The YaY! Area is poppin’ in the month of February!  So much so that I had to put out this week’s column a little early.  Why, you may ask?  Because TONIGHT (Tuesday night), for one night and one night only, Mangos with Chili will be performing and you do not want to miss it!  I had the opportunity to interview one of the founding members, Cherry Galette, before tonight’s show.  Give it a read then get yourself down to the Eastside Arts Alliance tonight!  PLUS check out all the fabulousity going on the rest of the week and weekend.  Finally read my review of local favorite hotspot Spice Monkey below.  Have a wonderful week and I hope to see you out and about at any of these events!


Kay Ulanday Barrett

Miz Chris [MC]: Where are you from?

Cherry Galette [CG]:  Cherry was born to a family of music makers and farmworkers in rural Washington state. After stints in other parts of the US, Cherry came to Oakland 8 years ago.

Leah was born to a gay Sri Lankan dad and a working class white trauma mom in Worcester, MA, grew up in the rust belt, got college in New York in the 90s, ran away to Toronto/ unceded Mississauga of New Credit territories from 1997-2007, and have lived between the Bay and Toronto since.

We came to the Bay Area to learn from and contribute to the amazing QTPOCTS (Queer and Trans People of Color) art and culture made here.  We don’t know if we will be in the Bay Area forever- gentrification and cultural and economic displacement are factors that affect us like they are affecting all of our communities- but we are committed to the project continuing in new places and in new manifestations and evolutions as our lives, migrations, and artistic paths evolve.


Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

[MC]:  How did Mangos with Chili start?

[CG]:  Once upon a time in an era long ago, in the time of Friendster and before cell phones or GPS, Leah and Cherry met one fated summer in San Francisco when they were both attending a retreat for artists of color, and visiting their then boos. Mangos With Chili was a dream hatched on corner store phone cards, Fruitvale tienditas selling the snack that is our namesake, and big visions of taking queer and trans people of color performance art to big stages. We knew that our community of art makers, our craft, and our beautiful stories of resilience and survival, deserved to be witnessed. We knew that our community deserved to come to spaces where they could feel home, be fully held, be celebrated, and see stories similar to their own reflected in creative work.

So in 2006, after many years of performing as solo artists, and facing similar unsavory experiences with queer performance spaces that were mostly white, and people of color performance spaces that could be homo and transphobic, Cherry and Leah brought their dreams, sweat, and desire together to start planning a ten day tour that took the Northeast by storm.

mmi (1)

Monica McIntyre

Our breakout 2007 cabaret took 8 queer and trans performers of color working in different artistic genres to cities and stages throughout the Northeastern United States and Canada. With no core funding and mostly grassroots publicity, Mangos With Chili was a phenomenally successful project. We raised our budget through grassroots fundraising and door revenue, and were able to pay artists a fair wage, in addition to covering all travel and housing costs. The show packed world class theaters, underground performance spaces, and campus halls, including Buddies in Bad Times Theatre in Toronto, C-Space in Cleveland, Swarthmore College, Cattyshack in New York, The Black Repertory Theater of Providence, Theatre Juste por Rire in Montreal, rural Northeast stages and more.  Audiences everywhere thanked us for both the high caliber of work and the life-saving importance of the testimonies we shared through our art. We were completely blown away by the tour’s unexpected success- how night after night  community and university spaces were packed to capacity with folks who had learned about the shows from word of mouth and were hungry for more. (Even though Leah thought we could definitely fit seven people in a six seater minivan. We have since learned that when it comes to tour rigs, being a size queen is everything).

In our early years not only did we have no core funding, we barely had working computers. During our first two tours we relied on a huge paper atlas of North America to find our way around (the atlas has now moved on to become part of our archives!). We paid for gas out of pass-the-hat donations as gas prices began to soar. But we did it. We found a way. We made magic happen. We made shows that are gorgeous healing spaces, that people talk about years later.


Cherry Galette

At the time of MWC’s founding, Leah lived in unceded Mississauga of New Credit territories/Toronto, and Cherry was completing a revisit to the rural immigrant community in the Northwest she grew up in, and was about to move to Oakland. Between 2006 and 2007 as we relocated to the Bay Area, we began to create and produce artistic work in the Bay. Some of our signature shows were created during this time – Encuentros, which featured stories from immigrant and first generation queer artists, Beloved, which took place in October and honored our QTPOC dead, and Whipped, which is our show about the many manifestations of queer love. We also had many opportunities to present work in the National Queer Arts Festival, and used this as an opportunity to launch new shows in addition to our signature shows.  During this time we also continued to tour. We followed our inaugural tour with 2008’s Queer Borderlands Tour, and 2009’s Stunning South Tour. We took a break from intense touring following the 2009 tour – we were tired, had some really hard stuff to sort through, and needed to figure out future directions, and Cherry was recovering from being hit by a truck – but we did brief stints in different geographic areas between 2010-13.

