is a time of confronting challenges, taking risks, and embracing innovation,” said Lee. “I can think of no better time than this year, the Year of the Dragon, to take on the challenges we face together. Together, we will witness the unlimited power and potential of our people.” During his 25-minute speech Lee said his number one priority would be jobs and seeing the city’s unemployment continue to fall. As of November it stood at 7.8 percent, a drop of 1.7 percent since Lee was sworn in as interim mayor in January 2011. “I know you are tired of hearing me talk about it and some in the media have made fun of me for talking about it,” joked Lee. “It will be my top priority every day I am your mayor.” He pledged to see that the city’s major construction protects continue to move forward despite the state’s gutting funds from local redevelopment agencies. Tuesday he introduced legislation with District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen to create a successor agency to ensure the Mission Bay, Hunters Point Shipyard, and Transbay Terminal projects move forward. Among those Lee nominated

Jane Philomen Cleland

Mayor Edwin Lee smiles after his swearing-in as former San Francisco mayors Willie Brown, Senator Dianne Feinstein, Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, Frank Jordan, and Art Agnos look on.

to serve on the new body is gay Planning Director John Rahaim. District 5 Supervisor Christina Olague, a bisexual Latina whom Lee appointed to the seat Monday, and District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim are cosponsors of the measure, which also calls on the city to develop new tools to finance affordable housing projects. “You have my unwavering commitment we will make good on our promises from Hunters Point to Mission Bay to Central Market,” said Lee on Sunday. He also called for reforming the city’s payroll tax structure and a new loan program targeting the city’s small businesses. “We can surely reaffirm our business tax structure to incentivize job creation not discourage it. Now is the time to get it done,” said Lee. “Small businesses are the backbone of our vibrant economy and the backbone of our neighborhoods.” Attracting more biotechnology, high technology, and clean technology

companies to the city is another top concern for the mayor. As is opening up markets overseas in Asia and in Latin America for San Franciscobased manufacturers to sell their wares so they can expand and hire more workers. His guiding principles will be “jobs, community, and innovation,” which Lee repeated several times during his speech. And he called on the city’s political establishment to work together for the good of the city. “We all have one boss – the people of San Francisco – and they expect us to get things done,” said Lee. LGBT leaders who attended the ceremony said the mayor struck the right tone with his speech. “I think we are all happy he is focusing on jobs. The Human Rights Commission has a very strong focus on creating jobs and helping small businesses. That is very important for the city,” said Theresa Sparks, a transgender woman who serves at the pleasure of the mayor and hopes

to remain in place at the HRC, which Lee once oversaw. Castro business leader Steve Adams, who was elected president of the city’s Small Business Commission this week, added, “jobs, jobs, jobs – that is the key.” Port Commissioner Leslie Katz, a former supervisor, said Lee has his priorities correct for the upcoming year. “It shows his desire to bring the city together and move us forward,” she said. “I think our community will be very pleased with having Mayor Lee in office.” Human Rights Commissioner Cecilia Chung, who served on the mayor’s inaugural committee, said Lee signaled he plans to be “a collaborator” with his speech. “He will bring some of his progressive activist vision into his administration,” said Chung. “It sounds like the mayor has some big vision. It is a great indicator he is going to be the people’s mayor.” ▼

<< Open Forum

4 • BAY AREA REPORTER • January 12-18, 2012

Volume 42, Number 02 January 12-18, 2011 PUBLISHER Thomas E. Horn Bob Ross (Founder, 1971 – 2003) NEWS EDITOR Cynthia Laird ARTS EDITOR Roberto Friedman ASSISTANT EDITORS Matthew S. Bajko Seth Hemmelgarn Jim Provenzano CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Dan Aiello • Tavo Amador • Erin Blackwell Roger Brigham • Scott Brogan Victoria A. Brownworth • Philip Campbell Heather Cassell • Chuck Colbert Richard Dodds • David Duran Raymond Flournoy • David Guarino Liz Highleyman • Brandon Judell John F. Karr • Lisa Keen • Matthew Kennedy David Lamble • Tony K. LeTigre Michael McDonagh • Paul Parish Lois Pearlman • Tim Pfaff • Jim Piechota Bob Roehr • Donna Sachet • Adam Sandel Jason Serinus • Gregg Shapiro Gwendolyn Smith • Ed Walsh • Sura Wood

ART DIRECTION Kurt Thomas PRODUCTION MANAGER T. Scott King PHOTOGRAPHERS Jane Philomen Cleland Marc Geller Rick Gerharter Lydia Gonzales Rudy K. Lawidjaja Steven Underhill Bill Wilson ILLUSTRATORS & CARTOONISTS Paul Berge Christine Smith


LEGAL COUNSEL Paul H. Melbostad

Best Bay Area Community Newspaper 2006 San Francisco Bay Area Publicity Club

BAY AREA REPORTER 395 Ninth Street, San Francisco, CA 94103 415.861.5019

News Editor • Arts Editor • Out & About listings • Advertising • Letters • A division of Benro Enterprises, Inc. © 2011 Published weekly. Bay Area Reporter reserves the right to edit or reject any advertisement which the publisher believes is in poor taste or which advertises illegal items which might result in legal action against Bay Area Reporter. Ads will not be rejected solely on the basis of politics, philosophy, religion, race, age, or sexual orientation. Advertising rates available upon request. Our list of subscribers and advertisers is confidential and is not sold. The sexual orientation of advertisers, photographers, and writers published herein is neither inferred nor implied. We are not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts or artwork.

Nonprofit madness I

t was just a year ago that the board of LyonMartin Health Services suddenly announced that it would close the clinic – without a plan in place to transition its roughly 2,500 clients to other agencies and without notifying public health officials. Thankfully, the community came to the financial rescue, helping raise hundreds of thousands of dollars, and LyonMartin remains open today as its board and staff works to regroup and stabilize. Now, Tenderloin Health will be closing, at least according to the agency last week when it issued a press release, “Tenderloin Health Closing Doors Due to Budget Cuts.” We’ve been reporting on the financial troubles of the agency for the last several months so it wasn’t surprising. Just like Lyon-Martin’s initial reaction, Tenderloin Health has made little effort to communicate with the public and, more importantly, its 3,000 clients. When a reporter stopped by the agency’s offices last Thursday, the day the statement was issued, clients did not seem to know what was going on. A week later, the news release is still not posted either on the agency’s new or old websites. That’s inexcusable. It’s also unprofessional that Executive Director David Fernandez, who has hung up on a Bay Area Reporter assistant editor twice in recent weeks, continues to dodge answering basic, pertinent questions. Like, what is the plan to transition clients, many of whom have serious health issues, when there is really no other agency quite like Tenderloin Health? Fernandez told us this week that he still hopes to save the agency. Then why did he put out a news release saying it would be closing? The absence of clear answers and communication is confusing people, and the agency and its staff should not be doing that. The Department of Public Health, which oversees the bulk of Tenderloin Health’s contracts, hasn’t been forthcoming either. Director Barbara Garcia must have known for months that the agency was in financial crisis. After all, her main job for years was DPH deputy director overseeing the more than 150 local nonprofits and community groups providing health care services funded by the city before assuming the DPH directorship in late 2010. Yet Garcia has been unavailable to answer our questions other than to say that we would get

the news release first. Thanks, but what about answers due clients, staff, donors, and taxpayers? This situation has become more stressful for everyone involved than it needs to be. Health officials and agency staff should have been upfront with the public all along. The agency receives hundreds of thousands of dollars in public funding, yet it cannot keep its doors open because it lost $500,000 in federal funding. It has about a dozen different contracts with the city, the sheer number of which makes it a complicated project to transfer them to other organizations. It’s clear that the agency was unable to fundraise enough private donations to cover that $500,000 loss, and yet that’s what an executive director and board are supposed to do: bring in the money. Government funding should not be the sole source of support for any agency. Republicans in Congress would like nothing better than to cut most federal funding for social programs – they’ve already cut Ryan White money – and that may become a reality after this year’s elections so agencies must offset the loss with private donations.

Tenderloin Health was created as the result of a 2006 merger between the Tenderloin AIDS Resource Center and Continuum HIV Day Services. It provides syringe exchange, transgender services, social services, substance abuse and mental health treatment, HIV/ AIDS nursing case management, medical and oral health services, housing, and workforce development. All of these vital services must be continued. And the population it serves is among the most vulnerable in the city. Due to shrinking donations and grants, we’ve written before in favor of LGBT nonprofits exploring mergers in order to save on overhead and other expenses. But not all mergers are successful. New Leaf: Services for Our Community shut down in 2010. It was created by joining Operation Concern and 18th Street Services. Now, less than two years later, Tenderloin Health is poised to shutter its doors a little over five years after its merger. Nonprofits need to put their clients first, as Lyon-Martin did last year once the board retreated from its decision to close the clinic and started releasing financial information, resulting in public support. Tenderloin Health, at least from our experience with Fernandez, is not doing that.▼

It’s about time (to focus on LGBT seniors) by David Campos, Scott Wiener, and Christina Olague


ging. Let’s face it, as a community aging is not our favorite topic of conversation. But it’s time we had a discussion. There are about 25,000 LGBT people 60 years of age or older currently living in San Francisco. That number is projected to double to 50,000 by 2030 as the massive baby boomer generation ages. Nationally, there are approximately 1.5 million LGBT seniors (over age 65) in the U.S. now and the number is expected to reach 3 million by 2030. That’s a lot of people, so what else do experts know about LGBT seniors? Unfortunately, not much. Only a few studies have looked at LGBT senior issues like housing, architectural barriers, in-home care, social services, health and mental health, disparities in government benefits and legal rights, aging with HIV/AIDS, financial and elder abuse, and discrimination and harassment, among other issues. The few studies that are available raise serious questions that we should all be concerned about. A 2010 study by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force cited three significant and unique factors negatively affecting LGBT seniors: 1) effects of social stigma and prejudice – past and present; 2) lack of support from families defined by marriage or biology in care systems that don’t allow for flexible definitions; and 3) inequitable laws and programs. NGLTF also noted that LGBT seniors are more susceptible to poverty as a direct result of living with decades of

discrimination. LGBT seniors are also less likely to have a spouse or children to rely on as part of their support networks, and are more likely to live alone, relying on fewer financial resources than straight seniors. Another study of LGB aging adults (50-70) at UCLA in 2011 found numerous disparities including significantly higher rates of hypertension, diabetes, depression and other mental health problems. Perhaps most alarming, the studies noted that almost 90 percent of LGB seniors surveyed said they feared suffering discrimination or harassment in their senior facilities due to being out about their sexual orientation. This fear leads many LGBT seniors to conceal their orientation or gender identity in senior facilities, even if they had been out prior to moving in. You may not have given much thought to how you will spend your senior years, but your plans probably don’t include being forced back in the closet. It goes without saying that members of the LGBT community have just as much of a right to age with dignity as everyone else. So, how prepared are we – both as a city and as an LGBT community – to actively support a high quality of life for our seniors? San Francisco has a few programs that specifically address senior LGBT issues. Through the Department of Aging and Adult Services, the city provides LGBT-specific activities at the Castro Senior Center and other centers. DAAS also provides sensitivity training to private agencies that serve LGBT seniors to help create accepting and supportive environments at the places where LGBT seniors live or go seeking services since

most of the senior clients at those facilities are heterosexual. But, what else do LGBT seniors need to achieve and retain a high quality of life? There is a surprising lack of research or data to answer questions about LGBT seniors, either on the local level or nationally. That’s one of the reasons we are co-sponsoring a hearing at the Board of Supervisors about the issues affecting LGBT seniors. The hearing will occur on January 26 at 10 a.m. before the Government Audit and Oversight Committee. We hope the hearing will be the start of a conversation about LGBT seniors and what it is like growing older in San Francisco. We also want to empower LGBT seniors by creating opportunities for direct public input, so we would like to hear from you about your experiences and what more the city and community can do to help you maintain a high quality of life in San Francisco for as long as possible. San Francisco has developed models of care in the past that have been replicated in other parts of the country, such as the systems developed in response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. San Francisco should put itself in a position to play a similar lead in developing model services and programs for LGBT seniors and aging adults. Let’s start the conversation. It’s about time.▼ David Campos, Scott Wiener, and Christina Olague represent, respectively, District 9 (Mission, Bernal Heights, Portola), District 8 (Castro/Upper Market, Noe Valley, Glen Park, Diamond Heights), and District 5 (Haight, Western Addition, Japantown, Inner Sunset) on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Each district contains a large LGBT population.

Letters >>

January 12-18, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 5

Secure Communities works Morgan Bassichis goes too far in describing Secure Communities as a “failed” program [“A victory for true safety in San Francisco,” Guest Opinion, December 29]. The truth is that Secure Communities has been an unqualified success story of the Obama administration. Thanks to Secure Communities, significantly higher numbers of illegal aliens, including known gang members, have been detained and deported from the U.S. during the Obama administration than during the George W. Bush administration. Secure Communities has made San Francisco and other American cities safer by removing violent gang members and habitual DUI offenders from the streets when those persons did not have legal authorization to be in the U.S. to begin with. The policy of fingerprinting and reporting illegal aliens to Immigration and Customs Enforcement does not in any way discriminate against gay, lesbian, and transgender detainees any more than the policy discriminates against any racial or ethnic minorities. The entirely symbolic vote by the Board of Supervisors criticizing Secure Communities is not surprising, given that body’s long-standing opposition to the enforcement of any U.S. immigration laws. It is disappointing to see the supervisors assign a higher priority to the rights of illegal aliens not to be fingerprinted and reported by the city to the ICE than to the safety of all San Franciscans, gay and straight. However, the elected officials in San Francisco who are actually responsible for public safety should ignore the supervisors, recognize that Secure Communities is here to stay, and not try to throw up any roadblocks in the way of an Obama administration program that has actually worked. Colin V. Gallagher San Francisco

Group’s work is good, but... Aguda is to be commended for the good work it is doing with LGBT people from various groups within Israel, and Anat Avissar deserves special recognition for the outreach work she does with Palestinians who are contacting Aguda [“Israeli bi activist visits San Francisco,” Out in the World, December 22]. However, I take exception to suggestion that there is a “rainbow underground” operating in Israel that is providing a safe haven for large numbers of LGBT Palestinians who are seeking asylum. I think the reason there are no statistics available on this is because there actually have been no more than a few cases of Palestinians of any type ever being given asylum in Israel. This talk was sponsored by the Israeli consulate, which also sponsors the Frameline film festival, as part of a focused project to improve Israel’s image in LGBT communities in the

around U.S. and Europe. Without diminishing the good work Aguda is doing, I think this speaking tour is another example of “pink washing” to try and divert attention from Israel’s violent occupation of the West Bank and siege of the Gaza Strip. Jeff Pekrul San Francisco

Protest included many issues This January 5 article, “Protests break out in Hungary over new anti-LGBT constitution” [Out in the World], is very misleading. This protest was against a combination of actions taken by the ruling Fidesz party to change the constitution to, among other things: secure a parliamentary majority for themselves, consolidate the power of the Central Bank, place restrictions on media and freedom of speech, implement certain religious laws, and yes, limit the rights and protections of certain minorities – among them the LGBT population. As a gay San Franciscan living in Budapest, I am disturbed by the irresponsible way this story has been reported. It is clearly unresearched, just blog-style, cut-andpaste journalism. I have had numerous friends contacting me to see if I’m okay. While Budapest is not San Francisco, neither is it Uganda. Gays aren’t being rounded up, bars are not being raided and I, personally, have heard of no gay bashing in the year-plus that I have lived here. Quite to the contrary, there is a small but active gay community and scene here, bar life is alive and well, and there is an equality march and associated events annually. Furthermore, Hungary is host to the Euro Games this year. Yes, there is a neo-Nazi, right wing extremist faction here (just as in America) from which the equality parade marchers were protected by the police – but the police did protect us. And although the current conservative Hungarian government has taken steps to undermine LGBT rights (and those of other minorities) in Hungary, LGBT rights were not specifically the reason this protest took place. I would also like to point out that the anti-LGBT legislation that has been added to the Hungarian constitution is no different than the Defense of Marriage Act in the U.S. This story was unnecessarily alarmist. Please research and report news accurately. Richard Fisk Budapest, Hungary

[Heather Cassell responds: I did not copy and paste from other reports. I compared news reports that I received and researched from online news services.]

