Local Events

Events: April 30 – May 6, 2014


Listings are compiled by Guardian staff. Submit items for the listings at listings@sfbg.com. For further information on how to submit items for the listings, see Selector.


“Saving the California Condor” Zimmer Auditorium, Oakland Zoo, 9777 Golf Links Rd, Oakl; www.oaklandzoo.org. 6:30-9:30pm, $12-20. Oakland Zoo’s Conservation Speaker Series presents biologist Joe Burnett of the Ventana Wildlife Society and Oakland Zoo veterinarian Dr. Andrea Goodnight.


“Eating Cultures” SOMArts Cultural Center, 934 Brannan, SF; www.aawaa.net. Opening reception, 6-9pm. Free. Exhibit runs Tue-Fri, noon-7pm; Sat, noon-5pm. Through May 30. As part of the Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center’s United States of Asian America Festival, the Asian American Women Artists Association presents a juried art exhibition featuring work inspired by food and food traditions.

“Jackpot NightLife” California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse, SF; www.calacademy.org. 6-10pm, $12. 21 and over. NightLife studies the statistics of luck, with visual FX wizards from Tippett Studio (Cosmos), Rat Pack-era tunes by DJ Tanoa, casino games, and more.

Ben Ross Green Arcade, 1680 Market, SF; www.thegreenarcade.com. 7pm, free. The author discusses Dead End: Suburban Sprawl and the Rebirth of American Urbanism.


“Artwear” de Young Museum, Golden Gate Park, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden, SF; www.famsf.org. 9:30am-8:30pm. Also Sat/3, 9:30am-4:30pm. Free. Shop wearable art by 16 local textile and jewelry artisans and designers.

Jo Becker Book Passage, 1 Ferry Building, SF; www.bookpassage.com. 12:30pm, free. The Pulitzer-winning journalist reads from Forcing the Spring: Inside the Fight for Marriage Equality.


“Bikes to Books Rides Again!” Meet at Jack London Alley, near South Park and Second St, SF; www.burritojustice.com. 12:45pm, free. Burrito Justice and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition host this seven-mile bike tour celebrating the literary history of San Francisco. Tips from the organizers: “Bring bikes with gears, snacks, and enthusiasm.”

“California Bookstore Day” Various locations; www.cabookstoreday.com. Nearly 100 bookstores across the state participate in this celebration with parties, author readings, in-store events, and exclusive day-of merch. Check website for local events.

“A La Carte and Art” Castro between Church and Evelyn, Mtn View; www.miramarevents.com. 10am-6pm. Free. Through Sun/4. This two-day festival features live music, a juried arts and crafts show, a classic car show, a farmers market, and more.

“Pegapalooza” Pegasus Downtown, 2349 Shattuck, Berk; Pegasus Oakland, 5560 College, Oakl; and Pegasus on Solano, 1855 Solano, Berk; www.pegasusbookstore.com. May 3-10. The bookstore marks its 45th anniversary with a full slate of festivities; tonight’s kick-off, in honor of California Bookstore Day, is a conversation between Dave Eggers and Malcolm Margolin at the Shattuck location (7:30pm, free).

Jenni Pulos Book Passage, 1 Ferry Building, SF; www.bookpassage.com. 11am, free. The Bravo star (Flipping Out) reads from her new memoir-advice tome, Grin and Bear It.

Shipyard Artists Spring Open Studios Hunters Point Shipyard, Innes at Donahue, SF; Islais Creek Studios, 1 Rankin, SF; www.shipyardartists.com/sos. 11am-6pm. Also Sat/4. Free. More than 125 artists participate in this 25th anniversary open studios event.


“Poetry Unbound #4” Art House Gallery, 2905 Shattuck, Berk; berkeleyarthouse.wordpress.com. 5:15pm, $5. Readings by Deborah Fruchey, Blanca Torres, and Carol Hogan, followed by an open mic.

Urban Air Market Hayes Valley Octavia and Hayes, SF; www.urbanairmarket.com. 11am-6pm, free. Sustainable shopping (clothing, jewelry, home décor, body products, etc.) covers Hayes Valley at this open-air event.


“Cinco de Mayo at Habitot Children’s Museum” Habitot Children’s Museum, 2065 Kittredge, Berk; www.habitot.org. 9:30am-12:30pm, $8-10. Celebrate Mexican culture with special craft projects.

“The Cosmic Cocktail: Three Parts Dark Matter” Morrison Planetarium, California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse, SF; www.calacademy.org. 7:30pm, $8-12. University of Michigan physics professor Katherine Freese discusses the hunt for dark matter.

“Reclaiming Cinco de Mayo” San Francisco Living Wage Coalition, 2940 16th St, SF; www.livingwage-sf.org. 6-10pm, $5-25. Independent art and literature gala benefiting the SF Living Wage Coalition and its sister organization, Las Hormigas, in Ciudad Juarez.


“An Evening with Benjamin Jealous and Belva Davis” Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission, SF; www.ybca.org. 7pm, $20-25. The former NAACP president and the pioneering journalist meet for an onstage conversation.

“Israel’s 66th Independence Day” Justin Herman Plaza, Embarcadero at Market, SF; www.sfjcsf.org. Noon-1:30pm, free. With live Israeli music, falafel vendors, community leaders, and more. *


“Street Fight” examines the politics of mobility in San Francisco


Ideology plays a bigger role in shaping San Francisco than most people realize, as we’ve discussed in this space before. Nowhere is that more true than in the politics of land use and transportation, as my friend Jason Henderson, a San Francisco State University geography professor, discusses in his insightful new book, Street Fight: The Politics of Mobility in San Francisco.

He’ll be discussing his work this Friday, April 19, from 7-9pm during a book launch party hosted by Green Arcade Bookstore across the street at the upstairs loft space of McRoskey Mattress, 1687 Market. Or if you miss that but want to join the discussion, you can catch Henderson’s forum on May 15 at SFSU or what will surely be other local events on this pivotal topic.

Henderson chronicles the seminal events in San Francisco’s history with “automobility” and related transportation issues, from the freeway revolts of the late ’50s through 2000 to today’s continuing political struggles over parking, bicycles, livability, gentrification, and the form, function, and financing of Muni.

Yet the lens that Henderson brings to understanding all of these issues and struggles is ideology, which he breaks down into three major categories: progressive, neoliberal, and conservative. Whether we realize it or not, we can all be fairly easily placed in one of those three categories when it comes to how we think about automobility, or the primacy of cars in modern life.

“A progressive framework conceptualizes mobility as a systemic problem that requires deep social commitment and responsibility. How we get there matters. It posits that there can be too much mobility, as exemplified by high levels of [Vehicle Miles Traveled] in the United States, and that excessive mobility results in both environmental degradation and major social inequality at a local, state, and global scale. The main problem, obviously, is that automobility is part of a wider, systemic moral and social problem of over-consumption and disproportionate materialism,” Henderson writes, sounding themes that I echoed in this week’s cover story.

On the other end of the ideological spectrum are those with conservative views on mobility, who see driving as a basic right, which is the dominant mindset on the west side of supposedly liberal San Francisco. “Unlike progressives, conservatives do not think about responsibility as relating to broader systems such as the economic structure of society. Instead, they think in terms of direct causation and of each individual being responsible for the consequences of his or her actions. For example, poverty is a result of individual shortcomings caused by personal and moral characteristics, not of structural themes like socioeconomic forces beyond an individual’s control. Getting to work on time and providing one’s daily needs are not collective concerns but the responsibility of the individual,” he writes.

Of course, these conservatives still rely on government to build and maintain their transportation infrastructure, which they believe should be centered around cars. “Government should guarantee and accommodate automobility, not seek to discourage it or make it more expensive. Government-sponsored road building and other explicit policies that encourage motoring reflect an optimal use of government to stabilize conservative social relations centered on automobility,” Henderson write of the conservative mindset.

Between those two poles are the neoliberals, who have come to dominate City Hall, particularly in the last few years with the ascendancy of Mayor Ed Lee, Board President David Chiu, and Sup. Scott Wiener, who has taken the lead role on transportation issues. Neoliberals rely on market-based solutions to almost any problem, and they end up partnering with either conservatives or progressives in the politics of mobility depending on the issue.

“Neoliberals, consistent with the broader agenda of the privatization of space and market-based pricing of public access to space, envision a mobility system shaped by pricing and markets rather than by regulation and collective action. Unlike progressives, neoliberals feel the built environment must be allowed to develop with the efficacy of the market. Movement, paid for by the individual user, should be unrestrained. Yet such efficacy can include a commodification of nonmovement or slower movement or the package of quality-of-life goods surrounding the ‘walkability’ and ‘livability’ of the city, a package reserved for those who can afford to enter. To that end, neoliberal mobility includes the aggressive use of government to both enhance mobility and rein it in, but only inasmuch as government policy helps realize the goals of profit and facilitating economic growth and development,” Henderson writes.

It’s fascinating to explore how these three distinct mindsets have shaped San Francisco in recent decades, and how they interact today to create the city that we’ll be moving through in the future.

Stage listings


Stage listings are compiled by Guardian staff. Performance times may change; call venues to confirm. Reviewers are Robert Avila, Rita Felciano, and Nicole Gluckstern. Submit items for the listings at listings@sfbg.com. For further information on how to submit items for the listings, see Picks.




The Coast of Utopia: Voyage & Shipwreck Ashby Stage, 1901 Ashby, Berk; www.shotgunplayers.org. $20-35. Shipwreck previews Fri/22-Sat/23 and March 29, 8pm; March 27-28, 7pm; Sun/24, 5pm. Opens March 30, 8pm. Runs Wed-Thu, 7pm; Fri-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 5pm. Through May 5. Voyage previews March 27, 7pm. Opens April 3, 3pm. Runs April 13, 20, 27, and May 4, 3pm. Shotgun Players perform the first two parts of Tom Stoppard’s revolutionary trilogy.


Assistance NOHspace, 2840 Mariposa, SF; www.opentabproductions.com. $20. Thu-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 6pm. Through March 30. Over the past three years, things we’ve come to expect from plucky OpenTab Productions — whose annual offerings deal in aggressively contemporary themes such as media spin, business fraud, and job (in)security — include tight ensemble acting, minimal tech, and snappy direction, and in all these regards, Assistance does not disappoint. A crew of desperate office drones whose lives basically revolve around the abuse dished out by their unseen employer, Daniel Weisinger (who may or may not resemble playwright Leslye Headland’s old boss, Harvey Weinstein), hold down their airless fort, fielding calls at 11 p.m. and shirking responsibility whenever possible. Though Headland doesn’t do much to make her emotionally and professionally stunted characters palatable, the capable cast and director Ben Euphrat do manage to wring something resembling humanity out of them. From Nick (Tristan Rholl,) the frustrated slacker supervisor, to Nora (Melissa Keith), the-new-girl-turned-cynical-old-hand, to Justin (Nathan Tucker), the unctuous winner of the title of "last man standing," to Jenny (Michelle Drexler) a pragmatic yet annoyingly bubbly Brit, what stands out in each performance are the perfectly captured quirky nuances and barely-concealed neuroses of people caught in the process of losing their souls. Nothing about Assistance is likely to change your view of the business world, but if you’ve yet to experience the frenetic fun of an OpenTab show, it’s a perfect primer to the madness behind their method. (Gluckstern)

The Chairs Exit on Taylor, 277 Taylor, SF; www.cuttingball.com. $20-45. Thu, 7:30pm; Fri-Sat, 8pm (also Sat, 2pm); Sun, 5pm. Extended through April 7. In Rob Melrose’s new translation of Eugene Ionesco’s The Chairs, an elderly couple sit in the austere parlor of their lonely lighthouse, chortling over a spate of private wordplay and reminiscing of sprightlier times, until their initially frantic and disjointed dialogue settles into a smooth flow, well-polished by decades of endearments and gentle bickering. Possibly the last two survivors of a not entirely explained apocalypse, the isolated nonagenarians (magnificently played by David Sinaiko and Tamar Cohn) nevertheless make it known that important guests are expected to arrive at any moment in order to hear a hired orator (Derek Fischer) deliver the Old Man’s "message," which he has spent a lifetime honing. As the doorbell begins to ring, a jarring squall, and invisible guests and dozens of mismatched chairs begin to crowd their peaceable empire in claustrophobia-inducing numbers, their companionable seclusion is shattered for good. Director Annie Elias manages to coax both gravitas and decorum out of this little-produced, yet influential absurdist relic, imbuing her protagonists with a depth of character that belies their farcical circumstances, while Theodore J.H. Hulsker’s murmuring sound design of crashing waves, angry winds, and the strident doorbell could almost be another character in the play, so thoroughly does it set the tone in ways that Ionesco might not have approved of, but is all the better for. (Gluckstern)

Dead Metaphor ACT’s Geary Theater, 415 Geary, SF; www.act-sf.org. $20-95. Wed/20-Sat/23, 8pm (also Sat/23, 2pm); Sun/24, 2 and 7pm. American Conservatory Theater performs George F. Walker’s dark comedy about postwar living.

Foodies! The Musical Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter, SF; www.foodiesthemusical.com. $30-34. Fri-Sat, 8pm. Open-ended. AWAT Productions presents Morris Bobrow’s musical comedy revue all about food.