[MC]:  What is the vision for Mangos with Chili?

Our vision is to provide big stages for qtpoc artists to showcase and develop their work.  For QTPOC and other folks to see QTPOC stories and performance in big, luscious complexity.


Yvonne Fly Onakeme Etaghere

Mangos With Chili is a touring, performance art incubator committed to showcasing high quality artistic work of life saving importance by queer and trans artists of color. Our goal is to produce high-quality multi-genre performances reflecting the lives and stories of queer and trans people of color that speak out in resistance to the daily struggles around silence, isolation, homophobia, transphobia, and violence that QTPOC face.

Beyond being a performance incubator, we have come to think of ourselves also as a ritual space for queer and trans communities of color to come together in love, conversation and transformation. Our goal is to present high quality performance art by QTPOC, but so much of our work is also about creating healing and transformative space through performances that are gathering places for QTPOC community.
We root in our belief that we can make stages into sites of freedom, healing and transformation through shared story and art.  We don’t control a lot all the time, but when you have a stage for a few hours, it can be a place where we dream back to what our ancestors knew or imagine new futures.  We can create a microcosm of the communities we want to live in. We know we are both ancient and breathtakingly new. That poetry and dance are far from a luxury.  That our ancestors survived through song, poetry and story, mapping freedom trails and envisioning new ways of being beyond survival. And as we remember them by dancing in their memory, we do the same.

[MC]:  Why do you travel the show?

[CG]:  Because we love touring!  Even though it is exhausting and crazy making and the van gets real full of old hummus, it is so worth it.  Because queer trans and two spirit Black, Indigenous and People of Color communities all over are hungry for the show. We’re 1/3 through our 2014 tour, are visiting the pacific northwest for the first time, and have heard from so many people that they have literally been waiting to see the show for years  – that our show is healing and empowering and magic and life giving and that witnessing stories that are our own changes lives for realsies.

Also we feel it’s important to bring the work to different cities and communities and build with qtpoc across the country. There is beauty and power in seeing how our communities are living, surviving, and thriving.

[MC]:  What do you hope for this year’s Mangos with Chili?860714_4917291043749_452865333_o

[CG]:  To bring people together – Cherry recently met a qpoc couple in New Orleans who had met at our 2009 show there and had been together since. And when we say bring people together we mean not just in the romantic or sexy sense. There is deep power in our beautiful qtpoc bodies, stories, lives, and dreams come together.

We also just wanna tell some bomb, complicated love stories, sex stories, disaster stories that will heal folks and tell folks some shit they really need to hear.

Half our crew this tour id’s as disabled, sick and/or crazy, and it has been so.freaking.amazing to centralize Disabled queer and trans POC love and sex stories. So good. So needed.

We also hope that folks see their truths reflected in the works on our stage.

Also, some of us wanna get laid.  And some of us already have.


Mangos with Chili will be in Oakland for one night only (tonight) see details below.

Gofundme ($250 left to raise!!):
And IG:




final mangosMangos with Chili presents:
WHIPPED: QTPOC Recipes for Love, Sex, and Disaster
Eastside Arts Alliance
2277 International Blvd, Oakland
7 PM doors, 8 PM show
Cost: $10-20 no one turned away for lack of funds (and we mean it)

Mangos With Chili
The floating cabaret of QTPOC bliss, dreams, sweat, sweets and nightmares proudly presents

Mangos With Chili knows that queer and trans* folks of color do love, sex and total disaster like none other! In this special Valentine’s themed production queer and trans* folks of color will tell their true life stories of love, desire and disaster through music, spoken word, theater, dance, drag, film, and video diaries. Bring a trinket for the altar we’ll build to the loves we’ve lost, known, and are praying for, and come prepared to hear truths you’ve never heard spoken before but always needed to.

Promising to be sexy, smart, provocative, comical and touching, WHIPPED is sure to explore the many faceted aspects of desire, from the dark to the jubilant.

Valentines exchange to follow shows, so get them lovenotes and that courage ready!


Kay Ulanday Barrett
Yvonne Fly Onakeme Etaghere
Askari González
Beast Ly
Monica McIntyre
Cherry Galette
Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

With video art by:
Alexis Pauline Gumbs and Julia Wallace
Yosimar Reyes
Nazbah Tom
Manish Vaidya and Adrian Q Quinteo




811 Washington, Oakland
No Cover

Join us every Wednesday & Friday starting February 5th from 4 pm- 8 pm and get School’d during Happy Hour at Oakland’s hottest new venue, Parliament!

