Monday, November 8, 2010

The LGBZ Community

I spent a lot of time with the LGBZ community tonight. But let me get to that in a minute.

We left here around noon, I guess, to drive to San Francisco for this year's annual Lamplighters Gala. I had to get there a bit early because there was going to be a silent auction and I had donated a couple of copies of the Lamplighter history that they wanted Alison and me to autograph for a gift basket.

We got into the city early enough that we could stop by City Hall (just 2 blocks from where the show was anyway), which was still all decked out in its Giants finery.

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I wasn't alone. There were about four of us standing around in the plaza opposite city hall taking pictures.

Then we went over to Herbst Theatre where I signed books so they could be added to the gift basket. I think there was a $125 value put on the basket and the last bid I saw on it was $185, so I hope they made enough to make it worth their while.

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It was a real "scene" in Herbst Hall, as there were apparently several events taking place. There were paunchy old men wandering around in fatigues and military veteran hats, uniforms and pins. There were half naked native Americans in bare feet with feathered headdresses and grass skirts running out of the building and into the street, or just mingling with the Lamplighter guests who were in the lobby. And there were young adults in Victorian costumes wandering around selling raffle tickets.

We didn't buy any raffle tickets or bid on any of the silent auction items. I had looked through the entire catalog on line and didn't see one single thing that interested me. I'm at a point where I want to get rid of things rather than get new stuff. And I'm certainly not up for voice lessons!

I enjoyed visiting with a few old friends before the show and then thoroughly enjoyed the show. This year it was "You Can't Bite City Hall" or "Some of My Best Friends are Vampires," and it centers around the local LGBZ center (Lycanthropes, Ghouls, Bloodsuckers and a few mummies thrown in as well) and the city's plans to run a high speed rail train through the building, and the LGBZ community's fight to save it. As usual it was hilarious, rife with puns, double entendres and brilliant song rewrites. My very favorite character name was Mayor Navin Gruesome

I thought about Gilbert and the very first of the "new" galas that he and I wrote back in 1983 and how reluctant he was to stray too far afield, with things like new lyrics or songs from shows that had not been done that year. It was such a huge success that it started a whole new tradition and I am so proud of what it has become, far eclipsing whatever I contributed in the few years I worked on it. This is now a thoroughly professional show.

Not only is it a thoroughly professional show, but in this particular show, the funniest number was a hip hop version of "When the Night Wind Howls" from Ruggygore which was arranged by the son of Geoff Colton. Geoff has been writing these galas from about the fourth year that we were doing them. I don't say the torch has exactly been passed, since rap is more Tyler's interest than Gilbert & Sullivan, but he certainly did a fine job on this number. It had the longest sustained applause (and more laughter) of any number in the show. I'm so glad we've ordered a DVD.

After the show was over, we went upstairs for champagne or cider (champagne for Walt, cider for me)

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Jennifer Kiernan and I had Walt take our traditional picture.

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And Walt found Zombie Paul Sinasohn to chat with.

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We had made plans to stop at a Chinese buffet on the way home to get dinner, but when we got there at 9 p.m., though it said it was open until 10, we were the only customers. The place is huge and they offered to sell us to-go boxes for $5 each. We each went through the buffet stations and filled up a to-go box and then I asked for something a bit larger to carry legs of snow crab. The woman gave me a cup, which I rested outside on the hood of the car before we drove home.

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It was really a fun day, and I've come home to an "urgent request" from the SPCA about some puppies who need bottlefeeding. I don't know if they found someone else while I was gone, but I guess that will be a chapter for tomorrow, if they did not!

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