February 12, 2003

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stage

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

theater


Opening

8 Bob Off Magic Theatre, Fort Mason Center, Marina at Laguna; 441-8822, www.magictheatre.org. $10-50. Previews Fri/14-Sat/15 and Feb 19-20, 8:30pm. Opens Feb 21, 8:30pm. Runs Wed-Sat, 8:30pm; Sun, 2:30pm. Through March 9. The Magic Theatre presents the world premiere of Gary Leon Hill's tale of three troubled people who slowly rebuild their lives.

No Exit Theatre Rhinoceros, 2929 16th St; 861-5079. $15. Previews Thurs/13, 8:30pm. Opens Fri/14, 8:30pm. Runs Thurs-Sat, 8:30pm; Sun, 7:30pm. Through March 9. Expression Theatre Ensemble performs Jean-Paul Sartre's existential classic about a man and two women locked in one room for eternity.

Skin Hot: Bone Deep (Series 2) African American Art and Culture Complex, Buriel Clay Memorial Theater, 762 Fulton; 861-8208, www.ticketweb.com. $13-23. Opens Thurs/13, 8pm. Runs Thurs-Sat, 8pm. Through March 1. The Liquid Fire Project's lesbian and bisexual performers use dance, song, storytelling, and poetry to explore the connection between race and the erotic.

Bay Area

The Importance of Being Oscar Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant, Berk; (510) 841-7287 (information); (510) 558-1381 (reservations). $8-20. Opens Fri/14, 8pm. Runs Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 5pm. Through March 23. Wilde Irish Productions and Central Works present Micheál mac Liammóir's play about the life and work of Oscar Wilde.

Ongoing

*Amnesia Theatre Rhinoceros, 2926 16th St; 861-5079. $15-25. Wed/12-Sat/15, 8pm. Theatre Rhinoceros co-artistic director John Fisher writes, directs, and stars in this comedy about an American soldier (Fisher) who loses his memory after a traumatic battle, forgetting, among other things, that he is gay. Beginning as a smart blend of history, Hollywood genre-spoofing, and absurdly histrionic army jokes (call it boot camp), Amnesia features a surprisingly subtle second act that includes some fine dramatic moments. (Avila)

Blue Jelly Plush Room, Hotel York, 940 Sutter; 885-2800. $15-20. Mon/17, 8pm. Vocalist Leslie Hamilton debuts a new musical monologue adapted by Gene Price from Debby Bull's novel about love on the rebound. Our jilted heroine's cross-country search for equilibrium in the aftermath of a relationship takes the form of kitchen-pantry ruminations on Zen and the art of canning. Witty, lovelorn recipes for preserves, including her patented blue dandelion jelly, string together a 15-song set of pop and cabaret tunes running from Cole Porter to Tom Waits. Under Jayne Wenger's playful direction Hamilton, a longtime associate of local musical theater company 42nd Street Moon, has a cool, confident, classy, sassy sort of way with the material, while musical director Cesar Cancino provides smooth accompaniment on the piano. If the story feels a little abbreviated, it's a roadworthy vehicle for Cancino's clever arrangements and Hamilton's Bombeckian New Age chanteuse, which together with the Plush Room's Waitsian atmosphere make for a tantalizing cocktail. (Avila)

The Blue Room Exit on Taylor, 277 Taylor; 789-8221. $15-25. Thurs/13-Sat/15, 8pm. David Hare's much-hyped racy romp through Arthur Schnitzler's Der Reigen receives its local premiere in a competent but lukewarm production by Actor's Collective. The temperature, or lack thereof, is partly the play's doing. Ten discreet scenes unfold in tag-team fashion between two actors (Karen Finch and Garth Petal), evoking the relentless merry-go-round of human sexuality. The formula of "woo, screw, we're through" presents itself in this stylized way with a good deal of vim (thanks to Hare's way with dialogue), but in our libertine age it can't pack the punch of Schnitzler's frontal assault on Victorian mores. Yet, under Jon Drawbaugh's careful direction, Finch and Petal work well together and manage their flights up and down the class ladder with assurance. (Avila)

