|Entertainer Garza Peru lip-synched to an aria from the opera Madame Butterfuly, dressed ass the character Cho Cho San. Photo by Rink.
Outrageous Entertainment for a Good Cause
As the news from Japan about the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami gets worse with each dayâ€™s telecasts and online postings, San Francisco LGBT community members have responded heroically with over a dozen recent benefits. Event organizer Kelly Rivera Hart held a fund-raiser for Japan on April 10 at the CafĂ© Flore; it was a superb event and contributors felt that they received value for their dollars. The title was Garzaâ€™s Tea House, named for co-host Garza Peru, who appeared in her own extreme interpretation of the doomed character Cho-Cho-San from the opera Madame Butterfly. Towering seven feet tall in high rural Japanese mud-hopping wooden shoes, Garza had wisely strapped a huge red velvet pillow to her back instead of a traditional robe decoration, in case she fell down during her show histrionics. Her makeup and wig were sublime, and her performance was the high point of the stars who lip-synched when she emoted to a Kiri Te Kanawa aria. A close runner-up was La Malinche, who also wore red Madame Butterfly drag, and she deftly performed with an umbrella and fan to a wildly jazzed-up traditional Japanese song.
CafĂ© Flore owner J.D. Petras and cafĂ© manager Gary Virginia were on hand to assure that customers would be served efficiently during the show, and Virginia was inspired to get up behind and join beautiful Gypsy Love during her singing and dancing act. Young Xavier Toscano expressively sang a hip hop song, and Dan Mandel played his guitar and sang soulfully. Luke Klipp, another provocative young man, crooned and wiggled his leather and denim clad torso to the crowdâ€™s delight, and Kippy Marks smiled and performed the electric violin act that Ghirardelli Square tourists enjoy while indulging in hot fudge sundaes. Mama Dora was a force of nature, intense at the microphone, and then sliding up against straight couples to talk about their need to place contributions into a large container.
Pamaâ€™s friendly and attractive Maia Sherrill and Calvin worked the tables with teaser-sized cups of the tangy liquor. Tweaka Turner, a vision in silver, manically tried to pole dance with the fortunately solid cafĂ© roof support. Stunning Farrokh did an unusual clever dance with a sword and channeled the best of the television character Xenaâ€™s allure to the applauding audience. David Hawkins was another performer that entertainer wrangler and co-host Marco Middlesex squeezed onto the constantly changing schedule. Middlesex also masterfully emceed the colorful and unpredictable party that raised a sizable bounty for Japanese relief. The eventâ€™s mood was wonderful throughout the afternoon thanks to DJ Jim Strano, who intuitively played tunes to match the festivities.
The event was coordinated by the Jeff Cotter of the Rainbow World Fund, and he table-hopped to greet and thank the generous donors.