Muralist, set designer Max Gorgal dies by Cynthia Laird


rtist James Max Gorgal, who created the murals inside Dennis Peron’s former Cannabis Buyers’ Club on Market Street, died Sunday, January 1 at the home of his friend Rebecca Graves in Louisville, Kentucky. He was 68. The cause of death was a sudden heart attack, said David Smith of San Francisco, who is the adopted son of Mr. Gorgal. Known as Max, Mr. Gorgal, who was openly gay and had previously lived in San Francisco, returned to the city in 1996 at the invitation of David Nash as the medical marijuana issue was taking center stage because of the Proposition 215 campaign (Compassionate Use Act). He became the artist-in-residence at Peron’s cannabis club near Civic Center, where he executed the memorable cannabis leaf and rainbow facade, along with five floors of interior wrap-around murals. Peron’s club was a hangout for all manner of medical marijuana supporters, including those involved in the campaign. “The murals that he created at the San Francisco Cannabis Buyers’ Club set a beautiful backdrop for the members and the national press that visited the club during the height of the medical marijuana movement,” Smith told the Bay Area Reporter. “The mural he did on the front of the CBC on Market Street with a huge marijuana leaf underneath a painted rainbow flag was bold and in-yourface, which was part of the strategy for marijuana acceptance. He was very

inspired to create art back then.” From San Francisco, Mr. Gorgal moved back to New York City where he got a job working for the Cunard Lines, designing party decor aboard the Queen Elizabeth 2 and Queen Mary 2. Born to Henry and Helen Gorgal on July 19, 1943, in LaSalle, Illinois, Mr. Gorgal attended St. Roch’s grade school, St. Bede Academy, Illinois Valley Community College, and Northern Illinois University. He went to Cleveland Play House as an apprentice in 1965, where he worked in the scene shop, mentored by Paul Rogers, a brilliant scene painter and set designer. Drafted in 1966, he served in the U.S. Army in Germany, directing musicals. After his overseas stint, Mr. Gorgal came back to Ft. Lewis, Washington, where he continued his directing and designing until his obligation to the government was fulfilled. After spending time in New York City, he returned to Washington in 1971 to accept the position of artistic director at the Centurion Playhouse, a small theater funded by the Army at Ft. Lewis. There he designed, directed, and even performed in many shows (Take Me Along, The Three Penny Opera, You Can’t Take it With You). He also directed, designed, and acted at theaters in Seattle, and designed for the Seattle Opera Company (Gypsy Baron). Mr. Gorgal moved to Los Angeles in 1975 and then to San Francisco where he developed Chanteusie Time (a one-woman cabaret show). In the early 1980s, Mr. Gorgal directed and

James Max Gorgal

designed a number of big musicals in Aurora, Illinois He was then offered the opportunity to be artistic director of Le Petit Theatre de Vieux Carre in New Orleans. He lived there about six years, directing and designing many shows (My Fair Lady, Bye Bye Birdie) as well as creating some spectacular Mardi Gras floats. Known for his great sense of humor and his impeccable comic timing, Mr. Gorgal was a familiar figure wherever he lived, cigarette in hand, walking the dogs he always adopted. He spent the last few years acting as host at Las Sabilas, a guesthouse for travelers in Guadalajara, Mexico, where he was popular throughout the working class neighborhood where he lived. “His comic timing was legendary and he used his cigarette as prop like some of the great movie stars of the past,” Smith said. In addition to Smith, Mr. Gorgal is survived by his brother, Allan (Judy) Gorgal of Moline, Illinois; a nephew, and nieces. Donations in his honor may be sent to the Southern Poverty Law Center ( A memorial celebration will take place in the Haight Ashbury on Sunday, January 29 at 3 p.m. Contact David Smith at for information.▼

<< Business Briefs

6 • BAY AREA REPORTER • January 12-18, 2012

Steven Underhill

State Senator Mark Leno presented a certificate of recognition to 2223 restaurant co-owners chef Melinda Randolph and Michelle Lazard at the eatery’s closing party earlier this month.

New year brings new stores by Raymond Flournoy


he Castro business district has finished sweeping up the New Year’s Eve confetti, and is now preparing for some changes to its line-up of storefronts The Noe Market Center is once again being scouted by a national chain – this time, CVS pharmacy. However, the retailer is only interested in the first floor of the two-story space, leaving the property’s owner searching for a tenant for the upper floor. CVS is currently in the process of pulling together a proposal, and will be presenting it at the Merchants of Upper Market and Castro, meeting on February 2. One rumored tenant for the upstairs space is the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. CEO Neil Giuliano acknowledged that the agency is weighing the possibility of uniting three of its main programs – Stop AIDS, Magnet, and the Stonewall Project – under one roof, but denies that the Noe Market Center is in the plans yet. “I wouldn’t say [the Noe Market Center] is an option right now,” Giuliano told the Bay Area Reporter. However, he added that uniting the three programs is “a vision we are exploring, and we will see if it may make sense, but we are not close to being able to say that would happen.” The Noe Market Center has been without a permanent tenant since the closing of Tower Records and Tower Video in 2006. Since then the space has been used for special sale events by Under One Roof (518A Castro Street), a temporary pop-up Goodwill Store, and as the campaign headquarters for Bevan Dufty’s mayoral bid. In 2010, Kent Jeffrey, a member of the family that owns the property, announced that a lease had been signed for Trader Joe’s to move into the Noe Market Center. The complicated deal would have required Radio Shack (2288 Market Street) to relocate out of the complex, allowing a reconfiguration of the first floor of the building to suit Trader Joe’s preferences. After neighborhood complaints about possible traffic congestion, the city’s Planning Department sent Trader Joe’s a list of requirements

for the permit to be approved, including upgrades to the nearby Noe-Market intersection, providing a customer shuttle service, and hiring private traffic control officers. In March 2011, the deal finally fell through. If the CVS store is approved, it will enter a neighborhood dominated by another national pharmacy chain, Walgreens, which operates three locations within a short distance from the Noe Market Center. In the latest Human Rights Campaign Buyer’s Guide, CVS was given a “yellow” rating, with a score of 75 out of 100 points on the HRC Corporate Equality Index. Walgreens was rated “green” with a score of 90.

Countdown to Jake’s After 16 years in the Castro, restaurant 2223’s number is up. The upscale eatery co-owned by life-partners chef Melinda Randolph and Michelle Lazard closed its doors this month. Now the storefront at 2223 Market Street is undergoing renovations, preparing the way for Jake’s, a new restaurant scheduled to open in the first week of February. 2223’s long run in the notoriously difficult San Francisco restaurant market was celebrated with a private closing party on January 2. The event was emceed by B.A.R. society columnist Donna Sachet, and featured presentations by gay politicos state Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), Supervisor Scott Wiener, and his predecessor, former Supervisor Bevan Dufty. Jake’s is the creation of another couple, Tim Travelstead and Brad Becker, and the duo describe Jake’s cuisine as “good, solid American classics.” The menu will range from burgers and salads to New York strip steaks and center-cut pork chops. “Our dream was always to feature nice, great, American food, with everything done fresh, organic, local, and sustainable, as much as possible,” Travelstead told the B.A.R. “We want Jake’s to be approachable, casual, and comfortable.” The chef overseeing the kitchen is Erik Hopfinger, recognizable to many from his time on Bravo’s Top Chef. Hopfinger competed on the fourth season of the reality show,

and was eliminated third out of the 15 chefs. Jake’s is named for the couple’s 16-year-old son, and the menu features some of the restaurant scion’s favorite foods, including chicken wings and crab cakes.

Paku man For entrepreneur Patrick Cosson, a trip to Peru became a life-changing experience, and the inspiration for a new career. “I fell in love with the country, the culture, and the culinary arts,” Cosson said of his Peruvian trek. And in particular he became enamored of Sol Alpaca, a line of fashions and home furnishings made from the fleece of the alpaca. “This is beautiful clothing, and I need to figure out a way to bring this back to the U.S.” Cosson visited the headquarters for Sol Alpaca, arranged to become a distributor, and the result was the December 2011 launch of his new online store, Paku, located at Cosson, who is gay, describes alpaca as “the unappreciated yarn, so soft, so strong, and so beautiful, yet affordable.” Paku’s product line currently includes throws, scarves, and socks, but may eventually expand to include sweaters as well. In addition to direct sales through the website, Cosson’s products are carried at brick-andmortar retailers Echo Furniture (3769 24th Street) and Modern Artifacts (1639 Market Street).

Good vibes in Oakland Good Vibrations, the San Francisco-based purveyor of “marital aids” and information on sexuality and sexual health, is preparing to open its sixth store later this month at 3219 Lakeshore Avenue in Oakland, about three blocks from Lake Merritt. The store is hosting a grand opening celebration on January 28, from 6 to 9 p.m. The event will feature an appearance by Kandi Burruss, cast member from Real Housewives of Atlanta, along with food and prize giveaways. In a press release, Good Vibrations COO Jackie Strano stated, “We are so pleased and proud to be expanding our retail operations to serve Oakland. ... We are delighted to join the Lakeshore merchants and participate in this wonderful community.”▼

Politics >>

January 12-18, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 7

Rick Gerharter

New District 5 Supervisor Christina Olague received a congratulatory embrace from Lawrence Lui following her swearing in by Mayor Ed Lee.

City gains first bi supervisor by Matthew S. Bajko


n a move cheered by progressives and moderates alike, Mayor Ed Lee appointed Planning Commission President Christina Olague to be the city’s new District 5 supervisor. Olague, 50, becomes the city’s first out bisexual supervisor and is expected to seek a full fouryear term in the fall. She fills the Haight and Fillmore centered seat vacated by Ross Mirkarimi, who was sworn in Sunday as sheriff amid speculation he could face domestic violence charges. [See story, page 2.] Lee called Olague Sunday night to inform her of his decision, and she was sworn in Monday morning at City Hall. Amid answering questions from a crush of reporters following the ceremony, Olague appeared stunned at the turn of events catapulting her into the political spotlight. “I think I will be good at it. I care about people and trying to help everyone achieve a decent quality of life,” said Olague when asked why she wanted to become a supervisor. The daughter of a Latino farmworker, Olague moved to San Francisco in 1982. She graduated from the California Institute of Integral Studies and worked in several stock brokerages before heading to the nonprofit sector. She worked for the Mission Anti Displacement Partnership to empower low-income residents and most recently had been with the Senior Action Network. Former board President Matt Gonzalez named her to the Planning Commission in 2002 and she was elected to a second term as president last January. A onetime Green Party member who served on the board of LYRIC, the Lavender Youth Recreation and Information Center for LGBT youth in the Castro where she once lived, Olague shares an apartment with her sister near the Divisadero business corridor. Speculation that the Fresno native would be picked for the board seat had swirled around her since the November election. A longtime progressive leader and Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club member, Olague defies being pigeonholed in a political sense. She early on endorsed seeing the moderate Lee seek a full term as mayor and was a co-leader of the “Run, Ed, Run” campaign last spring. Last June she told the Bay Area Reporter she was impressed with Lee seeking input and counsel from all corners of the city. At the same time, Olague and

Lee haven’t always agreed when it comes to redevelopment issues. She voted against three major development projects: the plans for Treasure Island, Hunter’s Point, and Parkmerced apartments. But Olague helped steer plans for the upcoming America’s Cup yacht race to unanimous approval at the Planning Commission. The event is a key priority for Lee in attracting international tourists and waterfront improvements, and Olague could help address concerns among progressive circles about the sporting event. He pointed to her leadership on the America’s Cup vote when asked by reporters why he chose Olague for the seat. “I think for me it’s her ability to unify folks,” said Lee, adding that her advocacy for tenants, seniors, and immigrants reminded him of his own career path. “I took everything into consideration. It wasn’t just her involvement with ‘Run, Ed, Run.’” Her swearing in brought a large crowd, including many progressive LGBT leaders, to the balcony outside the mayor’s office Monday morning. Former Milk Club president Debra Walker said simply that Olague’s selection was “wonderful,” while Marc Salomon, a gay man who has long been friends with Olague, said it marked the first decision by Lee that he supports. “I think it is amazing. I find Christina to be a really thoughtful, creative person and I think she will be a great supervisor,” he said. Board President David Chiu, who has proven to be more moderate than some had presumed, said he was not surprised by Olague’s appointment. “It is a strong choice, an inspired choice,” said Chiu, who has not always seen eye-to-eye with Olague on planning issues. “She can hit the ground running. I am confident she will be able to work with others to build consensus and tackle challenges.” Olague’s votes and actions on the board will be closely watched not just by moderates but by progressives as well. Labor leader and transgender activist Gabriel Haaland, while good friends with Olague, did not rule out running for the District 5 seat come November when asked if he would now abandon his election plans. “Life is long and I am most happy to support her personally,” he said. “I think she will be a really good supervisor. And I expect that because she will be a good supervisor she will have a good chance of being elected.” ▼

8 • BAY AREA REPORTER • January 12-18, 2012

Serving the LGBT communities since 1971

Read more online at

January 12-18, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 9

10 • BAY AREA REPORTER • January 12-18, 2012

Serving the LGBT communities since 1971

Obituaries >>

Joe Jose Egure

Earl Stewart Holland

January 28, 1973 – January 2, 2012

July 1, 1944 – November 7, 2011

Joe Jose Egure departed this life at San Francisco General Hospital from multiple afflictions and after a lengthy visit from his sisters, Lisa and Tina, who were a great comfort to him. Though he had severe limitations in life, he lived it to the fullest extent possible. He will be missed by many.

Our friend rejoined his partner of 35 years, James Herman. Recently Stewart lived a quiet life with his cats, Silver and Cali, and socializing with friends. We fondly remember the (in)famous EBB – a title proudly worn that intimates understand. Stewart met James at the CMC Carnival 42 years ago and we know there were “Cigarette Girl” and “Miss Ross” outings to the early gay bars. Season tickets to the symphony, theater, opera, and 49ers and Giants games were

January 12-18, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 11

part of their “golden era.” They traveled extensively in the U.S, to Europe, Australia, and Asia. Stewart’s later career was as a travel consultant, specializing in Australia. They lived in the Castro over 30 years, holding many dinner parties. Many guests have particular memories of fabulous food and hospitality, as well as the extravagant personalities of their hosts. Born in Franklin, Pennsylvania, the third of seven children, Ethel (deceased), Myra, Mary, Deborah and Charles and Edward (both deceased), Stewart graduated from high school in 1962, joined the Air Force, and later traveled to San Francisco at age 22. A celebration of life will be held Saturday, January 14 at 11 a.m. at the Twin Peaks Tavern in the Castro.

MLK Day Castro event compiled by Cynthia Laird


he fourth annual Power of One event will be held in the Castro on Monday, January 16, the holiday commemorating slain civil rights leader the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Founded by John Weber, an emperor in the Imperial Court system, this year’s event is also being organized by Terry Dyer and Donald Cooper. The Power of One celebrates the contribution each individual can make to his or her community and will feature inspirational entertainers,

including singers, dancers, and poets. New this year will be individual and group dance competitions, to be judged by the audience. The Power of One will be held at Trigger nightclub, 2344 Market Street, from 5 to 8 p.m. A $5 donation is requested. The beneficiaries will be Hands On Bay Area and the Our Love Program, which was administered by the Stop AIDS Project and is now being run by the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, which took over Stop AIDS in November. Weber said that recipients of the 2012 Sylvester Awards would also be

announced. The award recognizes individuals and agencies for their singular longtime service to the community. For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page, “The Power of One.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters seeks mentors Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area is launching a campaign to recruit 75 new mentors and initiate a new call for donations to support mentoring matches in 2012. This week’s kickoff coincides with National Mentoring Month and is designed to immediately begin serving children. See page 12 >>

<< Community News

12 • BAY AREA REPORTER • January 12-18, 2012


AIDS funds From page 1

funding, and said, “It’s our turn to step up when Congress has not been able to meet that task.” Wiener, who represents the Castro and other neighborhoods in District 8, said his district has been the hardest hit by HIV and AIDS. He said he has constituents who “absolutely depend” on Ryan

White-supported services. He said “over my dead body” would officials retreat from the commitment to help people with HIV and AIDS. Campos said San Francisco “is an example for the rest of the country” in how to treat people with HIV and AIDS, and should not go backward. Olague, who said she was taking part in her first action as supervisor, talked about the friends she’s had who have died from AIDS since she

moved to the city in 1982. She said it would be “unconscionable” for her and others not do all they could to maintain the funding. Dan Bernal, a spokesman for Pelosi, read a statement from her that said assisting people with HIV and AIDS has been “one of my top legislative priorities for nearly 25 years.” She said Tuesday’s announcement would result in “saved lives.” Brett Andrews, vice president of the city’s HIV/AIDS Provider Network and executive director of Positive Resource Center, urged all supervisors to vote in favor of the resolution, saying lives “hang in the balance.” The resolution won’t be voted on for about a month, according


News Briefs From page 11

Big Brothers Big Sisters is a nonprofit organization that serves over 1,100 children in five Bay Area counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, San Francisco, and San Mateo. It matches adult volunteers with children for at least one year. Spokeswoman Erica Argueta said that the organization welcomes LGBT

In news affecting the state overall, advocates are worried about cuts to the AIDS Drug Assistance Program,

which thousands of people rely on for lifesaving medications. In his budget proposal for 201213 released last Thursday, January 5, Governor Jerry Brown suggests generating net savings of $14.5 million by increasing clients’ share of cost in the program “to the maximum percentages allowable under state law.” The summary predicts those cost reductions would come from people leaving the program “because their cost-sharing obligation will exceed their private insurance out-ofpocket costs.” Average monthly co-payments would range from $28 to $385, depending on clients’ incomes. Final approval of the budget is still months away.▼

members as mentors. This month, Big Brothers Big Sisters will visit local communities to discuss how to become a mentor and how mentoring and donations can help assist at-risk kids in the Bay Area. Scheduled events include: An information booth at Femme Cartel: Girly/Urban party, at Actual Café, 6334 San Pablo Avenue in Oakland, Friday, January 13 at 5 p.m.; and an information booth at the mentoring

mixer hosted by CARES at the Heart and Soul Center of Light, 1001 42nd Street in Oakland, Tuesday, January 17 from 6 to 8 p.m. Argueta noted that there are 750 atrisk children on the agency’s waiting list, with the most, 227, in Alameda County. For more information, visit www. or check out the group’s Facebook page, “Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area."▼

to Wiener, who told the Bay Area Reporter that as a member of the board’s expanded budget committee, backfilling the Ryan White cuts so that services don’t deteriorate “is going to be my top priority.” The federal Ryan White legislation was named after a 13-year-old boy who was diagnosed with AIDS in 1984. Ryan, who had contracted the disease from a blood transfusion, became the center of a court battle and national crusade to remain in school. He died in April 1990 at the age of 18.

ADAP cuts

On the web Online content this week includes the Jock Talk, Out in the World, and Transmissions columns; and articles on the SF Board of Supervisors’ committee assignments and the Department of Justice’s revision of rape definitions.

Rick Gerharter

Castro pot club closes O

ver a hundred patients and supporters of the Market Street Cooperative at 1884 Market Street listen to Castro Lions president Troy Brunet protest the closing of the medical cannabis dispensary during a vigil Monday,

January 9. The dispensary, open over 10 years, is among several local dispensaries that have recently closed due to threats of their landlords by Melinda Haag, the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of California.

▼ <<

Community News>>

LGBT issues

From page 1

Francisco. The number is projected to double to 50,000 by 2030 as the massive baby boomer generation ages. The hearing will focus on housing, health care, and “making sure we are taking the specific needs of LGBT seniors into account, which is different from the overall population of seniors,” said Wiener. The needs of LGBT seniors was one of several top concerns Wiener and Campos laid out for the year ahead in recent interviews with the Bay Area Reporter.

