June Jordan Political activist, award-winning poet, playwright and essayist June Jordan brings her talents to a new milieu with I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky, an urban opera written with John Adams that recently debuted at Cal Performances and will soon move on to New York's Lincoln Center. See Jordan perform and sign her libretto at 7:30 pm at A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books, 601 Van Ness, S.F. Call 441-6670.
You Gotta Give 'Em Hope In You Gotta Give 'Em Hope actor-writer James Patrick Kennedy explores the public and private lives of Harvey Milk. Through interviews (with Milk's friends), tape recordings, diaries and news reports, Kennedy follows the journey of "The Mayor of Castro Street" from closeted New York investment broker to leader of San Francisco's progressive gay community. Directed by Danny Scheie -- who recently helmed the all-male production of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night at Theatre Rhinoceros -- Kennedy's solo performance plays Wed-Sun 8 pm at Josie's Cabaret & Juice Joint, 3583 16th St, S.F. Tickets are $12; call 861-7933.
Beyond Bagdad Is there a difference between politics and theater? If so, Beyond Bagdad -- featuring cameo appearances by Frank Jordan, Angela Alioto and Carole Migden -- blurs the boundaries. The latest farce at Theatre Rhinoceros fuses musicals like The Wizard of Oz and West Side Story to lesbian life in contemporary San Francisco. It also gives Migden a chance to belt out a rendition of "Everlasting Love." Beyond Bagdad opens at 8 pm at Theatre Rhinoceros, 2926 16th St, S.F., and continues through June 10. Tickets are $12-18; call 861-5079.
Hip Hop Don't Stop Local hip-hop shows are currently few and far between, which means a number of independent crews have little chance to play live. Thankfully, Bottom of the Hill -- a venue better known for rock shows -- is helping to fill the void with a quadruple bill featuring Brand X, Mystik Journeymen, the Marginal Prophets and WAMMY-winners 10 Bass T. Hear tracks from the Journeymen's upcoming EP 4001, and listen to the stoopid-smart Prophets, a musical outlet for the pun-packed, hyper-referential humor of Keith Knight, the creative goofus behind The K Chronicles. Show starts 9:30 pm at Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St, S.F. Tickets are $5; call 621-4455.
Henri Marie-Rose Originally from Martinique, Henri Marie-Rose began sculpting at the age of seven, when he saw the outline of a dog in a stone on the ground. For the past 30 years, Rose has lived and worked in San Francisco, where his largely organic work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art. A retrospective spanning those past three decades, Pulling Dogs From Stone, features paintings along with works in metal, stone and wood. Join the artist in an opening reception, 6-9 pm, at the Alliance Française de San Francisco, 1345 Bush, S.F. Pulling Dogs From Stone runs through May 31; call 775-7755.
Singing Myself a Lullaby Dancer/actor John Henry uses AIDS as a catalyst for an examination of life and death. As Henry -- a former member of the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company -- performs vignettes that honor significant events from his artistic past, media artist Douglas Rosenberg videotapes them, so later performances will include footage Henry's weakening body can no longer perform. Considering the recent controversy over New Yorker critic Arlene Croce's attack on "victim art," this swan song is likely to inspire debate. Singing Myself a Lullaby plays 8 pm, then Fri-Sat 8 pm and Sun 7 pm, at New Performance Gallery, 3153 17th St, S.F. Tickets are $10-15; call 863-9834.
Sick and Twisted San Francisco's Palace of Fine Arts Theatre plays host to some not-so-fine art as Spike & Mike's Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation hits the second weekend of a four-week run. In case you're unfamiliar with the fest's short fare, a brief sample of titles -- Dirdy Birdy, I Never Ho'd For My Father and Lloyd Loses His Lunch, for example -- should clue you in. The program screens 9:30 pm and midnight at Bay & Lyon, S.F., also Sat 7 & 9:30 pm and midnight (through May 27). Tickets are $7 (ages 18 and over only); call 567-6642.
