Get Thee to the Frippery Chain mail and helmets are expected to sell well at this year's California Shakespeare Festival Garage Sale, a kind of bargain bin for Halloween costume hunters and a fund-raiser for the festival. Prices start at a dollar for costumes, props, and set pieces from past seasons' productions. This year's sale will also feature lots of hats and shoes adorned with all manner of plumage, buckles, and baubles. Throw in tights and kitchen knives and you and your friends can create Shakespearean scenes at parties. The sale begins at 10 a.m. at the California Shakespeare Festival Office, 701 Heinz (at Seventh Street), Berkeley. Admission is free; call (510) 548-3422.
Xenaphernalia Xena doesn't have superpowers like flying through the air or walking on water, so maybe the fan clubs that have sprung up around the action-adventure TV series Xena: Warrior Princess admire the main character for her above-average strengths as a broad-shouldered, bed-hopping, badass babe (the show's writers seem able to melt down history and circumvent logic pretty well, but those aren't exactly superpowers either). An actual convention celebrating Xena and her beefcake-y counterpart, Hercules from the TV series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, will feature behind-the-scenes footage from both shows, a licensed merchandise emporium, and presentations by Renee O'Conner, who plays Gabrielle on Xena, Michael Hurst, who plays Iolaus on Hercules, and Robert Field, who "plays" an editor for Xena. The stars of the show will not attend, although chances are good that fans will be dressed to resemble them. The event begins at 1 p.m. at the Nob Hill Masonic Center, 1111 California (at Taylor), S.F. Admission is free-$20; call (818) 409-0960.
To Life! The Jewish Museum's "L'Chaim! A Kiddush Cup Invitational" celebrates Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, and the museum's own bar/bat mitzvah with a group show of kiddush cups, the ceremonial wine goblets over which blessings are recited at Jewish holidays. American and Israeli artists have used tractor parts and marzipan along with traditional materials to create modern versions of the cup for the exhibit, which also includes historical cups like the 18-carat gold Voorsanger Goblet, which survived the 1906 earthquake. The exhibit opens at 11 a.m. (and is up through Feb. 8, 1998) at the Jewish Museum, 121 Steuart (at Mission), S.F. Admission is free-$5; call 543-8880. The celebration continues over at the Jewish Food Festival, where Middle Eastern and klezmer music will be played, kosher beer and wine will flow, and Jewish cuisine from every continent will be available for tasting, from the blini and kugel of the "Heart of Europe" booth to the Bombay fish dishes at "Oriental Express." The tasting begins at 11 a.m. at the Richmond Jewish Community Center, 1414 Walnut (at Rose), Berkeley. Admission is free-$10; call (510) 848-0237.
Hey Doe John Doe-the-solo-artist continues down his lonely road, appearing in movies like Georgia and the new Boogie Nights and making music that isn't exactly the searing punk rock of X, the seminal L.A. band he founded with then-girlfriend Exene Cervenka, or the road-weary roots rock of early solo work like Meet John Doe and Kissingsohard. His new music, to be released late this year on Kill Rock Stars, is somewhere in between the two, alternating between blasts of feedback and quiet, twangy odes to love gone completely wrong, sung by a man whose voice will feel as comfortable to longtime fans as a worn and well-loved pair of cowboy boots. The Wallflowers' Mike Ward backs Doe up at this show; Lava opens at 8 p.m., followed by Arizona rock cowboys Grievous Angels, at the Kilowatt, 3160 16th St. (at Albion), S.F. Admission is $8; call 861-2595.
Regular Rock Guy Bob Pollard loves Budweiser. When he and his band Guided by Voices played a recent local show, Pollard chilled bottles of it in an ice-filled wastebasket that he kept within arm's length onstage; in last month's inaugural issue of Jane magazine, Pollard wrote a short piece about his long relationship with Bud; and, indeed, the members themselves call their band Guided by Beers. GBV, which has gone through something like 51 different lineups in its 14-year career and featured Cleveland glam-band Cobra Verde on its latest release, Mag Earwhig!, reflects a lot of Pollard's personality, a grade-school teacher and father of two from Dayton, Ohio, who, despite the beer thing, is otherwise fairly un-rock-star-ish. He's a prolific guy with hundreds of songs to his credit, and the music, for which the term "lo-fi" was practically invented, is smart and sweet and slightly addled, melodic and mean and funny all at once, chugging along with echoes of the best of British pop and psychedelia. Creeper Lagoon are just the right band to open the show, which begins at 8 p.m. (and no longer includes Sportsguitar) at Bimbo's 365 Club, 1025 Columbus (at Chestnut), S.F. Admission is $12-13; call 474-0365.
Screen Scene If you stay home and rent a movie, you can wear pajamas and skip the parking trauma, but if you go out to a movie, you might see something other than video store dregs, and socialize with people who are at least smarter than your cats. A balance has been struck between art and comfort at "Outdoor Cinema," a monthly film series that organizers describe as an unpretentious place to see good local and international stuff out under the stars, margarita in hand. The series, which plans to have themed nights like a Day of the Dead show Nov. 4 complete with altars and related films, begins with a program of experimental shorts by local filmmakers, including David Munro's Bullethead, the story of an East German luge racer with a surgically streamlined head; Jay Capela's Breathe, a romantic comedy about love, sex, and power; and Jim Mendiola's Pretty Vacant, about a mischievous Latina punk. The screening begins at 8 p.m. at El Rio, 3158 Mission (at Precita), S.F. Admission is a $5 donation; call 282-3325.