March 12 2003
It's funny in Kansas
Arts and Entertainment
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.
Animal Farm New Langton Arts, 1246 Folsom; 262-0477. $15-20 (March 24, pay what you can). Opens Fri/14, 8pm. Runs Thurs-Sat and March 24, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Through March 30. The Custom Made Theatre Company performs Nelson Bond's adaptation of the George Orwell classic.
The Dance on Widow's Row Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, 620 Sutter; 474-8800. $25-32. Opens Thurs/13, 8pm. Runs Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Through April 13. The Lorraine Hansberry Theatre presents Samm-Art Williams's comedy about four wealthy African American women on a quest to remarry.
The Purity of Impact Spanganga, 3376 19th St; 508-1808. $10. Previews Thurs/13, 8pm (at Shotwell Studios, 3252A 19th St). $10 (preview free). Opens Fri/14, 8pm. Runs Fri-Sat, 8pm. Through March 29. RubberMatchSeriez#6 presents a workshop production of Rey Carolino's Paris-set play about an aging boxer's clash with his playwright brother.
Strangers in Paradox: The True Story of Casey and the Kidd Theatre
Rhinoceros, 2926 16th St; 861-5079. $15-25. Previews Thurs/13-Fri/14,
8pm. Opens Sat/15, 8pm; Sun/16, 7pm. Runs Wed-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 7pm (also
March 23, 30, and April 6, 7pm). Through April 12. Theatre Rhinoceros
presents "gender outlaw" Kate Bornstein's world premiere play
about a pair of lesbian serial killers.
The Great Celestial Cow Oakland YWCA, 1515 Webster, Oakl; (510) 436-5085. $16-19 (March 20, pay what you can). Previews Thurs/13, 8pm. Opens Fri/14, 8pm. Runs Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 3pm. Through April 6. TheatreFirst presents Sue Townsend's comedy about a family that emigrates from India to England in the 1970s.
Syncopation Marin Theatre Company, 397 Miller, Mill Valley; (415) 388-5208. $25-43 (Tues excluding opening night, pay what you can). Previews Thurs/13-Sat/15, 8pm; Sun/16, 2 and 7pm. Opens Tues/18, 8pm. Runs Tues, Thurs-Sat, 8pm (also March 20, 27, 1pm; April 5, 12, 2pm); Wed, 7:30pm; Sun, 2 and 7pm. Through April 13. The Marin Theatre Company performs Alan Kane's play about a pair of ballroom dancing partners in 1912 New York.
Are We Almost There? Shelton Theatre, 533 Sutter; 345-7575. $15-18. Thurs-Sat, 8pm. Open-ended. Travel is the theme of this musical-comedy revue.
Boys' Life Actors Theatre of San Francisco, 533 Sutter; 436-9400, www.boyslifesf.com. $10-20. Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Through April 12. Baldyrock Productions presents Howard Korder's comedy about the follies and failures of three former college buddies.
*Chicken: A 1-Ho Show Marsh, 1062 Valencia; 826-5750. $10-15. Extended run: Thurs-Sat, 8pm. Through March 29. 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. Sterry 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 Magic Theatre, Fort Mason Center, Marina at Laguna; 399-1809. Extended run: Thurs-Sat, 8:30pm (also Sat, 2:30pm); Sun, 2:30pm. $25-35 (Thurs, pay what you can). Through March 23. 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, which 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. (Veltman)
'Comedy on the Square' Shelton Theatre, 533 Sutter; 522-8900. $15. Performers include Fred Anderson, prop comic (Fri-Sat, 7pm; Sun, 5pm, through May 4); "The Carnival of Chaos Lives and Breathes" with "extreme vaudeville" acts (Fri/14, Sun/16, March 23 and 30, 8:30pm, through March 30); magician Paul Nathan's "Devil in the Deck" (Sat/15, 10pm); and "Pushing 40," a solo play about the male midlife crisis (Sun, 7pm, through May 4).
