Night + Day

March 22
Favorite Haunts A View to a Kill was filmed in part at the Dunsmuir Estate; so was So I Married an Axe Murderer. Now the estate plans to screen another scary film shot on location and starring the intimidating Bette Davis: Burnt Offerings, the story of a young couple who plan to rent a summer home in the country, only to find that the house has some strange and frightening diversions in store. The 40-acre estate has hosted lighthearted revels like Christmas pageants and art deco parties, but something about it seems to invite cinematic horror. Maybe it's because lumber and coal-mining baron Alexander Dunsmuir, who built the estate, died on his honeymoon and never got a chance to live there, or because Dunsmuir's wife expired shortly after he did and the house was sold to Wells Fargo family the Hellmans, or maybe it's because the city carved a few hundred acres out of the original property to build on. Look for clues when the film screens in the carriage house at 1:30 p.m. The mansion is open for self-guided tours at 3 p.m. at the Dunsmuir House and Gardens Historic Estate, 2960 Peralta Oaks Court, Oakland. Admission is $10 (includes screening, tour, and refreshments); call (510) 658-3873.

Spill the Wine She was born the illegitimate daughter of a pope, and things just went downhill from there for Italian Renaissance woman Lucrezia Borgia, who married three different men, only to see one marriage annulled, another husband (a fellow bastard) bumped off, and vicious rumors spread about the incestuous relationships she is said to have had with her brothers and father. She was once a significant patron of the arts, but her good intentions were ultimately eclipsed by these and other unsubstantiated but persistent rumors that she aided her family's rise to power by plying her detractors with poisoned wine. The Pocket Opera and Philharmonic stage Donizetti's long-lost opera Lucrezia Borgia, based on the novel by Victor Hugo (and later rewritten as La Rinnegata after Hugo objected), at 3 p.m. at Temple Emanu-El, 2 Lake (at Arguello), S.F. Admission is $10-25; call 575-1102.

March 23
Oscar Wieners There were reports of noisy disgruntlement at the Roxie's Oscar party the year Braveheart cleaned up, so it'll be fun to see how Titanic goes down at the sixth annual Up the Academy Awards! party. This is a good place for people who favor small, unusual pictures over Hollywood epics, and who don't mind a little public commentary on the emotional speechifying and expensive gowns. Unlike other parties of its ilk, it is also BYO-whatever-you're-having. It begins at 5 p.m. at the Roxie Cinema, 3117 16th St. (at Valencia), S.F. Admission is $6.50; call 863-1087. Oscar Night at the Fringe, meanwhile, provides snacks and a no-host bar, and gives guests a little dose of the stage with the Tinseltown by announcing the lineup for the Fringe Festival theater marathon taking place this fall. The Oscars will be broadcast on two big-screen TVs at the party, which begins at 5 p.m. at the Exit Theater, 156 Eddy (at Mason), S.F. Admission is $10; call 673-3847. The dress code will be a little stiffer at the 18th annual Academy of Friends shindig Epic: A Night Full of Heroes, where the admission charge benefits local AIDS service agencies and covers tables loaded with delicacies from local restaurateurs and wines from local vintners, along with prize drawings and auctions. It begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Festival Pavilion, Fort Mason, Marina & Buchanan, S.F. Admission is $125; call 252-0713. The Oscar Night America party, a benefit for the Film Institute of Northern California and the only local event to be licensed by the Academy, provides a four-course dinner and auction, and begins with a champagne toast at 4:30 p.m. at the Sheraton Palace Hotel, 2 New Montgomery (at Market), S.F. Admission is $150-250; call 383-5346. And finally, the second annual Fuck the Academy Awards night features dollar beers, snacks, laundry facilities, and singer Rube Waddell and guitarist Henry Kaiser performing at the ongoing "Unscrubbed: Live From the Laundromat" series beginning at 9 p.m. at Brain Wash, 1122 Folsom (at Seventh Street), S.F. Admission is free; call 255-4866.

March 24
Funny Girl It's the Mouth that makes Sandra Bernhard stand out: not so much the ample, lipsticked, gap-toothed grin, but what Bernhard says once she opens up. Since the late '70s when she began as a manicurist/stand-up comic in L.A., Bernhard has based her wry, heavily referential material on the dual cults of personality and pop culture. Her links to celebrities like Madonna and Isaac Mizrahi and her conspicuous movement within exclusive social sets have made her as much a celebrity as the work she's done, which has spanned film (with a role in The King of Comedy), TV (as a regular on Roseanne), music (with her CD Excuses for Bad Behavior), and books (like her fairly premature autobiography Confessions of a Pretty Lady). Bernhard's one-woman show I'm Still Here ... Damn It! traffics in more of the same, and reassures fans who had begun to miss her; it opens at 8 p.m. (and runs through April 4) at the Alcazar Theater, 650 Geary (at Jones), S.F. Admission is $35-38.50; call (510) 762-2277.

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