|Patrik Gallineaux, Garza, Larry Metzger, and Joan Crawford-Texas
âWhatcha Doinâ Wednesdaysâ is a delightful Castro neighborhood celebration held the third Wednesday of every month from 7-11 p.m. It is a part of the business revitalization movement by the Merchants of Upper Market and Castro (MUMC) and a coalition of the nightclub owners (Castro After Dark). A sound system installation at Market Street Plaza is supplied by Larry Metzger and the MIX Bar. All promoters are encouraged to showcase their entertainers and promote their upcoming events. Local businesses are encouraged to stay open late and join in on the fun. Customers have a chance to win a $100 gift certificate good at one of the Castroâs fine retail shops. Stoli vodka and Budweiser drink specials are available at participating bars. Street entertainment and a bar crawl is led by drag queen extraordinaire Joan Crawford-Texas and friends.
Joan says, âWeâre bringing the Wednesday âHump Dayâ parties back to life in the Castro with âWhatcha Doinâ Wednesdaysâ and entertainment, artists, and fun people all getting together for an evening of joy!â So naturally Sister Dana decided to join in on Wednesday Aug. 18 and see what all the fun was about.
You can start off every third Wednesday (next one is Sept. 15) at the Castro Farmers Market on Noe and Beaver Streets outside CafĂ© Flore in the afternoon for shoppers to purchase fresh vegetables, fruit, pasta, cheese, and even flowers for dinner.
Then hop on over to The MIX for the first special cocktail, a delicious Stoli Ohranj vodka Cosmo. Yummers! There we heard the very talented, blond Carly Ozard (accompanied by Tom Shaw on keyboards) singing live âBig, Blond, and Beautifulâ from Hairspray; âAlways a Bridesmaid, Never a Brideâ from I Love You, Youâre Perfect, Now Change; Queenâs âSomebody to Love;â and âWill You Still Love Me Tomorrowâ by Carole King. Out front was a daring fire breather/ blower showing off his skills with kerosene and flame.
In the 17th and Market Plaza outside Twin Peaks bar there were exhibitions and free dance lessons to learn the Bachata (a dance from the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean islands
There the dancer takes three steps to four beats of music) with Corey Raynor, Mirielle Ruiz, and Patrik Gallineaux. Check out bachataymas.com for more info. Seven hip-hop performers, Sideshow, danced to âCode Red,â dipping down and dropping it low. The handsome Jeb Havens sang and played keyboards to his new self-titled CD, with some really sweet vocals that can be ordered at jebhavens.com for a mere seven bucks. He started with âCalifornia Boyâ and his rich tenor voice, ending with âThe Excuse,â a brand new number - unfortunately not on the album. I enjoyed most of all his very positive âWhatâs Possible.â Joan (looking like a tigress) did a fierce live singing interpretation of Depeche Modeâs âYour Own Personal Jesus.â
Over at CafĂ© Flore, Garza (last yearâs very deserving âDancing with the Drag Starsâ winner) dazzled in blue and black sparkles dancing and lip-synching to âNever Danceâ by Linda Eder. Sideshow danced again, this time to BeyoncĂ©âs âSweet Dream or a Beautiful Nightmare.â Jane Weidlin of the Go-Goâs was spied drinking and mingling among the happy crowd. Jeb Havens performed beautiful âLullabyâ from his CD. Corey and Mirielle did more salsa dancing. Tita Aida and Ginger Snap were raising money for API Wellness Center, along with the newest Mr. GAPA Ben, all bartending for tips for the Wellness Center.
There were several other bar stops in between, which after a few of those special Cosmos, became but pleasant, distant memories for me now. Sigh.
At Lookout bar, Suppositori Spelling was hosting the Mary Go Round drag show. Ana Mae Cox was an on-fire Tina Turner doing âRiver Deep, Mountain High.â There was Holy McGrail (in her fifth anniversary year of doing drag), the dancing queen Miss Rahni, VivvyAnne ForeverMORE, Dean Disaster, and Adriana Mia, to name a few. DJ Bear Z Bub was on the decks with Drama bin Laden at the door. Mary Go Round is held every Wednesday at Lookout, alternating with Suppositori or Pollo Del Mar or Cookie Dough hosting, or sometimes all three in one fabulous night, if youâre lucky.
âThis was absolutely our best âWhatcha Doinâ Wednesdayâ so far,â co-promoter Patrik Gallineaux told Bay Times. âI love what everyone is doing to help bring the Castro back together.â And I say, âScrew Disneyland â The Castro is the happiest place on earth!!!â