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Stage listings are compiled by Cheryl Eddy. Performance times may change; call venues to confirm. Reviewers are Robert Avila, Sima Belmar, Rita Felciano, and Brad Rosenstein. Theater intern is Lara Shalson. See 8 Days a Week for information on how to submit items to the listings.





Ain't Misbehavin' Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, 620 Sutter; 474-8800. $22-30. Previews Thurs/4-Sat/6, 8pm; Sun/7, 2pm. Opens Sat/13, 8pm. Runs Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Through April 28. The Lorraine Hansberry Theatre presents the musical set in 1930s Harlem and featuring the music of Fats Waller.

Chain Reactions and Tick-a-licious The Next Stage, 1620 Gough; 673-0304, ext 3. $15-20. Opens Thurs/4, 8pm. Runs Thurs-Sat, 8pm. Through April 27. Combined Art Form Entertainment presents one-act plays by Trevor Allen and Shaun Church.

In Perpetuity Throughout the Universe Shotwell Studios, 3252A 19th St; 262-0477. $13-15. Opens Fri/5, 8pm. Runs Fri-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Through April 21. The Custom Made Theatre Company presents Eric Overmyer's play about conspiracy theories.

'Mr. Williams Pays a Call' Potrero Hill Neighborhood House Theatre, 953 De Haro; 364-3037. $18. Opens Fri/5, 8pm. Runs Fri-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 5pm. Through April 28. Class Act Theatre presents a program of one-acts by Tennessee Williams.

'Unidentified One-Act Marathon' Union Square Playhouse, 340 Mason; 846-9501. $10-15. Opens Sun/7, 7pm. Runs Sun-Tues, 7pm. Through April 30. Unidentified Theater Company presents a program of seven plays by local writers directed by seven directors.

The Very Worst of Varla Jean Merman New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness; 861-8972. Previews Thurs/4-Fri/5, 8pm. Runs Wed-Sat, 8pm (also Sat/13, April 20, 27, May 4, 10pm). Through May 4. "Diva extraordinaire" Varla Jean Merman (show creator and star Jeffery Robertson) performs a musical comedy about what not to do in life.

Waiting for Godot Theatre Rhinoceros, 2926 16th St; 861-5079. $15-18. Opens Fri/5, 8:30pm. Runs Thurs-Sat, 8:30pm; Sun, 5pm. Through April 21. Creatus and Theatre Rhinoceros present a new interpretation – "high gay concept meets low burlesque" – of the Beckett classic.

Bay Area

Pericles LaVal's Subterranean, 1834 Euclid, Berk; (510) 234-6046. $10-14. Opens Thurs/4, 8pm. Runs Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 7pm. Through May 4. Subterranean Shakespeare presents the Bard's classic with masks, puppets, and eight actors in 35 roles.

Two Rooms Oakland Metro Theatre, 201 Broadway, Oakl; (925) 798-1300. $15-20. Previews Thurs/4-Fri/5, 8pm. Opens Sat/6, 8pm. Runs Thurs-Sun, 8pm. Through April 21. The Venture Theatre Company presents Lee Blessing's play about a man who is taken hostage in Beirut and the efforts of his wife to save him.



Are We Almost There? Shelton Theatre, 533 Sutter; 345-7575. $19-23. Thurs-Sat, 8pm. Extended through April 28. The musical comedy revue about traveling returns to the Shelton Theatre.

Euphor!um Presidio (enter from Marina Blvd through Crissy Field gate), Bldg 920, Mason St; 332-9454. $15. Extended run: Thurs, 6-10pm; Fri-Sat, 7-11:30pm; Sun, 3-7pm. Through April 28. Antenna presents its interactive journey through Samuel Taylor Coleridge's opium-inspired poem "Kubla Khan."

