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.


Attempts on Her Life Thick House, 1695 18th St; 1-866-GOT-FURY, $15-20 (Thurs/26 and Mon/30, pay what you can). Previews Thurs/26, 8pm. Opens Fri/27, 8pm. Runs Sat/28 and Mon/30, 8pm (also Sat/28, 3pm). (July 11-19: Fri-Sat, 8pm, La Val's Subterranean, 1834 Euclid, Berk. Same phone and price). foolsFURY remounts their acclaimed production of Martin Crimp's avant-garde play about the various identities of a mysterious woman.

Death and the Maiden Theatre Rhinoceros, 2926 16th St; 861-5079, $15-20. Previews Thurs/26-Fri/27, 8:30pm. Opens Sun/29, 3:30pm. Runs Thurs-Sat, 8:30pm (no show July 4); Sun, 3:30pm. Through July 20. Mystic Bison Theatre performs Ariel Dorfman's play about a woman who confronts a man she believes tortured her years before.


*Apocalypse: The Book of Revelation The Marsh, 1062 Valencia; 826-5750. $12-17 (Thurs, pay what you can). Thurs/26 and Sat/28, 8pm. Solo performer Eliot Fintushel's entrancing word-for-word recitation of the Book of Revelation – that darkly mysterious and fiercely poetical work of the New Testament supposedly delivered by Jesus to the Apostle John while the latter sat in a Roman penal colony – is time well spent whether or not you're of an eschatological bent. In a passionately dramatic performance employing handmade masks and a smattering of ancient songs played on sundry instruments, Fintushel brings forth a gamut of colors and moods in conjuring up the great characters named and unnamed in this simultaneously opaque and effulgent text, the mother of all revenge tales. The shifts in tone come fast and furious, and over the course of the nearly 12,000 words that make up Apocalypse can begin to feel repetitive, but Fintushel's impressive command of the material and his craft humanizes the text, making it poignantly apt and, ironically, far more besetting than any cheap horror-flick rehash of biblical prophesy and end times could hope to be. (Avila)

Are We Almost There? Shelton Theatre, 533 Sutter; 345-7575. $20-22. Fri-Sat, 8pm. Open-ended. Travel is the theme of this musical comedy revue.

'The Best of PlayGround: Seventh Annual Emerging Playwrights Festival' A Traveling Jewish Theatre, 470 Florida; 987-2787, $12.50-35 (Thurs, pay what you can). Thurs/26-Sat/28, 8pm; Sun/29, 2 and 7pm. Playground has again culled the best of its yearly series of Monday Night PlayLabs (devoted to quick and dirty productions of winning playlets submitted in response to a posted "theme") in the Seventh Annual Emerging Playwrights Festival: seven original short plays treated to full productions by some of the best local talent. This year Cold Calls, by Martha Soukup, makes divine intervention just another day at the office, while Camus meets Shamu in Michael Lütz's The Vigil, an existentially fishy account of a man's attempt to bid farewell to his deceased mother. Aaron Loeb's Sound records a comically romantic breakdown between a prenatal inter-Asian couple amid dueling creation myths. Kenn Rabin's Hunters and Gathers turns the Alcatraz ferry into a very San Franciscan love-boat encounter. Cass Brayton's I'd Like to Buy a Vowel reads between the lines of a drag queen's love letters. Maria Rokas's Plans and Peccadilloes hilariously charts a dismal marriage gone worse. And Kristina Goodnight's Letterophilia wraps things up with a comic account of the addictive power of the written word. A charismatic ensemble and seven sharp Bay Area directors get the most from an inevitably uneven but enjoyable, occasionally surprising program. (Avila)

