Time Has Come Today Writer/performer Michael Goldfried understands New Yorkers who call Californians hopeless flakes and Californians who describe New Yorkers as uptight jerks. His one-man comedy Enter, Then Pause, a chronicle of his journey from Babylon to the Big Apple and his accompanying internal debate over ambition vs. hedonism, makes the case for both points of view. To accentuate the bicoastal schizophrenia, Goldfried, a veteran of the Cable Car's improv soap opera Liquid Soap, pokes fun at the '90s as a decade with an identity problem by populating his odyssey with characters stuck in the past, like the hippie lady whose glory days consisted of shacking up in a van with her husband, child, a hitchhiker, and a pair of pooches. Goldfried even shifts his language to reflect time and place, from '70s disco lingo to New Age jargon. Co-creator Jeffrey Friedman (The Celluloid Closet) directs. The show opens at 8 p.m. (and runs through Sunday) at Josie's Cabaret & Juice Joint, 3583 16th St. (at Market), S.F. Admission is $10-12; call 861-7933.
The Rights of Spring Amnesty International's monthlong Human Rights Arts Festival kicked off with the painting and drawing exhibit "Unthinkable Tenderness: The Art of Human Rights" at S.F. State, and will culminate in author Alice Walker's address on the relationship between creative endeavors and human rights, which she'll deliver to delegates at Amnesty's general meeting March 21 at the Cathedral Hill Hotel. At Labayen Dance/S.F. in Concert, the first performing arts program of the festival, Eastern and Western influences assert themselves in the repertory of choreographer Enrico Labayen, whose awareness of human rights abuses began when he lived under martial law in the Marcos regime-era Philippines. Labayen studied ballet and modern dance after immigrating to the States in 1971, but immersed himself in Filipino history, politics, and culture on a return trip to his country in 1988. His dancers, on pointe and in bare feet, perform Damas, a ceremonial women's dance based on an Asian matriarchal ritual, and Quatro, which invokes the pointe shoe-as-weapon in a power play between the sexes. Guest choreographer Fabrice Lemire contributes pas de deux Daphnis and Chloe to the show, which begins at 8 p.m. tonight (and runs through Sunday) at the Cowell Theater, Fort Mason, Marina & Buchanan, S.F. Admission is $12.50-20; call 441-3687. Additional festival attractions include Vanessa Redgrave in the one-woman show Planet Without a Visa March 20 at the Herbst Theater and Phil Borges' photo exhibit on tribal cultures, "The Enduring Spirit," opening March 19 at the Studio Gallery; for more information on festival events, call 291-9233.
Fine Folk The lusty spirit of Carnaval spills over with a visit from Bale Folclorico da Bahia, Brazil's only professional folk dance company. West African cultural influences, drawn from the West African slaves the Portuguese brought into Brazil, materialize in dances that doubled as self-defense: capoeira, a kind of gymnastic martial art filled with cartwheeling and spinning kicks; and maculeé, ostensibly a harvest dance done on sugar cane plantations by dancers wielding cane stalks and machetes. There are celebratory dances, too, like the Puxada de Rede (Fisherman's Dance), with women swimming like fish into the hoop-skirted net of the goddess of the sea, and the Samba Reggae, which, with its raucous dance beat, may remind viewers of Carnaval revels past. The show begins at 8 p.m. (also Saturday) at Zellerbach Hall, Bancroft & Telegraph, UC Berkeley campus. Admission is $18-30; call (510) 642-9988.
Give a Man a Fish Everybody loves radical thinkers, later, after they're dead, and the two-day lecture and performance festival Darwin's Menagerie: Victorians, Sociobiologists, and Other Threatened Species will celebrate one of the most admired and despised thinkers of any age. Before Charles Darwin offered his evolutionary theory in The Origin of the Species in 1859, natural history was the study of species created by God. Humanities West brings together scholars who trace the evolution of Darwin's thinking and its popularity (in Pulitzer Prize-winning author Carl Degler's lecture "The Rise and Decline of Darwinism in American Social Thought 1859-1935"), coupled with performances like ACT veteran Peter Donat's one-man show on Darwin's controversial perspective, A Somewhat Eccentric Contribution to the Proceedings. The event begins at 8 p.m. (also Saturday at 10 a.m.) at Herbst Theater, 401 Van Ness (at McAllister), S.F. Admission is $20-30; call 391-9700.
Ceilidh Me Softly With Their Songs The seven-piece band KiLA, from Dublin, sings most of its songs in Gaelic, but the music has a surprisingly international flavor. Maybe the language barrier for non-Gaelic-speaking audiences focuses extra attention on the infectious, percussive rhythms, the swoop of slide bodhran and the rattle of shakers punctuating the pounding bass drum and soaring horn refrain on "in Taobh Tuathail Amach," or the teasing lilt of fiddle, mandolins, and bouzouki in the Gypsy-ish "Rusty Nails." KiLA make their second U.S. appearance at the Celtic Music and Arts Festival, a two-day cultural event where Celtic goes traditional with the jigs and reels of concertina player Mary MacNamara, and gets adventuresome with the Lahawns, Galway's "MTV Ceilli band," so described for the way they infuse ancient music with a funk backbeat. Other highlights include Irish music pioneer and Elvis Costello producer Donal Lunny and his all-star band, a series of music workshops, folk dancing with the Kennelly Dancers, and a Celtic marketplace. Activities begin at noon (also Sunday) at the Fort Mason Center Festival Pavilion, Marina & Buchanan, S.F. Admission is free-$20; call 392-4400. If that isn't enough to satisfy yearnings for all things Irish, there's always Irish Poetry Night, a reading with Jon Greene, Frank Holt, Joe Kelly, and Nancy Keane, plus Irish dancing and a limerick contest, 7 p.m. Tuesday at Keane's 3300 Club, 3300 Mission (at 29th Street), S.F. Admission is free; call 333-3494.