The Great Big Also Z Space, 450 Florida, SF; www.zspace.org. $15-30. Thu/21-Sat/23, 8pm; Sun/24, 5pm. The Rift is coming, and when it does, you’ll have to decide for yourself, will you stay or will you go? But stay for what? Go where? These are just a couple of the big questions underlying Mugwumpin’s latest devised occurrence The Great Big Also, a tour de prophétie, on the conundrum that is survival. Split up from the outset, each audience member must undergo a sort of personal journey through the play, sequestered in a kind of labyrinth of inter-locking white walls (cunningly designed by Sean Riley) that lead equally nowhere, and subjected to the roving attentions of the eight ensemble members, who chatter amiably about their individual pasts and the history of their tenuous confederation — the New Settlers. Punctuated by bursts of exposition coming from above, and the cacophonous underpinnings of Theodore Hulsker’s dramatic sound design, their spirited discourse creates more questions than answers, and random snatches of eavesdropped-upon conversation gleaned from other rooms in the labyrinth only serves to muddle their objectives even more. As the tightly-knit, New Settler community becomes increasingly stretched and frayed, the physical walls of the set stretch too and eventually collapse, (once the audience is seated, somewhat more traditionally in a ring of folding chairs that encircle the wide parameter of the Z Space stage). Interesting resonances abound with FoolsFURY’s production of Doug Dorst’s futuristic Monster in the Dark and Banana Bag and Bodice’s neo-sci-fi melodrama The Sewers, yet Mugwumpin’s exploration of a possibly brave, possibly new world, manages to be both maddeningly cryptic and exuberantly profound all on its own. (Gluckstern)

God of Carnage Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter, SF; www.sheltontheater.org. $38. Thu-Sat, 8pm. Through March 30. Shelton Theater presents Yasmina Reza’s Tony-winning comedy about upper-middle-class parents clashing over an act of playground violence between their children.

Inevitable SF Playhouse, 533 Sutter, SF; www.sfplayhouse.org. $20. Thu/21-Sat/23, 8pm. SF Playhouse’s "Sandbox Series," enabling new and established playwrights to stage new works, kicks off its third season with Jordan Puckett’s drama about a woman trying to make sense of her life.

Just One More Game Exit Theatre, 156 Eddy, SF; www.tripleshotprodutions.org. $25. Thu-Sat, 8pm. Through March 30. With the rise of the programmer as pop culture hero, it was probably inevitable that we’d start writing plays about them too. In local playwright Dan Wilson’s Just One More Game our programmer protagonist is Kent (Christopher DeJong) whose mission is to find love, and his co-player is Marjorie (Linda-Ruth Cardozo), who wields her own geek credentials like a Mortal Kombat wrath hammer. Where Wilson’s comedy excels is in the witty gamer banter that defines much of their attraction and commonality — references to Zork, Oregon Trail, Dungeons and Dragons, and The Secret of Monkey Island abound, while a series of meticulous video game animations (also Wilson’s) lend colorful counterpoint to the action on the stage. DeJong plays his role of emotionally-inhibited loner with a degree of laconic detachment that unfortunately eliminates all traces of chemistry between him and Cardozo, who is especially good at capturing the cheerfully aggressive awkward of a woman accustomed to being "one of the boys" because there was nothing about "the girls" she could relate to. Both the comedy and pace flag by the time the first NPCs (non-player characters) enter the room, broadly clichéd parents yammering for grandchildren and obnoxious college buddies armed with too many baby photos, who conspire to stunt the growth of Kent and Marjorie’s relationship and wind up stunting the growth of the play. If the quest for love is a game, as the title suggests, it’s one that could use a little more back-end development, and a much greater degree of playfulness. (Gluckstern)

A Lady and a Woman Eureka Theatre, 215 Jackson, SF; www.therhino.org. $15-30. Wed/20-Sat/23, 8pm; Sun/24, 3pm. Life wasn’t easy in the South of the 1890s, particularly for single black women, but in Shirlene Holmes’ A Lady and a Woman the focus is emphatically on rising above circumstance. When itinerant hog-cutter Biddie Higgins (Dawn L. Troupe) swaggers into the village inn run by Miss Flora Devine (Velina Brown) and demands a room, sparks fly almost instantaneously, as the two pragmatic and independent women become drawn to the strength they see in the other. A healer and midwife as well as an innkeeper, Miss Flora has endured enough abuse at the hands of men in her life to make her grateful to be able to live without one around, while Biddie, the only daughter in a household of fourteen, has become accustomed to a life of manual labor and clandestine trysts with willing women, never sticking around one place long enough to run out of either, declaring "it’s been easier to live a hard life then a lie." Both Brown and Troupe embody their multi-dimensional characters with grace and backbone, never striking a false note as their tender courtship unfolds and they discover that the greatest strength of all is the ability to love freely. (Gluckstern)

The Lisbon Traviata New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness, SF; www.nctcsf.org. $25. Wed/20-Sat/23, 8pm; Sun/24, 2pm. New Conservatory Theatre Center performs Terrence McNally’s play, a mix of comedy and tragedy, about the relationship between two opera fanatics.

Sex and the City: LIVE! Rebel, 1760 Market, SF; trannyshack.com/sexandthecity. $25. Wed, 7 and 9pm. Open-ended. It seems a no-brainer. Not just the HBO series itself — that’s definitely missing some gray matter — but putting it onstage as a drag show. Mais naturellement! Why was Sex and the City not conceived of as a drag show in the first place? Making the sordid not exactly palatable but somehow, I don’t know, friendlier (and the canned a little cannier), Velvet Rage Productions mounts two verbatim episodes from the widely adored cable show, with Trannyshack’s Heklina in a smashing portrayal of SJP’s Carrie; D’Arcy Drollinger stealing much of the show as ever-randy Samantha (already more or less a gay man trapped in a woman’s body); Lady Bear as an endearingly out-to-lunch Miranda; and ever assured, quick-witted Trixxie Carr as pent-up Charlotte. There’s also a solid and enjoyable supporting cast courtesy of Cookie Dough, Jordan Wheeler, and Leigh Crow (as Mr. Big). That’s some heavyweight talent trodding the straining boards of bar Rebel’s tiny stage. The show’s still two-dimensional, even in 3D, but noticeably bigger than your 50" plasma flat panel. (Avila)

Steve Seabrook: Better Than You Marsh San Francisco, 1062 Valencia, SF; www.themarsh.org. $15-50. Fri, 8pm; Sat, 8:30pm, through March 30. Starting April 4, runs Thu, 8pm; Sat, 8:30pm. Extended through May 18.

Self-awareness, self-actualization, self-aggrandizement — for these things we turn to the professionals: the self-empowerment coaches, the self-help authors and motivational speakers. What’s the good of having a "self" unless someone shows you how to use it? Writer-performer Kurt Bodden’s Steve Seabrook wants to sell you on a better you, but his "Better Than You" weekend seminar (and tie-in book series, assorted CDs, and other paraphernalia) belies a certain divided loyalty in its own self-flattering title. The bitter fruit of the personal growth industry may sound overly ripe for the picking, but Bodden’s deftly executed "seminar" and its behind-the-scenes reveals, directed by Mark Kenward, explore the terrain with panache, cool wit, and shrewd characterization. As both writer and performer, Bodden keeps his Steve Seabrook just this side of overly sensational or maudlin, a believable figure, finally, whose all-too-ordinary life ends up something of a modest model of its own. (Avila)

The Voice: One Man’s Journey Into Sex Addition and Recovery Stage Werx Theater, 446 Valencia, SF; thevoice.brownpapertickets.com. $10-18. Fri-Sat, 8pm. Through April 6. Ticket sales for David Kleinberg’s autobiographical solo show benefit 12-step sex addiction recovery programs and other non-profits.

The Waiting Period Marsh San Francisco, 1062 Valencia, SF; www.themarsh.org. $25-50. Fri, 8pm; Sat, 5pm. Through March 30. Brian Copeland (comedian, TV and radio personality, and creator-performer of the long-running solo play Not a Genuine Black Man) returns to the Marsh with a new solo, this one based on more recent and messier events` in Copeland’s life. The play concerns an episode of severe depression in which he considered suicide, going so far as to purchase a handgun — the title coming from the legally mandatory 10-day period between purchasing and picking up the weapon, which leaves time for reflections and circumstances that ultimately prevent Copeland from pulling the trigger. A grim subject, but Copeland (with co-developer and director David Ford) ensures there’s plenty of humor as well as frank sentiment along the way. The actor peoples the opening scene in the gun store with a comically if somewhat stereotypically rugged representative of the Second Amendment, for instance, as well as an equally familiar "doood" dude at the service counter. Afterward, we follow Copeland, a just barely coping dad, home to the house recently abandoned by his wife, and through the ordinary routines that become unbearable to the clinically depressed. Copeland also recreates interviews he’s made with other survivors of suicidal depression. Telling someone about such things is vital to preventing their worst outcomes, says Copeland, and telling his own story is meant to encourage others. It’s a worthy aim but only a fitfully engaging piece, since as drama it remains thin, standing at perhaps too respectful a distance from the convoluted torment and alienation at its center. Note: review from an earlier run of the same production. (Avila)


Dostoevsky’s The Grand Inquisitor Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant, Berk; www.centralworks.org. $15-28. Thu-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 5pm. Through March 31. Central Works performs Gary Graves’ adaptation of the story-within-a-story from The Brothers Karamazov.

Fallaci Berkeley Repertory Theatre, 2015 Addison, Berk; www.berkeleyrep.org. $29-89. Tue, Thu-Sat, 8pm (also Sat, 2pm); Wed and Sun, 7pm (also Sun, 2pm). Through April 21. Berkeley Rep performs Pulitzer-winning journalist Lawrence Wright’s new play about Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci.

The Mountaintop Lucie Stern Theatre, 1305 Middlefield, Palo Alto; www.theatreworks.org. $23-75. Tue-Wed, 7:30pm; Thu-Sat, 8pm (also Sat, 2pm), through March 31. Starting April 3, runs Wed-Thu, 11am (also Thu, 8pm); Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Through April 7. TheatreWorks performs Katori Hall’s play that re-imagines the events on the night before Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination.

The Real Americans Marsh Berkeley, 2120 Allston, Berk; www.themarsh.org. $25-50. Fri, 8pm; Sat, 5pm. Through April 6. Dan Hoyle shifts his popular show about small-town America to the Marsh’s Berkeley outpost.


BATS Improv Bayfront Theater, Fort Mason Center, Marina at Laguna, SF; www.improv.org. $20. "Theatresports," Fri, 8pm. Through March 29. "Double Feature," Sat, 8pm. Through March 30.

"The Buddy Club Children’s Shows" Randall Museum Theater, 199 Museum Wy, SF; www.thebuddyclub.com. Sun/24, 11am-noon. $8 (under two years old, free). Comedy magician Robert Strong performs.

Caroline Lugo and Carolé Acuña’s Ballet Flamenco Peña Pachamama, 1630 Powell, SF; www.carolinalugo.com. Sun/24, 6:15pm. $15-19. Flamenco performance by the mother-daughter dance company, featuring live musicians.

"Mission Position Live" Cinecave, 1034 Valencia, SF; www.missionpositionlive.com. Thu, 8pm. Ongoing. $10. Stand-up comedy with rotating performers.

"New Works by Artists in Residence" CounterPULSE, 1310 Mission, SF; www.counterpulse.org. Thu-Sun, 8pm. Through March 31. $20-30. With richien (Rowena Richie and Jennifer Chien) performing Twindependent, and Sense Object (Miriam Wolodarksi) performing Of Limb and Language.

"Ninth Annual Conceptual Public Art Performance: Dance Anywhere" Various locations, SF; www.danceanywhere.org. Fri/22, noon. Free. This worldwide movement presents simultaneous performance art in over 45 countries; check the website for local events and to connect with other participants.

"ODC/Dance Downtown 2013" Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater, 700 Howard, SF; www.odcdance.org. Wed/20-Thu/21, 7:30pm; Fri/22-Sat/23, 8pm; Sun/24, 4pm. $20-75. The company celebrates its 42nd season with three world premieres from Brenda Way and KT Nelson.

"ODC Pilot 62: Kinetoscope…This Time With Pictures" ODC Theater, 3153 17th St, SF; www.odctheater.org. Fri/22-Sat/23, 8pm. $15. Rising dance film artists present dance films and live, multimedia performances.

"San Francisco Magic Parlor" Chancellor Hotel Union Square, 433 Powell, SF; www.sfmagicparlor.com. Thu-Sat, 8pm. Ongoing. $40. Magic vignettes with conjurer and storyteller Walt Anthony.

"Shen Wei Dance Arts: Undivided Divided" Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission, SF; www.ybca.org. Thu/21-Sat/23, 8pm (also Sat/23, 5pm); Sun/24, 2 and 5pm. $10-30. The choreographer for the 2008 Beijing Olympics opening ceremony, Shen Wei, also heads up China’s first contemporary dance company; this performance is an installation featuring 18 dancers and multimedia elements.

