Page 1


Medical pot crackdown



Behind Cirque doors.

Mustaches for cancer research


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

Leno: EQCA ‘unstable’ by Seth Hemmelgarn


tate Senator Mark Leno is expressing serious doubts about the future of Equality California, the largest – and only – statewide LGBT lobbying organization. “They’re without a leader, and they’re staffing and funding at this point appear uncertain and unstable,” the openly gay Leno (D-San Francisco) said in an interview Tuesday, October 18. “That would give anyone Rick Gerharter reason for concern.” Leno’s remarks State Senator came just a week after Mark Leno EQCA announced the resignation of Executive Director Roland Palencia, who had been on the job for just over three months. EQCA has also missed two self-imposed deadlines to release a transition plan in the wake of Palencia’s resignation. Spokeswoman Rebekah Orr wouldn’t say when the organization would reveal its plans. Palencia is just one key staffer departing the organization, and Orr said she didn’t know who the interim director would be. Asked if he’s confident about EQCA’s future, Leno said, “I’m hopeful they can survive.” His comments are surprising. For years, Leno has worked closely with the nonprofit on legislation, most recently Senate Bill 48, the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful Education Act. Leno authored the bill, which requires teaching LGBTs’ historical contributions, and Governor Jerry Brown signed it into law in July. Palencia, 54, said last week that his decision to quit was “personal.” He hasn’t elaborated, but he did say that nobody on the board had asked him to leave. He was hired in May to replace Geoff Kors, EQCA’s longtime executive director who resigned in late March. Palencia started the job in early July. His salary was $170,000. Orr said last week EQCA won’t be shutting down. In an interview Tuesday, she indicated the organization would be shrinking, though. She said the organization’s “changing ... both in terms of the work that needs to be done and the resources there are to do it.” As for Leno’s remarks about EQCA’s instability, Orr said, “I’m not really sure what he means by that, to be honest.” However, her subsequent comments help illustrate what he said. Orr said that “very often” people offer help when there’s a campaign, but she indicated there’s a decline in support between major efforts such as the fight over Prop 8. Kors was one of the key figures in the campaign, in which he and others raised more than $40 million in an unsuccessful fight against the state’s same-sex marriage ban. Voters passed Prop 8 in November 2008. See page 20 >>

Vol. 41 • No. 42 • October 20-26, 2011

SFAF-Stop AIDS merger

Services likely to expand I by Matthew S. Bajko

f its absorption of two other agencies is any guide, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation’s merger with the Stop AIDS Project should lead to an expansion of the HIV prevention agency’s programs. As the Bay Area Reporter first reported online Tuesday, October 18, the two agencies announced this week that they had agreed to merge. The long talked about consolidation should be finalized November 1 and is not expected to result in a diminution of services at Stop AIDS other than the loss of one staff position. Since the AIDS foundation assumed oversight in 2007 of Magnet, the gay men’s health center in the Castro, and the Stonewall Project, which offers substance abuse treatment to gay and bisexual men, both have been able to expand their clientbased services. Stop AIDS Executive Director Kyriell Noon, who will become the director of prevention services at the foundation, said both entities share similar philosophies toward prevention that should prove to be fruitful. The foundation has set a goal

Jane Philomen Cleland

Jane Philomen Cleland

SFAF CEO Neil Giuliano

of reducing new HIV infections in San Francisco by 50 percent come 2015, two years ahead of the city’s stated goal. “There is a great deal of programmatic synergy that will benefit the community at large,” said Noon. “The outcome is better for everyone involved, I think.”

Stop AIDS Executive Director Kyriell Noon

Once Stop AIDS is formally brought into the fold of SFAF, AIDS foundation CEO Neil Giuliano told the B.A.R. that he expects Stop AIDS will witness a similar growth spurt as Magnet and Stonewall See page 20 >>

Gays recall Oakland firestorm by Tony K. LeTigre


wenty years ago today (Thursday, October 20) the hills in Oakland and Berkeley erupted in a firestorm that ultimately claimed 25 lives and left hundreds injured. More than 3,000 homes were destroyed in a blazing inferno that took almost 72 hours to control. Some of those affected were gays and lesbians, who recently recalled that day. “What an appalling day that was,” said registered nurse Alistair McElwee, 47, who watched it unfold from the Pacific Park Plaza in Emeryville, “at first thinking it was just a little brush fire and then being astounded as my building was surrounded with smoke.” After dark, McElwee watched in horror as large, expensive homes in the hills went up like torches, one after another, consumed in minutes. The firestorm had its beginnings October 19, 1991 when a brush fire, the cause of which has never been determined with certainty, ignited near Grizzly Peak in the OaklandBerkeley hills. Fire crews were dispatched to fight it. The hot, dry Santa Ana wind wasn’t blowing that Saturday, and by 7 p.m. the brush fire was considered under control. But on the morning of October 20 high winds arrived, and the game changed. Relief crews found hot spots flaring up everywhere, tossing sparks and embers far and wide. Embers became blazes, which grew until they were licking the tops of pine and eucalyptus trees. Dispatchers were understaffed, and the Oakland and Berkeley


A burned-out car and chimneys are about all that remained following the Oakland Hills firestorm in October 1991.

fire departments were not operating under a unified command. Confusion grew along with the fire – 50 acres, then 100. At the critical moment, technical issues caused a communication breakdown. It was indeed “a perfect firestorm,” in the words of Peter Charles Hoffer, whose 2006 book Seven Fires places the East Bay inferno alongside the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and others that changed the course of history. By noon the blaze had become a firestorm, flying on the wings of high winds gusting up to

65 mph. It spread in all directions: northwest toward Claremont Canyon, southwest to Hiller Highlands, east toward Fish Ranch Road, south to the Caldecott Tunnel. It sprinted across Highway 24 like a demon racer. Residents evacuating on steep, narrow roads created bottlenecks in a situation where one minute could mean life or death. A traffic jam on Charing Cross Road became a deathtrap, and some unfortunate souls died in their cars. Others stayed in their homes and vehicles till See page 18 >>


B.A.R. election endorsements REMEMBER TO VOTE ON NOVEMBER 8!

• General election •

• Ballot measures •

San Francisco Mayor:

San Francisco Props:

Bevan Dufty, first choice Dennis Herrera, second choice Ed Lee, third choice

Vote YES on: A, B, C, E, F, G Vote NO on: D, H

District Attorney: George Gascón Sheriff: Ross Mirkarimi

Emerville City Council: Ruth Atkin College of Marin Board:

Stephanie O’Brien

<< Community News

2 • BAY AREA REPORTER • October 20-26, 2011

Harvey Milk plaque stolen by Seth Hemmelgarn


plaque devoted to slain gay icon and former San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk at a plaza bearing his name has been stolen. The bronze piece had been by the entrance of the underground Muni station at Harvey Milk Plaza, which

is near Castro and Market streets, since the 1980s. It had been bolted into a cement pillar next to several photos of Milk. Openly gay Supervisor Scott Wiener, whose district is generally considered to be Milk’s old seat and includes the plaza, said the plaque “just wasn’t there anymore as of Saturday (October 15).” The homage included Milk’s image and much of his biography as a Castro Street businessman. Milk was one of the first openly gay elected officials in the country when he was voted onto the Board of Supervisors in November 1977. But just over a year later, former Supervisor Dan White assassinated Milk and Mayor George Moscone in City Hall. Wiener said he reported the theft of the plaque to San Francisco Police Sergeant Chuck Limbert, the LGBT liaison for Mission Station, which oversees the Castro and surrounding neighborhoods. Limbert didn’t respond to an interview request. Wiener learned of the incident Saturday after someone noticed the plaque had gone missing. “It’s possible it took a few days for anyone to notice,” he said.

Dan Nicoletta

This plaque honoring Harvey Milk was reported stolen from the plaza bearing his name.

The photos of Milk remain, Wiener said, and there were no messages or graffiti left at the scene. Wiener said that he wasn’t aware of there being any video surveillance of that part of the plaza. The Department of Public Works didn’t remove the plaque for any reason, See page 21 >>

Jane Philomen Cleland

Assemblyman Tom Ammiano escorted Wendy Walsh to a news conference Monday where she spoke about the importance of Seth’s Law, which is designed to help protect students from bullying; her son committed suicide last year after enduring anti-gay harassment.

Bullied teen’s mother marks Seth’s Law signing by Seth Hemmelgarn


endy Walsh, the mother of Seth Walsh, after whom the recently signed Seth’s Law is named, visited San Francisco this week to mark the bill becoming law. The legislation, authored by openly gay Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), is designed to help protect students from bullying. Seth, Walsh’s 13-year-old gay son, hanged himself last year at their Kern County home after years of harassment. Walsh appeared with Ammiano and others at a Monday, October 17 press conference on the steps of the State Building. She said if Ammiano’s bill had been in place while her son was alive, “The school would have taken my complaints seriously.” The school’s lack of action “cost my family a big tragedy with Seth taking his life,” she said. “I can’t bring my son back,” Walsh said in a statement released by Ammiano’s office. “But we have made a difference today to protect young people across our state just like Seth who are or are thought to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. Schools need to take harassment and bullying seriously when parents or students

tell them about it, and when they see it and hear it on the school campus.” Governor Jerry Brown signed Seth’s Law, Assembly Bill 9, on October 9, the last day for taking action on bills. It’s set to take effect in July. While California already prohibits school harassment, Ammiano said the laws are “a little murky.” Many schools don’t have the tools or knowledge to adequately protect LGBT students and others from bullying. Students, school staff, and others often don’t know what the rules are or what to do if bullying occurs, a statement from Ammiano’s office Monday said. Seth’s Law tightens anti-bullying policies by ensuring that all schools have clear policies and shorter timelines for investigating bullying allegations. Ammiano said among improvements included in his legislation, schools will have to make clear to bullied students who they can talk to. “In San Francisco, we’re doing quite well” at addressing bullying and harassment, Ammiano said. Survey data has shown the city’s LGBT students aren’t immune from the problems, but for years the San See page 21 >>

Read more online at

October 20-26, 2011 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 3

4 • BAY AREA REPORTER • October 20-26, 2011

Serving the LGBT communities since 1971

Community News >>

October 20-26, 2011 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 5

Online HIV magazine marks one year by David Duran


nline magazine hivster. com celebrated its one-year anniversary last month with a complete redesign and updated focus. The website breaks previously established views of HIV and ushers in a new era of thought and action, its creators said. Brad Crelia and Jesse Kendall are the forces behind, a broad minded and sexy counterculture oriented site. The site is dedicated to displaying a hip and gritty multi-faceted approach to HIV health, prevention, and education. It showcases celebrity interviews, personal stories, and cultural trends, as well as featuring up to date health advice, news, and preventative information. “The current state of HIV/ AIDS prevention is missing a huge demographic – younger men in urban cities who aren’t necessarily part of the ‘mainstream’ gay culture,” Crelia told the Bay Area Reporter. Crelia felt that there wasn’t anything out there for him or his friends. “It didn’t get to us, and it didn’t help us and wasn’t targeted to us,” he said. While searching for information, Crelia felt that all he was finding was “boring, gray, pharmaceuticallooking sites.” The sites were informative but didn’t warrant a return visit from either Crelia or Kendall. Crelia, who is editor at large, and Kendell know that while HIV needs to remain in the forefront of people’s minds, those affected still

David Duran

Jesse Kendall, left, and Brad Crelia are the founders of, an online magazine for the HIV/AIDS community.

need to live life to the fullest. Unlike typical LGBT websites, is an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments in HIV awareness as well as exploring current trends and interests. In early 2010 Crelia, 26, decided that an HIV diagnosis was not only anything but a death sentence but was also an opportunity to reaffirm his connection with the LGBT community. With the support of his friend and business partner, Kendall, 25, the two created with the intention of establishing a new way of constructing how people treat HIV in a post-modern society. Crelia said that the online magazine has no budget and has a

Crab feed to benefit PWAs compiled by Cynthia Laird


IDS Project of the East Bay holds its third annual crab feed tonight (Thursday, October 20) from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Holy Redeemer Event Center, 8945 Golf Links Road in Oakland. The benefit features all-youcan-eat crab, garlic noodles, salad, and bread. There will be a beverage and dessert bar. There will be a raffle for prizes, including a flat screen TV, live entertainment, and more. Tickets are $45 in advance (online at or $50 at the door.

LGBT school forums announced Our Family Coalition has announced a series of LGBTQ inclusive elementary school forums, with the first scheduled for tonight (Thursday, October 20) from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at John Gill elementary, 555 Del Ora Avenue in Redwood City. At the forums, topics will include discovering inclusive curriculum for kindergarten through fifth grade classes; learning about the recently signed Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful Education Act (SB 48) that goes into effect in January; starting a parent leadership circle; and resources and children’s literature to spark dialogue. Similar forums are planned for San Francisco on November 2 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Marshall Elementary, 1575 15th Street; and Oakland on November 17 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Peralta Elementary, 460 63rd Street. Organizers are asking for a $5 donation that includes dinner,

childcare, and a raffle at the forums. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. To register, visit

Harvest Market craft fair at LGBT center The San Francisco LGBT Community Center will be holding a Harvest Market craft fair Saturday, October 22 from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. Organizers said it will be a family-friendly event where artists will be selling their work, teaching their craft, and connecting with the artistic and LGBT communities. The center will receive proceeds from the event. Vendors scheduled to participate include Red Shoes Photography, Velvet Otterhound, Steam Powell Industries, Petal Pictures, Dragon Fly Designs, Christina Westbrook Designs, Lumen Rose, and Corinne Parker Crafts. The craft fair is free to attend; the center is located at 1800 Market Street. For more information, visit

SunDayz beer busts to heat up SOMA The South of Market beer bust known as SunDayz makes its return Sunday, October 23 and the weekly events promise a fun-filled afternoon while helping out local nonprofits. The party takes place at BeatBox, 314 11th Street from 3 to 7 p.m. Admission is $15 and includes a booze bust and an afternoon tea dance with finalists from the See page 18 >>

readership of 2,000 per month since the relaunch September 10. They have 1,500 visitors to the related Facebook page. “We officially launched October 4, 2010, but were down for the months of July and August [2011], relaunching September 10 of this year,” Crelia explained in an email. recently announced with its site re-launch a new collaboration with, a social networking site for the social organization Strength In Numbers. SIN began in 2002 as a small potluck for single HIV-positive gay men. From that first chapter in Los Angeles, the group expanded to cities across the United States and around the globe. Free, fun, and confidential, provides its membership with a convenient and up-to-date new means of technology for getting to know other poz guys. SIN is open to anyone, regardless of age, race, sex, or HIV status, but is reserved exclusively for gay or bisexual men who are living with HIV/AIDS or support those who do. creator Bryan Levinson sees himself as sort of a social matchmaker for HIVpositive gay men.

“We are so happy to be working with, one of our first thoughts when creating the site was to have a social networking component, this partnership let hivsters connect directly with other hivsters,” said Crelia.▼

<< Open Forum

6 • BAY AREA REPORTER • October 20-26, 2011

Volume 41, Number 42 October 20-26, 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.

EQCA is in crisis E

quality California is undergoing a severe leadership and financial crisis, prompting one of the state’s leading gay political leaders to tell us that the organization is “unstable.” Trust us, when that kind of statement is uttered by no less than the usually upbeat state Senator Mark Leno, you know you’ve got a problem. What is infuriating to us, however – and what should be of utmost concern to LGBTs throughout the Golden State – is the wall of silence and lack of transparency that has overtaken the organization, most specifically among its boards of directors for both EQCA and its affiliated EQCA Institute. The presidents of both boards have not made public comments to us in the last week and a half, ever since new Executive Director Roland Palencia abruptly announced his resignation and left last Friday. EQCA missed two of its own self-imposed deadlines for releasing a transition plan in less than a week, lost several high-level staffers, and doesn’t have much money in the bank (as little as $250,000 according to EQCA). Given these unfortunate developments the result is instability – or perhaps something even unthinkable. California, home of some of the most pro-LGBT laws in the country, in large part due to EQCA’s successful lobbying efforts over the years, may lose its only statewide LGBT organization. Statewide LGBT groups, especially in a state as large and diverse as California, have always had a rough time. From the old California Life Lobby to California Alliance for Pride and Equality, it has been a challenge to bring the community together, fundraise, and have enough staff to be effective. The state has large urban centers with thriving LGBT communities and large rural areas where gays live and are often victims of discrimination and harassment. EQCA evolved out of CAPE a little over 10 years ago, after former Executive Director Geoff Kors employed a model similar to the Human Rights Campaign that brought stakeholders together to create a well-known, active organization. Pricey galas in the gay urban centers – San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento, Palm Springs – helped fund its outreach efforts around the state, including the Central Valley and Inland Empire. But in the last year or so, it became apparent that the model was no longer

sustainable. Whether because of the economic downturn in which people who normally made sizable contributions were no longer able to do so or because of board decisions, we’re not sure. In the aftermath of the Proposition 8 loss, EQCA had hired people and set up small offices in several cities; those were later closed when the funding ran out. Most recently, the board is said to have been bitterly divided over its decision not to return to the ballot in 2012 to attempt repeal of Prop 8, the same-sex marriage ban. Palencia declined to provide the vote tally, which was held just before he announced his resignation. And we find ourselves agreeing with LGBT people of color organizations that are wary of undertaking such a monumental task as a statewide ballot measure when many of their agencies are seeing alarming decreases in funding. Access to health care, HIV prevention and treatment, and fighting employment and housing discrimination all become more important when you’re sick, out of work, or facing eviction. We will say this: EQCA is just plain lucky that opponents to SB 48, the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful Education Act, failed to qualify a referendum for next year’s ballot

– the cost alone, not to mention the subject matter, would have been daunting. And to those calling for a return to the ballot to repeal Prop 8, we have just one question: where will you get the $40 million or so needed to run an effective, statewide campaign? While it’s clear that EQCA has many issues to handle right now, what’s not apparent is the resistance on the part of the board to publicly explain the situation. EQCA is a group that relies on donations from LGBTs and allies and depends on support from the community. It should not hide behind a communications department that insists there is no crisis when all the signs point to the opposite conclusion. The board must come clean and tell the community what is going on.

Endorsements outside of SF Two out lesbians are on the November ballot in the East and North Bay and deserve support from voters in those communities. In Emeryville, Ruth Atkin is seeking reelection to the City Council. Atkin has been an effective leader and faces no serious opposition. In Marin, Stephanie O’Brien is seeking election to the College of Marin Board of Trustees. O’Brien has education experience and has served on a local school board. She would make a good addition to the community college board.▼

We are proud believers in ‘Bay marriage’ by Bevan Dufty and Rebecca Kaplan


hat makes our region special is our collaboration. Our diversity of thought, understanding, compassion, and activism. As public officials, we stand for an approach that exemplifies that collaboration to ensure economic growth and prosperity for our two cities and the region as a whole. Or what we’ve deemed “Bay marriage.” Separately, we have served as elected officials on behalf of the people of San Francisco and Oakland, respectively. But, together, we are thrilled to serve a new constituency – a united voice of those who believe that our two cities can and should work together. Our two cities don’t exist in a vacuum – hundreds of thousands of people travel each day from their home in one city to their job in another. In both directions. Luckily for all of us who believe in regional collaboration, there are a number of all-tooobscure governmental agencies that actually could work together to ensure that the needs of our constituents are met. Not just for one city or another – but for our entire region. The construction of new transit systems and smart growth development. Reducing gridlock, congestion, and air pollution. The decisions of where new housing will be built to serve the changing needs of the Bay Area. All of these, if done right, can improve quality of life throughout our region. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission is a key example. Made up of representatives from all over the Bay Area, we have the ability to forge an integrated plan for

regional transportation to reduce our carbon footprint. Doing so makes sense. People don’t stay within their cities – our lives and our economies interact – and we need public servants who will consider the greater economic-health of the entire region. Enter: Bay marriage. San Francisco and Oakland – like the rest of our neighboring cities – must work together in real harmony for our mutual benefit. And it’s fitting: San Francisco, the city of St. Francis, is one of the birthplaces of equality, as Oakland too has been at the center of movements for justice. So it was surprising to many of us when the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously voted against expanding the MTC to give a vote to Oakland and San Jose, declaring that doing so would amount to “effectively diluting the voices” of other areas in the Bay Area. Denying the people of Oakland the right to vote is unjust – and damaging to regional collaboration. San Francisco has two representatives on the MTC. San Jose has one. Oakland has zero. While San Francisco should support an additional voice for our neighbors across the Bay on a regional transportation policy board, Oakland should also lend assistance on projects of significance. Together we can expedite the Transbay Terminal as a regional transportation hub and the CalTrain downtown extension – projects located in San Francisco that promote a transit first approach that are simply smart policies for efficiency and our environment. Nobody wants to dilute anyone’s voice – we just want to make sure that everyone

has one. That’s why, on so many issues, regional collaboration – Bay marriage – must become something to which we are genuinely committed. It’s easy to simply defend our own jurisdiction. But are we really serving our constituents? Join us in standing up for Bay marriage – by urging our neighbors to speak out not just for what’s good for our own cities, but for the larger boat in which we’re traveling together. Our economies – our environments – are all intertwined. And our shared future will be stronger when we recognize it and speak as one united voice.▼ Bevan Dufty is a mayoral candidate and a former member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, where he represented District 8 for eight years. He has also served as San Francisco’s director of neighborhood services and as an aide to former Mayor Willie Brown. Prior to his service to the people of San Francisco, Dufty worked on Capitol Hill for Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm and Congressman Julian Dixon. Dufty is originally from New York. Rebecca Kaplan represents the entire city of Oakland as its councilmember at-large. She has served Oakland as a citywide elected official for 10 years, working to improve quality of life by enhancing economic opportunity, public safety and vibrancy in Oakland. She is Oakland’s first out lesbian official. Prior to representing Oakland voters on the City Council, she served as at-large director on the AC Transit Board of Directors. Kaplan holds a B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a M.A. from Tufts University and a J.D. from Stanford Law School.

