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Wednesday, Apr 30 1997
april 30
No Doubting Thomas Like J.D. Salinger and Sasquatch, Thomas Pynchon is an elusive sort; it isn't likely that the author of The Crying of Lot 49 and Gravity's Rainbow will materialize at the release party for his new book, Mason & Dixon. If he did, he'd have to face guests dressed as their favorite Pynchon character, or as Pynchon himself, reading passages from his work at an open-mike session, describing rare Pynchon encounters, and clamoring over a prize drawing for winners of a Pynchon trivia quiz. The party begins at 7 p.m. at the Booksmith, 1644 Haight, S.F. Admission is free; call 863-8688.

Spend Bread, Get Jam Backed by an onstage DJ, former members of hip-hop dance troupes Rock Steady Crew, Rhythm Technicians, and Magnificent Force join forces in GhettOriginal Productions Dance Company, an urban dance squad that vitalizes the history of hip-hop culture through art, rap, music, and movement in Jam on the Groove. Graffiti artist Erni Vales provides a mural backdrop against which the 14-member company traces the evolution of street dance from African beat-based movement through shadow jousting, break dancing, moonwalking, hip hop, and combinations of these styles with others. The show begins at 8 p.m. (and runs through May 4) at Zellerbach Hall, Bancroft & Telegraph, UC Berkeley campus. Admission is $14-26; call (510) 642-9988.

The Game of Life What you say can and will be held against you, as the principals of D.L. Coburn's Pulitzer Prize-winning play The Gin Game find out. Over card games at a seedy home for the elderly, a sore loser and a self-righteous winner swap stories of their lives, using the personal details they glean from one another as ammo in their game. Linda Ayres-Frederick, late of Entertaining Mr. Sloane, directs Robert Elross and Lee Brady in the local production. The show previews at 8 p.m. (and runs through May 18) at the Phoenix Theater, 301 Eighth St, S.F. Admission is $10-16; call 621-4423.

may 1
Pecs and Ass Like The Rocky Horror Picture Show, L.A.'s Strip! Bare-ly Legal lines 'em up and packs 'em in nightly with an interactive, ever-changing musical comedy characterized by ... dynamic tension. L.A. cable show host Madame Dish is proprietress of the Cat Club, where a couple celebrate their anniversary against a parade of male stripper "tomcats," including choreographer Euri Oliveira as Latin Lover Julio and porn star Kevin Kramer as Golden Boy. With Party just closing and Making Porn just opening, the question of how long audiences will spring for another show about naked men awaits an answer. Strip!, for audiences 21 and over, previews at 8 p.m. (and runs indefinitely) at Rococo Showplace, 165 10th St., S.F. Admission is $25-40; call 392-4400.

ACT 2 Pretty soon they'll name a street after Olympia Dukakis, who pays yet another visit to the city for American Conservatory Theater's world premiere production of Leslie Ayvazian's drama Singer's Boy. Locals will remember Dukakis, who won an Oscar for Moonstruck, from Tales of the City and ACT's production of Hecuba; here, she plays Grace, a compulsive talker who lives with her aging parents and whose zest for life is revived after the arrival of Singer (Michele Shay) and her handyman/lover (Stephen Caffrey). This is also Dukakis' second collaboration with the playwright, with whom she helped found the theater company Voices of Earth, which produces new work by women. Singer's Boy previews at 8 p.m. (and runs through June 1) at the Geary Theater, 415 Geary, S.F. Admission is $14-47.50; call 749-2228.

may 2
Run for the Shadows Spirals of incense and the metallic chime of a gamelan orchestra usher in Shadowlight Productions' Wayang Bali, a traditional Balinese shadow play held outdoors against a screen lit by a coconut oil flame. The stories, improvised from Hindu mythology and involving scary demons, magic weapons, and ravishing princesses, begin at twilight (approximately 8 p.m.; also Friday, May 9) in South Park, between Bryant and Brannan, and Second and Third streets, S.F. Admission is free; call 648-4461.