Entertainment Sometime in February Wiener expects to hold a hearing on entertainment issues. He has been waiting for a survey currently being conducted among entertainment operators to be completed first. “My work around nightlife and entertainment is one of my top issues,” he said. One controversial proposal that could come up is creating an entertainment zone on 11th Street in the South of Market neighborhood. Some nightlife officials back the


New sheriff From page 2

A smiling Lopez, wearing a sleeveless dress, stood by her husband with her left arm wrapped around his waist as he recited his oath. He hoisted his son into the air four times before addressing the packed theater. “Believe it or not, this is one of the happiest days of my life. I am sorry a cloud hangs over what should be a wonderful day for me, Eliana and Theo,” said Mirkarimi. “They and you deserve better. But you know what? Clouds break and the possibilities shine through.” He vowed to focus on reducing the number of African Americans locked up in the county jails, whose incarceration rate is at 50 percent despite being only 6 percent of the city’s population.


Tenderloin Health From page 1

said that moving contracts and clients to other organizations would probably take three to four months “if we continue down that road.” Fernandez said he couldn’t talk about which agencies are being approached to take on clients. Asked when staff would be able to determine whether they would be able to save the agency, Fernandez said, “I don’t know. There are so many variables. We obviously have to make decisions around that in the next couple weeks. We can’t draw that out.” Fernandez, who said he’s been trying to find the money to stay open “all along,” tried to explain his virtual silence on the agency’s problems. “We were trying to make sure we set things up” so if Tenderloin Health did have to close, “we had taken care of our clients and taken care of our staff.” “But unfortunately,” he said, the B.A.R. “forced our hand,” and they had to reveal information “too soon.” Fernandez wouldn’t say who the agency has approached for funds. He said it’s “questionable” how much money needs to be raised. “I want to make sure if in fact we can stay open, we raise enough money so that we don’t have to come back to the table again,” he said. Asked about debt, Fernandez said the agency currently has about $1.4 million in accounts payable, but he said that amount varies. He said the biggest chunk is approximately $680,000 owed on bank lines of credit. Fernandez said that since he joined the agency in November

idea as a way to safeguard the many nightclubs already on the block between Folsom and Harrison streets from the encroachment of new housing developments. A SOMA task force has instead proposed preserving the area south of Harrison for new nightclubs and allowing more housing north of the street. The zoning would protect the existing venues and require housing developers to pay for such things as soundproofing clubs. Wiener said he has been working with entertainment officials to make sure the Western SOMA plan “does not squeeze out nightlife, especially on 11th Street.” He stopped short of backing an entertainment zone for the area, but did suggest one might make sense along the mid-Market corridor. “I want to make sure we have spaces in the city where housing does not crowd out nightlife. The 11th Street area certainly is an option, but I would want to consult with Supervisor Jane Kim and residents on that,” said Wiener, referring to his colleague who represents SOMA. The mayor’s pledge to focus on middle-income housing dovetails with Wiener’s push to hold a hearing on the subject. Last year he asked the

January 12-18, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 13

Mayor’s Office of Housing to research the topic and plans to hold a hearing once the report is finished. “The goal is for us as a city to adopt policies to create more moderate and middle income housing,” said Wiener.

CPMC hospital plans Both supervisors plan to work closely with the mayor’s office on California Pacific Medical Center’s plans for its facilities in the city. In addition to CPMC’s proposed new Cathedral Hill hospital on Van Ness Avenue, Campos is particularly concerned about the future of St. Luke’s Hospital in his district, while Wiener is closely following the expansion plans at the health care provider’s Davies Campus adjacent to Duboce Park near the heart of the Castro. “I will be making sure we are getting good community benefits around housing and transportation,” said Wiener. The proposal from CPMC is expected to come before the board fairly soon, said Campos. “I am keeping an open mind. I would like to be supportive of the project,” he said. “But I also want to make sure it properly addresses the health needs of all communities.”

“While the old Jim Crow laws may have been repealed, they have been repackaged and redesigned into the criminal justice system,” he said. Mirkarimi also wants to provide more mental health services to prisoners and reduce the city’s recidivism rate, while lower than the state average is still above 60 percent. “The job of sheriff is not to lock up people and throw away the key,” he said. One cost-saving idea he promoted is for sheriff ’s deputies to transfer and enter prisoners into jails rather than police, and direct more special event staffing toward his department, as sheriff ’s deputies are paid less. “There are a lot of underutilized assets in the sheriff department,” he said.

Gascón lays out his vision

2009, “We had paid down the total debt by over $700,000,” among other improvements. Tenderloin Health has about 3,000 unduplicated clients and a budget of $6.4 million. The organization’s statement mentioned that mergers with other agencies and selling some of the nonprofit’s real estate on Golden Gate Avenue had been considered before the board decided on closure.

funding from the city’s Human Services Agency to provide property management and supportive services at the Aranda and Allen residential hotels. Trent Rhorer, that department’s executive director, said people living in the hotels “are not going to be affected” by Tenderloin Health’s closure. He said, “It’s too early for us to have a definitive plan” on how his agency will select a provider to take over the hotel work. Rhorer said he imagines the transition will take two to three months. Asked if he thinks it’s too late to save Tenderloin Health, Rhorer said the nonprofit’s board “already made their decision.”

City funding In last week’s statement, Department of Public Health Director Barbara Garcia said that Tenderloin Health had seen “movement toward stability” under Fernandez, but “the recent loss of over $500,000 in federal funding undermined all the progress they made.” Fernandez said that they were notified of the cuts around midSeptember, and they’re related to funding from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration meant to provide medical help for people with HIV and AIDS. In response to an emailed request to interview Garcia, health department spokeswoman Eileen Shields said Garcia’s message was that there would be “no interviews until we are set up with new provider (sic).” Garcia didn’t respond to direct interview requests. Tenderloin Health receives hundreds of thousands of dollars through the health department, including a contract of about $394,000 for work related to HIV and AIDS. That contract is for September 2011 through June 2016. The nonprofit also receives

Gascón, the city’s first Latino D.A., was sworn in during a Thursday, January 5 ceremony at Mission High School. He said that he’d continue working to make San Francisco the safest big city in the country and would aggressively prosecute crimes such as homicide and rape. He also mentioned the high costs of imprisoning people, and spoke of not locking people up just because they’re addicted to drugs or mentally ill. “I will not measure my success by the number of faces behind bars,” but by the safety “of every street corner and alley of this wonderful city,” Gascón said. Since he took office in January 2011, he’s reduced the homicide backlog by 36 percent, and his homicide team’s conviction rate is

On leave The day after the board’s December 20 decision to close Tenderloin Health, Fitzgerald, the development director, who joined the agency in May, posted the news about the vote on Facebook. In an interview, Fitzgerald said that she’s been on voluntary leave since shortly after her post. In an email she shared with the B.A.R., Fernandez said he’d asked her not to tell anyone about the agency’s situation, and said she’d “leaked confidential information about the board vote.” “This is a serious infraction of insubordination,” Fernandez said in his email. Fitzgerald said, “I feel like I’ve been held back from doing my job.” Among other problems she discussed, Fitzgerald described Fernandez and at least some board members as reluctant to do

They likely will also face growing calls for the city to financially assist the Castro Country Club, similar to how the city extended a loan to the LGBT Community Center and is in the process of granting financing to help build senior housing at 55 Laguna Street, which would be designated mainly for LGBT people. The club’s 18th Street building was recently sold to a Castro businessman, and the sober space hopes to purchase it on its own at some point. It also is in search of a new fiscal sponsor and is hosting a community meeting in early February to explore next steps. “We as a city need to be, I think, very mindful and open to helping any way we can,” said Campos, echoing statements Wiener has made about assisting the club. Campos, who will have his eye on running for re-election this fall, is also working on several election reforms. He supports increasing the number of candidates voters can rank – it is limited now to three – in mayoral and supervisor races. It is in contrast to the measure backed by Supervisors Mark Farrell and Sean Elsbernd to jettison ranked-choice voting. “Instead of how do we get rid of it and throw it out, we should be focusing on how to make it better and

more user friendly,” said Campos. It is one area where Campos and Wiener differ, as Wiener has said he “is partial” to going back to a runoff system, with the top two candidates in the June primary facing off in November on the general election ballot. “When you narrow down to two candidates – which we have traditionally done via primaries in this country – it is much easier for voters to draw those sharp distinctions and much easier for the press to cover the candidates and their distinctions,” Wiener wrote on his Facebook page last month. Campos is also working with colleagues to tweak the public financing system to deal with “zombie candidates,” those polling at the bottom but who remain in the race because dropping out would require them to pay back the city money they received. One idea is to make the filing deadline earlier than August so candidates have a better idea of who their opponents will be. Another is scrapping the payback requirement. “I am willing to consider if someone should be allowed to leave the race once they receive public financing,” said Campos.▼

91 percent, Gascón said. One of the biggest topics during the race for DA last year was realignment. As part of efforts to close the state budget gap, Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law to send some California prisoners to county jails. Gascón said he “wholeheartedly” supports realignment. He said former prisoners must be given a real chance at reintegration, emphasizing the importance of employment, education, and housing. One of the projects Gascón often touted is the development of neighborhood courts and prosecutors’ programs to address incidents such as public intoxication and graffiti. He said that system has seen almost 400 cases, each of which are handled for about $300, as opposed to the $1,400 it would

cost to hear them in a regular courtroom. Last January, former Mayor Gavin Newsom, in one of his last acts before becoming the state’s lieutenant governor, appointed Gascón, who was the police chief at the time, to the D.A.’s position due to Kamala Harris’s election as attorney general. In November, Gascón defeated several other candidates, including former Police Commissioner David Onek and longtime Alameda County prosecutor Sharmin Bock, to hold on to the job. Newsom and Harris were among the speakers at Gascón’s swearing in Thursday, along with former Mayor Willie Brown, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California), and retired state Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno, who administered the oath.▼

fundraising. Fitzgerald said she told Fernandez three months ago to call the B.A.R. and appeal to the public for help. He didn’t. Fitzgerald said that she didn’t do it herself because “I didn’t want to lose my job.” Fitzgerald said that in November, after she’d set up a meeting with Board of Supervisors finance committee members Carmen Chu and Jane Kim, Garcia, the public health director, sent Fernandez a text message that said “Bad move,” and Fernandez made her cancel the appointment. Chu confirmed in an email that a scheduled November meeting with Tenderloin Health had been canceled. An aide to Kim said there were no records of a meeting scheduled with Fitzgerald. Kim, whose District 6 includes the Tenderloin, said in an interview that she’s “very concerned” about ensuring the nonprofit’s “vulnerable” clients continue to receive services. Asked about the canceled meeting, Fernandez said, “I don’t know that any of it is true.” As for Fitzgerald’s descriptions of him as being reluctant to raise funds and go public with his agency’s problems, Fernandez said, “Pam is not an authorized spokesperson for this agency. ... She doesn’t have all the information.”

Tenderloin Health board Chair Andy Chen didn’t respond to interview requests for this story. Fitzgerald said she’s been approached by potential funders, whose names she didn’t want revealed, and she’s also talked to the charitable drag nuns the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence about fundraising. Sister Eve Volution, the group’s “mistress of grants,” confirmed that through a Facebook message to the B.A.R. Clients approached by the B.A.R. after Tenderloin Health released its statement last week said the agency hadn’t informed them about the situation. Michael Hampton, who’s living with AIDS and has received case management and other services from the nonprofit, said the agency hadn’t said anything to clients, but “I had an inkling something was wrong.” He had recently seen some staff depart the organization, he said. “I was hoping against hope it wouldn’t come to this,” Hampton said. He said he’s been talking to the San Francisco AIDS Foundation about becoming its client. Fernandez said Tuesday that all staff “have been informed to tell clients what’s going on.” He said clients started getting the news before last Thursday’s press release, but he couldn’t say exactly when.▼

Serving the LGBT communities since 1971

14 • Bay Area Reporter • January 12-18, 2012



Legal Notices>>


Legal Notices>> notice of application to sell alcoholic beverages Dated 12/15/11 To Whom It May Concern: The name(s) of the applicant(s) is/are : SM. CHENG 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 1865 Post St., San Francisco, CA 94115-3607. Type of license applied

47- On-sale general eating place dec 29,2011,jan 5,12,2012 notice of application to sell alcoholic beverages Dated 12/22/11 To Whom It May Concern: The name(s) of the applicant(s) is/are : CLUB OMG!,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 43 6th St., San Francisco, CA 94103-1611. Type of license applied

48- On-sale general Public premises dec 29,2011,jan 5,12,2012 notice of application to sell alcoholic beverages Dated 11/21/11 To Whom It May Concern: The name(s) of the applicant(s) is/are : GARFIELD BEACH CVS LLC,LONGS DRUG STORES CALIFORNIA,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 351 California St., San Francisco, CA 94104-2412. Type of license applied

20- Off-sale beer and wine dec 29,2011,jan 5,12,2012 state of california in and for the county of san francisco file# cnc-11-548237 In the matter of the application of JOMO KENYATTA for change of name. The application of JOMO KENYATTA for change of name having been filed in Court, and it appearing from said application that JOMO KENYATTA filed an application proposing that his/her name be changed to JESUS CHRIST. Now therefore, it is hereby ordered, that all persons interested in said matter do appear before this Court in Room 514 on the 16th of February, 2012 at 9:00 am of said day to show cause why the application for change of name should not be granted.

dec 22,29,2011, jan 5,12,2012 state of california in and for the county of san francisco file# cnc-11-548303 In the matter of the application of RAUL TINAJERO for change of name. The application of RAUL TINAJERO for change of name having been filed in Court, and it appearing from said application that RAUL TINAJERO filed an application proposing that his/her name be changed to RAFAEL RODRIGUEZ ALCALA. Now therefore, it is hereby ordered, that all persons interested in said matter do appear before this Court in Room 514 on the 23rd of February, 2012 at 9:00 am of said day to show cause why the application for change of name should not be granted.

dec 22,29,2011, jan 5,12,2012 statement file A-034011100 The following person(s) is/are doing business as P&D INTERNATIONAL CONSULTING,2619 18TH Ave., Apt. #2,SF,CA 94116.This business is conducted by an individual, signed Zheng Xiaohong.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 12/19/11

dec 22,29,2011, jan 5,12,2012 statement file A-034002000

statement file A-034021600

statement file A-034030200

The following person(s) is/are doing business as FLYING PIG BISTRO,433 South Van Ness Ave.,SF,CA 94103.This business is conducted by a general partnership, signed Benjamin Sapone. 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 12/23/11.

The following person(s) is/are doing business as THE 2 BANDITS,230 Oak St.,#44, SF,CA 94102. This business is conducted by an individual, signed Tamar Wider. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 01/03/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 01/03/12.

jan 5,12,19,26,2012 statement file A-034030000 statement file A-033994800 The following person(s) is/are doing business as LOMBARD VALERO, 2601 Lombard St.,SF,CA 94123.This business is conducted by a corporation, signed Ben Shimer.The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 03/01/94. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 12/09/11

dec 22,29,2011, jan 5,12,2012 statement file A-034007800 The following person(s) is/are doing business as READINGS BY NINA,803 Divisadero St.,SF,CA 94117.This business is conducted by an individual, signed Stephanie Wain.The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 12/01/11. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 12/16/11

dec 22,29,2011, jan 5,12,2012 Statement of abandonment of use of fictitious business name: #A-0299871-00 The following persons have abandoned the use of the fictitious business name known WHITEHURST CAMPAIGNS INC., 660 Mission St.,Suite 200,SF,CA 94105. This business was conducted by a corporation, signed Brad Witherspoon. The fictitious name was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 01/17/07.

dec 22,29,2011, jan 5,12,2012 statement file A-034005700 The following person(s) is/are doing business as COMMUNITY ACUPUNCTURE,2833 Washington St.,SF,CA 94115.This business is conducted by a corporation, signed Kristen Hansen.The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 12/15/11. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 12/15/11

statement file A-033993600 The following person(s) is/are doing business as RHOTECH SOLAR,130 Produce Ave.,Suite C,South SF,CA 94080.This business is conducted by an individual, signed Richard O. Rhodes.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 12/09/11

dec 29,2011,jan 5,12,19, 2012 statement file A-034019700 The following person(s) is/are doing business as DOWN TO EARTH LIVING SOIL SOUTIONS, 1390 Page St.,#1,SF,CA 94117.This business is conducted by an individual, signed Mary Gerber. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 12/22/11. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 12/22/11

dec 29,2011,jan 5,12,19, 2012 statement file A-034013500 The following person(s) is/are doing business as BYE BYE GRAFFITI,585 Cordova St.,SF,CA 94112. This business is conducted by an individual, signed Faiyaz Razak.The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 01/05/11. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 12/20/11

dec 29,2011,jan 5,12,19, 2012 statement file A-033973300 The following person(s) is/are doing business as MARCUS CONTEMPORARY GLASS,901 Mission St.,Suite 105,SF,CA 94103.This business is conducted by an individual, signed Michael Marcus. 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 11/29/11

dec 29,2011,jan 5,12,19, 2012 statement file A-034017200


The following person(s) is/are doing business as VOCALLECTIVE,153 Wood St., SF,CA 94118.This business is conducted by an individual, signed Indre Viskontas.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 12/21/11

The People of the State of New York by the Grace of God Free and Independent. TO: The heir at law and distributees of Eunice E. Richards, decedent,to wit:TIMOTHY RICHARDS, said person being the known heir at law,next of kin and successor in interest of Eunice E. Richards,deceased,if living on August 13,2011,the date of decedent’s death,or if he died after that date,then to his executors,administrators,heirs,distr ibutes and all persons interested in his estate,their names and addresses,if any,being unknown to the petitioner and cannot after diligent inquiry be ascertained by the petitioner.