*Chicken: A 1-Ho Show The Marsh, 1062 Valencia; 826-5750. $10-15. Thurs-Sat, 8pm. Through March 1. A chicken is a common domestic fowl, often found roasted or deep-fried. A chicken is also a teenage rent boy. David Henry Sterry is familiar with both definitions. In Chicken: A 1-Ho Show, Sterry's refreshingly affectionate portrayal of a naive young man's first taste of Los Angeles street life in the mid 1970s, the actor and writer demonstrates how little effort it takes to go from dunking greasy lumps of chicken in rancid oil in a Hollywood fast-food outlet to earning $200 a pop for fleshing out rich Beverly Hills widows' sexual fantasies. Basing the solo show on his memoir, Chicken: Self-Portrait of a Young Man for Rent, Sterry expertly and economically brings the parade of pimps, nuns, debutantes, rapists, and sexual deviants who populate his past to life. Sterry, who resembles Chico Marx with his floppy mop and loony grin, is a muscular storyteller. He might look like a lost child bouncing around in sweatpants and red baseball boots, but he attacks his evocative prose like a grizzled beatnik poet hitting a home run. (Veltman)

The Chosen A Traveling Jewish Theatre, 470 Florida; 399-1809. $12.50-25 (Thurs, pay what you can). Thurs/13-Sat/15, 8pm; Sun/16, 2, 7pm. Feb 20-March 2: Julia Morgan Theatre, 2640 College, Berk. Same phone, price, and schedule. Baseball and the Torah are unconventionally intertwined in A Traveling Jewish Theatre's sensitive staging of American-Jewish novelist Chaim Potok's breakthrough novel, The Chosen. The novel, written in 1967, was adapted three years ago by Potok and Philadelphia playwright Aaron Posner. The Chosen tells the story of a friendship between two Jewish teenagers from different backgrounds in Brooklyn at the end of World War II. Director Aaron Davidman's dark mise-en-scène imbues the turbulent relationship between a Hasidic Jew, Danny Saunders (Gabriel Carter), and the more liberal Jewish teenager Reuven Malter (Zac Jaffee) with longing and anger. Although the pace of the production drags in places, Richard Olmsted's subdued set and lights and convincing performances from the ensemble eloquently convey one of the play's central ideas: that "speech is silver but silence is golden." (Veltman)

Closer than Ever New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness; 861-8972. $15-35. Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Through Feb 23. The New Conservatory Theatre Center kicks off its "In Concert" season with this musical revue of songs by David Shire and Richard Maltby, Jr.

The Dreamstealers Exit Theatre, 156 Eddy; 1-866-GOT-FURY, www.ticketweb.com. $15-25. Thurs/13-Sat/15, 8pm. FoolsFury wraps up a very respectable season with the premiere of associate artistic director Stephen Jacob's quirky but committed "science fable." Sort of Pinocchio meets Frankenstein meets Doctor Who (in verse!), the story revolves around a slightly mad intergalactic corporate CEO named Head Greek (Jacob) who, with the assistance of two scheming Harpies with engineering degrees (Cat Thompson and Jessica Jelliffe), has manufactured a son, a "new post-human man" named Dreamboy (Ian Scott McGregor Jursco). This largely comedic two-act has a wistful strand running through it as A.I. guy naturally outgrows his original design, reaching for all things human, including a bit of fluff in the form of a hijacked somnambulator named, well, Sleepwalker (Lindsay Anderson). Director Ben Yalom cast well and gets strong performances all around. At nearly three hours, though, the play could stand some trimming. (Avila)

*A Feast of Fools Marines Memorial Theatre, 609 Sutter; 1-877-771-6900. $25-45. Wed/12-Sat/15, 8pm; Sun/16, 3 and 7pm. Accomplished Bay Area actor and clown Geoff Hoyle's latest "one-man show" not only revisits characters and routines from an illustrious 30-plus year career, it features one woman: his marvelously versatile accompanist and coperformer, Gina Leishman. Built around the comical conceit of a show that doesn't quite come off, the evening in fact offers some flawlessly executed vaudevillian foolery and pantomime. Handily directed by Richard Seyd, Hoyle's masterful brand of physical comedy consistently delights without uttering a word. (Avila)

*Hedwig and the Angry Inch Victoria Theatre, 2961 16th St; 392-4400. $25-35. Wed-Fri, 8pm; Sat-Sun, 7pm (also Sat, 10pm). Open-ended. Kevin Cahoon assumes the title role originated by John Cameron Mitchell in his 1998 Obie-winning glam musical, later a celebrated film. And while die-hard fans show up prepared to sing along, the show is so instantly contagious that no homework is necessary on the part of the uninitiated. For all its value as camp, Hedwig is a cabaret act of subtle sophistication; the story, like the best glam rock, has a quiet force that is the undercurrent of its self-conscious banality and cutting humor. (Avila)

In the Garden New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness; 861-8972. $18-38. Wed-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Through March 30. In Norman Allen's "erotic drama," the lives of four urban professionals are turned upside down by a homeless teen obsessed with the New Testament. The play opens postcoitus with Gabe, a promising young student, lying naked on his professor John's bed while the latter gets dressed. Soon Gabe will have sex in the same bed with John's wife, Muriel, and their best friend Walter. The only person not getting laid in this sexual roundelay is Lizzie, who nonetheless develops an intimate, if platonic, relationship with the boy whom the professionals regard as a modern-day prophet. This production wants to be a provocative meditation on the postmodern condition – on the inability of people to connect with one another or the world in a culture more concerned with surface than substance – but no number of biblical quotes or references to Nietzsche can compensate for this play's one-dimensional characters or its vacuous platitudes. Ultimately, Depeche Mode's "Enjoy the Silence," which serves as the play's theme song of sorts, has more depth. (Shalson)

Mother's Milk The Marsh, 1074 Valencia; 826-5750. $10-15. Fri-Sat, 7:45pm. Through Feb 22. Wayne Harris performs his solo show, a reflection on his mother's death from breast cancer.

Mud Shelton Backstage, 533 Sutter; 835-2106. $8-12. Thurs-Sat, 8pm. Through Feb 22. Flux Theater Company performs Maria Irene Fornes' drama about an uneducated woman striving to make a better life for herself.

Princess Ida Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 700 Howard; (415) 978-2787. $20-38 (Wed/12, pay what you can). Wed/12-Sat/15, 8pm (also Sat/15, 2pm); Sun/16, 2pm. The Lamplighters perform Gilbert and Sullivan's comic opera.

R. Buckminster Fuller: The History (and Mystery) of the Universe Project Artaud Theater, 450 Florida; 626-DOME, www.foghouse.com. $25-35. Wed-Sat, 8pm (also Sat, 3pm); Sun, 2pm. Open-ended. Fuller was one of the great brainiacs of the 20th century, a philosopher, mathematician, inventor, and idealist who devoted his life to finding the best fit between nature and humanity. In D. W. Jacobs's fitful, two-hour monologue based on the life and writings of Fuller, actor Ron Campbell dexterously pings from one of the visionary's obsessions to another, inhabiting Fuller's eccentric soul with physical and verbal intensity. (Veltman)

'Second Annual Bay One-Acts Festival' Eureka Theatre, 215 Jackson; 776-7427, www.threewisemonkeys.org. $15-20. Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 3pm. Through March 2. Fourteen new one-act plays by Bay Area writers comprise this festival, sponsored by Three Wise Monkeys Theatre Company.

*Seven Guitars Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, 620 Sutter; 474-8800, www.lorrainehansberrytheatre.com. $25-32. Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Through Feb 23. Seven friends, including fated blues man Floyd "Schoolboy" Barton (Roberto Robinson), congregate in the backyard of a Pittsburgh house around Mother's Day 1948 in the sixth installment of August Wilson's rich decade-by-decade portrait of the African American 20th century. Barton's dream of getting to Chicago to build on the success of a hit record slowly but surely rearranges the lives around him, beginning with his once-jilted sweetheart, Vera (Erica Smith), in a tale that ingeniously pinpoints the tension between postwar optimism and the persistent legacy of American racism, mimicking the carefree but haunted quality of a blues lyric. Wilson's vibrant blend of humor, romance, and danger receives first-rate treatment here. Lorraine Hansberry artistic director Stanley E. Williams's impeccably balanced production includes a lavish two-story set by Michael Locher – complete with chickens and a dirt yard – and Kenneth Abrone's sophisticated sound design, mixing flashes of blues guitar with an invisible cityscape just over the back fence. But the biggest treat remains his altogether excellent cast. Supple performances all around harmonize beautifully and thoroughly animate Wilson's wonderful dialogue. (Avila)