"Snow White and Her Merry Men" Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness, SF; www.sfgmc.org. Mon/25-Tue/26, 8pm. $15-75. The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus and Steve Silver’s Beach Blanket Babylon come together for this special joint concert.

"2013 Rhino Benefit Celebration" Eureka Theatre, 215 Jackson, SF; www.therhino.org. Sun/24, 7:30pm. $25. Theatre Rhinoceros celebrates 35 years of queer theater with this benefit bash, featuring Connie Champagne, Dave Dobrusky, Mike Finn, Casey Ley, Matthew Martin, and more.

Nite Trax: Sisterz of the Underground re-fresh the Bay


Sometimes being a nightlife writer feels like getting stranded on Techno Dude Island. Not always cuuute. So when I got wind that the classic Sisterz of the Underground hip-hop party crew was hitting the Bay for a huge 10-year anniversary celebration Sat/31 including a party at Public Works and a day of tech workshops and empowerment talks at CellSpace, I jumped on the chance for a breath of fresh female air and an indepth talk with folks who inspired me back in the day to try a few dance floor moves I probably shouldn’t have.

SOTU founder Sarah “Smalls” McCann, creative director Traci P, and organizer Crykit moved away from the Bay a little while ago (and the groundbreaking in-school hip-hop education program they started, Def Ed, is currently in hibernation mode), but the international Sisterz of the Underground network they helped establish is still thriving and inspiring women to discover and transmit the roots of hip-hop dance, art, music, creativity, and culture. The 10th anniversary party reflects that all-encompassing approach with live music from Kid Sister, DJ Shortee, Green B, Jeanine da Feen, and tons more, plus a 1-on-1 dance battle, art and vendor fair, live painting, nail booth… It’ll be a much-needed femme attack in this age of War on Women, hip-hop style acrimony, and the mainstreaming of street spirit. 

I communicated with the trio over email in anticipation of their return, and got not only the trademark Sisterz blend of energy, outspokenness, and positivity, but some juicy tidbits about Bay hip-hop history, the current state of rap and dance, and the ladies’ current doings as well. Check it.      


Sat/31 at Public Works and CellSpace

Details and tickets: sisterzunderground.eventbrite.com

Facebook Invite is here.


SFBG It’s been a minute since you’ve been on my radar. Can you introduce yourself and tell us what’s going on with y’all now?

TRACI P I moved to Las Vegas a little over a year and a half ago after an almost decade stint in San Francisco throwing events and creative directing the Sisterz of the Underground. Currently I am the managing partner of RAW Entertainment (www.raw-e.com) which is both a booking agency and event production company based here in Sin City. I book for a variety of artists, like BReal of Cypress Hill,  two-time DMC champ DJ SHIFTEE, and NYC club and fashion DJ Roxy Cottontail. Aside from artist bookings I continue to produce local events here in Vegas as well as a monthly in San Francisco called Femme Fatale at John Colins, every second Thursday — it features an all-female lineup and highlights music, fashion, and art. The next one is Thu., April 12, and will feature live painting, a guest performer and a dubstep DJ line-up including Lotus Drops, Sculltrain and Smashletooth. I also write music interviews for Thrasher Magazine, mostly about hip-hop and rap artists.

SARAH “SMALLS” MCCANN I’m the founder of SOTU and also a B-girl in the Extra Credit Kru. After years of being in the Bay and running SOTU and Def Ed, our hip-hop education program, I moved down to Los Angeles at the end of 2006. Since then, most of my experience has been selling events at various venues including House of Blues Hollywood and Jillian’s Universal. Currently, I’m the marketing sales manager at Pacific Park, the amusement park at the Santa Monica pier while also being a partner in Clique Events Society and a board member for the tour and travel marketing association of Southern California.

On the side of all of that, I also run an entertainment company with my husband, B-boy Machine, called Hit the Floor Productions (www.hitthefloorproductions.com), help direct our in-house dance company, West Bound, and manage Bboy Machine as an artist. When I’m not busy being the business guru that I am, I’m still just a hip-hop head and a die-hard B-girl with Extra Credit Kru! However at this present moment, I’m not breaking as i’m almost 8 months pregnant with my first child!

CRYKIT Hey hey! I’m Michelle, aka Crykit, aka Miss Crix 🙂 I grew up on a farm in Wisconsin, moved to the Bay Area in 2000, LA in 2010, and currently in Las Vegas since 2011. I started DJing, popping,  and breaking in 2002. The rave scene of 98-02 is really where it all began for me. For the last eight years B-girling has been my main focus. I’ve been a member of Extra Credit Kru since day one and with this crew of amazing talented inspiring ladies we’ve taught in schools and studios, entered hundreds of battles, performed at some pretty epic events, been featured in music videos and short films, traveled nationally and internationally

When I moved to LA I manifested what originally was an idea for a hip fashion line with the perfect balance of masculine and feminine HAPPY MEDIUM, into a dancy DJ duo that encompasses everything from dance to art to fashion to music. My partner in crime is a funky stylin’ B-girl I met back in the Bay: Faye aka 13 Moons. (She is DJing the 1-on-1 female dance battle at our Public Works party.)


SFBG You must have a lot of memories of SOTU — how did it all come together and what stands out for you most from the past decade?

TRACI P Sarah’s the founder, but I can tell you a bit about how I started with the collective. I moved to San Francisco when I was 19 after leaving UC Davis. Having decided to take an alternate educational path towards my ultimate goal of working in the music industry, I decided to intern at as many record companies and entertainment-oriented entities I could. This included Bomb Hip Hop, Look Records, Live Up Records, and Quannum Records. A boyfriend of mine at the time introduced me to Sarah. I loved the idea of women in the music industry and hip-hop, and felt an overwhelming sense of welcome and support in the collective. I pushed Sarah to let me do whatever she needed and learn more about how she produced events and operated. I started coming in everyday. I had such a respect for her vision, dedication, and the energy she put into making this collective so visible and tangible for women all around the globe. From then on she became a mentor to me. Both she and the Sisterz of the Underground changed my life forever.

SMALLS Well, this is always a long answer for me, as even though I’m pregnant with my first child, I always saw SOTU as my real first child. This all started back in 2000 when I was approached by the owner of the Justice League (now the Independent) about doing a hip-hop event at the venue. I was super inspired by two females in my life at that time: Arouz, a female graff artist, and Inchant, a female MC. i thought it would be super dope to produce an all-female hip-hop event that included all elements of hip-hop (MCing, breaking, graffiti, DJing, beatboxing, etc.). I spent about a month scouting talent from all over and found B-girls from UC Berkeley, Syndel from old dominion, and many more. I asked Medusa to be the headliner and threw a show on January 18, 2001 called Sisterz of the Underground.
The show had over 600 attendees and was a huge success! After the show, everyone was asking me who is Sisterz of the Underground… Well, I was in college at the time and didn’t really have any plans for who or what was SOTU. I decided to ask the girls involved if they were interested in forming a collective where women could comfortably express themselves, come together to share, and put on shows.

After a few more successful shows in the Bay, I decided to organize a group of us to teach at a young women’s conference. At this time, we really didn’t know what we were doing, but we knew we had something to share. From that conference, we were contacted by two all girl groups to come and teach at their center. Well, the year was filled with many shows and many workshops and soon we were voted “Best Hip-Hop Monthly of the Year” in the Guardian and we created a hip-hop education program called Def Ed. Def Ed became such a success and grew into a program that was eventually serving over 3,000 youth a year and existing in 6 counties of the Bay Area.

It’s hard to pinpoint my favorite point of SOTU, but I have to say that my life wouldn’t be the same without it and i would not be the woman that I am without all of my Sisterz that I have met along the way.

CRYKIT I first found out about SOTU at an all girl weekly dance practice at Dance Mission around 2002. There I felt supported in learning all about the culture and its elements. I would sketch in a black book, create stencils, DJ parties, pop, break, freestyle in the car on battle road trips, hahaha. It just sort of became a part of me, a lifestyle. I’m so grateful to have had a collective of such eclectic, empowering, talented women to grow as an artist with, to jump in a cypher with, to create a mix tape with… And most of these women are like super hero goddesses LOL.. Nurses, firefighters, neuroscientists, designers, massage therapists, business owners… the list goes on and on.

My favorite story I guess would be connecting with and building friendships with girls from other countries like Sweden, Germany, and India through SOTU! It’s so cool the network and community has spread globally.


SFBG The lineup for this party at Public Works is absolutely insane! It really brings together some true female talent. With female MCs like Nicki, Azealia Banks, and Iggy Azalea all over, do you have any thoughts about the state of females in hip-hop right now?

Thank you first off for the compliment, that’s endearing! As far as the state of females in hip-hop, I would like to start by saying that hip-hop in general is in a state of transition as is the music industry as a whole. As the landscape of popular music shifts more and more to being influenced by electronic music, I think that hip-hop as well is starting to play into this trend. Nicki Minaj is a great rapper but some of her songs are SO far from rap or even hip hop. “Starships,” enough said. Iggy Azalea has got a lot of style and I am interested to see where she goes but I am not so confident in her skills as a lyricist.

Then there are one hitters like Kreayshawn whose success can be attributed to the beat of ‘Gucci Gucci’ being along a electronic-dubstep style as well as her look being right for the time. There is less and less attention paid to substance and more to image and look. Half of these girls can’t even perform live and are in a sense disposable because they have no stage presence. Just a pretty face with flashly clothes and jewelry. Then you have these record labels and agencies making it worse because the industry is so in the toilet that the SECOND they smell a lick of talent, they come along, swoop them up, charge ridiculous amounts of money to promoters, the artist never fully develops before being fed to the sharks, and ultimately fails!

But then you have girls like KID SISTER and MIA who steady hold it down. They have their own style and do a good job of incorporating current trends as well as keeping true to themselves and having a voice instead of being a puppet. I’m forever a student, however, and am interested in what’s to come in the music industry.

And the female DJ should also not be forgotten. As is evident in our line-up we respect all elements of hip-hop and the DJ is no exception. I feel as though the past few years have given rise to a great window of opportunity for female DJs and we’ve seen more and more emerge and tear it up! Living in Vegas I see a lot of plastic behind the decks but there are truly real women who can throw it down and rock a party and/or battle just as good as men, La Femme Deadly Venom for one, Pam the Funkstress, Spinderella, we have our own Crykit in Vegas killing clubs with style. It makes me happy to see this.

To be honest, I think hip-hop overall is ever changing and growing with different niches and styles that come through. As for females in hip-hop, we’ve definitely come a long way and are continuing to get out there and do our thing. If you look at the different eras of hip-hop, you’ll see how many female MCs were legends in their own right: MC Lyte, Roxanne Shante, Lil Kim, Raw Digga, Bahamadia, Nicki Minaj, the list goes on and on. I also think that female DJs have come along way and are continuing to show that they can rock just as hard or even harder than some male DJs. The thing that’s always been an issue for us women, or at least for me as a B-girl, was not wanting to be viewed as “just dope for a girl.” We want to be viewed as dope overall for our skill and not having anything to do with the fact that we may be a different sex.

CRYKIT I would like to hear better lyrical content in hip hop overall right now. I’m not really moved by too many female MCs at the moment. Wishing Missy Elliot did more, I feel like she can be true to herself but also bring it in at a commercial level. One thing I love about her is she always had real dancers in her videos.. she understands hip-hop as a whole and a community with all elements on display. I’m excited to bring Kid Sister to Public Works, I love her versatility, she sounds fresh on electro house tracks as well as hip-hop.


SFBG I feel like hip-hop in general in the Bay Area, while still lively, is slipping below the radar, on the down swing of a cycle — any thoughts about that?

TRACI P Hip-hop in the Bay is most def on a decline. It was once a mecca but is no longer a hub for new and exciting artists, unfortunately. I have a lot of friends in the rap and hip-hop industry here in the Bay Area whom I would NEVER discredit or whose music I would never put down but as a whole, but I haven’t seen much that’s exceptionally great coming from this sector of California as far as hip-hop is concerned. I would say that the RAP is still there but the hip hop is falling off. I would also like to take this time to say RIP to Special One of Conscious Daughters who hip-hop lost late last year.

SMALLS Unfortunately I don’t live up there anymore, but I have heard that the hip-hop scene has sort of died. Well, i can tell you that it’s not only in the Bay… it’s the same thing in LA. I remember places like the Justice League where you knew you were always going to find a sick hip-hop show whether it was Black Star or Wu-Tang and in LA going to Project Blowed every week. Now, you’re lucky if you can find a club that doesn’t have a dress code and won’t yell at the B-boys and B-girls for starting a cypher. I think this is one of the many reasons that we’ve tried to keep SOTU alive and always try to incorporate the true meaning of hip hop behind our events!

CRYKIT I would say the hip hop dance scene is still thriving in the Bay Area! There’s a lot of talented dancers from the Bay in videos, TV, movies. And currently there’s classes offered at studios like City Dance taught by dancers who have been in the scene for a long time and have learned from the OGs and originators. There are battles almost every weekend filled with high schoolers and up… So in that arena it is still thriving and is a genuine mecca for dancers.


SFBG I love that you’re having workshops during the day at CellSpace that cover both female empowerment and technical skills. Can you tell me a bit about what inspired you to turn the reunion into a true community event?

