The Walworth Farce
Ever since his 1996 teen psychopath romance, Disco Pigs, Edna Walsh has been delivering unnerving plays of unusual verve, full of whimsy and deep dysfunction, crazy Gaelic cadences, the wit and high lyricism of the low of brow. We don't see enough of it over here, which is all the more reason to catch Druid Ireland theater company's production of Walsh's The Walworth Farce, courtesy of Cal Performances. Not since Joe Orton have the traditional outlines of this classic comedic form been so over-amped and even over the line, downright weird and sort of dangerous. You are correct: this is in-your-farce theater. (Robert Avila)
8 p.m. (continues through Sun/22), $72
Bancroft at Telegraph, UC Berkeley campus, Berk.
Second Annual Erotic Art Exhibition Tour
Featuring 120 international artists, body painting, live music, and a fashion show with more nip than slip, the Erotic Art Exhibition Tour promises to be much sexier than shopping for tofurkey and stuffing that doesn't taste like puke. This year's ARTundressed theme is "Illumination," and it presents the winning artists from the Erotic Showcase 2009 competition. Indulge your voyeuristic tendencies and benefit the American Foundation for AIDS Research by attending Saturday night's Silent Art Auction. Then grab something white, red, or leathery, and head to the thematic "The Good, the Bad, and the Kinky" after party. (Lorian Long)
6 p.m. (through Sat/21), $45
California Modern Art Gallery
1035 Market, SF
Justin Quinn: "Keep Out This Frost"
In an obsessive, Oulipian gesture, artist Justin Quinn constrains himself to the oft-used and abused letter E in his second solo show at Cain Schulte Gallery. Rather than playing off the letter's relation to the party drug, top of the optometrist's eye chart, or various corporate logos, Quinn delegates his E's to transutf8g the chapters of Melville's Moby Dick. In substituting the particular for the ubiquitous, Quinn makes up for lost meaning through charged typographical flair that takes on a narrative all its own. If this isn't enough Moby Dick for you, you can also check out a group show of visual responses to the classic at the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts. (Spencer Young)
Continuous through Dec. 23
6 p.m., artist talk at 7 p.m.
Cain Schulte Gallery
714 Guerrero, SF
(415) 543 1550
The Finns are curators of the strange, adapting the metal conventions of their Scandinavian neighbors and adding a good deal of idiosyncrasy. Helsinki's Ensiferum embodies this trend, churning out martial, aggressive death metal augmented by keyboard flourishes, Ennio Morricone worship, harmonized vocals, and an army of folky, epic melodies. Their new album From Afar (Spinefarm) features the band at its grandiose best, and the war-kilted warriors prove themselves equally adept at atmospheric arrangement and straightforward, razor-wire riffing. Billed as the "Tour From Afar," this is their first headlining run stateside prepare for battle.