The Special Connection: A Night of Love, Sex, and Serendipity The Next Stage, 1620 Gough; 673-0304, ext 3, www.cafearts.com. $12-25. Fri-Sat, 8pm (no show Feb 22). Through March 1. Combined Art Form Entertainment's Tilted Frame Improv players (Diana Brown, Jonathan Caplan, Christopher DeJong, Sean Garrett, Heather O'Brien, Kym Priess, and Trish Tillman) present a semi-free-form show built around the theme of sex and dating. Short improvisational solos generated by a live hookup to the Craigslist personals page bracket a series of sketches, including a spontaneous musical and two short films. The live Internet feed adds a twist to the usual improv stratagems, and Lydia Brawner's home-movie segments have a silly appeal, but the frequency of "special connections" remained low as far as ideas were concerned. (Avila)

Thief River New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness; 861-8972. $18-38. Wed-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Through Mar 9. If you're tired of gay love stories where shame wins out over romance, where gay bashing drives the plot, and where all of the characters are either gay or homophobic (or a combination of the two), you'll probably expect to hate Lee Blessing's Thief River. But you might be surprised. Quick pacing and a nonlinear plot structure help keep this play interesting, despite its clichés. One has to wonder, watching this story of a 53-years-long, mostly unrequited love affair between two men from a small farming town in the Midwest, whether any unfulfilled attachment could possibly be worth holding onto for that much time. But, somehow, there are enough wryly humorous lines and touching moments to keep one engaged, even after one has long stopped rooting for the star-crossed lovers' reunion. (Shalson)

Waiting for the Podiatrist Venue 9, 252 Ninth St; 289-2000. $12-15 sliding scale. Thurs-Sat, 8pm (no show Feb 27); Sun/16, March 2, 2pm. Through March 2. Terry Baum performs her new play, a "nightmare fun house" that uses puppets and songs to explore the phenomena of baby boomers taking care of their aging parents.

X Spanganga, 3376 19th St; 826-1202. $12. Fri/14-Sat/15, 8pm. African American sketch and improv comedy group Oui Be Negroes present their 10th anniversary show.

Bay Area

The Chairs Aurora Theatre, 2081 Addison, Berk; (510) 843-4822. $28-38. Wed-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2 and 7pm. Through March 9. Aurora Theatre Company performs Eugene Ionesco's whimsical play about an isolated elderly couple whose fantasy games become their reality.

Champion! La Val's Subterranean Theater, 1834 Euclid, Berk; (415) 789-8370. $12-20. Fri-Sat and Feb 20, 8pm. Through Feb 22. Thessaly Lerner performs her high-energy solo show.

Culture Clash in AmeriCCa San Jose Repertory Theatre, 101 Paseo de San Antonio, San Jose; (408) 367-7255, www.sjrep.com. $20-48. Tues-Sat, 8pm (also Sat, 3pm; Feb 26, noon); Sun, 2 and 7pm. Through March 2. Culture Clash mix their trademark blend of irreverent humor and social satire in this new show about Silicon Valley.

The Pintucci Family Christmas: A Bleak Comedy La Val's Subterranean, 1834 Euclid, Berk; (510) 704-8210, www.shotgunplayers.org. $10. Mon-Tues, 8pm. Through Feb 25. The Shotgun Players Theatre Lab presents a new, experimental work by H. Gayle Harlan about one family's holiday from hell.

Suddenly Last Summer Berkeley Rep's Roda Theatre, 2015 Addison, Berk; (510) 647-2949. $10-54. Opens Wed/12, 8pm. Runs Tues and Thurs-Sat, 8pm (also Sat/15, Feb 20, 22, March 1, 6, 15, 20, 2pm; no show Feb 21); Wed and Sun, 7pm (also Sun, 2pm). Through March 23. Berkeley Rep performs Tennessee Williams's drama about a wealthy widow desperate to keep her late son's lifestyle – and violent death, as witnessed by his cousin – a secret.

Via Dolorosa New venue: Berkeley Richmond Jewish Community Center, 1414 Walnut, Berk; (510) 436-5085. $5-19. Thurs/13-Sat/15, 8pm; Sun/16, 3:30pm. Feb 21-23: A Traveling Jewish Theatre, 470 Florida, S.F. Same phone, price, and schedule, except Sunday shows at 3pm. See "God's country," page 44. dance

Company Chaddick ODC Theater, 3153 17th St; 863-9834, www.ticketweb.com. Thurs-Sun, 8pm. $17. See 8 Days a Week, page 52.