Politics >>

October 20-26, 2011 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 7

State seeks new Office of AIDS director by Matthew S. Bajko The California Department of Public Health is looking for a new chief of the state Office of AIDS following the resignation of Oakland resident Dr. Michelle Roland, who left to take a job with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Tanzania. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed the bisexual co-founder of ACT UP/ San Francisco in 2007. Roland came onboard just as the state’s health department underwent a massive reorganization and a recession began decimating state and federal funding. Working within the administration, Roland advocated against funding cuts to the state’s AIDS Drug Assistance Program. She was less successful in protecting her office’s own budget, as first lawmakers and then Schwarzenegger, using his blue pencil veto power, cut $85 million in funding during the 2009-2010 budget cycle. The hit to HIV prevention and testing funding has remained in place, as there is little money available in Sacramento to restore the budget cut. And AIDS advocates have made keeping the ADAP budget whole a top priority the last two years. Roland, whose last day at work was September 23, told the Bay Area Reporter during an interview this month that, overall, she feels she was able to make “a significant impact” while working for the state. Acknowledging that the halving of her office budget was devastating, and the inability to hire new people for vacant positions has been a strain, Roland nevertheless believes she is leaving the office in a strong position for her successor. “I was able to hire the next generation of leaders there,” said Roland, 49, who granted the B.A.R. an exclusive interview about her stepping down. “I was doing everything I could do to save ADAP. It has not been an easy feat.” Roland’s departure has raised concerns for AIDS policy advocates. They commended her for having an open dialogue with HIV service providers even when delivering bad budgetary news. “I definitely understand why she took the position with the CDC and what her goal is with that job. But I am concerned about what it means for the Office of AIDS,” said Courtney Mulhern-Pearson, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation’s director of state and local affairs. “I think she was the chief in a really difficult period of time for HIV services in California. I think I really appreciated her willingness to continue to dialogue with the community, and oftentimes, that might have been delivering bad news.” Not everyone always agreed with Roland’s positions, acknowledged Jeff Goodman, community cochair of the AIDS office’s California Planning Group. Nonetheless, Goodman praised her leadership skills and openness to hearing opposing views. “I was truly struck with Michelle’s commitment in her efforts to be a partner with the community and she was always available to me and to our group. No discussion was off limits no matter how uncomfortable it sometimes became,” wrote Goodman, president of Santa Monica-based HIV community

Dr. Michelle Roland

center Common Ground, in an email. “I think it is easy to get lost in the moment but when I step back and look at what Michelle oversaw in terms of the massive changes that have occurred to the Office of AIDS, its funding levels, and the changing demands of federal funders, you have to give her enormous credit for perseverance and having a steady vision that I truly feel was ahead of its time.” One success Roland points to is her refocusing of where HIV prevention dollars went prior to their elimination in 2009. She early on prioritized such things as HIV testing in medical settings, syringe access, and prevention with positives, which the CDC then adopted as funding priorities. “We were at the cutting edge,” she said. Roland’s new CDC position, as country director in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, marks her return to a continent she has loved since a teenager. In 1979 at the age of 16 she lived with an African family in Mombasa, Kenya as an exchange student. In the 1980s she returned and spent 18 months traveling across Africa. Prior to taking the state job, Roland’s research focused on HIV prevention after sexual assault in Kenya and in South Africa. “I had to let go of that work to focus on the state, so this is a coming home of sorts for me,” said Roland, who had been an associate clinical professor of medicine at the Department of Internal Medicine for UCSF. She said her main challenge in Sacramento was navigating the bureaucracy and ensuring her voice was heard. During her four years in the job, Roland never once spoke directly to either Schwarzenegger or current Governor Jerry Brown. At times she was not able speak publicly, which sent confusing signals, she said. “Once the budget process started, people at the division level, we can’t talk about it without being approved through the administration,” she said. “I think the public doesn’t understand it. It looks like an individual like me is withholding information and that wasn’t the case. It was a big shocker to me.” Overall, Roland said she left the state “with no regrets.” Despite the hardships the former AIDS activist faced, she said it didn’t sour her view about working in a government position. “Being at the state level was an amazing opportunity for me. Did it take a personal toll? It did,” she said. “It was really hard work in a difficult political environment. Now I

am going off into another politically hard job. There must be something energizing about it to make me do it.” The state is accepting applications for those seeking to take over the AIDS office through Friday, October 28. The interim chief is Dr. Karen Mark, an HIV doctor with stints in San Diego and Seattle who joined the AIDS office in 2010 as its chief of the Surveillance, Research, and Evaluation Branch. Mark, a UCSF graduate, lives with her partner of 12 years and their three children. The next chief will face similar fiduciary constraints as Roland did and likely will be at the center of discussions on how health care reforms will impact people living with HIV and AIDS. “As we move toward health care reform implementation, we are seeing more and more how important the relationship is between the state Office of AIDS and Medi-Cal,” said Mulhern-Pearson. “It is critical to have a really strong leader in that position that can move us into health care reform smoothly and thoughtfully.” Goodman predicted the search for a replacement will be “challenging” and hopes that “politics and institutional interests are put aside and we find a true visionary during the important transition period for health care in general and for HIV specifically as care and prevention become more mainstream in our healthcare system.”

Newsom endorses in contested Assembly race Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom waded into a contentious state Assembly race in the Los Angeles area this week, endorsing a straight legislator over her lesbian opponent. The former mayor of San Francisco announced he was backing Assemblywoman Betsy Butler (D-Marina Del Rey) in the 2012 race for the newly drawn 50th Assembly District that includes West Hollywood and Santa Monica. One of her main opponents is Torie Osborn, a former executive director of the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center. “She is a tireless advocate for consumers and our environment, and is an exceptional legislator,” stated Newsom. “Assemblymember Butler and I have been working together to grow jobs and make California an economic leader again.” Newsom joins fellow constitutional officers Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and State Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones in supporting Butler in what is expected to be one of the more contentious political races in 2012. Like Newsom, Butler has been a vocal supporter of same-sex marriage and has helped push marriage equality through her seat on the board of Equality California Institute, the educational arm of the statewide LGBT lobbying organization. She has considerable support within the LGBT community for her re-election bid, including the LGBT Legislative Caucus and several gay West Hollywood City Council members. But as the B.A.R. has reported, some LGBT leaders consider the new district a prime chance to elect another out person to the state Legislature. They are outraged with Butler’s decision to move into the district and are just as exasperated See page 20 >>

<< Commentary

8 • BAY AREA REPORTER • October 20-26, 2011

Twin wins by Gwendolyn Ann Smith


n and among hundreds of pieces of legislation, two bills recently crossed California Governor Jerry Brown’s desk that directly affect transgender residents of the Golden State. First is the Gender NonDiscrimination Act, AB 887, which strengthens California’s nondiscrimination laws. While “gender identity and expression” was already included as a type of gender-based discrimination in the state, this bill separates it into its own protected category, making it that much clearer that discrimination based on gender expression and identity will not fly in California. It may seem minor, given that such was already part of the law, but having it expressly spelled out will allow California’s nondiscrimination laws to work better on behalf of transgender people. I should mention that the bill includes public accommodations alongside the workplace, housing, and school. This is worth noting in those places where public accommodation language has been stripped from a bill, or where opponents have latched onto false statements about such protections allowing rapists and pedophiles free reign of oppositesex bathrooms. Second is the Vital Statistics Mo d e r n i z a t i o n Act, AB 433, which makes it that much easier for transgender people to update their California birth certificate. The bill updates a section of California’s Health and Safety code that was last changed the previous time Brown served as governor. The bill does two things. First – in line with a California appeals court ruling in 2009 – it allows for transgender people who were born in California to change their birth certificates without having to be current California state residents. The other, and more important, part of AB 433 is allowing transgender people to simply get a medical certification from a physician indicating that the transperson in question has undergone treatment. While at first blush this doesn’t seem a big step, it is important to note that said treatment does not need to include genital reconstruction surgery. That is huge. For many, surgery is not a desired option. This is

Christine Smith

particularly the case for female to male transsexuals, for whom surgery is exorbitantly expansive and not often desired due to the potential results. But there can be good reasons across the board. Likewise, someone may well be planning for surgery at a later date, but be unable to complete it at a time when they might actually need their birth certificate to reflect their gender identity. Transgender people and others have made it clear over the decades that their genitals and the configuration of same do not define them; the presence or absence of a penis does not have the singular ability to determine if one is male or female – nor should it. This bill makes that even clearer in California law. Perhaps one of the bigger stories in the passage of the Gender NonDiscrimination Act and the Vital Statistics Modernization Act is how much of a non-story they were in the traditional media outlets. Much more attention was paid to Brown signing the Dream Act, AB 130, which allows illegal immigrants to apply for financial aid and meritbased scholarships, as well as his signing AB 376, a ban on the sale, trade, and possession of shark fins. While the larger California LGBT legal organizations such as Equality California and the Transgender Law Center did indeed issue press releases and fact sheets, the major news media largely ignored the bills. This at a time when the ongoing fight for marriage rights can still be front page news – and on the lips of the 2012 presidential contenders. Ditto in a year when other transgender rights bills have faced vocal opposition from hard right factions. Perhaps thy just assume this issue to be a lost cause in California, a

state where transgender people have been able to change our name and gender on state driver’s licenses since the 1970s, and where transgender civil rights have been pushed along many times since. Or perhaps this is part of a larger sea change in the way transgender people are being looked at on the public eye, particularly in a world where a transgender man is piped into living rooms across the nation each week. Regardless, it is still interesting to me that these victories did not receive that much attention outside of the obvious community sources. I should also add that while I’m very glad to see these passed, I couldn’t help but look to the future. Perhaps we can see other states follow California’s – and for that matter, the U.S. State Department’s – template for gender marker updating without surgical intervention. Likewise, while I think AB 433 is great as it is, perhaps we should begin to look at the possibility of moving beyond gender markers, and considering allowing one to – at the very least – decline to state a gender on some, if not all, state documents. If anything, though, I can look at this as a far cry from the lean years under Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, or even the notquite-but-almost-as-lean years under Governor Gray Davis. It is good to see progress, especially progress as big as the Vital Statistics Modernization Act and Gender Non-Discrimination Act. It’s change, and good change. It’s movement forward, and a recognition of the rights of all Californians, including those whose gender expression and identity are perhaps a bit more involved than others. For that, I have to salute the governor and all others who made this happen.▼ Gwen Smith grew up with Brown in office. You can find her online at

Jane Philomen Cleland

Occupy SF hits the Castro A

ctivist Tommi Avicolli Mecca plays the guitar as a group of protesters holds a rally at Castro and Market streets Saturday, October 15 before heading downtown to join the Occupy SF demonstrators outside the Federal Reserve Building. Avicolli Mecca said the day’s event, part of the broader Occupy

Wall Street movement that saw demonstrations in cities around the world, “was an overwhelming success from any perspective.” LGBT groups taking part in Saturday’s local action included the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Queers for Economic Equality Now, and Feyboys.

Read more online at

October 20-26, 2011 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 9

<< Community News

10 • BAY AREA REPORTER • October 20-26, 2011

Medical marijuana advocates criticize Obama by Seth Hemmelgarn


edical marijuana advocates have reacted angrily to reports of the Obama administration threatening dispensaries, including some in the Bay Area. California voters passed a medical marijuana law in 1996, and many people use the drug to help ease pain related to HIV and AIDS and other illnesses. But in recent weeks, federal prosecutors have announced broad prosecutions against medical marijuana dispensaries across California, reportedly threatening landlords with eviction, property seizures, and imprisonment. The federal government’s stance flies in the face of California law. In 1996, voters passed Proposition 215, the California Compassionate Use Act, which regulates medical marijuana. The federal government does not recognize Prop 215 or similar laws in more than a dozen other states and Washington, D.C. Assemblyman Tom Ammiano and state Senator Mark Leno, both out gay Democrats from San Francisco, held a press conference Wednesday, October 19, to call for an end to the federal crackdown. In a recent statement, Ammiano

said the Department of Justice’s stance means “a tragic return to failed policies that will cost the state millions in tax revenue and harm countless lives.” He continued, “Whatever happened to the promises [Obama] made on the campaign trail to not prosecute medical marijuana or the 2009 DOJ memo saying that states with medical marijuana laws would not be prosecuted? Change we can believe in? Instead we get more of the same.” In early 2009, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder signaled that the Obama administration would not target patients and providers in the states with medical marijuana laws. In a phone interview last week, Ammiano said, “I’m an Obama supporter, and that’s how it is and I’m not going to change.” However, he said, “We’re very, very angry” about the administration’s actions. “How many death beds have we all sat by?” where marijuana’s relieved some symptoms, he said. He said the feds are “going to have a fight on their hands.” Ammiano said he planned to meet with Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) to discuss the issue.

Rick Gerharter

Medithrive is one of a number of medical marijuana dispensaries in San Francisco.

In a statement Wednesday, Leno said, “I urge the federal government to stand down in its massive attack on medical marijuana dispensaries, which will have devastating impacts for the state of California.”

In an interview earlier this week, Leno said, “Whereas the federal government is saying that their interest is just large operators with for-profit models making millions of dollars,” that’s not the profile of

Charley Pappas, board chair of San Francisco’s Divinity Tree Patients’ Wellness Cooperative. Pappas said the “very supportive” landlord for their Geary Street operation received a 45-day notice from the federal government September 28. He wasn’t immediately able to provide a copy of the letter, but said it threatened forfeiture and prison, among other things. Pappas said the club’s patients include people with HIV and AIDS and military veterans. Leno said his “top concern” is “safe and affordable access for medicine the voters of California have stated they want available.” “I would suggest the federal government focus on the real problems affecting Americans: lack of jobs, a home foreclosure crisis that has yet to stabilize, and two unfunded wars. This is a waste of time,” he added. Gregory Ledbetter, a 48-yearold, gay San Francisco resident, has been a medical marijuana patient for several years but said he’s not a member of one particular club. He said marijuana is usually donated to him through Axis of Love, which works to help people such as disabled medical cannabis patients of San Francisco. “Our access is pretty well secured,” he said, but he was concerned by what he called Obama’s “deceit.” Ledbetter was one of several people who rallied outside the old Federal Building on Golden Gate Avenue to protest a raid on Northstone Organics Cooperative. The co-op’s website said they’re closed due to a federal raid where their “entire crop was eradicated.” Matt Cohen, Northstone’s executive director, said in a phone interview that the federal Drug Enforcement Agency had come with a federal search warrant. He didn’t know when his operation would open again. He said hundreds of their members have AIDS, and his co-op is “unique.” They had a licensed farm in Mendocino where their product “was sustainably grown with organic nutrients. The members knew what they were getting. They were getting it direct from the farm,” and Northstone’s product was “also very affordable,” he said. Cohen said there are “probably” alternatives, but he didn’t know whether those options are safe or of the same quality. Jack Gillund, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California, said in an emailed response to a question from the Bay Area Reporter, “The Department of Justice, which is committed to enforcing the Controlled Substances Act, is focusing its limited resources on significant drug traffickers. Individuals involved in the commercial cultivation and distribution of marijuana, remain a core priority. We are not directing our limited resources toward individuals with serious illnesses, or their individual caregivers, who use marijuana based on a doctor’s recommendation.” But in an October 7 press conference made available via phone, a U.S. attorney in California declined to pledge that patients wouldn’t be prosecuted, and said, “I cannot give them that assurance. I’m not in a position to overrule federal law.” In a phone interview this week, Shin Inouye, Obama’s director of specialty media, refused to discuss the situation, since it involves “a very explicit” Department of Justice action. He wouldn’t say why the president isn’t intervening, and referred questions to the DOJ.▼

Gay History Month >>

October 20-26, 2011 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 11

Gay in America >>

Col. George Middleton: Black Revolutionary War hero by Kevin Trimell Jones

Hancock and George Washington), a pine tree, a deer, and a scroll. Despite not being citizens or equals to white Bostonians, their commitment to the principle of liberty helped paved the way for a new nation.


uring the time of the American Revolution, George Middleton (1735-1815) was recognized as a great fighter for liberty and independence, and a respected leader among the community of blacks living in Boston. Local politicians, neighbors, and other contemporaries viewed him as a central figure in promoting and garnering freedoms while advancing America’s cause. Throughout his life, Middleton possessed an unconventional style of leadership, a commanding voice, and an encompassing presence that motivated the allegiance of those connected to him. Middleton stands out in Boston and queer histories because of his relationship and the home he built and shared with Caribbean friend Louis Glapion. According to the History Project’s “Improper Bostonians: Lesbian and Gay History from the Puritans to Playland,” Middleton and Glapion maintained a peculiar relationship. As bachelors, they “built the oldest standing house on Beacon Hill,” and “lived together until 1792, when Glapion married and the house they shared was divided in two.” In 1781, Middleton married Elsey Marsh. According to the 1790 census record, Middleton was the head of household for a family of three. While there exists no concrete proof that Middleton and Glapion had a romantic relationship, it was common at the time for gays and lesbians to marry individuals of the opposite sex and have children, while maintaining separate same-sex relationships. At his time of death, Middleton left his possessions to his “true friend Trimstom Babcock.” Life was probably nothing short of interesting on Beacon Hill. Middleton and Glapion lived in a home together.

Other contributions Middleton’s commitment to America’s liberty also shaped his life of service to other blacks in Boston. He was instrumental in establishing the Boston African Benevolent Society in 1796, which provided important social services, including grants and job placement, for its members. As a

The house in Boston where George Middleton and Louis Glapion lived is a featured stop on the Boston African American National Historic Site tour.

Glapion, who was from the French West Indies, ran a hair salon out of the house, and maintained the business throughout his years (his wife later ran the business from 181332 at the Middleton House). The home probably served as a central place for community organizing and other social gatherings for the early abolitionist movement. Lydia Maria Child, one of their white neighbors, recalls the house being “thronged with company.” Middleton’s home is a featured stop on the Boston African American National Historic Site tour. For the most part, Middleton was well-liked and received by most of his neighbors. Child’s father, who had a “natural compassion for the ignorant and the oppressed,” always greeted Middleton. He enjoyed listening to Middleton play the violin each summer evening, and would often visit the Middleton home to see Middleton’s “power in subduing

mettlesome colts.” Despite this recognition and respect from her father, Child stated that Middleton was “not a very good specimen of the colored man,” and had questionable morals for being “passionate, intemperate and profane” – perhaps attributes that would later advance Middleton’s causes for independence. During the American Revolution, Middleton used his leadership abilities to command the Bucks of the Revolution, an all-black regiment of volunteers assigned to protect Boston from sabotage and guard the property of local merchants. While the unit and Middleton’s rank are left unrecorded in official military records, these men and their contributions stand out. In fact, Governor John Hancock and his son presented the unit and its colonel with a flag of distinction to acknowledge their efforts. The ensign was a painted silk, and included the initials J.H. and G.W. (likely for John

noted leader among Boston’s blacks, he delivered a petition signed by black Bostonians to create a school, and served as one of the school’s early instructors. He was also a leading member of Prince Hall’s African Lodge of Freemasons, and worked closely with Hall to establish the organization. In 1808, Middleton worked closely with Hall to publish an anti-slavery statement that read, in part: “Freedom is desirable, if not, would men sacrifice their time, their property and finally their lives in the pursuit of this?” Middleton See page 21 >>

12 • BAY AREA REPORTER • October 20-26, 2011

Serving the LGBT communities since 1971

Read more online at

October 20-26, 2011 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 13

14 • BAY AREA REPORTER • October 20-26, 2011

Serving the LGBT communities since 1971

Men’s Health >>

October 20-26, 2011 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 15

Castro resident Kris Konietzko sported his red moustache last year. Courtesy Kris Konietzko

Mustache campaign promotes prostate cancer awareness by Matthew S. Bajko


ast November Castro resident Kris Konietzko stopped shaving above his lips. By the end of the month, he was sporting a bright red mustache. “It was pretty funny,” recalled Konietzko, considering he has brown hair. “The longest I had gone without shaving was three or four days.” He was struck most by the visual difference the facial hair caused. “Really, a little bit of hair on the face changes the way you look,” he said. And he was quick to tell people that the mustache was not a permanent installation. “The first thing I said was “I am Kris. I don’t always have this mustache,” said Konietzko when he would meet strangers. The reason for Konietzko’s change in appearance was due to his participation in a fundraiser called Movember. Throughout November each year hundreds of thousands of men throughout the world grow “Mos,” shorthand for the Frenchderived moustache. The idea is that when friends, family, or co-workers ask about the sudden change in appearance, it gives participants a chance to talk about prostate cancer and other cancers that target men. “Most men aren’t aware of the health issues we face. Even when we get sick, we try to ignore it and delay going to the doctor,” said Adam Garone, an Australian who is the CEO and co-founder of Movember. “Movember is about getting men of all ages to be engaged in this and having discussions that we don’t normally have.” The idea began as a joke in 2003 between Garone and a group of friends to bring back the 1970s style of mustache. At the end of one month, they threw a party and handed out awards for best and worst mustaches. “I was surprised by the controversy and comments growing a mustache created. I said, we should put this to a cause,” said Garone. “I researched men’s health and saw prostate cancer is equivalent to breast cancer. It became a go-to for us.” Prostate cancer is a major concern for men, as one in six will be diagnosed with the cancer. More than 33,000 men die of the disease each year. Last year Movember recruited 450,000 men to take part in 11 countries who raised $81 million. The money goes to support the Prostate Cancer Foundation and Live Strong. “It is a global movement. We are now the biggest funder of prostate cancer research and support in the world,” said Garone, who is straight

and now lives in Santa Monica. “A large portion of the funds we raise globally is going into finding a better screening test so we can tell a man accurately if he has prostate cancer or not.”

Screening debate The need for better screening was brought to the forefront this month when the United States Preventive Services Task Force recommended that healthy men should no longer be given what is known as a PSA test to screen for prostate cancer. The news was coupled with reports that many men undergo unnecessary treatment for prostate cancer that then leaves them impotent and incontinent. The panel’s determination has been met with fierce resistance from urologists and men who say the tests have saved their lives. Supporters of the recommendation note that many men can live long lives despite being diagnosed with prostate cancer. “We can’t tell a man if he has an aggressive cancer and needs treatment immediately or if it is moderate and should change their diet,” said Garone. “Seventy percent of the cancers are so slow growing they won’t move beyond the prostate until the man is 100-plus years old.” In the other 30 percent, the cancer is so serious a person is given only three years to live and may go under radioactive surgery that has a “whole range of really, really tragic side effects,” noted Garone. The challenge, therefore, is to fund “great research to find a better screening test. We are edging closer,” said Garone. “We are also funding research into better treatment options that have less side effects.” Over the years, Garone said he has found gay men tend to be more willing to talk about their health issues. Conditioned as they are in the need to talk about HIV and STDs with friends and sexual partners, gay men are repeatedly told about the need to address intimate health concerns. “I think gay men are much more comfortable having these discussions,” said Garone, 40, who is now at the screening age for prostate cancer. Garone sees Movember breaking down stigmas around men’s health similar to the work the gay community has had to do with AIDS. It so happens that a simple thing as a mustache best illustrates that idea and serves the same role as the pink ribbon does for breast cancer, he said. “There is a lot of stigma with just growing a mustache. We are trying to break down stigma around men’s health,” he explained. See page 21 >>

<< The Sports Page

16 • BAY AREA REPORTER • October 20-26, 2011

A regular Stand-Up guy by Roger Brigham


hen the once and future governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was rising through the bodybuilding ranks to stardom, he took the large gay fan following he had as a compliment, but he never actively marketed to those men or spoke out on the everyday dangers they faced in their lives. Count rugby player Ben Cohen as a new generation and breed of straight male sports celebrities: one who is not only willing to speak up, but to build his professional life around doing so. And it all pretty much started with a few bare-chested photos of burly Ben. “A lot of my followers were gay,” Cohen said of his fan base during his career as a superstar rugger in Great Britain. “There were a lot of different stories I heard from them about their lives and about their family difficulties.” Stories about being bullied in school because of others’ perceptions of their masculinity

and sexual orientation. Stories about bullying that led to isolation and suicide. The tales of senseless violence and loss of life hit home with Cohen, whose own father was killed after defending a man in his family-owned bar. So Cohen, whose popularity really soared when he started publishing calendars in 2009 that featured photo spreads of him, often sans shirt, decided to do something about it. Knowing how important family and kids were to him in his life, he started the Ben Cohen Stand-Up Foundation, with a campaign to end bullying. The foundation, as well as wrestler Hudson Taylor’s advocacy for LGBT equality and his Athlete Ally Pledge, are at the forefront of an unprecedented wave of outspokenness from heterosexual athletes for LGBT acceptance. Cohen will be honored as a special guest Saturday, October 22, at the 27th annual Bay Area gala dinner and auction for the Human Rights Commission in recognition

of his game-changing advocacy. “They do fantastic work,” Cohen said of HRC, the nation’s largest LGBT organization. “I am so proud to be honored.” Cohen’s foundation’s business model is less about chasing down funding and more about building a brand and encouraging others to be visible and vigilant in their support of LGBT individuals and intolerance for intolerant violence. Information on the foundation and merchandise such as “I Stand Up” T-shirts are available at www. Information on Athlete Ally is available at Information on the HRC gala is available at www.

Like an unwanted virgin The Catholic League has asked the NFL to uninvite recovering Catholic Madonna from performing at Super Bowl XLVI, in effect saying that having Madonna perform at halftime would be inconsistent with the NFL’s previous acquiescence to homophobic religious pressure. Bill Donahue, president of the Catholic League, issued a press release earlier this month

Ben Cohen’s sexy calendars have become a hit among his gay fans; he will be a special guest at this weekend’s HRC gala in San Francisco.

lambasting reports that the NFL might invite the performer to perform at halftime in the 2012 Super Bowl, then followed up with a brief letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell last week. In the letter, Donahue wrote that if Madonna were invited, “Christians (especially Catholics) would have every reason to complain. It would not only expose a double standard – it would be seen as a slap in their

face. And from the response we have garnered, it seems plain that many would be offended.” In the October press release, Donahue said, “For decades, Madonna has blatantly offended Christians, especially Catholics. The offensive lyrics, lewd behavior and misappropriation of sacred symbols are reason enough not to have her perform. Worse, she has repeatedly mocked the heart and soul of Christianity: Jesus, Our Blessed Mother, the Eucharist and the Crucifixion.” This is the third time reports have surfaced of Madonna being considered for the Super Bowl, following non-appearances in 1998 and 2002. In asking the NFL to yield to its pressure, the Catholic League cited the 2004 Pro Bowl, when the NFL withdrew its invitation to ‘N Sync’s JC (Jesus Christ?) Chasez. Chasez told the NFL he planned to sing “Some Girls (Dance with Women),” which, as it turns out, did not refer to the Catholic nuns dancing together in the movie Sister Act. “Chasez may be known for some dicey lyrics, but he is chopped meat compared to Madonna,” Donahue said. “If JC Chasez is unacceptable to the NFL to perform during halftime at one of its classic games, Madonna must be deemed unacceptable to perform at the Super Bowl.” Perhaps we can start a rumor that Madonna will be replaced by George Michael. Or, if it is Madonna, per se, to which the Catholic League objects, perhaps the NFL could request a live recreation of the rendition of Like a Virgin from the movie Moulin Rouge. The dance number by the waiters in that alone would be worth the ticket price.

Niners to lead the way for NFL in It Gets Better videos? The San Jose Sharks may have ice in their ears, but the stage seems primed for the San Francisco 49ers – the division-leading 5-1 Niners, I might add – to become the first NFL team to make an anti-bullying It Gets Better video. The 49ers had told Channel 5 earlier that they had not received a formal request to make such a video but likely would if they received such a request. Sean Chapin, whose online petition with led the World Champion San Francisco Giants to make a video, followed by seven other Major League Baseball teams, now has an online petition asking the Niners to follow suit. As of Monday, the petition, at www., had a reported 7,000 signatures. The Sharks had declined a similar request, saying they were too busy. Who knows: maybe they just didn’t hear the request, what with Madonna blasting in their earbuds.▼

National News >>

Supreme worries: Drawing the line on religion by Lisa Keen


he American Civil Liberties Union called it “one of the most important religious liberty cases in years” and said the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the matter would determine whether religious organizations have “the right to discriminate based on non-religious grounds.” The case is Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and it was argued before the Supreme Court on October 5. Hosanna-Tabor School, in Redford, Michigan, describes itself as a “Christian day school” with grades kindergarten through eighth. Its appeal is the latest clash between the free exercise and establishment clauses of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and federal statutes seeking to bar discrimination. Heretofore, that clash has had mixed results for LGBT people. The most notorious of losses came in 2000 with Boy Scouts of America v. Dale. In that decision, a majority ruled the Boy Scouts had a First Amendment right to expect its belief that homosexuality is not “morally straight” trumps the state of New Jersey’s human rights law prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination. But just last year, the high court, in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, ruled that a public school’s nondiscrimination policy, which prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation, was “a reasonable, viewpoint-neutral condition” for use of the school’s facilities by student groups, including religious-oriented student groups that discriminated against gay students. In Hosanna-Tabor, the court is deliberating over “where to draw the line” between religious exercise and federal employment laws prohibiting discrimination. “The courts of appeals agree that there is a ministerial exception to employment-law litigation,” argued attorneys for Hosanna-Tabor, in their petition to the high court. “They agree that it extends beyond pastors, priests, and rabbis, but not as far as janitors or secretaries. The question is where to draw the line.” The EEOC, which pressed a discrimination case against Hosanna-Tabor on behalf of a female employee of the school, agrees that courts “have held that clergy members generally cannot bring claims under the federal employment discrimination laws, including Title VII, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Equal Pay Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.” The employee, teacher Cheryl Perich, and the EEOC argued that Hosanna-Tabor violated the Americans with Disabilities Act when it fired her shortly after she returned from leave under the ADA. Perich was diagnosed with narcolepsy, but her doctor indicated the condition was treatable through medication. A federal district judge ruled that Perich and the EEOC could not press their claim against the school because its actions toward Perich fell within a “ministerial exception” to the ADA. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed and reversed that ruling; and Hosanna-Tabor appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. “This ‘ministerial exception,’” said EEOC, “comes not from the text of the statutes, but from the First Amendment principle that

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments last week in a religions school case.

governmental regulation of church administration, including the appointment of clergy, impedes the free exercise of religion and constitutes impermissible government entanglement with church authority.” But the exception, said EEOC, “applies only to employees who perform essentially religious functions, namely those whose primary duties consist of engaging in church governance, supervising a religious order, or conducting religious ritual, worship, or instruction.” And in this discrimination case, said EEOC, Perich was a teacher of math, language arts, social studies, science, gym, art, and music, “using secular textbooks” and “seldom introduc[ing] religion during secular discussions.” Conservative attorney Ed Whelan has called the Obama administration’s “hostility to the ministerial exemption in the Hosanna-Tabor case is part and parcel of a broader ideological agenda that would have gay causes trump religious liberty.” Interestingly, Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, the preeminent national LGBT legal group in the country, did not see the case as important to its going concerns and did not file a brief. “We did not file a brief in this case, as it largely presents a matter of statutory interpretation regarding statutes that do not protect against sexual orientation or gender identity discrimination,” said Jon Davidson, Lambda’s legal director. Davidson acknowledged that a expanded reading of “ministerial exception” could help religious institutions discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity, should those categories of discrimination ever be prohibited by federal law. But the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a bill proposing to outlaw employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, “likely will have its own language” with religious exemptions, said Davidson. The ACLU, which did file a brief, agreed with the EEOC, saying the “ministerial exception should not apply to discriminatory decisions that have nothing to do with religious doctrine.” It complained that courts “have extended the [ministerial] exception far beyond what is required by the religion clauses.” “They have converted the ministerial exception into a shield for all forms of discrimination and retaliation, regardless of motivation,” said the ACLU brief. “And they have prevented judicial redress of even the most flagrant racial or sexual harassment, even when motivated by naked animus unrelated to any religious belief.”▼

October 20-26, 2011 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 17

<< Community News

18 • BAY AREA REPORTER • October 20-26, 2011


Oakland firestorm

From page 1

the last moment, running for their lives in the nick of time. Some who hesitated were lost, including a 19-year-old college sophomore who left an urgent message for her brother and was found several days later beside the phone. One homeowner survived – though her house did not – by jumping into her swimming pool along with two firefighters.

Seeing with disbelief “Right in front of us, a grove of eucalyptus trees exploded into flame,” recalled Susan Piper, 62, press secretary to Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, who fled Hiller Highlands in one car with her 9-year-old daughter while her husband and the dog left separately. “It was like being in the movies. I told my daughter, ‘You want to be a reporter? This is like the 1906 earthquake. Start reporting!’” Out lesbian San Francisco resident Vicky Canales, 55, was a taxi driver in the Bay Area at the time. “I was a member of the Outlaws, that’s what we called ourselves,” she told the Bay Area Reporter, describing a “gay cabbie gang” that cut across company lines. On the day of the fire, Canales recalled, “I had to drop some people in Berkeley, and I took the Richmond exit. I dropped them and my dispatcher said, ‘Get your ass back here!’ I didn’t know what was happening until I was heading back. Then I turned on the radio, and saw it in the rearview mirror: billowing clouds of smoke. It was huge!” Chris Auzston, 59, a gay man from Guerneville, was living in Noe Valley 20 years ago. He remembers watching the San Francisco 49ers game with his roommate, until it was overtaken by news of the crisis. “We went out onto the back porch and saw this black cloud,” Auzston told the B.A.R. “We were glued to the TV. You were concerned, but you felt so helpless in this face of this amazing, horrific event. You knew people had to be dying. Later we went to the Watering Hole on Folsom, and all the conversation there was about the fire, too. Forget having a good time.” Strong stands were made on the north front at the Claremont Hotel and south at Rockridge – the gateways to Berkeley and downtown Oakland, respectively. The Claremont Hotel barely survived. By early evening the battle for Rockridge seemed lost, when abruptly, the winds died away. Moist air currents from the Bay streamed in, turning the tables at last in favor of the defenders. Crews fought on till midnight, reducing the fire to hot spots. It was two full days before the last smoldering ruins were extinguished. Then-President George H.W. Bush on October 22 declared the fire site a federal disaster area, opening the door to relief funds. On Wednesday, October 23, at 8


News Briefs

From page 5

city’s Next Top DJ contest: Russ Rich, Byron Bonsall, Brian Miller, Christopher B, and Kevin Lee. A portion of all funds raised will be split evenly between four nonprofits. Folsom Street Events, AIDS Emergency Fund, Project Open Hand, and the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus were selected by the SunDayz team and will receive funds for the next three months. “We’re not just donating a portion of proceeds from the cover charge,” said Paul Saccone, BeatBox coowner. “We’re donating a portion of all door and beverage sales as well as any sponsorship dollars that we successfully solicit.” P. Tyrone Smith, president of

Courtesy Leslie Ewing

Oakland resident Leslie Ewing

a.m. – 72 hours after it started – the fire was officially declared under control.

When the smoke cleared Before fading, the firestorm reached as far as Montclair and the edge of Piedmont, leaving in its wake “totally devastated neighborhoods,” according to a report by the state Legislature’s Senate Committee on Toxics and Public Safety Management that was published a month after the event. The disaster caused 25 deaths, 150 injuries, and upwards of $1.5 billion in damage. A total of 3,354 houses and 456 apartments went up in smoke. The fire’s estimated temperature of 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit converted the verdant hillscape into a graveyard of silver-white ash, scorched street signs, steel skeletons of cars, ash-filled foundations, and lone chimneys that resembled tombstones. Pets were lost, too, though some were rescued and eventually returned to overjoyed owners. “Some dogs fled over the mountain or down the Bayshore and were found in Contra Costa by animal rescue crews,” wrote Hoffer in Seven Fires. “Cats were more adaptive, hiding from the flames in ditches, culverts and other safe places and then returning to the rubble of their former homes. Owners found them sitting on what remained of stoops and porches, waiting.” Leslie Ewing, the executive director of the Pacific Center and an Oakland resident since 1981, was in Los Angeles at an organizing meeting for the 1993 March on Washington, “which we started planning a full two years before” on that star-crossed Sunday. When she heard the news, “I drove home in four and a half hours, going 100 miles per hour all the way – it’s a miracle I didn’t get picked up.” Ewing, 62, who identifies as queer, marveled at the capricious fate that spared her home while claiming countless others. “One house would be fine, the next burned to the ground,” she said. But she was most impressed by the solidarity and teamwork of her neighbors in the midst of the imbroglio. “There weren’t nearly as many

Past Curfew Inc., an event solutions company, and who has done work with AEF, said it’s long been a goal of his to create an afternoon tea dance. For more information, visit www. or check out the Facebook page.

Halloween pet costume contest Get out those bat wings for Fluffy and head down to the Argonaut Hotel on Sunday, October 30 for the fifth annual Howl-o-ween yappy hour and pet costume contest, benefiting the San Francisco SPCA. The Argonaut, a Kimpton Hotels property, is located at 495 Jefferson Street (at Hyde). The party takes place from 3 to 5 p.m., with the pet costume contest at 3:30. Prizes will be given for best in show (most

A row of chimneys and burned trees signified the loss in the Oakland Hills in 1991 after the firestorm. Darlene/PhotoGraphics

cell phones then as now, and the World Wide Web was a new thing in the academic world, so people spontaneously set up these communication centers – posting notices on telephones poles, in display windows. A service station at Claremont and Ashby became this makeshift command center. People didn’t wait for FEMA. It all happened so fast,” she said, referring to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. She believes there were valuable lessons learned from the Loma Prieta earthquake, which occurred almost exactly two years before, causing fires as well as the catastrophic collapse of a double-decker portion of the I-880 freeway in Oakland. The day after the firestorm, Ewing recalled, “The merchants of College Avenue just threw their doors open for people to take what they needed,” Ewing recalled. “The Rockridge Cafe was feeding everyone for free. It was very moving.” When Auzston went to his car for work Monday morning, he found it coated with ash. In San Francisco, ashfall as much as three-quarters of an inch thick was recorded. For the most part, those who were displaced by the fire were well off, financially. “The victims were not the poor people of the Oakland ghetto a few miles down the hill, but the advantaged in their lofty dwellings,” Hoffer wrote. Among the famous victims: former Oakland Athletics outfielder Reggie Jackson, then-Councilwoman Marge Haskell, then-state Senator Nick Petris, TV personality Betty Ann Bruno, and author Maxine Hong Kingston. Kingston, currently professor emeritus at UC Berkeley, lost her Oakland home as well as an entire novel manuscript – reduced to a block of ash. The incident is recalled at the beginning of her subsequent novel, The Fifth Book of Peace. A large number of artists and creative types were among the victims, as evidenced by the 1992

volume Fire in the Hills: A Collective Remembrance, edited by Patricia Adler, which weaves together poetry, photographs, and eloquent accounts of the maelstrom. Oakland attorney Frederick Hertz, 59, and his partner, a landscape architect, lost their Chabot Canyon home in the fire. “I was evacuated; people came to the door and said ‘LEAVE!’ I gathered very few things in five to 10 minutes. My partner drove over, got through the firelines and stood and watched as the fire burned the vast majority of his work.” Still, Hertz, the author of several books on legal rights for samesex couples, and his partner were fortunate in being “very well insured and well-supported.” Friends gave them clothing and took them in, family members sent money, Congregation Sha’ar Zahav sent kitchen supplies. “I can’t imagine going through something like that without friends and family, whether gay or straight,” Hertz told the B.A.R. As a gay couple, they were also fortunate that Hertz’s partner was co-owner of the house and both their names were on the title deed. “Otherwise, his belongings would not have been covered by insurance, which would have been disastrous financially,” Hertz explained. “If we had been secretive, or not taken care of legal matters – that’s one area where sexual identity does matter.”

original), most likely to make you howl (funniest), most likely to make your fur stand on end (scariest) and dynamic duo (dog and their human). All dogs must be on leashes and friendly toward other dogs, children, and people of all ages. A VIP party starts off the afternoon at 2:30 for a $15 suggested donation. A $5 suggested donation is requested for general admission. Kimpton will match all donations up to $1,000. To RSVP, contact jholt@ by October 28. Tickets will also be available at the door. For more information, visit www.sfspca. org and click on “Events.”

for those in need, needs the community’s help. Michael Gagne, the president and volunteer coordinator, sent out an email this week requesting people to volunteer to cook turkeys for its upcoming Thanksgiving dinner. “Up until this year, we had a hotel who cooked them for us as a tax write-off. This year, we do not have anyone to cook them for us, so that is where you come in,” Gagne said. Gagne suggested people might have friends who work for a business with a large kitchen and multiple ovens where volunteers could go and cook the turkeys. Tenderloin Tessie will provide the turkeys, pans, buttery spread, and spices. “We will also have someone pick them up on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, November 23,” he said.

Tenderloin Tessie needs help Tenderloin Tessie, the nonprofit that puts on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter dinners

A smoldering legacy “Right after the 1991 firestorm, the city tried to build quickly, relaxing regulations to expedite the process,” said Oakland City zoning manager Scott Miller, 48, who declined sexual identity labels. “The result was during the first year lots of gigantic monster homes got built. Later the city woke up and started to impose restrictions.” Among the zoning and permitting restrictions: wider setbacks, more space between houses to prevent structure-to-structure fire spread, fireproof roofs, mandatory sprinklers

and shut-off valves, high-voltage wires placed underground, a ban on dead-end streets over 600 feet in length, and requirements for wider streets (to avoid bottlenecking). “That fire really motivated people in Oakland and Berkeley to work together,” said openly gay Berkeley City Councilman Kriss Worthington, 57. “The Hills Emergency Fund grew from that.” Other positive changes resulting from the tragedy, according to Worthington: Additional funding and Haz-Mat units, training for the public on firefighting and emergency response, seismically retrofitted fire stations, debris bags and boxes, massive education campaigns for homeowners on how to create defensible space and fire buffers, and a general trend in building materials – away from wood, toward concrete and tile. “One thing not accomplished yet is smooth inter-agency communication,” Worthington added. “The long-term problem has been that Oakland has a separate radio system from the rest of the county. Believe it or not, most of Alameda County just voted to go ahead with inter-operable radio communication systems. They will be going into effect in 2012.” On June 12, 2008, a brush fire started in almost exactly the same spot as the 1991 conflagration. Due to preventive measures and rapid response – and the absence of high winds – it was confined to two acres, and extinguished within 90 minutes.▼ Events are planned this weekend to mark the anniversary. There will be a “Reflection” at 9 a.m. on October 22 at the Rockridge BART station, where a wall composed of 2,000 hand-painted tiles records the human impact of the tragedy. A formal commemorative ceremony will follow at 10:30 a.m. at the Gateway Emergency Preparedness Exhibit Center, near the Caldecott Tunnel in Oakland. For more anniversary events, visit www.

Other arrangements are also possible, he noted, as long as the birds are cooked in time for the meal. Those who can help are asked to call Gagne at (415) 584-3252.▼

Correction The caption accompanying the October 13 photo, “Chorus honors ‘Champions” should have stated that the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus made its first public appearance on the steps of City Hall the night of the murders of Harvey Milk and George Moscone. The online version has been corrected.

Obituaries >>

October 20-26, 2011 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 19

Milk Club leader Howard Grayson dies by Cynthia Laird


oward Grayson, a longtime member of the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club and leader in San Francisco progressive circles, died suddenly on September 29. He was 66. The cause was apparent heart failure, according to Milk Club CoPresident Stephany Ashley. Ashley said that Mr. Grayson’s death “leaves the San Francisco progressive movement bereaved. Howard was a gentle and compassionate soul with a very good sense of humor and an easy smile.” Yet, she added, Mr. Grayson could be quite outspoken at events and meetings, some of which he would

Howard Grayson

plan and organize himself such as candidate debates. Through it all, Mr. Grayson never steered away from his solidly progressive instincts, friends said. “Howard was the sweetest of human beings and a great activist,” said former Milk Club president Rafael Mandelman. “His many friends at the Milk Club have been deeply saddened by the news of his death.” Born in Washington, D.C. in 1945, Mr. Grayson spent his youth embracing the alternative communal life. It included living as an out gay man before most were ready to accept such openness. During the civil rights era of the 1960s, Mr. Grayson joined the Black

Panther Party and participated in anti-Vietnam War demonstrations, including the hugely significant Confront the War Makers protest at the Pentagon in 1967. In the 1970s, Mr. Grayson moved to New York City during the heady days of gay-sexual liberation. He worked on the staff of the Anvil, one of New York’s most illustrious gay bars. Still a young adult, Mr. Grayson moved to San Francisco several decades ago where he threw himself into the city’s vibrant political life. In addition to his activities with the Milk Club, Mr. Grayson was a retiree from SEIU-UHW (Home Care Division), an activist in Senior Action Network and California

Alliance for Retired Americans, and a delegate to the San Francisco Labor Council, once serving as a trustee for that body. While committed to many causes, he was very proud of his career as a professional home care provider and in that work gave comfort, care, and compassion to many elderly and disabled persons over the years. To his last client, his close friend and fellow labor and gay activist Howard Wallace, he offered devoted attention that included his patience, good humor, and culinary skills, Ashley said. Mr. Grayson is survived by his brother, John Grayson, and many friends. At press time, plans for a memorial had not been announced.▼

Longtime city planner Scott Dowdee dies by Cynthia Laird


ongtime San Francisco resident and city planner Scott Dowdee died October 4 at the Davies campus of California Pacific Medical Center. He was 55. Mr. Dowdee’s family declined to release the cause of death. He was surrounded by close friends at the time of his passing, his family said. Gary Streng, Mr. Dowdee’s partner of several months, said that the couple was in the beginning of their relationship, although their paths had crossed numerous times in the city over the past 30 years. “We never met until Easter Sunday this year and hit it off immediately,” Streng, an art director, told the Bay Area Reporter. “I remember telling him that night, ‘nobody had made me laugh and smile as he did in a very long time.’” Mr. Dowdee lived in the turret at the Caselli Mansion (formally known as the Alfred E. Clarke Mansion) in the Castro and was known for the large disco ball, which was lit and spinning each night. “He said that he wanted his light in the Castro to mimic the beam at the top of the Transamerica

Richard “Dick” Guy Hillman

Pyramid, but it actually mimicked himself; always welcoming, always donning a beaming smile, and always ready to hit the dance floor,” said Streng. Mr. Dowdee was a planner for the San Francisco Planning Department for 30 years. Co-worker Steve Shotland recalled Mr. Dowdee’s warmth and his love for the city. Shotland, who is gay and also a longtime employee with the department, said that one of Mr. Dowdee’s major projects was working on the neighborhood commercial zoning project, which looked at zoning in the city and how it impacted various neighborhoods and commercial districts, such as Union Street and the Castro. He was also involved in long-range planning projects. “It provided zoning – the kinds of uses permitted – and neighborhood uses. It was helpful to folks who lived there and acknowledged change going on,” Shotland said. Laura Yamauchi, now vice chancellor for campus planning at UCSF, used to work for the city’s planning department and was a colleague of Mr. Dowdee’s on the neighborhood rezoning project.

Courtesy Gary Streng

Scott Dowdee

“It was seen as a model for zoning approaches in shopping districts,” Yamauchi said. “We were at the forefront of novel thinking and innovation.” She added that Mr. Dowdee “was great, very energetic with an attention for detail.” Shotland said that Mr. Dowdee also brought the planning department into the computer age.

Anthony Lee Jaqua

Raymond Delmar Neal Jr.

June 13, 1951 – October 1, 2011

December 8, 1948 – October 9, 2011

We met when I was skinny and he had hair. Although our relationship was platonic, our love was passionate. Tony was my best friend of 30 years and the closest thing I’ll ever come to a husband. He graduated from Hawthorne High (Los Angeles), class of 1969 and yes, the Beach Boys really did play at his prom. Tony loved meeting people. That is why taking friends’ dogs to the park was something he enjoyed immensely in his last couple of years. Tony loved his family and his family loved him. Like his father, Bob, Tony never met a stranger. And like his father, for 60 years he enjoyed Joan’s unconditional love. He also loved his friends and possessed a unique gift for overlooking their faults. Tony is preceded in death by his father, Bob, and brothers Tim and Mike. He is survived by his mother, Joan (a living saint), and younger brother Ron, Ron’s wife Tammy, and numerous nieces and nephews who loved their Uncle Tony. He was a gifted gardener, drove for Super Shuttle for 18 years, and was at Altamont. For info email Michelle and Jasmine at

Raymond Delmar Neal Jr. lost his valiant battle with cancer on October 9 in Desert Hot Springs, California. With an outgoing personality and standing at 6 feet 8 inches, Mr. Neal cut a large figure in the Castro, where he was a familiar figure for many years. His key civic contribution was his pioneering determination to clean the neglected public sidewalks and areas of the Castro, which resulted in a workable model for the rest of the city. Mr. Neal was born on December 8, 1948 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he attended St. Boniface Church and Goldmeir Middle School and graduated from Riverside High. His parents owned a record store, which sparked his lifelong interest in music. Mr. Neal moved to San Francisco in the mid-1970s and was a professional waiter at Campton Place, the Portman Hotel, and Half Shell. His passion for gardening and landscaping was expanded when he and his partner, Ralph “Silver” Silverstrim, started a property maintenance business; Mr. Neal succeeded in gaining access to city water outlets to be able to pressure-wash sidewalks. Mr. Neal’s work in the Castro was recognized by then-Mayor Willie Brown, who gave a special award and designated a day in honor of Mr. Neal and Silverstrim. Mr. Neal was preceded in death

November 28, 1952 – October 9, 2011

Richard (“Dick”) Guy Hillman passed away peacefully at home on October 9 at the age of 58 of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. He is preceded in death by his mother, Irma Hillman, and is survived by is loving and devoted partner of 24 years, Brian Weart; his extended family Bonnie and John Jurban; his father, Jack Hillman; and his brother, Dennis Hillman. Richard was born and raised in Saginaw, Michigan. Upon graduation from high school he moved to New York City, then to Key West, and finally made his way to San Francisco. Richard was employed by Community Rentals and the Parker Guest House. His passions included cooking, relaxing at the Highlands Resort in the Russian River wine country, playing slots at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, and listening to music, especially of Sting, Bette Midler, Cher, and Mariah Carey. At his request there will be no funeral service. In lieu of flowers contributions can be made to the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, c/o Golden Gate Performing Arts Inc., 1800 Market Street, PMB #100, San Francisco, CA 94102. Richard’s courage to pursue his love of life throughout his struggles with cancer will be forever etched in his partner’s memory.