The Dazzle Geary Theater, 415 Geary; 749-2228. $11-61. Wed/12-Sat/15, 8pm (also Wed/12, Sat/15, 2pm); Sun/16, 2pm. The passionately cluttered estate of bothers Langley (Gregory Wallace) and Homer (Steven Anthony Jones) Collyer, characters based on the legendary Harlem hermits of the early twentieth century, serves as setting and metaphor for their (and playwright Richard Greenberg's) splendid profusion of words. With the arrival of Milly (René Augesen), an admirer of charismatic Lang, the brothers' uniquely vibrant language sets itself off against the charmed and lonely heiress. In ACT's production, director Laird Williamson strikes a precarious balance between sentiment and sediment. (Avila)
A Delicate Balance Phoenix Theatre, 414 Mason; 364-3037. $20. Thurs-Sat, 7:30pm; Sun, 5pm. Through March 29. Class Act Theatre Company performs Edward Albee's Pulitzer Prize-winning play.
*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. (Note: from March 12-23, Asa Somers takes over the role of Hedwig; Cahoon returns March 26). (Avila)
If You Ever Leave Me ... I'm Going with You! Marines Memorial Theatre, 609 Sutter; 1-877-771-6900. $25-45. Wed/12-Sat/15, 8pm (also Sat/15, 2pm); Sun/16, 2 and 7pm. In 1965, a sharp-looking Italian American TV-commercials director married a Jewish aspiring actress with big blond hair. Ever since, husband-and-wife team Joe Bologna and Renée Taylor have been writing and performing in captivatingly kitsch movies and plays about falling in love and staying that way. In the genteel duo's faded and formulaic but nevertheless endearing comic revue, If You Ever Leave Me ... I'm Going With You!, Bologna and Taylor take the audience on a rose-scented walk down Amnesia Lane with their serenely delivered shtick about all things marital. Recounting their courtship and the triumphs and tribulations of married life through a series of sketches taken from their stage and screenplays, including Lovers and Other Strangers, Made for Each Other, and It Had to Be You, the couple bring a little old-school showbiz sparkle to San Francisco. (Veltman)
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 post-coitus 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 each other 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)
Ladies and Gentlemen Exit Theatre, 156 Eddy; 999-8870, www.theshee.org. $15-20. Thurs/13-Sat/15, 8pm. From the Shee Theatre Company comes a poignant new play by Irish writer Emma Donoghue about love and grief in a troupe of cross-dressing vaudeville performers in the 1880s. Based on the true story of Annie Hindle, the male impersonator who became a legend touring America with Tony Pastor's showcase of human novelties, the play floats from Annie's memories of performing with fizzing female impersonator Gilbert Saroney (Michael Patrick Gaffney), and her spiky friendship with rival male impersonator Ella (Laura Hope), to her enduring passion for Ryanny (Carrie Paff), the Irish immigrant turned stage dresser whom she dared to legally marry. Sleek and silver-haired Jessie Gray is impish and imperious by turns in the lead, but the play only takes off with Paff as the slyly unpredictable Ryanny. Director Virginia Reed capitalizes on the play's textures, liberally combining period songs and music for a festive first act and a slower, elegiac second. (Amir Baghdachi)
Lone Star and Laundry and Bourbon Next Stage Theater, 1620 Gough; 740-8287, www.tickets.com. $10-15. Fri-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 7pm. Through March 23. The Garage Door Players present a double bill of one-acts, both set in small-town Texas, by James McLure.
The Maiden's Prayer Venue 9, 252 Ninth St; 979-9980. $15-18. Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Through March 23. San Francisco StageWorks presents Nicky Silver's drama about five people, including a pair of newlyweds, struggling with the difference between loving and needing someone.
*A Night with Dame Edna Curran Theatre, 445 Geary; 512-7770. $25-62. Wed/12-Sat/15, 8pm (also Sat/15, 2pm), Sun/16, 2 and 7:30pm. Beloved Australian matriarch and confessed "megastar" Dame Edna Everage (a.k.a. Barry Humphries) brings her Broadway show to San Francisco. For three decades the quick-witted Mr. Humphries has used his inimitable creation to spoof, on stage and television, the outrageous pomposity of the rich and famous, and Edna's brilliance as an unrelentingly jovial socialite of prey has not dimmed in the least. Simple in design, the show wows by virtue of her indefatigable way with repartee. (Avila)
No Exit Theatre Rhinoceros, 2929 16th St; 861-5079. $15. Extended run: Thurs-Sat, 8:30pm; Sun, 7:30pm. Through March 23. Expression Theatre Ensemble performs Jean-Paul Sartre's existential classic about a man and two women locked in one room for eternity.
