Saturday, September 24, 2011
Tomorrow, when a throng of high-brow opera-lovers trek down to the AT & T ballpark to catch a free simulcast performance of Puccini's "Tarandot", a gang of gay men from the leather-clad subculture are expected to head out for a hedonstic day of sensual delights at the annual Folsom Street Fair.
The much-anticipated fetish event is the largest in the world and is expected to attract about 400,000 die-hard "sex addicts" from around the face of the globe.
The fair's roots can be traced back to the ballsy sailors and rough-and-tumble bikers of yesteryear who confounded (confused?) the notion that all gay men were limp-wristed pansies.
A hanful of gay motorcycle clubs started up shortly after the Satyrs were founded in Los Angeles in 1954.
For example, San Francisco followed the trend with the formation of The Warlocks and the California Motorcycle Club.
The homomasculine ideal of the gay leather (and raunch) male - not only quickly caught on - but also triggered sensational headlines in those heady (!) times around the country.
The end result?
San Francisco was touted as the Nation's gay capitol hands-down.
Preceding the main event (September 25th), Leather Pride Week unfolds each year, which is comprised of a 7 titillating days of erotic film screeings, panel discussions, spanking parties, and motorcycle rides which climax (!) with the infamous Folsom Street Fair downtown.
The leather fetish kink community is comprised of people of all genders and sexaul orientations.
So, if you attend tomorrow, expect to encounter quite a three-ring-circus of epic erotic proportions!
See ''ya there!
"Moneyball" - a star vehicle that was tailor-made for superstar actor Brad Pitt - is a gripping on-the-edgeof-your-seat drama set against the backdrop of Professional Baseball which turns out to be a morality tale that succeeds in exposing the ugly underbelly of America's favourite past-time.
In a nutshell?
It's not about winning. It's how you play the game.
The entertaining flick is loosely-based on a book by Oakland A's General Manager - Billy Beane - and his ballsy bold-faced attempt to up-end the old guard in the heady realms of the gladiator sports arena.
For fans, the searing behind-the-scenes foray may prove to be a startling eye-opener.
In fact, I expect baseball-lovers may never view the sport the same way every again.
"Moneyball" is a well-crafted feature film that resonates - partly due - to a tight believable script (the dialogue crackles at times), superb cinematography, and stellar portrayals by a handful of the actors in the ensemble piece.
Pitt turns in a remarkably mature performance that screams "Oscar".
In the past, I have criticized Mr. Pitt for relying on an old bag of actor's tricks (and a hang-dog gaze or two) to get by which held him back as a top notch actor ('til now).
In "Moneyball" Pitt is awesome to watch.
Because Pitt actually listens to the other actors in play around him - and subsequently responds accordingly in a heartfelt truth way - his characterization ends up being natural, rivetting, and - most of all - authentic.
President Obama is slated to fly into the Bay area this weekend for a whirlwind two-day fundraising effort.
When the Commander-in-Chief steps out onto the tarmac under ominous dark clouds racing across the sky, wintry blasts may prompt the beleaugered democrat to snatch up a topcoat.
How voters react to his visit is a whole different ball-of-wax altogether.
Hail to the Chief!
Friday, September 23, 2011
Film buffs were a little put-out earlier today (myself included) when they dashed over to the AMC on Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco to catch Brad Pitt's latest flick and were forced to stew angrily in the theatre foyer because a tardy Manager failed to show up at the Theatre on schedule.
Embarrassed ushers fessed up.
Without the head honcho's jangling keys, they were unable to throw the theatre doors open-wide, or even allow patrons to trek into the screening room to secure a comfy seat.
Ticket-holders were turned away at the confectionary, too!
The staff was unable to prep the snack bar or input orders on the AMC computers because of the glitch.
One boy, about twelve, was totally bewildered when a cashier shooed him away.
The expression on his sad face said it all.
No popcorn or soda?
In fact, patrons were forced relax in their seats without snacks in tow for about a half-an-hour.
A mad dash out to the lobby for the munchies later caused many in attendance to miss early parts of the flick, too.
AMC didn't even have the class to reward customers for their patience with a free snack or ticket on-the-house for a future screening.
What a way to run a theatre!
"Off with that Manager's head."
San Francisco Opera...lyric tenor Michael Fabiano appears in "Lucrezia Borgia" opposite Renee Fleming!
Celebrated tenor - Michael Fabiano - is slated to star opposite top Diva - Renee Fleming - in the premiere of Donizetti's "Lucrezia Borgia" which opens tonight at the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House.
Fabiano jumped at the golden opportunity last-minute when opera star Francesco Meli bowed out.
"I want it really badly," Fabiano fessed up at a recent press junket.
"I want music in my life and I want to be successful. I am driven to be a singer. I would do anything - nearly everything - that it takes to be successful."
Including selling your soul to the devil?
Fabiano will lend his magnificent vocal styling in the role of Gennaro, the long-lost son of the infamous femme fatale.
The 27-year old musical artist lauded the local San Francisco Opera company in recent days.
"People really care - combining - not separating - work and life," he gushed in awe.
Fabiano has been blessed by the Gods in many respects, too.
In four years, the dedicated vocalist performed in 17 roles at the Philadelphia Academy of Arts, and for his painstaking toils (a snap for him, no doubt) won 7 International contests.
