Night+Day

wednesday
november 29
Wonderful Weslia Fresh from an extended stay at New York's Algonquin and a show-stealing appearance at a Carnegie Hall tribute to Frank Sinatra, Weslia Whitfield brings San Francisco the cabaret it desperately craves but rarely receives with her new show, Street of Dreams. Whitfield sings material by George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hart, and Harry Warren. You can hear her at 8:30 p.m. (continuing through Dec. 31; shows at 8 and 10 p.m. on Dec. 31) at the Plush Room in the York Hotel, 940 Sutter, S.F. Tickets are $15-20 ($45-65 on New Year's Eve); for reservations call 885-2800.

Obsessive-Compulsive An Oreo twist-off contest, a Tetris tournament, a needlepoint workshop, and a StairMaster championship are among the activities planned for "The Fix," an "evening of obsessive activities" in conjunction with the new juried exhibition "Obsession." People who prefer analysis to competition can amuse themselves with infomercials and drive-by therapy (provided by local shrinks). The compulsive fun begins at 8 p.m. at Southern Exposure, 401 Alabama, S.F. Admission is $3-5 (free if you bring a 1-quart jar of change); call 863-2141.

Variety Is the Spice of Life "Tendencies: New Art From Mexico City" showcases diversity, emphasizing the ways in which history and culture overlap. The group show, featuring eight artists, includes Marco Arce's David Hockney parodies, Daniela Rossell's large color photos of the rich and snooty, Rodrigo Aldana's scatological silk screens, Aurora Boreal's skewed wedding portraits, and the extreme minimalism of Yishai Jusidman's white-on-white paintings. Scope things out from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (through Jan. 21) at the S.F. Art Institute's Walter/McBean Gallery, 800 Chestnut, S.F. Admission is free; call 771-7020.

thursday
november 30
Funny Girls Though Janeane Garofalo and Julia Sweeney both have regular film and TV gigs, they're still doing stand-up. Garofalo (who co-stars with Uma Thurman and Bill Murray respectively in a pair of upcoming flicks) and Sweeney (whose It's Pat deserved better than box-office-bomb status) are both in recovery from Saturday Night Live stints; they work the crowd at 9 p.m. at Pauley Ballroom, UC Berkeley campus. Tickets are $9; call (510) 762-2277.

Bloodthirsty Ballet Originally slated to appear at a theater in Half Moon Bay, Perspective Dance Theater's ballet adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula exploded when a cast member felt an onstage attack during rehearsal by director/star David Livingston was a bit too realistic. After a series of disagreements with the This Side of the Hill Players of Half Moon Bay, Livingston and his cast -- well, most of the cast -- have moved to San Francisco. See what the bloody brouhaha is about at 8 p.m. at Theater Artaud, 450 Florida, S.F. Tickets are $15; call 621-7797.

friday
december 1
Imitation of Life Both as critic and as creator, Warren Sonbert influenced Bay Area filmmaking until his death last year. In conjunction with A Day Without Art -- an annual event honoring artists and friends of art lost to AIDS -- Pacific Film Archive will pay tribute to Sonbert with a screening of two of his lyrical montage works: Noblesse Oblige and Short Fuse. They'll also screen There's Always Tomorrow, by Sonbert's favorite director, melodrama master Douglas Sirk. (Starring the queenly Joan Bennett, the film is a typical Sirkian assault on hollow, artificial domesticity that Sonbert called "shattering.") The curtains part at 7:30 p.m. at 2625 Durant, Berkeley. Tickets are $5.50; call (510) 642-1124.

Sounds vs. Silence A benefit for the proactive, nonviolent East Bay branch of ACT UP and the current fight for single-payer health care, Rock Against AIDS brings together S.F.'s best-known lesbian (Tribe 8) and gay (Pansy Division) punk rockers. Wankin' Teens, Stone Fox, Eric Core, Joan Jett Blakk, Pussy Tourette, Patsy Cline, and Mayor Surely Mean also sashay and stomp across the stage at 8 p.m. at 924 Gilman, Berkeley. Admission is $5-7; call (510) 568-1680.

Fancy Feet International Hahbi 'Ru Dance Ensemble performs Middle Eastern dances, Harambee Dance Ensemble performs Pan-African dances, and Los Flamencos de San Francisco perform flamenco at "The Best of Ethnic Dance." Visually, audiences can expect colorful, shiny costumes; aurally, they can expect live music featuring traditional wind instruments and drums. A benefit for Project Open Hand, the program starts at 8 p.m. (also Saturday) at Cowell Theater, Fort Mason Center, S.F. Admission is $15; call 392-4400.

Prisoner Cellblock H It's hard to imagine a female caged-heat potboiler without a naive first-timer, an aging stripper, a fallen debutante, and, last but not least, a sadistic matron. Luckily, all of the above stock characters are present in Artfull Circle Theatre's Women's Prison Christmas, along with a few extra treats -- an "immaculate" conception and a festive riot. Written and directed by F. Allen Sawyer, the show starts at 8 p.m. (continuing through Dec. 23) at New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness, S.F. Tickets are $15; call 861-8972.

Decadent Disco Nunn Donna Summer hits that high note and stays with it (and stays with it ...) on "Last Dance," the Oscar-winning pop smash featured in the 1978 discomedy Thank God, It's Friday. Basically a 90-minute cinematic ad for Summer and other artists on Casablanca Records, T.G.I.F. doesn't have the dramatic depth of Saturday Night Fever (what does?), but it does have Terri Nunn of Berlin, acting as well as she sings; Debra Winger and Jeff Goldblum co-star. Preceded by a 7 p.m. party, the historical document screens at 8:30 p.m. at Artists' Television Access, 992 Valencia, S.F. Tickets are $5; call 824-3890.

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