The dirt on Mommie
by Roberto Friedman
Just like the Easter Bunny with a basket of crazy eggs, intrepid impresario Marc Huestis seems to be hopping and on quite a roll! Next Saturday, April 6, his show with Miss Coco Peru hits the boards of the Castro Theatre. Tickets are quickly selling out, and it should be quite a treat.
Indeed, Out There attended last year's affair with Miss Coco, and can report she's a class act with a potty mouth, singularly gifted at dishing the dirt. And speaking of dirt, tireless Huestis reveals that he's just snagged Carol Ann – that is, actress Rutanya Alda – the loyal maid from Mommie Dearest, for a wacky Mother's Day-weekend tribute to the camp classic. Yes, that Carol Ann, as in, "Carol Ann, I'm not mad at you, I'm mad at the dirt." Thespian Alda bore witness to the unhinged, over-the-top glory that was Faye Dunaway's performance as Joan Crawford, and has written her remembrances in an upcoming book, The Mommie Dearest Diaries. She'll preview a few choice chapters to the assembled fans who gather at the Castro. We're told the hysterical sequence of Alda's encounter with Dunaway in a coffin for the famous wake scene is to die for!
This only-in-SF gayla will be hosted by drag diva Matthew Martin, and will feature a "Mommie Severest" look-alike contest judged by Carol Ann herself. Then fasten your seatbelts for the evening's climax, the ultimate Castro experience, a scream-along "No More Wire Hangers ever!" screening of the classic Mommie Dearest on the glorious Castro silver screen. It all occurs Sat., May 11. Tix are cheap ($15) and available, but get them early: the first 200 ticket-buyers will get Orchestra Center "Hollywood Royalty" seating at no extra price. Ticket info at (415) 863-0611.
Last Wednesday night Out There and our cheerful consort Pepi attended the unveiling of a mural by San Francisco-based artist Jessica Anne Schwartz entitled, "You Gonna Eat That?" It adorns a wall of Bluestem Brasserie, the elegant restaurant at 1 Yerba Buena Lane. The mural is a colorful portrayal of a cattle egret, done up in springlike colors and fanciful vision, strutting like a peacock. As the artist says, "For every egret a cow, for every cow an egret. A field of Yin and Yang."
The party celebrated Bluestem's new springtime menu with passed samplers, so we nibbled on steak tartare and duck liver pate and washed them down with neon-gray lavender collins. Spotted at the reception in the brasserie's airy mezzanine: artists Mark Garrett, who shares a studio with Schwartz, and Daniel Goldstein (We Were Here), whom Schwartz describes as her mentor.
Finally, apropos of this week's review of The Madwoman of Chaillot on DVD, this anecdote. Actor John Barrymore played Katharine Hepburn's father in her star-making debut film, A Bill of Divorcement (1932). She didn't like him, and when filming was over, reportedly said, "I hope I never act with you again, Mr. Barrymore." He replied, "I was unaware you ever had, Miss Hepburn."