We’ll be taking it back playing the best music & movies from the 80’s, 90’s, and early 00’s. Those who lived it already know and those too young to remember, come get School’d!

Featuring gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches to curb that after work appetite and delicious Happy Hour cocktails & beer for $3, $5, or $7!


1496575_612571654428_196822297_oThe Larkade
Boom Boom Room
1601 Fillmore, SF
8 p.m.-2 a.m.
No Cover

larkade is where rachel lark gets down with her friends and collaborators each month. it’ll be great! she’ll play, her friends will play, and everyone will dance.

other cool thing: it’s free!

february 5th is the launch party! yeah! stoked! performances by the genie, rachel lark, and jk47 (aka rad DJ’s and rachel lark besties,Nick Man and Andrew Warner )

:: the genie ::
Spon­sored by Line6, The Genie is an avant garde per­form­ing artist and gui­tar loop­ing inno­va­tor; tak­ing a DJ approach to gui­tar, he is the cre­ator of a live-looping method called ‘scratch gui­tar’ and a unique brand of live-remixing called ‘g-mixing’. Bring­ing together a hybrid of gen­res, he uti­lizes uncon­ven­tional live pro­duc­tion styles, turntab­list tech­niques, and orig­i­nal loop­ing meth­ods. All of this while manip­u­lat­ing dials on his ped­als with his toes, pro­duc­ing uniquely mes­mer­iz­ing performances.




photoThe Social Life
811 Washington, Oakland
9 p.m. – 2 a.m.
21+ w/ID
FREE entry B4 10pm, $5 after, no exceptions

Be Seen, On The Scene

Every 1st & 3rd Thursday. An Elevated experience for the entire LGBTQ community.

We’d like to thank everyone who attended our special grand opening in December celebrating Capricorn supastars Mona Webb & Gabby Valentino. We are ready to do it!

♒This month it’s all about the Aquarius babies♒

☥Resident Deejay Lady Ryan + DJ Essex

Rockin the lastest & greatest

Party Anthems, Hip Hop, House, Soul+ Ratchet Slaps!

Crowd Controller:

Chaney “SocialLife” Turner

Featured drink special of the night:

:::$6 Smirnoff cocktails or Smirnoff bottle service $150::: includes free bottle of champagne, Hors d’oeuvre’s + free entry for yourself & 6 guest.
To view full bottle service menu visit:

– If you’d like to celebrate your birthday, any special occasion or reserve a table for bottle service. Please send email to

Dresscode: Fresh & Sexy.
BEANIES OR BASEBALL are no allowed in the venue..

For the latest updates follow us:
IG Hashtag: #TheSocialLife510


1536556_679029348787207_2080136473_nTourettes without Regrets
Oakland Metro
630 3rd St
21+ * FULL BAR * $10
Sign up’s 8pm * Show 8:30pm

That’s right it’s time again for our Annual Hate on Valentine’s Day show!! This show is 21 and over due to the nature of the acts.

Featuring ALL DUETS:

AFINA and SAVAGE from CIRQUEDELIC with a fiery lovers tale!

Our annual WORST SEX EVER Contest where the Audience is invited to submit their most absurd sexual experiences to be retold in interpretive dance by the theatrical troupe of PIANOFIGHT!

MOLOTOV and DIXIE DELISH! Playing with Knives!



XZIST and NINA STAVINGA in “Gallery Piece”

NATALIE RHAE and Miguel Balderrama doing A TRICKY TANGO: Adagio/Hand-to-Hand

Also : Jaz Sufi, Caitlin Gill, Wonder Dave, Toaster, and many more!
The Maniac of Mouth, Wildman SIDESHOW SYZYGY!
Battle Beats by DJ MIGGY STARDUST!
Onstage Freaking by HUNNY BUNNAH and MISS ECCENTRIC!


Official 2014 Premiere
The Marsh
1062 Valencia Street, SF
Buy Tix

Love before it was digitized: Marga Gomez’s tenth solo play, Lovebirds, is a comic tour de force about incurable romantics chasing their heart’s desires during the seductive 70’s in Greenwich Village.
Orestes Ramirez dreams of Gladys Richards, a singer with a tin ear married to Richard Richards, an academic who never sleeps and is never awake. On the other side of town Orestes’s daughter, Barbara, cuts off her hair, changes her name to Dahlia, and discovers the Joy of Lesbian Sex.

