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Wednesday, Oct 23 1996
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wednesday
october 23
Stimulating Exercise The Toxic Links Coalition leads a very different sort of local sightseeing trip, the kind that departs from the usual tourist circuit, with its third annual Toxic Tour of San Francisco. TLC, an alliance of community and environmental groups and women with cancer, will protest at the corporate offices of what the group characterizes as some of the country's worst polluters. It'll also pay a visit to the American Cancer Society, which TLC organizer Karen Susag says does not acknowledge the significant role her organization believes the environment plays in the disease. Cancer activists and others are scheduled to speak at the five sites on the tour, which precedes Mayor Brown's Nov. 9 Breast Cancer Summit. The tour begins at noon at 555 Market, S.F. Participation is free; call 512-9025.

thursday
october 24
Complex Positions Dance takes an outspoken turn at the Bay Area Dance Series as Michelle Spencer speculates on what history's female models would say about their experiences as nude subjects for some of the world's most famous paintings, in The Model Speaks. Spencer, a dance-maker and scribe who collaborated with John Cale on his opera Life Under Water, is joined by Patricia Reedy & Dancers, who offer At What Moment Did She Become, Freely and Willingly, the Mother of God? Reedy's grandmother, a devout Catholic who was institutionalized for years, provides inspiration for this larger treatise on the ways church and state hold women back. Later this weekend, Quebec's Compagnie de Danse L'Astragale, led by the Merce Cunningham-trained Sonya Delwaide, also magnifies culture through a choreographic lens in Depart, a comment on fear of the unknown, as demonstrated by clashes between the French and English populations in Quebec. The Ruth Botchan Dance Company, meanwhile, sets a suite of contemporary dances about the struggles of Eastern European Jews before, during, and after World War II to traditional Jewish music in Mothersongs. The Spencer/Reedy program runs tonight at 7:30 p.m. (8 p.m. Friday); the L'Astragale/Botchan show runs 8 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at Laney College Theater, 900 Fallon, Oakland. Admission is $14-16; call 392-4400.

Gimme an F Pretty ... Slow, the last CD by local band Fuck, offers none of the aggro disenchantment that the band's name might suggest. Slow and pretty it is, with heart-sore, lo-fi tunes hovering somewhere between sleepy and lonely, as blues-tinged guitars and tinkly piano surge into brief discord. The band's new full-length CD, Baby Loves a Funny Bunny, is "a little more upbeat," according to Fuck's sometimes-guitarist, Tim Prudhomme -- "sometimes" because the band switches instruments around a lot. ("We play whatever is given to us at the time," he says.) Fuck celebrates the recent release of Funny Bunny and a split single with Fish or Fry, who join them for a local show; the Wrens open at 9:30 p.m. at the Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St., S.F. Admission is $5; call 621-4455.

friday
october 25
Large Type A Girl a Guy a Landscape: Novel on the Wall provides a sort of unofficial prelude to next month's San Francisco Bay Area Book Fair. This installation, created by independent publishing company Burning Books, lets the viewer amble though the pages of a story taken from a novel by Sumner Carnahan, designed with a variety of printing techniques and interspersed with portraits and landscapes by painter Patrick McFarlin. Viewers may add to the story by choosing from a set of sentences. The installation is part of the ongoing series "Burning Books: Installation and Retrospective," presented by Mills College's Center for the Book and Book Arts Program and the installation site, the San Francisco Center for the Book, 300 De Haro, S.F. Admission is free; call 565-0545. Novel on the Wall is up through Nov. 9. In a related lecture, Renee Hubert speaks of book arts in "Book Revelations: From Flames to Electronics" Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Danforth Auditorium at at Mills College, 5000 MacArthur, Oakland. Admission is free; call (510) 430-2047.