While Mr. Dowdee’s training was in planning, he saw the need for personal computers at work in the 1980s, Shotland recalled. Initially, there were five terminals for about 60 workers, Shotland said. It was after that that Mr. Dowdee was put in charge of a departmental group to develop computer access for employees. Today, of course, many of the department’s documents and reports are accessible online. Mr. Dowdee headed up the Office of Analysis and Information Systems for the department, and also did database work. “He was a genuine person and helpful to everyone,” Shotland said. “He had a positive personality and he was a huge booster for the city.” Often when friends would visit, Mr. Dowdee would take them on his own tour of San Francisco, dazzling them with his knowledge and joy for the city, Shotland said. He also managed to convince several friends to ultimately relocate to the city. Another of Mr. Dowdee’s passions was his membership in the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus. He was an upper tenor in the choral group, and was a member from the fall of 1996 to the spring of 2003,

said Mark Hamner, with the chorus’ Spirit Team, which provides support to ill members, among other duties. After a leave of absence, Mr. Dowdee returned to the chorus this spring, Hamner said. Hamner said that he got to know Mr. Dowdee in the last days of his life and observed that he “made an incredible impact on people. He had great passion.” Mr. Dowdee was born August 29, 1956 in Durham, North Carolina and moved to San Francisco after graduating from the University of North Carolina. He later received his master’s degree from UC Berkeley. In addition to Streng, Mr. Dowdee is survived by his brother, John, and his mother Linnie Jane. A memorial is planned for December 3 from noon to 5 p.m. at Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, 100 Diamond Street in San Francisco. Additional details were not available at press time. In lieu of flowers, donations in Mr. Dowdee’s memory may be made to Project Open Hand (www., the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus (www.sfgmc. org), or the San Francisco Historical Society (▼

by his parents, Raymond and Arline (nee Bird) Neal and is the brother of Rosalind, Roger (Gayle), Rod, and Ronald of Milwaukee, and Renate of Miami. He is survived by Silverstrim, six nieces, four nephews, and many friends in the west. Special thanks to neighbors and longtime friends Art Reynolds and Michael Gebbart. Most especially to his partner, Silver, who provided 24/7 care for the last year. Memorials can be sent c/o Rosalind Neal, 4111 N. Sherman Boulevard, Milwaukee, WI 53216. Also to the American Cancer Society or the Humane Society.

dreamed of meeting and did! He made connections in the queer erotica community and was a frequent reader at Perverts Put Out – a longstanding and still-happening event featuring stories spanning the spectrum of queer/gender/kink/poly/ bi/leather/geek and beyond. A memorial celebration will be held on November 1 at the Center for Sex and Culture, 1349 Mission Street (at Grace Street between 9th and 10th streets) in San Francisco, at 7 p.m. For more information and to RSVP, please contact Linda Poelzl at or (415) 282-1984.

Jack Random November 2, 1960 – October 9, 2011

Jack Random died recently after a long illness. He is survived by his loving partners, Betty Blue and Sunny Owen. A bisexual writer, activist, and poet, Jack was a member of the queer leather community, a computer geek, pagan, atheist, and passionate, polyamorous lover of many. Originally from San Luis Obispo, Jack came to San Francisco in the late 1990s seeking community, and found it here among kindred souls. Before moving to San Francisco, he discovered Anything That Moves magazine, a thriving source of bisexual connection and community for over 10 years. Some of the writers whose stories he read were people he

Obituary policy Obituaries should be e-mailed too They must be no longer than 200 words. Please follow normal rules of capitalization – and no poetry. We reserve the right to edit for style, clarity, grammar, and taste. Please provide the name and contact information for the funeral home, crematory, or organ donation agency that handled final disposition of the body. This is for verification. Please submit a photo of the deceased. E-mail a recent color jpg. Deadline for obituaries is Monday at 9 a.m., with the exception of special display ad obituaries, which must be submitted by Friday at 3 p.m. For information on paid obituaries, call (415) 861-5019. Obituaries can be mailed to Bay Area Reporter, 395 9th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103. Write the deceased’s name on the back of the photo. If you include a SASE for the photo’s return, write the person’s name on the inside of the envelope flap. All obituaries must include a contact name and daytime phone number. They must be submitted within a year of the death. For archived obituaries, go to www.

<< Community News

20 • BAY AREA REPORTER • October 20-26, 2011


Political Notebook

From page 7

with seeing LGBT officials and progay lawmakers backing her campaign. Last week, the national Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund threw its support behind Osborn, as noted in this week’s online Political Notes column. Lesbian former state Senator Carole Migden has donated to Osborn’s campaign, while one of her biggest backers is former partner Sheila Kuehl, also a former state senator.


Congressman Mike Honda (D-Campbell), the ranking member of the House Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee, has requested a hearing on the House Republican Leadership’s decision to spend $1.5 million on defending the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act in court. Following the Obama administration’s decision this spring that it would not defend Section 3 of the federal ban on same-sex


From page 1

EQCA and other organizations have struggled to raise money for other projects. It’s important that funding “isn’t just dropped in when there’s a campaign taking place and pulled out when it’s over,” Orr said. In an interview around the time he announced his resignation in December, Kors said that contributions were down, in part because an anonymous donor contributed $500,000 in 2009 but was absent last year. EQCA’s total budget, including the Equality California Institute and other organizations, is roughly $6 million to $6.5 million

Financial decline In December, Kors said that EQCA had more than $1.5 million in net assets. That number didn’t appear to include money from the institute, EQCA’s education branch. Orr said Tuesday that the assets figure is now $740,000. She didn’t say whether that number – which takes into account cash, property, and other data – includes the institute. She didn’t know how much debt EQCA has. Recently, Orr that EQCA and its institute have about $250,000 in the bank altogether, and another $100,000 in grants would be coming in around this week. Tuesday, however, she didn’t know whether that money had arrived.


Honda wants hearing on DOMA defense

SFAF merger

From page 1

experienced. “The foundation has a real track record of working with existing programs and growing them and making them stronger than they have been,” Giuliano said. “We really envision that the prevention programs under Stop AIDS really will find the same situation and grow and prosper. We expect to reach more people and prevent more new infections, that is the bottom line.” Two months ago Stonewall opened a satellite space in the Castro near Collingwood Park to better serve its clients in the heart of the city’s LGBT district. It has grown its staff, received mental health certification, and offers both individual and group counseling for gay and bi male drug users, particularly men who use speed. Magnet has experienced similar growth over the last three years. According to the foundation, the health center has nearly tripled the number of free HIV tests it provides in the Castro and expanded its staff by more than 300 percent. Its website lists 11 staff positions, which includes both medical professionals and community organizers. In March the center expanded to six days a week. It now opens at 11 a.m. Mondays through Saturdays and closes at either 6 or 9 p.m. depending on the night. In an effort to meet increasing demand, this week Magnet announced a new “Express Lane” option for clients seeking HIV and STD tests.

It’s important that funding “isn’t just dropped in when there’s a campaign taking place and pulled out when it’s over.” –Rebekah Orr “Over the last couple weeks, that has not been my primary focus,” she said.

Staff cuts Palencia’s departure is just one major staff change EQCA’s facing. Finance director Steve Mele, government affairs director Mario Guerrero, and marriage and coalitions director Andrea Shorter are also leaving. Mele has taken a position with a congressional campaign in Nevada, while Guerrero and Shorter are being let go as part of a restructuring plan. The retooling is supposed to include bringing on a deputy and

The express option allows men to forgo counseling services – which will still be provided for those who request it – in an effort to get them in and out the door faster. Its implementation is expected to double the number of HIV and STD tests Magnet provides every year to approximately 8,700. “Express Lane is a big shift in how we operate, and it comes at just the right time. Guys should have quick, easy, and free access to HIV and STD testing, and now we can make that experience available to many more customers,” stated Mark Alstead, the center’s HIV testing services manager.

City leaders back merge City leaders mostly welcomed the news of the merger, as they have been urging nonprofits to look for cost-saving ways to work together in light of decreasing tax revenues. Health Director Barbara Garcia told the B.A.R. that the Department of Public Health is “very, very supportive” of seeing Stop AIDS fall under the AIDS foundation’s auspices. “We think this is the right direction, particularly with Stop AIDS being such a smaller organization and the AIDS foundation being able to provide it a better infrastructure and keep to the mission of both entities,” she said. District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener also hailed the merger as a fiscally responsible development that will preserve much needed services in his Castro district. “The Stop AIDS Project provides very important services to the

marriage in federal lawsuits, the House hired the private law firm Bancroft PLLC to represent the government in such cases. Initially, the firm was to be paid only $500,000. But that amount has now tripled, with Democrats slamming the GOP leadership for wasting taxpayer during such dire financial times. “In a time of professed fiscal responsibility, it is unconscionable for the House Republican Leadership to continue to spend taxpayer money to protect

discrimination, especially through a process that has, thus far, lacked any semblance of transparency,” wrote Honda in his hearing request. “I ask that you immediately hold a hearing on this matter so that we can shine light on this irresponsible, backdoor use of taxpayer money.” Among the questions Honda raised are why the payout to the law firm continues to rise and how much GOP leaders intend to spend on defending the discriminatory law. “We should not be handing

over a blank check that will allow unlimited taxpayer dollars to be spent on the Republican leadership’s political agenda,” wrote Honda. Honda sent his request Monday, October 17 to the subcommittee’s chair, Florida Republican Congressman Ander Crenshaw. It is unlikely the GOP leader will grant his request to take up the matter.▼ Keep abreast of the latest LGBT political news by following the Political Notebook on Twitter @

political director. In an interview Monday, October 17, Orr said she didn’t know if plans for filling that position were on hold. However, she said, “No one’s been interviewed” for the job, and “there are no interviews taking place at this time.” Pushing LGBT-related legislation has been one of EQCA’s core functions. Just before Palencia resigned, the group had boasted of Brown signing into law 10 of the 12 bills it had sponsored this session. Some had also hoped that the organization would push for repeal of Prop 8 in 2012. But Monday, October 3, EQCA’s board voted against the idea. Palencia and others have refused to say how the board’s vote broke down.

Leftover money

Former Equality California Executive Director Roland Palencia

Rather than launch a repeal effort, EQCA announced it was embarking on the public education program, the Breakthrough Conversation. That effort likely will replace Let California Ring, an outreach campaign focused on marriage equality that started in early 2008 and re-launched in 2009. The decision not to attempt to repeal Prop 8 has raised questions about what the organization is doing with the money left over from that campaign. EQCA and others raised more than $40 million. Much of that money was spent. Data on the secretary of state’s website shows that the Equality California Issues Political Action Committee included almost $470,000 in cash as of June 30, 2011. Among

the historical names listed for the committee are Win Marriage Back, A Project of Equality California; and No on 8 – Equality California. Orr, who, like Palencia, joined EQCA this summer, wasn’t certain about the PAC funds, and there didn’t appear to be anyone at the organization to help her answer questions for this story. However, she said about $200,000 listed for the committee is from the No on Prop 8 campaign. The other money “has been or will be used for public education” on issues

including marriage equality, she said. “Money that’s been raised to support marriage work is going to go to support marriage work,” Orr said. Clarissa Filgioun, EQCA’s board president, and Cathy Schwamberger, head of the institute board, didn’t respond to interview requests for this story. EQCA board Treasurer Jeannette Yazedjian, and members Cary Davidson and Rabbi Steven Jacobs; as well as institute board member Leslie Katz, also didn’t respond to requests for comment.▼

community but has had some financial struggles. I think it makes a lot of sense for it to partner with the AIDS foundation to save on overhead and to allow the services to continue,” said Wiener. Kelly Rivera Hart, founder of the Poz Activists Network and a longtime volunteer with Stop AIDS, said as long as clients’ and the community’s needs stay the main focus post the merge, he is supportive of the move. “I understand how in these tough economic times, nonprofits have to do what they can to stay above water,” he told the B.A.R. “It’s my hope that this merger of two very different organizations, with different approaches and different services to the community will be an opportunity for all involved to learn and grow and strengthen in their work.” B.J. Stiles, who twice stepped in as interim executive director at Stop AIDS while it searched for a permanent leader, hailed the news as an “important next step” in tackling HIV and AIDS more strategically. Back in 2007 Stiles and Mark Cloutier, then the head of the AIDS foundation, looked at merging the two agencies. For various reasons the discussions stalled and were shelved. “I am ju st amazed it is finally done,” said Stiles. Noon called the merger “a nobrainer” and said the process was relatively easy. Nonetheless, he said there is some sense of loss. “It is emotionally difficult, in a sense, to see the end of an independent, autonomous agency

that has been around for so long. But in the end, it was the right thing to do given the circumstances,” said Noon. As for concerns about seeing so many HIV programs consolidated into one agency, Stiles said he is confident the community has the capacity to deal with any problems that may come up in the future. “Our community has never failed to be creative and inventive when confronted with something surprising and really difficult,” he said. “In the event down the road there is an absolutely paralyzing development, whether financial, programmatic, or resources, I don’t think the gay community in San Francisco is incapable of going back to ground zero or starting to deal with those realities.” Giuliano sounded confident that foundation officials would be able to use the $1 million in contracts and grants that Stop AIDS currently has and build on them financially. “The important thing to remember is for every dollar the government gives you, you’ve got to find another dime or 20 cents for the overhead. We are fortunate to have the capacity to accept these contracts and grants, ensure we get the work done and provide beyond the contracts,” he said. “The way we look at it, it is an economy of scale that makes a lot of sense for providing services to the community.” The expectation is that the move will allow Stop AIDS staff to focus on providing services rather than be fixated on raising money. The AIDS foundation already has a

sizable development operation that is unlikely to be negatively taxed by the added financial needs the merger will bring. The foundation will assume oversight of Stop AIDS’ successful Bay Area-wide Dining Out for Life annual fundraiser. The next night out is scheduled for April 26 and proceeds will benefit the foundation’s various programs and services. The foundation will be reviewing Stop AIDS’ donor list and is hopeful its backers will continue to support its work, said Giuliano. “We view this as an opportunity to let everyone know our local services are going to be stronger and more significant than ever before,” he said. “I hope that message resonates with all donors who care about, and all people who care about, their philanthropy and want to help us reduce new infections.” As for future acquisitions to its lineup of programs and services, the foundation is not in any active talks to merge with another agency. And while there are no current plans to relocate its offices on Market Street near Sixth into the Castro, Giuliano would not rule out such a possibility in the future if the right location were found. “Part of our long-range thinking is to look at what opportunities there may be in the Castro into the future,” he said. “If anything, I would hope our presence in the Castro, which is in the heart of the demographic area where most of our work is taking place in regard to HIV prevention, we hope that will only increase in the future.”▼

Lydia Gonzales

▼ <<

Community News >>

Gay History Month

From page 11

would serve as the third grand master of Hall’s African Lodge of Freemasons after the death of Hall and a successor in 1809. Today, the Prince Hall masons maintain an enduring legacy in many African American communities across the United States. While Middleton was a respected organizer, he was not afraid to promote radical means to advance the call for freedom. As a black man living in Boston, he was alltoo familiar with the oppressive system and the ways that blacks were mistreated and systematically disadvantaged. His revolutionary spirit was aroused during a local celebration of the abolition of the slave trade. Child, Middleton’s neighbor, describes an explosive episode between black and white Bostonians, and Middleton’s actions: “It became a frolic with the white boys to deride them on this day, and finally ... to drive them ...


Mustache campaign

From page 15

He also sees the mustache as a “perfect leveler” that can unite all types of guys and brings gay and straight men together to fight a common cause. “It doesn’t matter is you are a policeman, a DJ, a pilot, in the finance industry, gay or straight. Everyone can do it and do it for their own reasons,” said Garone. Konietzko, 33, signed up through his job at Shift Communications, a nationwide PR firm that encouraged employees in its San Francisco, Boston, and New York offices to take part in Movember last year. The openly gay Konietzko plans to take part again this year and has been trying to get his boyfriend to sign up as well. Until he joined Movember, Konietzko said he hadn’t really thought much about prostate cancer. “With men in general, we are hesitant to go to the doctor for anything,” he said. “Gay or straight, it affects everyone. It is such an easy cure if caught early on.” He added that, “if a silly mustache can get someone to see their doctor or raise a couple hundred dollars for the Prostate Cancer Foundation,” then why not take part.


Milk plaque

From page 2

he said. “I want to encourage whoever took it to return it, no questions asked. We just want the plaque back,” Wiener said. He said he’s working with others “so we can get it replaced.” Photographer Dan Nicoletta, a friend of Milk’s, said he’s been doing research into the plaque’s creation, but “I don’t know that it necessarily has to be replaced.” “There’ve been more memorials now than I can count, and I deal with Milk stuff every day. ... I wasn’t that attached to that particular monument,” he said. In an email he sent after his phone interview with the Bay Area Reporter, he added, “I personally would like to see any funds that would need to be parlayed for [the plaque’s] replacement to go to a more contemporary beautification and maintenance of that plaza which on any given day borders on an eye sore and which is certainly

from the Common. The colored people became greatly incensed by this mockery of their festival, and rumor reached us ... that they were determined to resist the whites, and were going armed with this intention. ... Soon, terrified children and women ran down Belknap Street, pursued by white boys, who enjoyed their fright. The sounds of battle approached; clubs and brickbats were flying in [all] directions. At this crisis, Col. Middleton opened his door, armed with a loaded musket and, in a loud voice, shrieked death to the first white who should approach. Hundreds of human being[s], white and black, were pouring down the street. Col. Middleton’s voice could be heard above every other, urging his party to turn and resist to the last. His appearance was terrific, his musket was leveled, ready to sacrifice the first white man that came within its range. The colored party, shamed by his reproaches, and fired by his example, rallied and made a short show of resistance.” Middleton lived a life that was

Compared to the many biking, walking, or swimming fundraisers AIDS agencies and LGBT nonprofits host each year, Movember requires very little out of participants. Anyone can do it and there is no requirement that people raise money, although that is encouraged. “It is the laziest charity event in the world,” joked Garone. Those men who raise $100 will receive free entrance to a party in their area celebrating the end of the monthlong fundraiser. Another $100 gets a second ticket. Anyone can sign up and registering is free. “Part of it is we want guys to get engaged in the cause and learn about prostate cancer,” said Garone.

Ready, set ... The only rule is come November 1 men start off clean-shaven and then let human physiology take over. “Then you have the entire month of November to grow and groom your mustache however you like,” explained Konietzko, who refrained from sculpting his facial hair into some elaborate mustache. One of the biggest challenges, he said, was trying to figure out who else was involved in Movember and who was simply sporting a Mo. From interim Mayor Ed Lee to Mission hipsters, mustaches happen

not commensurate with what the plaza is meant to symbolize.” Nicoletta said over the phone that the plaque probably was installed in 1985 or 1986, after the plaza itself opened. He said the piece was made of bronze, and didn’t know how much it weighed, but said it was “really heavy.” The piece was likely worth about $40,000 to $60,000, he said. “It definitely stinks of a political message to me,” Nicoletta said of the plaque’s removal. “It’s not just some random vandalism by people hanging out in that plaza.” Andrea Aiello, executive director of the Castro-Upper Market Community Benefit District, said that it’s assumed the plaque was stolen to sell as scrap metal. She also said Department of Public Works officials told her that it appeared someone had tried to pry loose the plaque under the rainbow flag, as well. The flag is near Harvey Milk Plaza. DPW was working to secure that plaque, she said, adding that if that could not be done it would be removed as a precaution.▼

October 20-26, 2011 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 21

dedicated to service of others and the fight for civil rights. Though questions still surround his sexual orientation, it is clear Middleton maintained close relationships and associations with men and helped establish a standard for service, manhood, community building and action. Given his stature as a leader and his selfless contributions to the entire Boston community during the American Revolution, he stands out as a heroic figure for racial and queer communities.▼ Kevin Trimell Jones is founder and lead curator for the Black LGBT Archivists Society of Philadelphia. He is a behavior researcher at University of Pennsylvania, has served as a trainer for the Gay Men’s Health Leadership Academy, and is a founder of the Black Gay Men’s Leadership Council. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan, and graduate degrees from the University of MassachusettsAmherst and the University of Pennsylvania.▼

to be riding a wave of popularity in San Francisco. “What I noticed when I had the mustache was how many other people have mustaches. It was a mix of trying to figure out if the guy was a hipster who always had one or someone doing Movember or some weird leather daddy who always has a mustache,” said Konietzko. “Overall, I was amazed how many people in the gay community have mustaches.” To update friends and help raise funds, Konietzko posted weekly updates with photos of his mustache online. Having the emotional support from his officemates helped, he said. “It made it fun. It is not something I would want to do on my own,” said Konietzko, who raised $850 last year and is trying to reach $1,000 this year. Alas, his mustache did not last much longer past November 30. Right after attending a party at Ruby Skye near Union Square to celebrate the culmination of the event, and to showoff his hairy accessory, Konietzko raced home to shave. “I was ready to not have it anymore,” he admitted. To sign up and find out where local Movember events are being held this year, visit us.movember. com/.▼


Seth’s Law

From page 2

Francisco Unified School District has offered tools and resources, including a pioneering website, aimed at making local schools safer. In other parts of the state, though, Ammiano said Seth’s Law would be “the first step.” He said he’s working on additional legislation to address bullying, including “alternative discipline” for perpetrators. That could include using an incident “as a teaching tool,” rather than just suspending a student. Seth’s Law was co-sponsored by Equality California, the American Civil Liberties Union of California, National Center for Lesbian Rights, Gay-Straight Alliance Network, and the Trevor Project. Laura Valdez, interim executive director of GSA Network, said the new law sends an important message to school administrators, staff, and students in that allegations of bullying must be taken seriously.▼

On the web

Online content this week includes the Out in the World column.

Legal Notices>> NOTICE OF APPLICATION FOR CHANGE IN OWNERSHIP OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE LICENSE Dated 10/10/11 To Whom It May Concern: The name(s) of the applicant(s) is/are : ALEKSANDR RABINOVICH. 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 418 Beach St., San Francisco, CA 94133-1102. Type of license applied for:

41- ON-SALE BEER AND WINE EATING PLACE OCT. 20,2011 NOTICE OF APPLICATION TO SELL ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES Dated 10/04/11 To Whom It May Concern: The name(s) of the applicant(s) is/are : BYUNG ILL LIM. 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 201 Pine St.,San Francisco, CA 94104-2701. Type of license applied for:

41- ON-SALE BEER AND WINEEATING PLACE OCT. 6,13,20,2011 STATEMENT FILE A-033827000 The following person(s) is/are doing business as PLAY LAND,1351 Polk St., SF,CA 94109.This business is conducted by an individual, signed Steve Schefsky.The registrant(s) commenced to ransact 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 09/16/11.

