'S Wunderful Familial strength is put to the test in writer/director Teddi Dean Bennett's film Wunderland, as a German emigre takes work at a seedy American strip club to pay her younger sister's hospital bills. When the job starts to damage the woman's relationship with her sister and her musician boyfriend, the trio pack up a tiny trailer home and embark on a journey to a new town and a new life. A benefit show for the project features a screening of a trailer for the film and live performances by Preacher Boy, the Rev. Lee E. White, ex-Camper Van Beethoven guitarist Victor Krummenacher, the Swingin' Johnsons, swing pianist Johnny Goetchius, Tom Waits reed player Ralph Carney, and punkabilly priestess Pearl Harbour. Doors open at 7 p.m. at Max's Hi-Ball Lounge, 473 Broadway, S.F. Admission is $10; call 397-9464.
Jazz in the Key of L The Mission Project kicks off the three-day Latin Showcase at Cafe Du Nord with a set of progressive and Latin jazz rooted in Afro-Latin and bebop, along with opening act the Rilke String Quartet. The showcase continues Thursday with pianist Omar Sosa and the Sounds of Cuba, featuring Jesus Diaz and opening solo guitarist Mark Jaramillo. The Juan Escovedo Orchestra, a swinging combo that melds salsa with jazz and pop, features Juan's dad, Pete, as special guest and Jaramillo as opener on Friday. KPOO DJ Chata Gutierrez offers his services each night -- live music starts at 7 p.m. at 2170 Market, S.F. Admission is $3-7; call 861-5016.
Party Naked What begins as an unorthodox game of truth-or-dare among seven gay men ends in a nude musical tribute to Karen Carpenter in the off-Broadway hit Party. Actor Ted Bales, who appeared in the original raunchy late-night Chicago production, reprises his role locally in David Dillon's comedy, which explores friendships within the group. The Party starts at 8 p.m. (continuing through July 28) at the Cable Car Theater, 430 Mason, S.F. Admission is $20-25; call 956-8497.
Dauphin Fiddles, Joan Burns Boys just want to have fun, especially if the alternative is ruling France; that's the theory behind Tony-nominated musical Goodtime Charley, which 42nd Street Moon stages as its first lost musical from the '70s. Composer Larry Grossman and lyricist Hal Hackady conceived this epic-length comedic retelling of the Dauphin of France-Joan of Arc story back in '75 (with Joel Grey in the lead and Anne Reinking of all people as the martyr). The musical was poorly received until the collaborators shaved two hours and 10 minutes off the running time, although the local version does restore three original songs. This show plays at 8 p.m. (continuing through June 23) at the New Conservatory Theater, 25 Van Ness, S.F. Admission is $15-18; call 861-8972.
Bohemian Rhapsody The artistic and intellectual hub of Paris' Latin Quarter, circa Christmas Eve 1830, provides the colorful backdrop for doomed young love between a poet and a seamstress in Puccini's La Boheme. Broadway veteran Michael Yeargan has designed new sets for the production, which is performed by several alternating casts. If the music sounds familiar, it's probably because Boheme melodies have infiltrated popular culture (the music played a key role in the movie Moonstruck). The San Francisco Opera presents a centennial celebration of the work, sung in Italian with English supertitles, at 7 p.m. (continuing through June 30) in the Orpheum Theater, 1192 Market, S.F. Admission is $20-65; call 864-3330.
Street Sweep To inaugurate the second annual street theater festival "In the Street," aerialists from Project Bandaloop will rappel off the side of a building as the rest of the company members dance on the fire escape, in the piece Entry. Later, the Pearl Ubungen Dancers and Musicians perform in Refugee: The Wall, an outdoor work about immigrants, dramatically lit by flares and headlights against the nighttime sky. The free performances begin at 9:30 p.m. at the LAB, Capp & 16th St., S.F. "In the Street," which features over 30 performances by dance, theater, and capoeira groups, jugglers, puppeteers, and clowns, is held Saturday and Sunday on Ellis between Leavenworth and Hyde, S.F. Free; call 905-5958.
Let's Get Ready to Rumba Dance -- as ritual, social event, messenger -- is a global constant, linking otherwise disparate cultures. The San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival showcases 41 groups with California addresses but international roots. This year's festival is grouped thematically into three programs: Musician Hamza El Din is the special guest at the first, "Hidden Treasures: Dance and Music Through the Islamic World," a survey of dance from North India to West Africa. The remaining programs, "Together We Dance: Popular and Social Dances From Around the Globe" and "Window on the World: A Dance Mosaic," are held in subsequent weeks. Each program concludes with members from the various companies congregating for a kind of all-star jam. Program 1 plays at 8 p.m. (also 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday) at the Palace of Fine Arts, Bay & Lyon, S.F. Admission is $15-23; call 392-4400.