TRACI P Community is very important to us and key to the idea of empowerment. Obviously the nighttime events are geared toward adults, but we recognize the importance the youth has in shaping the world as a whole — and it’s always been important for us to reach out to the youth through hip-hop. We also founded a hip-hop education program called Def Ed years back, it is unfortunately no longer active, but we taught at many sites around the Bay and still have strong access to many of the kids around the area, it’s important that we maintain that connection.

Also, there is a lot more to the culture of hip-hop than just what you see on a stage or in a music video, the aspects of art, dance, production, and fashion are equally important. At a time when everything seems so fabricated it’s essential that people be exposed to the roots of music and the culture. It is our mission to teach and empower in any way possible. By having females host these workshops, you never know who might be inspired, because it’s not every day women are so praised in such a male dominated arena such as hip hop.

SMALLS This is easy: SOTU has always been about community, education, growth, expression, and hip-hop. This event marks more than 10 years strong as a female hip-hop collective and tying in all of these aspects was truly important to us. There’s no point in just putting on an event to make money (at least for us)….we wanted to produce an event that included the youth and our amazing sisterz sharing their knowledge along with a night time event to remember. We figured having workshops, battles, showcases, vendors, art galleries and all of the various things we are including in this event would show was SOTU has always been about — true hip-hop expression in an open environment that welcomes anyone and everyone!

Crykit SOTU events have always been community-based, that’s where we all began. I love that a part of the celebration is at Cellspace because that’s where we established our breaking practice eight years ago actually, almost a decade we’ve been working with them. It’s a piece of Bay Area dance history, and our practice is the longest-running established regular practice in the city of San Francisco. It’s always important to include the youth. We love the spirit, freedom, and creativity they bring!

SFBG Can I get a current top 5 from each of you?


Traci P

MIA, “Bad Girls”

Slaughterhouse, “Hammer Dance”

Schoolboy Q, “Hands on the Wheel”

Joey Bada$$, “Survival Tactics”

J. Cole, “can’t get enough’’


1. B.Bravo “Swing My Way” remix

2. Flying Lotus/ Thundercat “$200 TB”

3. Trina “Red Bottoms”

4. Mark Ronson “Animal” remix

5. Rye Rye & M.I.A “Sunshine”


If I can twist this and get you my current top 5 reasons for still being a true hip hop head:
1. The feeling I get at a live show when everyone has their hands pumping in the air
2. The feeling I get jumping into a hot cypher where the DJ is killin’ it and everyone wants to get in
3. The feeling i get seeing the little girls of Extra Credit Kru enter a battle with us OGs
4. The feeling I get watching my hubby, B-boy machine, smoke someone on the dance floor
5. The feeling I get knowing that no matter how commercial hip-hop has become, that there’s still so many folks doing it right in the community


Get Gorey



SUPER EGO Wax up your handlebar mustache, dust off your stripy topcoat, burnish your steampunk petticoats, and oil those wheezy accordions: The Edwardian Ball, that phenomenal annual gathering of exquisitely decked-out freaks, is back for its 12th installment of mannered mayhem. This time it aims to quell any kvetching about crowding by stretching itself over five official local events (and a satellite ball in Los Angeles next month). But the Fri/20 World’s Faire and the Sat/20 Ball itself will still be the main attraction for thousands of Friends of Ed.

Where did it come from, the distinctly San Franciscan style that the Edwardian Ball represents, the curious — and, in some pale lights, socially conservative — amalgamation of circus revivalism, steampunk mechanicals, Wild West gumption, burlesque peekaboo, 1990s anarcho-sincerity, and more than a hint of Burning Man fairy dust? The ball itself, launched in 2000 by Justin Katz of “premiere pagan lounge ensemble” Rosin Coven and Mike Gaines of the neo-cirque Vau de Vire Society, delectably conflates affection for Edwards Gorey, author, and Windsor, British king, producing a turn-of-the-last-century high-brow goth fantasia that’s impossible to resist. There’s more than a hint of Burtonesque Scissorhands-worship in there as well, bringing our Ed count to three. (Check out my revealing interview with founder Katz.)

Like absinthe, the ball’s drink of choice, I savor this native subculture most in small, strong doses — sometimes its sheer mass can overwhelm, and its style seems always in a state of coalescence rather than expansion. (An Edwardian Ball in 2112 would, and probably should, be much like the one this week, hover-bikes notwithstanding.) That’s why the ball’s a perfectly cromulent occasion to check in on the dark-eyed, ruby-red, velvety feast of one of our essential undergrounds. Promenade, anyone?

Fri/20: Edwardian World’s Faire Kinetic Steam Works, Cyclecide, Vau de Vire, games, and more

Sat/21: Edwardian Ball 2012 “The Iron Tonic” with Jill Tracy, The Fossettes, Miz Margo and more

Both at Regency Ballroom, 1300 Van Ness, SF. All ages, see www.edwardianball.com for prices, times, and more events.

BENEFITS FOR DJ TOPH ONE Beloved “wino” Toph One got struck while riding his bike by a hit-and-run driver on Sun/8 and was hospitalized with a broken pelvis and internal bleeding. The DJ, bike activist and annual AIDS Rider, and party promoter (of the incredibly long-running Red Wine Social and Pepper) is OK and in good spirits now. And the great Bay Area nightlife scene is banding together once again to help out a friend in need. There are going to be two big benefits — all proceeds going to Toph’s bills — that are also serving as major bay talent summits. One’s at Public Works (Fri/20, 9 p.m.-3 a.m., $10. 161 Erie, SF. www.publicsf.com) with J-Boogie, Jimmy Love, Matt Haze, Pleasure Maker, E Da Boss, Chris Orr, and many more. The other’s at SOM (Sun/22, 8 p.m., $10–$20 but no one turned away. 2925 16th St., SF. www.som-bar.com) with Billy Jam, Sake One, DJ Pause, Rolo 1-3, Rascue, Jah Warrior Shelter Hi-Fi, and tons more. Get well soon, buddy — and anyone with information on the crime please call the anonymous police tip line at (415) 575-4444 or send a tip by text message to TIP411.



One day, I will write an entire book about French techno polymath Laurent Garnier’s seminal 1993 “Acid Eiffel,” a monumental track whose throbbing chords (not quite nabbed from Mr. Fingers), squiggling acid jabs, and cheeky whale-song bass figures pretty much audibly nailed where my rave-fatigue head was at back then. He hasn’t been here in a decade: this time he arrives as part of the trio LBS (Live Booth Sessions) with Garnier DJing and knob-twisting, Benjamin Rippert on keyboards and Scan X on “machines.” They’ll be tearing through a whole host of electronic styles at this installment of the whip-smart As You Like It roaming party (co-produced with Public Works), throwing some brilliant corners on Garnier’s signature ecstatic style. With M3, Rich Korach, Briski, and P-Play.

Thu/19, 9 p.m.-3 a.m., $15–$25. Public Works, 161 Erie, SF. www.publicsf.com



Honey, is she ever! There has actually been quite an uptick in Smiths tribute nights (maybe making up for Morrissey’s string of Bay Area concert cancellations?). And this monthly one, celebrating a year on Saturday, is the Frankly Mr. Shanklyest of them, with a wide range of melancholy jangle-pop tunes and DJ Mario Muse on decks. Unhappy birthday!


Sat/21, 9 p.m., $5. Milk, 1840 Haight, SF. www.milksf.com



The classic Detroit techno Burden Brothers whose seminal “I Believe” and “Black Water” will always get me on the dance floor hollering and waving my arms around like the homosexual muppet I am have been touring successfully. Catch them on the swell Club Six sound system.

Fri/20, 9 p.m.-4 a.m., $15. www.clubsix1.com



Kooky-rad monthly queer and friends party Dial Up dials up a special Friday night with Berlin ‘s Souki, whose deep-but-friendly techno prowess is making recent waves. She’ll be performing a live PA, sure to get funky.

Fri/20, 9 p.m.-3:30 a.m., free before 10 p.m., $6 after. Public Works, 161 Erie, SF. www.publicsf.com



Some great beats have come out of the rounds leading up to this grand wobble finale — nice to see so much local talent holding forth (and stretching the often narrow dubstep definition.) Come jiggle and support finalists Fivel, Taso, and Kontrol Freqs at the new Fuel Lounge (formerly Etiquette).

Fri/20, 9 p.m., $5 before 10 p.m., $10 after. Fuel, 1108 Market, SF. www.fuelsf.com 


Elbo Room benefit to raise funds for fire victim


Longtime Gamescaper, Larkin Street social worker, local hip hop emcee, walking comic book encyclopedia, and all-around dear friend Robert Strawder was severely injured in an early morning apartment fire at 24th Street and Valencia on December 1. After nearly a month of intensive care treatment and frequent surgeries, Strawder remains in a medically-induced coma on a long road to recovery. Friends, family, and co-worders are holding a benefit for him today, Tue/26 at the Elbo Room to raise funds for his rehabilitation.

The event will boast a top-notch silent art auction (featuring the likes of Jeremy Fish, Nate VanDyke, and Alex Pardee) as well as a full evening of musical performances (Bigga, Edison, 41FUNK).

Any and all donations and contributions will be welcomed and appreciated. 


Tue/26 8 p.m., donations suggested 

Elbo Room 

647 Valencia, SF

(415) 552-7788



The Hangover: Nov. 10-12


**The sunny, indie rock jams of Ridgewood, NJ’s Real Estate cured my rainy day blues on Friday night at Slim’s. San Francisco’s unshaven, flannel-clad urban lumberjacks showed up en masse to seek shelter from the rain and soak up some seriously good vibes. The five-piece kicked off with “Suburban Beverage” from its 2009 self-titled debut. Inviting us to mellow out, leader Martin Courtney repeated the song’s only words, “Budweiser, Sprite, do you feel alright?” Fans responded with blissful head-nodding. See full story here. (Frances Capell)

**I shall refrain from naming this unnamed SF bar for reasons that will soon become clear. On Friday night I took a group of females out for a night of drinking, dancing, and old school friendly conversations. At the bar where we eventually landed, the DJs were spinning what amounted to Bar Mitzvah music. No, not Hebraic, religious, Cantorial chants, I’m talking about the Celebrate Good Times after-party repeated hits, the ones we’ve all just heard too many times, at the aforementioned life changing parties, and in commercials for cheap burgers or pull-up diapers, at the dentist’s office (my dentist keeps the mood perky). The meandering blob of drinkers seemed confused — but willing, determined — to dance to this godforsaken sound. I, however, could not muster enough enthusiasm. (old-stick-in-the-mud, Emily Savage)

**It wouldn’t (quite) be fair to fault the party for the muscle-bound tank top clones posing sullenly about the edges of the dancefloor and truth be told, the beats coming from Stallion Saturdays at Rebel more than made up for all the unyielding musculature in the club. Seattle’s DJ Nark had appeared for the evening, sporting fetching neckwear and spinning even more fetching, not-corny-at-all jams from disco greats to more current, creepy-good modern bangers. By the end of the night the place was packed, just packed with hairless wonders, swaying slightly to the tune of their sugar-free Red Bull-vodkas. (Caitlin Donohue)

**The cooperative music project known as BOBBY may never be conventionally popular. Founded by Tom Greenberg as a multimedia project at Vermont’s Bennington College, BOBBY’s avante-garde psych-folk tunes are favored by the nerdiest of music geeks. That said, my fondness for BOBBY’s strange, multi-layered debut album was enough to send me across town in dismal weather to catch its brief opening set at Bottom of the Hill on Saturday night. It was an uncharacteristically mature crowd for the venue, peppered with the occasional young art hippie. Four members of the sometimes septet were present, all of whom sported bizarre blonde wigs. The band opened with the cinematic “We Saw,” and continued on to “Sore Spores,” the catchy standout track from its debut. Weird samples and synths were paired with guitar, drums, and crazy vocal harmonies. BOBBY finished with an untitled, totally epic track and left the stage long before I was ready to say goodbye. (Frances Capell) 

**Guitarists strummed intricately, singers rang out piercingly in throaty voices, everyone clapped complicated rhythms, and brightly costumed dancers stomped, shouted, and whirled until they could no more at San Francisco Theatre Flamenco‘s thrilling “45 Años de Arte Flamenco” celebration at the Marines Memorial Theater on Saturday. Although guest dancer Manuel Gutierrez couldn’t be there due to visa issues (this is happening to a lot of performers lately!), the fantastic Juan Siddi took over with jaw-dropping, toreador-jacketed moves. Company artistic director Carola Zertuche fascinated with her regal bearing and sprightly footwork, while a chromatic bulerías dance by Cristina Hall (accompanied in the beginning by Alex Conde playing the strings of his piano) was eerily contemporary and deeply engaging. Singers Kina Mendez and Jose Cortes mesmerized with entwined cries and intimations of extreme longing. Olé! (Marke B.)

