Drag City Arturo Galster (aka Patsy Cline, aka Chesty Baker) ushers in the big 4-0 with a fancy cocktail party, at which Minnie Pearl Necklace, the Fishstix, Connie Champagne, Midori, and others will entertain. This would be the place to break out the rhinestones and false eyelashes; fetishwear is also encouraged. The first 99 people to arrive, or guests bearing gifts, are eligible to win free makeup, show tickets, and sex toys. The party, a benefit for the S.F. Sex Info Line, is held at 9 p.m. at "DragStrip," located in the DNA Lounge, 375 11th St., S.F. Admission is $7 in drag, $11 out; call 331-9595 ext. 300.
No Escaping Destiny Writer/performer Pauline Pfandler's inner children duke it out in her one-woman show Born Guilty. Pfandler mines her experience creating a modern opera, and the voices in her head that told her she would probably fail (which became representative of the self-deprecating messages many women send themselves). These voices are manifested in the Thug ("You're fat, you're dumb, you're ugly") and Peggy ("I'm fine! I'm fine! I'm fine!"). Born Guilty opens at 8 p.m. (continuing Thursdays-Sundays through June 2) at the Bayfront Theater, Fort Mason Center, Building B, S.F. Admission is $15; call 776-8999.
Activist Exchange Hell-raisers take note: City Arts & Lectures has paired Angela Davis and Elizabeth Martinez for an onstage conversation, as part of its "On Art and Politics" series. Davis is best known for her involvement with the Black Panthers and her term as a political prisoner two decades ago, but she has remained active since her release, publishing articles and writing books; she is now researching the ways prison shakes up gender, race, and power. Martinez, no stranger to social upheaval, is a veteran of the civil rights movement and the founder of the Chicano movement paper El Grito del Norte; her new book is the bilingual pictorial history 500 Years of Chicano History. The confab, a fund-raiser for the Women's Foundation, begins at 8 p.m. in the Herbst Theater, 401 Van Ness, S.F. Tickets are $16; call 392-4400.
Galactic Groove DJ Cheb i Sabbah opens aural doors as he spins discs from Africa, Asia, and the Middle East for "1,002 Nights." The show also features live appearances by Pakistani ghazal (light classical) singers Sukhawat and Rifatt Ali Khan and the Persian-born septet Axiom of Choice, who experiment with radif, the classical Persian repertoire, to hauntingly beautiful, richly percussive effect. "1,002 Nights" takes place at 9:30 p.m. at the Sound Factory, 525 Harrison, S.F. Admission is $15; call 789-8467. Across the bay, Afrasia fuses Afro-Haitian and Cuban dance music with jazz, Hindu, and Sufi devotional music, kathak, and odissi at 8 p.m. at La Pena Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck, Berkeley. Admission is $8; call (510) 849-2568, ext. 15.
Hicks in Space Hayseeds and sci-fi meet B-movies in Hillbillies on the Moon, a musical comedy created by Elvis Herselvis (Leigh Crow) and scored by the Buck Tooth Varmints' Annie Toone. An all-woman drag king cast plays out the story of the Evil Queen of the Moon's attempt to overtake the Earth with drone men, and the hillbilly brothers and the crazy hermaphroditic sidekick who try to stop her. The show opens at 8 p.m. (continuing Wednesdays-Sundays through June 8) at Theater Rhinoceros, 2926 16th St., S.F. Admission is $12-18; call 861-5079.
We're Here, We're Queer, We're Amped Glaminatrix Pussy Tourette hosts the Gay/Lesbian American Music Awards showcase "Come Out and Play," which debuts in San Francisco and travels on to Chicago, New York, and L.A. Pansy Division's Jon Ginoli and the Hail Marys head up the rock contingent; they are joined by blues rockers Sweet Loretta and women's music artist Alix Dobkin. Doors open at 8 p.m., music begins at 9 p.m. at V/SF, 278 11th St., S.F. Admission is $7; call (800) 956-5262.
Harry Serenade Before he was an actor he was a singer, but if Harry Dean Stanton's characters have been dark and harsh, word is that his rootsy musical repertoire is nothing of the kind. The Blue Bell Wranglers and the Rhythm Lords open for a guitar-wielding Stanton at 9 p.m. at the DNA Lounge, 375 11th St., S.F. Admission is $10; call 626-1409.
My Life With the Other White Meat In her treatise on people and relationships, Women Who Run With Swine: Myths and Stories of a Lesbian Gal, Monica Grant combines monologue with musical parody. It's here that you'll hear "Co-Dependence Polka," sung in an alto that has made Grant a hot commodity on the women's music circuit. The show opens at 10 p.m. to benefit the Names Project (continuing Thursdays-Saturdays through June 1) at 450 Geary Studio Theater, 450 Geary, S.F. Admission is $12-25; call 673-1172.