*Black and Blue: A Musical Revue Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, 620 Sutter; 474-8800. $15-32. Extended run: Thurs/26-Sat/28, 8pm; Sun/29, 2pm. A modified version of the Black and Blue that opened on Broadway in 1989, this rousing musical revue presents 18 blues and jazz numbers. The three lead women vocalists – with Bay Area favorite Faye Carol headlining – are this musical revue's raison d'être: Clara McDaniel shimmers with a silky, jazz-time "Am I Blue." Ella Jamerson-Haynes raises the roof with an inspired gospel rendition of "Serve Somebody." And Carol shows off her versatility with a coy "If I Can't Sell It, I'll Keep Sittin' on It," a righteous "T'ain't Nobody's Bizness If I Do" (with Jamerson-Haynes), and a heart-wrenching "Body and Soul." (Shalson)

Cocksucker: A Love Story Theatre Rhinoceros, 2926 16th St; 861-5079. $20-30. Extended run: Wed/25-Sat/28, July 2-3, and 5, 8pm; Sun/29 and July 6, 7pm (also July 6, 3pm); starting July 9, runs Wed-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 3pm. Through July 20. Theatre Rhinoceros presents writer-director Ronnie Larsen's double tale about a man named Isaac (the sympathetic Octavio Saez De Ibarra) with a unique penchant for fellatio who cross-dresses solely to maximize his opportunities, and two childhood friends, Joshua and Jimmy (Joshua Miller and Ronnie Kerr), who join the Marines only to wind up victims of a porn movie scam. Meanwhile, in an elaboration on the play's somewhat muddled theme of sex and politics, Bill and Hillary Clinton (Randel Hart and Michaela Greeley) and Monica Lewinsky (Anna Loar) together represent the head of state. The two main story lines (the latter based on an actual incident involving Marines at Camp Pendleton) take a while to get rolling and never quite intersect convincingly. But there are some surprisingly compelling moments in this otherwise fitful comedy, especially in the realistic treatment accorded the young Marines (rendered with an all-American innocence by Miller and Kerr) and their casual exploitation at the hands of a predatory military and commercial culture. (Avila)

'Comedy on the Square' Shelton Theatre, 533 Sutter; 522-8900. $15. Performances include "A Celebration of Silliness!" with Fred Anderson (Sun, 3 and 7pm; through July 31).

Devil in the Deck Climate Theater, 285 Ninth St; 364-1411. $15-25. Extended run: Thurs-Sat, 8pm. Through July 26. Paul Nathan stars in his one-person show about a con artist named Jack Swindle who travels the world performing magic and cheating at cards. Combining card tricks with stories, Nathan weaves the tale of a life that begins with an inauspicious tarot reading, an experience that instills in its protagonist an obsession with cards and the determination to cheat them (and life) at every turn. The fusion of mysticism, magic, and straight-up duplicity is pleasing, and when Nathan shows us exactly how his mesmerizing tricks are done, we are reminded that just because it's artful deception, doesn't mean it's not magic. However, Nathan's storytelling is less beguiling than his card manipulations and Swindle's character remains as two-dimensional as the Jack of Spades that slips between his fingers, while his studied smarminess turns the women who fill his stories into little more than paper dolls. (Shalson)

The Glass Menagerie El Teatro de la Esperanza, 2940 16th St, Second Flr; 255-2320. $12. Fri/27-Sat/28, 8pm (also Sat/28, 3pm). El Teatro de La Esperanza puts a Latino spin on the Tennessee Williams classic.

The Hollywood Chronicles: Stories, Songs, and Gossip Exit Theatre, 156 Eddy; 296-0412. $15. Fri/27-Sat/28, 8:30pm. Stephen Clay performs his solo musical.

