Former porn star Scott O'Hara has officially retired from video and live performance, but porn has provided a leitmotif for his other creative endeavors, like editing the now-defunct sex journal Steam and penning Autopornography and the forthcoming book Rarely Pure and Never Simple. O'Hara's musical romance Ex-Lovers, which makes its debut at Theater Rhino, carries the mark of O'Hara's professional experience as well. Protagonist Leuko, a stripper who eventually settles down after exploring the San Francisco sex-club circuit, finds guidance and plenty of unsolicited advice from a veritable army of ex-lovers. There's Carp, a bitter cabaret singer; Cavil, who put Leuko through school; Pooh, the ex-lover who's really a Rottweiler; Vim, dead but still lively (are you catching the dramatic significance of these names, by the way?); and so forth. The real spin on this show ought to come from its director, Russell Blackwood, whose Thrillpeddlers company took last year's Fringe Festival by surprise with its surreal take on Shakespeare, Mondo Andronicus. Medea, the Musical star Paul Tena joins the cast and composer Tom Phillips contributes the score.
-- Heather Wisner
Ex-Lovers previews Thursday at 8 p.m. (and runs through Feb. 14) at Theater Rhinoceros, 2926 16th St. (at South Van Ness), S.F. Admission is $12-22; call 861-5079.