Understandably, critics far-and-wide have sung his praises!
The lyric tenor is a baseball fan (a Yankee die-hard), too.
War Memorial Opera House
301 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, CA
$30.00 - $ 337.00
*Discount tickets (50% off) on select performances
The 15th Annual Art for AIDS auction launches tonight with a slated performance by Phantom of the Opera star Franc D'Ambrosio.
One of the highlights of the fall season in the Bay area, the upbeat fundraiser benefits the UCSE AIDS Health Project.
Stellar originals up for grabs include creations by Jock Sturges, Robin Denevan, Ruth Bernhard, Rex Ray, and a posse of other celebrated artists.
San Francisco Design Center
101 Henry Adams Street
San Francisco, CA
$100 - $180
Art by Jock Sturges
Thursday, September 22, 2011
For San Franciscans, a highlight each fall is the celebrated high-brow kick-off of the much-anticipated Opera Season and the dizzying swirl of dazzling soirees that follow in its euphoric wake.
The 2011 spectacular Gala at the War Memorial Opera House, for instance, was no exception..
The town's power-elite turned out and hob-nobbed 'til the witching hour with wild exuberant abandon non-stop.
Nimble dancers parading as Chinese Imperial Courteurs adorned in brilliant Royal Red joyously entertained the monied-set.
Elegant socialites took a cue!
The Opera House foyer was awash with glamorous frocks in the "hue du jour" designed by such luminaries
as Oscar de la Renta, Lily Sanii, Karen Caldwell, and the late great Alexander McQueen.
Precious gems added sparkle as the city's finest mixed-and-mingled over cocktails and surreptiously engaged in a smattering of idle gossip.
Inside, towering urns of exquisite lush red roses and Stanlee-Gatti designed fragrant carnations, enlivened the opera house boxes and elevated the festive event to "wow" proportions.
First-nighters included Mayor Lee, cartoonist William Hamilton, Cathy and Rick Hilton, Opera Guild President Ann Girard, and former Secretary of State George Schultz.
The season opener?
Puccinni's beloved classic - Turandot - conducted by Music Director Nicola Luisotti .
Legendary artist - David Hockney (he of California swimming-pool fame) - conjured up eye-popping sets that just about stole the show!
For those of opera fans who missed opening night, catch a free simulcast slated to screen at the AT & T ballpark in San Francisco on Sunday September 25th at 2 p.m.
Think Royal Red when planning your scintillating wardrobe for what is expected to be an awesome open-air event.
At press time, show organizers noted that there will be a handful of special family activities before and during the simulcast (including face painting, art projects, singing, storytelling, and an appearance by the Giant's Mascot Lou Seal).
Hot dogs and garlic fries are sure to hit the spot.
See 'ya there!
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
It's like pulling a string
watching your ship rise majestically
in a glass bottle
It's like pulling a string
watching it all crash to the jagged edges
of the rocks below
From Leaves & Babylon
Collection of Poems
At the height of the controversy over the slated appearance of Cher's transgender child - Chaz Bono - on "Dancing with the Stars", Kristen Chenoweth (she of squeaky voice) appeared on one of the nightly tabloid gossip shows (!) to pledge her whole-hearted support for aspiring author and highly-vocal sex-change advocate Chaz Bono.
At one point, Ms. Chenoweth quipped in so many words:
"Gosh, if I woke up one morning and I wasn't the person that I am, I would be quite upset."
The bubbly blonde went on to note that the Lord made us according to his plan.
"God doesn't make junk," she lamented.
Boy, did she step in a heapload of sh** when she uttered up that comment!
According to her religious and philosophical views, one has to wonder then, why does Chastity Bono presume that she knows better than the great almighty?
On a morning talk show this past week, former President Bill Clinton (looking pretty spry, by the way) was asked by a member of the studio audience if he would ever consider tripping-the-light-fantastic on the hit show "Dancing with the Stars".
"I was invited to," slick Willy chuckled in response.
But, ultimately, begged off.
When quizzed by the host, Mr. Clinton fessed up with a big grin that he wouldn't mind taking a go at the Tango.
The charismatic politician mused that he and Hillary toyed with the idea of taking dance lessons once his better-half became Secretary of State.
Clinton applauded John Travolta's portrayal of the scandal-ridden President, in a loosely-based film version on his days in office.
"Since height doesn't matter in film,I wouldn't mind Matt Damon playing me," he noted on the uptake.
"Ben Affleck is too handsome," he admitted point blank.
But, Mr. Clinton can still hold his own as an elder Statesman, alright!
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
There was quite a buzz in the San Francisco Bay area when news spread that Brad Pitt would be attending a red carpet premiere of his new flick "Moneyball".
Unfortunately, if fans were pining to bask in the glow of the hearttrob's star charisma they may have been disappointed.
One news anchor lamented to his co-host that the mega star's hair was downright "greasy".
Personally, I was taken aback, too.
Did Pitt surmise that he could slip into Oakland unbathed and unkempt and that no one would notice?
In his current flick, Pitt plays Billy Beane in the real-life tale about the Oakland A's innovative and feisty General Manager.
The handsome stud played ball as a kid; so, it comes as no surprise that he found the book a fascinating read.
Two directors later (!) the baseball drama is on an out-of-town try-out in Oakland.
Good luck, Brad!
Hit a homer, eh?