Flew to San Francisco on Saturday to participate in the Junior Statesmen of America's 70th Anniversary Dinner. Junior Statesmen is a non-partisan program that teaches American high school about government and leadership. I'm honored to be in my fourth year as the President of the Board of Trustees.
The dinner was held in the Metropolitan Club in downtown San Francisco. (In an interesting turn-of-the-tables, this business club only allows women members.) It's a beautiful facility and was perfect for our event.
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom was the evening's honoree. He gave a great speech about doing what you think is right regardless of the consequences and taking advantage of the moment because they never last. It was very moving and the I think the audience, both adults and students, were very impressed.
I was happy to get to spend a lot of time visiting with John Dunbar. John and I became fast friends when we both attended the Junior Statesmen Summer School at UC Davis in 1979. We've stayed in touch over the last 25 plus years and even though we don't talk all that often whenever we do we can pick up right where we left off. John has a VERY dry sense of humor and a razor sharp wit -- and he uses both at the same time to make me laugh like no one else. In a lot of ways he seems like the brother I never had growing up. (I was nearly 16 when Justin, my real-life brother, was born.)
My plan was to attend the dinner Saturday night, leave when it was over and get to bed at a decent time. Yeah, right. Of course I was part of the hardcore group that stumbled out of the bar across the street, Who's Your Daddy?, at 1:30 a.m.
So the Sunday morning, 7 a.m., alarm was a little painful -- but I had a plane to catch back to Los Angeles. I was rushing back in order to attend the Southland Theater Artists Goodwill Event (S.T.A.G.E.) fundraiser to benefit AIDS Project Los Angeles and GLASS -- Gay and Lesbian Adolescent Social Services.
This is an event where basically various stars of stage and screen each come out to sing one song. The first act featured the music of Harry Warren (42nd Street) and the second act was the music of Marvin Hamlish (A Chorus Line).
The highlights were:
Lorenzo Lamas -- he really can sing.
Susan Anton -- really killed with her rendition of "Better Than Ever."
Patrick Cassidy -- singing "Lullaby of Broadway" and looking more like his father, Jack, than ever.
Betty Garrett (Irene Lorenzo from All in the Family) -- performing a funny and wonderful version of "Chica Chica Boom Chic" fronm "That Night in Rio."
91 year old Fayard Nicholas -- of the legendary Nicholas Brothers, tap dancing.
Tonya Pinkins -- most recently of "Caroline, or Change" belting out "Ordinary Miracles."
and Carole Cook -- who replaced Carol Channing in "Hello, Dolly" performing a saucy number. Her act was all the better because she made the sign language interpreter come center stage and sign in slow language her potty mouth.
It was a great event and I'm thankful to Cary Davidson and Andrew Ogilvie for inviting me.
And as if that weren't enough, GeezBob had a very fun dinner party at his house tonight. His guests included several members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association -- and it was fascinating to hear their takes on American pop culture. You want these people on your team when you play movie or music trivia.
And GeezBob invited Kelly Presta and Rob Gutierrez, two guys I used to hang with in the 1990s. So it was like a flashback to see them.
But wait, you also get Liz Smagala and Phil, who rounded out the guest list. Liz is a very fun woman who works with GeezBob and Cary Davidson at Reed and Davidson. At she's not too shy to be asked to be named in my blog.
GeezBob made an excellent Mexican feast, with enchiladas that would have impressed Grandmother Green.
The party went a little late for a school night, but that's half the fun.