SEPT29,OCT.6,13,20,2011 STATEMENT FILE A-033831300 The following person(s) is/are doing business as ART CONSTRUCTION,3627 Ortega St.,SF,CA 94122.This business is conducted by an individual, signed Zhiyi Liang.The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 09/20/11. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 09/20/11.

SEPT29,OCT.6,13,20,2011 STATEMENT FILE A-033831400 The following person(s) is/are doing business as A & K CONSTRUCTION,2348 21st Ave., SF,CA 94116.This business is conducted by an individual, signed Xuanfa Zhou.The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 09/20/11. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 09/20/11.

SEPT29,OCT.6,13,20,2011 STATEMENT FILE A-033840300 The following person(s) is/are doing business as S.F. ANTIQUE & DESIGN MALL.,248 Utah St., SF,CA 94103.This business is conducted by a corporation, signed Randall Markins.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 09/26/11.

SEPT29,OCT.6,13,20,2011 STATEMENT FILE A-033838400 The following person(s) is/are doing business as JING YING CHINESE OPERA INSTITUTE., 146 Waverly Pl., SF,CA 94108.This business is conducted by an individual, signed Xiu Ben Chen. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 02/28/07. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 09/23/11.

SEPT29,OCT.6,13,20,2011 STATEMENT FILE A-033840400 The following person(s) is/are doing business as COPPER BOTANICALS, 226 Ellsworth St., SF,CA 94110.This business is conducted by an individual, signed Deborah Caperton.The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 09/26/11. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 09/26/11.

SEPT29,OCT.6,13,20,2011 STATEMENT FILE A-033841200 The following person(s) is/are doing business as BALBOA LIQUOR AND DELI, 3524 Balboa St., SF,CA 94121.This business is conducted by a general partnership, signed Duc Thai.The egistrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 09/05/11. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 09/26/11.

SEPT29,OCT.6,13,20,2011 STATEMENT FILE A-033845500 The following person(s) is/are doing business as BRODERS, 3251 20TH Ave., #255,SF,CA 94137. This business is conducted by an individual, signed Martin J. Carmody.The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 09/27/11. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 09/27/11.

SEPT29,OCT.6,13,20,2011 STATEMENT FILE A-033857600 The following person(s) is/are doing business as SECURE WEALTH,960 Baker St.,#3,SF,CA 94115. This business is conducted by an individual, signed Jason Walker.The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 10/03/11. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 10/03/11.


STATEMENT FILE A-033800700 The following person(s) is/are doing business as 1.EMERGENCE, 2. EMERGENCE HEALING ARTS STUDIO,3. EMERGENCE HEALING ARTS, 4. EMERGENCE HEALING ARTS CENTER, 5.INTEGRATIVE MASSAGE AND TRAUMA HEALING, 6.MASSAGE AND TRAUMA HEALING, 4052 18TH St., SF,CA 94114.This business is conducted by an individual, signed Tiffany Wade. The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 07/23/11. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 09/02/11.

SEPT29,OCT.6,13,20,2011 NOTICE OF APPLICATION TO SELL ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES Dated 10/0611 To Whom It May Concern: The name(s) of the applicant(s) is/are : DE PLACE 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 5700 Geary Blvd., San Francisco, CA 94121. Type of license applied for:

41- ON-SALE BEER AND WINEEATING PLACE OCT. 13,20,27,2011 NOTICE OF APPLICATION TO SELL ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES Dated 09/30/11 To Whom It May Concern: The name(s) of the applicant(s) is/are : MARTIN YAN NOODLES 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 865 Market St.,Suite 490,San Francisco, CA 94103-1900. Type of license applied for:

47- ON-SALE GENERAL EATING PLACE OCT. 13,20,27,2011 STATEMENT OF ABANDONMENT OF USE OF FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME: #A-0298818-00 The following persons have abandoned the use of the fictitious business name known as INDIGO RESTAURANT,687 McAllister St., San Francisco, CA 94103.This business was conducted by a limited liability company, signed Greg Medow. The ficticious name was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 12/04/06.

OCT.6,13,20,27,2011 STATEMENT FILE A-033845200 The following person(s) is/are doing business as SAN FRANCISCO BROCHETTE KING, 2227 33rd Ave.,SF,CA 94116.This business is conducted by an individual, signed Peng Qi.The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 09/27/11. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 09/27/11.

OCT.6,13,20,27,2011 STATEMENT FILE A-033853900 The following person(s) is/are doing business as APARTMENT 24SF,440 Broadway St.,SF,CA 94133. This business is conducted by a limited liability company, signed Michael Lok.The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 09/29/11. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 09/29/11.

OCT.6,13,20,27,2011 STATEMENT FILE A-033846600 The following person(s) is/are doing business as FULLER SAFETY,182 Flood Ave.,SF,CA 94131.This business is conducted by an individual, signed Barbara Ann Fuller.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 09/27/11.

OCT.6,13,20,27,2011 STATEMENT FILE A-033802000 The following person(s) is/are doing business as ASPIRE CONSULTING,1032 Irving St.,#312,SF,CA 94122.This business is conducted by an individual, signed Tom Hehir.The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 11/09/96. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 11/06/11.

OCT.6,13,20,27,2011 STATEMENT FILE A-033849200 The following person(s) is/are doing business as REAL VOCAL STRING QUARTET, 1336 Carleton St.,Berkeley,CA 94702.This business is conducted by a general partnership, signed Alisa Rose.The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 09/28/11. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 09/28/11.

OCT.6,13,20,27,2011 STATEMENT FILE A-033822200 The following person(s) is/are doing business as VIBRANT REIKI,399 Arguello Blvd., SF,CA 94118. This business is conducted by an individual, signed Anna Dorian.The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 06/01/06. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 09/14/11.

OCT.6,13,20,27,2011 STATEMENT FILE A-033844100 The following person(s) is/are doing business as CITY KIDS DAY SCHOOL,1424 Vallejo St.,SF,CA 94109.This business is conducted by an individual, signed Lisa Baisman.The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 09/20/11. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 09/27/11.


Serving the LGBT communities since 1971

22 • Bay Area Reporter • October 20-26, 2011



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statement file A-033859000

statement file A-033851000

The following person(s) is/are doing business as PAPI CHULO SALSA,999 Wisconsin St.,#10,SF,CA 94107.This business is conducted by a corporation, signed Eleanore A, Biggs.The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 10/01/11. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 10/03/11.

The following person(s) is/are doing business as BASHFORD AND DALE,1019 Church St.,SF,CA 94114.This business is conducted by an individual, signed Sarah Bashford.The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 03/29/07. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 09/29/11.

oct.6,13,20,27,2011 notice of petition to administer estate of : margaret rose marano Case Number: pes-11-295041 superior court of california county of san francisco 400 Mcallister, sf, ca 94102 petitioner: RUBY ALTAMIRANO

oct.13,20,27,nov 3,2011 statement file A-033859400

Attorney for the petitioner:

CATHERINE A.TULLNER-SBN 253154,799 Castro Street,San Francisco, Ca 94114. 415-294-0829

oct.6,13,20,2011 state of california in and for the county of san francisco file# cnc-11-548095 In the matter of the application of KAREN YUNGHWA BENE for change of name. The application of KAREN YUNG-HWA BENE for change of name having been filed in Court, and it appearing from said application that KAREN YUNG-HWA BENE filed an application proposing that his/her name be changed to KAREN YUNG-HWA CHI BENE. Now therefore, it is hereby ordered, that all persons interested in said matter do appear before this Court in Room 514 on the 1st of December, 2011 at 9:00 am of said day to show cause why the application for change of name should not be granted.

oct.13,20,27,nov 3,2011 state of california in and for the county of san francisco file# cnc-11-548053 In the matter of the application of ARDATH ALEXANDRIA JUDD for change of name and gender. The application of ARDATH ALEXANDRIA JUDD for change of name and gender having been filed in Court, and it appearing from said application that ARDATH ALEXANDRIA JUDD filed an application proposing that his/her name be changed to ARI ALEXANDER ZADEL and his/ her gender be changed from female to male. Now therefore, it is hereby ordered, that all persons interested in said matter do appear before this Court in Room 514 on the 17th of November, 2011 at 9:00 am of said day to show cause why the application for change of name should not be granted.

oct.13,20,27,nov 3,2011

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To all heirs, beneficiaries, creditors, contingent creditors, and persons who may otherwise be interested in the will or estate or both of MARGARET ROSE MARANO A petition for probate has been filed by RUBY ALTAMIRANO in the Superior Court of California, San Francisco County. The petition for probate requests that RUBY ALTAMIRANO be appointed as personal representative to administer the estate of the decedent. The petition requests the decedent’s will and codicils, if any, be admitted to probate. The will and any codicils are available for examination in the file kept by the court. The petition requests authority to administer the estate under the Independent Administration of Estates Act.(This authority will allow the personal representative to take many actions without obtaining court approval. Before taking certain very important actions, however, the personal representative will be required to give notice to interested persons unless they have waived notice or consented to the proposed action.) The independent administration authority will be granted unless an interested person files an objection to the petition and shows good cause why the court should not grant the authority. a hearing on the petition will be held in this court as follows: October 24, 2011, 9:00 am Probate Department, RM 204, 400 McAllister Street, San Francisco, Ca 94102 If you object to the granting of the petition, you should appear at the hearing and state your objections or file written objections with the court before the hearing. Your appearance may be in person or by your attorney. If you are a creditor or a contingent creditor of the decendent, you must file with the court and mail a copy to the personal representative appointed by the court within four months from the date of first issuance of letters as provided in Probate Code scetion 9100. The time for filing claims will not expire before four months from the hearing date noticed above. You may examine the file kept by the Court. If you are a person interested in the estate, you may file with the court a Request for Special Notice (form DE-154) of the filing of an inventory and appraisal of estate assets or of any petition or account as provided in Probate Code section 1250. A Request for Special Notice form is available from the court clerk.


The following person(s) is/are doing business as SHABU HOUSE,2608 Ocean Ave.,SF,CA 94132. This business is conducted by a corporation, signed Louis Chang-Lo.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 10/03/11.

oct.13,20,27,nov 3,2011 statement file A-033869400 The following person(s) is/are doing business as PIG AND PIE,2962 24TH St.,SF,CA 94110. This business is conducted by a limited liability company, signed Miles Pickering.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 10/06/11.

oct.13,20,27,nov 3,2011 statement file A-033866000 The following person(s) is/are doing business as GUERRERO HILL MARKET,3398 22nd St.,SF,CA 94110.This business is conducted by a general partnership, signed Chris Rantisi.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 10/05/11.

oct.13,20,27,nov 3,2011 statement file A-033863400 The following person(s) is/are doing business as DAMON DOGG STUDIOS,20 Navajo Ave., SF,CA 94112.This business is conducted by an individual, signed Kacy French.The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 10/04/11. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 10/04/11.

oct.13,20,27,nov 3,2011 statement file A-033866600 The following person(s) is/are doing business as GIOVANNI’S PIZZA BISTRO,3839 Mission St., SF,CA 94110.This business is conducted by an individual, signed Eddy Sosa.The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 09/06/11. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 10/05/11.

oct.13,20,27,2011 statement file A-033854000 The following person(s) is/are doing business as TRANSWAY,524 Union St., SF,CA 94133.This business is conducted by an individual, signed Vitaly Danekin.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 09/29/11.

oct.13,20,27,nov 3,2011 statement file A-033874000 The following person(s) is/are doing business as INDO BALI,343 Kearny St., SF,CA 94108. This business is conducted by a limited liability company, signed Vena Shotiveyaratana.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 10/11/11.

oct.13,20,27,nov 3,2011 Statement of abandonment of use of fictitious business name: #A-0331087-00 The following persons have abandoned the use of the fictitious business name known as GIOVANNI’S PIZZA BISTRO,3839 Mission St.,San Francisco, CA 94110.This business was conducted by a limited liability company, signed Maricela Perez. The ficticious name was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 10/27/10.

oct.13,20,27,nov 3,2011 state of california in and for the county of san francisco file# cnc-11-548156 In the matter of the application of JOANNE MARGARET RISBERG for change of name. The application of JOANNE MARGARET RISBERG for change of name having been filed in Court, and it appearing from said application that JOANNE MARGARET RISBERG filed an application proposing that his/her name be changed to JOANNE MARGARET WELSH. Now therefore, it is hereby ordered, that all persons interested in said matter do appear before this Court in Room 514 on the 1st of December, 2011 at 9:00 am of said day to show cause why the application for change of name should not be granted.

oct.20,27,Nov 3,10,2011

Bankruptcy may be the answer...


state of california in and for the county of san francisco file# cnc-11-548062 In the matter of the application of JENNIFER LAUREN ALESIO for change of name. The application of JENNIFER LAUREN ALESIO for change of name having been filed in Court, and it appearing from said application that JENNIFER LAUREN ALESIO filed an application proposing that his/her name be changed to JENNIFER LAUREN ALESIO MALONEY. Now therefore, it is hereby ordered, that all persons interested in said matter do appear before this Court in Room 514 on the 17th of November, 2011 at 9:00 am of said day to show cause why the application for change of name should not be granted.


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oct.20,27,Nov 3,10,2011 state of california in and for the county of san francisco file# cnc-11-548167 In the matter of the application of PEDALIN NIKKIE SORIA for change of name. The application of PEDALIN NIKKIE SORIA for change of name having been filed in Court, and it appearing from said application that PEDALIN NIKKIE SORIA filed an application proposing that his/her name be changed to SUNSET SORIA. Now therefore, it is hereby ordered, that all persons interested in said matter do appear before this Court in Room 514 on the 15th of December, 2011 at 9:00 am of said day to show cause why the application for change of name should not be granted.

oct.20,27,Nov 3,10,2011 statement file A-033867900 The following person(s) is/are doing business as BRAINCHILD CREATIVE,2001 California St., #103,SF,CA 94109.This business is conducted by a corporation, signed Deborah Loeb.The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 05/22/01. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 10/06/11.

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oct.20,27,Nov 3,10,2011 state of california in and for the county of san francisco file# cnc-11-548061 In the matter of the application of CAITLIN ANNE MALONEY for change of name. The application of CAITLIN ANNE MALONEY for change of name having been filed in Court, and it appearing from said application that CAITLIN ANNE MALONEY filed an application proposing that his/her name be changed to CAITLIN ANNE ALESIO MALONEY. Now therefore, it is hereby ordered, that all persons interested in said matter do appear before this Court in Room 514 on the 17th of November, 2011 at 9:00 am of said day to show cause why the application for change of name should not be granted.



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oct.20,27,Nov 3,10,2011 statement file A-033852600 The following person(s) is/are doing business as MOON GALLERY,1057 Howard St., SF,CA 94103.This business is conducted by an individual, signed Errol Matricia.The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 09/29/11. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 09/29/11.

oct.20,27,Nov 3,10,2011 statement file A-033880000 The following person(s) is/are doing business as DULCE MARTIN, 50 Laguna St.,#608, SF,CA 94102.This business is conducted by an individual, signed Martin Fernandez.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 10/13/11.

oct.20,27,Nov 3,10,2011 statement file A-033837600 The following person(s) is/are doing business as WAYFARER GENERAL,1552 Guerrero St., #4,SF,CA 94110.This business is conducted by an individual, signed Cassandra M.Anderson.The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 09/22/11. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 09/22/11.

oct.20,27,Nov 3,10,2011 statement file A-033878800 The following person(s) is/are doing business as ONE DOLLAR ONLY,4550 Mission St., SF,CA 94112.This business is conducted by a corporation, signed Hameed Aziz.The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 10/12/11. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on 10/12/11.

oct.20,27,Nov 3,10,2011 statement file A-033884500 The following person(s) is/are doing business as SEXYCLUBWEAR4ME.COM, 1247 Exposition Drive, St., #F,SF,CA 94130. This business is conducted by an individual, signed Asiana Chau Nguyen.The registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the above listed fictitious business name or names on 10/14/11. The statement was filed with the City and County of San Francisco, CA on10/14/11.

oct.20,27,Nov 3,10,2011

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Vol. 41 • No. 42 • October 20-26, 2011

Contortionist, gymnast, aerialist and “crystal man” Joe Putignano in Cirque du Soleil’s Totem. Costume designed by Kym Barrett. Daniel Desmarais


ast summer Out There was among a small group of journalists invited to tour the Cirque du Soleil International Headquarters in Montreal, Quebec, the hub of artistic, administrative and media efforts for Cirque productions worldwide. We were given a crash course in all things Cirque and the chance to see the Montreal production of their new show Totem, written and directed by Robert Lepage, coming to San Francisco for a run under the Grand Chapiteau set up at AT&T Park, beginning on Fri., Oct. 28. During three days in Montreal, we had access to training studios, workshops, and

Behind the scenes at Cirque du Soleil International Headquarters by Roberto Friedman behind-the-scenes operations on a campus that includes living quarters and a circus school, built in 1997 on land transformed from a city dumping ground. All around us, circus artists, athletes and their coaches bustled about, some with translators working between them. It was

something like sitting in at the United Nations, except everybody was young, fit, and very into what they were doing. Along with a TV crew and some new media, Out There was able to chat with Cirque employees from all facets of production, from

Totem artistic director Melanie Lalande to make-up artist Eve Monnier, who told us that Cirque’s official makeup supplier, like that of so many drag queens, is MAC. We toured the sprawling Cirque offices, which include a library full of art books and an atelier de fabrication chaussures containing 3,000 prototypes for performance and clown shoes, such as a pair of toe shoes on heels. Studios for chapeaux, masks, and wigs were hives of activity. Cirque counts close to 400 employees in the costume department alone, and thousands of costume items per show, all of them custom-made. See page 26 >>

Let the sun shine in

‘Hair’ co-creator James Rado on the SF-bound revival by Richard Dodds


s soon as this interview was over, James Rado had to fly out the door. “I’m meeting a friend to help occupy Wall Street right now,” he said from his New Jersey home across the Hudson from Manhattan. At age 79, the co-creator and one of the original Broadway stars of Hair is feeling a return of some of the counterculture energy that defined a generation more than four decades ago and helped turn Hair into one of the icons of that period. That, and maybe a poignancy for the days when it seemed the world could change if enough people embraced harmony and understanding, has made the time right for a successful revival of Hair. What began as an idea

Steel Burkhardt and Paris Remillard play Burger and Claude in the hit Broadway revival of Hair coming to San Francisco.

for a concert version to celebrate the musical’s 40th anniversary became a full-blown production directed by Diane Paulus as part of New York Public Theatre’s 2008 summer series in Central Park. The public and critical reception was so enthusiastic that the production moved to Broadway for a long run before setting out on a national tour that arrives at the Golden Gate Theatre on Oct. 25. Rado, who co-authored the musical’s book and lyrics with the late Gerome Ragni, and with music by Galt MacDermot, had never really let go of Hair in all the years since it made Broadway history. “But I’ve become liberated from it through this production because I feel we’ve achieved what we had

Joan Marcus


always wanted to do,” he said. “It’s kind of perfect now.” But making changes in any theatrical property once it’s been signed, sealed, and licensed is not easy even if you wrote it. “I had been working on the text over the years, and suddenly people were getting nervous about me departing from a show that had been immensely successful,” Rado said. That included Tams-Witmark, the theatrical licensing company, which insisted that the new production not veer from the material it holds in its vaults. “I snuck a revision to the Public Theatre, but then we had to go back to the original version,” Rado said. “But some of my stuff still got snuck See page 37 >>

<< Theatre

26 • BAY AREA REPORTER • October 20-26, 2011

Missing person by Richard Dodds


t’s a story that almost doesn’t need a playwright to be told. But that “almost” is a big one in the case of Bellwether. This is a story of a child who goes missing, the parents’ frantic appeals to the police and the public to help find their precious offspring, the increasing media attention, and the accusing finger you just know is going to turn 180 to point back at the parents. That is the setup that playwright Steve Yockey gives us in Bellwether, having its world premiere at Marin Theatre Company, where Yockey is a former Playwright in Residence. Yockey’s career began in Atlanta (he now lives in Los Angeles) and has been blossoming on the national stage. Earlier Yockey productions in SF include the apocalyptic gay sex story Octopus and the calamitous


Cirque du Soleil

From page 25

In a large, gymnasium-like training studio, we met Marceline Goldstein, an acrobatic talent scout in the casting

straight sex story Skin. There is no sex in Bellwether, other than a single sentence that might imply abuse in circumstances too murky for conclusions. Where and by whom this sentence is spoken is what warrants the “almost” qualified in the top paragraph. These are circumstances that yank the story from its place as an exaggerated portrait of the snowballing ugly side of human nature in picture-book suburbia and an easy send-up of breathless TV journalism that feeds on the same. This mind-blowing development in the second act that upends all expectations in what had been a predictable scenario will not be revealed here. But it can be said to be mysterious, disturbing, thought-provoking, and ultimately inexplicable. Shrouded with such opacity, it’s hard to say if, dramatically, department. She travels to circus and sports auditions around the world to find athletes and acrobats who fit character roles in their shows – at last count, 23 separate productions – drawing from over 40 nationalities.