Dance Brigade Dance Mission Theater, 3316 24th St; 273-4633. Fri-Sat and Feb 20, 27, 8pm; Sun, 6pm. Through March 2. $20-25. The company performs CaveWomen ... The Next Incarnation!

Rapt Performance Group SomArts Cultural Center, 934 Brannan; (510) 981-1005, www.acteva.com. Thurs-Sun, 8pm. $16. The group performs House, a multimedia work featuring dance, video, and live music.

Robert Moses' Kin Cowell Theater, Fort Mason Center, Marina at Laguna; 345-7575. Thurs-Sat and Wed/12, 8pm (also Sun, 2pm). Through Feb 23. $18.50-24.50. In celebration of Black History Month, the company performs two programs: Feb 12-16, a repertory program that includes three world premieres; Feb 20-23, last season's evening-length Word of Mouth.

San Francisco Ballet War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness; www.sfballet.org. Thurs/13, Sat/15, Feb 18-19, 21, 23, 8pm (also Sat/15, 2pm). $8-120. See Critic's Choice.

Bay Area

Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley Center for the Performing Arts, 255 Almaden, San Jose; (415) 288-2800, www.balletsanjose.org. Thurs and Sun, 7:30pm (also Sun, 1:30pm); Fri-Sat, 8pm. $22-68. The company performs Dennis Nahat's Summerscape; Agnes de Mille's Rodeo; and Flemming Flindt's Miraculous Mandarin.

Diablo Ballet Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro, Mtn View; (650) 903-6000. Thurs-Fri, 8pm. $15-25. The company performs Nikolai Kabaniaev's The Magic Toy Store.

'Flamenco Festival USA 2003: Farruquito and Juana Amaya' Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley, Bancroft at Telegraph, Berk; (510) 642-9988. Sat, 8pm. $20-36. The dancers perform traditional flamenco.

performance

BATS Improv Bayfront Theater, Fort Mason Center, Marina at Laguna; www.batsimprov.com. Thurs-Sun, 8pm. $6-12. This week's shows: "SNAFU" (Thurs); "Improv for Lovers" (Fri-Sat); "Micetro" (Sun).

'Comedy on the Square' Shelton Theatre, 533 Sutter; 522-8900. Sun, 5, 7, 8:30pm. $15. This week's lineup includes prop comic Fred Anderson (5pm); comedian Jason McPherson (7pm); and Pushing 40, David Magidson and Ty DeMartino's humorous look at the male midlife crisis (8:30pm).

'EROShambo Surreal Robotic Cabaret' OmniCircus, 550 Natoma; 701-0686. Sat, 9:30pm. Ongoing. $10-15. A cast of musicians, performance artists, and robots appears in this original cabaret show.

'An Evening of Comedy and Magic' Randall Museum Theater, 199 Museum Wy; 554-9600. Wed-Thurs, 7:30pm. $10. Jay Alexander, Robert Strong, and Super Gigi perform in this variety show for kids and grown-ups.

'Imagine Judy Garland: An Evening with Connie Champagne' Plus Room, York Hotel, 940 Sutter; 885-2800. Sun, 8pm. Through Feb 23. $20. The chanteuse, noted for her ability to pay tribute to Judy Garland's character and voice, performs a selection of songs never recorded by Garland.

'Panoply' Modern Times, 888 Valencia; 282-9246. Sat, 7pm. Free. This event features readings by kari edwards and Camille Roy, a screening of an experimental short by Kirthi Nath, and an excerpt from a performance piece, vis-à-vis, by the Erika Shuch Performance Project.

'The Pseudo-Intellectual' Noh Space, 2840 Mariposa; 621-7978. Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun/16, 2pm. Through Feb 22. $10-15. The Traveling Art Circus performs Dan Grenda and Mark Edwards' play about a boy raised on 1980s television.

'Undressed Phase II' Jon Sims Center for the Arts, 1519 Mission; 554-0402. Fri, 8pm. $5-10 sliding scale. Jon Sims artists in residence Eric Kupers presents his latest work, a dance experiment exploring the idea of public nudity.

'The Velvet Hammer Burlesque' Great American Music Hall, 859 O'Farrell; 885-0750. Sat, 8 and 11pm. $25. This Hollywood-based "neoburlesque" show includes a variety of acts, including dancers, contortionists, live music, and more.

