june 19
Rabbit Is Rich A young Pablo Picasso meets a young Albert Einstein in the Paris bistro Lapin Agile ("Nimble Rabbit"), and a passionate discussion of life, art, and science ensues. With this fictional incident as a springboard, wild 'n' crazy guy Steve Martin applies his exceptional gift for the amusing to playwriting, resulting in the theatrical comedy Picasso at the Lapin Agile. Martin created the screenplays for many of the films he starred in, including Roxanne and L.A. Story, but this is his first full-length stage production. Picasso premiered at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theater and played L.A. and New York. The NYC cast appears in the local run, which opens at 8 p.m. (and continues through July 28) at Theater on the Square, 450 Post, S.F. Admission is $25-38; call 433-9500.

Freeze Frame The city's other gay film festival, which bills itself under the slightly mysterious name "refuse off frame," bucks what organizers describe as the commercial standards governing bigger collections with a smaller showing of unconventional material. Four filmmakers will show narrative-optional works that they say "embrace queerness in all its manifestations." Anna Minkkinen's Home Cooking, Cathy Lee Crane's Not for Nothin', I. Rea's Third, and Nikki Appino's threshold screen at 8 p.m. at the Victoria Theater, 2961 16th St., S.F. Admission is $2.50-3; call 642-5952.

Newton's Law Bay Area playwright Robert Alexander examines the social and political climate and the personal forces that shaped Huey P. Newton's career in his new work, Servant of the People: The Rise and Fall of Huey P. Newton and the Black Panther Party. Newton, who came to power in an age of upheaval and uncertainty, had his own internal set of contradictions to deal with; his story has a contemporary resonance, as well as a local angle. Alexander, who wrote Air Guitar and I Ain't Yo' Uncle, opened Servant of the People last year in Atlanta; now it's the last production of the Hansberry Theater's 15th-anniversary season. It opens at 8 p.m. (continuing through June 30) at the Lorraine Hansberry Theater, 620 Sutter, S.F. Admission is $15-18; call 474-8800.

june 20
Scoping Out the Issues Photographers step into the increasingly heated and divisive national debate on gun control with "In Our Sights: Women Look at Guns," a group show featuring work by artists from both coasts, as well as from Texas, America's unofficial gun-toting capital. This isn't a one-sided exhibit: The photographers delve into America's frontier history and good guy/bad guy mythology, and offer a range of views on the benefits, rights, responsibilities, and consequences of gun ownership. Participants will speak on their work July 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the gallery. "In Our Sights" is up through Aug. 3 at S.F. Camerawork, 115 Natoma, S.F. Free; call 764-1001.

Champions of the Ridiculous Insanity sweeps a Chinese soap-opera set and a misguided guy tries to get a decent massage in a dim sum parlor in Sex, Guns, and Hello Kitty: What a Hell Did I Got in America? a sketch comedy collection by local troupe the 18 Mighty Mountain Warriors. The Warriors, who garnered enthusiastic reviews on their recent tour of Hong Kong, bring down giants on both continents -- John Woo, G.I. Joe, the ubiquitous Sanrio characters -- and their repertoire includes new material based on their travels. In an insidious (and no doubt effective) ploy to lure audiences, the Warriors are planning to pay viewers a dollar each just for coming on opening night and mentioning this offer. Sex, Guns, and Hello Kitty plays at 8 p.m. (continuing through June 29) at Knuth Hall, in the Creative Arts Building of the SFSU campus, 1600 Holloway, S.F. Admission is $6-8; call 522-8752.

Mmm ... Haggis The 200th anniversary of Robert Burns' death is commemorated in mostly traditional fashion at a ceilidh, with live music from Storm in a Teacup, bagpipes, raffle prizes, and readings of work by Burns and other Scottish writers. Copious amounts of whisky and the intestine-and-oatmeal delicacy particular to the poet's homeland will be served to the purists; the belly dancing's for the multiculturalists. At some point in the evening, revelers may be expected to sing "Auld Lang Syne," Burns' most famous creation. The local toasts commence at 8 p.m. at Edinburgh Castle, 950 Geary, S.F. Admission is a suggested $5 donation; call 771-4440.

A Page From History Even after her death, Nico commands a spotlight. This year's history feature I Shot Andy Warhol and last year's insightful documentary Nico-Icon have revived interest in the late German model-turned-singer, who was about as famous for her heroin habit as she was for her work with Fellini, Warhol, and the Velvet Underground. Solo performer Omewenne has retooled and will restage her one-woman show of last spring, Nico ... My Empty Pages, at 8 p.m. (continuing through July 21) at Noh Space, 2840 Mariposa, S.F. Admission is $10-12; call 621-7978.

A View From the Lake Photographer Alfred Stieglitz is primarily known as a city guy, a Manhattan denizen who founded the Photo-Secession group at the turn of the century, published the professional arts quarterly Camera Work, and took posed photos of famous wife Georgia O'Keeffe in his studio. But Stieglitz had a rural life as well, documented in the exhibit "Alfred Stieglitz at Lake George." At the family home in upstate New York, Stieglitz tested the breadth of his technique, capturing a more relaxed O'Keeffe in natural surroundings and producing studies of clouds and poplar trees. The exhibit is up through Sept. 22 at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 151 Third St., S.F. Admission is free-$7; call 357-4000.

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