Opening to You A Traveling Jewish Theatre, 470 Florida; 399-1809, www.atjt.com. $12.50-25 (Thurs, pay what you can). Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2 and 7pm. Through April 6. A Traveling Jewish Theatre performs an original musical play based on Norman Fischer's Zen-inspired translation of the Psalms.
Physicalities Exit on Taylor, 277 Taylor; (510) 532-8420. $12-17. Thurs/13-Sat/15, 8pm. Aggro Theater Co. presents Steven O'Donoghue's new play about Internet dating.
The Producers Orpheum Theatre, 1192 Market; 551-2020. $39-81. March 12-April 20: runs Tues-Sat, 8pm (also Wed, Sat, 2pm); Sun, 2pm. April 21-26: runs Mon-Sat, 8pm (also Wed, Sat, 2pm). Through April 26. Best of Broadway hosts the touring production of the Mel Brooks musical.
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)
*The Ramayana Zeum Theater, Yerba Buena Gardens, Fourth at Howard; 749-2228. $12-15. Thurs/13-Sat/15, 8pm (also Sat/15, 2pm). A universal story of love, war, and magic woven from many tangled narratives and a sprawling cast of characters, The Ramayana, one of Hinduism's two vast sacred texts, seems impossibly complex to stage. Yet in Ruben Polendo's masterful adaptation of one of the longest poems ever written, The Ramayana is distilled into pure theater. A collaboration between Polendo's New York-based company Theater Mitu and the American Conservatory Theater, the production combines Indonesian shadow puppet theater, mask work, and a performance style based on the southwestern Indian tradition. (Veltman)
Richard 3 Thick House, 1695 18th St; 401-8081. $15-25 (sliding scale; previews, audience members receive $1). Thurs-Sun, 8pm. Through April 6. Thick Description presents a new version of the Shakespeare classic, with three actors playing all of the roles.
Soul of a Whore Intersection for the Arts, 446 Valencia; 626-3311. $9-15. Thurs/13-Mon/17, 8pm. See "Demons in America," page 38.
Tomfoolery Goat Hall, 400 Missouri; 1-877-OPENSTAGE. $15-20. Fri/14-Sat/15, 8pm; Sun/16, 2 and 7pm. OpenStage Repertory Theater performs Tom Lehrer's musical satire.
Ursula: Fear of the Estuary SomArts, 934 Brannan; (510) 845-2687.
$12-15. Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 7pm. Through March 23. Last Planet
Theatre presents Howard Barker's warped version of the legend of St.
Ursula, who vowed to marry a man without breaking her vows of virginity.
*Fräulein Else Berkeley Repertory Theatre, 2025 Addison, Berk; (510) 647-2929. $20-42. Tues, Thurs-Sat, 8pm (also Sat, 2pm); Wed, 7pm; Sun, 2 and 7pm. Through March 28. A vivacious and intelligent young bourgeoise beauty on holiday in the Italian Alps, Else lives in the intoxicating ether between pampered childhood and sexual awakening in an adult world colored over by romantic novels. When a letter from her mother (Mary Baird) compels Else to help save her father from financial ruin by approaching a family friend, Her Von Dorsday (Julian López-Morillas), that world grows progressively daunting, like the looming Cimone, the nearby mountain that comes to fill Else with a fear of being crushed a prescient and sexually charged symbol for the soul-crushing shadow cast by a decadent patriarchal order. Francesca Faridany's artful translation and adaptation of Arthur Schnitzler's 1924 novella has much going for it, firstly her outstanding performance in the title role. Directed with admirable precision by husband Stephen Wadsworth, Faridany's Else is a beautifully detailed study of a young woman in personality and predicament reminiscent of Freud's Dora. Indeed, the stream-of-consciousness narrative here transformed into Else's nearly nonstop address to the audience, with asides to her cousins (Michael Tisdale and Lauren Lovett) and Dorsday is revelatory with the workings of the unconscious mind then being systematized by Freud, Schnitzler's friend and fellow Viennese. (Avila)
The Game of Sides Berkeley Unitarian Fellowship, Connie Barbour Rm, 1924 Cedar, Berk; (510) 524-6950. Donations accepted. Sat, 2pm; Mon, 8pm. Through March 22. Many Rivers Theater Project presents Terry Lamb's physical comedy.
