February 5, 2003

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Whip appeal
Grab your valentine and pucker up.

By Cheryl Eddy

IT'S ALMOST FEBRUARY 14, and our annual guide to Valentine's Day events has something for everyone: romantic concerts and cruises for the well-matched; sexy zoo and aquarium tours for Discovery Channel addicts; "Un-Valentine's" events for the happily single (and singles' events for those on the prowl); and numerous benefits – including multiple incarnations of The Vagina Monologues, traditionally performed this time of year to raise awareness about violence against women and girls – for those with big pockets to match their big hearts.

parties and events

'Be My Valentine' The Cannery, 2810 Leavenworth; 654-5153. Fri/7, 6-10pm; Sat/8, 2-8pm. Free. Local designers sell clothing, accessories, and ceramics at this trunk show.

'Be Yours: International Quirkyalone Day' Atlas Café, 3049 20th St; 648-1047. Feb 14, 7-11pm. $5-10. This benefit for To-Do List magazine is billed as "an alternative to Valentine's Day" and celebrates "quirkyalones," romantic types who prefer to be single. Events include literary readings, games, and music.

'Fencesitters Winter Ball' Jezebel's Joint, 510 Larkin; 345-9832. Feb 15, 9pm-2am. $5-10. This bi dance party features DJs Laird and Pimprock.

'From V-Day to V-World: Envisioning a World Without Violence' New College of California, 766 Valencia; 269-8809. Feb 14, 4-8pm. Free. Visual, vocal, and performance artists share work inspired by the theme "What will the world look like when the violence against women and girls stops?"

'The Guru of Love' A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books, 601 Van Ness; 931-9248. Feb 13, 7pm. Free. Samrat Upadhyay reads from his new novel, a love story set amid political unrest in Nepal.

'Heartbreak' Studio Z, 314 11th St; 252-7666, www.ticketweb.com, www.thebikehut.com. Feb 13, 7pm-2am. $8. The Bike Hut, which offers skills training for kids from low-income communities, benefits from this benefit, including a brief lecture titled "Lessons from the Bike Hut: Kids, Bikes, and Social Change" and live music by the Vikter Vz Xperience, Spot 1019, and Kung Fu USA.

'If Love Be the Food of Musick' Englander House, 807 Franklin; 362-6080. Feb 14, 8pm. $20-25. Zoe Zandermeer performs her "original pastiche baroque chamber opera" with the Echoes Muse ensemble.

'In Bed with Fairy Butch for Gals, Transfolk, and their Pals: A Valentine's Day Singles' Tingle and Mingle' Club Galia, 2565 Mission; FEZ-8000. Feb 14, 9:30pm. $10-15. Strippers, DJs, a "sex-toy extravaganza" raffle, and more highlight this party hosted by Fairy Butch, whose events were voted "Best Place to Cop a Same-Sex Date" by the Bay Guardian.

'Love Drunk' 440 Haight; 552-6907. Feb 14, 1-10pm (gallery show runs Feb 15-March 10, call for times). Free. The gallery hosts its monthly craft market, featuring stained glass, 3-D prints, and more. DJ Sly spins house music 7-10pm.

'Love Grenade: A Deviant Dance Party and Drag Performance Benefit' Club Galia, 2565 Mission; 970-9777. Sat/8, 9pm. $10-15 (sliding scale). See 8 Days a Week, page 54.

'San Francisco Zoo's 14th Annual Valentine's Day Sex Tour' San Francisco Zoo, Sloat and 47th Ave; 753-7165, www.sfzoo.org. Feb 14-16, 10am, 2pm. $55 (advance registration required; 18 and over only). This adults-only event offers animal lovers a chance to learn more about mating and courtship behaviors of the zoo's residents. The event also includes refreshments and up-close encounters with various animals.

'Sex in the Sea' Aquarium of the Bay, Pier 39, Embarcadero at Beach; 623-5301. Feb 14, 6-10pm. $20-25. Sip cocktails, take a "romantic guided tour," and learn about the mating habits of more than 40 species of marine life.

'Valentine Adoption Fair' San Francisco SPCA, 243 Alabama, and San Francisco Animal Care and Control, 1200 15th St; 522-3569 or 554-9427. Sat/8, 11am-3pm. Free (adoption fees apply). Fall in love with a dog, cat, rabbit, guinea pig, or hamster at this event.