*Five Flights Thick House, 1695 18th St; 401-8081. $15-20. Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 5pm. Extended through April 21. Five Flights is a fable of faiths in collision, each of its characters desperately looking for something or someone to believe in. Kent Nicholson crafts a gem of presentational staging in perfect sync with playwright Adam Bock's self-conscious structure. Unfortunately, the play loses steam as it strains toward a conclusion of difficult grace. Still, Bock remains a tremendously exciting talent, and you couldn't ask for a better production than this one by the Encore Theatre Company. (Rosenstein)

*Frank Olivier's Twisted Cabaret and Pandemonium Vaudeville Show Mason Street Theatre, 340 Mason; 982-5463. $30-42. Thurs/4, 8pm; Fri/5, 8:30pm; Sat/6, 5:30 and 9pm; Sun/7, 3:30pm. Jugglers don't come much better or stranger than Frank Olivier, a one-man reincarnation of vaudeville with a decided edge. This show features the performer as more than a dozen showbiz characters, including a pointedly inept magician and an emotionally distraught knife thrower. There are hits and misses, but when Olivier is juggling, no one can touch him, not just for his mind-bending skill but also for his perfectly honed awkward-guy appeal, which gets an audience roaring. (Rosenstein)

*I Am Hamlet Exit Stage Left, 156 Eddy; 751-5922. $10-20. Fri-Sat and Mon/8, 8pm. Through Sat/13. Art Street Theater presents artistic director Mark Jackson as a much abused Hamlet who has suffered one too many interpretations by artists and academics. With broad humor and even broader gestures, Jackson's Hamlet gives us a whirlwind tour of the play as he sees it, inhabiting all the necessary characters and supplying his own commentary throughout. The show works best when Shakespeare's play and Jackson's wit and technical fluency are most in sync, as in Hamlet's bloody finale, which is something of a tour de force. (Avila)

The (Magnificent) Ass Show Exit Theatre, 156 Eddy; 285-6808. $9-15. Fri/5-Sat/6, 8pm. Live music and comedy sketches highlight this show by Maurissa Afanador.

My Brother Sang like Roy Orbison Bannam Place Theater, 50A Bannam; 986-4607. $15-18. Fri-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 3pm. Through May 5. Randy Rutherford performs his solo show, a memoir about his adventures with the stepbrother who helped raise him.

Next in Line Exit on Taylor, 277 Taylor; 673-3847. $12-20. Thurs-Sat, 8pm. Through Sat/13. John Warren's savvy and contagious comedy-drama has small-time San Francisco political consultant Bobby Deans (Don Speziale) plying his trade as a devoted liberal, a knowing wire-puller who's not above being shocked by the ideologically unfettered maneuverings of his more experienced colleagues Maxwell (Tom Baxley) and disability activist Shel (Cheryl Smith). But when the big time beckons in a state assembly race that pits Deans's man against Maxwell's, how far will each go to win? Directed with an appropriate pulse by Jason Ries, the script conveys an insider's perspective and the special brio of the political operative, while the story itself has enough pie-ings by the Baking Brigade, office break-ins, and freshly elected stiffs to satisfactorily conjure our local political landscape. Deans's staunch but independent-minded assistant, Erin (Nora El Samahy), and callow intern, T.J. (Joe Egender), complete the likable office staff, while actor Robert Corrick finesses multiple roles as client and candidate to Deans. Warren's own firsthand experience with local politics lends authenticity to this exploration – reminiscent of satires like Tanner '88 and Primary Colors – of moral compass needles fluttering around the political poll. (Avila)

Nine Armenians Magic Theatre, Fort Mason Center, Bldg D, Marina at Laguna; (510) 986-9194. $18-25. Thurs-Sat, 8:30pm; Sun, 7:30pm. Through Sun/14. Golden Thread Productions presents Leslie Ayvazian's play about an Armenian American family who come to terms with their past.

Serial Murderess: A Play in Three Axe Venue 9, 252 Ninth St; 289-2000. $12-15. Thurs/4-Sat/6, 8pm. Amanda Moody's popular show about three bloodthirsty women returns for its third run at Venue 9.

