The Kafka-esque scenario of Indigo Don't Vote, a dark staged comedy written by Andrew Ward and Gabriel Goldstein, is eerily similar to Steven Spielberg's film The Terminal: Each work includes a Third World country that has ceased to exist, an airplane, and an oft-repeated catchword that sums up the quirky circumstances -- The Terminal's "unacceptable" to Indigo's "discontinued." The main characters in the two stories, however, react to the vanished countries in wholly different ways. One falls in love with Catherine Zeta-Jones and eats gift-shop crackers; the other, an inert loafer who "lacks the passion to pursue anything," is finally motivated to warn against a world that seems to be disappearing. He turns to friends, a senator, a psychiatrist, the media, and anarchists for help with the sticky problem of "non-ness" -- and receives a predictable zilch. Written in 2002 against the backdrop of troops massing in Iraq, the play presents a new modern malaise: that of disappearing through the information gap. Indigo previews tonight at 8 (and runs through Feb. 26) at the Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter (at Powell), S.F. Admission is $20; call 433-1226 or visit www.sheltontheater.com.
-- Michael Leaverton Crazy, For You
It seems like every time we see Loco Bloco Drum & Dance Ensemble the group is on the move. Parades and anti-war marches appear to be the loud, rowdy band's natural habitat. So while we're stoked (along with the rest of the world) that it's Mardi Gras, we're additionally amped that Loco Bloco has been contained because of it. At last, we won't have to dance and walk at the same time: The troupe performs indoors. Though it'll be a different experience without all the stilt walkers and giant puppets, we're sure the evening will still be colorful, energetic, and high-decibel. Isn't that what you look for in both a peace rally and a Mardi Gras blast? The only drawback we predict is that it'll be awfully hot in the club. Don't wear too many clothes. Joined by DJ Papi Chocolate, the multiple award-winning, multicultural band celebrates Fat Tuesday Mission District style. Expect salsa, soca, hip hop, and more at 8 p.m. at Roccapulco, 3140 Mission (at Cesar Chavez), S.F. Admission is $15; call 626-5222 or visit www.locobloco.org.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
Sexy play by Mee
Charles L. Mee is one of the country's most innovative playwrights, but he refuses to call his work original. That's primarily because he often takes his narratives from Greek or other classical works, steals his dialogue from a range of seemingly incongruous sources (like Warhol shooter Valerie Solanas and poet Allen Ginsberg), and goes on to pluck monologues and phrases from blockbuster films and popular TV commercials. He calls the effect "theatrical collage"; we think sitting through one of Mee's plays is like wandering through a colorful, often racy portrait of history that starts with Aristotle and ends with Top Gun. Mee's latest project is devoted to the French -- a people, he believes, who know how to derive pleasure from the simple things in life. A "sensual celebration" for mature audiences only (explicit sexuality and full nudity are part of the package), Fêtes de la Nuit takes place in Paris, where the playwright, who is also a famed historian, has spent a fair amount of time. It's about love and romance, sex and wine, designer shoes and sidewalk accordion players. But Mee's politico-historical eye has also incorporated themes of multiculturalism into Fêtes, which examines the influx of Third World populations into the explicitly First World Paris, exploring the ways in which Moroccans and Indians and North Africans have culturally altered the home of Montmartre and the Sorbonne. This new dramatic conglomeration, directed by Les Waters, continues through Feb. 27 at Berkeley Rep's Roda Theatre, 2015 Addison (at Shattuck), Berkeley. Tickets are $10-55; call (510) 647-2949 or visit www.berkeleyrep.org.
-- Karen Macklin
Why doesn't Stevie Wonder get the cred he deserves? Is it because the public remembers his later dreck ("Part-Time Lover") more than his early, shockingly great songs ("Sir Duke")? Tonight, however, Wonder gets his due at "Directions in Music," where jazz mavens Herbie Hancock, Michael Brecker, and Roy Hargrove reinterpret his works and those of other composers, like Chick Corea, at 8 at Zellerbach Hall, Bancroft & Telegraph on the UC Berkeley campus. Tickets are $30-62; call (510) 642-9988 or visit www.calperfs.berkeley.edu.
-- Joyce Slaton
Meet the Folkers
We're guessing that a lot of manly singer/ songwriter types will frequent Jesse DeNatale's monthlong Wednesday-night club residency, hoping some of his talent will rub off on them. One of the Bay Area's best folk growlers, DeNatale is joined onstage by some interesting buddies; this week, it's Jonathan Richman and Matt Gonzalez, at 8:30 p.m. at the Red Devil Lounge, 1695 Polk (at Clay), S.F. Admission is $6-8; call 921-1695 or visit www.reddevillounge.com.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser