Watch It, Buster According to legend, Buster Keaton was born during a cyclone 100 years ago. One of silent film's greatest talents (only Charlie Chaplin approaches his flair for physical comedy), Keaton the actor specialized in lovable wimps and triumphant underdogs, while Keaton the director favored the surreal. Part of a centennial tribute to the great goofus, the feature-length Seven Chances finds Buster proposing to everyone in a skirt (including a Scotsman) in a last-ditch attempt to win an inheritance; it's followed by a program of shorts, including Convict 13, where Buster leads a prison break, and Cops, which pits him against the entire New York Police Department. Showtimes are 2:20, 3:40, 5, 6:20, 7:40, & 9 p.m. at the Castro, Castro and Market, S.F. Tickets are $7; call 621-6120.
Froot Loopy Toons Annette Funicello meets the Ramones in the repertoire of Pineapple Princess, a female duo who sport spiky stems on top of their heads as they serenade the audience and strum twin ukuleles. Their Polynesian punk is one small part of an evening's worth of local music (Fifty Million, David Tolsen of Flying Saucer), film (Sarah Jacobsen's I Was a Teenage Serial Killer; Danny Plotnick's Steel Belted Romeos), and musical film (Gibbs Chapman's Meet the Thinking Fellers). Proceeds from the event help Artists' Television Access pay for a back stock of magnetic film, now that 3M corporation has ceased producing it. The rock-away beach party starts at 8 p.m. at the Chameleon, 853 Valencia, S.F. Tickets are $3-5; call 821-1891.
Heaven in Harlem One sunny afternoon in 1958, Count Basie, Sonny Rollins, Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Charles Mingus, and 52 other jazz legends came together to be photographed on the steps of a Harlem brownstone. Through stills, 8mm footage, archival performance clips, and interviews, Jean Bach's Academy Award-nominated documentary A Great Day in Harlem captures the moment and pays tribute to the artists involved. A champagne reception and benefit screening for the S.F. Jazz Festival -- featuring appearances by Bach and pianists Marian McPartland and Mike Lipskin -- begin at 7 p.m. at the new Goldwyn/Landmark Embarcadero Cinema, 1 Embarcadero Center, S.F. Tickets are $50 ($10 for a 9 p.m. non-champagne, non-star screening); call 392-4400.
The Ronstadt Conspiracy Pocho Productions have pulled some great pranks, but their crowning glory has to be a recent appearance on the internationally broadcast talk show Telemundo, as a group called Hispanics for Wilson. Posing as Proposition 187 supporters (using names like "Daniel D. Portado"), Lalo Lopez and Esteban Zul complained about unhealthy Mexican food in California, accused Linda Ronstadt of luring Mexicans to the U.S. with "garbled Spanish yodeling," and promised to create "self-deportation" centers for themselves and other "crimmigrants." The show's host, panelists (liberal and conservative), and audience took them seriously, proof that satire is alive and well in political debate, even if sanity isn't. (What would the Latino equivalent of GLAAD think?) See the show, other Pocho "mockumentaries," and art (including work by SF Weekly cartoonist Lalo Alcarez) at a benefit for the group's first feature-length film, The Mexecutioner. The high jinks start at 7:30 p.m. at La Pe–a Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck, Berkeley. Tickets are $5; call (510) 849-2568.
Jose the Robust A critic recently described veteran dancer Jose Greco as "unbelievably hale." According to Random House, that means "robust." Credited by many as the man who introduced Spanish flamenco to the American public, Greco (now in his 70s) has been dancing since 1939, so hale or robust, either way, it's an accomplishment. His current show, El Duende del Flamenco, features younger talents as well; they include dancer/choreographer Antonio del Castillo and (making her U.S. debut) Isabel Trevino. The drama starts at 8 p.m. at the Marines Memorial Theatre, 609 Sutter, S.F. Performances continue through Aug. 6. Tickets are $20-35; call 771-6900.
Musical Goulash In Being Alive, local playwright Philip Horvitz (Yes I Can) sticks to his -- and many other local artists' -- forte: art that's a crazy stew of seemingly disparate pop references. This time around, Horvitz weds Stephen Sondheim's musical Company to Eugene O'Neill's Mourning Becomes Electra, seasoning the mix with snippets of dialogue from various perverse "family values" films of the '60s and '70s (The Graduate, Psycho, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Rosemary's Baby, and more). The finished creation spoofs past and current notions of culture and morality. Find out if it does so successfully at 8 p.m. at the Exit Theater, 156 Eddy, S.F. Performances continue through July 29. Tickets are $5-10; call 436-0532.
Natural Soul Shining stars of '70s soul, Earth, Wind, & Fire continue to thrive as an 11-piece live act, even without astrology-obsessed main songwriter Maurice White. Part of the reason is Philip Bailey's joyful falsetto; as dance music sinks deeper and deeper into drug-laden, song-free interchangeability, Bailey and company represent a time when the genre offered celebratory anthems that brought people together. They probably won't be wearing gold lame, black tights, and platform shoes, but they probably will be performing truly great hits like "Fantasy," "Serpentine Fire," "September," and "Let's Groove." Take a trip to "Boogie Wonderland" at 8 p.m. at Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View. Tickets are $18.50-35; call 962-1000.
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