**Toward the end of a tight, danceable set at the Great American Music Hall on Saturday night – a performance that was, by the way, dedicated to Occupy Oakland – Austra’s glorious vocalist Katie Stelmanis told the crowd this show was the best of the tour. My mind went black and the thought flashed: I bet she says that to all the cities. I felt a pang of jealousy. Though the operatic electro-new wave act is based in Canada, I wanted her – and the rest of the band – to love San Francisco most of all, to blow us sugary, synth-soaked kisses for eternity. The night started with such a snag, a quartet of sorrowful hipsters pretending to see a friend “Oh Sarah! I think she’s up there all alone” and bully their way into a hot and packedthistight crowd, but when crystal-throated Stelmanis fluttered out in a flowy cape-dress, looking like a peroxide cult leader, flanked on either side by two back-up singers in gold-lined black tunics, it was hard to stay pissy long. Song three: the emblematic stunner “Lose It.” (Emily Savage) 

**The stage lights go dark and the rainbow of panels on the front start to glow as Holy Ghost! takes the stage at Slim’s, launching into “Static on the Wire,” from its 2010 EP of the same name. Although Holy Ghost! is just two guys, Nick Millhiser and Alex Frankel, they’ve enlisted a number of other musicians (including the drummer who played earlier with Jessica 6) to bolster the live show, just as James Murphy did for the live LCD Soundsystem performances. Frankel, sporting the second leather jacket of the night, is on vocal duties, while Millhiser is stationed on guitar behind a pair of floor toms. The bands takes moves into familiar territory with “It’s Not Over,” not just because it’s one of their more recognizable songs, but because it has what I can only assume to be a deliberate lyrical reference to New Order’s “Bizarre Love Triangle.” (Ryan Prendiville)


Justin Bua brings his hip-hop legends to the Bay


Justin Bua‘s new book Legends of Hip-Hop would look nice in your living room, but if you get a chance to snag the renowned portratist on his promotional swoop through the Bay Area this weekend (Thu/10-Sat/12) don’t feel like you have to call it a coffeetable book. This thing’s got wisdom to impart to the Beyonce feat. J. Cole generation.

You’ve probably seen Bua’s work before. He’s that “new urban realist” whose iconic DJ print hangs in just about every hip-hop gearhead’s hallway. He did the cityscapes for Slum Village’s “Tainted” video – a sober East Coast version of Sirron Norris’ Mission District send-ups

In Legends of Hip-Hop readers get to find out exactly why Bua has dedicated his lifework to exploring hip-hop culture. The man feels it deeply. He chose 50 artists for the pages of the book, each honored with a luminous image and page-long reflection on their importance in history, in music, in Bua’s own life. He’s picked old school classics like Sha-Rock, B-boy Mr. Wiggles, and pioneering tagger Lady Pink, and goes up straight through today’s greats that even the MTV generation can recognize as legendary: Jay-Z, Jay Dilla, Missy Elliott. 

And it’s not just rote explanations, either. Like any great hip-hop artist (he is one) Bua is unafraid to put some weird blanket statements out there, like his unexplicably tender profile of Snoop Dogg, subtitled “The Beloved,” no less.

“Snoop transcends definition, and everyone – from soccer moms to gang bangers – loves him.” [emphasis author’s own] Well…

Legends makes a good read for anyone stuck in that hip-hop-is-Auto-tuned miasma, and instructs also on the music’s greater influence on our culture as a whole. The book’s first profile is Muhammed Ali, progenitor of hip-hop’s swagger and patter. It ends with Obama, who Bua says quietly signaled hip-hop lovers when he gave daps to Michelle onstage and brushed his shoulders off during speeches. Perhaps those movements weren’t quite as under-the-radar as he thinks, but there’s no doubt that Obama is the first president to successfully use hip-hop’s power to organize his own campaign. 


Legends of Hip-Hop concert

Thu/10 9 p.m., $25

Feat. DJs Qbert, Shortkut, and Apollo

The Independent

628 Divisadero, SF

(415) 771-1421



Legends of Hip-Hop book signing

Fri/11 6 p.m., free

The Booksmith

1644 Haight, SF

(415) 863-8688



Author Christopher Ryan and the socio-evolutionary reasons for non-monogamy


Love your partner and love to fool around with other people? Author Christopher Ryan says that’s perfectly natural. A psychologist and historian who insists that human beings are not cut out for sexual monogamy, Ryan’s hitting SF next week (Wed/9-Thu/10) to talk about the evolutionary reasons for why that’s so.

Sure the freaks will be out in force for his events, but Ryan says that his book’s message is not just for people who already embrace alternative sexuality identities. 

Sex At Dawn shows that they’re not freaks because they find so-called traditional, strict monogamy to be stilted and unnatural for them. There’s a good reason for that, it is unnatural for them, and for the rest of us.” Ryan told the Guardian in a recent interview.  

But Sex at Dawn is not about modern non-monogamous types. It’s an ancient history that traces human evolution and focuses on pre-agricultural societies. Ryan explains, “Our ancestors evolved for 95 percent or more of our existence as a species of nomadic hunter-gatherers. In nomadic hunter-gatherer society, the central organizing principle is sharing. Sharing of childcare, sharing of food, defense, shelter, access to the sprit world, medical shamanic principles.”

His book argues that sexual pleasure was a no less communal practice for these early humans. 

“You look at our bodies, you look at anthropology, you look at all these different sources of information and you see, no, they weren’t possessive about sexuality in a way that they weren’t about anything else.”

But he has little idea on how to apply these historical tendencies to a modern society hooked on the one-plus-one-equals-two arrangement.

That’s partly why Andrew Sullivan, the organizer of next weeks’ events, wanted to present Ryan’s theories with the work of San Francisco’s esteemed sex activists. The expert panel backing up the author at Club Exotica will include relationship coach Marcia Baczynski, the founder of Kinky Salon Polly Pandemonium, and sex-positive icon and founder of the Center for Sex and Culture Carol Queen.

Says Sullivan: “Ryan talks about this pre-agricultural state, but he doesn’t really talk about — well, what do you do. He doesn’t deal with that. And that’s why I wanted to have him do this presentation, provide the science, provide the motivation for the work.”

He thinks these events will attract Bay Area residents from all walks of life.

“The cross-sections of life that are intersecting around this book are extremely diverse. You’ve got Republicans on the other side of the tunnel who are coming to an event like this because it hits them. They’re like, that’s part of my life, but its something they hide from out there, and they’re afraid of. All of a sudden they’re at the same event with somebody whose got a whip and rope and somebody else who is in a completely different socio-political mindset than they are, but they’re all going ‘we share something in common here.’”

The party that follows the Nov. 9 panel is sure to bring people together on whole other level. Sullivan says the event will “transition into an actual environment, this essential erotic environment that actually facilitates these kinds of connections. That’s why I call it the full spectrum event. It’s all right here. It’s like Woodstock for alternative relationships.”

On Nov. 10, economists and alternative currency advocates will gather to discuss sex and scarcity. Ryan says the talk will compare pre-agricultural society to our current system. “Our ancestors’ societies were based on sharing resources, which means they’re based on a notion of plenty — there will always be enough. Whereas post-agricultural societies, like our own, shifted 130 degrees to an orientation of scarcity. There’s never enough.” 

Ryan applies this scarcity theory to modern-day relationships. 

“You say well, I have to have my sex partner, I have to have my lover because she’s the one who gives me sexual pleasure, the stuff that I need, companionship, intimacy, security. If I lose her, I’m screwed, I’m alone. Because we live in that sort of fractured world. But our ancestors didn’t live in that sort of world, they lived in a world where hey, it doesn’t matter. I’m with her, I’m with her, she’s with her, she’s with him. You know we’ve all got multiple lovers, so if one relationship isn’t working, it’s not the end of the world.  It allows the social groups to function much more smoothly without all this conflict.”

He’s even found a way to connect this scarcity-plenty conundrum with the zeitgeist of our times.

Says Ryan, “I think that the message from the Occupy Wall Street movement, and Occupy different cities all around the country, is that no society can last if we lose sight of the fact that we’re in this together. That we are a species that evolved sharing resources and taking care of one another. And the more we lose sight of that, the more miserable we become. I don’t care how rich you are. I’ve known a lot of very wealthy people in my life, and they are not the happiest people I’ve known. The happiest people I’ve known are the ones who are living in communities where they’re taking care of each other and there’s a sense of unity and fairness that people respect. So I think that’s their message. That we have to get back to this understanding of what sort of animal we are and what sort of social system works best for us.”


Club Exotica presents Sex at Dawn

Wed/9 8 p.m.-2 a.m., $10-$35


657 Harrison, SF




“Sex at Dawn: Modeling a New Culture of Sharing”

Thurs/10 free for members, guests $20 

Mission Control 




Period piece: The San Francisco prostitute march of 1917


One morning in January 1917, 300 prostitutes marched into the church of their biggest detractor, Reverend Paul J. Smith. They were ready to show the anti-vice crusader what they were made of. The women were organizing in the face of what had become a decades-long dwindling of their rights, spearheaded by the reverend himself.

The world’s oldest profession flourished in brothels all over the city during the Gold Rush, thanks to all those lonely 49ers. But sex work has never been uncontroversial — and the local practice quickly accumulated its own critics.

Officials began cracking down on city brothels in the 1850s, slowly pushing them into tinier and tinier spaces. By 1909, sex work had been ghettoized in the Chinatown neighborhood and in 1911, to an even tinier strip of city known as the Barbary Coast. 

The 300 prostitutes had some community support, even a municipal clinic supposed to cater to their needs. But weekly checkups were mandatory. Anyone who refused could be arrested.

Reverend Smith took a hard line against what he saw as the heart of San Francisco’s vice. With friends, he gathered data on nightly wanderings through houses of ill repute (next time you find yourself in a gallivanting bachelor party, just use the “collecting evidence” excuse). Smith aggressively proposed a “state farm” – olden speak for rehab – for the sex workers, insisting he had their moral wellbeing at heart. 

The Reverend stepped on a few toes on the way, accusing police and politicians of having their hands in the pockets and up the skirts of brothels. An obviously annoyed Mayor James Rolph published an open letter in the San Francisco Chronicle lampooning Smith’s idea for a state farm. “I fail to see how it is proposed to reform the women by putting them on a farm. Is it your idea to make them milkmaids?”

But Smith’s most compelling challengers were the prostitutes themselves, who crowded into the reverend’s church the day of their march asking what, exactly, his intentions were for his campaign of persecution. 

“Are you trying to reform us or are you trying to reform social conditions?” asked one woman. Smith proposed that the sex workers turn to alternate professions where they would earn the minimum wage – $10 a week, half of what the prostitutes estimated they made through sex work. His suggestion was met with laughter.

“What ship are you going to send us away on?” challenged another. Smith brought up the possibility of doing housework, presumably while being financially dependent on a husband (numerous men, in fact, had written the reverend looking to be fixed up with a good-looking fallen woman). 

“What woman wants to work in a kitchen?” a member of the crowd shouted. 

Citing his “impassioned critics,” the reverend adjourned the meeting. By Valentine’s Day, the anti-vice movement forced a roundup of more than a thousand working women from city brothels and dance halls. 

But for a brief moment, sex workers native and foreign, young, old, and middle-aged, had made their voices heard in a city mostly hostile to their existence. At the time, the Chronicle characterized the march as “one of the strangest gatherings that ever took place in San Francisco.” 

Yeah right. In any case, “strange” isn’t the right word.


Your Sunday meal plan: Sweet treats, Latino eats at this weekend’s food events


After the demise of the Underground Market, a bit of a streetside, downlow foodie vacuum has developed in SF. Sure, we’ve still got Off the Grid, Mission Community Market, and for the moment at least, the Free Farm Stand — but it’s not enough food-themed events for a town that rejoices in innovation and knowing what to eat before one’s coworker does. Hot! New! More! Luckily this Sunday there’s ample opportunity to get your locally-sourced snack on, in style.

Street Sweets

A bright-faced gentleman with a messenger bag arrived at our office to drop off samples of the SF-made snacks that will be sold at this pop-up underground dessert market. That clandestine terminology perhaps best described the reasoning behind the “bacon crack” from chocolatiers Nosh This (which also produces homemade limoncello, soups, and Frito pies). Our meat-eating staffers found it “delicious, really delicious,” but give those people salt and pig fat and they’ll eat anything, really.

Also on the menu: raw milk ice cream from Jilli’s. This arrived in darling little jam jars that you can peep on the website, stuffed with the brand’s super-creamy blackberry flavor. Jacky Hayward, owner of Jilli’s, says that she’ll be serving it Sunday with a hot crumble on top and whipped cream. Surely your brain will collapse from all the refined sugar (ours did!) after sampling these PLUS mango blueberry white chocolate masala cookies from baker-blogger Irvin Lin, a.k.a. Eat the Love, the third partner in this secretive sweetfest. 

Sign up on the website and you’ll find out where it is on Sat/1. Just don’t tell the New York Times about it, mmkay?

Sun/2 1-6 p.m., free

Undisclosed location, SF



El Mercado

No need to keep this one on the DL: this Latin American-themed food fair is comprised of vendors on the up and up with the Health Department – most notably El Taco Bike, which serves steamed tacos de canasta from the back of a three-wheeled, pedal-powered, self-made contraption, as we reported in our interview with creator and restaurant owner Alfonso Dominguez (vegans take note, a similar operation has been spotted in the Mission). 

