Call of the Wild Two major mythological figures, the raven and the coyote, are celebrated for their roles as creators and tricksters in The Faraway Drum: Raven Speaks, Coyote Sings, a joint performance by Alaska's Naa Kahidi Theater and New Mexico's Coyote Gathers His People. In native North American cultures with strong oral traditions, tales have been spun about the resourcefulness of these figures for generations, illustrating in their telling the links between humankind and the natural world. Collaboration between elders, storytellers, musicians, dancers, and visual artists has yielded a multifaceted theatrical work performed in costume and masks. The 10-year-old Naa Kahidi Theater specializes in dramatizing the mythology of indigenous Alaskans, while the Coyote company works with Pueblo Indian tradition. The show begins at 8 p.m. (and continues through Saturday) at the Cowell Theater, Fort Mason Center, S.F. Admission is $7-15; call 392-4400.
Pech of the Week Nobody needs to tell Lawrence Pech about getting a leg up on the competition. At age 16, he took first prize in the Colorado Council for the Arts Choreography Competition; he won scholarships to several major companies and has danced principal roles in the rivalry-rife arenas of both American Ballet Theater and San Francisco Ballet; he battled a grim cancer prognosis and went on to co-found Diablo Ballet. When the company suffered from internal dissent, he broke off and formed his own company, the Lawrence Pech Dance Company, which features an international roster of dancers performing repertory work and two world premiere ballets: Concerto and For Irene, a set of solos with live accompaniment by jazz pianist Larry Vuckovich. The show opens at 8 p.m. (and continues through Sunday) at Theater Artaud, 450 Florida, S.F. Admission is $20.50-25; call 621-7797.
Celluloid Culture Grand Avenue, a dramatic miniseries based on the life of writer Greg Sarris, former chief of the Coast Miwok American Indian tribe, revolves around three Native American families trying to juggle modern life and cultural identity. L.A. Law's A Martinez and Lakota Woman's Irene Bedard star in the production, which opens the 21st annual American Indian Film Festival. A three-day series of screenings at the Palace of Fine Arts continues on Friday with action shorts A Nation Is Coming and Looks Into the Night, and the documentaries Forgotten Warriors, which spotlights Canada's native war veterans, and Power, the story of the Canadian Cree struggle to prevent hydroelectric dam construction in Quebec. The weekend concludes on Sunday with an awards ceremony and the world premiere of The Song of Hiawatha. The festival continues with screenings of features, documentaries, and shorts at the Kabuki Theater Nov. 12-14 and the Los Gatos Cinema Nov. 16-17. Opening night begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Palace of Fine Arts, 3301 Lyon, S.F. Admission is $7; call 554-0525 for ticket and schedule information.
To the Moon! The Five Lesbian Brothers have some fun at the expense of the sci-fi genre in Brides of the Moon. In this comic performance piece, an all-woman space crew comprised of a charismatic commander, an adventurous elementary school teacher (oof!), an oversexed cosmonaut, and a corporate sponsor embarks on a top-secret mission to the moon. Crew members become entangled in a series of questionable relationships en route, leading to some rough riding out on the final frontier. This West Coast appearance was also something of an epic trek for the Obie Award-winning Brothers, who hail from planet New York. Brides of the Moon opens with a preview at 8 p.m. (and continues through Dec. 15) at Theater Rhinoceros, 2926 16th St., S.F. Admission is $12-25; call 861-5079.
Cash In Indulge legal tender lust at the San Francisco Money Expo, a weekend exhibit and trade show featuring millions of dollars in international and antique bills and coins. Besides the vicarious thrill of strolling through cash-lined corridors, expo points of interest include displays of ancient Greek and Roman money, newly minted currency, and a rare U.S. $5 bill that was banned in Boston 100 years ago because of its racy illustration of the allegorical, bare-breasted goddess of electricity and her seminude female companions. The expo opens at 3 p.m. (10 a.m. Friday and Saturday) at the Cathedral Hill Hotel, 1101 Van Ness, S.F. Admission is free-$5; call (800) 359-9430.
Ticket to Ride What's it like to be publicly reviled? Parking Enforcement Officer Karen Hosey is about to share some professional insights. In layman's terms, Hosey is a meter maid; to manage the stress of arguing with civilians over vehicles that overstay their metered time limits or wind up in forbidden zones, Hosey has immersed herself in spiritualism and healing techniques. Her experiences in the crazy cosmos of cops and class, red-faced drivers and blue polyester are filtered through her one-woman show, Confessions of a Metermaid: A Chalker's Guide to Consciousness, which opens at 8 p.m. (and continues through Nov. 23) at the Speakeasy Theater, 2016 Seventh St., Berkeley. Admission is $8-20; call (510) 845-4100.
Art Smart Discounts on art supplies, gift certificate door prizes, classes, and celebrity guest artists provide the draw at the Art Materials Tools of the Trade Show. International manufacturers will show new products like airbrushes, compressors, canvases, paints, and clays, and a slew of artists will demonstrate techniques in making holiday gift items like cards, wrapping paper, jewelry, and candles. Local artists will show and sell their work in a special exhibition benefiting Amsterdam Art's Art Supplies for Kids fund, and teachers who preregister will receive gift bags of art supplies. The show opens at 10 a.m. (also Saturday and Sunday) at the Herbst Pavilion, Fort Mason Center, S.F. Admission is free; call (510) 649-4800.