All New Bill It looks like Bill T. Jones has rebounded completely from the nearly 2-year-old furor surrounding that New Yorker article. Art world icons like Tony Kushner flooded the magazine with letters after critic Arlene Croce's attack on what she called "victim art," or work made by people suffering from terminal illnesses, using Jones' Still/Here and some of its ailing dancers as a reference point. Since its inception 16 years ago, the company Jones founded with his late partner, Arnie Zane, has seen both controversy and acclaim for its theatrical, emotionally charged modern repertoire. Jones now presents two programs with seven new or newly restaged works, including Ballad, based on recordings of Dylan Thomas reading his poetry, and Love Redefined, set to Daniel Johnston's song cycle for toy instruments. Program 1 runs at 8 p.m. tonight; Program 2 runs at 8 p.m. Saturday at Zellerbach Hall, Bancroft & Telegraph, UC Berkeley campus. Admission is $18-30; call (510) 642-9988. Jones also reads and signs copies of his memoir, Last Night on Earth, one day prior to the show's opening, Thursday, Oct. 24, at 12:30 p.m. at the Alexander Book Company, 50 Second St., S.F. Admission is free; call 495-2992.

Family Affair What the butler saw remains a mystery until the curtain rises on Chamber Theater's production of Noel Coward's Relative Values. Coward dedicated this play to his own butler, Core Lesley, and penned a pivotal butler's role into a satire of British society's run-in with Hollywood film types. This comedy about a young film star who returns to her native London to marry an earl became a comeback vehicle for Coward, after his musical Ace of Clubs flopped. The show opens at 8 p.m. (and continues through Nov. 24) at the Phoenix Theater, 301 Eighth St., S.F. Admission is $18; call 346-3107.

saturday
october 26
The Body Eclectic With 72 contemporary and turn-of-the-century pieces created by Picasso, Matisse, Rodin, Brancusi, and several others, "Masterworks of Modern Sculpture: The Nasher Collection" is being hailed as the most extensive sculpture survey the Bay Area has ever seen. The works come from Raymond and Patsy Nasher's private, 300-piece Dallas collection. Curators will capitalize on the varied lighting and scenic sites both inside and outside the Legion of Honor to show off the artwork, like putting Jonathan Borofsky's Hammering Man, a giant steel sculpture with a motorized arm, next to the reflecting pool. The exhibit opens at the Palace of the Legion of Honor (and continues through Jan. 12, 1997), Lincoln Park, Clement & 34th Ave., S.F. Admission is free-$7; call 863-3330.

Foam Sweet Foam Yet another opportunity to drink beer for the benefit of others presents itself with Brews by the Bay, a beer-tasting party with live music by Gator Beat, "Beat the Pro and Celebrities" billiards, and food galore. Suds are the main attraction at this show, though; Brew City offers a beer-making contest, and information on cooking with beer and home brewing will be available, as will over 100 craft beers, from hefeweizens to lagers to stouts. Proceeds benefit the Fisherman's Wharf Rotary Club's programs for inner-city youth. The event begins at 2 p.m. on Pier 45, Fisherman's Wharf, S.F. Admission is $25; call 905-9225.

Laid Out on the Table Artist Richard Kamler has already disturbed a few viewers with his installation The Table of Voices: Conversations on the Criminal Justice System. The mothers of two murder victims were so upset by the work when it was displayed at the San Francisco Art Institute that they asked Kamler to cease and desist; the table, they said, was an insult to the memory of their murdered children. The 60-foot-long steel table, sheathed in lead and gold leaf, is divided down the middle by thick glass windows framed in steel. Viewers can pick up one of the 10 phones on each side of the glass and listen to convicted killers tell their stories on one side, while the friends and families of the victims tell their stories on the other. With the express interest of generating dialogue, painful though it may be, Kamler, whose residency at Alcatraz years ago led him to believe that traditional prisons don't work, shows the installation again on Alcatraz Island, in the prison's old bakery room. Ferries to Alcatraz run every half-hour from 9:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. from Pier 39; it is $10 round-trip with the audio tour. Admission to the exhibit is free; call 566-3811.