Bring an Egg Fools rush in, only they've paid for tickets and obtained secret directions to the Feast of Fools, a medieval debauch organized by some of the same folks behind Defenestration and the St. Valentine's Midnight Masquerade Debauch. This weekend of performance, ritual, and utter silliness (a tribute to the patron saint of absurdity and trickery, Lord Misrule) commences with performances by Heliotrope and a cappella men's chorus Fae Poot, followed Saturday by a pilgrimage through the Seven Deadly Realms of Sin, a series of interactive sculpture/theater installations that facilitate gluttony, lust, etc. The coronation of the Lord of Misrule is capped by performances from the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and Idiot Flesh, hearty feasting and copious drinking, jigging, belching, and farting contests, and dancing between giant flaming eggs. Sunday's Journey Through the Seven Heavens concludes the affair. The festival begins this afternoon as pilgrims set up camp at Hot Dog Heaven, a 120-acre ranch two hours north of San Francisco. Admission is $30; tickets and directions available through Junk-O's, 3527 20th St., S.F. Call 826-1730.

may 3
Seeds of Greatness Budding green thumbs and old-hand horticulturalists will find plenty of succulents at the Strybing Arboretum Society's 30th annual Plant Sale, but the big draw is rare items like beautiful blue poppies, passion vines, orchid cacti, and monkey hand trees. A healthy oxygen-to-carbon dioxide ratio is maintained by the huge array of houseplants, bonsai, shrubs, trees, flowers, and sale staff volunteers, who answer plant care and handling questions. The sale, which also features garden accessories and services, begins at 10 a.m. in the San Francisco County Fair Building, Ninth Avenue & Lincoln Way, S.F. Admission is free (sales proceeds benefit educational and horticultural programs of the Strybing Arboretum Society); call 661-3090.

A Loaf of Pain, A Jug of Vin France -- minus striking workers and scary toilets -- comes west for the weekend as "Marche de Mai," a Saturday market for French products, accompanied by a silent auction. This is the place to swoop on issues of Paris Match, French comic books, and newspapers, along with more obvious exports like wine, chocolate, cheese, and mustard. Auction items include a night for two at the Ritz-Carlton and dinner for two at Le Central. The event begins at 10 a.m. at the Alliance Francaise, 1345 Bush, S.F. Admission is free; call 775-7755.

Swell on Wheels Preteen superheroes the Powerbuilders combat crime, boredom, and evil casino developers by constructing specialty gadgets in an underground clubhouse and launching soapbox cars through a secret tunnel; that's the premise driving home-grown video Bernaltown, which was filmed exclusively in Bernal Heights and debuts under the stars. Neighborhood artist Gregory Gavin, armed with a Hi-8 camcorder, created a comic action film starring kids from his soapbox-building program and 75 members of the neighborhood, including beat cop Jerry Neitz; J. Raoul Brody composed the score for the half-hour film, which is preceded at 8 p.m. by a soapbox car exhibit and live music, and screens at 9 p.m. at the Bernal Playground, 500 Cortland, S.F. Admission is free; call 206-2140.

Live and Let Die It's unholy unions like Ethyl Meatplow with Jane's Addiction that led to Man's Ruin. Actually, members from both of those bands yielded the group Polar Bear, which is signed to Man's Ruin Records and plays at one of two local label showcases this weekend. Man's Ruin was founded by rock poster guru Frank Kozik (whose work adorns Bottom of the Hill and dozens of other venues). It's the point of origin, too, for the forthcoming full-length CD Project Monarch, featuring music and spoken word by the likes of Poison Idea and Adam Parfrey, as well as dozens of singles by bands ranging from the Dwarves, Killdozer, and Steel Pole Bathtub to Fu Manchu, Mover, Polar Bear, Gift Horse, and Speedbuggy, the last five of whom play the first showcase, beginning at 8 p.m. at Bimbo's 365 Club, 1025 Columbus, S.F. Admission is $10; call 474-0365. The second showcase features Acid King, Altamont, Hammerlock, and Croatan, beginning at 8 p.m. Sunday at the Kilowatt, 3160 16th St., S.F. Admission is $5; call 861-2595.

