The Shaka-Macbeth Connection One man's thirst for power precipitates familial strife, copious bloodshed, unwelcome visits from witches, and all-around tragedy and mayhem in the tales of Shakespeare's Macbeth and the African ruler Shaka Zulu, a connection South African playwright Welcome Msomi made back in 1971. Msomi, the founder of Durban's Zulu Dance Theater and Music Company, points up the similarities between the Scottish play and Shaka's reign in Umabatha: The Zulu Macbeth. A 40-member company performs the internationally touring revival of the work in Zulu with English supertitles, using music and spear-dancing to shape what is essentially a universal story. The show begins at 8 p.m. (and continues through Sept. 28) at Zellerbach Hall, Bancroft & Telegraph, UC Berkeley campus. Admission is $18-32; call (510) 642-9988.
Stellar Della Isabel Allende's book The Stories of Eva Luna provides the narrative thread and the Club Foot Ensemble provides the live music for the Della Davidson Dance Theater's Night Stories: The Eva Luna Project, First Cycle, a dance-theater work incorporating spoken and sung text in English and Spanish. Actor Jose Zuniga and flamenco vocalist Mercedes Molina join the company in exploring the shadowy, poetic places of Allende's book using three stories, including "Tosca" and "Revenge." The piece will be expanded next year to include five stories. Composer Richard Marriott, who created new soundtracks to silent films The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Nosferatu, wrote the Night Stories score. The show begins at 8 p.m. (and continues through Sept. 28) at Theater Artaud, 450 Florida (at 17th Street), S.F. Admission is $12.50-18.50; call 621-7797.
Dream a Little Dream Last night's freakish dream could be art tomorrow with Stephen Galloway's participatory installation "A Dream of You Dreaming." Galloway has programmed a list of his own dreams into LED signs (those stock exchange kind of dot-matrix signs that scroll from left to right), placed against images of a full moon in an inky sky. At any time of day or night, passers-by may submit written accounts of their own dreams at stations posted outside the gallery; Galloway will transcribe them onto white panels visible from the street, making the exhibit mutable by, and accessible to, a broad audience. The show opens at 6 p.m. with a reception (and is up through Oct. 26) at Capp Street Project, 525 Second St. (at Bryant), S.F. Admission is free; call 495-7101.
A Fine Line Half the pleasure of watching a Lines Contemporary Ballet concert actually comes from listening, since choreographer Alonzo King makes music an integral, rather than secondary, consideration. The other half comes from witnessing high-octane work danced fearlessly by a world-class company in dazzling physical and artistic shape. In addition to a reprise of Three Stops on the Way Home, the ensemble piece King set to a commissioned score by jazz artist Pharoah Sanders, the company will unveil the world premieres of Suite Etta, to music recorded by Etta James, and String Trio, set to an original score by Moses Sedler, performed live by the Moses Sedler Group. The show begins at 8 p.m. (and continues through Oct. 5) at Center for the Arts, 700 Howard (at Third Street), S.F. Admission is $10-25; call 978-ARTS.
Dream Syndicate Lizz Roman and Dancers and Steamroller are about to spend a restless night in and out of bed. Roman and company kick off a performing arts double feature with In Her Dreams, a collaborative installation drawing its audience into the subconscious realm of dreams with an original 8mm film of choreographed bed-bound "sleep movement," projected behind a live "sleep" duet, and dance that travels surreally throughout the theater. Steamroller disturbs the peace with blasts of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Cibo Matto, and sound effects in Siamese Dream, a satire of Asian Americana fusing Hollywood musical choreography and kung fu moves with contact improv and a video based on The King and I. Roman is on at 8 p.m., Steamroller at 9:30 p.m. (continuing through Oct. 5), at ODC Performance Gallery, 3153 17th St. (at Shotwell), S.F. Admission is $12-15; call 863-9834.
Artistic Drive The working cameras of Harrod Blank's "Camera Van" captured plenty of curious and confused reactions from locals who gathered 'round the camera-encrusted contraption when he parked it at Defenestration and Burning Man. Blank, whose love of visually stimulating vehicles fueled his art-car documentary Wild Wheels, has extended himself with ArtCar WestFest, the West Coast's largest-ever art car exhibit, which features over 60 autos from across the United States, among them Ron Dolce's "Glass Quilt," a VW Bug covered with marbles and stained glass, Larry Fuente's "Cowasaki," a giant, furry heifer-cycle with hog wheels and a horn that moos, and Rick McKinney's "The Duke," a '76 Ford Granada autographed by actor Eric Idle and decorated with ship's portal side windows and a working typewriter. The Space Cowgirls and Gene Pool will be showing their stuff in the ArtCar WestFest Fashion Show, and kids can help create an art car from scratch at the indoor/outdoor exhibit, which also hosts a barbecue, live music, performances, and a photo gallery. Blank will screen Wild Wheels and his new film, Driving the Dream, at the event, which begins at 7 p.m. tonight (and continues Saturday and Sunday beginning at noon) at Somar Gallery, 934 Brannan (at Ninth Street), S.F. Admission is $2.50-10; call (510) 841-4128 for schedule information or news on the art car caravan that travels through local neighborhoods the day before the festival.