Howard Crabtree's When Pigs Fly New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness; 861-8972. $18-38. Extended run: Wed-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm (no show Sun/29). Through July 13. The last theatrical extravaganza created by costume designer extraordinaire Howard Crabtree and his longtime collaborator, lyricist Mark Waldrop, before Crabtree's death in 1996, this zany musical revue depicts Crabtree's dream autobiography. The familiar setup opens on a series of campy sketches, borrowing from a range of musical genres, about finding joy in the face of adversity. The rainbow-colored sensibility feels dated at times, but Waldrop's new pieces written for this production – torch songs for the likes of Dick Cheney and Pat Robertson, performed with eye-fluttering sincerity by Jeff Manabat – are clever and timely. (Shalson)

Let's Pretend I'm Not Your Mother Climate Theatre, 285 Ninth St; 364-1411. $20. Extended run: Thurs-Sat, 9:30pm. Through July 26. Titillation Theatre helps inaugurate Climate Theatre's new venue with writer-director Jennifer Hotcher's cabaret: a smorgasbord of sex in the city that kicks off with a course on how to undress for your lover, conducted by a professional stripper (Hotcher), and pulsates right through 10 more sexy, frequently funny vignettes. The show has been bouncing around a number of small venues for the last year (between police raids), and the momentum has paid off. The sketches may be uneven in conception, but the cast is aces and consistently pleases. (Avila)

Little Mary Sunshine Goat Hall, 400 Missouri; $10-20. Thurs-Sat, 7pm; Sun, 2pm. Through July 13. OpenStage Repertory Theater performs a musical spoof that pays tribute to classic movie musicals and 1920s operettas.

The Lonesome West Magic Theatre (Northside), Bldg D, Fort Mason Center, Marina at Laguna; 441-8822. $17-37. Wed-Sat, 8pm (no show July 4); Sun, 2:30pm (also July 6, 7:30pm). Through July 6. The Magic Theatre performs Martin McDonagh's third play in his Leenane trilogy (The Beauty Queen of Leenane, The Skull of Connemara), a "deadly comedy" about a pair of brothers who guard a dark secret.

Love and Taxes Magic Theatre, Bldg D, Fort Mason; 437-6775, $25-27. Previews Wed/25-Thurs/26, 8:30pm. Opens Fri/27, 8:30pm. Runs Wed-Sat, 8:30pm; Sun, 2:30 and 7:30. Through July 13. The Z Space Studio presents the world premiere of Josh Kornbluth's latest monologue.

The Male Intellect: An Oxymoron? Marines Memorial Theatre, 609 Sutter; 1-877-771-6900. $25-45. Wed/25-Sat/28, 8pm (also Sat/28, 5pm); Sun/29, 3 and 6pm. Robert Dubac performs his solo comedy about a guy who seeks the help of his five misguided alter egos after he's dumped by his fiancée.

Mysterious Skin New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness; 861-8972. $18-38. Wed/25-Sat/28, 8pm; Sun/29, 2pm. Prince Gomolvilas's Mysterious Skin opens as a UFO expert, against a dark, celestial backdrop, asks his television audience, "Have aliens contacted you?" It's a funny, uncomfortable moment – trouble hangs in the air, and it has nothing to do with the heavens. Skin, adapted from Scott Heim's 1995 novel and receiving its world premiere at the New Conservatory Theatre Center, traces the trajectories of two young men from semirural Kansas who shared a childhood experience that shaped them in a way each is unable to control. Good chemistry and solid acting from a committed cast, under Arturo Catricala's ever sharp and sportive direction, convey the full range of humor, pain, and compassion in the often excellent dialogue. (Avila)

Nora (A Doll's House) Phoenix Theatre, 414 Mason; 820-1460. $10-20. Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Through July 19. Second Wind Productions presents Ingmar Bergman's modern adaptation of the Ibsen classic.

Over Nine Waves Exit on Taylor, 277 Taylor; 673-3847, $10-20. Thurs/26-Sat/28, 8pm. Tim Barsky and the Everyday Ensemble perform an experimental theater piece that weaves traditional storytelling with current events, plus a live musical score.

R. Buckminster Fuller: The History (and Mystery) of the Universe Project Artaud Theater, 450 Florida; 626-DOME, $25-35 (July 2, pay what you can). Extended run: Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Ongoing. 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)

Silent Movie Exit Stage Left, 156 Eddy; 289-6808. $10-25. Thurs/26-Sat/28, 8pm. Kinetic Theory Experimental Theatre performs a mimed play that recreates the style of silent films.

