Warm, Fuzzy Migdalia Cruz, whose play Miriam's Flowers debuted at Intersection for the Arts back in '92, returns to the scene with Fur, her modern revision of Beauty and the Beast. In Cruz's raunchy love triangle, Michael is obsessed with the hirsute circus sideshow freak Citrona, who has eyes for Nena, who is in love with Michael. Sexual tension, the quest for love, and the search for a sense of self unfold on the dusty outskirts of L.A., in an isolated desert shop where Michael keeps Citrona caged in the basement. Carlos and Victor Cartagena and Herbert Siguenza have created paintings especially for the show that will be exhibited in the lobby. Campo Santo, who specialize in Latino work, stage Fur, which previews at 8 p.m. (and continues through Oct. 27) at Intersection for the Arts, 446 Valencia (at 15th Street), S.F. Admission is $9-12; call 626-3311.
Art Attack Even if you don't visit all of the 600 artists opening their work spaces to the public during Open Studios month, try visiting at least a few, for voyeurism's sake: Open Studios offers some idea of how many artists there are in the city, what they're doing, and where they're doing it. It also provides novice and expert collectors the opportunity to purchase art without having to foot the gallery commission, and to ask the artists all kinds of prying questions about their work, like "What is this?" Studios in the Richmond, the Sunset, North Beach, the Marina, Russian Hill, Pacific Heights, the Haight, Western Addition, and Hayes Valley open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday, followed by studio openings in all other parts of the city for the following three weekends. Meanwhile, a group show featuring one work by each participating artist opens with a reception at 6 p.m. tonight at Somar Gallery, 934 Brannan (at Ninth Street), S.F. Admission is free; call 861-9838 for a list of stores carrying studio maps for the weekend tours.
Dead Again Death, like the Inquisition, is frequently unexpected, and in the case of the Mexican Museum's "El Dia de los Muertos/Day of the Dead" exhibit, it's early, even. The Day of the Dead doesn't officially fall until Nov. 2, but this collection of ceramics, sculptures, photos, prints, drawings, and paintings by Mexican and Chicano artists opens a month before, giving viewers enough time to mull over the ideological clash the exhibit demonstrates between Mesoamerican indigenous cultures that considered death an inseparable part of life, and the idea introduced by Spanish colonials that death was something to be avoided at all costs. Highlights include Spanish colonial and Aztec revival art, a traditional altar by Herminia Albarran and a modern one by Terese Bravo. The exhibit opens with a reception at 6 p.m. at the Mexican Museum, Fort Mason Center, Building D, Marina & Buchanan, S.F. Admission is free-$3; call 441-0404.
It's a Hit Momix created the performance piece Baseball five years ago, after the San Francisco Giants commissioned the company to open their new spring training park in Scottsdale, Ariz. Now that the Giants have entered the pennant race and ballpark culture is fresh in the local consciousness, Momix returns with the comic full-length work. Director Moses Pendleton, formerly of the elastic-limbed modern dance company Pilobolus, uses props, slide projections, classic soul, and athletic, acrobatic modern dance in his version of the game, as dancing beer cans do the cancan to James Brown's "I Feel Good," and an oversized catcher's mitt writhes in anticipation of the action. The show begins at 8 p.m. at the Marin Center, Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. Admission is $18-28; all 472-3500.
Crime Spree Like Jack Vincennes, the cop who acts as technical adviser to the TV police show Badge of Honor in James Ellroy's novel L.A. Confidential, Ellroy has recently found himself in the Hollywood spotlight, as writer/director Curtis Hanson's excellent adaptation of Ellroy's crime noir story continues to win critical and popular acclaim. Ellroy returns to the City of Angels in his memoir My Dark Places, a real-life crime story about the unsolved murder of his own mother when he was 10, and his search for her killer decades later. Ellroy will address audience questions on these and other novels including American Tabloid and White Jazz when he reads from My Dark Places at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Diesel, a Bookstore (5433 College, Oakland, 510/653-9965), and 7:30 p.m. Saturday night at A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books (Opera Plaza, 601 Van Ness, S.F., 441-6670). Admission to both readings is free.
Foot and Mouth There's poetry and then there's poetry in motion. And then there's Thai food, which doesn't seem connected, but is nonetheless a feature of the Dancing Poetry Festival, a daylong celebration of dual (or dueling, if you like) muses put together by Natica Angilly, founder of the Poetic Dance Theater Company. The day begins with an open poetry reading and continues with readings by guest poets and dozens of artists performing short works. There is dancing with sign language, by Sue Brantley & Company and Mona Jean; poetry with live music, by P.J. Flowers; and ancient Greek poetry by Anastasia, Japanese noh dance by Ellen Brooke, and flamenco to poetry by Garcia Lorca by Ana Chuzaria. Books, masks, and exotic clothing will be sold at the event, which begins at 10:30 a.m. at Lincoln University, 281 Masonic (at Turk), S.F. Admission is $4-12; call (510) 538-1013.
