Look Closely Maoist propaganda and old photographs taken by Western visitors to "exotic" China are often the source material for Hung Liu's art. Liu's Bunny Dance depicts four children dancing in rabbit costumes, an artificially "happy" image that grows creepier the longer one looks at it. In recent years, Liu has used shots of family members and herself in her work, which incorporates different forms (painting, architecture, and decoration) and themes (personal, political, and historical). See it from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Mills College Art Gallery, 5000 MacArthur, Oakland. Free; call (510) 430-2164. "Hung Liu" continues through March 17.
I'm Every Woman A showstopping schizophrenic anthem (sample lyric: "I feel partly Jane Austen/partly Jane Fonda") sung by Lauren Bacall in Applause, "But Alive" was the highlight of Lypsinka's most recent show, As I Lay Lip-Synching. Sporting so many personalities she makes Sybil seem sane, the motor-mouth one returns to the Bay Area with the world premiere of Lypsinka Must Be Destroyed! (The First Farewell). The nuclear hissy fit begins at 8 p.m. at Josie's Cabaret & Juice Joint, 3583 16th St., S.F. Tickets are $15-20; call 861-7933. Lypsinka Must Be Destroyed! continues Tuesdays-Saturdays through March 31.
The Sissy and Shelley Show The fab Lili Taylor won two awards at the recent Sundance Film Festival, and reports from the fest indicate American films -- independent ones, at least -- are starting to offer choice roles for women who don't look like Michelle Pfeiffer. This signals a return to the '70s, when expressive faces were valued as much as "classical" white beauty, and eccentric talents like Sissy Spacek and Shelley Duvall flourished. In Robert Altman's Bergman-esque 3 Women, Spacek is a milquetoast who steals chatterbox Duvall's identity. The film screens at 1:40 and 7 p.m. at the Castro Theatre, Castro & Market, S.F. Tickets are $6; call 621-6120.
The Art of Dance Since the '60s and the heyday of her work with the Judson Dance Theater, choreographer Trisha Brown has collaborated with well-known artists. Brown's first solo dance in more than 15 years, 1994's If you couldn't see me, continues this trend: The music and costumes were created by Robert Rauschenberg. M.O. -- Brown's first work set to classical music -- is the second half of a Trisha Brown Dance Company performance at 8 p.m. at Center for the Arts, 701 Mission, S.F. Tickets are $12-20; call 392-4400. Performances of If you couldn't see me and M.O. continue through Feb. 11.
Jamaica in San Francisco Jamaica Kincaid's first novel, Annie John, is a coming-of-age story set in the West Indies, where she grew up; her second, Lucy, follows a West Indian au pair through New York City. Kincaid -- whose third novel, The Autobiography of My Mother, is due this spring -- will give a reading/talk for City Arts & Lectures' "On Arts and Politics" series at 8 p.m. at Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness, S.F. Tickets are $16 (proceeds benefit the Women's Foundation); call 392-4400.
Vox Populi S.F.'s (acid) jazz scene thrives partly because artists from different groups readily collaborate with each other. The four-installment "Solo Series" offers proof: "Part II: Vocals" showcases Piero Abdul-Basit of Los Angelitos; Anna Gurski of Jazz on the Line; the fiery Ledisi of Anibade; and One Nation Underground's commanding Lance Freeman. Individually and collectively, the four begin belting at 9 p.m. at Cafe Du Nord, 2170 Market, S.F. Tickets are $5; call 861-5016.
It's a Screamer! Since the '70s -- when horror auteurs used the genre to launch assaults on the sacred nuclear family -- filmmakers have rarely linked U.S. national identity with terror. In this context, "American Terror" -- a program of real and fictional film/video of modern-day horror -- sounds like a necessary evil. Curated by Molly Hankwitz, the show includes work by Rachel Schreiber, Jean-Pierre Lefevbre, and NY Paper Tiger TV. Look if you dare at 8 p.m. at Artists' Television Access, 992 Valencia, S.F. Tickets are $5; call 824-3890.
The City Sun It's easy to forget that urban neighborhoods once spawned their own distinct, vibrant cultures. "Harlem Renaissance: New York in the Twenties" -- a lecture/performance event paying tribute to Bessie Smith, Langston Hughes, Duke Ellington, James Van Der Zee, and others -- provides a reminder. A talk by Professor Donna Akiba Sullivan Harper and a Cotton Club-style concert featuring jazz/blues singer Dr. Margie Baker and tenor saxophonist PeeWee Claybrook starts the series at 8 p.m. at Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness, S.F. Tickets are $30; call 392-4400. "Harlem Renaissance" continues Saturday.
Loose Lips Nancy Sinatra songs, credit cards, cucumbers, dolphins, pianos, yogurt, and Esther Williams water ballets all become tools of female desire in "Girl Talk," an evening of lesbian video shorts. The show features German and American artists, including Diane Bonder, whose Dangerous When Wet -- a first-orgasm tale illustrated with found footage -- has earned comparisons to the great Sadie Benning. The lights go down at 7 p.m. at Transmission Theatre, 314 11th St., S.F. Tickets are $7 (music and dancing follow the screening); call 487-6305.
Inferno Martin Scorsese's yuppie nightmare After Hours stars Griffin Dunne but has many great cameos: Linda Fiorentino as a SoHo boho who sculpts plaster-of-Paris bagels; Catherine O'Hara as a sadistic phone-call saboteur; Teri Garr as a sad waitress with a bouffant. The film -- which also makes perfect use of Peggy Lee's sublime "Is That All There Is?" -- begins a three-week tribute to Scorsese at 7 p.m. at the Castro Theatre, Castro & Market, S.F. Tickets are $6; call 621-6120.