But it’s not all buche and carnitas. Cerveza and tragos will be available for passers-by, as well as Latin American crafts, live music onstage by DJ Wonway Posibul of the Latin Soul Brothers, Vanessa Ayala, and an acoustic set by badass electro-hip-hop-Latin beatmaker Bang Data. Even an on-site curandera? I mean, tell the New York Times about it already. 

Sun/2 noon-6 p.m., free

Era Art Bar and Lounge

19 Grand, SF

Facebook: El Mercado 


Foreplay: Two pre-Folsom scenes


As Folsom Street Fair (Sat/24) looms over us like a leather daddy with an itchy whip paw, the city readies itself for the roughest, naughiest, sweatiest weekend of the year. Yesterday, I ran all over the city checking in with the sex scene. I kept my clothes mostly on, but then it is only Thursday… 

Monarchy-Andrew Wedge fitting at Mr. S Leather

“This is Spartaaa!” I’m standing outside one of SoMa’s crucial leather one-stops with an old hand local kink photographer Rich Trove (check his site after the Fair for shots of your flings in the sunshine) and a fashion journalist from the Chronicle. Guess which one is trying to explain to the other what a traditional S&M harness looks like?

Our motley crew has been assembled by Folsom Street Fair’s executive director Demetri Moshoyannis to lurk around Mr. S‘s fitting room while British synthpoppers Monarchy was being fitted for their custommade Andrew Wedge harnesses. The band will be wearing them at their FSF performance on Sunday at 5:10 p.m. on the 12th Street stage. 

“We have no idea what we’re in for,” smiled a member of the band’s entourage. Of course, that wasn’t exactly true — keyboardist Andrew Armstrong attended the fair with a friend six years ago. 

“It kind of freaked me out in a good way,” said Armstrong, modeling the tight neoprene half-tank that Wedge (who vends high end fur and leather designs from places like the Castro’s Sui Generis) had fit over he and his bandmate’s white dress shirts and under the sharp black blazers they were sporting. 

“There’s something a bit religious about it,” he said of Wedge’s designs, which had been agreed upon after a series of emails between the two of them. “It’s futuristic, but masculine as well. Even though we’re basically wearing bra tops.”

“England is very prudish. Well, we take these things seriously, but we do it behind closed doors,” he continued. Again, I found it hard to take him at his word, seeing as the band supplied its own imposing, matching black latex masks for the occasion. They don’t go out in public without them, it turns out, a comment on the nature of celebrity. 

The crew and designer lined up for one last photo opportunity in front of Mr. S’s black leather and harness covered four post king-sized bed. “Not in front of the dildos!” cautioned Moshoyannis. “We want these to be pictures they can use.” Clearly he meant in the Chronicle. 

Side note: if you’re still checking for some sexy threads for this weekend, you could do worse than check out Mr. S’s new sports section. Complete with urinals on the walls and an impressive selection of wrestling singlets, I found myself especially turned on by the display of $12 Style Pig knee socks. I picked some up in red, or as the helpful sales assistant clarified, fisting.


Good Vibrations’ Indie Erotic Film Festival at the Castro Theatre

Best reason to finally buy an iPhone: the Ohmibod Freestyle G. I snagged the mp3 compatible vibrator (really, really feel the rhythmn on your favorite beats) at the IXFF’s pre-party upstairs at the Castro, where Jiz Lee, Carol Queen, Kitty Stryker, and other SF local lustfuls drank cocktails of St. George absinthe and rootbeer, slapped on costume mustaches and generally enjoyed the burlesque stylings of Twilight Vixen Revue. 

When the short erotic film competition began, it got surprisingly jocky. Lucia Aniello’s Dildo Sport, Kelly Robinson and Oscar Salisbury’s Fight, Flight, Or Fuck, and Rollo Wenlock’s computer-aged 30 Love all featured tennis, so I guess the New York Times article was onto something with that balls metaphor

“30 love” – short film. from Rollo Wenlock on Vimeo.



Not everything was heavy breathing-appropriate, either. SF’s own Levni Yilmaz entered one of his backlit Magic Marker-ed creations from his series “Tales of Mere Existence,” What Would Penis Do?, a look at his awkward childhood forays into sexual activity. There was the quirky bunnies and peanuts and women’s rooms in Always, Only, Ever — an entry from Barbara Benas of Brooklyn — not to mention an I-guess-hot tryst between a female American soldier and burkha-clad woman in a designer cave, Julien Rotterman’s Salam and Love

But some of it was. Erika Lust — who earlier this week had an IXFF evening dedicated to her erotic, high glamour European flicks — shared Love Hotel, a threesome flick that made a trip to Barcelona seem highly advisable. Sadly, as the evening’s hosts (Peaches Christ, Hugs Bunny, Lady Bear, and Dr. Carol Queen — when Carol Queen plays the evening’s straightman you know you’re in for it) pointed out, Lust edited out all signs of genitals. Sigh.

The evening’s winner, as determined by an overwhelming audience response at the end of the night, was La Putiza. Created by Mexican director Gerardo Delgado, the short flick combined erotic comic art, overblown superhero crusading, and joyful, copious amounts of gay sex. Sure, the aesthetic was refined and the lead actor was fuckable, but one suspects that the secret to Delgado’s success, entering into this most phallic of all SF weekends, went back to Peaches Christ’s gleeful promise at the start of the night’s program: 30-foot penises. For Good Vibes’ interview with the filmmaker, voyage here

Thanks Castro Theatre, hope we didn’t make too much of a mess. 

SF’s sluttiest blogger brings the sexy circus to town


Forget clowns, acrobats, and bedazzled animals and step right up to a stage full of erotic stimulation, play, and perversion at Fleur De Lis SF’s Very Sexy Circus. The sex-positive blogger is throwing the big-top themed bash as a finale to the year she spent documenting her exploration of sex in this city, with the evening’s entertainment made up of the crazy pervs she met along the way. From BDSM eye-candy to bawdy comedy and hands-on educational demos, this show ain’t no tight-rope and monkey act. 

When the seventh of August rolled around last month, Fleur De Lis SF, a.k.a. Vanessa, said she was nearly in tears. It was the end of an era, a wild year of kissing (and/or sucking, fucking, teasing, experimenting, spanking, coming) and telling. She tried animal play, cracked the whip, attended super-secret parties, got dirty, played hard and worked hard, all for the sake of the blog… and personal exploration, of course. 

“The blog was a nice excuse to try things, but this year really helped me discover what I like and what I don’t,” says Vanessa while sipping coffee on a Friday morning. “For example, now I know that I really enjoy group sex and orgies. It takes a particular person to get into it and turns out, I’m one of them.” Putting insecurities, inhibitions, and hesitations aside, Vanessa says the year made her a stronger, more confident, sexually satisfied being. Pretty sure sex sabbaticals should be mandatory for everyone. 


The local sex celebs turned Circus performers 

“I’ve always been sexual and I’ve always liked to tell my stories privately,” she says, recounting the numerous times her friends would beg for the juicy details over dinner.

Before, spilling these randy tales outside of that trust circle never seemed like a good idea for fear of stigmatization. Even in 2011, most female-identified persons who openly talk about their sexual explorations aren’t given high-fives and kudos. Vanessa wants this double standard to change, which is why she started blogging and getting extra honest about her endeavors; initially under the pen name Fleur De Lis, then with her first name. When she happily accepted the title of the Guardian’s “Sluttiest Blogger of the Year”, her boss found out and fired her. 

“I’m a certified paralegal. I’m an educated woman. I’m not stupid. Yet because I’m a woman, I’m put into that category– I’m ‘that type of girl’ who supports ‘that kind of lifestyle’,” she says with a frustrated sigh, questioning and challenging what those types of labels even mean. “If I was a dude, my boss probably would have thought my blog was great and would have wanted to talk more about it.”


Performer Monika and the “slutty” blogger showing off some lovely assets

She continued to write and eventually landed some legal work with a group of people who are okay with the concept of a personal life. Now she hopes her willingness to being open and honest about kinky-ness will help pave a trail for other women struggling to overcome cultural bias. The best part about being Vanessa again? She can do whatever the hell she wants. 

“My life belongs to me again. Fucking in a fishbowl has been difficult — everyone knowing everything, but people need to be reminded that sometimes sex isn’t personal. Sometimes its a great stress reliever. Or it’s just fun to try interesting things. It’s my life and I’m free to make these choices.”

Vanessa wanted to put on The Sexy Circus to share these valuable life lessons and she really hopes people who may be interested in being more experimental and want to begin exploring their curiosities can view this celebration as a jumping off point. From suspension to burlesque, The Circus will give the audience a big, fat taste of the SF sex community and send everyone home craving more of their favorite flavors. 


Performer Reid Mihalko needs a good taming

“Hope to see you all under my big top,” says Vanessa on the flier for the event, which is also “make-out friendly”, meaning while this bundle of performances won’t equate to a full-on sex party, the vibe will definitely be flirty. Vanessa is all about encouraging play and where better than the circus. 


Under Fleur De Lis SF’s Big Top: A Very Sexy Circus

Sat/17, 8 p.m., $20

Center for Sex and Culture

1349 Mission, SF



Bay artists look down — on history!


Your kicky little shoes walk (or perhaps prance) over it every day. No, not fossilized dog poop — but myriad and fascinating street-level relics of San Francisco history. A huge amount of our provenance can be gleaned by a closer look at manhole covers, pavement stamps, and other utility markings of ages past and current. It’s actually pretty dang cool what’s down there.

Designer Christopher Reynolds of Reynolds-Sebastiani Design put together a kick-ass photo feature for us earlier this year of some of those markers. Now he’ll be leading a virtual tour tonight, Wed/14, of the city’s past as part of walk SF’s “Underfoot: Bay Area Artists Look Down,” an awesome-looking minifestival of street history for buffs and casual glancers alike. Did someone say “sewer ride”? Oh yes, someone did! Full schedule after the jump.

“Underfoot: Bay Area Artists Look Down”

Wednesday Sept 14 – Saturday Sept 17
Workspace Gallery, 2150 Folsom
Free; donations benefit Walk SF

Wednesday Sept 14: Opening night
Drinks, popcorn, and aesthetic appreciation of a whole new realm:

7:00 pm – Art Opening: Workspace Gallery presents 14 Bay Area artists responding to the land below our feet. What do we see and feel about this ground we walk over, tunnel under, drink and eat from, dig up, and bury our dead in?

8:00 pm – “Exploring the Lost Marks of San Francisco’s Unseen Tradesmen,” by Christopher Reynolds of Reynolds-Sebastiani Design. Enjoy a virtual photographic tour of street utility covers and what they reveal about San Francisco history.

Saturday Sept 17: Bike tour and art party
Follow the unseen waterways of the city, then celebrate:

3:00 pm – The Sewer Ride: Join us for an aboveground bike tour of San Francisco’s sewer-stormwater system, with a focus on the Mission District and Mission Creek. The tour will be approximately three hours with stops; it starts and ends at Workspace.

7:00 pm – Gallery Party! Come together on the show’s final night to raise a glass to artists, streets, and waterways as we close out this marvelous show. Special bonus: Live music from delightful Blues/Americana musician Deborah Crooks.

Bring your friends and support local art and advocacy! All events are free. Donations requested to support Walk San Francisco’s work to make city streets better for you and your feet.

Static at KUSF – station sold, public meeting planned



Today the University of San Francisco (USF) announced that its radio station, KUSF, is moving to an online-only classical music format.

Before its transmission unceremoniously went to dead air and static, KUSF had been on air for 34 years. An important independent media source, it’s been one of the Bay Area’s chief sites for new and innovative music, with DJ-informed playlists devoted to local, experimental, international, “loud,” and “other” music, in addition to genres such as rock/pop and hip-hop.

Some volunteers and staff members discovered the change in-person. “When I came in [this morning] they’d just shut things off,” said Miranda Morris, the station’s Marketing and Advertising Coordinator. “They proceeded to have facility management change the locks, and I was asked to go home for the day.”

According to a statement from the university, the FCC license for 90.3 FM has been assigned to the USC-owned Classical Public Radio Network, which plans to launch a Bay Area non-commercial classical musical station. “The move to online-only distribution gives KUSF a powerful opportunity to grow its worldwide audience,” the statement declares.

USF’s President, Rev. Stephen A. Privett, would not comment on the sale. His office directed calls to Gary McDonald, USF’s Assistant Vice President for Public Affairs, who did not respond by press time.

Before the sale, “there’d been rumblings in terms of a possible move [of the office],” said Irwin Swirnoff, the KUSF DJ behind “Sleeves on Hearts,” a weekly music show that frequently includes guest spots and interviews with local and touring musicians. “Our monthly staff meeting [in January] was eagerly anticipated because the move would be discussed. But on Monday we got an email that the meeting was canceled.

“We as volunteers decided we would meet anyway, even if it was outside. Right before the meeting, we got an email from the station manager that said staff were forbidden to meet because [the University] wasn’t ready to present details about the move, that we were moving within campus, and it would be business as usual. We took that statement at face value.”

At the moment, the amount that KUSF was sold for is unverified, as is the impetus behind the sale. “Steve Runyon, the station’s general manager, thinks the station and its transmitter were sold for about 5 million dollars,” said Andre Torrez, a KUSF volunteer. “The call letters were not sold.”

