april 24
Spring Fling Whether you're a green thumb or a black thumb who still appreciates plant life, the 1996 San Francisco Landscape Garden Show has something to offer. Landscape and interior designers collaborate on interpretations of this year's theme, "Window on the Garden," with vignettes combining native and exotic plants, painting, sculpture, and windows. Outdoor amenities ranging from rakes to orchids will be sold, and gardening experts will conduct talks and workshops. Plant societies and nurseries bring their best buds, and a children's garden and garden-related activities keep the kids busy. The Garden Show runs 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (also on Thursday and Sunday; 10 a.m to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday) at Fort Mason Center Pavilions in S.F. -- an unusual plant auction is held Friday at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $8-10, free to kids 12 and under; call 750-5108.

april 25
Cuckoo for Tutus Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, international favorites on the men-in-tights circuit, are back after a three-year hiatus. Balletomanes and dance novices alike have long enjoyed the Trocks, who have parodied modern and classic works since 1974. Don't be fooled by the full drag and hairy armpits: These guys are professional dancers, right down to their oversized pointe shoes, and their effectiveness lies in solid technique and a thorough understanding of the repertoire. Company members include Raisa Legupski, Nina Enimenimynimova, and, well, you get the idea. Les Ballets Trockadero makes its only Northern California appearances at 8 p.m. (also Friday) in the Palace of Fine Arts, Bay & Lyon, S.F. Admission is $30.50; call 567-6642.

Sound and Vision The Alloy Orchestra returns to the Bay Area to play its score for Dziga Vertov's silent film Man With a Movie Camera, which screens as part of the International Film Festival. Vertov, the Soviet director dubbed "the father of cinema verite" by his disciples, used a variety of special effects -- superimposed images, variable speeds, split screens -- to capture the pace and mood of 1920s Soviet life. But after the film premiered in 1929, Vertov's detailed instructions for a score to accompany the film were placed in a vault and forgotten for several years. Film scholar and translator Uri Tsabian helped Alloy create a score true to Vertov's idea of "noise" music, with electronics, junk metal, found objects, and homemade instruments. This isn't the three-man orchestra's first film score: They also did Nosferatu and Metropolis, among others. Alloy accompanies Man With a Movie Camera live at 7 p.m. at the Castro Theater, 429 Castro, S.F. Admission is $10-12; call 621-6120.

In Your Breast Interest Grass-roots group Breast Cancer Action presents "Breast Cancer: What We Know and What We Don't," a forum on the genetics of the disease (according to the Northern California Cancer Center, the Bay Area has the highest recorded rate of breast cancer in the world). Dr. Mary-Claire King, a researcher in the discovery of BRCA-1, the "breast cancer gene," speaks on her recent findings, who is at risk, and the implications of these discoveries on new research and treatment. In connection with Dr. King's speech, Breast Cancer Action presents its position on genetic testing for the disease. The forum is held at 6:30 p.m. at Fort Mason Center Building A. Admission is $15 and up; call 243-9301. Meanwhile, Michael DeGregorio, author of Tamoxifen and Breast Cancer, speaks on "Everything You Wanted to Know About Tamoxifen and Breast Cancer" at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 30, at Marin General Hospital's Main Conference Center, 250 Bon Air, Greenbrae. The event is free; call 458-3200.

Picture This Two years ago, local reporter Gerry Mullins uncovered photos of Ireland that Bay Area legend Dorothea Lange took back in 1954. Mullins culled the images -- which numbered 2,400 and detailed rural life, mostly in County Clare -- into the recently released book Dorothea Lange's Ireland. Mullins presents a slide show and discussion of Lange's work and his own research at 7:30 p.m. at New College, 777 Valencia, S.F. Admission is free-$3; call 241-1302 ext. 427.

Glad Tidings The buzz surrounding the Fourth Annual High Tides Festival comes from bees, it turns out: At this four-day new-music event, koto artist Miya Masaoka amplifies and remixes beehive noise, while bluesman Paul Pena demonstrates the fine art of Tuvan throat singing. Tim White opens the festival with a program of sitar, piano, percussion, feedback, and flute compositions, and Elyzabeth Meade closes it with "Specific Stranger," a piece combining performance poetry, electronics, violin, and keyboard. The festival begins at 8 p.m. at Intersection for the Arts, 446 Valencia, S.F. Admission is $10 per concert; call 626-3311.

april 26
Shange Speaks Playwright Ntozake Shange is best known for her best-selling book and Broadway hit For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf. But Shange hasn't rested on the success of that decades-old work, and with her other plays, poems, and novels, she has earned a reputation for lyric artistry, weaving music and dance into her literature. Speak Out! and UC Berkeley's Graduate Minority Students Project present "An Evening With Ntozake Shange," a benefit for Action for Democratic Education, a group working to uphold affirmative action in higher education. The reading is at 7:30 p.m. at King Middle School Auditorium, 1720 Rose, Berkeley. Admission is $10-12; call (510) 601-0182.

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