Roll With It OK, so it's not Rollerball, but it's hard not to be fascinated anyhow by a real-live roller derby triple-header, one benefiting the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, no less. Major roller derby talent, including Ann Calvello, Larry Lee, Frank Apodaca, Lydia Clay, and Jo Jo Stafford, will compete as the Bay City Bombers host the L.A. Turbos and the Santa Cruz Royal Rollers. Historical note: This is Calvello's 49th year in roller derby. The event begins at 7 p.m. at Kezar Pavilion, Golden Gate Park, S.F. Admission is $7-12; call (408) 292-7783.
One Love, Eight Bands Former Bob Marley backup vocalist-turned-solo artist Judy Mowatt and singer Maxi Priest, whose particular brand of reggae is informed by Afropop and R&B, are the big names at this year's Reggae in the Park, where the musical genre will be broken down even further into soca by Arrow, dancehall by Capleton, and Canadian by Toronto's Reggae Cowboys. (Jah, eh?) Expect to find ethnic arts and crafts and international cuisine booths among the aromatic mass of humanity spread out across the meadow at this two-day affair, a benefit for out-reach program Global Exchange. Arrow, Capleton, and Mowatt will joined by Santa Cruz's Dub Nation today; Sonoma's Strictly Roots opens the Sunday concert. Both shows, which mark exclusive Bay Area appearances for the out-of-town artists, begin at noon in Sharon Meadow, Golden Gate Park, S.F. Admission is $12.50-15; call 383-9378.
The Name Game Finally, an answer to the question of what happened to the Pixies who weren't Kim Deal or Black Francis/Frank Black. Guitarist Joey Santiago and drummer David Lovering went on to form the Martinis, which Lovering has since abandoned; they'll be playing here with Stan Ridgeway collaborator Joe Berardi in the drummer's seat. Singer/Santiago spouse Linda Mallari, who wouldn't have sounded entirely out of place in the Pixies, tries her damndest to distance herself from her former membership in the international youth group Up With People, as Santiago does that chiming pop-punk thing. 7th Betty (featuring Guardian music writer Howard Myint) open the show at 9 p.m., followed by Readymade, a spinoff of Heavy Into Jeff, at the Kilowatt, 3160 16th St. (at Albion), S.F. Admission is $7; call 861-2595.
Hang Time Technically, the BMI bimonthly barbecue and live music showcase "BigHang" is not a showcase, although local and L.A. music industry types have been issued standing invitations, and BMI's L.A. people are actually expected to show. BMI producer Nadine Condon, who's showcased Third Eye Blind and Counting Crows, dreamt up this non-showcase to bring musicians closer to music industry people and fans, and to show off local musical variety, which she does at this month's event with Ledenhed (singer/songwriter Allen Lorry), who opens the show, followed by Keith (K Chronicles) Knight and Jeff Kramer of hip-hop duo the Marginal Prophets, who bypass the traditional sample circuit on their album Twist the Nob with bits of The The's "Dogs of Lust" and Camper Van Beethoven's violin intro from "Pictures of Matchstick Men." Self-described "agropop" combo Oranger, featuring former members of Overwhelming Colorfast and American Sensei, headline the show, which begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St. (at Texas), S.F. Admission is free; call 621-4455.
Good Evening, I'm Tom Brokaw He won't really have to say it when he takes the stage for a conversation with UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism Dean Orville Schell, because Americans have seen Tom Brokaw's mug on TV for the last 30 years, and they know who he is by now. As anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News, Brokaw has broken industry ground as the first to land interviews with Mikhail Gorbachev and the Dalai Lama, and has left the comfort of his anchor's chair to cover the world's events, including the fall of the Berlin Wall and the signing of the Middle East peace treaty on the White House lawn. As a political reporter, he's covered every presidential election since 1968, and as a media personality, he's greeted all the wacky stories that have crossed his desk with a wry smile and, thankfully, little or no patter. The evening begins at 8 p.m. at Zellerbach Hall, Bancroft & Telegraph, UC Berkeley campus. Admission is $3-5; call (510) 642-9988.
Viva Hate If there's one song that sums up Morrissey's musical career, it's "Girlfriend in a Coma." Actually, "The More You Ignore Me, the Closer I Get" might be an even better way to describe the surprisingly long-lived appeal of a yodeling, self-absorbed celibate. That isn't to say Morrissey's pre- and post-Smiths work has lacked sexual reference, particularly same-sex reference, in songs like "I Am Hated for Loving." But his real appeal lies in the legions of the mopey, the terminally misunderstood, and the chronically unloved who believe the Moz feels their pain, and who enjoy nothing more than wallowing in the result. He's the original shoegazer, after all, and for every listener who gets the joke Morrissey pokes at himself in songs like "Late Night, Maudlin Street," there are an equal number who don't think it's funny. Morrissey fans can expect titles like "He Cried" and more lyrics about self-loathing on his latest release, Maladjusted. (Of course it's called Maladjusted. If it were called Happy as a Clam, for example, it just wouldn't be the Morrissey we've come to love.) Elcka open for Morrissey at 8 p.m. at the Warfield, 982 Market (at Seventh Street), S.F. Admission is $20-22.50; call 775-7722.