The Importance of Being Oscar Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant, Berk; (510) 841-7287 (information); (510) 558-1381 (reservations). $8-20. Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 5pm. Through March 23. Oscar Wilde once said that his life was a work of art. Micheál mac Liammóir's one-person play about Wilde takes this statement to its logical conclusion, interweaving excerpts from Wilde's writings in its recounting of the artist's life. Staring in this co-production of Wilde Irish Productions and Central Works, Arthur Scappaticci does an impressive job with a role that requires him to transition frequently between different accents, locations, and genders as he variously portrays the narrator, characters from Oscar Wilde's plays (oftentimes two at once in schizophrenic dialogue), and of course, Wilde himself. The shortcoming of this piece is that, by attempting to tell the story of Wilde's life through his writings, it neither provides a complete account of Wilde's biography nor takes us deeply enough into his work. In its fragmentary revealing, the play is thus a bit of a tease. But it's an enticing one. Slides designed by director Gemma Whelan and Adam Liberman add agreeably to this production's mystique. (Shalson)
Oedipus Rex 8th Street Studio Theatre, 2525 Eighth St, Berk; (510) 704-8210. $10-20. Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 7pm. Through March 30. Shotgun Players try sportingly for the summit of Sophocles' high tragedy, having of late had considerable success with the Greek classics. Director Patrick Dooley, with help from Kimberly Wilday's choreography and Tim Barsky's persuasive sound design, achieves some dynamic effects in making the work vital to a modern audience, but the balance between more naturalistic performances and the sort of pageantry that successfully informed previous renderings of classic texts remains uncertain here. (Avila)
*The Rehearsal: A One Act Play in Three Acts Transparent Theater, 1901 Ashby, Berk; (510) 883-0305. $20 (Sun, pay what you can). Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 7pm. Through March 23. Behind every dreary East-bloc play of meaningless pain, there lurks a far better comedy about staging it. Transparent Theater mercifully gives us the latter: in The Rehearsal, a troupe of actors struggles to rehearse The Ear, a play written by an imaginary Hungarian dissident in which people dance with beets and say lines like "this bread is as hard as life itself!" But while the play has hilarious moments in puncturing the pomposity of the megalomaniac director (a febrile David Sinaiko) and the Method actor (a Homeric Elijah Berlow), director Tom Clyde's production is really a love letter to the theater, a self-conscious passion reflected in designer Anne Goldschmidt's intricate and evolving set, and the massive foam ear which is the curse of characters in both plays. Even if it seems like there are numerous competing plays here, playwrights Mark Chappell and Alan Connor possess the real and rare talent for comic construction. (Baghdachi)
Scab La Val's Subterranean Theatre, 1834 Euclid, Berk; (510) 464-4468. $10-15. Thurs-Sat, 8pm. Through April 5. In Sheila Callaghan's darkly comic grad school drama, Anima (the perfect combination of neurosis and deadpan humor played by Alyssa Bostwick) is falling in love with her roommate Christa (a naïve good girl with a lustful streak played by Emily Klein), who is secretly sleeping with Anima's ex-boyfriend (a mixture of false sensitivity and outright sliminess portrayed by Noah James Butler). As Anima struggles to understand her attraction to Christa and to come to terms with her father's recent death, she is haunted by dreams of her dysfunctional family and receives visits from one tough Virgin Mary (Eleanor Scott) and two giggling angels in bondage gear (Pete Caslavka and Butler). As the story unfolds, one can't help but feel it's a bit more "freshman-year college" than grad school, but Impact Theatre's cast of actors, under the smart direction of Melissa Hillman, bring such fresh energy to the stage that we're easily drawn into their characters' overwrought dramas. (Shalson)
Suddenly Last Summer Berkeley Rep's Roda Theatre, 2015 Addison, Berk; (510) 647-2949. $10-54. Tues and Thurs-Sat, 8pm (also Sat/15, March 20, 2pm); Wed and Sun, 7pm (also Sun, 2pm). Through March 23. Berkeley Repertory Theatre presents Tennessee Williams's darkly poetical work. A New Orleans mansion's fierce but frail matriarch, Mrs. Venable (Randy Danson), calls upon a financially desperate psychiatric surgeon (Joey Collins) to help rescue the reputation of her late son Sebastian, a reclusive poet, by repressing the story of his troubling demise in the memory of its sole witness, anguished cousin Catharine (Michelle Duffy). Les Waters directs a fine cast, and an astonishing stage design by Annie Smart (set) and Chris Parry (lighting) brilliantly augments the play's complex cannibalistic theme. (Avila)
'ODC/San Francisco Dancing Downtown 2003: Program Two: Theatrical Journeys' Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 700 Howard; 863-6606. Fri-Sat and March 20, 22, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. $15-39. This performance includes KT Nelson's Aurora and Brenda Way's Scissors Paper Stone, Raking Light, and Weird Weather.