Techno-Fund Performance Benefit Fresh from a highly praised New York dance collaboration with Ishmael Houston-Jones, the tireless Keith Hennessy returns to S.F. for a Techno-Fund Performance Benefit, with appearances by Nao Bustamante, Julie Kane, Jules Beckman, Ray Chung, Patty Cachapero and the talk-show hostess-with-the-mostest, Joan Jett Blakk. Proceeds go to 848 Community Space, where Hennessy will also present Box, "a hardcore, improvised performance questioning color, punishment and love," Sat-Sun 8:30 pm (tickets are $10). Techno-Fund Performance Benefit begins at 8:30 pm at 848 Community Space, 848 Divisadero, S.F. Tickets are $10-100 (pay what you want); call 922-2385.
AIDS Bike-a-Thon Roll out your 10-speed or your tricycle for the 11th annual AIDS Bike-a-Thon, benefiting Project Open Hand, the leading provider of hot meals, groceries and nutritional counseling for San Francisco and Alameda County residents living with HIV/AIDS. This year's event is likely to draw at least a thousand cyclists: It offers four different routes, based on ability and pledge money. Riders are encouraged to collect a minimum of $100; more than $15,000 in prizes will be awarded to the top pledge-getters. All routes start at the Log Cabin Site in S.F.'s Presidio, with registration beginning at 7 am. Call 255-4167 for registration information.
Mission Mural Walk As part of Mural Awareness Week, the Precita Eyes Mural Arts Center is offering daily Mission District mural walks. Preceded by a brief slide presentation on the history and process of mural art, the walks cover over 70 murals in eight blocks: Highlights include the Csar Chavez School and the Women's Building. The walks begin at Precita Eyes Mural Center, 348 Precita, S.F., at 1:30 pm (daily through May 21). Tickets are $1-4; call 285-2287.
Event 1995 Event 1995 offers musical theater with a cast of thousands: Some 650 of its performers come from San Francisco schools. Presented by the San Francisco Arts Education Foundation, the Event celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. Under the direction of Emily Keeler, the free production features a band led by jazz composer Wayne Wallace and the libretto's composer, Danny Duncan; a benefit picnic catered by Alice Waters' Chez Panisse follows at 1:30 at the Shakespeare Garden (tickets are $50, $10 for children). Event 1995 starts at noon at the Golden Gate Park Temple of Music Bandshell, S.F. Call 771-1718.
Walk for the Animals Even if you don't have a pet, you can help the San Francisco SPCA by joining its seventh annual Petwalk. Registration begins at 8:30 am; events include a canine Frisbee and soccer demonstration, a pet costume contest and a one-mile stroll. Petwalk '95 takes place at Sharon Meadow, Golden Gate Park, S.F., 8:30 am-12:30 pm. Tickets are $3-15; call 554-3096.
Are You My Mother? In celebration of Mother's Day, the 20-member Khadra International Folk Ballet presents Are You My Mother?, a work based on the famous children's book written by P. D. Eastman. Linking traditional folk dances with narrative dance forms, the one-day-only production features music performed by a five-piece folk band and the Jefferson Piano Quartet. Are You My Mother? is staged at the Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness, S.F., at 2 and 4 pm. Tickets are $7-10; call 392-4400.
Ear of the Dragon Various-artists compilations are an easy way for greedy major labels to make a quick buck, but indie comps usually set their goals higher. Case in point: Ear of the Dragon, an original collection of 19 bands featuring Asian American musicians. Put together by Chicago rock critic Ben Kim, and Sooyoung Park and William Shin of the Windy City band Seam, Ear of the Dragon doesn't just bridge cultures, it introduces some terrific new performers, in particular, New York singer/songwriter Yanti Arifin and a Canadian quartet called Venus Cures All. The Ear of the Dragon tour hits town with a four-band lineup: Seam, Venus Cures All, aMiniature and Vancouver cutie-pie rockers Cub. If you feel inclined to rock, report to the Great American Music Hall, 859 O'Farrell, S.F., at 8 pm. Tickets are $7; call 885-0750.
Isabel Allende The "On Arts & Politics" discussion series continues with an appearance by Isabel Allende, celebrated author of The House of the Spirits. Allende's most recent book, Paula, is a nonfiction account of her infant daughter's death; she'll be interviewed by novelist and close friend Anne Lamott (Operating Instructions, Bird by Bird). The program takes place at the Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness, S.F., at 8 pm. Tickets are $15; call 392-4400.