A meeting at which questions regarding the sale will be addressed is planned for 7 p.m. on Wed., Jan. 19, at Fromm Hall in the USF Campus at 2130 Fulton St., SF.

“We want to show the university the cultural and community importance of KUSF, and we want listeners to show their support of KUSF and independent media,” said Swirnoff.

“First of all this a school that prides itself on its Jesuit beliefs and values. Right now the values they are acting on are greed and dishonesty.”

Summer in bloom


By Sam Stander

It’s that time of year again! You know, the time when Ulysses happens. That’s right, it’s Bloomsday, the holiday commemorating James Joyce’s epic modernist tome, ranked by the Modern Library as the greatest novel of the 20th century. The novel’s events span a single day — June 16, 1904, the date of Joyce’s first date with his future wife, Nora Barnacle.

Though the epicenter of all things Bloom-related is, for obvious reasons, Dublin, San Francisco hardly skips out on the fun. The Mechanics’ Institute Library is hosting ”The Voices of James Joyce: Readings from Ulysses and Beyond #2,” their ninth annual Bloomsday event. It will feature readings and musical performances, as well as a “special Bloom’s Menu” at the Mechanics’ Saloon.


The Voices of James Joyce: Readings from Ulysses and Beyond #2
7 p.m., $10-$12
Mechanics’ Institute Library
57 Post, SF
(415) 393-0114

Quick Lit: April 14-April 20


Literary readings, book tours, and talks this week — including Alice Walker, Men and Dogs, Marin Poetry Festival, “Adapting to Climate Change,” and more

Wednesday, April 14

Louann Brizendine

Hear Neuropsychiatrist, author, and media commentator Dr. Louann Brizendine discuss her theories on the relationship dynamics that result from the neurobiology of the male and female brains, as outlined by her bestselling books, The Male Brain, and The Female Brain.

8 p.m., $20

Herbst Theater

401 Van Ness, SF



“Let Our Words Be Heard”

Attend this queer writing workshop and open mic that will take on the empowering, interactive process of discovering the use of words for healing, sharing histories, and celebrating community. Part of CUAV’s Safetyfest.

6 p.m., free

Modern Times Bookstore

888 Valencia, SF



The Long Man

Best known for his work on DC Comics’ Detective Comics series in the 1970’s that produced many memorable Batman stories, Steve Englehart discusses his writing career and his new novel, The Long Man, a follow up to his first novel, The Point Man.

7 p.m., $5 suggested donation

Cartoon Art Museum

655 Mission, SF

(415) CAR-TOON


Men and Dogs

Hear San Francisco resident and author Katie Crouch discuss her new book about a girl who’s father went missing on a fishing trip in Charleston and how the mystery of his disappearance tests the whole family’s concept of loyalty and faith years later.

7:30 p.m., free

The Booksmith

1644 Haight, SF

(415) 863-8688


The Montefeltro Conspiracy

Join a humanities forum to discuss Marcello Simonetta’s The Montefeltro Conspiracy, a Renaissance mystery uncovering a nefarious plot, a murder, and a coded letter. In conjuction with the upcoming Humanities West 25th anniversary program, The Florence of the Medici: Commerce, Power, and Art in Renaissance Italy, starting April 30.

5:30 p.m., free

Commonwealth Club

595 Market, 2nd floor, SF


Thursday, April 15

If You Can Read This: The philosophy of bumper stickers

At this reading of his new book, Jack Bowen explores the philosophical ideals reflected in the most popular bumper stickers and claims that every bumper sticker holds at least a kernel of truth.

7:30 p.m., free

The Booksmith

1644 Haight, SF

(415) 863-8688


Noe Valley Celebrates the Book

Celebrate the 25th anniversary of Phoenix Books, an independent bookstore in Noe Valley, at this reading by local authors Allison Hoover Bartlett, Tony DuShane, Clare Willis, Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet and with music by Ted Savarese.

6 p.m., free

Phoenix Books

3957 24th St., SF

(415) 821-3477


Friday, April 16

Offbeat Bride

Hear Ariel Meadow Stallings discuss her new book, Offbeat Bride: Creative Alternatives for Independent Brides, where she offers inspiration, encouragement, and advice for brides on a budget.

7:30 p.m., free

The Booksmith

1644 Haight, SF

(415) 863-8688


Saturday, April 17

Adapting to Climate Change”

Attend this daylong “BioForum” about the challenges of climate change and prospective actions California could take to make a difference. Experts from UC Davis, NOAA, PG&E, and the California Academy of Sciences will be on hand to talk about impacts on local agriculture, fisheries, and energy policies. You might want to ask the PG&E representative why their company is trying to kill progressive, local Community Choice Aggregation efforts for the sake of preserving profits. 

9 a.m.; $25, lunch and coffee included

Pacific Energy Center

851 Howard, SF



Melissa Broder

Hear Broder read from her first collection of poems, When You Say One Thing But Mean Your Mother.

6 p.m., free

Elbo Room

647 Valencia, SF

(415) 552-7788


Poetry at Pegasus

Celebrate National Poetry Month at this reading with poets Stephen Ratcliffe, Erica Lewis, and Benjamin Perez.

7:30 p.m., free

Pegasus Books Downtown

2349 Shattuck, Berk.

(510) 649-1320


“The Revolution Starts at Home”

Attend this workshop on practicing community accountability in real life with Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha discussing partner abuse within queer, politicized communities. Part of CUAV’s Safetyfest.

2 p.m., free

Modern Times Bookstore

888 Valencia, SF



2048: Humanity’s Agreement to Live Together

Hear about author Kirk Boyd’s plant to draft an enforceable international agreement that could allow the people of the world to create a social order based on human rights.

7:30 p.m., free

The Booksmith

1644 Haight, SF

(415) 863-8688


Sunday, April 18

Marin Poetry Festival

Enjoy a free afternoon of poetry and music featuring Avotcja and Pedro Rosales, Dancing Bear, C.J. Sage, Adam David Miller, Michelle Baynes, and more.

2 p.m., free

Old Mill Park Amphitheater

300 Throckmorton, Mill Valley

Later in the evening, attend readings featuring San Francisco Poet Laureate Diane di Prima, winner of the 2006 National Book Award in poetry Nathaniel Mackey, and award winning poet Branda Hillman.

7 p.m., $20

Dominican University Campus

Angelico Hall

50 Acacia, San Rafael



“Writing and Publishing the Novel”

Attend this adult writers’ seminar lead by author Jason Roberts with panelists Vendela Vida, Daniel Alarcón, Rabih Alameddine, Andrew Foster Altschul, and Danielle Svetcov discussing the writing process, and issues relating to publishing, agents, and publishing houses.

6:30 p.m., $75

826 Valencia, SF



Monday, April 19

Get Lit!

Bring your own literary contributions or those of your favorite authors to share at this candle lit, wine bar literary salon.

7 p.m., free

1550 Hyde Café and Wine Bar

1550 Hyde, SF

(415) 775-1550


Poetry at Pegasus

Celebrate National Poetry Month at this reading with poets Cheryl Dumesnil, Judy Halebsky, and Tiffany Higgins.

7:30 p.m., free

Pegasus Books Downtown

2349 Shattuck, Berk.

(510) 649-1320


Tuesday, April 20

Diane di Prima

Hear San Francisco Poet Laureate Diane di Prima discuss her career as an activist in the 1960’s, a writer of the Beat movement, author of 43 books of poetry and prose, and many more accomplishments in conversation with Alan Kaufman.

6 p.m., $12

Mechanics Institute

57 Post, SF

(415) 393-0100


For you Mom, Finally

In her latest book, food magazine editor, restaurant critic, and memoirist Ruth Reichl examines her mother’s life, giving voice to the painful truth that many women of our mothers’ generation had to sacrifice their dreams.

11 a.m., $10-18

Jewish Community Center of San Francisco

Kanbar Hall

3200 California, SF

(415) 292-1233


Alice Walker

Essayist, poet, fiction writer, and ardent social activist Alice Walker will discuss her upcoming book, Overcoming Speechlessness: A Poet Encounters “the horror” in Rwanda, Eastern Congo, and Palestine/Israel, about her travels to each of those three regions, charting the aftermath of violent conflict and political upheaval. In conversation with Michael Krasny.

8 p.m., $20

Herbst Theater

401 Van Ness, SF




Dolores Park Movie Night starts a fresh season of flicks


Blanket. Booze in a paper sack. Treats. Those are probably the ingredients to any adventure at Dolores Park, but wouldn’t it be better if Michael J Fox was there, too? Maybe not the real guy, but the cute ’80s version in Back to the Future [Universal Pictures, 1985] could be cool, or at least it will be when Dolores Park Movie Night starts up this Thursday. 

Come spring, some nice guys who live near Dolores Park put on a free movie the second Thursday each week, with a promise of zero affiliations, no causes, no politics and minimal organization. Just a community movie in the great outdoors. They pay their permits and costs with the help of donations and popcorn sales– eat up, hipsters!

The event is meant to be local, meaning the crew in charge urges you to bring your family and friends, neighbors, behaved children and happy dogs. I think East Bay inhabitants are still OK, but I wouldn’t invite that blondie and her pack visiting from the Midwest. And for this specific showing, people from the future are OK, too. 


Back to the Future 

Thurs/8, 7:30pm, Free

Dolores Park

Dolores & Church and 18th & 21st, SF



Radio: It’s about local, dammit


By Johnny Angel Wendell


As the 2010 midterm elections approach, so rises the heat level in one of the American news media’s most vitriolic battlegrounds: AM (and increasingly FM) news/talk radio. Dominated almost entirely by the American right in all its permutations, the genre is part of what Hillary Clinton once deemed a "vast right-wing conspiracy." And while she may have overstated the case somewhat, talk radio is the angry white male’s jungle drum. As the broadcast point for the economic and social theorizing emanating from billionaire-funded think tanks like the Heritage Foundation and American Enterprise Institute, as well as repeating anti-government (when the government is not being run by Republicans) doggerel whose roots run all the way back to Father Coughlin’s screeds in the 1930s, it’s as effective a tool for mounting outrage (which is never aimed at corporate America, a telling sign, populism-wise).

Because of this obvious one-sidedness masquerading as news, many media critics on the left have demanded the reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine — a law enacted in 1949 that required the holders of broadcast licenses to present issues of public importance in a way that a government commission deemed fair and equal, so both sides of an issue got equal time. The doctrine remained the standard by which talk radio operated until it was repealed in the late 1980s. Shortly after that, Rush Limbaugh began his ascent to the summit of talk radio, becoming its most popular voice. If the Fairness Doctrine was still in place, however, that might never have happened.

President Obama has said that he has no interest in restoring the doctrine, claiming it’s a distraction. Despite the fact that reinstating it would personally benefit yours truly as a left-leaning talk show host, I’m also opposed to it — it does not solve what truly ails talk radio today.

What’s really wrong with talk isn’t the imbalance between right and left — it’s local vs. national, live vs. syndicated. Tune in to nearly 80 percent of talk outside of morning and afternoon drive time, and it’s one national show after another: Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Dr. Laura. Their politics are irrelevant — they’re broadcasting on local frequencies and not discussing local events.

Talk radio does not need partisan balance. At this point, half the country gets its news from the Internet, where thousands of Web sites provide every conceivable point of view. What talk does need — and badly — is a requirement that stations devote at least half their time to local issues. Most of the day or part of the evening should be devoted to what actually affects the audience — schools, traffic, cops, corruption, our kids, our money, what we see and hear right in front of us.

Radio chains might scream bloody murder at this because syndication is cheaper. But the two most popular AM stations in the state — KFI AM640 in Los Angeles and KGO 810 in San Francisco — are locally-based stations. KGO has no syndicated programming at all Monday through Friday, and consistently has been the top-rated station in the city.

A Fairness Doctrine would be seen (rightfully so) as a way to shut up the right. But a 50/50 Doctrine would not — and given that the polarity of opinion on local issues is less (because it’s real and present), the blatant disregard for fact would evaporate quickly. This is worth lobbying for — if anything meant "bringing it all back home," local talk would be the optimal place to begin. *

Johnny Angel Wendell is a talk show host at KTLK AM 1150 in Los Angeles and has been on Green 960 and KIFR 106.8 in SF.

Stage listings


Stage listings are compiled by Guardian staff. Performance times may change; call venues to confirm. Reviewers are Robert Avila, Rita Felciano, and Nicole Gluckstern. Submit items for the listings at listings@sfbg.com. For further information on how to submit items for the listings, see Picks.



The Diary of Anne Frank Next Stage, 1620 Gough; 1-800-838-3006, www.custommade.org. $10-28. Previews Fri/26-Sat/27, 8pm; Sun/28, 7pm. Opens Tues/30, 8pm. Runs Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 7pm. Through May 1. Custom Made performs Wendy Kesselman’s modern take on the classic.

An Enemy of the People Randall Museum Theatre, 199 Museum Wy; http://sffct.wordpress.com. Free. Opens Fri/26, 7:30pm. Runs Sat/28, 7:30pm; Sun/28, 3pm. Also: Eureka Valley Recreation Center Auditorium, 100 Collingwood. April 2-3 and 9-10, 7:30pm; April 11, 3pm. Through April 11. San Francisco Free Civic Theatre performs Henrik Ibsen’s drama.