'ODC/San Francisco Dancing Downtown 2003: Family Noon Matinees' Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 700 Howard; 863-6606. Sat/15, 2pm; March 20, noon. $10-15. This performance includes KT Nelson's Bold Sally and Below the Rim, Brenda Way's Scissors Paper Stone, and Kimi Okada's In the Rough.
San Francisco Ballet War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness;
www.sfballet.org. Program Four: Fri-Sat, Tues/18, March 20 (also Sat,
2pm), 8pm; Sun, 2pm (also March 23, 7:30pm); March 19, 7:30pm. Through
March 23. $8-120. See Critic's Choice.
Diablo Ballet Dean Lesher Regional Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic, Walnut Creek; (925) 943-SHOW. Fri-Sat, 8pm. $26-38. The company's ninth anniversary celebration includes Grand pas d'action from La bayadere by Marius Petipa; Pairs by Viktor Kabaniaev; and Walk before Talk by KT Nelson.
BATS Improv Bayfront Theater, Fort Mason Center, Marina at Laguna; www.batsimprov.com. Fri-Sat, 8pm. $14. This week's show: "Improv and a Movie."
'Bottomless Pit: The Descent' New College Theater, 777 Valencia; 437-3487, ext 9. Fri-Sun, 8pm. $13. Tanya Calamoneri's splendid Bottomless Pit: The Descent is 50 minutes of pure imagination, in which the Butoh-trained performer tries to shape reality with a stack of books and a pile of rocks. The books she can't read; the rocks she can't control. It's a wobbly kind of existence. It's also good theater. A captivating performer, Calamoneri is part reptile, part Ms. Havisham as she repeatedly grapples with and gives in to the unknowable. On the faculty of New College's Experimental Performance Institute, which tries to foster interdisciplinary work, Calamoneri has excellent collaborators. Foremost among them is Damian Smith, who not only teases every sound known to man out of his double bass, he is also a mean throat singer. New College has a crummy stage, but to sit so close and watch these two performers play off each other is a real treat. (Felciano)
'Corazonada' Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, 2868 Mission; 821-1155. Fri-Sat, 8pm. $8-10. In conjunction with the current exhibit, "Corazonada: Quinceañera/Fifteen Years of Women's Work," this performance includes theater, modern dance, music, poetry, and video art exploring the theme of intuition and premonition.
'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.
'Estherminator: A Psycho-Pious Purim Rock Opera' 111 Minna Gallery, 111 Minna; 346-6040. Mon, 8pm. $10-12. See 8 Days a Week, page 52.
'Margaret Cho: Revolution Tour' Nob Hill Masonic Center, 1111 California; 776-4702, www.hob.com, www.tickets.com. Fri-Sat, 8pm. $45. The comedian (I'm the One that I Want) performs her latest show.
'The Rise (and Fall and Ultimate Triumph) of Bruce Thunderkiss' Noh Space, 2840 Mariposa; 621-7978. Thurs-Sat, 8pm. $15. Andy Miara and Boaz Reisman present their tale of a folk music prodigy's colorful rise to rock n' roll stardom.
'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.