'Tenn in 2002' Eureka Theatre Company, 215 Jackson; (510) 434-0734. $12-15. Wed/3-Sat/6, 8pm; Sun/7, 3pm. One of Tennessee Williams's early short plays, The Long Goodbye, is the source of inspiration for this collection of one-acts presented by the Eastenders Repertory Company. Beginning with a capable but somewhat perfunctory rendering of Williams's sentimental memory play, the company then spices things up with eight original one-acts riffing off Williams's themes. Maintaining the same set of characters, each of the often humorous acts offers a possible reinterpretation of Williams's meditation on dysfunctional family relationships: latent homosexuality is made overt, and the victimization of Williams's female characters is challenged. The company also scrutinizes Williams's form, at times criticizing the nostalgic melodrama embedded in his realism, at others rejecting realism altogether in favor of a Beckettian absurdism. The company is strongest when taking the irreverent approach, faltering when it attempts to bring out Williams's genuine pathos. However, the mother character receives some nicely nuanced treatment as well as affecting performances by actors Valda Claire and Michaela Greeley, who alternately portray her. (Shalson)

Women behind Bars Theatre Rhinoceros, 2926 16th St; 861-5079. $15-25. Wed-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 7pm (also Sun/7, 3pm). Through Sat/13. Theatre Rhinoceros revives Tom Eyen's spoof of 1950s bad-girl prison movies. New inmate Mary-Eleanor (Joan Grinde), an innocent newlywed taking the rap for her husband's foiled gas-station holdup, finds herself among eight hard-boiled criminals under the predatory eye of the Matron (Mary Knoll) and her addled assistant Louise (Treacy Corrigan). The "corruption" of Mary-Eleanor by her eccentric cellmates (including a Blanche Du Bois wanna-be, a pyromaniac, and a Bible-thumping old-timer) follows the lines laid out by the women-in-prison genre – an intentionally titillating but moralizing set of B movies that represented the postwar backlash against a newfound female independence. The play trades on a host of familiar clichés and stereotypes that feel too familiar, but the willing and able cast keeps Eyen's foundering craft afloat. (Avila)

Bay Area

After the Fall Speakeasy Theatre, 2016 Seventh St, Berk; (510) 841-4100, www.ticketweb.com. $8-20. Fri/5-Sat/6, 8pm. Set during the McCarthy witch hunt of the 1950s, Arthur Miller's play centers on two-time divorcé Quentin (Peter Carlstrom), who recounts the failed relationships that left him a spiritual and political agnostic. While Miller's personal agenda hinders his dramatic judgment – the play can become muddled and self-serving – his themes resonate in a time of heightened conformity. In Speakeasy's compelling production, Carlstrom is sympathetic as Miller's somewhat disingenuous alter ego, and director Rebecca Goodberg wisely concentrates on Quentin's tortured relationships with women, the emotional center that provides some of the play's most dramatic moments. (Avila)

A Fairy's Tail New venue: UC Theatre, 2036 University, Berk; $10-$25. (510) 704-8210. Opens Thurs/4, 8pm. Runs Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 5pm. Through Sun/7. The Shotgun Players present Adam Bock's latest play.

The Fantasticks Larkspur Cafe Theatre, 500 Magnolia, Larkspur; (415) 924-6107. $18-30. Fri-Sat, 8pm; Sun/7 and Sun/14, 2pm. Through April 20. Hoochi-Doo Productions presents the musical love story.