The following person(s) is/are doing business as ROGUE,272 Sutter St., SF,CA 94108.This business is conducted by a corporation, signed Stanley L. Pas.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 12/22/11

YOU ARE HEREBY CITED TO SHOW CAUSE before the Surrogate’s Court of the County of Delaware at the office of the Surrogate in the Courthouse, Delhi, New York on the 23rd day of January,2012 at 9:30am,why the Petition for Probate admitting to probate a Will dated July 22,2004,and praying that Letters Testamentary issue to Victoria Merritt,who resides at 5494 State Highway 23 Norwich,New York 13815,should not be granted,relating to the real and personal property of Eunice E. Richards,deceased,who at the time of her death domiciled at 5494 State Highway 23,Norwich,New York 13815 in the County of Delaware, New York. Dated:12/12/11 Hon.Carl F.Becker, Surrogate Signed Lisa Loucks, Chief Clerk Attorney for Petitioner; Beth Westfall,COUGHLIN & Gerhart,LLP PO Box 2039,Binghamton, NY 13902 607-723-9511

dec 29,2011,jan 5,12,19, 2012 statement file A-034007400

The following person(s) is/are doing business as SHOP SMART DISCOUNT STORE., 105 Sickles Ave.,#4,SF,CA 94112.This business is conducted by an individual, signed Josie Reyes. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 12/14/11. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 12/14/11

The following person(s) is/are doing business as NIKKI BLACK,3901 19th St.,SF,CA 94114.This business is conducted by an individual, signed Nancy Kinnunen.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 12/16/11

dec 22,29,2011, jan 5,12,2012 statement file A-034004900

dec 29,2011,jan 5,12,19, 2012 statement file A-034016600

The following person(s) is/are doing business as WHITEHURST MOSHER CAMPAIGN STRATEGY & MEDIA, 660 Mission St.,Suite 200,SF,CA 94105. This business is conducted by a corporation, signed John Whitehurst.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 12/15/11

The following person(s) is/are doing business as CONSULERIS,101 California St.,Suite 2710,SF,CA 94111.This business is conducted by an individual, signed Brian C.Browning.The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 05/06/09. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 12/21/11

dec 22,29,2011, jan 5,12,2012

dec 29,2011,jan 5,12,19, 2012

dec 29,2011,jan 5,12,19, 2012 statement file A-034019000

jan 5,12,19,26,2012 statement file A-034020800 The following person(s) is/are doing business as AHA YOGA,1892 Union St., SF,CA 94123. This business is conducted by a limited liability company, signed Brigitta Herst.The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 12/13/11. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 12/23/11

jan 5,12,19,26,2012 statement file A-034029300 The following person(s) is/are doing business as BANGKOK BEST,301 Kearny St.,SF,CA 94108.This business is conducted by an individual, signed Mark Wannaviroj.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 01/03/12

jan 5,12,19,26,2012 statement file A-034029200 The following person(s) is/are doing business as CIRCUIT WEST,576 Sacramento St.,6th Floor, SF,CA 94111.This business is conducted by a coporation, signed David Carrasco.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 01/03/12

jan 5,12,19,26,2012 statement file A-034024000 The following person(s) is/are doing business as GREEN PETAL DESIGNS,101 Cortland Ave.,SF,CA 94110.This business is conducted by an individual, signed Janelle Jacky.The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 12/28/11. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 12/28/11

jan 5,12,19,26,2012 statement file A-034022900 The following person(s) is/are doing business as VAN MAREN CONCEPTS,406 B Washington Blvd.,SF,CA 94129.This business is conducted by an individual, signed Nicholas Christianson.The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 12/27/11. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 12/27/11

jan 5,12,19,26,2012

jan 12,19,26,feb 2,2012 statement file A-034042900

The following person(s) is/are doing business as S&T SERVICING CO.,457 Jessie St.,3/F, SF,CA 94103.This business is conducted by a corporation, signed Roger Shum.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 01/03/12.

The following person(s) is/are doing business as 1.TEV LEE 2.TEV LEE PHOTOGRAPHY,135 South Park St.,SF,CA 94107.This business is conducted by an individual, signed Steven Lee. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 01/01/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 01/09/12.

jan 5,12,19,26,2012 statement file A-034027800

jan 12,19,26,feb 2,2012 statement file A-034035000

The following person(s) is/are doing business as BAY AREA CARE GIVERS,907 Greenwich St., SF,CA 94133.This business is conducted by a general partnership, signed Mindy Tsoi.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 12/30/11.

The following person(s) is/are doing business as STOCKCARS TO ZEBRAS – SPORTS,NOVELTY, JEWELRY,760 Market St.,#731,SF,CA 94102.This business is conducted by an individual, signed Thore Aatlo. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 01/05/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 01/05/12.

jan 12,19,26,feb 2,2012 statement file A-034020700 The following person(s) is/are doing business as DIRECPARK LLC,1101 Sutter St., SF,CA 94109. This business is conducted by a limited liability company, signed Shuli Yao.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 12/23/11.

jan 12,19,26,feb 2,2012 statement file A-034031800 The following person(s) is/are doing business as EXCELSIOR QUALITY AUTO,4380 Mission St., SF,CA 94112.This business is conducted by an individual, signed Pedro F. Fiori Jr..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 01/04/12.

jan 12,19,26,feb 2,2012 statement file A-034043700 The following person(s) is/are doing business as BE QUAKE READY NOW,180 Beaver St.,#3,SF,CA 94114.This business is conducted by an individual, signed Richard W. Mytton. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 01/01/12. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 01/10/12.

jan 12,19,26,feb 2,2012

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Vol. 42 • No.02 • January 12-18, 2012

Final helping of ‘German Gems’ 3rd annual offering of the best of new German cinema by David Lamble


s a TV Guide-besotted child of the 1950s – the old people’s media bible, not today’s celebrity tout sheet – there was one slug that held a peculiar fascination for me: “Last Show of the Series.” In the digital pre-history before the alphabet soup of mediastoring gadgets Betamax, VHS, DVD, DVR, MP3, the iPhone and the iPad, when a network rang down the curtain on a show, it was history. No reprieve, no reruns, gone forever. Saturday’s German Gems finale at the Castro

Isa (Luise Heyer) and Doreen (Friederike Becht) in director Robert Thalheim’s Westwind.

See page 28 >>

Credofilm, courtesy German Gems

Send away the clowns Lorenzo Pisoni confronts his circus past by Richard Dodds

S Chris Bennion

In Humor Abuse at ACT, Lorenzo Pisoni recreates some of his father’s bits from the Pickle Family Circus, and adds some new ones that reflect on his life as a kid with the circus.

ome kids run off to join the circus, or at least they used to in sufficient number to coin a cliché. But Lorenzo Pisoni ran away from the circus to become a regular kid. Pressed into circus service from a post-toddler age by his parents who ran the Pickle Family Circus, he thought being stuffed into a trunk with a puppet and being hauled on stage on his father’s back was what kids just did. His world of mostly grown-up companions included Bill Irwin and Geoff Hoyle, but by age 13, he decided to trade home-schooling, the sound of applause, and his almost-born-in-a-trunk heritage for the simple life as another high school student. “There was some social deficit because


I didn’t understand the slang,” Pisoni said of his freshman year at San Francisco’s Link-Wilmerding School, “but it was also fascinating because not only was I learning all the academic stuff, I was also learning how people work.” Many of his school peers had seen him in the Pickle Family Circus, which was a social plus, but when he headed off to college at Vassar, he tried to keep his circusing a secret. He studied film theory, but after graduation wound up in Las Vegas in the cast of Cirque du Soleil’s Mystere. “I had student loans to pay off,” he said of his circus recidivism. See page 29 >>

<< Out There

18 • BAY AREA REPORTER • January 12-18, 2012

Going gaga for Gatsby by Roberto Friedman


ven though Out There is 100% behind the 99%, we’re most looking forward to an upcoming chamber version of an opera based on a classic novel about the 1%. What are the odds of that? Let’s go right to the press release and try to overlook the trenchant irony. “Ensemble Parallèle will present the world premiere of Jacques Desjardins’ chamber orchestration of John Harbison’s opera The Great Gatsby on Feb. 10, 11 & 12 at SF’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Novellus Theater. Artistic director Nicole Paiement again collaborates with stage director and production designer Brian Staufenbiel to create their most ambitious project to date. Bay Area composer and orchestrator Desjardins retains the rich sound of Harbison’s score while enhancing the story and providing

the audience a more intimate and intense operatic experience with this American literary classic. Based on the famed novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, composer Harbison’s The Great Gatsby was originally commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera and premiered in 1999 with subsequent performances at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Ensemble Parallèle’s world-premiere presentation of the chamber orchestration of The Great Gatsby marks the first time in 10 years that this literary masterpiece will be given a musical life onstage. “Lyric tenor Marco Panuccio, who portrayed Des Grieux in Massenet’s Manon for Lyric Opera of Chicago, heads the 11-member cast in the role of Jay Gatsby. Baritone Jason Detwiler (St. Plan in Ensemble Parallèle’s summer 2011 production of Four Saints in Three Acts) is Nick Carraway, and soprano


Soprano Susannah Biller (as Daisy Buchanan) and tenor Dan Snyder (as Tom Buchanan) in Ensemble Parallele’s world-premiere chamber orchestration of John Harbison’s opera The Great Gatsby.

Susannah Biller, who portrayed Eurydice in Ensemble Parallèle’s spring 2011 production of Philip Glass’ Orphée, is featured as Daisy Buchanan. Casting also includes tenor Dan Snyder, who portrayed Dexter in the world premiere of Heart of a Soldier at San Francisco Opera, as Tom Buchanan; baritone Bojan Knezevic, who sang the title role of Wozzeck in the 2010 Ensemble Parallèle production of Alban Berg’s masterwork, as George Wilson; mezzo-soprano Erin Neff, who portrayed Margret in Ensemble Parallèle’s Wozzeck, as Myrtle Wilson; and Julienne Walker, a graduate student at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, as Jordan Baker. Biller and Knezevic are both graduates of the Merola Opera Program and San Francisco Opera’s prestigious Adler Fellow Program. Staufenbiel again draws a stellar artistic team including scenic and lighting designer Matthew Antaky, video artist Austin Forbord, costume designer Christine Crook and wig and make-up designer Jeanna Parham.” Tickets ($35-$85) can be purchased in person at the YBCA’s box office located inside the Galleries and Forum Building, 701 Mission St., SF; over the phone at (415) 978ARTS; or online at

Bay Area Jewish life at

An exhibition currently showing the Contemporary Jewish

Museum SF, California Dreaming: Jewish Life in the Bay Area from the Gold Rush to the Present (through Oct. 16), is a look at the story of the Bay Area’s Jewish community from the Gold Rush to the present. It’s a history that in many ways is the history of the region itself: Levi’s blue jeans to the Sutro Baths, Gump’s to Allen Ginsberg’s Howl. The exhibit looks at how the Jews who came out West became a distinctly pioneering community and developed a unique character all their own. Through the presentation of hundreds of photographs, documents, ephemera, audio and video, the exhibit illuminates important leaders, institutions and moments in time from Rachel “Ray” Frzank, the so-called “Girl Rabbi of the Golden West,” to the socialist community of Petaluma chicken farmers, to the alternative Jewish practices of the House of Love and Prayer in the 1960s and beyond. One of the highlighted local stories is that of the LGBT reform synagogue Congregation Sha’ar Zahav in San Francisco. Their inclusive siddur, or prayer book, will be on display with a story about the congregation. The photo of the Golden Gate Bridge below is included because chief engineer and promoter of the project was Joseph Baermann Strauss (1870-1938), a descendant of German Jews. For more information, visit the museum’s website at

Looking for love The Night Watch is an evocative love story based on author Sarah Waters’ Man Booker Prize-winning novel of the same name. The film, set in World War II and its aftermath, will be screened for free in a special preview at 11 a.m. on Sat., Jan. 21, at the Vogue Theater on Sacramento St. at Presidio in San Francisco. In postwar London, Kay, a heroic ambulance driver during the Blitz, leads a quiet life running a dating bureau. She wanders the devastated streets thinking about Julia, the

lover lost to her. A collection of straight and gay characters are also looking for love – or bemoaning its loss. Director Richard Laxon (The Inspector Lynley Mysteries) does an admirable job with flashbacks and flash-forwards. The point seems to be that for many in this group, WWII was the most exhilarating time of their lives. For free tickets, e-mail and put Night Watch and your name in the subject line and how many tickets (up to two per person) you request in the body of the e-mail. You will receive a confirmation via e-mail. Meanwhile, Broadway stars Faith Prince and Jason Graae, favorites on the musical comedy stage, will star in The Best of Times, 42nd Street Moon’s upcoming salute to Broadway composer/lyricist Jerry Herman. It’s a one-night-only event directed and hosted by Greg MacKellan, coming to the Alcazar Theatre, 650 Geary St., on Thurs., Jan. 26. Tickets ($70) are available by phone at (415) 255-8207 or online at

Loose lips Gossip? Us? In her New York Times Book Review piece on the new book Gossip – The Untrivial Pursuit by Joseph Epstein (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), reviewer Holly Brubach notes that what for Epstein “constitutes a kind of spectator sport has been (and still is) for the disenfranchised a means of reconnaissance, a way of acquiring information crucial to their status and survival. It’s not for nothing that the two groups most notorious for trafficking in gossip have been women and gay men. Epstein quotes Leo Lerman, who said he kept a gossip-filled journal ‘because I am always interested in the disparity between the surface and what goes on underneath.’” Now, the titles of the two stories which comprise Smut, the new book by British playwright and author Alan Bennett (Picador), See page 19 >>

Courtesy of Historic American Engineering Collection at the U.S. Library of Congress

Golden Gate Bridge, view of San Francisco from South Tower, 1984.

Theatre >>

January 12-18, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 19

Tennessee two-hander by Richard Dodds


Tennessee Williams play hardly ever seems like anything other than a Tennessee Williams play. But in The Two-Character Play, it’s hard not to also think of Sartre and Pirandello, specifically and respectively their plays No Exit and Six Characters in Search of an Author. While any resemblance between these earlier works and the Williams play may be purely coincidental, it is still a strange and heady brew that found ferment in an obviously anguished playwright. The Two-Character Play was beloved by its author, who spent a decade revising it, but it was not a love shared by critics or audiences. Since its debut in London in 1967, and despite a slightly altered version retitled Out Cry for a 1973 Broadway production, it’s rarely produced. You’d have to go back to 1976 to find evidence of a San Francisco production, but Theatre Rhino is closing the gap with an emotionally intense production at the Eureka Theatre. The play starts out as a backstage drama, where a brother-sister acting team is preparing for a performance. The brother, busy putting props in place, peeks through the curtain to eye the incoming audience. “Do they seem to be human?” asks the sister. “No,” deadpans the brother in what is likely part of their regular banter. But the play increasingly pivots away from an early realism, turning into a variation on the classic actor’s nightmare – a dream in which a performer finds himself onstage in a play he doesn’t know – as the siblings realize the entire crew has disappeared and the home-sweethome set (by Gilbert Johnson) has only been partially assembled. The sister ups the confusion by telling her brother that whenever she strikes a C-sharp on the onstage piano, it means she’s cutting parts of the script she doesn’t like. Stylistically, The Two-Character Play is utterly different from The Glass Menagerie from 22 years before, but Williams is still haunted by his sense of having abandoned his own sister, Rose, who underwent a lobotomy in 1943 and was institutionalized until her death in 1996. In Menagerie, Tom, the brother of Laura and the dramatic stand-in for Rose, says in his final speech, “Oh, Laura, Laura, I tried to leave you behind me, but I am


Out There From page 18

Kent Taylor

Ryan Tasker and Alexandra Creighton play a brother-sister acting team whose lives get entangled in the play they are performing in the Theatre Rhino production of Tennessee Williams’ The TwoCharacter Play.

more faithful then I intended to be.” Near the end of The Two-Character Play, the brother, quoting from “Song of Solomon,” says, “A garden enclosed is my sister.” The Two-Character Play has its rough moments, at times falling into repetition of established motifs or pushing too hard at heavily laden symbolism, but in all it is a surprisingly crisp work from a playwright who wrote it in what he called his “stoned decade.” Crisp, yes, but also often opaque in a PinterAlbee fashion. Are the brother and sister actually two parts of the same person? And is that person Williams or his sister or both? Yes, no, maybe, and how much does it matter? Theatre Rhino’s Artistic Director John Fisher has directed this challenging work with both strength and sensitivity, and the tight grip that actors Alexandra Creighton and Ryan Tasker have on their mercurial characters adds to the theatrical satisfaction that this

Stage star Faith Prince, coming soon to the Alcazar Theatre.

