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Sunday, August 23, 2015

On the Town with Buddy Beaverhausen: Pass the Marmalade, Lady, It's Sarah Dash's Birthday Brunch!

Sarah Dash's 70th birthday celebration at 54 Below was an epic luncheon that included a two-course meal, birthday cake, a cocktail named and surprise guest Nona Hendryx of Labelle and, prior to that, of Patti Labelle & the Bluebelles. It was three hours long -- but made us want even more!

A packed house turned out for the $100-per-seat affair. As for me, I ordered the poached eggs w/ chipotle hollandaise on grilled bread with spinach and a side of asparagus. I was seated with two very personable table companions, April Sette of the NJ Buzz Radio show and her friend Nancy Pertschuk, a professional shopper. I also saw friend/ musician Tracy Stark on my way into the club.

Sarah, like Pia Zadora, is a diva with her own drink. Pia has her Piatini, Sarah has her Sinner Man. I said no, I said no, I said no no no... but the cocktails kept coming. Four to be exact. Sinner Mans are prosecco with oj, honey syrup and grenadine. Yummy! I had coffee afterwards to help me get over them when the whipped cream-with-fruit cake slices came for dessert.
A Sinner Man

Best of all, however, was the entertainment. Melba Moore belted out a couple of her numbers, including "You Stepped Into My Life" and D-Train got the house up on its feet with his soulful hiNRG. The ladies from Chic (now known as Next Step) sang some '70s gold, including 'Le Freak,"I Want Your Love" and "Everybody Dance." I got to speak with Luci Matin, with whom I recently did a Q&A along with Alfa Anderson & Norma Jean Wright.
Next Step: the ladies of Chic

As For Nona, she praised her singing partner of many years but, unfortunately, had nothing prepared for singing.  Understandable as she flew in from the West Coast at the last minute to be a part of this affair. Nona had some pretty funny things to say, like how she loved but hated Sarah for bringing her into the world of entertainment when she wanted to be a teacher.
Nona, Sarah and Melba. Photo by April Sette

Nona said, with a straight face, that Patti Labelle wanted to be at 54 Below but couldn't because she was in Maine, catching crabs. "No, really," Nona assured us, "That girl loves her crabs!"

When Sarah Dash took to the stage at the end of the show, she sang her ballad "Im Still Here" (not the song from Sondheim's Follies), "Sinner Man" with Ari Gold and a few other guests, and, finally -- of course -- "Lady Marmalade" with a host of friends. Sarah played her birthday wishes from Patti via cell phone, with Patti saying she was unable to come because she was catching crabs. Poor dear.

Sarah said she was proud to be a groundbreaker in her support for transgendered people and the LGBT community. We love her right back.

Ms Dash said she had a cold but was in fine voice as far as her sold-out crowd was concerned. We spoke briefly after the show. Sarah Dash is a great performer but, more importantly, a survivor, an inspiration, and a kind, sweet individual it is a privilege to know. Expect a Q&A shortly.

By the way, when I mentioned Piatinis, Sarah asked if it was good. I told her it was more potent than a Sinner Man and that one doesn't fall out of a golf cart and get a concussion without a few Piatinis under her belt. I love making a diva laugh out loud.

Happy belated birthday, Sarah Dash!

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