Snapshots from the World Croquet Championship of 1959 Actors Theatre of San Francisco, 533 Sutter; 296-9179. $5-20. Thurs/26-Sat/28, 8pm. Keith Phillips's new play is typical Actors Theatre of San Francisco stuff: involving the story of white, middle-class, mostly middle-aged people. Set in 1959 in the wake of the McCarthy era, a single mother, Amanda, and various hangers-on retreat to Amanda's Block Island summer house to celebrate her teenage son Michael's birthday. A traditional game of croquet serves as the gauzy backdrop to spiraling familial upheavals. Although Phillips's play, with its constant references to booze and infidelity, feels at times like watered down O'Neill or Albee, the snappy rhythm keeps us in the game. Add Steve Coleman's cozy cottage set and a blazing performance by young cast member Kris Palm as the disconsolate Michael, and you've got the makings of a competent, if not quite championship night out at the theater. (Veltman)

*Stripped Next Stage, 1620 Gough; 673-0304, ext 3. $10-12. Fri/27-Sat/28, 8pm. Generally speaking, the relationship between the drama and improv may be described as "just friends," but the actors of Tilted Frame Improv are passionate about both. In their new show, Stripped, they drop the facile and forced wackiness of comedy club improv for a far more daring and difficult form. Building on suggestions from the audience, the troupe spin out not skits but 20-minute playlets, shifting characters, changing tone, switching genre, and doing whatever strikes them to get at the root of their subject. Produced by Combined Art Form Entertainment, the show peacocks around a bit in its technologies – confession cams, computer displays, sound effects – but no technology is better or rarer than good acting, and of that there is plenty, particularly from Heather O'Brien, who is, somehow, at once clever and vulnerable, and Christopher Dejong, a genius of comedy who never overplays it and never misses a trick. (Amir Baghdachi)

Urinetown: The Musical Geary Theater, 415 Geary; 749-2228. $16-66. Previews Wed/25, Thurs/26-Sat/28, Mon/30, 8pm (also Sat/28, 2pm). Opens Tues/1, 8pm. Runs July 2-5, 9-12, 15-19, 22-26, 29-31, Aug 1-2, 5-9, and 12-16, 8pm (also July 5, 9, 12, 16, 19, 23, 26, 30, Aug 2, 6, 9, 13, 16, 2pm); July 6 and 8, 7pm (also July 6, 2pm); July 13, 20, 27, Aug 3, 10, 17, 2pm. Through Aug 17. American Conservatory Theatre performs Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis's parody and tribute to musical theater, about a town suffering through a severe water shortage.

Wedding Singer Blues Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter; (510) 527-7813. $15-20. Thurs/26-Sat/28, 8pm. Carla Zilbersmith performs her original, solo musical (formerly titled Six Songs in Search of a Story).

Wicked Curran Theatre, 445 Geary; $30-85. Wed/25-Sat/28, 8pm (also Wed/25 and Sat/28, 2pm); Sun/29, 2pm. Who's wickeder, Wicked Witch East or Wicked Witch West? As with so many essentially political debates, it all depends on whom you read. Apparently the image garnered of the Wicked Witch of the West from L. Frank Baum's classic novel (not to mention the 1939 film) is all just a big misunderstanding. Based on Gregory Maguire's best-seller, this Broadway-bound musical shows us the real story behind the much maligned career of Elphaba (Idina Menzel), a.k.a. the Witch, from nubile and green-tinted co-ed to fashion-challenged champion of animal rights. Not surprisingly, the musical resembles the novel in only the most superficial way, reworking its gothic characters and plot into a romantic comedy wrapped in elaborate sets and costumes (think Dr. Seuss in Middle Earth), while the book's rather tortuous politics get reduced to a muddled backdrop from which irrelevant one-liners about "regime change" and "un-elected officials" are lobbed at a receptive audience. With a mostly forgettable score by composer-lyricist Stephen Schwartz, and a disappointing lack of evil at the center, the real magic resides in the excellent cast, beginning with a powerful Menzel and an utterly irresistible Kristen Chenoweth as goody-goody witch Glinda, and extending to an exceptional supporting cast among whose Broadway veterans Robert Morse charms as the Wizard. (Avila)

