Digging the Scene With a Quantum Lean Over the course of an evening's cocktails, characters in Going, Going, Gone begin to find that everything's relative. Sparked by physicist Stephen Hawking's assertion that recent discoveries in quantum and astral physics are so powerful they must figure into everyday life, director Anne Bogart and the Saratoga International Theater Institute have embarked on a theatrical journey through time and space, using the writings of modern scientists and literary figures like Lewis Carroll as guides. Movement, metaphysics, and special effects contribute to shifting relationships between people and ideas. The show opens at 8:30 p.m. (and runs through May 18) at the Magic Theater, Building D, Fort Mason, S.F. Admission is $18-20; call 441-8822. (Bogart conducts a lecture-demonstration at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Magic. Admission is $10; call 441-8822.)
Magic Fingers Since free love is now about as common as a free lunch, "love the one you're with" applies in an entirely new way. And so it follows that sex toy shop and bookstore Good Vibrations has declared May National Masturbation Month, and suggests that people celebrate by taking an hour off work this morning to touch themselves (bonus points for truthfully explaining why you're late). A "Salute to Masturbation" video screening on Thursday, which offers clips from X-rated and educational videos by mainstream and indie filmmakers, is hosted by Exhibitionism for the Shy author Carol Queen and begins at 7 and 9:15 p.m. at the Roxie Cinema, 3117 16th St., S.F. Admission is $3-6; call 863-1087. (Good Vibrations also hosts a "Top 10 People to Masturbate To" contest at both stores: 1210 Valencia, S.F., and 2504 San Pablo, Berkeley. Call 974-8985 for more information.)
How the West Was Won With Transparent Hinges and Opening the Gate, Chen & Dancers usher in Asian-Pacific Heritage Month in ambitious fashion. Beijing native Long Zhou contributes an original score melding traditional Chinese and Western music with spoken text for Transparent Hinges; the Manhattan-based company and a multigenerational cast from the Bay Area Asian-American community revisit the experiences of American immigrants, from the turn of the century to the Yellow Power movement of the '60s. Hinges, inspired by poetry written on a wall at Angel Island, is delivered through modern and traditional choreographic strokes and elaborate costuming, as is Gate, a tribute to freedom in which the dancers double as drummers. The show opens at 8 p.m. (and runs through May 18) at Theater Artaud, 450 Florida, S.F. Admission is $12.50-20; call 621-7797.
Isn't it Goode? Childhood's sensory pleasures flood the world premiere of the Joe Goode Performance Group's Four Feelings, although there are a few more feelings than that at work throughout the program. A sense of identity, linked to memories of home, emerges in "This Is Where I Am Now," an except from Goode's previous work Take/Place, while the struggle of two burned-out AIDS caregivers to maintain their senses of humor and compassion propels "Everybody Leaves," part of the 1996 installation performance The Maverick Strain. Goode's penchant for live original music and simple gestures on which to build mercurial dance prevails in Four Feelings in passages where, for instance, a man recalls the physical shape of a boyhood argument. The performance begins at 8 p.m. (and runs through May 18) at the Cowell Theater, Fort Mason, S.F. Admission is $20; call 392-4400.
Place That Face There's a kind of parallel universe inside S.F. Camerawork, where a parade of faces seems to be peering back at gallerygoers. Julian Okwu traveled across the U.S. to photograph and interview young African-American men who have bolstered their communities, whether through classrooms or boardrooms, for his just-published book Face Forward: Young African-American Men in a Critical Age. His exhibit of portraits and text by the same name hangs with Adrienne Salinger's "Living Alone," a series of color photos and in-depth interviews with 95 solo subjects, and Douglas Adesko's visual essay "Apartment Building," which offers portraits of, and interviews with, the denizens of a run-down Civic Center edifice. The exhibit opens with a reception at 5:30 p.m. (and is up through June 14) at S.F. Camerawork, 115 Natoma, S.F. Admission is free; call 764-1001.
Sam He Am Equal parts pulp fiction and vaudeville, circus sideshow and radio play, Rough and Tumble's theatrical comedy My Uncle Sam takes basic issues of life, love, loss, and American identity and sends them up over the top. A narrator imagines the intriguing life his mysterious bachelor uncle, a novelties salesman, must have led in the late '40s, spinning the details around nightclubs, opium dens, a college campus, a miniature-golf course, and the Church of St. Christopher, where Sam searches for his fiancee's brother, a louse on the lam with a wad of their gangster father's inheritance money. The show previews at 8 p.m. (and runs through June 15) at the 450 Geary Studio Theater, 450 Geary, S.F. Admission is $15-20; call 673-1172.
We're All Mad Here Denise Uyehara, the performance artist who grabbed our attention by holding a gun to the head of that oh-so-adorable Hello Kitty, has collaborated with L.A. contemporary Dan Kwong on a new work, Samurai Centerfielder Meets the Mad Kabuki Woman. Men and women, queer and straight, yin and yang; they all undergo various permutations here as the performers, leaning on monologue and poetics, work (and play) through questions of how we see one another. Samurai begins at 8 p.m. at New Langton Arts, 1246 Folsom, S.F. Admission is $6-8; call 626-5416.