A police detective (Danny Wolohan) reviews evidence with distraught parents (Arwen Anderson and Gabriel Marin) when their little girl goes missing in Bellwether, having its world premiere at Marin Theatre Company.

it “works.” But it does add an ethical dilemma that the character in question may very well answer incorrectly in terms of a greater societal good. Director Ryan Rilette has skillfully

staged the play in which both realism and intentional cliché rub shoulders, while he elicits the angst and longing needed to wrap us up in the unmentionable scenes as well. Arwen Anderson and Gabriel Marin are

excellent as the parents of the missing girl who begin to turn on each other, with Anderson connecting with stunning emotional intensity when she travels to that point unknown. Highlights among the ensemble of neighbors, cops, and others include Danny Wolohan, Rachelle Harker, and Jessica Lynn Carroll. Bellwether is a play that is more than the sum of its parts, as a movieof-the-week situation and a light buffoonery of the real-life dynamics of those situations become a conduit for deep questions as a sonic boom presages the passage into a world of different rules and realities. What does it all mean? I don’t know. But it has kept me thinking.▼ Bellwether will run at Marin Theatre Company through Oct. 30. Tickets are $34-$55. Call 388-5208 or go to

into circus performers. “We take Mongolia is apparently a hotbed of their acrobatic skills, combine contortionists, while South Korea them with dance, acting, and produces great martial artists. movement, and use them on an Brazil is known as fertile training apparatus.” ground for talent, with its great performative culture. Goldstein Native talent looks for control, passion and The next day backstage character in potential artists, as well (back-tent?) at Totem under as the ability to expose emotions the Grand Chapiteau, set up on stage, and work as a team. She on the Quays of the Old Port of says Cirque candidates need to Montreal, we met more of the have the “spirit of circus” in them. artistic team beginning with In the HQ cafeteria we talked Totem artistic director Melanie with Yves Sheriff, an artistic Lalande. Originally a dancertalent scout in the casting choreographer from Virginia, department who specializes in Lalande told us that the experience finding the clowns for Cirque of putting on the show in the shows. He emphasized that clown circus’ hometown is deepened by performances are physically the fact that Montreal audiences demanding, and “among all of are Cirque connoisseurs. She the artists, clowns are maniacs called Totem a story of human of precision.” Sheriff has a life evolution, and said the nativebackground in street theater, but peoples factor in the piece is a way has also studied visual art and of giving reverence to their earthphilosophy. “I studied laughing – Daniel Desmarais based beliefs. “After all, the planet it goes very deep into symbols of civilization. Why do we laugh, and Rosalie Ducharme and Louis-David Sim- is not necessarily infinite.” oneau in the fixed trapeze duo, in Cirque The backstage area of the how does it work?” Clowns take inhibitions and du Soleil’s Totem. Costumes designed by Cirque tents is an assortment of multipurpose spaces where make them exhibitions, Sheriff Kym Barrett. performers warm up, cool down, said. “It’s a very particular way put on makeup, kibitz. Totem to see life.” We discussed Italian head of props Jean-Sebastien traditions of comic mime, some Back in the training studio that Gagnon showed us his wares and of which Out There saw in play at afternoon, reporters and our handlers video footage of the more elaborate the Montreal production of Totem were overstimulated as we watched pieces, such as a transparent, that night. Sheriff told us that when hard-bodied athletes practice their juggler-sized cone. It’s entirely his daughter was asked at school arts on the tightrope, the Russian custom-made, designed what her father does for a living, she bar, and the trampoline. to be dismantled and replied, “He’s looking for clowns all When a publicist shipped to road shows. the time!” returned to the scene “Just let me put after a short break, on a shirt.” Coming many of the athletes, off a stretch and having whipped off their workout was Totem shirts, were glistening in star Joe Putignano, sweat from their physical contortionist, gymnast, exertions. San Francisco aerialist and “crystal publicist: “I go away for man” – so-called five minutes, and look because of the bodysuit what happens!” of mirrors, like a disco ball, he Aaron Charbonneau, a 23-yearwears in performance. We watched old athlete/artist in specific training a video of Putignano lowered from for Corteo, has known he’s wanted the rafters of the Big Top, sparkling to work with Cirque du Soleil in his suit of mirrors, performing since he saw his first Cirque show, incredible maneuvers while dangling Quidam, when he was 12. Patiently from wires. Did we know his back he explained the routines we’d story? he asked. Not that long ago, watched him rehearse on the Korean he was a desperate addict, strung plank and the high bar. He showed out and living the low life in a NYC us his bespoke burgundy vest, cut in shelter. The story of Putignano’s Renaissance Italian style, apropos for recovery and rebirth as a Cirque the Corteo mileau. performer, currently in production Then we chatted with Shandien as a documentary film, can be seen LaRance, a Native American hoop in clips on YouTube. dancer in training who was first Our sojourn in Montreal reached taught the Hopi dances by her its exciting climax when we attended brother when she was four. Later a Totem performance under the we got to see brother Nakotah Grand Chapiteau. We saw Putignano Raymond LaRance perform the descend from the heavens to perform ritualistic hoop dance in Totem, aerial poetry, and we marveled at all confirming that talent and technique the feats of derring-do that followed. do run in the family. Adventure, expertise, dazzling Acrobatic coach Emanuel athleticism and artistry, all coming Jacquinot, a gymnast with the soon to a Big Top near you.▼ French national team for eight years, took a short break from coaching to meet us. His job is to train the Tickets are available online at athletes, taking what they know or by phone: 1 (800) 450-1480. in skills and transforming them

Music >>

October 20-26, 2011 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 27

Dangerous dude by Philip Campbell


arly in last Saturday night’s opening performance of the San Francisco Opera’s new production of Don Giovanni, director Gabrielle Lavia damns the title character in our eyes completely as a despicable coward and rogue. After disarming the protective father of a woman he has just attempted to rape, the vicious wanton rushes back to needlessly run him through, and then claims to his horrified servant Leporello that the old man was really asking for it. So we know from the get-go where we stand with the dirty Don, but Lavia takes the rest of Mozart’s and da Ponte’s long and complicated opera to finally wise up the many other confused and conflicted characters onstage. As a veteran film director, he knows how to make the action flow smoothly, and he also has the auteur’s sense of cohesive style. For this production, Lavia is immeasurably helped by Alessandro Camera’s striking and simple set designs, and Andrea Viotti’s truly breathtaking costumes, wigs and makeup. The story takes place in a hall of mirrors. Not the funhouse variety, but massive and elegant, giltframed panels that rise and lower, shift and re-position effortlessly. There are empty brocaded chairs littered about a steeply raked stage floor covered with a sort of grassy carpeting. The mirrors serve as a symbol for reflection and inescapable witness, we suppose. At least that is what Lavia says, more or less, in his brief director’s notes. And the idea does add some gravitas to a staging that is livelier and more involving in the comedic rather than dramatic scenes. Touting the singers repeatedly as an ensemble cast, we also suppose the SFO is telling us that the only big star on stage is the director himself. In performance, with the somewhat disappointing exception of American baritone Lucas Meachem in the title part, the ensemble is actually quite individualized and credible, with one stellar breakout performance by Italian bass Marco Vinco, making his United States debut as the wretched (but endearing and wonderfully funny) Leporello. Vinco gave a slumping, strutting, posturing and pitiable performance that totally convinced. The all-important roles of the women are realized with uniformly good singing and mostly believable passion by American soprano Ellie Dehn as a decorously grieving Donna Anna; Italian soprano Serena Farnocchia (SFO debut), playing the scorned Donna Elvira with a nice mixture of hurt and veiled fury;

and American mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsay, another SFO debutante, as a fully realized and sweetly minxlike Zerlina. The trouble with Meachem’s generalized but well-sung portrayal may lie with the director and his contrasted handling of the rustic and noble characters throughout. The nobles are all rather cool and distanced, even when their lives are clearly more complicated and violently affected by the Don’s behavior. The peasants get to have more fun out of life, and Lavia shows they can take Don Giovanni’s brutal thoughtlessness with as much humor as possible. Whenever the vivid chorus fills the stage surrounding the peasant bride Zerlina and her hapless groom Masetto (current Adler Fellow Ryan Kuster in a fine performance), the evening ignites with excitement and laughter. American tenor Shawn Mathey (replacing an ailing Topi Lehtipuu), also making his SFO debut, was a notable exception in showing some noble emotion with a little more heat. His portrayal of Donna Anna’s vengeful intended was not only beautifully sung, but we got a real sense of his character’s desperate need to catch the killer and validate his role as rightful hero. The slain Commendatore doesn’t get much time onstage, but he is there at the beginning and end of Mozart’s magnificent psychological comic drama to make some moral sense of the Don’s dissolute existence. American bass Morris Robinson (yet another SFO debut) was a little weak to start, but he was more than adequate, dragging the unrepentant Don to hell at the satisfying conclusion. Lavia opted to omit the usual Epilogue, and there is historic precedence allowing it. I’ve never been a big fan of the anti-climactic moralizing anyway, and it seemed a wise decision. It gave a final bold underscoring to the ultimate solitude of an amoral man. The orchestra, with Music Director Nicola Luisotti conducting and playing the fortepiano recitative accompaniment, was wonderful. Solos, most notably by flute and cello, were gorgeously integrated into the fabric, and the lovely bloom on the remarkably full-bodied strings was a constant pleasure. Lavia’s vision may not be my favorite among the countless Don Giovanni productions I have marveled at through the years, but like the Don himself says when asked why he can’t be true to just one woman, “It would be so mean to the others.”▼ Runs through Nov. 10.

Cory Weaver

Italian bass Marco Vinco as Leporello in San Francisco Opera’s Don Giovanni.

Cory Weaver

American baritone Lucas Meachem in the title part in San Francisco Opera’s Don Giovanni.

<< Fine Art

28 • BAY AREA REPORTER • October 20-26, 2011

Dances with materials

‘Richard Serra Drawing: A Retrospective’ opens at SFMOMA by Sura Wood


ne man’s revelation of process is another man’s over-sharing. That’s a possible view though certainly not the only reaction some may have to Richard Serra Drawing: A Retrospective, a new exhibition at SFMOMA that promises the first critical examination of the famous artist’s lesser-known oeuvre. Serra, who grew up in San Francisco’s Sunset District and attended UC Berkeley before studying at Yale and settling in New York in 1966, achieved his reputation with the often giant monumental outdoor installations he forged from steel, lead, fiberglass, resin and vulcanized rubber. As a teenager he toiled in East Bay steel mills, a formative influence that foreshadowed his career. Both intellectually interesting and repetitive, the show inadvertently, or perhaps intentionally, reinforces and Rob McKeever casts in high relief the brilliance of his sculpture. While an aptitude for Richard Serra, September (2001), paintstick on handmade paper, coldrawing and an ability to conceive lection of the artist, Richard Serra/Artist Rights Society, New York. of space are an essential part of foundational technique for a visual juxtapositions, and done in various artist, especially one who traffics that he doesn’t pay attention to these locales, from Ronchamp and Egypt in the architectural engineering considerations. to Machu Picchu, their contents challenges the preternaturally gifted Organized chronologically, the aren’t as illuminating as one would Serra does, this thoughtful exhibition retrospective covers roughly 40 hope. doesn’t necessarily make a convincing years of output, and includes 70 Of note is the “Verb List.” A case for the relationship between his works such as the “Triangle Belt collection of verbs and prepositions, drawing practice and the medium Pieces,” hanging, ribbon-like rubber handwritten in graphite on paper where he so wildly excels. constructions that resemble knotted in perfect script, it’s a manifesto that A lean, compact, cerebral man, leather formed into constellations, as illuminates an artist credo dedicated Serra thinks big and has few peers well as experiments in grainy 16mm to structure and not dependent on the when it comes to wrangling industrial black-and-white films. In “Hand history of art or memory, which Serra materials; he can take what looks Catching Lead,” a disembodied calls “fictitious.” The list is a call to like the former hull of an aircraft hand throws a metal ball up in the action, a subtext for his experiments carrier and give it weight, grace and air and catches it with decreasing with materials, and a basis for the role extraordinary beauty. True, there are frequency as the clip progresses; of process. ways in which he uses these heavyand in another short film, a pair of Geometric shapes are duty, manmade materials to draw hands tied at the wrist struggles to asymmetrical, slightly off and rarely in space, but he also gives them break free of their bonds. The 10 uniform; drawings of rectangles an organic quality, as oxymoronic early sculptures of the 1960s, which arrive with one side unexpectedly as that assertion sounds in this fill three galleries and are among the curved. In a graphite drawing, two context. In “Gutter Corner Splash: highlights of the show, are being seen adjacent steel squares fill up only Night Shift” (1969/95), for instance, in the Bay Area for the first time, as three-quarters of the outlines they a permanent installation in one are some 27 of the private notebooks occupy, and do so at uneven levels. In of the galleries, he splashed silvery Serra uses to keep his eye and hand an exciting series of textured, highly iridescent, molten lead on lead logs nimble. Containing jottings and sculptural, nearly three-dimensional that are lined up, after a fashion, on sketches, ideas about sculpture and black circular shapes done with the floor, with a generous helping of observations of relationships and paintstick, an oil-based viscous metallic fluid crayon block that in at the juncture where Serra’s hands produces the flooring meets rich, infinitely deep the walls. Originally blacks, spatter attaches commissioned by to the margins of the Jasper Johns for his handmade paper to studio and completed varying degrees from over the course of drawing to drawing. three nights while The installation SFMOMA slept, the of the exhibition piece looks as though is gorgeous and it has always resided spacious, a hallmark there. Serra’s subtlety of the precision and and masterful control impeccable taste we’ve are on display in come to expect from “House of Cards” Senior Curator of (1969/78). A so-called Painting and Sculpture “prop” piece, where Gary Garrels. The semi-square slabs of experience of walking lead are supported by through the show, their own weight, it’s with its skylights, vast an investigation of white walls, some of tenuous equilibrium, which are hung with activities of the body, apparently simple the defiance of gravity, works of art – immense arrested motion, black squares, partially counterbalance and or completely covering cantilevers. The expansive surfaces, bottom corners are meeting at right angles flared slightly like in “Pacific Judson vents so you can Murphy” (1978) peer underneath or facing off from the structure. The opposite sides of the tonal color variations space in “Blank” – is seen in sculptures like being a guest like “Doors,” a inside a soaring, ultralongish sequence of modern architectural chocolate/rust-hued project that’s in rubber and fiberglass keeping with Serra’s squares linked prevailing aesthetic.▼ together and leaning Rob McKeever against a far wall, Richard Serra, notebook: Double Torqued Ellipse, Guggenheim are just exactly right, Bilbao, Spain (2005), paintstick on paper, collection of the artThrough Jan. 16, though the artist says ist, Richard Serra/Artist Rights Society, New York. 2012, at SFMOMA.

Film >>

▼ ‘Berlin & Beyond’ brings German-language gems

October 20-26, 2011 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 29

by David Lamble


he 16th edition of the Berlin & Beyond film festival focuses on how new definitions of family are roiling life in Europe’s most robust economies. Tom Tywker’s 3 shows three determined characters negotiating a midlife crisis that transcends definitions of straight, gay or bi; there are also the boxing Klitschko brothers, the survivors of an Austrian “free love” commune, and the mysterious tale of a young woman discovering that the man she’s called Dad for 30 years may be complicit in the disappearance of her real parents. (Oct. 20-26 at the Castro Theatre, with an encore day Oct. 29 at San Jose’s Camera 12 Cinemas) The Fatherless Director Marie Kreutzer’s novel-like first feature ignites from the dying embers of a 1980s Austrian “free love” commune – literally, from the death of its ferociously charismatic leader/ father figure Hans. Seen both on his deathbed and in engaging, bucolicparadise flashbacks, Hans turns out to have been an empty suit in the Dad department. All his surviving kids feel emotionally ripped off in one way or another, including an almost-Sam Shepard Buried Child subplot that up-ends any hope for renewing the communal ties. If you like this one, check out Rebecca Miller’s beautifully twisted American version, The Ballad of Jack and Rose, with Daniel Day-Lewis, Catherine Keener, Camilla Belle and Paul Dano. (Castro, 10/23) Klitschko “I heard what it sounds like when a gloved fist strikes a human head. The sound was so unpleasant, I thought, ‘This is brutal.’” “I was terrified of getting into the ring. My legs felt weak; I sensed the crowd; I knew the danger, and was very scared. It’s different if you’re in the crowd. It’s very different from

Courtesy Novotny & Novotny Film Production

Courtesy Berlin & Beyond

Scene from director Marie Kreutzer’s The Fatherless.

Scene from director Peter Luisi’s The Sandman.

inside.” Director Sebastian Dehnhardt’s emotional, exhaustive and actionpacked documentary charts the bruising ups and downs of boxing brothers Vitali and Vladimir Klitschko, from their native Ukraine to a new German home. Inseparable as kids – with older bro Vitali shepherding the pint-sized Vladimir through their mutual enthusiasm for Western martial arts – the brothers would first prove their mettle not in the ring, but in rejecting a moneyon-the-table offer from boxing’s abominable showman, Don King. Dehnhardt doesn’t shirk from showing how boxing can at any moment turn into a matter of life and death. (Castro, 10/24) My Words, My Lies – My Love Alain Gsponer has the incomparable Daniel Bruhl at his disposal to portray a poor waiter who poses as the author of a romantic novel. Due to circumstances beyond his control, the book becomes a smash hit, prompting the reemergence of its true author. (Castro, 10/26) Almanya – Welcome to Germany

uniquely awful dimension to the Argentine military junta’s bloodthirsty campaign against its own citizens was the Generals’ tactic of kidnapping the children of leftist families deemed enemies of the state. Israeli-born director Florian Cossen’s debut explores the hallucinatory experience of Maria (Jessica Schwartz), a 30something German woman who uncannily recalls the lyrics of a nursery rhyme in Spanish – a language she doesn’t speak – while on a stopover in Buenos Aires. Maria’s anguish deepens when Anton, the man she considers her father, shows up abruptly with a disturbing confession about her childhood and the identity of her biological parents. Cossen, who grew up in Israel, Canada, Costa Rica and Germany, demonstrates an emotionally evocative style, using one of Latin America’s most beautiful cities to illuminate the darkest recesses of the soul. (Castro, 10/23) The Sandman Peter Luisi helms this Kafkaesque tale of a young man who wakes up one morning to

In a film that mimics the sentimental arc of American classics like Barry Levinson’s Avalon, Yasemin Samdereli spins the multi-generational tale of a large family caught between the pull of two of the most dynamic nations in today’s economically fractured world, Germany and Turkey. There’s even a whiff of Little Miss Sunshine, as Grandpa celebrates the honor of being asked to address Chancellor Angela Merkel by taking his feisty little clan on a VW bus trip to Eastern Turkey. (Castro, opening night, 10/20) If Not Us, Who Andres Veiel spins yet another version of the origins of the Baader-Meinhof radical German gang who kept West German authorities hopping during the 60s-70s upheavals. The story is told from the point of view of a nerdy if promiscuous, aspiring political publisher trying to live down his Nazi author father through a roller coaster marriage to one Gudrun Ensslin. Veiel delivers an episodic, perhaps overly detailed melodrama that should appeal to fans of Patty and the SLA. (Castro, closing night, 10/26) The Day I Was Not Born A

discover his bed filling up with sand. (Castro, 10/25, 29) Remembrance Anna Justice directs a love story born in a concentration camp and rekindled in 1970s New York. (Castro, 10/25) 3 An unwed but old-shoe couple try to recharge their sex by recycling their favorite intellectual quarrels. This German comedy of rude manners from Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run) has delicious fun with bi, hetero and queer sexual high-jinx, with candid instructions on how to use and dispose of bodily fluids, stem cells and inconveniently dead mothers. (Camera 12, San Jose, 10/29) Young Goethe in Love Philipp Stolzl presents the reckless adventures of one Johann Goethe, unfolding across a German landscape before there was a Germany. This Barry Lyndon-very-lite, with its own fullof-himself, Ryan O’Neal-like hero in the promising young German actor Alexander Fehling, is a diverting trifle. (Camera 12, San Jose, 10/29)▼

Serving the LGBT communities since 1971

30 • BAY AREA REPORTER • October 20-26, 2011

Theatre >>

Transitory life by Richard Dodds


t’s good and proper that your parents should die before you. We all understand that but still don’t quite expect that this inevitability will apply to us personally. How a family maneuvers through this predictable but nonetheless traumatic physiological reality may be the most revealing moment in that family’s history. “If you want to see God, look at your family,” says the narrator in Bill Cain’s How to Write a New Book for the Bible. And he posits that the death-of-a-parent scenario can provide something akin to the Cliff

Notes condensation of a family’s dynamics. Cain and the narrator are one and the same, and his time helping his mother through her final months provides the framework for this memory play having its world premiere at Berkeley Rep. Cain is an award-winning playwright who also happens to be a Jesuit priest. But despite his primary calling and the Biblical reference in the title, the play takes a rather worldly view of God. “As a writer,” the narrator says, “the Bible embarrasses me.” And he never invokes God, Jesus, or an eternal paradise in an attempt to comfort his dying mother. Cain intersperses vignettes from his

Courtesy of

Tyler Pierce and Linda Gehringer play son and mother facing painful realities in How to Write a New Book for the Bible at Berkeley Rep.

days trying to ease his straight-talking mother toward death with flashbacks of his blindly optimistic father. “New baby on the way,” Dad declares every time an ambulance passes. Bill’s older brother, now far removed from the family home, provides some friction as he connects by phone with his care-giving brother. But not too much friction. Despite the lack of breast-beating and guilt bombs often dropped in autobiographical dramas, Cain finds a more gentle way of sustaining interest. The authenticity that so obviously permeates the proceedings brings its own kinds of pleasure and pain. That Bill’s mother is such an appealing character, one with stiff resolve, frank observations, an arch sense of humor,

and no signs of self-pity gives Cain space to be more observational than conventionally dramatic. The tactic is also immeasurably enhanced by the presence of Linda Gehringer as Bill’s mother. The actress fully inhabits Mary’s failing body, though Gehringer is clearly younger in years than Mary, and her delivery makes us believe every word she has to say. The other characters and their interpreters are not so vivid, though Tyler Pierce is an agreeable and sincere narrator (and stand-in for the playwright), while Aaron Blakely as Bill’s curt brother and Leo Marks in several roles (his best are the brief scenes as Bill’s father) are commendable as well.

Director Kent Nicholson has smoothly directed the play built of brief scenes set both in the past and the present, and scenic designer Scott Bradley’s use of ascending and descending suggestions of sets and props provides stylish fluidity. “I believe all writing is prayer,” says Bill, which is a convenient mantra for a playwright-priest – while providing a wisp of sanctity to all the ink-stained wretches of the world who are also known as journalists.▼ How to Write a New Book for the Bible will run through Nov. 20 at Berkeley Rep. Tickets are $14.50$73. Call (510) 647-2949 or go to

Film >>

Playing politics by David Lamble


here’s a moment of comic relief at the beginning of The Ides of March, George Clooney’s taut, funny, scary drama about the crimes, misdemeanors and moral shenanigans that threaten to destroy a promising liberal campaign for the presidency of the United States. We zoom in on Stephen (Ryan Gosling at the top of his game), a press aide to Pennsylvania Governor Mike Morris (Clooney, letting a touch of evil color his Galahad), doing a microphone check in a darkened hall where his boss is scheduled to debate a rival in the Ohio primary. As Stephen performs for an unseen technician, he launches into remarks that we realize only later are an affectionate parody of his boss’ stump speech. “I’m not a Christian, an atheist, a Jew or a Muslim. My religion consists of a piece of paper, the Constitution of the United States of America. If you can’t accept what I stand for, don’t vote for me.” Stephen punctuates this bromide with a mouth fart. Later, Clooney’s Morris will deliver it sincerely, without the sound effects. It’s the beauty of The Ides of March that its director, who I doubt harbors such ambitions, shows just how easily he could slip into the suit. The plot, based on Beau Willimon’s play Farragut North, with screenplay credits for Willimon, Clooney and Grant Heslov, is a series of catand-mouse games, with superstar character actors Philip Seymour Hoffman and Paul Giamatti as rival campaign managers employing their girth, wit and way with meaty dialogue to lure Stephen’s Prince Hal into a trap before he can consolidate his power with Clooney’s king. It’s still the boys who hold the cards and execute the moves that

Ryan Gosling in The Ides of March, now playing in theaters.

allow them to capture the castle. The Ides of March posits a vicious liberal game where women are still pawns. Evan Rachel Wood delivers another delicious turn as the idealistic but naïve daughter of a powerful politician whose internship with Gov. Morris becomes a slippery slope. Marisa Tomei is jolly good as a New York Times political writer who assumes she can blackmail Stephen into an earth-shattering inside scoop. Stephen’s “liberal education” from Hoffman and Giamatti begins on a light note, with amusing war stories from now-ancient campaigns where each Falstaff learned why loyalty counts in the blood sport of liberal politics. “Of 73 Democrats who have sought the presidency over the last four decades, only three have succeeded.” As the scales fall from his eyes, Stephen at first rejects the crass deals offered him. “This is the kind of shit Republicans pull.” But ultimately, Stephen’s Prince Hal morphs into Machiavelli’s Prince, using his moxie

and techno gizmos to embed himself into a tarnished future Camelot. The film’s grand climax unfolds on another darkened stage as Stephen unblinkingly stares down his fallen idol. Clooney keeps us sweaty close to the players as their dreams die while their real work commences. Jeffrey Wright, a veteran of charged political drama, is nasty funny as an African American Southern power-broker whose blessing becomes game over. Wright’s endorsement speech gives winking bows to the old South’s white demagogues and a glimpse at an unscrupulous New South black demigod. Max Minghella, son of the late director Anthony, is an underused asset, but those amazing eyebrows and trans-Atlantic accent tricks will soon reap big dividends. As for Gosling, it’s the ultimate compliment to this amazing young actor that we perceive an honorable intent in his most blinkered deeds precisely at the moment he goes over to the dark side.▼

Film >>

October 20-26, 2011 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 31

Sony Pictures Classics

Elena Anaya and Antonio Banderas in Pedro Almodovar’s The Skin I Live In, opening Friday in theaters.