Philly, a nightclub photographer, sees it all and captures the Lovebirds moments with her 1972 210 Polaroid Land camera for 5 bucks a pop while her man waits in the Eldorado. Directed David Schweizer (Rinde Eckert, Ann Magnuson, Sandra Tsing Loh) sound designer Mark O’Brien.

The Marsh is located at 1062 Valencia Street (near 22nd Street) San Francisco – 3 blocks from 24th street BART
Earlier in 2013 “Lovebirds” was presented in San Francisco at Monday Night Marsh, Bruce Patchman’s Solo Sundays and in New York City at Participant Gallery NYC and Dixon Place.


430 Mason Street, SF
9:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Louie Giovanni
Philip Adrian
DannyBoy Esquire
Frank La Fontaine farewell party

hosted by

free champagne till 10:30

$150 grey goose

mention whoever you are supporting at the door and get in FREE all night




5875_663022033735999_211206627_nFirst Friday:  Black Love Edition
Show and Tell Concept Shop
1300 Clay #160, Oakland
6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

On Feb. 7th from 6-9pm we invite you to join us for a spectacular evening to kick off our month long celebration of the intersection of Black Histories and Love.

Stop by to view the art installation from artist and Show and Tell Concept Shop designer Eesuu Orundide, to enjoy live performances from special guest artist, and participate in the creation of our community “language of love” wall.


1780729_511267392323217_1732606058_nGuerilla Suit Art & Clothing Party
The New Parkway
24th Street @Telegraph, Oakland
6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

You have permission to use fashion for self-discovery.

Join us for the open of Guerilla Suit – part art show, part new & vintage clothing store.

Beer & goodies provided, because after all, it’s a party.

[We are inside – so, rain or shine]




1619295_2028022777656_845546415_nMix’d Ingrdnts Presents:
Odell Johnson Performance Art Center
(Laney College)
900 Fallon Street in Oakland
Saturday, February 8th | @ 2pm & 8pm
Buy Tix

The queens are ready to enter the building!!! We at Mix’d Ingrdnts invite you all to our 2nd full-length production, Q.U.E.E.N., on February 7 and 8, 2014!

Our newest creation, “Q.U.E.E.N. From Throne to Altar”, takes a look at how society views a woman and how we establish what it means to be a queen, regardless of these external factors. We will be featuring 8 guest performing artists, 2 opening dance acts, and the GroovLings youth group in addition to our growing company of 21 female dancers! We will be bringing you 3 shows:

Tickets are $20 online and $25 at the door. We even have student group discount rates. Get them while they are hot!!!

To purchase tickets online, please visit our Brown Paper Tickets page ->

To purchase student tickets, please e-mail us at ->


1452298_248181192028132_1751841571_nElevate Oakland
The Fox Theater
1807 Telegraph, Oakland
8 p.m.
Buy Tix

Be part of history, support Oakland youth & rock your socks off!

Get your Tickets to the First Annual Elevate Oakland BENEFIT CONCERT!

Featuring live performances by an All-Star lineup of musicians, including: Michael Franti, Goapele, Judith Hill, orianthi, and Ozomatli – with all proceeds going to bringing Art & Music opportunities to students in the Oakland Unified School District!

And just added, Kev Choice and the Oakland Future Trio (Now a Quartet!)

Co-Hosted by KBLX Radio personality Sterling James, with special appearance by Golden State Warriors DJ D-Sharp!

* When: Saturday, February 8th – 8:00pm
* Where: The Fox Theater, Oakland, California
* How:
>> Friends and Family Discount Code: MUSIC

For more info about this incredible Event & VIP Packages, Please visit:








sm_header_transparentSpice Monkey
1628 Webster Street @ 17th
Oakland, CA 94612
(2 Blocks from the 19th Street Station!)

Yummy!  I mean really yummy!  I have been going to this restaurant for over a year and it is one of the few places in the downtown area of Oakland that I ready enjoy dining at.  I have my favorites there.  I highly recommend filename-spice-monkeythe  monkey fries and the chicken pot pie (which is always a good choice).  The Mac and Cheese and the Bankok Lettuce Wraps are also really good choices.  I was HEARTBROKEN the last time I went because they took off their fried chicken handwich, a personal favorite of mine.  I am so invested in this handwich that I feel I should start a petition to bring it back.  It is that good!  Trust me when I tell you, YOU MUST save room for dessert.  I don’t care if you have to take half of your entree home, you do not want to miss Spice Monkey’s fruit tart.  It will leave you dangling on the edge of ecstasy.

The ambiance inside this spot is warm and welcoming.  I wish the seating was more comfortable and not so close together but other than that I would tell you to EAT HERE.  You will not be disappointed.


Spice Monkey’s Fruit Tart


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