Othello African American Art and Culture Complex, 762 Fulton; 1-800-838-3006, www.african-americanshakes.org. $20-30. Previews Thurs/25, 10am. Opens Fri/26, 8pm. Runs Wed-Thurs, 10am (school matinees); Sat/27, April 10, and April 17, 8pm; Sun/28, April 3, April 11, and April 18, 3pm. Through April 18. African-American Shakespeare Company closes its 15th season with this adaptation of Shakespeare’s play, set during a modern-day military tribunal in Iraq.


A Seagull in the Hamptons Ashby Stage, 1901 Ashby, Berk; www.shotgunplayers.org. $15-30. Previews Thurs/24-Fri/25, 8pm. Opens Sat/26, 8pm. Runs Wed, 7pm; Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 5pm. Through April 25. Shotgun Players perform Emily Mann’s fresh spin on Chekhov’s The Seagull.


*…And Jesus Moonwalks the Mississippi Cutting Ball Theater, 277 Taylor; 1-800-838-3006, www.cuttingball.com. $15-30. Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 5pm. Through April 11. Amid the tumult of the American Civil War, a former slave named Damascus (a subtle, commanding Aldo Billingslea) searches for his daughter, desperate to pass on his song to her lest it be forgotten. Plucked from a tree and a noose by a god moved to see him get a second chance, he searches on, now as a woman named Demeter, until he finds a white family called the Verses, served by a downhome Shakespearean schemer named Brer Bit (Martin F. Grizzell, Jr.) and headed by a bitter matriarch (Jeanette Harrison) in the absence of the paterfamilias (David Sinaiko), a deserter-turned-scavenger making his way back with a Yankee bugler (Zac Schuman) in tow. Twin daughters Blanche (Sarah Mitchell) and Free (Erika A. McCrary), meanwhile, are not so very identical, and Demeter suspects that Free — whose imaginary friend is an African American Jesus with a decidedly 20th-centruy mojo (played by a beautifully deadpan-beatific David Westley Skillman) — is actually his/her own kin. In this inspired poetical-historical counter-narrative from Bay Area playwright Marcus Gardley, Greek mythology, African American folklore, personal family history, and Christian theology are all drawn irresistibly along in a great sweep of wild and incisive humor, passion, pathos and rousing gospel music as buoyant and wide as the Mississippi — or rather Miss Sippi (the impressive Nicole C. Julien), personification of the mighty and flighty river, backed by a chorus of blue-gowned sisters (Rebecca Frank, Halili Knox, Erica Richardson). The Cutting Ball–Playwrights Foundation coproduction, lovingly directed by Amy Mueller, sports exquisite design touches from Cutting Ball regulars like Michael Locher, whose gorgeous plank-wood set serves as the ideal platform for a work both magnificently simple and eloquently evocative. (Avila)

Baby: A Musical Off-Market Theatres, 965 Mission; 1-800-838-3006, www.roltheatre.com. $20-32. Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Through April 18. Ray of Light Theatre performs a comedy about pregnancy.

Caddyshack: Live! Dark Room, 2263 Mission; 401-7987, www.brownpapertickets.com/event/99361. $20. Fri/26-Sat/27, 8pm. The Dark Room presents Jim Fourniadis’ live adaptation of the iconic movie.

Death Play EXIT Theatre, 156 Eddy; 673-3847, www.theexit.org. $15-20. Thurs/25-Sat/27, 8pm. Thunderbird Theatre Company presents the third installment in the comedy series by Sang S. Kim.

*Den of Thieves SF Playhouse, 533 Sutter; 677-9596, www.sfplayhouse.org. $40. Tues, 7pm; Wed-Sat, 8pm (also Sat, 3pm). Through April 17. Stephen Adly Guirgis has been good to SF Playhouse. The company already scored big with two of the New Yorker’s gritty, dark and sharply funny plays, Our Lady of 121st Street and Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train. Director Susi Damilano continues the streak with SF Playhouse’s latest, the less heavy but very funny Den of Thieves, about an unlikely foursome of inept bandits caught trying to heist a Mafioso’s safe under a discotheque in Queens — a simple tale that gives plenty of scope to Guirgis’s muscular way with dialogue and the clash of characters. The story opens on a depressed recovering kleptomaniac, Maggie (an affectingly understated Kathryn Tkel), and her 12-step sponsor Paul (the excellent Casey Jackson), a nerdy fast-talking mixed-race former safecracker, whose Jewish grandfather headed up a famous crime ring that robin-hooded their take to library construction for kids in the neighborhood. Enter Maggie’s former boyfriend, a Puerto Rican tough named Flaco (a hilariously spot-on Chad Deverman), with his new squeeze, erotic dancer Boochie (a deftly comic Corinne Proctor), and a lead on a large traceless sum of cash. Suddenly the smell of big money sends recovery out the window and makes uneasy bedfellows of the motley, hostile bunch. Enter angry but softhearted mobster Little Tuna (Ashkon Davaran), his sadistic sidekick Sal (Peter Ruocco), and big gun Big Tuna (Joe Madero). Facing mob vengeance, it’s time for some fast-talking and deal making among the mini-den, and all bets are off. The ending seems to have eluded Guirgis a little, but the way there makes for meaty comedy, while the exceptional cast sells the conceit so beautifully they make it a crime to miss. (Avila)

Desperate Affection Royce Gallery, 2901 Mariposa; www.expressionproductions.com. $28. Thurs-Sat, 8pm. Through April 10. Expression Productions presents a dark comedy by Bruce Graham.

Eat, Pray, Laugh! Off-Market Theaters, 965 Mission; www.brownpapertickets.com. $20. Wed, 8pm. Through April 28. Off-Market Theaters presents stand up comic and solo artist Alicia Dattner in her award-winning solo show.

KML Preaches to the Choir Jewish Theater, 470 Florida; www.killingmyblobster.com. $15-20. Thurs/25-Fri/26, 8pm; Sat/27, 7 and 10pm; Sun/28, 7pm. The award-winning sketch comedy group takes aim at the higher powers in this piece directed by Paco Romane.

*Loveland The Marsh, 1074 Valencia; 826-5750, www.themarsh.org. $15-50. Sat, 8:30pm; Sun, 7pm. Through April 25. Starting May 8, runs Sat, 5pm and Sun, 2pm at the Marsh Berkeley, 2120 Allston, Berk. Through June 13. Los Angeles–based writer-performer Ann Randolph returns to the Marsh with a new solo play partly developed during last year’s Marsh run of her memorable Squeeze Box. Randolph plays loner Frannie Potts, a rambunctious, cranky, and libidinous individual of decidedly odd mien, who is flying back home to Ohio after the death of her beloved mother. The flight is occasion for Frannie’s own flights of memory, exotic behavior in the aisle, and unabashed advances toward the flight deck brought on by the seductively confident strains of the captain’s commentary. The singular personality and mother-daughter relationship that unfurls along the way is riotously demented and brilliantly humane. (Avila)

Now and at the Hour EXIT Stage Left, 156 Eddy; 673-3847, www.theexit.org. $15-25. Fri/26-Sat/27, 8pm. EXIT presents the subtly unnerving show by theatrical magician Christian Cagigal.

Pearls Over Shanghai Hypnodrome, 575 Tenth St.; 1-800-838-3006, www.thrillpeddlers.com. $30-69. Sat, 8pm; Sun, 7pm. Through April 24. Thrillpeddlers presents this revival of the legendary Cockettes’ 1970 musical extravaganza.

Ramble-Ations: A One D’Lo Show Brava Theater Center, 2781 24th St; 647-2822, www.brava.org. $10-25. Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 3pm. Through April 3. Performance artist D’Lo offers up a comedic solo show from a unique (gay, Hindi, Sri Lankan, SoCal, hip-hop) perspective.

The Real Americans The Marsh, 1062 Valencia; 826-5750, www.themarsh.org. $18-50. Wed-Fri, 8pm (April 16, show at 9pm; starting April 24, no Fri shows except May 28, 8pm); Sat, 5pm; Sun, 3pm. Through May 30. The Marsh presents the world premiere of Dan Hoyle’s new solo show.

Shopping! The Musical Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter; 1-800-838-3006, www.brownpapertickets.com. $27-29. Fri-Sat, 8pm. The musical is now in its fifth year at Shelton Theater.

Something You Might Want Stagewerx Theatre, 533 Sutter; www.catchynametheatre.org. $16. Fri/26-Sat/27, 8pm; Sun/28, 3pm. CatchyNameTheatre presents this dark comedy written and directed by Jim Strope.

Suddenly Last Summer Actors Theatre, 855 Bush; 345-1287, www.actorstheatresf.org. $15-35. Thurs-Sat, 8pm. Through April 10. Actors Theatre presents one of Tennessee Williams’ finest and most famous plays.

The Sugar Witch New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness; 861-4914, www.nctcsf.org.

Wed-Sat, 8 pm; Sun, 2pm. Through April 4. NCTC presents the premiere of Nathan Sanders’ crime story.

Truce Noh Space, 2840 Mariposa; 826-1958. $10-25. Wed-Sat, 8pm. Through April 3. Playwright-performer Marilee Talkington stars in Vanguardian Productions’ presentation of her autobiographical work about a woman struggling with impending blindness.

What Mama Said About Down There Our Little Theater, 287 Ellis; 820-3250, www.theatrebayarea.org. $15-25. Thurs-Sun, 8pm. Through July 30. Writer-performer-activist Sia Amma presents this largely political, a bit clinical, inherently sexual, and utterly unforgettable performance piece.


Concerning Strange Devices from the Distant West Roda Theatre, 2015 Addison, Berk; (510) 647-2949, berkeleyrep.org. $13.50-27. Days and times vary. Through April 11. Berkeley Rep presents a sexy and intriguing new show from Naomi Iizuka.

*East 14th: True Tales of a Reluctant Player Marsh Berkeley, 2120 Allston, Berk; www.themarsh.org. $20-35. Fri/26, April 9, 16, 30, and May 7, 9pm; Sun/28, 7pm; April 10, May 1, and May 8, 8pm; April 18 and 25, 2pm. Don Reed’s solo play, making its Oakland debut after an acclaimed New York run, is truly a welcome homecoming twice over. (Avila)

Handless Central Stage, 5221 Central, Richmond; 1-800-838-3006, www.raggedwing.org. $15-30. Thurs/25-Sat/27, 8pm. Ragged Wing Ensemble presents Amy Sass’ re-invention of the folk-tale The Handless Maiden.

*Learn to be Latina La Val’s Subterranean, 1834 Euclid, Berk. impacttheatre.com. $10-20. Thurs/25-Sat/27, 8pm. Impact Theatre continues its 14th season with the world premiere of Enrique Urueta’s play.


"Act Wright Performance" Bayanihan Community Center, 1010 Mission; 239-0249. Wed, 8pm. $10. Kularts presents this ensemble theater showcase directed by Anthem Salgado.

Alicia Dattner Off-Market Theatre, 965 Mission; 538-9232, www.cafearts.com. Wed, 8pm, $20. The comedian performs her solo show.

"Funny That Way" Actors’ Theatre, 855 Bush; www.brownpapertickets.com/event/102787. Sun, 7pm. $8. Bay Area comedians perform to raise money for anti-poverty organization Tripura Foundation.

"King Tut: The Boy Who Would Be King" Bayview Opera House, 4705 Third St; 824-0386. Fri-Sat, 8pm (also Sat, 2:30pm); Sun, 4pm. $10-20. Farah Dews’ play recreates King Tut’s coronation.

"Naked Comedy!" Clubhouse, 414 Mason, Ste 502; 921-2051. Sat, 9pm. $12-15. Will Franken headlines.

PianoFight Studio 250 at Off-Market, 965 Mission; www.pianofight.com. Mon, 8pm. $20. The female-driven variety show Monday Night ForePlays returns with brand-new sketches, dance numbers, and musical performances.

"Sheherezade X: A Year in Review (2009)" Phoenix Theatre, 414 Mason; 885-8526. Fri-Sat, 8pm. $25. Short plays by local writers take on topics as varied as Muni and Bernie Madoff.

Virgin Play Series Magic Theatre, Fort Mason Center, Bldg D, Marina at Laguna, SF; 240-4454, http://magictheatre.org. Mon, 6pm. Free (reservations recommended). Magic Theatre presents Martha Heasley Cox’s series of staged readings of works currently in development.


"Dance Anywhere" Various locations; www.danceanywhere.org. Fri, noon. This worldwide conceptual art piece celebrates the power of dance. Check website for local events.

"ODC Pilot 56: My Young Nostalgic Life" ODC Dance Commons, Studio B, 351 Shotwell; 863-9834. Sat-Sun, 8pm (also Sun, 5pm). $12. Six emerging choreographers present new works.


Ballet Folklórico de México de Amalia Fernandez Marin Center, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael; www.marincenter.rorg. Fri, 8pm. $25-65. The distinguished company performs traditional dance from Mexico.

Merce Cunningham Dance Company Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley, Bancroft at Telegraph, Berk; (510) 642-9988, www.calperformances.org. Fri-Sat, 8pm. $30-50. The company presents the late legend’s final work, Nearly 90².