“The Greening of Mrs. Donaldson” and “The Shielding of Mrs. Forbes,” may seem innocuous, but their content is definitely not so. The Mrs. Jane Donaldson of the first story, for example, is a landlady who allows her 20-year-old lodgers to make up what they owe in rent by letting her watch them having sex. The Mrs. Forbes of the second story is mother to newlywed Graham, who has a secret life as “Toby” during gay assignations with “Gary,” who turns out to be Kevin, a blackmailer. It’s all good ribald fun, as Bennett is a master of finding the telling improprieties in very proper bourgeois society. Here’s a passage describing the arrangements of a voyeuristic session in “Greening.” “’Except,’ said Laura, ‘the drawback with sitting there is that you’re going to get an awful lot of Andy’s bum

and not much else. I think you’d be better off here.’ And she patted the chintz-covered stool in front of the dressing-table mirror on which, when she and her late husband inhabited this room, Mrs. Donaldson used to perch every night to apply her cold cream. “’If you sit there,’ said Laura, ‘you’ll see him and you’ll see me like, you know, interacting.’”▼

production provides. Rhino’s staging of The TwoCharacter Play missed the Williams centennial year by a few days, but it should still be counted as a highlight of that celebration.▼ The Two-Character Play will run through Jan. 15 at the Eureka Theatre. Tickets are $15-$25. Call (800) 838-3006 or go to

<< Books

20 • BAY AREA REPORTER • January 12-18, 2012

Speaking out on AIDS by Jim Piechota Companeros: Latino Activists in the Face of AIDS by Jesus Ramirez-Valles; University of Illinois Press, $25


he lives of 80 Latinos intricately influenced by the AIDS epidemic are profiled in Companeros: Latino Activists in the Face of AIDS, a significant new book by Jesus Ramirez-Valles, a professor of community health sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Living in San Francisco and Chicago, the interviewees are comprised of activists, community volunteers, gay and bisexual men, and male-to-female transgendered women. All consider themselves to be companeros, which, the author describes, are people who have a unique affiliation with another; more than a friend but less than a lover, “a relationship of solidarity among equals.” For example, in the specific cases of HIV health workers assisting their clients, both are considered companeros to the other, to “convey the democratic and collaborative process” of the work exchanged to those in need of healthy direction. The interviews with these men and women form the emotional core of RamirezValles’ research and the heart of his transformative book. All of the subjects interviewed have a voice that is essential to the message of a book that strives to enlighten audiences about the importance and the role Latino culture played and continues to play in the prevention and education of HIV. But there is so much more within these pages. The author clearly defines the varied voices in his book in the illuminating opening chapter by describing his interviewees’ upbringings, their social-class origins, and in exposing his own roots as a boy raised mostly

by his mother in poor-toworking-class conditions with six siblings. It is here, at the base level of identity, that the wide-ranging interviews begin to shine a light on the Latino homosexual experience. Throughout the book, the responses run the gamut from the most destitute histories to those more fortunate. Within the first few chapters, Ramirez-Valles hooks readers with the voices of Latinos from divergent backgrounds, immigration statuses, and personal sagas. Bay Area resident Gabriel spent his youth in poverty with his mother in the strawberry fields of California doing farm work; Armando, 25 and from Mexico, reflects on his struggling middle-class childhood nurturing a natural talent for math and speech studies; and Simon grew up surrounded by 11 maids in a family of millionaires. The author moves on to more intimate matters like the stigmatization of homosexuality in the Latino culture. Gay man Eliezer painfully describes his internalized hatred stemming from an abusive childhood at the hands of a father who brutalized him into becoming more machito. Chapters on race relations and gay and trans identities fully illustrate the great fight for approval (internal and external) and for tolerance from outside entities. Ignacio, Eduardo and Fabio speak about the dedicated work they’ve participated in by educating their families about gay issues and their separate identity struggles; transgendered women Angelica and Thalia share stories of a kind of “resocialization” after emerging as transidentified in the Bay Area.

HIV and the grim specter of an AIDS diagnosis further complicate these issues, but for the many subjects Ramirez-Valles interviewed, the majority speak without fear and express an infectious sense of hope and community. Ramon recalls an AIDS hotline counselor advising him that “if you take care of yourself, you’ll have a long life” prior to his receiving HIV-positive test results. He still believes that the counselor’s wisdom that day has made all the difference in his outlook on life. Conversely, it would take Gregorio several years to accept his sero-converted status and become involved in several national advocacy groups as an “activist living with AIDS,” speaking on panels for disease prevention. Quietly passionate and limned with strife, sorrow, confusion, acceptance, hope and immense cathartic energy, these personal opinions and expressions are a strong show of camaraderie among Latino men and women who have been deeply affected by a disease that shows no mercy. ▼

Chi-town chatter by Jim Piechota Windy City Queer: LGBTQ Dispatches from the Third Coast edited by Kathie Bergquist; University of Wisconsin Press, $24.95


ight from her spirited introduction, Chicago author Kathie Bergquist exhibits a prideful

solidarity with Windy City writers, something that pridefully precedes all of the terrific writing encased in her latest compilation, Windy City Queer: LGBTQ Dispatches from the Third Coast. Of Chicagoans, Bergquist writes, “In a way, we’re like the middle child to New York’s beloved eldest and San Francisco’s enfant terrible.” The fiction, poetry, memoir, “performance text” and essay writing that comprise the anthology, much of it by distinguished, well-known gay authors, are assembled into seven parts that can be both literally and metaphorically interpreted. The opening section, “Emergence,” encapsulates the burn of burgeoning identity as in Edmund White’s lyrical memories of being a 13-year-old kid in 1950s Illinois, and becoming completely absorbed by artistic culture as it formed his character. Gerard Wozek’s much-relatable nostalgic pangs for the halcyon days of discotheques, skinny ties and dance floors burning with that “taboo disco fire” also make for some exemplary reading. Elsewhere, standouts include Brian Bouldrey’s lively, plucky tale of his wacky adventures with recovering addicts whizzing about in a Crowne Victoria. His piece opens with a few spicy opinions on his departure from a particularly exhaustive 16-year

tenure in San Francisco, a place that, he writes, “is certainly not Kansas, but people do come and go so quickly.” Allison Gruber contributes a story about an aloof, eccentric girl obsessed with the zoologist’s life of Dian Fossey. A delightfully composed 10-page poem by Aldo Alvarez mates the gastronomic with the political in a social gathering that many readers will surely relate to. The need for familial acceptance is brilliantly demonstrated in Emma Vosicky’s uniquely rendered story of a frustrated yet persistent transgendered parent meeting with a son who has begun “closing his See page 22 >>

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January 12-18, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 21


House arrest in Brooklyn Heights by David Lamble


t’s a terribly fitting tribute to a sadly forgettable year that the last film to sneak onto my Top Films list is a very black comedy directed and cowritten by a fugitive from American justice, Roman Polanski. Polanski’s Carnage (co-written with Yasmina Reza, based on her widely produced play God of Carnage) is that peculiar dramatic animal, a powerful play that doesn’t totally transform into a film but rather occupies an uncomfortable demilitarized zone (DMZ) between the two art-forms. I say DMZ because Polanski’s Carnage reminds us beat after beat that theatre at its best is a blood sport. And who better than Roman Polanski to simulate the sensation of house arrest as a hilarious metaphor and backdrop for the verbal karate waged by two sophisticated couples over a playground fight between their respective 11-year-old sons? While the grownups – the stellar Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly, Kate Winslet and Christoph Waltz – initially play nice, soon the gloves come off and heavy weapons emerge: cell phones, projectile vomit, the disorienting effects of single malt whiskey, and the insidious guilt that can be summoned forth when a modern man is accused of unspeakable cruelty to a domesticated rodent. It’s all in service to a visceral and highly emotional undressing that blurs lines between a power couple and two politically correct Brooklyn liberals. For us, the paying guests or hostages, the payoff, depending of course on who you are and what pushes your buttons, may be howls of possibly inappropriate laughter. Warning: Carnage, not unlike Polanski’s four-decade asylum from LA justice, may prove a tad indigestible to certain politically anal types such as many New York film critics, but this badly raised child of the suburbs was howling from opening shot to closing credits. The movie opens in a long shot of adolescents facing off in a riverfront

Sony Pictures Classics

John C. Reilly and Jodie Foster in Roman Polanski’s Carnage.

playground. One boy, Zachary Cowen (Elvis Polanski), strikes another, Ethan Longstreet, with a stick. We then find ourselves in a smartly furnished Brooklyn townhouse where a kind of peace conference is underway between the Longstreets and the Cowens. Penelope Longstreet (Jodie Foster) is putting the final touches on what, to her, appears to be the equivalent of a peace pact, actually a computer-assembled account of the boys’ scuffle with pauses to adjust the language. Out goes the phrase “armed with a stick.” The endgame is a truce between the boys with some kind of apology from the Cowens’ kid, Zachary. The drama begins with Penelope seemingly holding the whip hand: she’s got her salesman hubby, Michael (a sensational John C. Reilly), evoking every drop of a working-class guy’s seething resentment for having to defer to his wife and kow-tow to the rich and condescending Cowens. Alan Cowen (Christoph Waltz) is a ferocious attack dog drug-company lawyer, who’s forever excusing himself from the “playground peace treaty” to address an unseen drug executive about the best strategy for avoiding a class action lawsuit. Alan’s boorish use of his cell phone infuriates not

of Ethan, and you’re in my face over a hamster.” “What you did to that hamster was wrong, you can’t deny it.” “I don’t give a shit about the hamster!” “Well, you’re going to give a shit about the hamster when your daughter gets home,” “Bring her on! I’m not going to be told how to act by some nine-yearold snot-nose brat!” “You see, it’s pathetic.” “Watch it Penelope! I’ve kept my shirt on up to now, but you are pushing me over the line.” “If you feel no remorse, why should our son?” “You know what, all this conciliation shit, I’m sick to death of it. We were nice to you. We bought tulips. You know my wife dressed me up as a liberal, but the fact of the matter is I’ve got no patience for this touchy-feely bullshit. I am a shorttempered son-of-a-bitch!” “No, I’m sorry we’re not all short tempered sons-of-bitches.” “Not you, of course,” “Not me, thank god!” “No, not you, Darjeeling, you’re so evolved, you never go off halfcocked.”

only the Longstreets but also his too tightly wrapped wife, Nancy (Kate Winslet), who we are led to believe devotes her professional life to managing the couple’s swag. Penelope and Michael attempt to turn this impromptu summit meeting between strangers into a pseudo social event, complete with a decorative flower arrangement (tulips), a display of Penelope’s rare art books, and servings of her special recipe, apple/pear cobbler. Supposedly gathered to see that their sons avoid future mayhem, the Longstreets and the Cowens start dueling over everything that enrages each about the other. When Penelope lets slip that Michael has just that morning tossed their daughter’s pet hamster Tibble out into the street, the “murder” of a pet rodent becomes a kind of proxy for an escalating game of one-upmanship, as Nancy Cowen throws the plight of the hamster onto the scales as some moral equivalent of the dental damage suffered by Ethan Longstreet at the hands of her son. “You have no remorse?” “No. I have no remorse! That animal was disgusting, and I’m glad it’s gone.” “Michael, that’s ridiculous.” “What, have you lost your mind now, too? Their son beats the shit out


True stories by Gregg Shapiro


’Amour Fou (Sundance), Pierre Thoretton’s odd and non-traditional doc about the relationship between gay fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent and his life partner of 50 years Pierre Bergé, is an unexpectedly removed and frosty affair. The doc begins with YSL, the creator of the modern woman’s wardrobe and a liberal quoter of Proust and Rimbaud, at a press conference where he announces his retirement. Shortly

Sony Pictures Classics

Christoph Waltz and Kate Winslet in Roman Polanski’s Carnage.

thereafter, we are at his 2008 funeral. From there, L’Amour Fou intersperses the story of Saint Laurent and Bergé’s lifetime together, beginning with how they met following the death of Christian Dior, with the preparations for the auction of the couple’s massive art collection. It’s a strange juxtaposition. One can’t help but wish there were tw separate docs two to watch, because th their romantic a and business p partnership really does d deserve its own platform. B Bergé’s AIDS and gay rights a activism alone was worthy o more time. As for the of a amazing collection of objects t they acquired over the course o their partnership, it too of d deserves its own focus, so t that the viewer can fully a appreciate the extraordinary w works of art. As it is, neither t love story nor the other the p points of interest really g the attention they so get j justly deserve. DVD bonus f features include a “making of ” featurette and more. Jean Carlomusto’s Sex

in an Epidemic (Outcast Films), an East Coast companion if you will to David Weissman and Bill Weber’s San Francisco-based AIDS doc We Were Here, is as enlightening as it is emotionally powerful. With an emphasis on “honest, comprehensive sex education,” the doc begins by tracing important 20th-century events, including the Kinsey Report, the introduction of the birth control pill, the Stonewall riots and birth of gay lib, Roe v. Wade and the 1980 election of Ronald Reagan, that got us to where we were when AIDS first arrived on the shores of New York. See page 28 >>

“Why are you being so aggressive?” “I’m not being aggressive, I’m being honest.” With its astutely chosen social buzz-words and character facades – Penelope’s facile use of a politically correct agenda to intimidate her husband and silence her guests, Alan’s ruthless intrusion of his business world into a supposedly offlimits private setting, Nancy’s barely disguised contempt for a socially inferior couple’s attempt to humiliate her son, and Michael’s fury that his domestic sanctuary has been invaded by snobs and hypocrites, abetted by his hyper-liberal control-freak wife – Carnage’s tasteful Brooklyn living room becomes a mosh pit for a quartet of terribly unhappy adults who are pissed that they, unlike their boys, can’t just lash out with the nearest weapon at hand. While it’s no Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Carnage may well be this award season’s best excuse to comically lash out at all the vile indignities of the digital age. I dare you not to applaud when a certain cell phone is tossed into a vase full of tulips. And take notes on the uses to which a hair dryer may be put to repair socially inflicted carnage.▼

<< Music

22 • BAY AREA REPORTER • January 12-18, 2012

Early music’s first lady of soul by Tim Pfaff


n music as in so much else, timing is all, and the complexities of interleaved media calendars have their way of producing serendipities as well as catastrophes, sometimes intermingled. The cover of last November’s Gramophone magazine featured Jordi Savall – violist and guru of one of the most adventurous of all early-music ensembles, Hesperion XXI – who, with the band, was indeed making news with a number of new releases and the unveiling of a lost Vivaldi opera. But by the time the longplanned magazine feature reached subscribers, the far sadder news was the death of his wife, chief musical partner, and muse, Montserrat Figueras, on November 23, in her native Catalonia. Avid long-time fans of Figueras, including legions in the Bay Area, were stunned at the loss of early music’s first lady of soul, who had beguiled their ears, hearts, and minds for a too-short eternity and was still singing in the

year of her death at 69. As one-of-a-kind a singer as has walked among us, Figueras was as much earth mother as goddess (diva in the original sense, not self-obsessed “star,” which she was almost the opposite of). She had the core ingredient of a great singing career: an immediately recognizable vocal timbre, hers a sturdy yet flexible madrone covered in butterflies. To that voice she added a scholar’s penetration of the music and a troubadour’s sense of how to put over a song. Her range of expression went from the humble and unadorned to the ecstatic and incantatory. Whatever path it took, its most arresting qualities were its honesty and authenticity. Figueras and Savall – and in time, two of their children as well as a constellation of other musicians with whom they regularly worked – forged an enterprise still unmatched in the seemingly endlessly expanding universe of historical performance. In a move that prefigured Yo-Yo Ma’s

Alia Vox

Early music vocalist Montserrat Figueras.

Silk Road Project, familia Savall traced cross-cultural influences in what were often “very early” music investigations, reviving music sometimes a millennium old. Alternatively, when they explored themes such as songs of the night and the ship of love in their beautifully documented, extravagantly annotated CD sets, the music performed might span from the medieval to the modern. Hesperion had a standout year on CD (Alia Vox) in 2011 – from Hispania and Japan, a look at artistic cross-currents between Spain and Japan no other ensemble would have conceived of, let alone brought off, to La Sublime Porte: Vox d’Istanbul 1430-1750, a second CD of Turkish music in as many years. Like the projects that came before them, they were magnificent and functionally unreviewable in any meaningful way. To talk about their musical standards would be just to pile superlative on superlative, and it was impossible to speak with

greater authority about the music they performed, since no one knew more about it than they did – and they shared most all of what they knew in their fascinating booklets. Anyway, theirs were not CD sets that strictly needed promotion. Friends pressed them into each others’ hands, and devotees would not have missed an installment. Then, midway into the year, the crew newly remastered and reissued one of its earlier recordings, Cancons de la Catalunya mil-lenaria, made when the ensemble flew under the flag of La Capella Reial de Catalunya, to usher it into the Alia Vox Heritage series. Figueras struggled long with the cancer that finally claimed her, so who knows what planning went into that re-release? But since she herself was Catalonian, born in Barcelona and breathing her last in Catalonia’s Cerdanyola del Valles, a more fitting tribute to her art, capturing her voice in its prime, could hardly have been planned or imagined. The Catalonian songs presented, some of which date back to the 11th century, are of four types, laments, lullabies, legends, and lyrical songs, and the overall tone is somber and melancholy. Still, the variety of material itself is astounding, and the music-making characteristically


Windy City Queer From page 20

gates, arming his battlements” in anticipation of a heartbreaking rejection. Sex with all the trimmings populates the writings in “Hooking Up,” a section where April Newman shares her lesbian “seminal love tragedy,” Jeanne Theresa Newman expresses the eroticism of first glances in an unpunctuated paragraph of quick nuances, and a lying phony receives some righteous comeuppance in Sheree L. Greer’s tale of justice. David Trinidad’s luminous poetry beautifully closes

compelling. The disc opens, magically, with “El cant del ocells” (“The Song of the Birds”), a lullaby made famous by Pablo Casals and praised by Wanda Landowska Stravinsky as the finest song in the world. It tells of how the many species of Catalonian birds, all with their individual characteristics, gather together to hymn the birth of Jesus. The quiet but rapt performance is a family affair, including Arianna and Ferran Savall. “El Testament d’Amelia” (“Amelia’s Will”), a demanding, nine-minute strophic lament, tests a singer’s ability to create variety without sacrificing integrity, and it shows this singer at her most resourceful. For Figueras at her most haunting – a quality her voice was singularly pitched to convey – there’s the lullaby “La Mare de Deu” (“The Mother of God”). It’s Mary’s joy at learning that she will be Jesus’ mother, and the ache inside the joy is already there.▼

out the book’s moody final section, “Winter.” The pieces offered here are paradoxically romantic, low-key, intense, happy, melancholy, and rapturously Midwestern. These descriptions are just a small sampling of the literary wonders that have been carefully, thoughtfully assembled. In considering their literary scope, divergent themes, and impressive, wide-ranging appeal, Bergquist hopes these literary Windy City gems will “chart a map of Chicago’s queer landscape in the second half of one century and the first decade of another.” Well done indeed.▼

Remembering Nick Ashford


alerie Simpson wrote some of the greatest love songs of a generation with her husband and writing partner, Nick Ashford. But when Ashford died of throat cancer in August at the age of 70, Simpson was cast adrift. After spending more than four decades together, during which time they turned out Motown classics like “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing,” “Solid” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” as well as a series of

their own hits as the duo Ashford and Simpson, she didn’t know if she would ever get back onstage. But this spring she will be back with her new show, a loving musical tribute to Nick Ashford. Simpson will perform all their greatest hits in A Tribute to Nick Ashford, coming on Tues.-Sun., May 8-13, at the Rrazz Room in the Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason St., San Francisco. For tickets, call (800) 380-3095 or go to ▼