'Valentine's Bachelor Auction' 435 Broadway; 291-0933, www.teamintraining.org, www.leukemia-lymphoma.org. Thurs/6, 7pm. $10. No fewer than 20 male bachelors (and maybe some bachelorettes) will be "auctioned off" to eager bidders at this benefit for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

'Valentine's Day Celebration' Metropolitan Community Church, 150 Eureka; valentinecelebration@yahoo.com (RSVP encouraged). Sat/8, 1:30-4pm. Free. The Lesbian and Gay Immigration Rights Task Force celebrates love and dessert – and encourages the making of Valentine's cards for "lawmakers who dislike us" – at its eighth annual party.

'Valentine's Day Partner Yoga' SF Buddhist Center, 37 Bartlett; 289-2019, www.sfbuddhistcenter.org. Sat/8, 11:30am-1:30pm. $25-30 (pair). Bring a friend or that special someone for two hours of partner yoga.

'Valentine's Day Vampire Tour' Meet at California and Taylor; (650) 279-1840, www.sfvampiretour.com. Feb 14, 8pm. $15-20. Vampiress Mina Harker leads a special Valentine's Day edition of her spooky walking tour of Nob Hill.

Bay Area

'Black and White Valentine's Day Ball' Blackhawk Country Club, 599 Blackhawk, Danville; (707) 280-5775. Feb 14, 6:30pm. $150. Foster a Dream, a group that helps kids living in foster homes and other at-risk youth, benefits from this Oakland Raiders-sponsored party. Events include wine tasting, a silent auction, and dancing to live music.

'Meet Your Valentine Party' Rings Nightclub, 150 Anza, Burlingame; (415) 507-9962, www.thepartyhotline.com. Sun/9, 7-11pm. $10. The Society of Single Professionals sponsors this bash, which features dancing to current hits and oldies. The organization also sponsors the "Valentine's Day Ball for Single Professionals" (Feb 14, 8pm-midnight, Rings Nightclub, 101 McInnis, San Rafael).

'Romantic Valentine's Cruise' Departs from 21 Main, Tiburon; (415) 435-2131. Feb 14, 6:30 and 8:30pm. $12-17. Grab your sweetie and set sail for a cruise around the bay.

'SalsaCrazy Valentine's Ball' Shattuck DownLow, 2284 Shattuck, Berk; (415) 668-9936, www.salsadanceparty.com. Feb 14, 7pm-2am. $10-15. Newbies can come early for beginning instruction (7pm; intermediate lessons at 8pm); salsa madness breaks loose starting at 9pm with DJ Ivette Fuentes and live music with Tito Garcia.

Renate Stendhal Boadecia's Books, 398 Colusa, Kensington; (510) 559-9184. Sat/8, 7:30pm. Free. The author reads from Love's Learning Place: Truth as Aphrodisiac in Women's Long-Term Relationships. Stendhal also holds a workshop titled "Keeping Sex and Love Alive in Lesbian Relationships" (Sun/9, 2-5pm, Montclair Women's Cultural Arts Club, 1650 Mountain, Oakl; renate@renatestendhal.com. $35-40).

'Un-Valentine's Ball' The Bridges Country Club, 9000 Gale Ridge, San Ramon; (925) 937-4744, www.pguild.com. Fri/7, 8pm-midnight. $25. The Professionals Guild, an organization for singles over 27, hosts a dance party.

film and performance

'A Black Valentine's Day' Bobby Ryder's Restaurant and Bar, 312 Harriet; 934-1655, www.eleonorengland.com. Feb 14, 7-11pm. Free. Jazz vocalist Eleonor England and her trio present their second annual "antiromantic" jazz concert, featuring songs where "someone is left, forgotten, denied, neglected, jilted, or shot by their lover."

'Brava Brasil! Songs of the Heart' Brava Theater Center, 2789 24th St; 647-2822, www.brava.org. Feb 14-15, 8pm. $22-25. Singer-songwriter Celia Melheiros headlines this Brazilian-themed bash, with Weber Iago, Carlos Oliveira, Gamo de Paz, Mestre Beiçola, and Ginga Brasil Dance Company. A DJ dance party follows the performance.

'How We First Met' Actors Theatre, 533 Sutter; 1-866-468-3399. Thurs-Sat, 8pm (Feb 14, 7 and 9:30pm). Through Feb 22. $23.50 (Feb 14, $34.50). In this improv show, real couples from the audience are interviewed onstage about their relationship; actors then re-create the tale with sketches and songs.

'The Love Life of the Octopus' McBean Theater, Exploratorium, 3601 Lyon; 563-7337. Feb 16, 2pm. $6-10. This program of works by science and nature filmmaker Jean Painlevé includes "The Love Life of the Octopus" (1965) and "The Sea Horse" (1934), which features footage of a male sea horse giving birth.

'The Vagina Monologues' New College Theater, 777 Valencia; 269-8809. Feb 14-15, 8pm; Feb 16, 7pm. $10-20. Eve Ensler's play is performed to benefit the Community Resource Center at the San Francisco Women's Building.

