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San Francisco, September 26-29, 2002
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Saturday we caught up on our sleep then got brunch at The Metro Hotel Cafe,
a French place with good food but not the best service. They have one of the
few outdoor terraces in San Fran, a tiny courtyard surrounded in jasmine and
other flowering vines. Relaxing, despite the chill. The weather in San Fran
is famously fickle. A sunny day can turn foggy, cloudy, windy and gray almost
instantly. Every evening the wind shifts, changing from the cold breeze off
the water to the warmer winds from inland. So it'll be chilly at 5, but then
there's a bunch of shifting winds and two hours later it's warm. Some blocks
are known as "good weather blocks" while others are constantly fogged.
But more often than not it's far too cold for my tastes and the seasons are
subtle and backwards - summer is cold, winter is warm. It's like some kind of
bizarro land stuck between the sea and the desert hills.
We headed across town for some shopping in the Pacific Heights area, a bit more upscale than the Haight area but a pretty walk nonetheless and just up the block from the famous Filmore. We got a decent gelato and window-shopped. Eventually we had to head home so we could change and get to the show early enough to get seats.
SW and I grabbed a burrito up the street then got to the door an hour before they opened the box office, and still had some thirty people in line ahead of us. Apparently lots of folks learned their lesson from the night before and wanted to be assured of a decent seat. When they sorted out those of us with tickets in hand we were moved to a shorter line with only 15 people in front of us.
But even with our advance tickets and showing up an hour before they opened the doors, the closest table we could get was three rows back. The first row and much of the second were reserved tables, but at least we got seats, and decent ones at that. The crowd was all abuzz with the rumor that Marilyn Manson had been in attendance the night before. I didn't care, I was more interested in his girlfriend, Dita Von Teese, one of Saturday's performers.
|The delightfully dangerous Gun Street Girls.|
|The Pontani Sisters returned to do a cheerleader number to The Bay City Rollers' Saturday Night - hypercute!|
|Nothing like ladies dancing in their undies!|
Dirty Martini did a traditional balloon act, bursting each with a lit cigarette until she was down to pasties and a g-string. At some point she also performed a fan dance, culminating in an impressive twirling display.
|Saturday's acts were far more imaginative and energetic on average. Perhaps the highlight of the night was the Kaplan Burlesque troupe, with "Kappy Kaplan the 3rd" as emcee. Kappy was goddamn hilarious (particularly in contrast to the emcee for the rest of the weekend, the dull and charmless Luigi) and we were wishing he'd been at the mike between every act.|
A birthday cake came out on stage and danced around, then out popped Julie Atlas Muz from NYC. This is the same girl that performed a wonderful escape routine at Tease-O-Rama 2001. The girl can twirl!
|Empire Burlesque Follies, from Vancouver, Canada, did some wonderful stuff too, including a shadow act that reminded me of something you'd see at Cirque du Soleil - a wonderful fantasy that had everyone sighing in delight.|
|One of the wonderful performers with Empire Burlesque Follies.|
|Saturday's legendary performer was Gyna Rose Jewel, dancing with Gorilla X, Gorilla To The Stars. Gyna was lovely, but the gorilla almost stole the show. The suit is made entirely out of fringe like you'd find on a burlesque costume - it must've cost a fortune. The emcee put it best, "He's like the Liberace of gorillas."|
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