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January 12-18, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 23


Foreign affairs by Gregg Shapiro


ou have to give Italian pop star Zucchero (a.k.a. Adelmo “Sugar” Fornaciari) credit for his pluck and persistence. A beloved figure in his homeland for some 25 years, Zucchero has never cracked the American market and achieved the same kind of success as Ricky Martin, for instance. The Englishlanguage version of his mature and solid Chocabeck (Decca), a sort of song cycle about his hometown, has the quality of a mini-epic set in the American West. Co-compositions such as “Life” (with Tears For Fears’ Roland Orzabal), “Someone Else’s Tears” (with Bono) and “Too Late” (with Iggy Pop) are all admirable. But the Euro-pop excess is never far behind. “Devil in My Mirror,” “Oltre le rive” and “Spirit Together” (also co-written by Pop and featuring backing vocals by Brian Wilson!) remind us of Zucchero’s sticky roots, for better or worse. Brazilian rock, or axé, goddess Daniela Mercury sounds like she could be Debbie Harry’s South American kid sister on the 2011 expanded, domestic, deluxe edition reissue of her 2009 Canabália: Trio Em Transe (Four Quarters) CD/ DVD. That’s especially true on the album’s best track, “Dona Desse Lugar,” as well as the retro beat of “Castelo Imaginário,” “Tico Tico No Fubá” and “This Life Is Beautiful,” and her disco-diva turn on “One Love” (both partially sung in English). In case you prefer a more traditional tropical trip, consider the 11-track Mi Bossa Nova (Tweety) by Carmen Cuesta. The jazz-influenced disc is as soothing as an ocean breeze and features the standout track “Tormenta.” Rising through the ranks of exotic musicians, the band known as Tinariwen officially achieves hipster status with the release of Tassili (Anti). Not only is the disc on one of the most highly regarded and hyper-cool indie record labels, but it features guest appearances by TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe

(heard singing on three tracks), horns by The Dirty Dozen Brass Band on “Ya Messinagh,” and Wilco’s Nels Cline playing guitar on “Imidiwan Ma Tenam.” Tracks such as “Tenere Taqhim Tossam” and “Iswegh Attay” transcend the inherent language barrier by becoming accessible pop tunes. Easily the most exciting disc in the bunch, Argentine musician Federico Aubele’s Berlin 13 (ESL Music) sounds fresh and immediate, futuristic and timeless. Even with the incorporation of loops and other synthetic materials, these 10 songs are certain to be as compelling in 10 or 20 years as they are today. Respectful of his roots while casting an ear towards tomorrow, Aubele’s songs – “Bohemian Rhapsody In Blue,” “Ojalá” (which features Natalia Clavier) and the irresistible danceenergy of “In Your Name” and “Kreuszber” – are as haunting as they are heartfelt. Singing in English and French, sisters Helene and Celia Faussart, better known as Les Nubians, return with Nü Revolution (Shanachie). Determined to be revolutionary, they pay homage to Prince while tipping their hats (or is it their hair?) to Willow Smith on the silly “Afrodance.” Les Nubians are most appealing when there are fewer distractions, as on “Je M’en Occupe,” “Liberte” and “Vogue Navire. Yasmin Levy is renowned for singing in Ladino, a language known by many names that is essentially Judeo-Spanish, and

which came into being post-Spanish Inquisition. Levy’s disc Sentir (Four Quarters) features traditionals, originals and covers, including Leonard Cohen’s oft-recorded and performed “Hallelujah.” Montenegro native Milos Karadaglic, considered one of the brightest lights in classical guitar, performs instrumental compositions by Albeniz, Tarrega and Greek political activist and composer Theodorakis, among others, on Mediterráneo (Deutsche Grammophon). Backed by the Orchestre Et Chœur De L’Opera National De Lyon under the direction of Kazushi Ono, mezzosoprano Joyce DiDonato performs operatic arias from favorite male and female roles on Diva Divo (Virgin Classics).▼


Sex on rails by Ernie Alderete


risten Bjorn’s Pride, filmed entirely on location in Madrid, features gorgeous bodybuilders in hardcore sexual situations with incredible Spanish countryside backdrops. Having gone to summer school in Madrid, I had my own preconceived ideas about what this DVD would contain. I remember taking the subway to class every morning in a packed subway car deep beneath the sweltering, landlocked capital city. I almost never took a seat. Instead I stood and held onto an overhead leather strap in the very last car surrounded by several Spanish young men. It seemed that the last car was informally reserved for men only, single men that is – at least I never saw a woman or family aboard the final car. These subway cars were old and rickety, the windows didn’t even have glass, a shower of sparks rained overhead as the train sped through tunnels that were deeper and darker than any I had been in before. With each bump in the tracks, the guy behind me would slam into me, and I could feel his fully erect prick nest between my receptive buns. The faster the train clanged along, the harder he would slam into my

ass, until I could feel his wett load squirt right through his trousers, leaving my entire behind soaked in his warm cum. A few minutes later we would get off the train and go on our separate ways, never having spoken, not knowing each other’s names, never to see each other again, but carrying his seed on my clothing, and dripping on my moist, sweaty skin as a seminal reminder of my anonymous sex partner. As I sat in class on a cold wooden seat, I could feel his cum dry up and crackle on my ass. Pride doesn’t take place on the subway, but it does give you a good flavor of Madrid as it celebrates Gay Pride, the biggest such celebration in Europe, with two million revelers. Buff and beautiful, scantily-clad men dance on gaily decorated floats as they snake down the Paseo del Prado, one of the main streets in Madrid, past gorgeous Baroque fountains, medieval museums, stately monuments and sprawling parks. Then the action, mostly three-ways and multi-partner orgies, cuts away to a picturesque stone and wood-beam barn in the Spanish countryside. If you ever get the chance to visit

Madrid, don’t forget to ride that last subway car. You may never get off! A Kristen Bjorn Film: Pride Parts 1& 2. Running time is 7 hours. The international cast includes Pedro Andreas, Daniel Marvin, Armando del Toro, Carlos Montenegro, Marco Salgueiro, Mateo Perez, Alex Brinsky, Jean Franko, Bruno Jones, Gustavo Arrango, Ricci Julian, Francesco D’Macho, Lucas Lucky, David Dirdam, Luciano Prado, Julio Cesar, Jesus Moreno, Dennis D’Nello, John Cemax, Dany Vargas, Arthur Gordon, Ross Hurston, and Andreu Perez. Available for purchase by digital download ($61.20) and hard copy DVD ($109.95).▼

<< Out&About

24 • BAY AREA REPORTER • January 12-18, 2012

Thu 12 >>

O&A Out &About

429-Inspired @ Harlot Dot 429, the LGBT professionals group, welcomes architect Matthias Hollwich, who speaks about his work, followed by a cocktail reception. $25-$35. 6pm-9pm. 46 Minna St.

Humor Abuse @ A.C.T. American Conservatory Theatre presents Pickle Family Circus veteran Lorenzo Pisoni’s autobiographical solo show about growing up in a circus family. $10-$85. Previews thru Jan 17. Jan 18 opening night. 8pm. Tue-Sat 8pm. Wed, Sat & Sun 2pm. Thru Feb. 5. 415 Geary St. 749-2228.

Joshua Klipp

Machine @ The Crucible, Oakland

I tune by Jim Provenzano


ith such a wide array of musical performances this week, your ears may experience a tuneful overload of pleasure, aka an eargasm. From pop to classical, gospel to classic nerd rock, the Bay Area is your audio-torium. In The Angela Bofill Experience, the singer tells her life story in words and music, with guests Melba Moore, Maysa, Dave Valentin, the Original Angela Bofill Band and Marion Meadows. $45-$55. 8pm. Jan 12 & 13 (8pm), 14 (7pm) & 9:30pm) and 15 (7pm). 2-drink min. The Rrazz Room, Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason St. 394-1189. Angela On Friday the 13th, we’re feeling lucky, Bofill as Devo returns to The Fillmore. Are we not men? They are Devo, the everlasting offbeat post-wave pop oddities. $50-$170. 9pm. Also Jan. 14. 1805 Geary Blvd. at Fillmore. (Also Jan 15 at the Uptown Theatre, Napa). Also, January 13, Josh Klipp and the Klipptones, having conquered hiphop with a queer edge, now play cool jazz vocals, at Savanna Jazz. $8. 7pm-10pm. 2937 Mission St. Devo Feeling a little Brazilian? Lucky you. January 14, Joseh Garcia & Brian Vouglas perform at Duboce Park Café. The gay singer-songwriters from Brazil and the U.S. share a bill of contemporary ballads, bossas and inspiring music. $10. 7pm. 2 Sanchez St. at Noe. Just in time for Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend, Sunday, January 15, In the Name of Love fills Oakland’s Paramount Theatre with gospel greatness, including Mavis Staples, PopLyfe, Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, Youth Speaks, and the Children’s Community Choir. 6pm community exhibition of 30 nonprofits. 7pm concert. $8-$18. 2025 Broadway Oakland. (510) 2878880. January 16, the Mads Tolling Quartet performs at The Rrazz Room. The Grammy-winning jazz violinist and his band’s concert of varied music includes classics, Zappa, Thelonius Monk and more. $25. 8pm. Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason St. Joseh Garcia Feeling classical? Friday, January 13, Jupiter Chamber Players visit Old First Church. The string quartet performs music by J.S. Bach, Haydn, Andriasov and Zemlinsky. $14-$17. 8pm. 1751 Sacramento St. 474-1608. Susan Graham, mezzo-soprano star of opera, performs a solo recital of works by Purcell, Schubert, Schumann, Liszt, Poulenc and others, with piano accompanist Malcolm Martineau, at Zellerbach Hall, Berkeley, Saturday, January In the Name of Love 14. $30-$80. 8pm. Bancroft Way at Telegraph Ave. (510) 642-9988. Christopher Maltman appears at the Herbst Theatre, Thursday, January 19. The talented baritone, with pianist Malcolm Martineau, performs a program of works by Fauré, Schumann, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Hahn, Schubert and Mahler. $38-$68. 8pm. 401 Van Ness Ave. 392-2545. There’s no shame in liking a fun pop band, or admiring a cute singer, even if he’s straight. Chris Carrabba, the hunky tattoooed front man for Dashboard Confessional, performs an acoustic show at Slim’s, Thursday, January 19. $25Chris Carabba $29. 8pm. 333 11th St. 522-0333. of Dashboard ▼ Confessional

New music, fire and theatre opera from the fire arts nonprofit; written, conceived and directed by Mark Streshinsky; based on a short story by science fiction author Derek J. Goodman about industrial workers serving an evil master. $45-$65. Jan 11-14, 18-21. 8:30pm. Closing Night Gala Jan 21 includes drinks, food, cast champagne toast; $150. 6:30. Show 8:30pm. 1260 7th St. (510) 444-0919.

Nicholas Ray Rediscovered @ YBCA Double feature of rare films made by and about Ray ( Rebel Without a Cause and later experimental films), including the collaborative We Can’t Go Home Again and Don’t Expect Too Much, a documentary about Ray by his widow Susan Ray. $6-$8. 7:30pm. Also Jan 15, 2pm. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Screening Room, 701 Mission St.

Howard Hawks: The Measure of Man @ Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley Film series showcasing the Hollywood director of classics ( Dawn Patrol, His Girl Friday, Barbary Coast and more). Thru Feb 28. $5.50-$13.50. various times and dates. 2575 Bancroft Way, Berkeley. (510) 6421412.

Marga Gomez @ The Marsh Everyone’s favorite lesbian Latina comic returns with her new hit solo show Not Getting Any Younger. $15-$35. Fri 8pm. Sat 5pm & 8:30pm. Thru Feb 25. Studio Theater, 1062 Valencia St. at 22nd. 2823055.

New Fire @ Brava Theatre Cherrie Moraga’s play follows the sacred geography of indigenous American ancestors to tell a past-modern story of rupture and return. $10-$30. Thu-Sat 8pm. Sun 3pm. 2781 24th St. 647-2822. Thru Jan 29.

Period of Adjustment @ SF Playhouse Local staging of Tennessee Williams’ “serious comedy” about a man who brings his bride to meet his best friend. $20-$50. Tue-Thu 7pm. Fri & Sat 8pm. Thru Jan 14. 533 Sutter St. near Powell. 677-9596.

Soul Music Spectacular @ Oddball Films Rare footage of James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Junior Wells and other soul greats in vintage films. $10. 8pm. Also unusual films (foreign shorts) Jan 13, 8pm & Jan. 14 (surreal trippy flicks). 275 Capp St. 5588117.

Souls of Splendor @ Delancey Screening Room Premiere screening of a short (25-minute) comedy-dramatic film about gay comic book artists, their fans, inspiration and their problems. $5-$20. 8pm. 600 Embarcadero St. event/214622

Fri 13 >> Carnage @ Various Cinemas Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, John C. Reilly and Christoph Waltz star in Roman Polanski’s dark comedy about parents of a bully and his victim, and how their meeting unravels their hypocrisy. Embarcadero, Sundance Kabuki, Shattuck/Berkeley, and other theatres.

The Crane and the Crocodile @ CounterPulse Rosemary Hannon and Mirian Wolodarski’s athletic and comedic dance duets about depression and anti-depression medications. Also showing Special Work-in-Progress by Jorge Rodolfo De Hoyos. $15-$20. 8pm. Also Jan 14. 1310 Mission St. at 9th.

Thu 19 Dean Moss @ YBCA Forum Nameless Forest, a bold, strange, sexy performance-dance work, with a dozen audience members selected to be part of the show. $$5-$25. 8pm. Thru Jan. 21. Special Smart Night Out Jan 21, with pre-show dinner and post-show discussions ($35-$40). Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Forum, 701 Mission St. 978-2787.

Stephanie Crawford @ The Jazz School, Berkeley Veteran singer performs classic jazz vocal songs with her trio. $15. 8pm. 2087 Addison. (510) 845-5373.

Stephen Kladder @ Castro Country Club Opening reception for an exhibit of the artist’s portrait paintings; at the LGBT sober space. 2pm-3pm. Thru Feb 29. 4058 18th St.

The Two-Character Play @ Eureka Theatre Theatre Rhinoceros’ production of Tennessee Williams’ lesser-known drama about a brother and sister’s family saga and their life as an acting duo.$10-$25. Tue-Sat 8pm. Sun 3pm. Thru Jan. 15. 215 Jackson St. at Front. (800) 838-300.

Xanadu @ New Conservatory Theatre

Future Motive Power @ The Mint Mugwumpin’s new immersive theatre production, staged in the vault of the fascinating Old Mint, about eccentric inventor Nikola Tesla. $15-$30. Fri-Sun 8pm. Thru Jan 29. 88 5th St. at Mission.

Sat 14 >>

Author of The Last Nude discusses his book about Art Deco painter Tamara de Lempicka. 7:30pm. 2275 Market St. 864-6777.

God’s Plot @ Ashby Stage, Berkeley Shotgun Players’ commissioned play with music, written and directed by Mark Jackson; an update on the 1665 satire on the King of England, enjoyed by early American Puritans, whose pious outward behavior comes under scrutiny as another form of theatre. $18-$27. Thu 7pm. Fri & Sat 8pm. Sun 5pm. Thru Jan. 15. 1901 Ashby Ave. Berkeley. (510) 841-6500.

Food Stories @ Z Space John Fisher directs Word for Word theatre company in performances of two short stories; satirist T.C. Boyle’s “Sorry Fugu” and Alice McDermott’s “Enough.” $20-$40. Wed & Thu 7pm. Fri & Sat 8pm. Sun 2pm (previews Jan 11-13, 7pm). Thru Feb. 5. 450 Florida St. (800) 838-3006.

German Gems @ Castro Theatre 3rd annual one-day mini-festival of German films; 4 narratives and one documentary, in German with English subtitles. $8-$50. 11am-9:30pm. Also Jan 15 at Arena Theatre, 214 Main St. Point Arena. 429 Castro St.

Ghost Light @ Berkeley Repertory World premiere of Jonathan Moscone and Tony Taccone’s haunting fictional drama based on the assassination of the playwright’s father, San Francisco mayor George Moscone. $15-$73. Tue-Sat 8pm. Wed & Sun 7pm. Sat & Sun 2pm. Thru Feb 19. Thrust Stage, 2025 Addison St. (510) 647-2949.

The Kipling Hotel @ The Marsh Berkeley

Matter + Spirit @ de Young Museum

The hit Broadway musical –based on the campy 80s Olivia Newton-John/Gene Kelly film about a mythical muse and roller skating rink– gets a local production. Special “Xanadu Fun-Pack” includes a cocktail/ soft drink, keepsake cup and souvenir disco ball necklace. $25-$45. Wed-Sat 8pm. Sun 2pm. Thru Jan. 15. 25 Van Ness Ave, lower level. 861-8972.

Ellis Avery @ Books Inc.

Coates, Sherrie Taylor and others singing a variety of styles. 6pm-8pm. 4 Valencia St. at Market.

Don Reed’s solo show about his adventures in Hollywood and as a waiter in a retirement hotel. $20-$50. Sat 8:30, Sun 7pm. Thru Feb 12. TheaterStage, 2120 Allston Way. 282-3055.

Porchlight Storytelling @ Contemp. Jewish Museum The roving literary tale-telling night plays a little Abracadabra, with a Houdini tribute, hosts Beth Lisick and Arline Klatte, with magicians, mentalists, spiritualist debunkers (Stallion, The Amazing Randi, Eric Mead and Joe Pon), magic and mystery. $15. 7pm. 736 Mission St. at 4th.

The Sculpture of Stephen De Staebler, whose figurative clay work draws inspiration from primitive cultures and artifacts. Thru April 22. Also, Masters of Venice: Renaissance Painters of Passion and Power from the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna. Ralph Eugene Meatyard: Dolls and Masks thru Feb. 26. The Art of the Anatolian Kilim: Highlights from the McCoy Jones Collection thru June 10. Bernini’s Medusa thru February 19. Golden Gate Park, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive. 750-3600.