High-tech horror by David Lamble


he plastic surgeon chillingly portrayed by Antonio Banderas in The Skin I Live In, Pedro Almodovar’s technically brilliant if emotionally cold homage to the masters of suspense and horror, is revealed by picture’s end to be so devoid of moral scruples that he could qualify for a place in the dock at Nuremberg. But he’s so good at what he does, creating a synthetic human skin both sensitive to the touch and resistant to all forms of assault, that many aging boomers probably leave the theatre wondering if he has a brother who’s on our Kaiser plan. As we enter his modern fortress, with its high-definition security cameras and large-screen monitors relaying images from a sterile room, Dr. Robert Ledgard is caring for a single patient. A closer inspection reveals that Vera (Elena Anaya) is more a prisoner and a guinea pig. For a certified lunatic, the good doctor is preternaturally calm, nerves of steel. Vera, on the other hand, has made several stabs at selfdestruction. “Could you breathe more gently?” “I could stop altogether, if you like.” “If you were serious about killing yourself, you wouldn’t have missed the aorta.” A few beats later, it’s apparent that despite Dr. Ledgard treating Vera like a test-tube cloned sheep, there are some disturbingly intimate feelings emerging between this Frankenstein and his nubile monster. She bears an uncanny resemblance to his late wife, who suffered such severe burns in a car crash that she later took her life. “I know you look at me. Since you brought me here we practically live in the same room.” Lest we believe this is the course of true love, the housekeeper (Marisa Paredes) keeps muttering ominously, “You really ought to get rid of her.” Plus there’s the home-invasion rape of Vera by a mysterious brute in a tiger suit. There are hints that Doc and the tiger man are brothers under the skin. I’ve now reached the end of the plot details I can leak without spoiling your fun. The problem The Skin I Live In shares with the hallowed classic it is meant to honor, Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, is that both films depict manipulative, obsessed men so determined to reanimate the objects of their desire, and in such a maniacally detached, cold-blooded manner, that before I finally bought into Vertigo’s elusive charms I considered critics who held it up as

the apogee of Hitchcock’s art to be more insidious than Scientologists. Some day, repeated viewings of Skin will perhaps wear down my abhorrence to the war crime at the core of its high-tech horror story. Banderas burst onto the international film stage in the 80s as Almodovar’s chosen instrument for the unruly male id – his terrorist gay lover in Law of Desire, his rape-prone film assistant in Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down – the sexually transgressive brute who made the battle of the sexes such an unequal contest. On orders from the director, Banderas’ Dr. Ledgard is so toned down emotionally that he fails to engage us, despite the grandiose nature of his crimes. One of Vertigo’s virtues lies in the believable anguish James Stewart harvests for his character Scotty’s tortured soul. Despite whole libraries of Hitchcock explainers, it seems a shame to spoil its core secrets if you’re presently a Vertigo virgin. Almodovar is no pretentious cheat. Virtually alone among worldclass directors, his production notes are masters-thesis quality. Skin’s notes riff on “The Bloodstained Mother,” “Vera and the Screens,” “The Oneness of the Double and the Myths.” Even genius-level filmmakers have their own ways of spoiling your fun. Ironically, Woody Allen provides a plausible guide to appreciating Skin the first time around in a gag from his Fellini homage, the cold comedy Stardust Memories. Playing a melancholic filmmaker forced to endure a retrospective of his hits before a beach resort of ghoulishly appreciative fans, Woody’s Sandy Bates and Tony Roberts impersonate surgeons in an OP straight out of James Whale. Two unconscious female patients lie on separate tables. “I’ve never been able to fall in love. Then I met Doris: great personality, but I’m just not turned on sexually by her. Then I met Rita: an animal, nasty, mean, trouble. Though after [sex], I wish I was back with Doris. If only I could put Doris’ brain in Rita’s body. What the hell, I’m a surgeon.” “Where’d you study medicine, in Transylvania?” “I switched their personalities, turning Rita into warm, wonderful, charming, sexy, sweet, giving. Then I fell in love with Doris.” Allen caps the gag by explaining that success in love is merely a question of luck. The Skin I Live In ends as two women meet in a shabby dress shop, their creator having ruthlessly removed luck from the equation.▼

<< Out&About

32 • BAY AREA REPORTER • October 20-26, 2011

Honey Brown Eyes @ SF Playhouse West Coast premiere of Stefanie Zadravec’s play about two former rock musicians on opposite sides of the Bosnian War. $15$30. Tue-Thu 7pm. Fri & Sat 8pm. Also Sat 3pm. Thru Nov 5. 533 Sutter St. 677-9596.

Henry Rollins

The Infernal Comedy @ Zellerbach Hall, Berkeley

Stag party by Jim Provenzano


wo favorites in the “hot straight guys who are cool with gays,” aka the pejoriative term Fag Stags, are in town this week. Rugby veteran and anti-bullying spokes-stud Ben Cohen makes an appearance at the HRC Gala at the Fairmont Hotel. The Human Rights Campaign’s 27th annual gala dinner also honors gay TV journalist Thomas Roberts, policewoman Lea Militello and outgoing HRC President Joe Solomonese; with keynote speaker Senator Diane Feinstein. $250-$375. Saturday, October 22. 5pm VIP reception, 6pm general reception, 7:30pm dinner and program, 10pm after-party. 950 Mason St. (800) 494-TIXS. A long, long, long time ago, Henry Rollins’ sweat flung from a dark basement stage at a midwestern punk club onto my teenaged face. It was a good night. The former Black Flag front Ben Cohen man turned author, activist, lecturer and selfdescribed “aging punk icon” has breezed over gay rumors about him with some of the funniest sexy pro-gay monologues ever. He’ll be at Books Inc, Berkeley to promote his new photo book, Occupants, about the global struggle for survival. Monday, October 24, 7pm. 1760 4th St. Stand-up comic Kurt Weitzmann used to be straight, but guess what; he just came out as gay at 47! Give him a gay greeting at Marga Gomez’s Funny Mondays at The Marsh, Berkeley, along with the lovely Dhaya Lakshminarayanan. $10. October 24, 8pm. 2120 Allston Way. (800) 838-3006. Kurt Weitzmann Let’s say your straight pal is curious about …rear-end pleasures. Hey, it seems they’re all getting into it. Get your butt, and/or his, to Bend Over Boyfriend at Good Vibrations. Dr. Charlie Glickman offers tips and toy info for guys –straight, gay, bi– who are curious about anal play. Wednesday, October 26. 6pm. 603 Valencia St. at 17th. 522-5460. And for some totally gay art class fun, Hot Draw at Mark I. Chester Studio, a drawing group for gay men of all skill levels, features male model Patrick doing sexy fetish and nude posing. Donations. Thursday, October 27. 6:30-9:30pm. ResPatrick poses ervations required (day of): 621-6294. at Hot Draw 1229 Folsom St.

Fri 21 >>

Alonzo King’s Lines Ballet @ Novellus Theater This fall season concert includes the world premiere Resin, set to traditional Sephardic music, and King’s Who Dressed You Like a Foreigner? with music by Zakir Hussain. $15-$65. 8pm. Fri & Sat 8pm. Thu 7:30pm. Sun 5pm. Thru Oct. 23. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 700 Howard St.

Arab Film Festival @ Various Cinemas Diverse array of dramas and documentaries about the Egyptian uprising, Iraq and Lebanon wars, family drama, women’s rights and other themes. $10-$120 (full pass). Also at Embarcadero Cinema, SF, Shattuck Cinema, Berkeley and Camera 12, San Jose. Thru Oct. 23.

Berlin and Beyond @ Castro Theatre 16th annual German film festival includes narrative and documentary films about Turkish immigrants, Goethe, communes, mountaineers, cancer survivors, artists and boxers. $9-$40 ($160 ful pass). Thru Oct. 26. 429 Castro St. 572-2075.

Desdemona @ Boxcar Theatre A play about a handkerchief, Paula Vogel’s comic romp plays on the backstage drama of three women in Shakespeare’s Othello. $15-$35. Mon-Sat 8pm. Sun 3pm. Thru Nov 5. 505 Natoma St.

Don Giovanni @ War Memorial Opera House San Francisco Opera’s production of Mozart’s 1787 serio-comic opera buffa about a lying womanizing nobleman who eventually goes to hell; in Italian with English supertitles. $21-$330. 8pm. Also Oct 28 at 8pm. Oct 23 & Nov 5 at 2pm. Oct 26, Nov 2 & 10 at 7:30pm. 301 Van Ness Ave. 864-3330.

Doubt: A Parable @ Live Oak Theatre, North Berkeley John Patrick Shanley’s award-winning play about faith and the search for truth gets a local production by Actors Ensemble. $12-$15. Fri & Sat 8pm. Thru Nov. 19. Shattuck St. at Berryman.

Fear Over Frisco @ Hypnodrome Theatre

Confessions of a Serial Killer, a unique theatre, opera, music production starring John Malkovich, about the life of Austrian murderer Jack Unterweger. $30-$150. 8pm. UC Berkeley campus, Bancroft Way at Telegraph Ave. (510) 642-9988.

Life Gone Viral @ The Marsh Charlie Varon and Jeri Lynn Cohen perform and co-wrote (with director David Ford) this comic show about the hazards of Internet exhibitionism. $20-$50. Thu 8pm. Sat 8:30pm. Sun 3pm. Thru Dec. 4. 1062 Valencia St. at 22nd. 282-3055.

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. Special events thru exhibit run. $7-$17. Tue-Sun 10am-5pm. Thu til 9pm. Thru April 8, 2012. 200 Larkin St. 581-3500.

Making Porn @ Box Car Theatre Ronnie Larsen returns with a new production of his popular play about, well, making porn, starring muscle stud Matthew Rush, with guaranteed male nudity; adults only! $25-$50. Thu 8pm. Fri & Sat 7pm & 10pm. Sun 7pm. Thru Oct. 29. 125A Hyde St.

Marga Gomez @ The Marsh Veteran lesbian comic performs Not Getting Any Younger, a new solo show about her ‘coming of middle age.’ $15-$50. Thu & Fri 8pm. Sat 8:30pm. Sun 3pm. Extended thru Dec 17. 1062 Valencia St. 282-3055.

The Matter Within @ YBCA Fascinating new group exhibit of contemporary Indian art. Exhibit thru Jan 29. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission St. 978-2787.

Night Falls @ ODC Theater Choreographer Deborah Slater and writer Julie Hébert’s theatre-dance work about the dream states of an older woman questioning her life’s accomplishments. $17-$20. 8pm. Thu-Sat 8pm. Sun 2pm. Thru Oct. 30. 3153 17th St. 863-9834.

Nymph Errant @ Eureka Theatre 42nd Street Moon’s production of the Cole Porter/Romney Brent madcap musical farce set in 1930s Europe. $20-$45. Wed 7pm. Thu & Fri 8pm. Sat 6pm. Sun 3pm. Thru Oct. 23. 215 Jackson St. 255-8207.

Race @ American Conservatory Theatre David Mamet’s scathing courtroom comedy about a white man accused of assaulting a black woman. Special events include LGBT “Night Out” after-party Nov. 2. $10-$82. Tue-Sat 8pm. Wed, Sat & Sun 2pm. Thru Nov. 13. 415 Geary St. 749-2228.

Richard III @ Curran Theatre Sam Mendes directed this eye-catching touring production, and Kevin Spacey stars in the title role of the Shakespeare play about a corrupt king. $35-$150. Wed-Fri 7:30pm. Sat 2pm & 8pm. Sun 3pm. Thru Oct. 29. 445 Geary St.

Sam’s Enchanted Evening @ The Marsh, Berkeley

Thrillpeddlers’ new trio of Noir-Horror oneact plays, penned by “Czar of Noir” Eddie Muller, offers a pre-Halloween thrill. Prepare to be shockingly entertained. $25-$35. Thu-Sat 8pm. Thru Nov. 19. 575 10th St. at Division/Bryant. 377-4202.

Randy Rose, vocalist for the enigmatic band The Residents, performs an unusual solo show abut a fictional man named Sam, with piano accompaniment by Joshua Raoul Brody. $15-$50. Thu & Fri 8pm. Sat 8:30pm. Thru Nov. 26. TheaterStage, 2120 Allston Way, near Shattuck. 282-3055.

Haitian Arts Festival @ MCCLA Theater

San Francisco Olympians Festival @ Exit Theater

Afoutayi Productions presents New York’s Coco Breeze trrio, Fabienne Denis, Centre Culterel Pye Poudre performers, and Frisnel Moriseau’s drumming ensemble. $12-$20. 7pm. Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, 2868 Mission St. 643-2785.

No Nude Men Productions presents its 2nd annual flurry of 32 new short and fulllength plays by 29 local writers, performed in 12 nights, each a modern variation on the stories of ancient myths and gods. $10 each (Multiple play discounts). Thu-Sat 8pm thru Oct. 29. 156 Eddy St.

Retro Films @ Oddball Films “It’s a Small World After All,” short promo films from Worlds Fairs, Japan and Los Angeles tourism, vintage Pam Am promos, all from the ‘40s-’70s. $10. 8:30pm. Oct. 22, 8pm, “Films on Filmmaking.” 275 Capp St. 558-8117.

The Understudies @ The Garage Jeff Bedillion’s darkly comic take on Genet’s The Maids ; two understudies plot to kill the actress whose role they want. $10-$20. 8pm. Also Oct 22 & 23. 975 Howard St.

We Were Here @ Rialto/ Elmwood Cinema, Berkeley David Weissman’s acclaimed documentary about San Francisco caregivers and activists in the early days of the AIDS epidemic. $8-$10. 2966 College Ave. at Ashby. (510) 433-9730.

Zero Hour @ Jewish Community Center Jim Brochu performs in his touring solo production of The Zero Mostel Play, about the celebrated stage and film actor ( Fiddler on the Roof, The Producers). $42-$52. 8pm. Also Oct 22 8pm. Oct 23 2pm. Kanbar Hall, 3200 California St. at Presidio. 292-1233.

Sat 22 >>

Bellwether @ Marin Theatre Company, Mill Valley World premiere of Steve Yockey’s suspenseful fairy tale for adults, about a missing girl and a mysterious suburb. $34. Tue, Fri-Sat 8pm. Wed 7:30pm. Sun 7pm. Sat & Sun 2pm. Thru Oct. 30. 397 Miller Ave., Mill Valley. 388-5208.

Cabaret @ The Stage, San Jose Kander & Ebb’s Tony Award-winning musical based on the Christopher Isherwood novel gets a local staging, based on the cabaret-style Broadway revival. $20-$45. Wed & Thu 7:30pm. Fri & Sat 8pm. Sun 2pm. Thru Oct. 23. 490 South First St., San Jose. (408) 283-7142.

How to Write a New Book for the Bible @ Berkeley Rep World premiere of Bill Cain’s new play about religion, and how parents’ sins ruin their children’s lives. $14-$81. Wed & Sun 7pm. Tue, Thu Fri Sat 8pm. Sat & Sun 2pm. Thru Nov. 28. Thrust Stage, 2025 Addison St. at Shattuck. (510) 647-2949.

Inanna’s Descent @ Codornices Park, Berkeley Interactive art installations and ritual

performances celebrating myths and the darkening of days. Free. Sat & Sun 1pm5pm thru Oct 30. Special Halloween night show Oct 31, 5pm-8pm. 1201 Euclid Ave. Berkeley.

Keeping an Eye on Surveillance @ Performance Art Institute Group exhibit of 30 artists’ multi-media works that examine societal surveillance in the post-9/11 world. Wed-Sat 12pm-6pm. Thru Oct. 22; closing night performance includes Andrew M. Mezvinsky’s site-specific audience-participatory operetta Il Fazzoletto. $25-$50. 2pm. 575 Sutter St. 501-0575.

Master Harold and the Boys @ Phoenix Theatre Athol Fugard’s comic drama about British school boys and their gay professor gets a local production. $20-$40. Thu-Sat 8pm. Thru Nov. 19. 414 Mason St. #601. (800) 838-3006.

The Paper Quilt Project @ Berkeley Art Center Opening reception for a group exhibit of collaborative paper works by various artists. Reception 5pm-8pm. Thru Dec. 4. 1275 Walnut St. (510) 644-6893.

Peter Gallagher @ The Venetian Room Dashing film, TV and stage musical theatre actor performs Broadway and American songbook hits, and tells Hollywood tales, at the swanky hotel ballroom. $40-$45. Fairmont Hotel, 950 Mason St. 392-4400.

Rita Moreno: Life Without Makeup @ Berkeley Rep Tony Taccone and Rita Moreno’s must-see solo show about the award-winning actress’s life and times; with music, two very handsome back-up dancers, and a four-piece band. $14-50-$73. Tue, Fri-Sat 8pm. Wed & Sun 7pm. Thu, Sat, Sun 2pm. Extended thru Nov. 12. Roda Theatre, 2015 Addison St. (510) 647-2949.

SF Hiking Club @ Point Reyes Join GLBT hikers for a 13-mile hike through wooded trails and open terrain with spectacular views of Point Reyes National Seashore. Carpool meets 9:30 at Safeway sign, Market & Dolores. (510) 910-8734.

Superfest @ SF Public Library Screening of award-winning films from the 2011 Superfest International Disability Film Festival. Audio description and captioned versions. Free. 12pm-5pm. Latino/Hispanic Community Room, lower level. 100 Larkin St. at Grove. 557-4557. (TTY: 557-4433).

Burnt offerings T

wo exhibits at the Oakland Museum blend loss and remembrance. Love & Loss: Dias de los Muertos, the annual group exhibition of Day of the Dead altars created by artists, schoolkids and community groups, has a special opening celebration Sunday, Octover 23 12pm4:30pm. The exhibit runs thru Dec. 11. Also at the Oakland Museum, 1991: OaklandBe Berkeley Fire Aftermath, a new exhibit of Richard Misrach’s rarely viewed large-format photographs of the devastating fires 20 years ago. Thru Feb 12, 2012. $6-$12. 1000 Oak St. Oakland. (510) 318-8400. Also in the East Bay, the Halloween-Day of the Dead Celebration at the Berkeley Farmers’ Market showcases Aztec dancers, tango, samba and chacha music and dancing, a Spiral Dance chorus and band, plus alDeath in Parallel tars, costume-making, sugar skull decorating and food. Tuesday, October 25. 2pm-7pm. Berkeley Technical Academy, 2701 MLK, Jr. Way. At Derby St. (510) 5483333. In San Francisco, two other exhibits feature Day of the Dead art. Illuminations: Dia de los Muertos at SOMArts Cultural Center includes several altars and installations. Tue-Fri 12pm-7pm. Sat 12pm5pm. Thru Nov. 5. 934 Brannan St. Death in Parallel/Muerte Paralela at Mission Cultural Center, features a Day of the Dead exhibit sneak preview and fundraiser on Wednesday, October 26. Tours begin at 6pm, with a 7pm reception featuring music by Cascada de Flores and catered food from San Richard Misrach’s Jalisco. $50. 2868 Mission St. 821-1155. 1991: Oakland-Berkeley Fire Aftermath – J.P.

Out&About >>

October 20-26, 2011 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 33

The Mutaytor at Masquerotica

Tue 25 >> Artery Project @ Various Venues

San Francisco Arts Commission’s expansive lineup of arts events include gallery exhibits, store window installations, dance, music, outdoor performances and more. Ongoing. (Tue Oct. 25, 12pm: high-energy Brazilian dance in U.N. Plaza).


Locals Only @ Old First Church

Early eerie G

et an early dose of Halloween fun at Masquerotica at the Concourse Exhibition Center. The folks behind Fresh, Love Evolution, Sea of Dreams and Opulent Temple present a large-scale gay-straight-whatever costume party with nine designed fun areas, dancing, live acts The Mutaytor, Fou Fou Ha!, Annie Sprinkle, lots of sexy acts and themed playgrounds, a haunted house, DJs Jamie Sanchez, Icon, Dan, 21+. Costumes mandatory. $35-$100. Saturday, October 22. 8pm-4am. 635 8th St. Got kids? Enjoy the Monster Mash Potluck at the LGBT Center, a Halloween party for LGBT parents and their children, with games, food, giveaways, and a costume fashion show, because the world can never get enough of babies in felt pumpkin costumes! Bring a dish to share. Sponsored by the Center’s KidSpace and Our Family Coalition. Saturday, October 22. Halloween: The Ballad of 12pm-2pm. Free/pre-register. 1800 MarMichele Myers ket St. 981-1960. Back in the adult section, Halloween: The Ballad of Michele Myers at CounterPulse, unleashes Raya Light and Todd Pickering’s drag musical parody of slasher movies, with a hint of Heathers and a dash of The Facts of Life, includes a cast of local luminous talents. $15-$20. 8pm. October 27-30. 1310 Mission St. at 9th. (800) 350-8850. It’s the party to die for; Zombie Nightlife at the California Academy of Sciences. Peaches Christ hosts a night of the living dead at the fascinating museum, with a dead drag queen revue, a zombie costume contest and a zombie prom dance. $10-$12; $59 VIP with tour. Thursday, October 27, 6pm-11pm. 21+. 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. 379-8000. – J.P.

Concert of works by local musicians and composers Frank La Rocca, David A. Jaffe, Ken Ueno, Nicolas Vasallo, Belinda Reynolds, Stephanie Webster and Mark Applebaum. $14-$17. 8pm. 1751 Sacramento St. 474-1608.

Napa Cellars Winemaker Dinner @ Pican, Oakland Fundraiser for Project Open Hand, with excellent wine selection throughout a multiplecourse dinner. $75. 6pm. 2295 Broadway, Oakland. 503-1375.

Nico Santos @ The Punchline Fags ‘n Hags, the gay comic’s show with women pal performers. Also Oct 26. $15$30. 8pm. 18+. 2-drink min. 444 Battery St.

Rob Rosen @ Books Inc Local gay authors read from and discuss their new books: launch party for Rob Rosen’s Southern Fried, plus Alan Chin ( Butterfly’s Child ) and Mark Abramson ( Wedding Season ). 7:30pm. 2275 Market St.

Wed 26 >>

The Desdemona Project @ Zellerbach Playhouse Cal Performances presents a collaborative theatre work written by acclaimed writer Toni Morrison, singer-composer Rokia Traoré and director Peter Sellars. $100. 8pm. Thru Oct 29. UC Berkeley campus, Bancroft Way at Telegraph Ave. (510) 6429988.

The Rover @ Hastings Studio Theater American Conservatory Theatre students perform Aphra Behn’s 1677 bawdy comedy of mistaken identities, sex and politics, set in Naples during the Carnival. $10. 7pm. Wed Thu Sat 7:30pm. Sun 2pm Sat 5pm Thru Nov 5. 77 Geary St. at Grant. 6th floor.

When I Grow Up @ LGBT Center

Richard Serra Drawing @ SF MOMA

Group exhibit of mixed media art by local LGBT elders. Thru Nov. 16. 1800 Market St.

Retrospective of drawings by the artist known for his massive steel slabs; Thru Jan. 16. Also, Paul Klee and Andrew Schoultz, an exhibit of works by the Bay Area artist in response to Klee’s drawings and prints; Thru Jan 8. Also, 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.

Wilson Cruz & Scott Nevins @ The Rrazz Room

Mon 24 >>

Ann Magnuson @ SF MOMA

Sun 23 >>

Archie, Green Lantern @ Cartoon Art Museum Exhibits showcasing original art work and prints of classic comic art. $3-$7. Tue-Sun 11am-5pm. 655 Mission St. CAR-TOON.

Cabaret Contest @ Martuni’s Trauma Flintstone hosts the cabaret show, with Producers’ Choice performers, and presentation of the Mike Ward Emerging Artist Award. $7. 7pm. 4 Valencia St. at Market.

Ensemble Caprice @ St. Mark’s Lutheran Award-winning music ensemble performs gypsy music from the 16th-18th centuries, plus baroque Slavokian music. $35. 4pm. 111 O’Farrell St. (510) 528-1725.