Where the Heart Is In "Home Expo," two dance companies stage three works on the comforts and constricts of family life. Lizz Roman and Dancers swing, on trapeze, between nostalgia for the past and confrontation with the less rosy present in their premiere of Kitchen Project. SQUAD, meanwhile, uses dance and dialogue to deconstruct homemaking iconography from Betty Crocker to Martha Stewart in Good Cooks and Hard Lessons, and memorialize the best qualities of two elderly relatives in The Grandma Pieces. The show is at 8 p.m. (also Saturday and May 17-18) at ODC Performance Gallery, 3153 17th St., S.F. Admission is $10; call 863-9834.
This One's for the Children The 13th annual International Beer Festival, a fund-raiser for the half pints at the Telegraph Hill Cooperative Nursery School, is more than just a hoppy occasion. Besides the tastings, the fest features a rare beer auction, live music, prizes, and a buffet with dishes from some of San Francisco's tonier eateries, like Stars and Bizou. But enough about that. Think about unlimited samples of over 75 beers and microbrews from around the world, and later, when you don't think you can quaff even one more brew, remember: The little tykes are counting on you. The festival runs 8 to 11 p.m. at Fort Mason Center, Building A, S.F. Admission is $25; call 421-3313.
Sophisticated Gent With the exception of rising star Savion Glover, Gregory Hines is typically the first guy named when people talk tap. With seamlessly smooth technique, he's spent much of his career reviving popular interest in the genre. Hines speaks about his roles on film (White Nights, The Cotton Club) and on the road (Sophisticated Ladies, Jelly's Last Jam) and demonstrates his famous form and style in "An Evening of Conversation With Gregory Hines." The event benefits Oakland's St. Paul's Episcopal School; it's at 7:30 p.m. at the Paramount Theater, 2025 Broadway, Oakland. Admission is $18-32; call (510) 465-6400.
Face the Wall Mural art maps history and drives home points on a grand scale, but when you look at one of the city's many murals, do you know what you're seeing? May is Mural Awareness Month, and to that end, the Precita Eyes Mural Arts Center sponsors several events, including a awards ceremony and celebration honoring local artists. It's free, at 1:30 p.m. in Precita Park, Precita & Folsom, S.F. The center also offers a photo exhibit of local murals, and guided bicycle, walking, and bus tours, preceded by slide lectures, during May weekends; call 285-2287 for information.
The Doctor Is In Show Mom how Mother Earth works with "Dr. Art's Environmental Medicine Show," in which Dr. Art Sussman explains, using just three basic principles, how the Earth operates. Sussman weaves demonstrations and audience participation into his scientific shtick, simplifying the relationships between matter, energy, and life both locally and globally. The program begins at 1 p.m. in the California Academy of Sciences Auditorium, Golden Gate Park, S.F. In honor of Mother's Day, moms are admitted free with kids. Otherwise, admission is $7, with discounts for kids and seniors; call 750-7145.
Natural Man His sociobiology theory continues to draw fire, but Harvard biologist and author Edward O. Wilson is a formidable intellectual force whose work to prevent species extinction has been internationally lauded. Wilson's research has centered around ant and insect societies, but his interests also extend to evolutionary biology and ethical philosophy. The winner of two Pulitzers and a host of other science prizes, Wilson speaks at 8 p.m. in the Herbst Theater, 401 Van Ness, S.F. Admission is $16; call 392-4400.
Whigs and Lips Quel dilemma: two prime headliners on the same night. With Cincinnati foursome the Afghan Whigs you get malevolent ladies' man Greg Dulli, who will doubtless lead the band through a ripping set of tunes touching on the twin themes of love's evil siren song and the amusing loathsomeness of humanity. Howlin' Maggie, fronted by sometime Whigs keyboardist Harold Chichester, opens at 8 p.m. at the Fillmore, 1805 Geary, S.F. Admission is $15; call 346-6000. The Flaming Lips, on the other hand, infuse their storytelling with a bittersweet psychedelia and a muffled electric crackle. Richard Davies opens at 9 p.m. at Slim's, 333 11th St., S.F. Admission is $10; call 522-0333.
Airborne They don't fly and they're not actually related, but the Flying Karamazov Brothers are a tightknit bunch known for sending inanimate objects skyward without casualties. Their new show, Club Sandwich, is a sendup of Bogart films, as the troupe tries to solve a murder by following an ancient Egyptian map. Along with wordplay, the show features a Karamazov trademark: "The Gamble," in which audiences offer Ivan Karamazov really difficult items to juggle. This appearance marks a return to the Brothers' roots: They first performed together on the streets of San Francisco. Club Sandwich plays at 8 p.m. (continuing Tuesdays-Sundays through May 26) at the Cowell Theater, Fort Mason Center, S.F. Admission is $14-28; call 392-4400.
Starstruck The 4 Star Theater asks, "Are you ready to see 32 Hong Kong films in eight weeks?" Of course you don't have to see all of them, but "Hong Kong Movie Madness" is a fairly enticing set of films, including both classics of the genre and new works, and a collection of rare works from the '60s and '70s. The fest begins tonight with two S.F. premieres, Eddie Fong's Private Eye Blues (noon, 3:30, 7, & 10:15 p.m.) and Wong Kam Tin's Most Wanted (1:45, 5:15, & 8:35 p.m.), at the 4 Star, 2200 Clement, S.F. Admission is $4-6; call 666-3488.