Shamanism Class @ LGBT Center Liz San Pablo leads a monthly class (2nd Saturdays) with drumming, ritual and meditations aimed at helping you find your animal spirit. $25. 1800 Market St. Info/RSVP:

The Wild Bride @ Berkeley Repertory Theatre Touring production of Kneehigh Theatre Company’s acclaimed Broadway show with music and dance that blends fairy tale dreams and humorous yet heartbreaking realities. $27-$82. Tue, Thu-Sat 8pm. Wed 7pm (Dec 7, at 8pm). Sat & Sun 2pm. Sun 7pm. Extended thru Jan 22. 2025 Addison St., Berkeley. (510) 647-2972.

Sun 15 >> California Dreaming @ Contemp. Jewish Museum Jewish Life in the Bay Area from the Gold Rush to the Present, an exhibit about the lives of historic Western American Jewish people, from Levi’s jeans and Ginsberg’s Howl to Gump’s and LGBT synagogues. Also, Houdini: Art and Magic. $5-$12. Thu-Tue 11am-5pm. 736 Mission St. at 3rd. 655-7800. Thru Oct. 16, 2012.

Christine Ebersole @ The Venetian Room Tony Award-winning musical theatre actress ( 42nd Street, Grey Gardens) performs songs from her Carlyle Room show and Broadway songs. $40-$45. 5pm. Fairmont Hotel, 950 Mason St. 392-4400.

Eusebius Duo @ Old First Church Soprano Robin Fisher and pianist Haten Nadim perform works by Loria Laitman, Johnj Duke, Jake Heggie and others. $14$18. 4pm. 1751 Sacramento St. 474-1608.

Beach Blanket Babylon @ Club Fugazi

Katya Smirnoff-Skyy @ Martuni’s

Musical comedy revue, now in its 35th year, with an ever-changing lineup of political and pop culture icons, all in gigantic wigs. Reg: $25-$130. Wed, Thu, Fri at 8pm. Sat 6:30, 9:30pm. Sun 2pm, 5pm. (Beer/wine served; cash only). 678 Beach Blanket Babylon Blvd (Green St.). 4214222.

The bubbly Russian exiled drag empress performs a concert with special guest Honey Mahogany. $7. 7pm. 4 Valencia St. at Market.

Best to the Test @ Martuni’s San Francisco Recovery Theatre’s talent showcase, with Eric Ward, Omar Luib, Pam

Outlook Video @ Channel 29 LGBT monthly news show; this month, On these Shoulders We Stand director Glenne McElhinney, San Jose World AIDS Day, Pariah writer/director Dee Ree, and a 2011 review. 5pm. Also streaming online.

Out&About >>

January 12-18, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 25

economy. 6pm. Lower level, Latino/ Hispanic Room, 100 Larkin St. at Market/ Grove.

Smack Dab @ Magnet Kirk Read and Larry-bob Roberts cohost the monthly open mic night. Guest reader is Montreal author David Jedeikin, who reads from Wander the Rainbow. Open mic sign-up 7:30pm. Show 8pm. 4122 18th St.

Three-Penny Opera @ Café Royale

Bob Holmgren

Goat Hall Productions actor-singers perform songs from the Kurt Weill musical. No cover. 8pm. 800 Post St. at Leavenworth.

Wed 18 Plastic Camera Show @ Rayko Photo Opening reception for a group exhibit of surprisingly good photos taken with surprisingly cheap cameras. 6pm-8pm. Thru March 6. Tue-Thu-10am-10pm. Fri-Sun 10am8pm. 428 Third St. 495-3773.

A Toast to 2012 @ Trigger

Funny Tuesdays @ Harvey’s

Fundraiser for the Richmond/Ermet AIDS Foundation, with host Gary Virginia, a hosted Stoli bar, hors d’oeuvres, DJs Mark Andrus, Drumspyder, Raquela, Bebe Sweetbriar, Gypsy Love, benefit drawing for prizes. $30-$75. 11am-4pm. 2344 Market St. 867-5004.

Ronn Vigh hosts the weekly LGBT and gayfriendly comedy night. One drink or menu item minimum. 9pm. 500 Castro St. at 18th. 431-HARV.

Mon 16 >> Collected @ Museum of the African Diaspora Subtitled Stories of Acquisition and Reclamation, this new exhibit displays more than 100 objects that help narrate the struggles and contributions of African Americans in California. Special event Jan. 16: Day of Service Martin Luther King, Jr. events 11am-5pm include a mini college fair, screening of Shukree Hassan Tilghman’s More Than a Month, also The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement, plus sidewalk chalk art for kids. Free-$12. Thru March 4. 685 Mission St. at 3rd. 358-7200.

Marconi Calindas @ Magnet Colors of Understanding: A Tribute to Courage and Strength, an exhibit of the artist’s paintings. Thru Jan. 4122 18th St. at Castro.

MLK Day Party @ Hole in the Wall Saloon World soul food potluck; bring a dish to share. 7pm-late. 1369 Folsom St. 431-HOWL.

Q Comedy Showcase @ Martuni’s Laugh gaily! L.A. comic Scott Backman, Laura Hayden, SF comediennes Ben McCoy, Natasha Muse and Cassandra Gorges perform. $5-$15. 8pm. 4 Valencia St.

Tue 17 >> The Air We Breathe @ SF MOMA Group exhibit of works by 30 contemporary artists and eight poets who explore the issues of legalizing same-sex marriage. Accompanying book will be on sale: The Air We Breathe: Artists and Poets Reflect on Marriage Equality. Less and More: the Design Ethos of Dieter Rams ; Thru Feb 20; and Sharon Lockhart’s Lunch Break, photos and installation of images of industrial workers. Other exhibits ongoing. Free-$18. 151 Third St. 357-4000.

Jack Jones @ The Rrazz Room Veteran singer performs some of the hits that made him famous. $40-$45. 8pm. Also Jan 18-21, 8pm & Jan 22, 5pm. 2-drink min. Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason St. 394-1189.

Queer Comic Artists @ Cartoon Art Museum Exhibit of work by Burton Clarke ( Gay Comix ), Jaime Cortez ( Sexile ), Ed Luce ( Wuvable Oaf ), Jon Macy ( Teleny and Camille ),MariNaomi ( Kiss and Tell ), Trina Robbins ( Wimmen’s Comix ), Joey Alison Sayers (Just So You Know ), Christine Smith ( The Princess), Mary Wings ( Come Out Comix ), and Rick Worley (A Waste of Time ). Free-$7. Thru March 4. Reg hours Tue-Sun 11am-5pm. 655 Mission St.

West Side Story @ Center for the Performing Arts, San Jose Touring production of the Broadway revival of the classic Bernstein/Robbins/Sondheim musical. $20-$82. Tue-Thu 7:30pm. Fri & Sat 8pm. Also Sat 2om, Sun 1pm & 6:30pm. Thru Jan. 22. 255 Almaden Blvd. San Jose. (408) 792-4131.

Wed 18 >> Bay Area Rainbow Symphony @ SF State Open reading rehearsal of music by Wagner and Tchaikovsky. Listeners and string players welcome. Free. 7:30pm-10pm. Creative Arts Bldg., Room 153, 1600 Holloway, SF State campus.

The Matter Within @ YBCA Fascinating new exhibit of contemporary Indian art; installations, sculptures and other media. Don’t miss Sunil Gupta’s alluring gay photo series Love, Undetectable and Sun City. Free-$12. Exhibit thru Jan 29. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission St. 978-2787.

Thu 19 >> Cabaret @ Fort Mason New local production of the Tony-winning Cander/Ebb musical based on gay writer Christopher Isherwood’s stories about preNazi Berlin; with an up-close cabaret-style staging, like the recent Broadway revival. $25-$45. Thu-Sat 8pm. Sun 7pm. Thru Feb 19. 381-1638. Young Performers Theater, Bldg C, 3rd floor. 381-1638.

Dave Barry, Alan Zweibel @ Commonwealth Club Pulitzer Prize-winning humorist and former Saturday Night Live writer share their humorous take on the world as depicted in their new comic novel Lunatics, about crazed soccer parents. $7-$30. 6pm. 595 Market St. 597-6705.

Get Lucky @ SOMArts Gallery The Culture of Chance, a group exhibit of multimedia art paying homage to artist John Cage’s 100th birthday. Thru Jan 26. Tue-Fri 12pm-7pm. Sat 12pm-5pm. 934 Brannan St.

John Stanley @ Books Inc. Opera Plaza Veteran SF Chronicle writer and author of The Gang That Shot Up Hollywood discusses his book, about celebrity encounters. 7pm. 601 Van Ness Ave. 776-1111.

Maharaja @ Asian Art Museum The Splendor of India’s Royal Courts, an expansive exhibit showcasing textiles, jewels and items from the heyday of the early Indian empires. Also, Sanjay Patel’s Deities, Demons and Dudes with ‘Staches: Indian Avatars ; Tateuchi Thematic Gallery, 2nd floor. Special event Jan 19: Music and Dance from Courts of Northern India. $10-$20. 7pm. Other special events thru exhibit run. $7-$17. Tue-Sun 10am-5pm. Thu til 9pm. Thru April 8, 2012. 200 Larkin St. 581-3500.

Marcus Shelby Quartet @ George’s Nightclub, San Rafael Soul of the Movement: Meditations on Dr. Martun Luther King, Jr., a concert of jazz music. $12-$15. 9pm. 842 Fourth St., San Rafael. 226-0262.

Our Vast Queer Past @ GLBT History Museum

Richard Bolles @ SF Public Library

See the fascinating exhibit from the GLBT Historical Society, with a wide array of rare historic items on display. New mini-exhibit focuses on the legacy of activist and performer Jose Sarria. Free for members-$5. Wed-Sat 11am-7pm. Sun 12pm-5pm. 4127 18th St.

Author of the best-selling What Color Is Your Parachute? discusses the process of finding your dream job, even in a tough

Red Desert @ YBCA Screening Room Michelangelo Antonioni’s panoramic film about contemporary alienation includes amazingly beautiful yet starkly inhuman settings. $6-$8. 7:30pm. Also Jan 21, 7:30pm & Jan 22, 2pm. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission St.

Winter Salon @ Robert Tat Gallery Exhibit of vintage and contemporary photographic prints. Thru Jan. 28. Tue-Sat 11am-5:30pm. 49 Geary St. #410. 781-1122.

Fri 13 Midnites for Maniacs @ Castro Theatre Jesse Hawthorne Ficks hosts a triple bill of scary classics (and celebrates his 36th birthday). $12. Army of Darkness (7:30; photo above) American Psycho (9:30) and the rarely seen not-on-DVD Alice Cooper’s Welcome to My Nightmare (11:45). 429 Castro St.

To submit event listings, email Deadline is each Thursday, a week before publication. For bar and nightlife events, go to

<< Leather+

26 • BAY AREA REPORTER • January 12-18, 2012

Tis the contest season by Scott Brogan


ow that we’re into the New Year, the 2012 contest season is upon us. I know many out there feel the “contest system” is antiquated and unnecessary, or that it’s just a series of beauty pageants and popularity contests. Regardless of how one feels, there’s no denying that leather contests have raised tons of money for various local, national, and international charities and worthy causes. They’ve also helped people break out of their shells, brought the community together, and forged a greater understanding of the lifestyle both in and out of the greater gay community. That being said, even if you don’t like the contests or what you think they stand for, the politics, or the drama (yes, there are some serious drama queens out there), going to a contest is a lot of fun. Seriously! These days, they’re a great excuse to break away from the computer and meet up with people face to face. You don’t have to be a part of the contest system to go, support a charity or simply cruise for some hot sex. You can find it all there. If you don’t, you’re not trying hard enough. First up, starting tomorrow we have the big Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend (MAL). MAL is a sort of “mini-IML (International Mr. Leather)” attended by people from all over the world. It’s highlighted by the Mr. Mid-Atlantic Leather contest, our first look at many of the IML contenders, and the announcement of the IML judges. IML is Memorial Day Weekend in Chicago. Being that MAL is in Washington, DC, and this year’s political climate is volatile at best, what better way to show those uptight politicians what’s what than by parading through the city in full leather? When I say “full leather,” that includes gear and fetish wear. Sure, it’s usually a bit cold for bare-assed chaps, but it’s worth it! Go to: Locally, we have

Courtesy Mama

Sandy “Mama” Reinhardt surrounded by a sampling of the toys raised for the 10th annual Mama’s Toy Drive.

Scott Brogan

Int’l Ms. Leather 2011 Sara Vibes, flanked by fellow contestants and 2010 winner Mollena Williams, passes the title on this March.

quite a lot to look forward to. Here’s a peek at what’s coming up in the f i r s t quarter of 2012. Keep in mind that everything’s subject to change at this point. Wed., Jan. 18: Mr. Edge Leather at The Edge (18th & Collingwood). Go to: www. Sun., Jan. 22: Mr. Hayes Valley Leather at Marlena’s (Hayes & Oc-

tavia). Check out their page on Facebook. Sat., Jan. 28: Mr. Powerhouse at The Powerhouse (1347 Folsom). Go to: Sat., Feb. 11: Northern California Leather Sir, boy and Bootblack at BeatBox (314 11th St.). Go to: www. Weekend of March 3: Mr. SF Leather and Leather Alliance Weekend. This is the biggie that the other contests feed into, and what deterSee page 27 >>

Coming up in leather and kink Thu., Jan. 12: Daddy Thursdays at Kok Bar (1225 Folsom). Shot & drink specials. 10 p.m.-close. Go to: Thu., Jan. 12: Nasty at The Powerhouse (1347 Folsom). $5 cover to benefit Project Inform. 10 p.m.close. Go to: Thu., Jan. 12: Double the Fun: Florentine Flogging Playshot at the SF Citadel (1277 Mission). 7-10:30 p.m. Go to: Fri., Jan. 13: Truck Wash at Truck (1900 Folsom). 10 p.m.-close. Live shower boys, drink specials, loads of fun! Go to: Fri., Jan. 13: Jockstrap Party at Kok Bar. Drink specials if you strip to your jockstrap. 9 p.m.-close. Go to: Fri., Jan. 13: TransMission – A Party for Trans People and Their Friends at the SF Citadel (1277 Mission). 8 p.m.-1 a.m. Go to: Fri., Jan. 13-Mon., Jan. 16: Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend in Washington, DC at the Hyatt Regency (New Jersey Ave., NW). The first of the big leather contests of the year, highlighted by the Mr. Mid-Atlantic Leather 2012 contest. Go to: Sat., Jan. 14: Open Play Party at the SF Citadel. 8 p.m.-1 a.m. Go to: for details and to verify that this is at the new location. Sat., Jan. 14: Kok Block at Kok Bar. 4-9 p.m. $50 pool tournament starts at 6:30. Cheap Drinks 4-9 p.m. Go to: Sat., Jan. 14: All Beef Saturday Nights at The Lone Star (1354 Harrison). 100% SoMa Beef! 9 p.m.-close. Go to: Sat., Jan. 14: Steamworks at The Edge (18th & Collingwood). Fun with the bathhouse boys. 9 p.m.-

close. Go to: Sat., Jan. 14: Boot Lickin’ at the Powerhouse. The hottest Saturday night in SoMa! 10 p.m.-close. Go to: Sun., Jan. 15: Truck Bust Sundays at Truck. $1 beer bust. Warm Bar, hot men, cold beer. 4-8 p.m. Go to: Sun., Jan. 15: PoHo Sundays at The Powerhouse. DJ Keith, Dollar Drafts all day. Go to: Mon., Jan. 16: Dirty Dicks at The Powerhouse. $3 well drinks. 4-10 p.m. Go to: www.powerhouse-sf. com. Tue., Jan. 17: All the Bondage You Need for Hot Bedroom Scenes at the SF Citadel. 8-10 a.m. Go to: www. Tue., Jan. 17: Pit Stop Happy Hour at Kok Bar. $1 shots every hour on the hour. 6-9 p.m. Go to: www. Tue., Jan. 17: Ink & Metal at The Powerhouse. 9 p.m.-close. Go to: Wed., Jan. 18: Bare Bear – A Night at the Baths at the Water Garden (1010 The Alameda, San Jose). 6-10 p.m. Go to: Wed., Jan. 18: Nipple Play at The Powerhouse. Drink specials for the shirtless. 10 p.m.-close. Go to: www. Wed., Jan. 18: Underwear Buddies at Blow Buddies (933 Harrison). This is a male-only club. Doors open 8 p.m.-12 a.m. Play till late. Go to: www.blowbuddies. com. Wed., Jan. 18: Bear Bust Wednesdays at Kok Bar SF. $6 all you can drink Bud Light or Rolling Rock drafts. Go to:


January 12-18, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 27

Horny devils by John F. Karr


’m sorry the first review of 2012 isn’t a more lustrous launch for the year. I’ll give TitanMen’s Incubus credit for trying something different. But if the Halloween get-up that Francois Sagat sports on the box cover doesn’t scare you away (the horns are just too hilarious), it’s likely this review will do the job. In allowing Sagat the opportunity to write and direct his first feature (as well as star in it), Titan has honored their commitment to a long-time company fave. The resulting film, however, will win no honors (at least from me), and I’m accepting it as an anomaly to their catalogue. Although Sagat is named writer and director, Brian Mills is credited as Technical Director. I assume that means the less-experienced Sagat is responsible for the unengaged performances of the sexual encounters, and that Mills can be credited for the actual filming (which further credits five videographers and three editors, numbers which to me don’t assure consistency). Sagat’s frame of reference as a filmmaker seems to be Bruce LaBruce’s unfortunate LA Zombie, from which he’s cribbed half-baked situations, improbable settings, juvenile make-up jobs and unsettling film techniques. The scrambled, isit-all-a-dream scenario of Incubus opens with Sagat flirting his drunken way through the crowd at what I would take to be a costume ball, but which is most likely supposed to be a bar (perhaps a Las Vegas leather bar? It seems to me that butch does not encompass such bizarro as this mad-queen, wet-dream couture). As lots of hocus-pocus camera tricks tell us how loaded Sagat is, he grinds against dancing couples and finally passes out on the dance floor. He awakens, naked, on a patch of gravel on some hilly wasteland. Much more Paranormal-by-way-of-Blair Witch camera wooziness tells us how out of it he is as he stumbles about, until he comes upon a countryside piedà-terre in which he spies Spencer Reed and Shay Michaels making out. Suddenly de-woozed, Sagat makes it a three-way. Afterward, he’s sleeping in a lush blue bed (I guess his fuckbuddy hosts put him up for the night) where he’s throttled by the titular incubus (spooky contact lenses, long greasy hair) – only to jolt awake from a nightmare. Walking it off, he finds two guys making out poolside. After observing them through climax, we once again see him in the blue bed awakening from what seems to be the same nightmare. This time he swims it off, only to be attacked and thrashed underwater by – himself! Huh? If I hadn’t been told by publicity descriptions, I’d have had no idea this was his Demonic Twin. Said


