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With a Tropical Punch : 'Hot!' fund-raiser promises steamy show and sexy tunes--and has raised eyebrows.

June 30, 1995|MAKI BECKER | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES; Maki Becker writes regularly for The Times

VAL VERDE — The Samuel Dixon Family Health Care Center is throwing a gala fund-raiser this weekend. But this is no hoity-toity, pinky-raising, Italian-sparkling-water affair.

Billed "Hot! The First Fresh Nights of Summer," the event in this unincorporated community west of Santa Clarita has been publicized all over Los Angeles, from Melrose boutiques to flyers thrown from the floats of last weekend's gay pride parade in West Hollywood.

With promises of a "fresh-fruit floor show of high camp," go-go boys and girls in tree-top cages and sexy, sweaty music for bumping and grinding the night away, "Hot!" has raised some eyebrows in the neighborhood.

Derick Dimry, a local church leader, says the event dishonors the memory of Samuel Dixon, for whom the center is named. Dixon was a respected, longtime community activist.

But event organizer Edwin Seth Brown, the executive director of the health care center, insists that the party / club is just a creative and fun way to raise money for the clinic, which is funded by the county and federal governments.

"This is going to be a tropical place with a lot of good vibrations, great dancing and a good time will be had by all," Brown said.

Bibbe Hansen, the director of the jazzy revue created for the festivities, chimed in: "It's steamy and hot and fun and silly--but it's not really horrifically ugly and dirty."

"Hot!" will be held outdoors on Brown's property, which he said is the size of one city block and has the capacity for about 400 party-goers. (Sheriff's officials said additional patrols will be provided in the area the nights of the event.)

He has transformed his lavishly landscaped back yard into a decadent paradise, Brown said, with a handmade tiki hut where beer and nonalcoholic beverages will be sold. (Kids younger than 18 will not be admitted to the party.)

"The tiki hut is awwwwthentic," Brown said, adding that he asked a food magazine designer to help decorate the space. The result: 1,000 palm fronds thatched into an elaborate structure, and hundreds of tiki torches to light up the dance floors, he said.

The focal point of the evening is the musical revue directed by Hansen (who was the owner of the no-longer-extant hip Downtown Los Angeles coffeehouse Troy and, get this, the mom of Beck of "Loser" fame). "There are all different kinds of songs. . . . All very hot and fun. It's a little jazzy, a little show, sort of a nightclub review."

But once the show is over, the dancing begins. Brown said a deejay will spin house, soul and funk, and partyers are invited to dance alongside the go-go boys and girls.

Admission is $50 a person, with a discount for parties of four. Organizers said they were uncertain what percentage of the proceeds would go to the clinic. They said they plan to cover their costs from the admission price, with remaining funds to go to the clinic.

The clinic provides sliding-scale-fee health care to the people of Val Verde.


What: "Hot! The First Fresh Nights of Summer." Location: 30718 San Martinez Road, Val Verde. Getting There: Take the Golden State Freeway north to California 126 west Turn right at Chiquito Canyon Road and then left on San Martinez Road. Hours: 8 p.m. tonight to Sunday. Doors close when the last person leaves each night. Price: $50; parties of four, $150. Age 18 and older only. Call: Theatix, (818) 953-9993 or (213) 466-1767.

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