Tammy and crowd were hosting a Tsunami Benefit at Martuni’s last night, so Amanda, Zoe and I headed down and joined the fun. We arrived to find Andy standing outside, chain-smoking with his date, Tom. “Hey girls. There are the ugliest drag queens I’ve ever seen in my life up in there. It’s horrifying.”
More motivated than ever, we entered the bar and made our way back to the cabaret room. Packed with an array of old work friends and tourists in puffy painted sweatshirts, 2 hideous she-he’s played electric guitars and vomited music. It was appalling. Finally finished, Tammy grabbed the mike from “it” and pitched her raffle ticket sales. God bless her, Tammy had arranged for a bunch of local companies to donate booze-related items, displayed all over the piano, and raffled them off, the proceeds going to Unicef’s Tsunami Relief. As neither Itty, Zo nor I have any money, we maintained we were there to add esthetic integrity to the event. In reality, I just wanted to hear my friends sing.
We partook of the free punch and appetizers while patiently waiting for the Ben Vereen look-alike to end his set of shitty French love songs.
Martuni’s is a funky little martini bar with a low lit piano room in the back. Most nights, a piano player tickles the ivories for anyone willing to step up to the mike. This is a big hang out for the Beach Blanket crowd, and a spot where Tammy and I spent many a late night surrounded by classically trained gay crooners and nervous talentless theater nerds.
Kathleen and Phillip made the rounds, rolling their eyes at the talent while sipping cosmos. Each time they sashayed by our table, I screamed, “Go sing a goddamn song, for crying out loud!”
I mean, I didn’t want Amanda’s introduction to all of our fabulous show biz pals to be a middle aged tax man in a bad wig and cheap lipstick singing “Material Girl.”
I needn’t have worried. Kathleen, then Phillip, and then the magnificent Tammy took over and rescued the evening. We only stayed for a couple of hours, delighted that we spent not a dime. Amanda got another “San Francisco experience”, Zoe debuted as my new roomie, and I spent yet another night in the company of trannies. I’m nothing if not consistent…