Mighty Real

Mighty Real: The Life of San Francisco Disco Legend Sylvester
Djola Branner, Aimee Bryant, Angela Henderson
Preview: Wednesday, June 5; 8pm, $10-$15 (preview price)
Thursday-Sunday, June 6-9; 8 pm (Sunday, 7 pm)
Saturdayt June 8: Shows at 8 pm
Location: SF LGBT Community Center, 1800 Market @ Octavia, 2nd Floor


Cultural Odyssey, in Association with the National Queer Arts Festival and the National performance Network (NPN), presents: Mighty Real.
Mighty Real is an interdisciplinary performance that chronicles the life of San Francisco disco legend Sylvester. Named for the diva_s best-known song, Mighty Real explores the impact the flamboyant entertainer has had on contemporary music and pop culture, from remakes of his hits to influences on gender bending artists like RuPaul. The show explores Sylvester_s refusal to trade deeply drag-rooted flamboyant image for a more masculine one during the newly hyper-masculine gay male culture of the ‘70s. Mighty Real also highlight_s the flamboyant diva_s struggle during the advent of AIDS (Sylvester died in 1988 from AIDS). Throughout the show, Djola Branner belts out several of Sylvester_s sweaty disco anthems.

Djola Branner is a performance artist, dancer, actor and writer from Minneapolis. He is one of the founders of the highly influential Pomo Afro Homos (Post-Modern African American Homosexuals). His work with this seminal group and his subsequent solo/group endeavors have been seen internationally.

Aimee K. Bryant is originally from Detroit and received her bachelor of fine arts from Howard University. She has been performing in the Twin Cities for the past five years in everything from “Black Nativity” with Penumbra to “The Tempest”, with 10,000 Things Theatre Co. Aimee is also a founding member of Congo Square Theatre in Chicago.

A native son of St. Louis, Angela Henderson is a wife, mother of three, and grandmother. As a member of the Sound of Blackness, she has lent her talents to such recordings as Reconciliation, Time for Healing African to America: The Journey of the Drum, The Night Before Christmas, The Evolution of Gospel, and the motion picture soundtracks Mo’ Money and Batman.

Bay Area performer Brian Goranson plays multiple roles along with the girls.

This presentation is made possible by NQAF, Cultural Odyssey and NPN. Mighty Real is one of a series of programs designed by the National performance Network (NPN). NPN is an independent organization begun by Dance Theater Workshop and is comprised of arts organizations in 40 cities and 25 states, including Cultural Odyssey. NPN is made possible through major funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency). For further information, visit the NPN Web site at www.npnweb.org or write National Performance Network, PO Box 70435, New Orleans, LA 70172.


Mighty Real



Ex-Tribe 8 members Silas Howard and Lynnee Breedlove are back minus chicks and guitars. Silas is poignant and handsome. Lynnee is funny and ugly. One is on Vitamin T. One is not. Both want to know what the hell is really real and true.

Lynnee Breedlove’s Confessions of a Poser is a comic look at bodies, the mystery of the purple dick, lesbo legacies and how to use them, fatherhood, butch heroes, and the impossibility of ever being man enough. Buckets and knives are still integral to the show. 

Photo by Erica Beckman

Silas Howard’s Thank you for Being Urgent is a textured tale of a queer punk spilling into the crappy and exalted glitter of Hollywood’s desire and shame. He searches for true tales of fierce outsiders and re-imagines the mainstream, ruminating on American Dream loopholes, burlesque dancers with dementia, and tranny jazzmen.

Breedlove, ex-Tribe 8 singer/lyricist, 1990-2005, is author of the novel Godspeed, now a short film, featuring Adroc of the Beastie Boys and Leslie Mah of Tribe 8. A feature length script went to the second round at the Outfest Screenwriter’s Lab and awaits production. His new book, Lynnee Breedlove’s One Freak Show debuts on Manic D Press in September. He is currently writing a political memoir with his mother, How I Became an American Anarchist: from Hitler and Obama in 70 Years. His comedy solo shows on gender for five years in six languages on two continents and his writing is included in anthologies like Good Advice for Trendy Young People, Word Warriors; and  Lips, Tits, Hips, Power. Rise Above: the Tribe 8 Documentary chronicles the lives of the band Tribe 8, which Silas and Lynnee founded in 1990. 

Silas Howard, (writer, director, and musician), co-directed his first feature, By Hook Or By Crook, with Harry Dodge. The indie classic, a 2002 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL premiere and five-time Best Feature winner, is out on Wolfe video and the Sundance Channel. Howard’s screenplay, Exactly Like You, inspired by the life of Billy Tipton, was a Nantucket Screenwriters Colony fellow and finalist for the 2005 Sundance Filmmaker’s lab. Howard’s short documentary, What I Love About Dying, premiered at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. Howard toured nationally and internationally with the band, Tribe 8. The notorious punk band on Alternative Tentacles.  Howard’s writing is featured in the anthologies, “Without a Net: Growing Up Working Class” and “Live Through This “, and the artists’ journal, “LTTR”. Currently Silas is working on a novel centered on San Francisco’s homocore scene in the mid ‘90’s.