More often than not, when we think of waffling sexual preferences, we think of women (usually titillating and unfair notions of switch-hitting as seen on tequila-heavy episodes of elimiDATE and, more recently, in Marissa Cooper's absurd Sapphic plotline on The O.C.).
With men, however, bisexual flip-flopping sometimes seems limited to polyamorous Ren Faire attendees. Comedian Dan Rothenberg's new one-man play, Regretrosexual, deals with the prickly subject more directly. Before a big date, Rothenberg prepares to inform the woman he hopes to marry that, well, while living in San Francisco, he, um, had a three-year affair with another guy. Just what every fiancee yearns to hear! Especially poor Steph, who got dumped by a guy for a guy not too long ago. What unfolds, though, is a humorous yet pointed take on the straight-girl-dates-boy-of-questionable-sexuality saga. Rothenberg, who wrote and produced the show based on his own experiences, shows us how the wacky flexibility of sexual preference affected not only him, but also his loved ones. Come out, so to speak, and see if it has a happy ending at 8 p.m. Friday (and 8 and 10 p.m. Saturday) at the Phoenix Theatre, 414 Mason (at Geary), S.F. Admission is $15; call 820-1457.
-- Brock Keeling
Bob Wills remembered
Back when swing was the thing, citified hoofers danced to the strains of big bands led by Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey. But in rural areas they had another take on the style, one in which honking brass and crooning clarinets were replaced by fiddles and guitars. Add a wailing country vocalist and Dixieland beats and you had western swing, an infectious staple in country dance halls. One of the kings of the genre was a fella named Bob Wills, who led his Texas Playboys to widespread popularity in the '40s and is often credited as western swing's inventor. Today loyal fans celebrate the bandleader's legacy at "Crossing Borders With Bob Wills," a lecture from Wills biographer Dr. Charles R. Townsend followed by live licks from the sublimely fun Dr. Loco's Rockin' Jalapeño Band starting at 2 p.m. in the Cesar Chavez Student Center, 1600 Holloway (at 19th Avenue), on the SFSU campus. Admission is free; call 338-2444 or visit www.aspa-sfsu.org.
-- Joyce Slaton
Richard the first time
The curtain rose on the first all-black Shakespeare production in 1821, more than 40 years before the Emancipation Proclamation came into effect. According to Carlyle Brown's drama The African Company Presents Richard III, New York audiences weren't very friendly to the performers, to put it mildly. In addition, the troupe faced intramural strife and one of the Bard's most difficult histories to stage.
But the actors knew that the show must go on, in the name of theater and freedom. The African-American Shakespeare Company treads the boards in this compelling tale Fridays through Sundays at 8 p.m. (through March 20) at the Buriel Clay Theater, 762 Fulton (at Webster), S.F. Admission is $10-30; call 762-2071 or visit www.african-americanshakes.org.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
Roll Out the Barrel
They sing of sausages and beer. They wear lederhosen and steel-toed boots. And for two decades the members of Polkacide have made everyone within earshot go totally fucking nuts on the dance floor. There has never been a Polkacide appearance that wasn't pure stupid fun. See for yourself as the band headlines its own 20th anniversary show at 10 p.m. at the Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St. (at Missouri), S.F. Admission is $5; call 621-4455 or visit www.bottomofthehill.com.
-- Joyce Slaton