Tricks and Treats As Halloween approaches, the colorful diversity that makes our city such a popular travel destination really comes through (see Halloween event listings, Pages 30 and 46). In keeping with the civic spirit, Board of Supervisors candidate Margo St. James presents the 1996 Hookers' Ball, a benefit for her sex workers' organization, COYOTE. This year's debauchery, themed "Sensible Salaciousness," includes performances by singer Candye Kane, the Blues Drifters, the Ethel Merman Memorial Choir, and Burning Man fire dancers and exotic dancers, plus a fetish fashion show and costume and amateur strip contests. An exhibit hall features spanking, piercing, and sex-toy booths and an interactive CD-ROM erotica exhibit. Guests will be greeted downstairs by Victorian-style hookers and a glass-enclosed dungeon. The ball begins at 8:30 p.m. (VIP party at 7 p.m.) at the Maritime Hall, 450 Harrison, S.F. Admission is $45-75; call 974-9306.

sunday
october 27
Putting on the Dog You'll have to get a little closer to tell, but local cats and dogs will be subverting the gender paradigm in North Beach at "Pets in Drag," a pet parade and costume contest featuring live music, Halloween doggy and kitty treats, and, thankfully, no liquor. A panel of celebrity judges will award prizes for the best ... whatever. Next! Stupid pet tricks are just part of the fun at "Pet Pride Day," which also features a pet costume contest and a parade led by the San Francisco Mounted Park Patrol horses. Demonstrations by soccer dogs and professional drug-sniffing dogs from the U.S. Customs Service and police narcotics units are also included. "Pet Pride Day" begins at 11 a.m. in Sharon Meadow, Golden Gate Park. Admission is free; call 554-6364. "Pets in Drag" begins at noon in Washington Square, Columbus & Union, S.F. Admission is free; call 788-COOL.

monday
october 28
Weimaraner Republic William Wegman may have betrayed his artistic influences when he named his models Man Ray and Fay Ray. Wegman, a painter and drawer, is best known for amusing photo portraits of his Weimaraners dressed in costume and posed in faithfully replicated famous cultural settings, as in his redux of Whistler's Mother. Art dealer Jeanne Meyers interviews Wegman onstage about his new book, William Wegman's Mother Goose, and Wegman presents a slide and video show at 8 p.m. at the Herbst Theater, 401 Van Ness, S.F. Admission is $16; call 392-4400. Wegman also signs copies of his book at noon today at Borders Books & Music, 400 Post, S.F. (free, call 399-1690), and 1 p.m. Tuesday at the SFMOMA Museum Store, 151 Third St., S.F. Admission is free; call 357-4035.

Backdoor Man Rick Steves has made a career of showing people the door. His budget guidebook Europe Through the Back Door offers lots of practical advice on traveling across the continent cheaply and learning to see and experience countries as a local. Steves speaks on his philosophy of limited spending and cultural immersion at 12:30 p.m. in Auditorium B of Golden Gate University, Second Floor, 536 Mission, S.F. Admission is $3; call 777-3131.

tuesday
october 29
Dini-Might Aging wave-os may remember a cool little early '80s number called "Jackie Onassis," with the refrain "I wanna be Jackie Onassis/ I wanna wear dark sunglasses/ Oh yeah." That song, and the boppy college radio hit "What Does Sex Mean to Me," came from Boston band Human Sexual Response. One of the band's singers, Dini Lamot, disappeared from the stage for years, but has finally resurfaced in the drag persona of Musty Chiffon, who offers cabaret with a twist. In this show, Chiffon sings (not lip-syncs, sings) cabaret-type standards like Peggy Lee's "Is That All There Is?" But this power belter has rock roots and she isn't afraid to let 'em show, so if you suddenly find yourself singing along to Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun," don't be surprised. Chiffon hits the stage at 8 p.m. (and continues through Nov. 3) at Josie's Cabaret & Juice Joint, 3583 16th St., S.F. Admission is $12; call 861-7933.

About The Author

Heather Wisner

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