Sweet Talkin,’ Street Walkin,’ Burlesque Cabaret Benefited St. James Infirmary

Slatternly Sister Dana Van Iquity

This news story appeared in the San Francisco Bay Times on the 26 May 2011.

“Love for $ale: a Sweet Talkin’, Street Walkin’ Burlesque Cabaret” featured San Francisco’s sluttiest in live performances at the intimate Little Roxie Cinema on May 20. It was the kickoff to the SF Sex Workers Film and Arts Festival Week and a benefit for St. James Infirmary. St. James Infirmary is the ONLY free health and social service clinic in the United States for current and former sex workers and their partners. It provides testing, treatment, advice, counseling, and various other crucial services to San Francisco’s sex workers and adult film industry professionals. The Infirmary has lost $120,000 funding this year and needs support badly. 

The whore-mongering hosts were song parodist Tom Orr (the “Wh” is silent) and award winning porn star/ escort Derrick Hanson. Alan Choy accompanied the singers on keyboards. 

They opened the show “getting right to the point” with “Hey, Big Spender” from Sweet Charity, featuring Anna Murivatskaya, Nancy French, Michael Soldier, and Tom Orr. The last two were in gender bender drag. All four were whores. Then the title song, “Love for Sale” by Cole Porter was sung sweetly and sultrily by John Andrew James. Holly Nugent Levy sang us to church with the love song from Jesus Christ Superstar, “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” followed by “As Long As He Needs Me” from Oliver.” Muravitskaya returned to sing what seemed naughty, since I only took one semester of French in college, and she was making rather suggestive movements with “Pres des rempents” from the opera Carmen.  

Changing the genre into recitation, sexologist Carol Queen gave a most arousing reading of “Blowjob Clairvoyance,” about a special talent of someone somehow sensing every time a guy nearby got fellatio. Then it was back to live singing with a whole slew of whorish songs from the musical about prostitution, The Life, beginning with Brie Jones singing “Ragtime Romeo”; Becky Jones with “Use What You Got;” Orr and Anna with “People Magazine;” and Orr winding everything down with “Easy Money.” Dottie Lux of Red Hots Burlesque finished off Act One with plenty of bumps and grinds and peeling down to pasties and a g-string. 

Derrick Hanson gave a sexy butch fantasy strip tease to “Fast Love” by George Michael. During the song he changed from punk to fireman to sailor to cowboy to leatherman. Tossing the sailor cap onto my head, he gave me a special lap dance and a kiss. Hotcha! Arturo Galster was NOT in drag this time, but was a hot guy singing the sad “St. James Infirmary” blues, after which the prosti-hospital was named.

Soldier returned, also not in drag this time, but as a gay cowboy hooker singing live “Fancy” by Bobbie Gentry and known best as sung by Reba McEntire, accompanied on guitar by Michael Mullen and getting the audience to sing along the well known chorus, “Here’s your one chance, Fancy, don’t let me down!”  

Can you imagine drag queen Tweaka Turner singing Donna Summer’s “She Works Hard for the Money” a la Mae West?! Well, we didn’t have to imagine it, because she did it with all the mannerisms and oh-oh-ohhhs of the buxom broad herself. This hard working woman also helped out at the concession stand. Then Shakey Gibson sang Tina Turner’s “Private Dancer” while dancing for our private enjoyment, followed by “Sex On Fire.” Suppositori Spelling was also NOT in drag … yet. He did a strip number dressed as a man to Patsy Kline’s “Walking After Midnight;” and when down to just tight white bikini briefs, he slipped on a wig and a bra, took down the briefs, and tucked his dick between his legs to resemble a vajayjay! Weirdly erotic! BeBe Sweetbriar became Donna Summer in a black patent leather trench coat with “Bad Girls” and lots of toot toot beep beep! Dottie Lux returned to do a burlesque number to “Feed Me Seymour” from the musical “Little Shop of Horrors” – wearing a giant alien plant monster’s head and stripping to Hall and Oates’ “Man Eater.” 

Act Three began with Marlena Mink stripping to the humorous “Zip!” as sung by Rita Hayworth in Pal Joey, as the intellectual ecdysiast who kept her mind on her intellect while mindlessly unzipping articles of clothing. The rest of the show featured a Cockettes themed program, with numbers from the 22-month successful run of Pearls over Shanghai with Nancy French in “Endless Masturbation Blues;” Ste Fishell with Scrumbly Koldewyn on keyboards singing “Hots for a Hustler;” Tina Sogliuzzo, Nancy French, Anna Murivatskaya, and Bonni Suval as The Whores of Pearls shaking their exposed titties to “Sweet Temple Bells.” 

Orr came back in a lab coat and nerd eyeglasses for the finale of “Whoring & Science,” doing his hilarious original parody of the musical Pippin, entitled “Pimpin’”, with such clever lyrics as: “and then the whores go marching out into the street, searching for a sailor boy or maybe the whole fleet! Hark! The parks are busy after dark!” He then asked a most prescient question: “could there be some bold progression? Would archaic laws be axed? If the world’s oldest profession should be unionized and taxed?” What a fitting way to both end the show and also kick off the SF Sex Workers Film and Arts Festival!