'voICes/kNOWn' Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission; (510) 548-2065. Thurs, 8pm. $15-25. The Center for Digital Storytelling celebrates ten years of media arts with performances by artist Guillermo Gomez-Peña, storyteller Brenda Wong Aoki, dancer Scott Wells, and others.

Bay Area

'The Dark: Thirty' Black Dot Café, 1431 23rd Ave, Oakl; (510) 325-1135. Wed, 6pm. $5. This ongoing, monthly series of "bedtime stories for black folks" also features a soul food dinner.

'Exploring of Possibilities of Passion' UC Berkeley, Kroeber Hall Rm 120, Berk; (510) 526-7858, www.eroplay.com. Fri, 8pm. Call for price. Performance artist Frank Moore leads this interactive "lab of creativity."

'Things Aren't Always' Black Box, 1928 Telegraph, Oakl; (510) 451-1932. Wed, 7:30pm. Through Feb 26. $10-20 sliding scale. Tim Barksy performs a solo show that combines hip-hop, street performance, and Jewish folklore.

comedy

The Mock Café 1074 Valencia; plethorashow@yahoo.com. Fri, 8:30 and 10pm: Comedy troupe Plethora performs sketch comedy with musical interludes and stand-up, $7.

Spanganga 3376 19th St; 821-1102. Mon, 10pm: "Alternative Comedy Audition Showcase," featuring performers auditioning for the Montreal Just For Laughs comedy festival, with host Mike Spiegelman, $5.

Warfield 982 Market; 421-TIXS. Sat, 8 and 11pm: "Dave Chappelle is Blackzilla," $30.50-35.50.

Bay Area

Black Box 1928 Telegraph, Oakl; (510) 451-1932. Thurs, 8pm: The Oakland Playhouse improv troupe performs improv comedy, $6.

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 spoken word events and featured readers:

Wednesday: Edinburgh Castle 950 Geary; 885-4074. "The Word Dancing Project" with Q.R. Hand, Jr. and Susan Browne, 7:30pm, $5, BrainWash Café 1122 Folsom; 440-5530. "Spoken Word Salon: Poets Against the War for Peace and Love" with feature "Silent Word by Mocking Bird," plus open mic and host Diamond Dave Whitaker, 8pm, free. Toland Hall UCSF, 533 Parnassus; 502-6305. "Poets Against the War" open reading, 5pm, free. Modern Times Bookstore 888 Valencia; spaceistheplace@hotmail.com. "Poetry and the American Voice Has Been Cancelled," 7pm, donations requested but no one turned away for lack of funds. See 8 Days a Week, page 52. Cody's Books 2454 Telegraph, Berk; (510) 845-7852. "Poetry Flash" with Sarah Arvio and Tsering Wangmo Dhompa, 7:30pm, $2. Revolution Books 2425 Channing, Berk; (510) 848-1196. "Poets Against the War: A Night of Resistance Verse," 7:30pm, free. See 8 Days a Week, page 52.

Thursday: Coppa D'Oro Cafe 3166 24th St; 826-8003. "Poetry on the Patio," spoken word and acoustic-music open mic with host Renaldo Ricketts, 6:30pm, free. Dalva 3121 16th St; 931-4551. "Poetry Mission" with featured reader Wendy-O-Matik, 7pm, free. The Poetry Center Humanities 511, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway; 338-2227. Sarah Arvio and Brenda Hillman read, 4:30pm, free.

Sunday: Build 483 Guerrero; 863-3041. "Hubbub: Queer Spoken Word" with Red Jordan Arobateau and Edward Mycue and open mic, 3pm, $3 (no one turned away for lack of funds). Cody's Books 2454 Telegraph, Berk; (510) 845-7852. "Poetry Flash" with Lynne Knight and Nellie Hill, 7:30pm, $2.

Monday: Perry's Joint 1661 Fillmore; 931-5260. "Celebration of the Word" with featured reader Jabez Churchill and open mic, 7pm, free.

Tuesday: Spanganga 3376 19th St; 821-1102. "The Spang Bang" open mic for all types of performers, 8pm, $2 (suggested donation). World Ground Café 3726 MacArthur, Oakl; (510) 482-4933. "Poetry Diversified" with Betty Jones, 7:30pm, free.