We're So Ghetto

Why anyone would spend $50 to go to some stranger's house in the Mission District of San Francisco and mingle with 30 or so other people they don't know is beyond me. It's just not my style. Not only do I not like parties, but I don't even like to visit my friends for afternoon tea. Why go outside? Ever?

However, when I know that I will for at least part of the evening be the center of attention, then I will throw on my Sunday best and skip onto the sidewalk with glee.

The Ghetto Gourmet is a renegade, traveling supper club that brings master chefs to private homes, and tickets to these events get snapped up within days of going on sale. It started as a small experiment in the San Francisco Bay Area, has expanded nationwide, and has received glowing press from media outlets across the country.

Vera DeVera had the crazy but brilliant idea of integrating JUKEBOX STORIES into a Ghetto Gourmet evening two Saturdays ago. You see, when we had our run at Impact Theatre in Berkeley, we attempted to replicate the atmosphere of a bunch of people sitting in a living room, listening to stories and songs. Well, now was our chance to make it real, in the beautiful home of Jonathan Mayer, who, for opening up his house, is far bolder than I will ever be. (Except for that one time I invited two Mormon missionaries inside my apartment so we could chat about their nutty behaviorbut that's another story.)

Cynthia Washburn was the amazing chef, who dreamed up an exciting Asian fusion menu. (Click on the picture for a larger view.) And when I think of Asian fusion, I think of touching myself, which I did periodically throughout the evening because the food was so good.

Perhaps it was the Asian fusion theme that resulted in a record number of Asian patrons. It's good to be among my people from time to time, so that I can comfortably talk about tiger balm, Hello Kitty, and how much Filipino fish markets scare me. You see, JUKEBOX STORIES is usually performed for white people who find me exotic. I don't mean that pejoratively because, if white people didn't find me exotic, then I would never get to have the dirty sex that I have become so fond of.

Brandon and I had a smashing time because in between courses we were indeed the center of attention. It takes something as fancy and extravagant as this to get me out of my apartment and comfortable. I mean, I'm outside regularly, but I'm always jittery on my walk to the corner 7-11.

I told Brandon to leave comments on my entry about our other San Francisco show, just so we can have another perspective, but he claims to never have anything to say, which is strange because offstage he always seems to be talking. If any Ghetto Gourmet diners from last Saturday have any highlights to share, please do so here, unless you were so traumatized by my epic Maury Povich story that you can no longer speak. (By the way, you should feel privileged because I have told that Maury Povich story in public only a few times. You're special. Not in a special ed. kind of way, but really special.)

—Reporting From Glendale, California

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