Black Comes Back It may have been her turns in Easy Rider or made-for-TV flicks like Trilogy of Terror that landed Karen Black in the cult category, but she also appeared in films that have aged well, like Robert Altman's Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean and John Schlesinger's The Day of the Locust. Black exercises her comic timing in her solo spoken-word-cum-cabaret show A View of the Heart, a collection of character sketches incorporating American literature and song, and encompassing voices from such wide-ranging talents as Katherine Anne Porter and Bessie Smith. A View of the Heart, which played last year's Solo Mio Festival, opens with a preview at 8 p.m. (and continues through Nov. 24) at the Plush Room Cabaret, 940 Sutter, S.F. Admission is $18-25; call 885-2800.
Can We Keep Him? The cuteness index soars this month when the San Francisco SPCA sets up outreach sites around town. Soft, fluffy kitties available for adoption will be shown in streetside kennels, forcing lunch-hour crowds to gaze into their friendly little faces and listen to their heart-rending meows. The felines have already been vaccinated, wormed, and spayed or neutered, and may be had for $28 with a 45-minute screening process which, according to SPCA Public Information and Education Director Lynne Spivak, involves "a little paperwork and lots of chat" regarding commitment and care. The agency discourages giving pets as gifts, but Spivak says the holidays are a good time for people who do decide to adopt to get their new pets acclimated. An adoption site will be set up at 11 a.m. (also Thursday) at One Market Plaza, 1 Market, S.F. Call 554-3000 for more information.
The Hanging Dead Deadheads will be staring at the walls at "The Art of the Dead," a new exhibit of poster art and other assorted Grateful Dead art paraphernalia like silk-screens, photos, album covers, lithographs, logos, postcards, and tickets. Original watercolors by the late Jerry Garcia and posters like Alton Kelley's now-famous "Skull and Roses" are among the 75 to 100 framed pieces in the show. After this premiere Bay Area showing, the exhibit, like the band's recently disbanded family of fans, will pack up and hit the road, trucking to galleries across the country. The exhibit opens at 7 p.m. (and continues through January 1997) at Artrock Gallery, 1153 Mission, S.F. Admission is free; call 255-7390.
Encores Galore The uncertain fate of a 1920s-era African-American musical troupe propels One Mo' Time!, Vernel Bagneris' upbeat portrayal of that theatrical era through jazz, blues, drama, and elements of vaudeville. Jazz artist Denise Perrier, singer Michelle Lachaux, and dancer Michael LeRoy Brown are the featured performers in this piece, which inaugurates the Hansberry's '96-97 season. One Mo' Time opens with a preview at 8 p.m. (and continues through Dec. 15) at the Lorraine Hansberry Theater, 620 Sutter, S.F. Admission is $18-22; call 474-8800.
Two Times Three The New Cleveland Lounge, a local jazz-funk sextet in which James Brown and the Brand New Heavies meet, headlines the first night of 330 Ritch's three-day second anniversary party. Ritch's kitchen will prepare two three-course menus (roasted cornish game hen or sauteed sea scallops Friday, paella valencia or seared rabbit stew Saturday) for the dining portion of the program, which will be followed on Friday by complimentary hors d'oeuvres and disco, funk, and '70s and '80s classics mixed by DJs George and Henry. Latin jazz from Orchestra Candela figures into the snack-and-DJ combination Saturday. The party begins tonight at 11 p.m., with dinner at 7 p.m. and entertainment at 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday at 330 Ritch, S.F. Admission is $10-25; call 541-9574.
The Upshot of Snapshots Sam Abell has traveled the world, having adventures and meeting new people without having to join the military. Abell is a National Geographic photographer whose 26-year career with the magazine has sent him out on the streets of modern Ireland and the Australian Outback, covering subjects as divergent as Shaker architecture and British hedgerows. Abell offers anecdotes about his discoveries and mishaps on the road and speaks on the art of photography at 8 p.m. in the Palace of Fine Arts, Bay & Lyon, S.F. Admission is $6.50-13; call 392-4400.
For Emerald Isleophiles Ireland rules the cinematic landscape during CinemaGael, a weekendlong film and lecture program devoted to Irish moviemaking. Film scholar and journalist Joseph McBride, the scriptwriter behind Rock 'n' Roll High School, kicks off the series with "John Ford: Irish-American Filmmaker," a lecture with clips by the director of The Quiet Man and The Last Hurrah, about whom McBride has written a book. Saturday's film program includes (among others) Draoicht, about a boy's coming of age in 1960s County Kildare, and Ailsa, the story of a young Irishman's obsession with his American neighbor. The series concludes on Sunday with the panel discussion "Irish Film: Window or Mirror to Culture?" and the world premiere of T.L. Thousand's documentary Brutality and Peace in Paradise: One Woman With a Camera, Three Years in Search of the Truth in Northern Ireland. McBride speaks tonight at 7:45 p.m. at the New College Theater, 777 Valencia, S.F.; followed by a reception at 9:30 p.m. in the New College Cultural Center, 776 Valencia, S.F. Admission to both events is $5. Saturday screenings begin at noon at the Roxie Cinema, 3125 16th St. The panel discussion is held at 2:30 p.m. and Thousand's film screens at 7:30 p.m. Sunday in the New College Theater. For tickets and more information on the festival, call 252-9992.