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Night + Day 

Wednesday, Mar 25 1998
March 25
This Boy's Life Conditions in a harsh Midwestern reform school become slightly more bearable for two boys who befriend one another in Shimmer, the fourth work in the Magic Theater's 30th anniversary season, and the first since director Mame Hunt announced her imminent departure to Seattle's A Contemporary Theater. Actor/playwright John O'Keefe based the tale partly on his own experiences growing up in Midwestern Catholic orphanages, and tells it by becoming each character in turn. It's 1956 in Shimmer, and a pair of misfits have created their very own fantasy world, complete with a surreal philosophy and parameters so broad that the movement of streams and breezes becomes a language that travels between dimensions, a language the boys call "shimmer." Their collaboration eventually leads to a lock-down, and, ultimately, a breakout. The show previews at 8:30 p.m. (and runs through April 26) at the Magic Theater, Building D, Fort Mason, Marina & Buchanan, S.F. Admission is $15-26; call 441-3687.

March 26
Wild and Untamed Things Polly doesn't merely want a cracker in Tony Nittoli's mixed animation/live-action short Junky; Polly needs a cracker, and a desperation to score brings the avian addict to an unhappy end. Junky plays at this month's Film Arts Foundation film and video program "Wild Kingdom," which is all about animals, and not necessarily the snuggly, adorable kind either. A claymation Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer goes to seed in Corky Quackenbush's Rudolph Trilogy, starring Rudy as boxer, Mafia don, and assassin in spoofs of Raging Bull, The Godfather, and Apocalypse Now, respectively. In Elisa Blatteis' jumpy, surreal black-and-white comedy Gorilla Girl, a gorgeous gal is transformed by a carnival sideshow act into an angry beast. Dog films have their day as well: George Kuchar's mutt innocently looks on as Kuchar describes the pooch's ignoble lineage and offers a blow-by-blow account of his nasty habits in the comic film The Mongreloid, and in the evening's main awww moment, viewers become embroiled in a staring match with two very cute puppies that peer unblinkingly into Michael Rudnick's camera in Pup y pup. The screening and beer-pouring begin at 8 p.m. at the 111 Minna Street Gallery, 111 Minna (at Second Street), S.F. Admission is $6-7: call 552-FILM.

March 27
Party People The music gets louder, the drinks get stronger, the tongues get looser, and the gloves eventually come off as the Aurora Theater stages Mike Leigh's dark comedy Abigail's Party. As with Ecstasy, the other Leigh work playing locally right now, Party (characterized by director Tom Ross as "a low-rent Absolutely Fabulous meets Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?") takes place in a British suburb in the late '70s. Beverly and her husband Laurence have invited some neighbors over for a get-acquainted cocktail party, while Abigail, the teen-age daughter of one of the neighbors, happens to be throwing her first party next door the very same night. When the noise and the antics from that party begin to build, Beverly's get-together begins to unravel, culminating in some vociferous fights about friendship and marriage. The show previews at 8 p.m. (and runs through May 3) at the Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant (at Ellsworth), Berkeley. Admission is $18-25; call (510) 843-4822.

Holiday! Celebrate! When Jello Biafra wasn't getting his head smacked against the ropes at Incredibly Strange Wrestling two weeks ago, playing sit-in manager for Chango Loco, he was leaning into the crowd bouncing around the stage in front of Los Infernos, whom he joined for a song. There's been no official announcement, but rumor has it that Biafra may be returning to the scene to belt out a few more with Dead Kennedys cover band Hemorrhoid in Cambodia, an L.A. outfit including Wayne Kramer and members of Magnapop, as well as former Guardian music columnist Johnny ("Pissed!") Angel. According to booker Audra Angeli-Morse, when Biafra and his ex-DK bandmates were contacted about the show, they expressed interest in attending and, if they like what they see, sitting in for a number or three. The Crosstops (whose Drinkin' Fightin' Fuckin' and Truckin' album title pretty much sums things up) and Count Dante & the Black Dragon Fighting Society share the bill, which begins at 9 p.m. at the Transmission Theater, Folsom & 11th streets, S.F. Admission is $5; call 861-6906.

March 28
Buffalo Stance Beginning with "Socks, Drugs, & Rock 'n' Roll," something about Grand Royal recording artists Buffalo Daughter sounds almost but not quite right. Maybe it's the language warp between America and Japan, where these three gals started making noise in '94 with their Cardinal release Shaggy Headdressers. Or maybe it's just the music itself, a mod, elevator-type pop Muzak that remixes Moog synthesizer burbles and blips with a collusion of bass and guitars, turntable wizardry, and snatches of samples. Sassier than their co-conspirators the Dust Brothers, more electronic than their labelmates Luscious Jackson, and more weirdly familiar than listeners might expect (think Listerine commercials and video games), Buffalo Daughter use their latest release, New Rock, to pose big philosophical-sounding questions like "What's the Trouble With My Silver Turkey?" The show begins at 9 p.m. at the Justice League, 628 Divisadero (at Hayes), S.F. Admission is $10-12; call 440-0409.