Bay Area

The Bacchae John Hinkel Park, Southampton between San Diego and Somerset, Berk; (510) 525-1620. Free. Sat-Sun, 5:30pm. Through July 6. Actors Ensemble of Berkeley bring Euripides' classic tragedy to John Hinkel Park.

The Guys Berkeley Rep's Roda Theatre, 2015 Addison, Berk; (510) 647-2949. $10-54. Tues, Thurs-Sat, 8pm (also Thurs/26, 2pm; no show July 4; July 5, show at 2pm only); Wed and Sun, 7pm (also Sun, 2pm). Through July 5. Cast: Jimmy Smits and Wanda De Jesus (June 24-July 5). It's not hard to imagine audiences overlooking The Guys' more obvious weaknesses in the wake of 9/11, even the hokey, vaguely self-serving dialogue and tedious construction. This early and unique contribution could be welcomed for what it was: an attempt to offer a community outlet for grief, and a sincere salute to some very brave souls who died serving their city. But as it moves away from New York and the events of Sept. 11, 2001, the play becomes less tenable, not only as theater, but also as an attempt to speak relevantly to audiences who've lived for two years with the savage war on terror unleashed and justified in the name of national security. (Avila)

A Map of the World Ehmann Hall, Oakland YWCA, 1515 Webster, Oakl; (510) 436-5085. $16-19. Thurs/26-Sat/28, 8pm; Sun/29, 3pm. See "Tomorrow's Parties."

Pericles Shakespeare at Stinson, Highway One at Calle Del Mar, Stinson Beach; (415) 868-1115, $16-23. Fri/27-Sat/28, 7pm; Sun/29, 6pm. Shakespeare at Stinson kicks off their season with the Bard's romantic tale of loss and redemption.

Proof Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro, Mountain View; (650) 903-6000. $20-48. Tues, 7:30pm; Wed-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Through July 13. TheatreWorks presents David Auburn's Pulitzer Prize-winning play about a brilliant but unstable mathematician and his daughter.

Thérèse Raquin Aurora Theatre, 2081 Addison, Berk; (510) 843-4822. $28-38. Previews Wed/25, 8pm. Opens Thurs/26, 8pm. Runs Wed-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2 and 7pm. Through July 27. The Aurora Theatre Company presents Emile Zola's theatrical adaptation of his novel – "a whirlwind of lust, murder, and revenge" set in 19th-century France.

*under milk wood Eighth St. Studio, 2525 Eighth St, Berk; (510) 704-8210. $10-20. Extended run: Fri/27-Sat/28, 8pm; Sun/29, 7pm. Shotgun Players present Dylan Thomas's wonderful but rarely produced "play for voices" on the 50th anniversary of its first public performance (an event shortly followed by the poet's untimely death). Ingeniously adapting for the stage a play intended for radio, director Gina Pulice, in excellent harmony with movement designer Amy Sass, first calls attention to and then explodes the pretense of a poetry reading, whereupon her lithesome eight-member ensemble cast leaps with all 16 feet into an enraptured embodiment of the play's action and images. (Avila)

The Wyrd Sisters Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant, Berk; (510) 558-1381. $8-20 (Thurs/26 and July 31, pay what you can). Thurs-Sat, 8pm (no show July 4); Sun, 5pm. Through July 13. (free preview July 24, runs July 25-Aug 10: Thick House, 1695 18th St, S.F. Phone, price, and schedule same.) Central Works performs a new play by Gary Graves that draws on familiar Shakespearean characters.