The Hairy Ape Marin Theatre Company, 397 Miller, Mill Valley; (415) 388-5208. $24-40. Wed/3-Thurs/4, 7:30pm; Fri/5-Sat/6, 8pm; Sun/7, 2 and 7pm. Eugene O'Neill's 1922 tragicomedy concerns Yank (Aldo Billingslea), a coal stoker on a luxury liner whose inflated self-worth collapses when a bored society girl (Bethanny Alexander) ventures down from the upper decks to the stokehold to see "how the other half lives." Suddenly aware of the subhuman figure he cuts before this representative of society's upper strata, Yank begins a tortured and futile attempt to regain a sense of belonging. J.B. Wilson's impressive stage gives full expression to the play's fundamental contrasts, and Billingslea's capable work evinces the pathetically vulnerable, even gentle soul in O'Neill's hulking antihero. Directed by Lee Sankowich, Marin's ambitious production is hampered only by an occasional slackness in pacing and the mammoth set's tendency to swallow voices. (Avila)

Knock Knock Aurora Theatre, 2081 Addison, Berk; (510) 843-4822. $26-35. Wed-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2 and 7pm. Through Sun/14. Abe (Dan Hiatt) and Cohn (Will Marchetti) are retirees who haven't left their log cabin in 20 years. Having settled into a predictably jejune existence, the two men are in serious need of having their world rocked. Cohn's rash wishes bring in Wiseman (Sara Moore), an all-purpose vaudevillian trickster who upends the men's fragile logic, and Joan of Arc (Rachel Brown), whose "voices" perhaps echo the men's own existential and absurd interior monologues. This whimsical play has its moments, but I have to admit I've never been much of a fan of playwright Jules Feiffer's dry, sardonic humor. For me, this uneasy marriage of borscht-belt shtick, intellectual farce, and absurdist angst falls pretty flat. Michael Butler, an adept director of difficult hybrids, seems strangely lost here, capturing the knockabout pace but desperately searching for a tone and a point. Hiatt and Marchetti find a specific comic physicality, but neither of these fine actors captures the New York Jewish ethos that is essential to Feiffer's work. (Rosenstein)

*Las meninas San Jose Repertory Theatre, 101 Paseo de San Antonio, San Jose; (408) 367-7255. $26-44. Wed/3, Tues/9, Tues/16, and Thurs-Sat, 8pm (also Sat/6 and Sat/13, 3pm; no shows April 18-19); Sun, 7pm (also Sun/7, Sun/14, and April 21, 2pm; April 21, show at 2pm only). Through April 21. Playwright Lynn Nottage throws imaginative light on a factual but erased historical chapter: the illicit relationship between King Louis XIV's wife, Queen Marie-Thérèse (Mercedes Herrero), and her "fool," the African dwarf Nabo (Daniel Bryant). Their liaison resulted in a child, Louise (Rachel Zawadi Luttrell), who was sequestered for life in a convent. Herrero splendidly nails the delicate line between the queen's comic brio and emotional depth, and Bryant is excellent as the gentle, reluctantly amusing dwarf. Director Michael Donald Edwards does a first-rate job managing Nottage's tricky mix of spoof and soul, and he beautifully stages the San Jose Repertory Theatre premiere. Gordana Svilar's fluid and streamlined set, Robert Jared's lights, and especially B. Modern's extraordinary costumes are luscious, fusing past and present in a single witty stroke. (Rosenstein)



Compagnie Maguy Marin Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater, 700 Howard; 392-4400. Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. $28-35. In its San Francisco debut the 10-member French company performs the evening-length Points de fuite (Points of Escape).

Company Chaddick Cowell Theater, Fort Mason Center, Marina at Laguna; 345-7575. Thurs-Sat, 8pm. $18-22. Cheryl Chaddick's company celebrates its 17th season with four pieces, including Flying Home and Hard Drive and the premieres Liquid Gold and The Sendoff.

'Migrations: Rock, Paper, Song' ODC Theater, 3153 17th St; 863-9834. Fri-Sat, 8pm. $10-12. Four emerging Bay Area choreographers – CatherineMarie Davalos, Laura Derosier, Martt Lawrence, and Heidi Schweiker – present new works.