Georgia Peaches The Georgian State Dance Company (and we're talking about the Georgia considered the California of the former Soviet Union, not the American state, so stay with us) is bringing a rich collection of traditional dances and music to its kindred state. Georgia's proximity to Turkey, Mongolia, and Armenia surfaces in dances like "Khorumi," which portrays battles against the Mongols and the Turks, and "Khandjluri," a re-enactment of the soldiers' descent from the mountains. Rivals also compete in a saber dance, but the tour offers more than just fancy sword-rattling; there are wedding dances, comic dances, and game dances, and dances that show off the sculpted arm movements of the women and the athletic prowess of the men, who dance on their toes without the aid of pointe shoes. The show begins at 8 p.m. (also Sunday at 3 p.m.) in Zellerbach Hall, Bancroft & Telegraph, UC Berkeley campus. Admission is $14-26; call (510) 642-9988.

All Hellenes Break Loose Catch former San Francisco Mayor George Christopher riding proud in the car of honor when he serves as the grand marshal for the Greek Independence Day Parade, which, as hard to believe as it may be, is the first one San Francisco has held. Greeks overthrew nearly 400 years of Turkish Ottoman rule 177 years ago, with some American support, and to commemorate the occasion, a prayer service and a singing of both national anthems will precede the parade. Waves of Hellenes and philhellenes are then expected to parade down Market, joined by cultural groups and dignitaries affiliated with the community (state Sen. Nick Petris as well as the general consul of Greece) and Mayor Willie Brown. Once the civic procession is completed, a post-parade party kicks into gear with live folk music, dancing by kids in traditional costumes, tasty snacks like dolmathes and baklava, and perhaps a little public dancing for non-Greeks as well. The parade begins at 11 a.m. at U.N. Plaza near Civic Center and travels down Market to Fourth Street, turning right and ending at Center for the Arts at Fourth and Mission. Admission is free. The party begins at 2 p.m. at the Palace of Fine Arts Theater, 3301 Lyon (at Bay), S.F. Admission is free-$5; call (650) 756-UHAS for information on both events.

March 29
Feed You Head The blustery winds and intermittent balminess of March are good conditions for this afternoon's all-you-can-eat barbecue and rock-show combo with Feeder, a British band that's liable to blow the coleslaw right off your plate with a blast of feedback. Some stats: They hit the top five on the U.K. indie charts, New Music Express and Metal Hammer adore them equally, and they've played with the Foo Fighters, which is as good a reference point as any to describe how the trio coax a languid, pretty pop melody into a hyper, sonic roar with just one deep breath of a pause. The Majic of Television open at 5:30 p.m. and Stem cap off the night; Feeder are sandwiched in the middle at the Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St. (at Texas), S.F. Admission is $4; call 621-4455.

March 30
Reader Friendly UC Berkeley journalism department Dean Orville Schell warms up for his onstage appearance with NPR's Terry Gross next month at City Arts & Lectures by delivering the keynote address at the Bay Area Book Reviewers Association Awards. Tripmaster Monkey author Maxine Hong Kingston will receive the Fred Cody Award for lifetime achievement (named for the late Berkeley bookstore proprietor) in honor of her work with Vietnam vets as well as her literary contributions. But the rest of the awards for Northern California writers who published within the last year are wide open, unless, like Oscar watchers, bookish insider types are second-guessing the races with information the rest of us lack. A survey of BABRA nominees turns up names like Ji-Li Jiang, whose Red Scarf Girl has been nominated in the children's literature category, and Ted Gioia's The History of Jazz competing with Marilyn Yalom's A History of the Breast for best nonfiction. The event, which concludes with a book-signing and dessert and beverage reception, begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Cowell Theater, Fort Mason, Marina & Buchanan, S.F. Admission $8-12; call (510) 525-5476.

March 31
Turn, Turn, Turn If someone shouts "Fire!" in a crowded theater, bolt, unless the theater is Dancers' Group and AWD have taken the stage during the Edge Festival 1998. Drama, percussion, video, and pyrotechnics give AWD's already free-flying dance a punk edge; they'll perform in the festival's first program, followed by (among others) Kim Epifano's dance about literal and figurative borders, Calida Fornas, and her Shrinking Violet, about the perils of modern dating, in the second program. The festival begins at 8 p.m. (and continues through April 5) at Theater Artaud, 450 Florida (at 17th Street), S.F. Admission is $10.50-16.50; call 621-7797. It should be noted that two other local events beginning tonight will compete for dance fans' attention: San Francisco Ballet's production of Othello and master classes taught by old-school New York hip-hop choreographer Rocafella (of the KRS-1 video "Step Into a World"). Othello opens at 7:30 p.m. (and runs through April 5) at the War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness (at Grove), S.F. Admission is $10-100; call 865-2000. Rocafella's class begins at 6 p.m. (and continues through April 4) at Citicenter Dance Theater, 1428 Alice, Oakland. Admission is $3-12; call (510) 451-1230.

About The Author

Heather Wisner


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