There was a big party Saturday night at The Café in the Castro in honor of the 60th birthday of longtime gay-rights activist Cleve Jones. He said all he wanted for his birthday was to hear Jonathan Groff sing the finale ("The Flesh Failures/Let the Sunshine In") from Hair, and he got his wish. He also got a moving, reverent speech from Milk screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, who tracked him down at a low point in his life in Palm Springs to get him to tell the story of the beginning of the gay rights movement in San Francisco with Jones' mentor Harvey Milk.
Groff, who's currently in S.F. shooting season 2 of Looking for HBO, played the role of Claude in Hair in the 2008 Shakespeare in the Park production that ultimately moved to Broadway.
Juanita More! sent over a trove of photos from Saturday's event taken by photographer Georg Lester, and featuring other notables like Sister Roma, Armistead Maupin, Supervisor David Campos, and Milk director Gus Van Sant.
Below, a video showing the end of Groff's number, and then the speeches by Black, a final rousing one by Jones himself, and a toast by Juanita.
Black calls Jones "a man who is filled with passion and purpose," and "the gay Forrest Gump" (because of how he's been present at so many pivotal moments in the human rights struggle over the years). And Jones says, once he's worked the crowd up, "I believe in one movement. It's not the gay movement, or the women's movement, or the immigrants' rights movement. It's the movement for all of us who want to live in a world of peace and justice." He adds, "I am so grateful to be alive, and to have so many wonderful friends."