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Night + Day 

Wednesday, Mar 18 1998
March 18
Blues Jones The woman who first sang "T'ain't Nobody's Biz-ness If I Do" becomes everyone's business in My Castle's Rockin', Larry Parr's musical theater biography of jazz-blues great Alberta Hunter. Medea Project founder Rhodessa Jones, accompanied live by Rudi Mwongozi, stars in this one-woman cabaret show about Hunter's wild life, a natural for the theater. Hunter split from Memphis at age 12 and traveled to Chicago, where she worked her way up through seedy joints to big cabarets and, finally, to Manhattan, to sing with Louis Armstrong and record songs for Paramount like "Down Hearted Blues," a hit for Bessie Smith. Hunter's love affair with another woman, Lottie Taylor, effectively ended her marriage; her long career was capped by tours through Europe and with the USO in Asia, after which she became a nurse until she was pulled out of retirement in the '70s. Adele Prandini directs the show, which previews at 8 p.m. (and continues through April 18) at Theater Rhinoceros, 2926 16th St. (at Van Ness), S.F. Admission is $12-22; call 861-5079.

March 19
Remember the Alamo? After all that sordid business with Kurt, Courtney, Courtney's lawyers, and the rest of it, the Roxie celebrates its 22nd birthday with a screening of Pee-wee's Big Adventure, taking us all back to a more innocent time before Pee-wee's alter ego, Paul Reubens, had a big adventure in a Florida porn theater. During the quest for his missing bike, Pee-wee stumbles upon giant dinosaurs, has the bejeezus scared out of him by bug-eyed trucker lady Large Marge, and does the "Tequila" dance on top of the bar. Remember? Heh heh! The film screens with champagne and door prizes at 7:30 p.m. (and without at 10 p.m.) at the Roxie Cinema, 3117 16th St. (at Valencia), S.F. Admission is $3-6.50; call 863-1087.

March 20
Pin Pals Human bowling, rarely seen outside movies and cartoons, comes to the Bowl for Kids' Sake bowl-athon, and this year's "Extreme Bowling" theme means more than just the Rollerblading team performing great feats of bowling on wheels. It means locking real live people inside 4-foot cages and heaving them down a lane toward 5-foot pins, opening up brand-new avenues for injuries, nausea, and jokes about scoring, bowling people over, etc. The nutty team costumes, lights, fog machine, and DJ'd music make even the regular bowling seem extreme, and the $1 beers and $2 well drinks add an irresistible, dangerous appeal. Take a sick day from work; this qualifies. The games benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of the East Bay and begin at 1:30 p.m. at Japantown Bowl, 1790 Post (at Webster), S.F. Admission is $80-100 in pledges for a three- to five-person team; call (510) 729-5050 for pledge sheets and more information.

March 21
Meow Mixer The highly imaginative folks at the Friskies/CFA San Francisco Reveler's Cat Show are intent on educating people about cat behavior (cats that greet you belly-up aren't necessarily dead; they're just trusting) and debunking cat-related myths, like cats being untrainable. To prove it, all four feline members of the Friskies Cat Team will do tricks like rolling over, walking a tightrope, and jumping through hoops. The secret to training cats is to capitalize on what the experts call "conditioned response," the same tiny brain flash that makes cats come running at the sound of a can opener. Since felines seem more interested in eating than in pleasing their owners, trainers suggest drilling cats around mealtime, using food as a reward for good behavior, although they're certainly not suggesting owners withhold food until the cat learns a trick. Trainers will use the cat team to show owners basic cat training techniques; over 500 pedigreed cats and kittens and non-pedigreed household pets will provide the rest of the entertainment at the show, which raises money for animal shelters and opens at 10 a.m. (also Sunday) at the San Mateo Expo Center, 2495 S. Delaware (at El Camino), San Mateo. Admission is $4-8; call (800) 725-4CAT.

Be Vewy Quiet They won't tell you who's buried in Grant's tomb, but the guides leading the Necropolis Tour -- a bike ride in and around the many cemeteries of Colma -- will be wheeling up to the final resting places of famous Bay Area personalities like Wyatt Earp and Levi Strauss and giving riders the lowdown, as well as providing an overview of the town itself. The tour covers five or six cemeteries as well as a look inside the grounds and the stained glass panels of the mausoleum at Cypress Lawn. Nearly 40 people rode in the last Necropolis Tour in '94, which is a lot of activity in a place where the dead outnumber the living. The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition leads the ride, which begins at the Daly City BART station entrance, Junipero Serra & John Daly, Daly City. Admission is free-$10 and riders should pack their own lunches; call 431-BIKE.

Snow Scene Photographer James Barker lived through several seasons with Yup'ik Eskimos to research his book Always Getting Ready: Yup'ik Eskimo Subsistence in Southwest Alaska. The 20,000-odd Yup'ik spread out in 52 villages in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, a mighty cold area about the size of Oregon, are the largest population of Native Americans to live continuously on their traditional lands. Seasons there are not like seasons in the lower 48: Harsh conditions necessitate constant "getting ready" periods in order to live year-round off the land. Forget about spring and autumn and think instead of "Seals Month," when residents take advantage of the partial spring thaw to go seal hunting; "Fish Hitting" season, when families move into fish camps for the smelt, salmon, and herring runs during the true thaw; berry-picking season; and the winter dancing season, "The Time of Going Around," when the frozen tundra makes visits by snowmobile viable. Barker's black-and-white photos, compiled with the assistance of linguists and anthropologists, are arranged by season in the traveling exhibit "Always Getting Ready: Photography of the Yup'ik Eskimo," which documents the lives of the people, and the effect 21st-century concerns have had on traditional language and culture, which the Yup'ik have maintained, despite the management of their school system shifting from the Bureau of Indian Affairs to the state. The show opens at 10 a.m. (and runs through Aug. 2) at the California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, S.F. Admission is free-$8.50; call 750-7145.

About The Author

Heather Wisner


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