Festival Alfresco Oakland gets a closer look at itself with the photo exhibit "Oakland: 24 Hours of Life," for which 23 local photojournalists spent a day and night shooting their neighbors. The exhibit, opening at 11 a.m. in the Calvin Simmons Theater of the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center, 10 10th St., Oakland, is held in conjunction with Festival at the Lake, which is divided into north and south sides. The festival features live music stages, carnival rides, games, arts, and food booths. North-side events include the BAM unsigned band competition, Etta James and Poncho Sanchez, karaoke, comedy, and kids events; a flamenco gala and show by Bruce Cockburn are held on the south side at the Calvin Simmons Theater. Events run through Sunday. Admission is $8 for one side, $12 for both; call (510) 286-1061.
Electric Company Director Spike Lee, performance artist Laurie Anderson, and producer/theorist Brian Eno all have new works in progress: At the Imagination Conference they'll present them individually and discuss jointly the ways in which technology has intersected with their creative visions. Industrial Light & Magic special effects expert Dennis Muren will share his work too; there will be audience participation as well. Not surprisingly, the conference will also have its own Website: http://www.imagination-sf.com. The gathering is held at 7 p.m. in the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, 99 Grove, S.F. Admission to just the conference is $45, or you can hang out afterward at a champagne reception as well for $75; call 438-5165.
Films Not Bombs Anarchists, leftists, and activists of all stripes, unite! Food Not Bombs presents a daylong political film and video festival and free vegetarian snacks at Artists' Television Access. The 20 films, mostly underground works, focus on Issues: police brutality and environmental destruction, Zapatista rebels and Berlin squatters, Mumia and Street Sheet. Films show on the half-hour from noon to 9:30 p.m. at ATA, 992 Valencia, S.F. Admission is $5; call 985-7087.
Hop to It It's men's night at the Bay Area Dance Series, as eclectic hip-hop collective Midnight Voices backs up Housin' Authority, a group of young (17-24) dancers who deliver theatrical stories through precision routines and freestyle solos steeped in jazz, modern, and hip-hop techniques. The show is held at 7 p.m. (also Sunday) at Laney College Theater, 900 Fallon, Oakland. Admission is $12; call 392-4400.
Butoh Comes Alive A few decades back, Japanese artists responded to the horrors of atomic warfare and the mostly apolitical theatricality of kabuki with a startling new post-World War II theatrical dance genre: ankoku butoh, translated as "dance of darkness." The late Tatsumi Hijikata pioneered the rigorous form, which reflects its stark inspiration through spare movement spanning extremes of ugliness and beauty. D-net eases Western audiences into this difficult discipline with the San Francisco Butoh Festival, which this year celebrates women in butoh. The festival (which is reviewed in Stage; see Page 49) begins with a symposium at 2 p.m. at the Asian Art Museum, Golden Gate Park, S.F. Rare butoh films, introduced by Hijikata's widow, play Monday at the Kabuki Theater; and performances by Akiko Motofuji and Asbestos-kan, Setsuko Yamada, Saga Kobayashi, and Hiroko Tamano are held June 13-16 at the Cowell Theater. Admis-sion to programs ranges from free (with museum admission) to $17; call 392-4400.
Haightin' It The Haight Street Fair, known for the smells of good food cooking and carefree kids baking and frying, enters its 19th year with over 200 arts and crafts, refreshment, and social service booths; continuous entertainment includes two live performance stages. The fair begins at 11 a.m. and ends around 5:30 p.m., moving indoors for a Haight Ashbury Free Clinics benefit with S.F. veterans Engorged With Blood and Decal, plus Stiff Richards, Bunny Capsule, and Helen Keller Plaid. The benefit begins at 5 p.m. at the Boomerang, 1840 Haight, S.F. Admission is $3; call 387-2996.
The Buzz Get the skinny on your local rock scene at the Bottom of the Hill's demo night, a showcase for area musicians. Two-year-old East Bay foursome Hive gets this week's show under way with a grinding groove and a stripped-down lyricism ("You're my cup of tea leaves/ Please rake up the yard and try too hard"); Dogs on Valium and Milkduds follow. Hive plugs in at 9:30 p.m. at 1223 17th St., S.F. Admission is $3; call 621-4455.
Decline of the Southern Civilization Existential angst has no place at a Southern Culture on the Skids show, where you're most likely to hear about the mysteries of the human heart when singer Rick Miller hollers, "Put yer teeth up on the windowsiiill!" in a number celebrating sex with a dentally impaired sweetheart. The white-trash flag is proudly waved at the band's twangy, corn-pone performances, which salute life and love in the backwater and have included fried chicken giveaways and limbo contests. The North Carolina trio mines rockabilly, surf, cowpunk, and blues for a revved-up mix that translates live into to a beer-guzzling, booty-shaking free-for-all. Jimbo Trout & the Fish People open for Southern Culture at 9 p.m. at the Great American Music Hall, 859 O'Farrell, S.F. Admission is $8.50; call 885-0750.