To construct her new reality-TV series, alterna-pop queen and gay-rights activist Cyndi Lauper has been committing her hectic schedule to celluloid. It isn’t easy: One day, she’ll be in Washington, D.C., lobbying on behalf of her LGBT-oriented True Colors Fund; the next, she’ll be at the Kentucky Derby in a flying-saucer-size bonnet (“I actually wanted that hat to be bigger!” she says). Saturday, the former “Celebrity Apprentice” contestant appears at San Francisco Symphony’s Black & White Ball in a lineup also featuring Paul Simon. In the words of her classic 1983 debut “She’s so Unusual.” Now she’ll have footage to prove it.
Is the reality-TV show you’re taping still a Mark Burnett production? What’s it called? Yes, it is. We’re still tossing different ideas around about what to call it. It’s like naming a CD — not easy. It will premiere on the WeTV network in the fall. So far it’s been a lot of fun. My family is involved, as is my business family, so it’s pretty much nonstop for me.
You just lobbied in Washington, D.C., for True Colors, regarding LGBT homelessness. Did you make any inroads? We had some great meetings with members of Congress, like leader [Nancy] Pelosi and Sen. [John] Kerry. This visit was just the beginning of the True Colors Fund’s effort to get increased federal funding for runaway and homeless youth, as well as to get the Reconnecting Youth to Prevent Homelessness Act passed.
You just appeared in three new things — the TV shows “Bob’s Burgers” and “Bones,” and the new animated film “Henry & Me.” How do you score all these roles? I love acting. I’m not great at it, but I’ve always put myself out there for the opportunity. “Bob’s Burgers” is really funny and my kid is a huge fan, so they even gave him a role. We got to do it together, which was awesome.
You’re on Jon Secada’s new “Still I Rise” single, plus you have a new live CD-DVD out. What’s next, musically? I’ve just finished writing the music for a Broadway show called “Kinky Boots” — Harvey Fierstein wrote the book. After three years, it’s exciting to see it coming to fruition. Once the show opens on Broadway, I’ll start thinking about my next CD.
What’s your take on President Barack Obama finally supporting gay marriage? I have never been prouder of him, and I was already a big fan. The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” — he’s been the best president so far for the gay community.
IF YOU GO
Black & White Ball
Presented by San Francisco Symphony
Where: Davies Symphony Hall and Civic Center, Van Ness Avenue at Grove Street, S.F.
When: 8 p.m. Saturday
Tickets: $250 to $350
Contact: (415) 864-6000, www.sfsymphony.org/bwball
- Paul Simon 8 p.m., Davies Hall
- The Wallflowers 9:40 p.m., Van Ness Main Stage
- Cyndi Lauper 11 p.m., Van Ness Main Stage
- Janelle Monae 10:30 p.m., Patron’s Tent
- The Drifters 9:30 p.m., South Light Court