Dairakudakan Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission; 978-ARTS. Fri-Sat, 8pm. $15-20. See "A Whiter Shade of Pale."

Joe Goode Performance Group Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 700 Howard; 978-ARTS. Thurs-Sun, 8pm. $20-35. The company presents the world premiere of Folk as well as the 2002 Transparent Body. Part of the National Queer Arts Festival.

Lava Dance Mission Theater, 3316 24th St; 273-4633, Thurs-Fri, 8pm; Sat, 10pm; Sun, 7pm. $10-20. See box in "The Importance of Being Queer." Part of the National Queer Arts Festival.

Pandit Birju Maharaj Palace of Fine Arts, 3301 Lyon; (408) 374-7068. Sat, 7pm. $20-100. Tarangini School of Kathak Dance presents this performance of North Indian classical dance by Pandit Birju Maharaj and Company, with live music by tabla master Zakir Hussain.

Bay Area

Noche Flamenca Zellerbach Playhouse, UC Berkeley, Bancroft at Dana Ct, Berk; (510) 642-9988. Wed/25-Sat/28, Tues/1, July 2-3 and 5, 8pm; July 6, 7pm. $30-42. See Critic's Choice.


BATS Improv Bayfront Theater, Fort Mason Center, Marina at Laguna; $8-12. The company continues "Summer of Laughter" with "The Summer Games" (Fri-Sat, 8pm) and "Summer Holiday Show" (Sun, 8pm).

Flam Chen Warm Water Cove Beach, end of 24th St off Third St; 307-3482, Thurs-Fri, 9pm. $10-20 (sliding scale). Qbox hosts the Tucson, Az.-based "fire circus" in an outdoor, flame-filled performance.

'Immaculate Deceptions' Lab, 2948 16th St; 864-8855. Fri-Sun, 9pm. $10-20 (sliding scale). Guillermo Gómez-Peña and La Pocha Nostra perform a new work in progress that takes on misinformation about global news spread by the mass media.

'Inbetween' Brava Theater Center, 2781 24th St; 647-2822, Thurs-Sat, 8pm. $25. Cellist Joan Jeanrenaud and artist-designer Tom Bonauro perform a new evening-length collaboration.

'Rococo Risque, Lunatique!' Odeon, 3223 Mission; 902-4151. Fri-Sat, 9pm. $10. Cabaret-burlesque-musical group Rococo Risque perform a new show featuring original music and guest performers.

'Three Sheets to the Wind' Somarts Theater, 934 Brannan; 334-0722. Thurs-Fri, 8pm. $12-15. New York nightlife personality Murray Hill hosts this variety show featuring the Wau-Wau Sisters. Part of the National Queer Arts Festival.

'White Bird on a Stick' Exit Theater, 156 Eddy; 868-2409. Thurs-Sat, 8pm. $15-25 (sliding scale). Sha Sha Higby performs her latest work utilizing elaborate, sculptural costumes, dance, and puppetry.

Bay Area

'Bawdy Shakespeare' Temescal Arts Center, 511 48th Ave, Oakl; (415) 869-5384. Sat, 8pm. $7-10. (July 12, 19, 26, 8pm: Shotwell Studios, 3252A 19th St, S.F. Same phone and price.) The Un-Scripted Theater Company performs an improvised, naughty-humor-infused Shakespeare-style play.

'Burning Man Presents: A Beyond Belief Flambé Lounge' Crucible, 1260 Seventh St, Oakl; (510) 444-0919. Sat, 8pm-2am. $12-17. Among the featured acts is avant-garde performance group the Mutaytor, who incorporate swordplay, fire dancers, more than 50 drums, and more.

'Caught Up' Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center, Calvin Simmons Theater, 10 10th St, Oakl; (510) 734-7551. Sun, 5pm. $14-35. Totally Led Ministries and Healthy Oakland sponsor this Urban Theater production of Beverly Brown's play about the choices that urban youth face as they near adulthood.

