Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 13 / 29 March 2018

Summer spice

On the Town

The Baloney show at Oasis was another sold-out hit. photo: Blake Tucker
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After a few restful days in the idyllic countryside with good friends, recovering from a mammoth Pride Celebration, we now consider ourselves ready to face the upcoming fall calendar and to report it all to our loyal readers.

We are so fortunate to live in a bustling city, but so close to more rural getaways, offering a pleasant respite from urban challenges. Treat yourself to a weekend soon in nearby Guerneville or the Wine Country; you'll be glad you did.

With all the conversation about the loss of places for creative expression and the lively arts, aren't we lucky to have Oasis right here in our midst? A quick glance at their calendar of events reveals theatre, music, dance, and less definable entertainment available nearly every day and night of the week. The extra bonus is that this is a club owned and operated by members of our own community. Next time you are in the neighborhood, support the efforts of Heklina and D'Arcy Drollinger with your dollars and applause.

We recently caught one of the last local performances of Baloney there, right before their upcoming engagement in P-Town. Far from simply a strip show, this evening provided well-rehearsed and creative vignettes with equal helpings of humor and sexiness. A remarkable variety of body types were revealed and a smattering of female characters rounded out the entertainment.

There is an indescribable energy when the main showroom of Oasis is packed, and that night was no exception. Attentive cocktail waiters and bartenders made sure the crowd stayed engaged and careful seating ensured everyone's comfort while creating a unified audience. A casual meet-and-greet with the cast afterwards was the perfect finish.

Saturday night provided one of those special juxtapositions of traditional San Francisco with our own LGBTQ community as the Imperial Court was honored by the San Francisco History Association at the SF Italian Athletic Club in North Beach. Yes, the City's rich cultural Italian heritage met the crowned and gowned set in a picture-perfect setting!

Donna Sachet, Ron Ross, Khmera Rouge
and Saybeline at the San Francisco History Association's Summer of Love-themed event at the SF Italian Athletic Club.
photo: John Weber

Outside the building, in a nod to the Summer of Love them, sat Donna Ewald Huggins' Rolls Royce, completely covered with memorabilia from that period, including autographs of Janice Joplin, Bill Graham, Jimi Hendrix, and others. This was their 19th annual Awards Dinner and President Ron Ross, a long-time member of the Imperial Court, deemed it time to recognize the role of the Court in the history of the City. More than 20 Imperial Court members attended, all appropriately dressed for the festive occasion.

After a cordial cocktail hour, guests were seated, dinner served, and awards presented, first to David Smith and the Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic, crime historian Paul Drexler, and long-time restauranteur Nick Bovis. Ross then took the microphone and shared his history with the Imperial Court and his friendship with its founder, Jose Sarria.

Imperial Council Chair and Emperor John Carrillo accepted the award and recognized those in attendance, including Emperors John Weber, Stephen Dorsey, and J.P. Soto, Empresses Marlena, Alexis Miranda, Galilea, Angelina Josephina Manicotti, Renita Valdez, Saybeline, Misty Blue, Khmera Rouge, and this humble columnist, and the Reigning Emperor Nic Hunter and Reigning Empress Mercedez Monro. As tie-dye shirts and bell-bottomed pants mixed with rhinestone crowns and tuxedoes, the phrase "only in San Francisco" has never been truer.

The calendar in the immediate future may not appear too crowded, but in the meantime, get out there and support those ongoing weekly and monthly events, like Mary-Go-Round at Look Out on Thursday, July 20, the Monster Show at The Edge every Thursday, Flagging in the Park on Saturday, July 29, and Powerblouse at the Powerhouse the first Saturday of each month.

Don't miss Flagging in the Park
Saturday, July 29. photo: Xavier Caylor

And we hope to see you at Jason Brock's 40th birthday bash at Martuni's on Saturday, July 22, with shows at 4 and 7PM, including pianist Dee Spencer and guest singer Erin-Kate Whitcomb. Don't forget that Over the Top, the exhibit featuring the history of the Imperial Court at the Oakland Museum of Oakland, ends this month. We plan to join a fun group returning on Friday, July 21, for a final look.

Meanwhile, stay out there, keep living out loud, and be a part of the changing landscape of this place we love. Dore Alley and Folsom Street Fair aren't far away!

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