Montrose Palace to host 'liquorless nightclub' on Fridays
By SHERI COHEN DARBONNE
The Montrose Palace, 1505 Nevada, will
be the site of a new social club for non-
drinkers on Friday nights beginning this
week (Feb. 22), said Ron Davis, proprietor of the neighborhood meeting center
Davis renamed the building, formerly
the Center for A Positive Lifestyle, last
month and invited community groups to
use it as a meeting site. Presently, two
spiritual groups, Dignity Houston and
the Houston Mission Church, are holding meetings there, and the building is
available for social, civic and spiritual
gatherings and private parties, he said.
Though not actually a nightclub, the
weekly events will mimic the relaxed,
friendly social atmosphere found in a
gay bar—"a place to meet and talk, laugh
and see a show."
Davis explained that he "wanted to
provide an entertaining social environment" for people who do not drink, or are
in recovery from alcohol or drug addictions. He said the new venture, which
debuted with a "sneak preview" private
reception on Feb. 15, will provide asocial
atmosphere similar to a gay bar, but
without the alcohol and the "hustle" one
finds in a bar
"I don't want anyone to think that I'm
trying to judge people (who drink)," Baid
Davis. "That's not what we're doing. I
just thought it would be nice to have a
place for (non-drinkers) to go, to have
fun and socialize."
The gatherings, as yet unnamed, will
feature nightclub-style entertainment,
including dancers, some live music, and
"drag"—an art form especially close to
Davis and his twin brother Don entertained in St. Louis, Mo. as female impersonators in the 1970's, he explained.
Donna Drag (Don) and Lana Kuntz
(Ron) were well known figures in St. Louis gay bars in that era, and Davis hopes
to recapture the warmth and camaraderie of the lifestyle—without the alcohol.
The fact that Don is now in recovery was
an added inspiration for the project, he
"I started thinking about this (project)
toward the end of last year, thinking that
it would really be nice for people to have
this sort of a place to go to without being
hustled or pressured (to drink)," said Davis.
He said that non-alcoholic refreshments would be available at the gatherings. A small cover charge would probably be necessary to cover the cost of putting on the events, and paying workers
and entertainers, he added.
"We're not really looking to make mon-
Today, the Davis brothers are hosting a 'no alcohol" alternative club for gays and lesbians at Houston's Montrose Palace, 1505 Nevada. Live entertainment at the weekly gath
ering will feature male dancers and local musicians as well as drag
Donna Drag (Don Davis, left) and Lana Kuntz (Ron Davis) as they appeared in an advertisement for the St. Louis, Mo., Red Bull bar in 1975
.ey," he said. "We're not going for a large ber, 1986. While the Center still exists as
crowd...with our building, I think maybe an organization, Davis said he recently
40 or 50 people (each week) would be real- changed the focus of the building to make
ly good!'The main objective, said Davis, jt available as a meeting place for organi-
is to provide the environment for those zatjons particularly gay/lesbian spiritu-
who want the chance to mingle with oth- ^ flnd social groups The Center may later gay people or attend a show, without ep regume laf meeting8 therei he
feeling uncomfortable because they .
don't drink. swd'
The events will be held on Friday eve- Don Davis is founder of the Church of
nings, beginning at 8:00 p.m. Religious Science, which will mark its
Ron Davis, who describes himself as a third anniversary on March 17. That
"deeply spiritual person," founded the group presently meets at a house on
Center for a Positive Lifestylein Septem- Willard Street.
3rd annual 'Sweet Charity' event planned for April
The third annual "Sweet Charity" AIDS
benefit is set for April 28, with actor/singer Kris Kristofferson as the event's celebrity co-chair. This year's event is titled "A
Chocolate Fiesta," and will feature chocolate masterpieces created by Houston's
greatest chefs, including Mexican chocolate beverages and double fudge chocolate cake with raspberry icing, said organizers. Local celebrities will also be
competing in a sugar sculpturing contest.
Proceeds from "Sweet Charity" are donated to the AIDS Interfaith Council, a
program of the Foundation for Interfaith
Research and Ministry. The foundation
is a non-profit organization which provides in-home care and companionship
for people with AIDS.
Melanie Lawson, KTRK-TV (Houston
Channel 13) news anchor, will be the
event's emcee. Co-chairs are
Kristofferson and Houston phUanthro-
pist Sue Rowan Pittman.
"Sweet Charity" begins with dinner at
5:30 p.m. Sunday, April 28; followed by
dessert at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $100 (dinner and dessert) and $25 (dessert only),
and are available from Ticketron, (713)
526-1709, or the AIDSInterfaithCouncil,
—MCCR "praise" Choir
The Metropolitan Community Church of
the Resurrection "Praise" Sanctuary
Choir has begun its 1991 growth recruitment, hoping to expand to a 100-plus
voice choir by the Christmas season.
Presently numbering 55 voices, the choir
just celebrated its 16th year as a ministry
and had its largest Christmas program,
attended by over 735 people.
A display of new music the choir has
received will be held at the church's "Victory Celebration Sunday Service," to be
held at the Cullen Theater, Wortham
Center at 10:45 a.m. March 10. The choir
will be accompanied by a 25-piece orchestra in celebration of the Capital Gifts
Campaign to relocate MCCR into larger
New additions to the Praise Music
Ministry include a handbell choir, which
rehearses on Sunday mornings at 8:30
p.m., and a mixed ensemble. Though not
a part of the music ministry, MCCR Worship Lay Ministry has added a "signing
choirl' which rehearses Saturdays at
Present plans for the choir includes a
three day trip to perform in San Antonio.
Fort Worth and Dallas. The ensembles
are planning a trip to Oklahoma City in
May. to attend UFMCC's district conference. Video tapes of the 1990 Christmas
presentation "Rise, Shine, Your Light
has Come" will be on Bale shortly in the
church's fellowship hall.
For more information on the ministries, call MCCR at 861-9149.
—"M. Butterfly" cast at
"M. Butterfly" is a story so bizarre it
could only be true. "A former French dip
lomat and a Chinese opera singer have
been sentenced to six years in jail for spying for China after a two-day trial traced
a story of clandestine love and mistaken
sexual identity. Mr. Bouriscot was accused of passing information to China
after he fell in love with Mr. Shi, whom he
believed for 20 years to be a woman."—
(New York Times, May 11, 1986).
Houston Public Library and the Houston Chronicle will host a free seminar.
"Belief in Disillusion," presented by cast
members of "M. Butterfly" at noon,
March 6, at the Montrose Branch Library, 4100 Montrose Blvd. The Broadway stars will discuss the play, "M. Butterfly" and its production.
A pair of freeopeningnight tickets will
be given away through drawings at each
of the 34 Houston Public Library locations. Registration for "M. Butterfly"
tickets will end Feb. 27.
Philip Anglim, one of the original
stars, will perform in "M. Butterfly" at
Jones Hall March 5-10, presented by the
Society for the Performing Arts and the
NCNB Houston Broadway Series.
—MCC New Freedom bake
MCC New Freedom in Christ will be having a bake sale on Feb. 23 at Kroger on
Montrose, starting around 9:00 a.m.
The Sunday morning worship service
will be devoted to an all-musical service.
Persons who sing or play a musical instrument are invited to join. For information, call the church office.
Rev. Dee Lamb is pastor of the church,
located at 3322 White Oaks.