Kristen Chenoweth Osher Marin Jewish Community Center, 200 N. San Pedro, San Rafael; (415) 444-8000, Mon, 7:30pm. $30-40. The Tony-winning performer (currently appearing in Wicked in San Francisco) performs a solo concert.

'Peaktimes' 21 Grand, 449B 23rd St, Oakl; (510) 444-7263. Fri, 8pm. $5-10. In this improvised mix of music and dance, four players perform works based on current events.

'ReminEssence' La Peña Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck, Berk; (510) 597-1619. Sun, 7pm. $10-25 (sliding scale). Destiny Arts Center presents the debut production of a new hip-hop theater company, Dream Performance Company, in an original work featuring artists ages 18 to 23.


Blue Bear Theater Fort Mason Center, Marina at Laguna; 885-5678, Fri, 8:30pm: "Improvalicious" improv theater, $8-10.

'Blue Blanket Improv' Check website for times and locations. Blue Blanket Improv presents a free workshop and improv show. Ongoing.

BrainWash Café 1122 Folsom; 861-3663. Thurs, 8pm: Comedy open mic hosted by Tony Sparks, free.

Double Play 2401 16th St; 821-3601. Fri, 8pm: "Hyena Comedy All-Stars," $7.

Fort Mason Center Marina at Laguna (check daily events sandwich board to see exact location); 453-9092. Sat, 1-4pm: Improv workshop with Jim Crenna, $10. Ongoing.

Java Source 343 Clement; 387-8025. Fri, 10:30pm and Sat, 10pm: Comedy open mic hosted by Tony Sparks, free.

Luggage Store 1007 Market; 255-5971. Tues, 8pm: Comedy workshop with Tony Sparks, $3.

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: BrainWash Café 1122 Folsom; 440-5530. "Spoken Word Salon," with host Diamond Dave Whitaker, 8pm, free. Savoy Tivoli 1434 Grant; 905-8837. "Savoy Tivoli Reading Series" with host Mark Schwartz and featured reader Billy Sale, 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 Charlie Getter, 6:30pm, free. Dalva 3121 16th St; 753-8091. "The Poetry Mission" open mic with featured reader Claire Lussier, 7pm, free.

Friday: Galeria de la Raza 2857 24th St; 826-8009. "QueLACo's Poetry Event," Latino community poetry readings, 7pm, $5. Part of the National Queer Arts Festival.

Saturday: ODC Theater 3153 17th St; 863-9834. "Queeriosity and the Monster Debut: In Celebration of the Next Generation of Queer Youth Writers," readings and spoken word, 8pm, $5-10. Part of the National Queer Arts Festival. Caffe Sempione 641 Vallejo; 362-6317. "Caffe Sempione Reading Series," with featured reader Blake More, followed by open mic, 7pm, free.

Sunday: Cody's Books 2454 Telegraph, Berk; (510) 845-7852. "Poetry Flash!," with Elliot Figman and Judith Taylor, 7:30pm, $2.

Monday: Sweetie's Cafe and Bar 474 Francisco; Poetry open mic hosted by Susan Birkeland, 8pm, free. Priya Restaurant 2072 San Pablo, Berk; "Poetry Express," open mic – this week's theme: summer – hosted by Mark States, 7pm, free. Perry's Joint 1661 Fillmore; 931-5260. "Celebration of the Word," open mic hosted by Jeanne Powell and featuring Alice Rogoff, 7pm, free.

Tuesday: Mediterranean Cafe 2475 Telegraph, Berk; "Berkeley Summer Poetry" open mic, 7pm, free. Shooting Gallery 839 Larkin; 931-8035. "Electric Muse" open mic with host April Martin Chartrand and featured reader Phillip T. Nails, 7pm, $3.

June 25, 2003