'San Francisco Ballet 2002 Repertory Season' War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness; 865-2000. Program Five: Fri/5, Thurs/11, and Sat/13, 8pm (also Sat/13, 2pm); Wed/3, 7:30pm; Sun/7, 2pm. $10-120. Program Six: Thurs/4, Sat/6, Tues/9, and Fri/12, 8pm (also Sat/6, 2pm); Wed/10, 7:30pm; Sun/12, 2pm. Program Five consists of A Garden, Black Cake, and world premieres Chi-Lin and Later (Fri/5 is a "Casual Fridays" performance, with preshow reception and discussion at 6 p.m.; see Critic's Choice). Program Six consists of Death of a Moss, L'arlésienne, and world premiere Continuum.

San Francisco Flamenco Company Peña PachaMama, 1630 Powell; 646-0018. Fri, 7:30 and 9pm. Through Fri/12. $10 ($2.50 discount with dinner). The group performs flamenco dance.

'Sky Dancers ... Women Who Fly Through the Air' Dance Mission Theater, 3316 Mission; 273-4633. Fri-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 6pm. $17-20. This week's performers in this festival of aerial dance include Satellite, Terry Sendgraff, Sirens, Ena Starling, Lauren Steiner of Aviatrix, Leslie Tipton, and Chris Weiland.

Urban Butoh Strain Noh Space, 2840 Mariposa; 621-7978. Mon-Tues, 8pm. $10-15. Molly Barrons, Antonio Delbenes, Tappie Dufresne, Mark Hellar, and Martha Matsuda present a program of Butoh dance, including four solos and one group piece.

USF Dance Ensemble Gershwin Theater, 2350 Turk; 422-KALL. Fri-Sat, 8pm. $5. Student dancers perform in a variety of styles, including modern, ballet, and jazz.

Bay Area

Lines Contemporary Ballet Spreckels Performing Arts Center, 5409 Snyder, Rohnert Park; (707) 588-3434. Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2:30pm. $22-25. The company performs Tarab, The Heart's Natural Inclination, and a new work set to Miya Masaoka's koto score.

Smuin Ballets/SF Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Roda Theatre, 2015 Addison, Berk; (510) 647-2949. Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. $20-40. The company performs Dancin' with Gershwin with a new pas de deux set to "Lady Be Good."



'Apocalypse Mañana' Balazo/Mission Badlands Gallery, 2811 Mission; 920-0896. Fri-Sat, 8pm. $10-15. See 8 Days a Week, page 58.

'Dan Chan Magic Man' San Francisco Public Library, West Portal Branch, 190 Lenox; magicdan.fastville.com. Tues, 10:30am. Free. The illusionist performs tricks, juggles, creates balloon sculptures, and more.

'Fauxgirls!' Marlena's, 488 Hayes; 864-6672. Sat, 10pm. Free. Anjelica Devarox and Victoria Secret host a drag cabaret.

'For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf' San Francisco State University, Studio Theater, 1600 Holloway; 338-1341. Fri-Sat, 8pm (also Sat, 3pm), free. See 8 Days a Week, page 58.

'Gary and Babs' Odeon Bar, 3223 Mission; 550-6994. Fri, 6pm. Ongoing. Call for price. The lounge duo performs happy hour favorites.

'Night Coming' Jon Sims Center for the Arts, 1519 Mission; 554-0402. Fri, 8pm. $5-10 (no one turned away for lack of funds). Artist in residence Shar Rednour presents a solo show based on the women in her family.

'One Thousand Teardrops' Mary Sano School of Duncan Dancing, 245 Fifth St, Studio 314; 841-9757. Sat, 8pm. $10-15. Minori Yata presents an evening of spoken word, poetry, music, Butoh dance, and more in this "four-dimensional poetry" performance.

'Scabaret!' Spanganga, 3376 19th St; 821-1102. Sat, 9pm. $10. The "neo-industrial circus jazz opera" returns to the stage.