Wire Graffiti Pound-SF, 100 Cargo; 273-1169. Feb 14, 8:30pm. $10. The band celebrates the release of their third CD, Peculiar Love, with a Valentine's Day concert alongside headliners Venus Bleeding, Castles in Spain, Angry Amputees, and Us Against the World, plus belly dancers, a "Rockstar Kissing Booth," and more.

Bay Area

Gwen Avery and the Blues Sistahs Expressions Gallery, 512 Eighth St, Oakl; (510) 843-3014, www.gwenavery.com. Feb 14, 8-11pm. $10. The singer performs a Valentine's Day concert with her band; the event also includes an art show and dancing.

James Brown Paramount Theatre, 2025 Broadway, Oakl; (510) 465-6400. Feb 15, 8pm. $49-69. The Godfather of Soul performs with his 17-piece band at this concert, appropriately dubbed "My Funky Valentine."

'Love: The Live Version' La Peña Cultural Center, 3015 Shattuck, Berk; (510) 849-2568. Feb 14, 7 and 9:30pm. $10-12. Spoken-word and hip-hop theater artist Aya de Leon celebrates the release of her new CD, Aya de Leon: Live at La Peña, at her annual "alternative Valentine's Day celebration" with guests Auroro Levins-Morales, Marvin K. White, Anna de Leon, and others.

'The Vagina Monologues' Oak Room, Contra Costa Campus, Cal State Hayward, Hayward; (510) 885-3261, www.vday.org. Wed/5, 4:40-6:30pm. $4-7. (Also Thurs/6-Fri/7, 4:30-6:30pm, University Union Rm 102, Cal State Hayward, Hayward). Cal State Hayward students perform Eve Ensler's play to benefit various charities aimed at counteracting violence against women and girls.

'The Vagina Monologues' Olney Hall Theater, 835 College, Kentfield; (415) 456-4606, www.virtuous.com, www.vdaymarin.com. Feb 13-14, 7pm. $8-50. (Also Feb 15, 7pm, Fine Arts Theatre, College of Marin, Sir Francis Drake, Kentfield). Alpha Gamme Sigma honor society presents Eve Ensler's play; proceeds benefit Rape Crisis Center of Marin, Marin Abused Women's Services, and RAINN.

'Valentine's Day Cabaret' Julia Morgan Center for the Arts, 2640 College, Berk; (925) 798-1300. Feb 14, 8-11pm. $20-25. The programs and historical preservation of the Julia Morgan Center for the Arts benefit from this event, which features members of the Julia Morgan Players and the Shotgun Players performing standards and show tunes (have 'em dedicate a song to your sweetie for $25), chocolates, champagne, and more. Child care for kids four and up is available ($10).

'Valentine's Double-D Double Feature' Parkway, 1834 Park, Oakl; (510) 814-2400, www.picturepubpizza.com. Feb 13, 7:30pm. $8. Celebrate Russ Meyer's bodacious women when Thrillville presents William Winckler's The Double-D Avenger and Ted V. Mikels's Mark of the Astro-Zombies, with special guests from both films.

art shows

'Art with Heart' Sunset Artists Society, 28th Ave at Lawton; 566-9245, www.artcycles.com/sas. Fri/7, 6-9pm; Sat/8, 10am-4pm. Free. The Sunset Artists Society hosts its annual Valentine's show, including more than 20 local painters, printmakers, sculptors, and photographers.

'Chatter Box' 1195A Church; 647-0900. Sat/8, 3-6pm (reception); call for gallery hours. Through Feb 28. Free. Atticus Wolrab's paintings of love potions go on display.

'City Art Gallery's Fourth Annual Back Room Erotic Art Show' City Art Gallery, 828 Valencia; 970-9900, www.cityartgallery.org. Fri/7, 7-9pm (reception); gallery hours Wed-Sun, noon-9pm. Through Feb 28. Free. This exhibit of sexy art by more than a dozen San Francisco artists includes the unveiling of "a device created by a local inventor with a passion for the erotic."

Bay Area

'Heart to Art: A Valentine's Day Exhibition' The Gallery, 930 Marin, Vallejo; (707) 556-9710. Sat/8, 6-9pm (reception); exhibit runs Feb 1-15, call for hours. The Vallejo Artists' Guild hosts an exhibit of reasonably priced Valentine's gifts.

'Valentine's Day Solar Roses 2003' Sunbrothers Studio, 2323 Magnolia, Oakl; (510) 839-2323. Feb 13-14, 6-10pm; Feb 15, noon-10pm. Free. This art show features solar-powered rose sculptures.