Leather + From page 26

mines who will represent San Francisco at International Mr. Leather in May. Go to: Weekend of March 30: International Ms. Leather at the Holiday Inn Golden Gateway (Van Ness). Go to: We might have contestants for Mr. SF Leather from the SF Citadel, Kok Bar, or Truck and maybe a few independents. Stay tuned for details as they arise. On Thurs., March 1, we’ll be treated to a special roast/tribute of Lenny Broberg. Broberg won IML as Mr. SF Leather in 1992, the last

DT chokes him into simultaneously cumming and passing out. When he comes to, he’s restrained in suspension bondage in some dungeon, facing a closed circuit monitor on which are seen, alternately, Spencer Reed wearing a tinselly crown and laughing uncontrollably (amateur performers should not be called upon to laugh uncontrollably) and the Demonic Twin, wearing a tinselly headband and reciting who-knowswhat in French. DT then commands, “Watch,” and we witness a three-way in which Hunter Marx and Jessy Ares dominate Aymeric TitanMen DeVille – who, I never Newcomer Trenton Ducati appears in would have surmised unless TitanMen’s Incubus. informed via publicity, is actually Sagat in DeVille’s is beautiful, and Aymeric’s unique body. Huh? That segues attributes are captured straight-on. after cum-shots into a completely Newcomers Trenton Ducati and unintelligible montage showing Reed Jimmy Durano are potential stars: laughing uncontrollably while handsome, muscular and hung. But Aymeric, wearing spooky despite the atmospheric, theatrical contacts, turns into Sagat lighting of their nighttime poolside wearing spooky contacts, romp, they aren’t afforded much of who strangles Marx, all a showcase. I especially go for the of which is superseded rugged Ducati, who is delivered in by glimpses of these Titan’s next film, the undoubtedly actors as well as others more fortuitous circumstances not in the film in of the traditionally modeled scenes also not always Surveillance. I’m looking forward from the film. to that as I file Incubus among This might all be tolerable if the the forget-ables. By the way, the sex were acceptable, but each of the lamentable horns seen on the box three sequences is shorn of potential cover do not appear in the film.▼ chemistry by Now Do This and Now Do That and Then Do This. Pity – Reed’s beef is tautly buff, Ares

time the title was brought back to SF. Broberg didn’t rest on his laurels and has been a vibrant, active member of the community ever since. You won’t find a better mentor or friend. So to celebrate his accomplishments, we’re going to roast him! Oops, I mean: Pay Tribute. If you want to become a contestant, be sure to either contact each business or simply let me know at leather@ Update: We’ve all apparently survived the holidays. After it was all over and we rang in the New Year with a “human ball drop” at Mr. SF Leather 2011 Darren Bondy’s New Year’s Eve party at the Powerhouse (that was a mouthful), I’m happy to report that

the 10th annual Mama’s Family Toy Drive raked in $6,640 in cash and a mountain of toys for the Sunburst Project and the SFPD’s Project Dream. The Sunburst Project helps kids affected with HIV/AIDS. Thanks to everyone’s donations they’re able to send their kids to summer camp for a week. The SFPD’s Project Dream provides toys and other items to families who otherwise wouldn’t have anything at all. In these trying economic times, it’s heartening to know that people still step up to donate toys, money, and time to help out. Thank you. I think we’re starting 2012 off on a positive note. Lord knows it’s just got to be better than 2011.▼

((((((((( )))))))))

Serving the LGBT communities since 1971

28 • BAY AREA REPORTER • January 12-18, 2012


Montevideo man by David Lamble


he beautifully intimate coming out story Leo’s Room is seductively nestled in the tropes of a Latin American slacker film. It kicks off at a Montevideo nightclub where Leo (the angelic-seeming Martin Rodriquez) is enduring one of those teaming-with-bullshit drunken monologues that is as much a rite of passage for the eternal student as pretending to be interested in the subject of your graduate thesis or actually enjoying sex with your partner of the moment. Leo listens in a blissfully inebriated state as the lout across the table rants on that adult life is about the pursuit of the annual 12 minutes guys spend in orgasm. Orgasms aren’t a big part of Leo’s life. In quick order he decides to stop trying to have them with his girlfriend of six months, and stop leaving the room he occupies in

the home of a zombie-like pothead, except to start seeing a shrink recommended by his ex. Uruguayan writer/director Enrique Buchichio isn’t so much concerned with Leo’s turning into a fully functioning homosexual as he is in exploring why the young man has reverted to a socially vegetative state. Picking up guys on the local cruise circuit, Leo at first seems to get with the program: don’t fuck with the machos who are allergic to kissing; do flirt with shy cuties on the bus; and definitely stay with the cheeky dreamboat Sebastian (Gerardo Begerez), who’s into kissing and who tries his best to pry Leo out of his still unpainted, characterless room. The make-out scenes with Sebastian are succulent precisely because they’re not hard core and are framed by witty exchanges between the lovers. But Leo’s real dilemma isn’t

solved by finding a hot boyfriend as much as by a chance encounter with childhood friend Cara (Cecilia Cosero). Cara, whose body language hints at a clinically depressed state, reluctantly accepts Leo’s invite to come to his room to share music and their truncated back story. Buchichio refuses to offer Leo’s shrink time as any kind of magic bullet for unraveling why he’s stuck. His gorgeous lead Rodriquez is deft at slamming his communication skills into neutral so that we become as exasperated as the other characters as to why he just doesn’t spit out what’s bugging him. The film’s funniest moment trips off the lips of the pothead roommate. Pressed by Leo to describe the toughest choice he’s ever had to make, Pipe tokes up and recalls.

“It was a Saturday in the summer, and I was getting ready to watch the Star Wars trilogy on cable. The originals, not the new ones, those suck! I was ready to watch all three

in a row when a buddy calls. ‘There’s a show with drugs and experimental rock at the warehouse: plenty of beer, d diverse narcotics.’ Here I was: o on the one hand, original Star Wars, on the other, drugs and rrock-n-roll.” “What did you do?” “What do you think I did?” “You’re such an asshole. SStop smoking that shit, it’s d drying your brain out.” “Hey, don’t mess with me. I d don’t ask you what you do in th that room, do I?” Like other recent Latinsscreen slacker dudes from ggems like 25 Watts, Duck SSeason, Lake Tahoe and Y Tu M Mama Tambien, Leo bears the m message that Latin America is ju just as dizzyingly obsessed with n navel-gazing as the US, and th that the end products arrive blissfully, without parental guidance. Bonus features include a study guide with the director’s bio and film notes.▼

Courtesy German Gems

Scene from director Volker Sattel’s Under Control.


German Gems From page 17

Theatre is intrepid programmer Ingrid Eggers’ “Last Show” in an incomparable series. Following years at the helm of the cutting-edge Berlin and Beyond Festival, this is her last stab at thought-provoking new films from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. For better than a decade I’ve counted on Ingrid to connect me to a new generation of actors, like Germany’s everyman star Daniel Bruhl, so deftly showcased in the morose comedy A Friend of Mine; queer-identified matinee idol Robert Stadlober, as a boy on the run in Tender Parasites; or fresh-faced

David Kross, the battered boy hero of Tough Enough. Or introduce me to exhilarating reinventions of film noir, like Jerichow and Revanche, and to bold debuts by directors from unusual backgrounds, like the Turkish/German wunderkind Fatih Akin. For the last three Januarys, Eggers has put out magnificent swansong programs on her old dime. Saturday’s five films represent a glorious recapitulation of a great career. Arrive early, stay late, enjoy. Westwind Director Robert Thalheim offers a heartfelt trifle in this sweet tale of twin teen East German girls coming of age just before the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Courtesy German Gems

Scene from director Andreas Kannengiesser’s No Way Home.

Life gets messy for Doreen and Isabel when they miss the bus to a Socialist rowing camp nestled in a bucolic part of Communist Hungary. Hitching a ride from two randy West German lads, the girls are offered romantic asylum in Hamburg if they can outfox their Communist minders: a grumpy old coach and a painfully sincere blond-boy counselor whose lovely locks don’t compensate for his “Kumbaya” guitar riffs. While fiendish technology and a seductive mix-tape ultimately carry the day, this dollop of Cold War nostalgia redeems its overly familiar beats through a joyful, fresh-faced cast. (Castro, 1/14, 7:30 p.m., with actor Friederike Becht in person) No Way Home In this deeply unsettling drama about uncomfortable end-of-life dilemmas, an elderly gay man


True stories From page 21

Consisting of period footage from the early 1980s to the present (including President Obama’s contributions to the fight against AIDS) and interviews with important figures in the scene such as Larry Kramer, Larry Mass, Edmund White, Richard Berkowitz and many others, Sex in an Epidemic succeeds in its mission. This is especially true when the doc addresses the “invention” of safe sex and the rise of various AIDS organizations and programs. DVD bonus features include deleted scenes

tells a sullen male neighbor why ambulance attendants had to pry his hand from its vice-like grip on his freshly dead lover. Director Andreas Kannengiesser follows an elderly woman fleeing her dementiaafflicted hubby to show how the will to survive may trump truly grim circumstances. While gay widower Gunther and anguished widowto-be Hannelore hardly forge a Hallmark Hall of Fame sticky bond, these defiantly stubborn codgers demonstrate how one can resist other people’s ideas on how to live out your days. (Castro, 1/14, 2:15 p.m., with director Andreas Kannengiesser in person) Above Us Only Sky Director Jan Schomburg takes wonderful liberties with the vertigo-inducing perils his heroine, Martha, faces upon learning that her doctor mate is not only dead by his own

hand, but a complete fraud to boot. The lovely Sandra Huller recalls a young Glenda Jackson in her almost whimsical portrait of an instant widow shocked out of her mind who ratchets up her powers of denial. Martha’s sudden bolt into the arms of a history teacher who somehow reminds her of the nowdead Paul exudes a whiff of Francois Ozon’s talent for creating out-ofkilter bonds that seem deliciously right. (Castro, 1/14, 4:30 p.m., with director Jan Schomburg in person) Under Control As one whose introduction to Bay Area life occurred during the 1979 Three Mile Island crisis accompanied by a memorable Jane Fonda-hosted UC Berkeley screening of The China Syndrome, there’s a disturbing timestands-still quality to director Volker Sattel’s eerie, seductively beautiful See page 29 >>

and more. Illuminating and vivid, Cameraman (Strand), Craig McCall’s doc about the life and work of the late Jack Cardiff (1914-2009), is a moviegoer’s delight. Cardiff, the first cinematographer to receive an honorary Oscar (presented to him in 2001 by Dustin Hoffman), began his career as a child actor in 1918 England. Eighty years later, he was a guest of honor at the Cannes Film Festival. In-between, he came to be known as the cinema’s key innovator in color photography. With film credits including Black Narcissus (1947), The

Red Shoes (1948), The African Queen (1951), The Prince and the Showgirl (1957), as well as later fare such as Conan the Destroyer (1984) and Rambo (1985), Cardiff’s work speaks for itself. But how wonderful is it that we get to hear Cardiff’s own words as he regales us with the stories of his groundbreaking career in and on film? Among those singing Cardiff’s praises in interviews are Martin Scorcese, Kirk Douglas, Lauren Bacall, Kim Hunter and Moira Shearer. There are a multitude of DVD bonus features, including an interview with director McCall and Cardiff’s “behind-thescenes” movies.▼

▼ <<

Theatre >>

January 12-18, 2012 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 29

Lorenzo Pisoni

From page 17


German Gems From page 28

probe deep inside Germany’s nuclear power industry. Eschewing anti- or pro-nuke politics, Sattel’s cameras take us to places beyond our imagination, deep into the bowels of the earth, where spent fuel rods and sundry waste products cool down for periods ranging from 50 years to infinity. Sattel follows a blond teen bicyclist riding to school past one of Germany’s five active nuclear power plants. Not since Silkwood have I seen so many workers, here male engineers, casually adapting to blinking red lights and screaming alarms of constant radiation checks, juxtaposed against employee

Richard Dodds

Lorenzo Pisoni returns to his hometown to explore his childhood with the Pickle Family Circus in Humor Abuse at ACT.

flight of stairs, but there’s this one step he keeps slipping on.” This image of a Sisyphean task in a show with “abuse” in the title might suggest a memory play in which the reminiscences aren’t particularly sweet. Not so, said Pisoni. “It wasn’t like there were terrible times,” he said. “It was just complicated. If you are working with your parents as colleagues, there are a lot of layers going on. If I’m six years old, and we’re having an argument, I had to realize that once we’re on stage, we couldn’t continue the argument because we have this act to do so he can get the laughs.” Larry Pisoni and Peggy Snider, Lorenzo’s parents, helped found the Pickle Family Circus in San Francisco in 1975. Larry became its artistic director and chief clown while Peggy handled the business affairs. “To tell cafeterias ostentatiously decorated with leafy green plants, as if the 1950s fantasy about “clean” atomic energy had found its Eden. Under Control is a visual tone poem to a German industrial juggernaut that allows Angela Merkel to have final say during Europe’s financial crisis. (Castro, 1/14, 11 a.m., followed by Sierra Club-sponsored discussion) Taboo – The Soul Is a Stranger on Earth As a critic, one of my favorite parlor games is explaining why a treasured Louis Malle classic, Murmur of the Heart – where an altar boy chooses Mom over a randy priest – is not really about incest, but merely employs a bout of mother/son intimacy to probe an unruly French clan’s off-beat child-raising rituals.

Steven Underhill

Gregory Haney during some downtime in San Francisco.

my story,” the Pisoni scion said, “I have to tell a bit of my father’s story, and how he ran away from home when he was 15, and then it becomes about my growing up in the circus and having a clown for a father.” Exhausted and overburdened, Larry Pisoni quit the circus when Lorenzo was 11, but the boy stayed on, taking over more and more of his father’s duties. “That is a big part of the show because it was really a turning point for me,” Pisoni said. “The show would always end with a big juggle where my father would be in the center and there was a semicircle with the rest of the cast, and he would juggle clubs with every single person in the cast, and I became that person. And not to get too Oedipal, but I started driving the stakes during setup, which was one of the things he had always done.” The play’s timeframe continues until 2008, though Pisoni declined to elaborate on the whys of that cutoff date. “It would be giving

roadway actor Gregory Haney was in San Francisco recently to portray cross-dressing high school cheerleader La Cienega in the musical Bring It On, which just closed its engagement at the Orpheum Theatre. Haney has appeared on Broadway in the hit

away the end of the play,” he said, “but that time was the inspiration to write it. We all have a barrelful of stories about our parents, good and bad, and I wanted to look back on all the great things and all the human things that my dad went through as a clown, a parent, and a man.” Pisoni considers Humor Abuse an actual play rather than a compilation

Courtesy German Gems

Scene from director Christop Stark’s Taboo – The Soul Is a Stranger on Earth.

Craig Schwartz

Gregory Haney as La Cienega in the musical Bring It On.

Bringing it in street clothes B

Carol Rosegg

Lorenzo Pisoni played star Daniel Radcliffe’s beloved horse Nugget in the 2008 revival of Equus on Broadway.

musicals Wicked (as a flying monkey), Tarzan (as an ape) and Memphis. To contrast with his publicity photo as La Cienega in full costume and makeup, he struck a pose in full boy drag for photographer Steven Underhill during a sunny winter day in the Castro District. ▼


But for the past decade, Pisoni has been pursuing a more traditional acting career, amassing a large resume on and off Broadway, regional theater, and television guest spots. In 2008, he had a high-profile gig in the Broadway revival of Equus, playing in hooves, headdress, and bare chest the horse who literally carried star Daniel Radcliffe to climax. Yet once again memories of life in the circus have drawn him back into that world, as he explores his unusual childhood in Humor Abuse. The solo show created with director Erica Schmidt premiered in New York in 2009 to warm reviews, played two other cities, and now he’s back in his hometown for a run that starts this week and continues through Feb. 5 at ACT. “This may be the last stop,” he said of Humor Abuse. “The show is very physical, and there’s a finite time I’m going to be able to do that to my body. I don’t want to be a decrepit old man.” So what body parts are hurting? “Knees, ankles, shoulder, elbow, wrists, and neck,” he said, looking hale and hearty with his leadingman visage during an SF fly-in last month to promote the show. “The way my father and I really communicated was through comedy, and so the show uses bits he created and some we created as a kind of metaphor for the storytelling. We do an act just about falling down the stairs, with this poor guy trying to get these suitcases to the top of a full

of circus bits. “The producers actually wanted to find another actor who could do it, hoping the show could have a life without me. But we figured no, it’s not going to happen. The play, it needs a real actor who just happens to be able to fall off a 12-foot ladder.”▼

Conversely, director Christoph Stark’s poetry-inspired chamber piece, speculating about the ties that bound brother/sister poet/pianist Georg and Grete Traki, is truly about incest, and not necessarily in a good way. I wish I loved films that compel me to ingest large chunks of subtitle-translated romantic poetry as a clue to character, while on screen unappealing siblings frolic in a most unseemly way, but I don’t. Stark’s artistic good intentions are undermined by some poor casting choices and an atmosphere of unrelenting torpor. But then, what’s wrong with that? Danke Schoen, dear Ingrid! (Castro, 1/14, 9:30 p.m., preceded by the short Marlene’s Berlin) ▼

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