Enzo Lombard, Nicole Maxoli @ Stage Werx Theatre Lombard performs Love, Humiliation & Karaoke, about a cross-country gay hook-up; Maxoli performs Forgetting the Details, about caring for her Filipina grandmother. Part of Solo Sundays. $12. 7pm. 446 Valencia St. near 16th.

The Penis Show @ Good Vibrations

Opening reception for an exhibit of artist Jack Davis’s crocheted penis sculptures. 6pm-8pm. Exhibit thru Nov. 5. 1620 Polk St. at Sacramento. 345-0400.

Rex Ray @ Gallery 16 Exhibit of colorful graphic abstract paintings by the local artist-designer. Mon-Fri 10am-5pm. Sat 11am-5pm. Thru Oct. 29. 501 3rd St. 626-7495.

Todd Murray @ the Rrazz Room Crooner sings big band classics. $30. 8pm. Also Oct. 25. 2-drink min. Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason St.

Gustavo Dudamel conducts performances of works by John Adams, Enrico Chapela and Prokofiev. Also Monday Oct. 24, 8pm: works by John Adams, Igor Stravinsky and Hector Berlioz. $30-$155. 7pm. 201 Van Ness Ave. 864-6000.

3rd annual unusual street tour of various visual artists’ work on display, where patrons get unique art stamps along the tour; includes Dan Nicoletta, Chris Duncan, Michelle Tea and others. $25. 12pm-4pm. After-party at Q Bar, 4pm-7pm, 456 Castro st.

Thu 27 >>

Actress and performance artist screens films (7pm) and performs a solo show about David Bowie and Jobriath, 1970s glam rock’s only openly gay rock star (9pm). Free (members)-$18. 151 Third St. 357-4000.

Karel @ The Rrazz Room Politically ireverent gay comic skewers politics and pop culture. $25. 8pm. 2-drink min. Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason St.

Metropolis @ Castro Theatre Screening of the colorized Georgio Moroder version of the scifi silent classic, with a 1980s pop and rock music score. $10. 3:30, 5:30, 7:30, 9:15. 429 Castro St.

San Francisco Symphony @ Davies Hall Alan Gilbert conducts performances of works by Beethoven, Haydn and Henri Dutilleux. $15-$145. 2pm. Also Oct 28 at 8pm. 201 Van Ness Ave.

Los Angeles Philharmonic @ Davies Symphony Hall

Passport 2011 @ Castro District

Openly gay TV, Broadway and film actorsinger Cruz, and comic-host Nevins share Hollywood tales and songs. $20. 8pm. 2-drink min. Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason St.

Unmasked @ the Green Room

For bar and nightlife events, go to

The GLBT Historical Society’s annual masked gala includes food, drinks, wonderful people and a fabulous view. $60-$100 and up. 6pm-9pm. War Memorial Building, 401 Van Ness Ave. 777-5455.

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

<< Leather

34 • BAY AREA REPORTER • October 20-26, 2011

Fall contest season by Scott Brogan


s. SF Citadel 2011 Miss Bethie Bee won the title of Ms. SF Leather 2011 on Sat., Oct. 8 at the Hotel Whitcomb on Market St. Since the rebooting of the Ms. SF Leather contest in 2009, we’ve been treated to a parade of amazing contestants and winners. This is due in part to the work of the producers and their army of supporters, and in part to our vibrant and diverse Bay Area community. We couldn’t have great contests or great contestants if we didn’t have a great community to provide the leaders who take the plunge and step up to represent us. Anyone claiming “leather is dead” would have to recant if they were in attendance. Stellar emcee Miranda was incredible. This was her second year as emcee, and I hope not her last. Miranda is very natural and unforced, with an easy humor that’s funny without being corny. The energy in the air was palpable, and the crowd lively long before the contest started. Miranda managed to keep that momentum going throughout the whole night. Of course, none of this could happen without the contestants. Along with Bee, the other two contestants were first runner-up Rio and SF girls of Leather founder Leland Carina. They showed off their stuff with several outfit changes for the on-stage categories of fantasy, speech, and pop question. Carina was sexiness personified in her form-fitting rubber dress. Bee showed off her “Dandy” fetish with an appropriately Oscar Wildestyled ensemble, complete with bowler and cane. Rio showed off her cheeks in her hot chaps. In all honesty, I don’t have a favorite in the speech or fantasy categories. All three speeches were different yet equally moving, and obviously from the heart. The fantasies were equal, but in an obviously different way. Carina, who is a photographer, presented us with her fantasy of a photo shoot that veers off into an orgy of fetish and kink. Bee’s seemingly innocent and proper

Scott Brogan

Ms. SF Leather 2010 Leo Peralta congratulates Ms. SF Leather 2011 Miss Bethie Bee.

picnic scenario ended up with her almost naked partner playing with scarves. Rio’s fantasy was a fun take on the Goldilocks tale, only in this version she was Goldi”Locks,” complete with huge locks and chains for “bling.” Naturally, the items that are too big, small, and just right are not chairs or beds. And when the three “bears” found her, there was kinky hell to pay! Ms. SF Leather 2010 Leo Peralta gave a really nice step-down speech that included her humorous Top 10 list of what she experienced and observed during her year. Finally, after all the acknowledgements and announcements, Miss Bethie Bee won both the Leather Heart Award and the title of Ms. SF Leather 2011. Congratulations to producers Master Liza Sibley and slave jody and their staff for giving us another fun night. And to the judges: Ms. Margaret, Tracy Wolf, Jason DaBoi, Darren Bondy, and Lady Hilary. They’re the ones who have the difficult task of choosing one person

Brian Mincey, ABW

American Leather Family 2011: Trinity, Tom Savage, and boy tyler.

out of three winners. All in all, it was a fun night of running into old friends and making new ones. I must add that I love (and never tire of) the unique sexiness of a confidant woman in tight leather corsets. That’s one hot look – and those corsets are amazing. CA contestants do us proud. See page 35 >>

Coming up in leather and kink Thu., Oct. 20: Remedial Ropes 2, Beginning Bondage with Stefanos and Chey at the SF Citadel (1277 Mission). 8-10 p.m. Go to: Fri., Oct. 21: Chamber of Horrors, Official Halloween Party at the SF Citadel. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Go to: Fri., Oct. 21: Michael Brandon presents Edging at The Edge (4149 Collingwood). Sexiest happy trail contest, shot specials, go-go studz, free giveaways. 9 p.m.-12 a.m. Go to:

those boots! 9 p.m.-close. Go to: Sat., Oct. 22: Open Play Party at the SF Citadel. 8 p.m.-1 a.m. $25 admission plus membership. Go to: Sun., Oct. 23: Jock Off Beer Bust at Kok Bar. 4-7 p.m. Go to: Sun., Oct. 23: Castrobear presents Sunday Furry Sunday at 440 Castro. 4-10 p.m. Go to:

Fri., Oct. 21: Truck Wash at Truck (1900 Folsom). 10 p.m.-close. Live shower boys, drink specials. Go to:

Sun., Oct. 23: Whipworks, A Monthly Singletail Peer Group facilitated by Daddy Darin at the SF Citadel. 8-10 p.m. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Go to:

Fri., Oct. 21: Hardbox, A Benefit for Project Open Hand at The Powerhouse. Live shadowbox shows, door prizes, loose men, go-go sluts, and drink specials. 9 p.m.-close. Go to:

Mon., Oct. 24: Happy Hour After Gym at Kok Bar SF. All-day happy hour Mon.; Tue.-Thurs. 6-9 p.m.; Fri. & Sat. 4-9 p.m. Go to:

Fri., Oct. 21: Men in Gear Monthly Cruise Night at Kok Bar. Off Ramp Leathers is setting up shop. 10 p.m.-close. Go to: Sat., Oct. 22: Strip hosted by and benefiting The Stop AIDS Project at Kok Bar SF. $5 cover, Cheap Ass contest at 1 a.m. $100 grand prize. Enter contest at 11 p.m. Go to: Sat., Oct. 22: 15 Association Men’s Dungeon Party at the SF Citadel. 8 p.m.-1 a.m. Doors close at 11 p.m. Go to: Sat., Oct. 22: All Beef Saturday Nights at The Lone Star (1354 Harrison). 100% SoMa Beef & Co. 9 p.m.-close. Go to: Sat., Oct. 22: Boot Lickin’ at The Powerhouse. Enjoy

Tue., Oct. 25: Busted at Truck. $5 beer bust 9-11 p.m. Go to: Tue., Oct. 25: Ink & Metal at The Powerhouse. 9 p.m.-close. Go to: Wed., Oct. 26: SF Leathermen’s Discussion Group: Breath Play with Mark Frazier. Upstairs at Blow Buddies (933 Harrison). 7:30-9:30 p.m. Go to: Wed., Oct. 26: Part II: Needle Play for the Clueless, or How to Stick it to Your Friend Without Getting Blood All Over Everything, presented by BadMice, at the SF Citadel. 8-10 p.m. Go to: Wed., Oct. 26: Leather Buddies at Blow Buddies. This is a male-only club. Doors open 8 p.m.-12 a.m. Play till late. Go to:

Karrnal >>

October 20-26, 2011 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 35

Beauty between covers by John F. Karr


hat a swell year it’s been for my favorite photographers. Tom Bianchi’s Fine Art Sex was small in size, but big in impact, delivering new horizons in eroticism with its hardcore sensuality; Mark Henderson’s Poolside was a much larger book, from an artist whose digital manipulation of a unique painterly style glamorously heightened sexuality; and Howard Roffman’s Private Moments splayed open in widescreen format, to hymn a lyric vision of young men’s sexuality. But now, from Bruno Gmunder publishers, comes the biggest of them all, Rick Day’s Players Two. How big? In pages, its 160 is exceeded only by the extra 100 of Roffman’s book; in price, its staggering $122 tops all others; and in size, its 12x15 inches nears poster art. Which means its bonanza of boners is the biggest to be seen between covers. Day’s formula seems to go like this: Start off with some big dicks. Get them hard. Cover them with thin, white, and most important, wet cotton briefs, making of them boner bas reliefs, with their enrapturing qualities revealed in what tauntingly seems greater detail than if they were actually visible. And oh, make sure these biggies belong to some nigh unto improbably beautiful men. Day may be the most popular of pop photographers working these days. His photos of flesh and fashion are everywhere. Based in New York, the 50-year-old photographer was called to his art at the late age of 28. Of chancing upon a collection of Bruce Weber’s work, he later said, “I realized I was living the wrong life.” Within a week he’d bought a camera and launched a lauded career. Players Two is Day’s third collection, and expands upon the success of Players. Saying that he was inspired by the reaction he observed from both men and women toward David Beckham, he began shooting men in that mold – the athlete as sex god. The result was worshipful, and this follow-up volume is more so in every way. Can you see me on my knees? With only a ball gag keeping me from licking the emulsion off the pages? I am particularly appreciative of the clarity of Day’s work. On portraits, each whisker of a beard is delineated. On landscape studies, wisps of hair on buttocks, thighs and forearms have lustrous glint. You can imagine what this does for cock. Yet the images, even those that beg arousal,


Courtesy Bruno Gmunder

Unidentified model/athlete from Rick Day’s Players Two.

have warmth and intimacy, the shock of direct confrontation of genitalia mitigated by an air of calm. Imagine the erect phallus as votive light on an altar of male beauty. Ah, you know I get a kick from champagne. I also get a kick from the men who attest in their Model Mayhem profiles that they do not do nudes. And who then do these boner-in-wet-shorts shots that are ever-so-much more scandalous and revealing than simple nudes. Whom dost they think they foolest? And aw, it’s too bad that Day bows to fad. The models are marred in a dozen of these photographs by words and mottos scrawled in Magic Marker across their torsos: “Beast” obscures one beauty’s chest; “Be Free!” tries to be hip, splashed across another’s pecs. Sloganizing may make the photos very of-the-moment. But the moment passes so soon. Were they not halted in the timely, these photos could have been timeless. And it’s also too bad that the book lacks an index of model identification.

Day thanks by name the 21 agents who secured all the boys, but the boys themselves are thanked collectively, not individually. Yet it’s they who deserve thanks, not the agents, who, after all, get their 10%. Gmunder CEO Michael Taubenheim has contributed a half-page Introduction of mumbo-jumbo about art that seems translated from German by someone who only speaks Czech. These minor cavils cannot despoil the photographs, however, which bring memorable beauty, and memorable bone, to each page.▼

Leather +

From page 34

As flexible as all my friends know I am, even I can’t be in two places at once. While the Ms. SF Leather contest was happening, that same weekend at the Leather Archives and Museum in Chicago, the American Brotherhood Weekend (ABW) took place. Tom Savage of New Jersey is American Leatherman 2011, California’s Trinity (Ms. Alameda County 2010) of the Castro Valley is American Leatherwoman 2011, and boy tyler (too many accomplishments to list) from Concord (CA again) is American Leatherboy 2011. I’m especially proud of tyler. I’ve known him for a long time. He’s the embodiment of what a boy should be. I have enormous affection and respect for him. Mr. Bolt. Finally, this past weekend was the always fun and sexy Mr. Bolt Sacramento contest. I’m sorry I couldn’t be there, because I always have a good time, and this year it was the place to be. Some of those in

Rich Trove

Mr. Bolt Sacramento 2012 Miguel Rubino, flanked by former Mr. Bolts.

attendance and/or participating were: Sandy “Mama” Reinhardt, Jeffrey Payne, Lenny Broberg (emcee), Gary Kenyon, Rick Russell (and his sexy husband Brian), Jake Anderson, Trinity, Mark Paladini, Darryl Moyers, Darren Bondy (and his sexy husband David), Demetri Moshoyannis, Jessie

Vanciel, Off Ramp Leathers, and my favorite porn star, Michael Brandon. What a motley crew. Sorry I can’t list your titles, there are just too many! The winner? Mr. Bolt 2012 is Miguel Rubino. He’ll compete for International Mr. Leather in May. Congrats, Miguel! ▼

<< Music

36 • BAY AREA REPORTER • October 20-26, 2011

Dixie chicks & dudes by Gregg Shapiro


here’s good and bad news when it comes to Broadway diva, film and TV actress Kristin Chenoweth’s country album Some Lessons Learned (Masterworks). The good news is that it’s not as humiliating as Gwyneth Paltrow’s country music movie Country Strong. The bad news is that it’s wicked mediocre and generic, Chenoweth’s attempt to be a more liberal Miranda Lambert. Exercising different vocal muscles than we’re used to hearing Chenoweth use, she sounds like she’s still trying to break in those cowboy boots, and there’s going to be more than a few blisters when she slips them off her feet. The

blame goes to schlock and schmaltz queens Diane Warren and Desmond Child. Warren’s songs, including “Borrowed Angels” (previously recorded by Chenoweth on her As I Am disc), “What If We Never” and the insipid single “I Want Somebody (To Bitch About),” should be listened to with a diabetes-testing kit nearby. Child’s compositions, co-penned by Chenoweth and others, fare somewhat better, especially the novelty tune “What Would Dolly Do?” Speaking of Dolly, Chenoweth does a splendid job with Parton’s “Change,” as well as more authentically Nashville selections such as “God and Me” and “I Didn’t.” Jazz legend Diane Schuur also steps out of her comfort zone, on The Gathering (Vanguard). Recorded in Nashville with a stellar line-up of musicians that includes Alison Krauss, Vince Gill and Mark Knopfler, The Gathering finds Schuur strutting her stuff in the country realm. She sounds like Willie Nelson’s kid sister on Nelson’s “Healing Hands of Time,” does Tammy Wynette proud on “Til I Can Make It on My Own,” gets to the heart of a pair of Hank Cochran tunes (“Don’t Touch Me” and “Why Can’t He Be You”) and scores with Kris Kristofferson’s “Nobody Wins.” Several years before Jeff Bridges won an Oscar for his portrayal of a washed-up country singer in the Tender Mercies retread Crazy Heart, he released the album Be Here Soon, on which he proved himself to be a decent singer and songwriter. Almost as if to cash in on the remaining Crazy Heart momentum, we have Bridges’ self-titled, T-Bone Burnett-produced Blue Note disc. Accompanied by Burnett and other musicians, and featuring guest vocal appearances by Rosanne Cash and Burnett’s wife Sam Phillips, the whole affair is as dark and moody as Chenoweth’s CD is slick and glittery. After being a dominant force in the country-pop world of the 1960s and 70s, Glen Campbell did something of a disappearing act in the 80s and 90s, reduced to playing concerts in Branson, Missouri (no offense to Campbell or Branson intended). But like a variety of musicians including Loretta Lynn, Mavis Staple, Candi Staton and Wanda Jackson, Campbell was rediscovered by a younger generation, and given the opportunity to reach a new audience with his 2008 Meet

Glenn Campbell album. Just a few years later, Campbell, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, has announced his retirement. With Ghost on the Canvas (Surfdog), he’s planning to go out with a bang. Campbell performs a set of co-compositions with songs by Paul Westerberg (“Any Trouble”), Teddy Thompson (“In My Arms,” joined by Chris Isaak, Dick Dale and Brian Setzer), Jakob Dylan (“Nothing but the Whole Wide World”) and Robert Pollard (“Hold on Hope”), making this a fond farewell. A country-music charts contemporary of Campbell’s, Connie Smith is also making something of a return with Long Line of Heartaches (Sugar Hill), her first solo recording in more than a dozen years. A throwback to vintage Nashville, the Marty Stuartproduced disc features standouts such as “Pain of a Broken Heart” and “That Makes Two of Us” and “Blue Heartaches.” It’s both an introduction to and a welcome return for a certified country queen. Gillian Welch, on the forefront of the alternative/insurgent country music scene since the mid90s, returns with her best work after a lengthy period of creative dissatisfaction, on The Harrow & the Harvest (Acony). Welch’s gift for 21st-century Americana is at its peak on the amazing “The Way It Goes.” It’s a song that is musically traditional, but with profoundly modern subject matter: friends grow apart as life takes them in different directions, and “everybody’s buying little baby clothes.” The album’s bounty also includes “Dark Turn of Mind,” “Tennessee,” and “The Way the Whole Thing Ends.”▼

Music >>

October 20-26, 2011 • BAY AREA REPORTER • 37

Dynamic duo Wilson Cruz & Scott Nevins join forces by Adam Sandel


ilson Cruz and Scott Nevins met across a crowded teadance floor on Fire Island more than five years ago. “I’d known about him for years, and I had a total crush on him,” says Nevins. “They were playing Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer’s ‘Enough is Enough.’” “It was gay magic,” says Cruz. Little did the actor and comedian know that they’d be teaming up to pool their talents one day, but that’s exactly what the two friends will be doing this coming Wed., Oct. 26, at the Rrazz Room in San Francisco. “He does his comedy, then I do a couple of songs, then he interviews me on stage,” says Cruz. “You never know what the heck is going to come out of our mouths.” The duo’s show will premiere at the Rrazz Room before heading to Fort Lauderdale and points beyond. “People don’t realize that he’s got a gorgeous singing voice,” Nevins says

of Cruz, who first became known as the gay teen Rickie Vasquez on TV’s My So-Called Life, prior to roles on ER, Ally McBeal, The West Wing, Noah’s Arc, Grey’s Anatomy and the role of Angel in Rent on Broadway. Both men are openly gay performers who have been active participants at LGBT events, including numerous GLAAD Media Awards. Cruz came out at age 19 while appearing on My So-Called Life. “I wanted the role to resonate with people, and I wanted to prove that as an actor I could come out and still have a successful career,” he says. “People in the industry want to put you in [casting] boxes to make their jobs easier. But I’ve been able to do film, theatre and TV, doing projects that are important to me. Even if I play gay roles for the rest of my life, I can still play a lot of different types of characters.” As a celebrity interviewer and red-carpet host turned comedian, Nevins has appeared on television

Actor Wilson Cruz.

Comedian Scott Nevins.

and online venues including TV Land and Smoking Gun Presents. He had a different motivation for coming out. “I came out publicly at age 21 or 22. It was something I wanted to use in my standup act. I’m a firm believer in honesty on stage,” he says. “[Being gay] is not who I am, it’s a part of who I am. I don’t play

other people, I play myself. And I’ve had incredible opportunities come from it.” Both have been advocates for gay youth, including speaking engagements at high schools and colleges. Because of his AfroPuerto Rican background, Cruz feels a special affinity for gay youth of color, and cites Rita Moreno as

one of his primary role models. “She’s had a great stage, screen and television career – and as a Latina, she’s had to deal with a lot of similar issues that I’ve had to deal with as a gay man.” As others have opened doors for Cruz, he hopes to pass the baton to younger gay performers like Glee’s Chris Colfer, whom he’s met at GLAAD events. “He has a great head on his shoulders and makes no apologies,” says Cruz. “He doesn’t need my advice!” But when young gay people or aspiring gay performers do seek Cruz’s advice, he tells them, “Keep doing what you’re doing, live out loud in your body, and enjoy every minute.”▼ Wilson Cruz & Scott Nevins, Wed., Oct. 26 at 8 p.m., Rrazz Room, Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason St., SF. Tickets: $30-$35 at or call (800) 380-3095

Joan Marcus



From page 25

in as well. My goal was to make the story much more apparent, to create a through-line for a modern-day audience.” That basic story, which runs through many detours, focuses on the characters Claude (Rado’s role in the original Broadway production) and Burger (played by co-author Ragni). The more freespirited Burger is trying to convince Claude that he should evade the draft, which will lead to certain deployment in Vietnam, while trying to convince himself that the turn-on-drop-out party will never end as various members of the Tribe, as the cast is called, reflect on issues both personal and political. The main characters vaguely mirrored Rado and Ragni themselves, with Rado having set out for a traditional acting career after a stint in the Navy, while Ragni was more into the downtown theater scene. Their relationship was both professional and deeply personal, though the only label Rado is willing

to apply to himself is “omnisexual.” “The thing about Gerry and I is that we had a deep love for each other,” Rado said. “It went beyond the physical. And that’s what’s at the core of the show. In the current production, there is a lot of physical touching between Claude and Burger, which we didn’t have in the original. I think that is very liberating.” The new revival wasn’t the first try at bringing Hair back to Broadway. A 10th anniversary edition managed only 43 performances (in contrast to the original’s 1,750 and the revival’s 586). “It fizzled,” Rado said. “It was a very strange period. First of all, we could not find any male actors with long hair, so everybody had to wear a wig. And then we had to replace the actors playing Burger and Claude during previews, and the people we ended up with were not satisfactory at all.” It may also have lacked the sincerity communicated by the original cast, and that seems to have been recaptured in the new production. “I remember that [New York Times

critic] Clive Barnes said back in 1967 that the Tribe was like ‘peppy little protons.’ It was this energy, this sincerity, this belief in ideals that the audience could feel. I think we have that again.” While Hair has dominated Rado’s life for the past 40-plus years, he’s still a working writer. He will introduce a recording in a darkened theater of the musical Sun, which he began with Ragni, as part of New York’s Howl Festival this month, and still hopes the show described as “a comicOrwellian epic struggle between the nuclear gods and the natural gods” will eventually receive a live staging. And he has a producer committed to a workshop production of American Soldier that he described as a “political, fantastical musical about a soldier returning from Iraq who goes to the White House to see the president.” But first there was the immediate matter of getting to Manhattan so he could participate in the Occupy Wall Street protest. “They’re talking about the corruption of the system,” Rado said. “I wish we could say things have changed since we first wrote Hair, but still you can’t stop trying. At least, I can’t.”▼

James Rado, co-author and an original star of Hair, joined the cast at the curtain call for the final performance of the Broadway revival.


The characters of Hair celebrate their break from conventionality in the new production of Hair that became a Broadway hit more than 40 years after the original production.

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October 20, 2011 edition of the Bay Area Reporter  

The undisputed newspaper of record for the San Francisco Bay Area LGBT community and the oldest continuously-published gay newspaper in the...

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