'Theater for the 21st Century' City Lights, 261 Columbus; 362-8193. Thurs, 7pm. Free. See 8 Days a Week, page 58.

'Til Friday' Club Rendez-vous, 1312 Polk; 309-CLUB. Fri, 10:30pm and midnight. Free. A cast of drag performers – including Cockatelia, Gypsy Calabrese, Sonfondaboyz, Manley Lennox, and Karen Kill – takes the stage; this week's theme is "Tilawonka: Childhood Fantasies."

'Unnatural Acts' Hemlock Tavern, 1131 Polk; unnatural_acts@hotmail.com. Sat, 9pm. $10. This cabaret features comedians, music, performance art, and other vaudeville-style acts.

Bay Area

'Arlen, the Stage Hypnotist' Julia Morgan Center for the Arts, 2640 College, Berk; (925) 798-1300. Sun, 6:30 and 9pm. Through April 21. $10-15. Comedy, improv, and hypnosis all factor into this audience-participation performance.

'Counter-Terrorism: A One-Woman Play' Laney College Theater, 900 Fallon, Oakl; (510) 465-7604. Wed-Fri, 7pm. Free. (Also Sat, 7pm, Valley Performing Arts Center, Holy Names College, 2500 Mountain, Oakl. $10.) Judy Juanita performs a play created in response to the events of Sept. 11.

'Polari, a Hip-Hop Cabaret' 21 Grand, 449B 23rd St, Oakl; (510) 444-7263. Sat-Sun, 8pm. $5-10. Arts company and hip-hop crew "with a queer Arab twist" Juha perform a cabaret show.

'Wet' Black Box Theater, 1928 Telegraph, Oakl; (415) 861-8208. Fri-Sat, 8pm. $15-25. Veronica C. Combs directs this "sultry cabaret" performed by lesbians of color.



Art's Coffee Shop 138 Church; 951-2448. Wed, 8pm: "Castro Comedy," with host "Crippled Comic" Bob Douglas, donations accepted (no one turned away for lack of funds).

Bayfront Theater Fort Mason Center, Bldg B, Third fl, Marina at Laguna; 474-8935. Thurs, 8pm: "Hot Topic!," improvised songs and sketches, $7. Fri, 8pm: "Spontaneous Broadway," $12. Sat, 8pm: "Double Feature," improvised "films," $12; 10:30pm: "Eat the Apple," all-women improv, $7. Sun, 8pm: "Theatresports Ring Tournament," team improv competition, $6.

Kimo's 1351 Polk; 885-4535. Tues, 8:30pm: "Comickaze," stand up comedy night, $5.

The Marsh's Mock Cafe 1074 Valencia; 826-5750. Sat, 9pm: "No Y Chromosome Comedy Showcase," with Jane Barbone, Lisa Geduldig, Yayne Abebe, Sue Mell, Jeremy Beth Michaels, Sandi Selvi, Sue Ferrer, Sara Regezi, and Lori Chapman, $8.

The Odeon 3223 Mission; www.danielpackard.com. Sat, 8pm (through April 27): comedian Daniel Packard performs, $7-9.

One World Cafe 1799 McAllister; 776-9358. Fri, 7:30pm: open mic, free.

Rasselas 1534 Fillmore; 921-2051. Sat, 7pm: "All Black Comedy Showcase," with Yayne Abeba, Tony Sparks, and others, free.

Sea Biscuit 3815 Noriega; 661-3784. Wed, 8pm: open mic comedy with hosts Tony Sparks and Tom Smith, free.

Spanganga 3376 19th St; 821-1102. Thurs, 10pm: "Spiegelmania," stand-up comedy show hosted by Mike Spiegelman, with Julia Jackson, Howard Stone, and Christian Simonsen, $5.

Bay Area

Black Box 1928 Telegraph, Oakl; (510) 595-5597. Thurs, 8pm: Oakland Playhouse improv troupe performs improv comedy, $5.

