Erik Ehn doesn't script plays -- he channels them. The internationally lauded, California-based playwright's cross-cultural projects often result in something of a mix between a night at the theater and a religious experience. With an uncommon respect for the spiritual roots of theatrical tradition, Ehn frequently fuses together ancient and indigenous rituals with the modern aspects of stage and technology. His latest creation, Moon of the Scarlet Plums -- Crazy Horse, is no exception. The play, in town for only two nights on an international tour, blends the highly stylized movement of Noh (the Japanese form of drama) with Native American storytelling and symbols of the cycle of nature. Developed through the Theatre of Yugen, a San Francisco company committed to producing plays in traditional Japanese style, Moon is a reincarnation of Ehn's original production Crazy Horse, which first premiered locally in 2001. Revamped for its current tour, which includes a stop at the World Expo in Aichi, Japan, Moon is inspired by the story of the famed Lakota Sioux warrior Crazy Horse, who bravely fought off U.S. troops determined to steal land from Native Americans in the late 19th century. The play, however, focuses on a distant descendant of the great Lakota warrior: a young woman who is searching to find her own spiritual identity in today's world.
Directed by Theatre of Yugen founder Yuriko Doi and starring Native American actress Jane Lind, Moon starts at 8 p.m. in the Diego Rivera Theater/CCSF, 50 Phelan (at Judson), S.F. Admission is $5-20; call 621-7978 or visit www.theatreofyugen.org.
-- Karen Macklin
The Congo Kid
With all of the international attention focused on the Middle East, we often forget about one of the most unstable parts of the world: Africa. Congolese choreographer and dancer Faustin Linyekula is here to remind us. In his abstract modern dance piece Triptyque Sans Titre, he brings to life memories, both turbulent and violent, of growing up in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The work is as much about memory as it is politics, as Linyekula's dance recalls scenes of his childhood through fragments and faded visions of the past. Triptyque starts at 8 p.m. in the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Forum, 701 Mission (at Third Street), S.F. Admission is $18-25; call 978-2787 or visit www.ybca.org.
-- Karen Macklin
The Breu Crue
Getting comedy's goat
Who can resist a song named "Party in the Stomach" or a hard-core metal version of the "Hokey Pokey"? Somewhat of a household name after four years on Saturday Night Live, his own daily radio show, and appearances in movies like Half Baked, Jim Breuer is now taking his "Heavy Metal Comedy Tour" on the road along with his band, Willy's Basement, and his impersonations of AC/DC's Brian Johnson, Jack Nicholson, and Joe Pesci. Routines like "Coming Home at 4 a.m." seem extra believable considering the dark circles under his eyes that never seem to go away. He ponders drugs, growing up (has that really happened?), marriage, and -- surprise -- being a father. What it must be like to have Goat Boy for a dad ....
Breuer and crew mount the stage at 9 p.m. on Friday and 8 on Saturday at Cobb's Comedy Club, 915 Columbus (at Mason), S.F. Admission is $30; call 928-4320 or visit www.cobbscomedyclub.com.
-- Claudia Buchsbaum
Black and blues
It was a sad day for music when master bluesman R.L. Burnside passed on, but his record label, Fat Possum, can be counted on to honor his memory by continuing to issue blistering, stripped-down blues. Burnside's labelmates the Black Keys are a perfect example: They're universally acknowledged to have not only the chops but also the respect necessary to carry the Delta blues banner. It's easy for young white men to mangle the blues, but these two twentysomethings from Akron, Ohio, scream their tender lungs out and make the music work, as publications from Rolling Stone to Magnet have noticed. Their latest recording, Rubber Factory, is just further proof; Mr. Burnside would probably have thought it was pretty good. The Black Keys go on at 8 p.m. at the Fillmore, 1805 Geary (at Fillmore), S.F. Admission is $18.50; call 346-6000 or visit www.thefillmore.com.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
After a youth spent busking in Paris, singing with street musicians in the Latin Quarter, American Madeleine Peyroux suddenly found herself on the vintage-jazz fast track in 1996 with the release of Dreamland and favorable comparisons to Billie Holiday. Eight years passed without a follow-up, but Peyroux returned in fine form with 2004's Careless Love, on which she gave her smoky jazz treatment to old standards such as "I'll Look Around" and "J'ai Deux Amours," along with unexpected songs from Hank Williams, Bob Dylan, Elliott Smith, and Leonard Cohen. She sings starting at 8 p.m. at the Nob Hill Masonic Center, 1111 California (at Taylor), S.F. Admission is $25-60; call 776-4702 or visit www.masonicauditorium.com.
-- Michael Leaverton