may 4
Napoleon Rues the Day "Oaxaca" is this year's theme at the Cinco de Mayo Parade and Festival, which commemorates the 135th anniversary of Mexico's Indian triumph over Napoleon's invading French army. Aztec and ballet folklorico dancers, mariachi bands, and a pride of floats cut a colorful swath through the Mission down to Civic Center, where the parade feeds into a festival featuring two stages of live music and dance performances, arts and crafts, a Fiesta Cafe, a Tropical Block, an auto show, and community service booths. The parade begins at 10 a.m. at Bryant & 24th streets and travels down 24th to Mission to Eighth Street to Market to Ninth Street to Civic Center; the festival begins at 11 a.m. at Civic Center Plaza, S.F. Admission is free; call 826-1401.

Night Lights Participants should dress warmly and comfortably, bring a wind barrier to protect their flame, and take whatever solace they can find in the 14th International AIDS Candlelight Memorial, an idea that originated here and has grown to include memorials in 357 cities worldwide. A ceremony with live music and a presentation of the "AIDS Hero and Heroine Awards" follows the march, and the Rev. Cecil Williams leads a roll call of lost family and friends, whose memory the march honors while it also calls for expanded health-care access for the living. The procession begins at 8 p.m. at Market & Castro; the program begins at 9 p.m. in United Nations Plaza, Eighth Street & Market, S.F. Admission is free; call 863-4676.

Bunny, Honey It's clear, after watching Wigstock emcee Lady Bunny working the stage all day, and then chatting up festival stragglers as she spears trash left behind in the park afterward, that this is one of the hardest-working queens in show business. That capacity to shift from microphone to Hefty bag without breaking a heel colors 24 Carrot "Lady," a new semi-autobiographical solo show by the founder of Manhattan's Labor Day drag festival. With country and disco songs, tall tales and wild outfits, Bunny describes the progression from small-town Tennessee childhood to Interview magazine contributor. The Lady Bunny performs at 10 p.m. (also Monday and Tuesday) at Josie's Cabaret & Juice Joint, 3583 16th St., S.F. Admission is $10; call 861-7933. (Bunny also serves as host at a Lypsinka show and Look-Alike/Perform-Alike Contest benefiting Project Open Hand Thursday, May 1, at 7:30 p.m. at Josie's. Admission is $35; call 392-4400.)

may 5
Gorgeous George Mission dwellers can look forward to comedian George Lopez perusing the menu at ever-expanding restaurant chain Pollo Loco: "Pollo Loco means crazy chicken. Does that sound delicious to any of you?" A favorite of director Carl Reiner, with whom he worked on Fatal Instinct, Lopez levels America's co-optation of Latino culture with an edgy, effective delivery. Casualties include the Pontiac Salsa and Taco Bell's "Run for the border" slogan ("What do they say in Mexico?" he asks. "Stay where you are?"). Lopez headlines the Cinco de Mayo Comedy Spectacular; John Allston opens at 8 p.m. at the San Francisco Airport Hyatt Regency, 1330 Bayshore, Burlingame. Admission is $20; call (510) 762-2277.

may 6
Coming to Take You Away Mystery author Mary Wings is the guest of honor at the 75th anniversary party for the Castro Theater, where she'll read from the latest book in her Emma Victor series, She Came to the Castro, in which the sleuth and her readers are treated to tidbits of actual history and mysteries surrounding the famous movie house. A combination book release party/Frameline benefit, the celebration begins with a champagne reception, followed by Wings' reading and a behind-the-scenes history tour through the theater, led by veteran guide Trevor Hailey. The event, dubbed "a magical-historical mystery tour," begins at 5 p.m. at the Castro Theater, 429 Castro, S.F. Admission is $20; call 703-8656.

About The Author

Heather Wisner


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