Kimball's East 6005 Shellmound, Emeryville; (510) 658-2555, ext 4. Wed, 7pm: "The Other Comedy," multicultural comedy showcase, free ($5 after 7pm).

Mingles 370 Embarcadero, Jack London Square, Oakl; (510) 466-5735. Fri, 7pm: "The Other Comedy," multicultural comedy showcase, free before 7pm ($5 after).

Papa Buzz Café 2318 Telegraph, Oakl; (510) 763-6494. Fri, 6-10pm: comedy night with host Mike Holley, $5.

spoken word

Open mics take place almost every night in cafés throughout the Bay Area. If you want to perform, show up about half an hour before start time to put your name on the list. A day-by-day guide to word events and featured readers:

Wednesday: La Peña Cultural Center 3105 Shattuck, Berk; (510) 849-2572. "Cafe Poetry," with hosts Youth Speaks, 7:30pm, free. Mama Bears Women's Bookstore 6536 Telegraph, Oakl; (510) 506-3717. "SheSpeaks," open mic night for women 18 and over, 7:30pm, $5. Starry Plough 3101 Shattuck; (510) 841-2082. "Chicken Grease!," hosted by Nazelah Jamison and Karen Ladson, 8pm, $7. BrainWash Cafe 1122 Folsom; 864-3842. "Spoken Word Salon," open mic with host Diamond Dave Whitaker, 8pm, free.

Thursday: Café 1428 1428 Alice, Oakl; (510) 239-2239, ext 2899. "Poet Skool!," open mic with host Paradise Freejahlove, 7-10pm, free. Morrison Library UC Berkeley, Doe Library, Berk; (510) 642-0137. Chana Block reads her poetry, 12:10pm, free.

Friday: Yakety Yak Coffee House 679 Sutter; 285-2951. Open mic, 7:30pm, free. SomArts Cultural Center 934 Brannan; 252-4655. "WritersCorps Poetry Slam All-Stars," San Francisco tournament finals, 7pm, free. Escape from New York Pizza 333 Bush; (510) 654-6495. Beth Lisick and Christ Stroffolino read, 7:30pm, $5.

Saturday: Coffee with a Beat 458 Perkins, Oakl; (510) 526-5985. "Word Beat Reading Series," with featured readers Victoria Joyce and Emily Shore, plus open mic, 7-9pm, free. Jon Sims Center for the Performing Arts 1519 Mission; 554-0402. "Mouth: the Teeth, the Lips, the Tip of the Tongue," spoken word performance with Charles Anders, Dwayne Calizo, Rolando Conde, Gina Gold, Daphne Gottlieb, Lauren Wheeler, and more, produced by San Francisco in Exile (SFinX), 8pm, $5-10. Claremont Branch Berkeley Public Library, 2940 Benvenue, Berk; (510) 527-9905. The Bay Area Poets Coalition holds an open reading, 3pm, free.

Sunday: Black Box Theater 1928 Telegraph, Oakl; (510) 451-1932. "Birth of Verse," salon for poets, with featured reader Geoff Trenchard, 9pm, $5. Gaia Arts and Cultural Center 2116 Allston, Berk; (510) 848-4242. "Mission 911," poetry reading sponsored by Bay Area Poets for Peace, 2pm, free.

Monday: Notes from Underground Café 2399 Van Ness; 928-8904. "Celebration of the Word," with featured reader Constance Taylor and host Jeanne Powell, 7pm, free. Rasselas Jazz 1534 Fillmore; 346-8696. Open mic for instrumentalists, singers, and poets, featuring the Dee Spencer Trio, 8pm, free.

Tuesday: Andalusia Café 1209 Sutter; 928-8904. "Word Dancing," open mic with hosts Leonard King and Jeanne Powell, 7-9pm, free. The Beanery 2925 College, Berk; (510) 549-9093. "The Whole Note Poetry Series," with Lucy Day and Ruth Daigon, 7pm, free.