'Women's Work' Venue 9, 252 Ninth St; 289-2000. Tues, 8pm. Through March 25. $8-10 (sliding scale). This week's performances: Rebecca Pappas's modern dance piece Aqua; multimedia performance Revolting Mom: Online Journal of Jane Smith, Berkeley Housewife, by Dancing Ear; New Trails Dance Theatre's Voice Is Heard; and Positive Knowledge's music-spoken word-movement piece Out of the Fire.
'Zero Point Field' Xenodrome, 1320 Potrero; 285-XENO, www.xenodrome.com.
Fri-Sat, 9pm. Through March 22. $10-20. Xeno and Climate Theater
present the final weeks of their ensemble show, a mix of dance, circus
arts, original music, and more.
La Colmenita Alice Arts Center, 1428 Alice, Oakl; (415) 575-5559, www.globalexchange.org. Tues, 7pm. $10-15. (Also, March 19-20, 7pm, Brava Theater, 2781 24th St, S.F. $20-35.) See 8 Days a Week, page 52.
'Confessions of a Cha Cha Feminist' La Peña Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck, Berk; (510) 849-2568. Sat, 8pm. $12. Maria Elena Fernández performs her autobiographical comedy.
The Peking Opera Marin Veterans' Memorial Auditorium, Avenue of the Flags at Civic Center, San Rafael; (415) 499-6800. Sun, 3pm. $28-35. The company performs mime, drama, song, dance, martial arts, and acrobatics in a show to benefit Friends of Marin Center.
'Percussion Discussion' Dean Lesher Regional Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic, Walnut Creek; (925) 943-SHOW. Thurs-Fri, 9:30am, 11am, 1pm; Sat, 10am, noon, 2pm, 4pm. $7-12. Percussionist Ken Bergmann presents a kid-friendly, comedic exploration of sound effects and music.
'Storytelling Women' Café de la Paz, 1600 Shattuck, Berk; (510) 841-6612. Sun, 3pm, $10-20. Patricia Bulitt, Georgia Churchill, Olga Loya, and Marijo share stories.
The Mock Café 1074 Valencia; 820-3237. Fri, 9pm: stand-up comedy with host Tom Smith, followed by improv troup Too Many Larrys!, $7.
Women's Building 3543 18th St; 863-0741. Fri, 7:30 and 9:30pm: Comedian Scott Capurro performs, $15.
Venue 9 252 Ninth St; 289-2000. Wed, 8pm: Bridget Schwartz, Pat Cary, and the Office Donkey perform, $16.
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: BrainWash Café 1122 Folsom; 440-5530. "Spoken Word Salon" with host Diamond Dave Whitaker, 8pm, free.
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 Ishle Park and open mic, 7pm, free. International Studies Academy 693 Vermont; 252-4655, www.writerscorps-sf.org. "San Francisco Youth Poetry Slam League," 7pm, free. Unitarian Center 1187 Franklin; www.sfsu.edu/~poetry. The Poetry Center presents a reading by poet John Godfrey, 7:30pm, $5.
Friday: ODC Theater 3153 17th St; 863-9834, www.ticketweb.com. "Seventh Annual Youth Speaks Teen Poetry Slam" semifinals, 7pm, $4-8. Cody's Books 2454 Telegraph, Berk; (510) 845-7852. "Poetry Flash" with Carolyn Forche, 7:30pm, free.
Saturday: ODC Theater 3153 17th St; 863-9834, www.ticketweb.com. "Seventh Annual Youth Speaks Teen Poetry Slam" semifinals, 7pm, $4-8.
Sunday: Hyena Playhouse 2390 Mission, Ste 10; 821-3601. "Hubbub: Queer Spoken Word" with featured readers Lito Sandoval and Alvin Orloff, plus open mic with host Larry-bob, 3pm, $3 (no one turned away for lack of funds). Cody's Books 2454 Telegraph, Berk; (510) 845-7852. "Poetry Flash" with David Breskin and Matthew Cooperman, 7:30pm, $2. Headlands Center for the Arts East wing, Bldg 944, Fort Barry, Sausalito; (415) 331-2787. "Out Loud: Spoken Word Performers" with Tammy Gomez and Keith Antar, 4pm, $8-10.
Tuesday: Spanganga 3376 19th St; 821-1102. "The Spang Bang" open mic for all types of performers, 8pm, $2 (suggested donation).