Chat Room Computer jockeys and Web surfers will be leaving the sickly pale glow of the monitor behind tonight and interfacing with real live people at Geekapalooza 1.0, a party for Internet professionals thrown by the San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and East Bay chapters of the Association of Internet Professionals. Besides obvious networking opportunities and the chance to put faces with e-mail addresses and Web sites, the party offers a sneak preview trailer of Girl Geeks? The Female Side of Computing: A Multimedia Documentary, featuring interviews with some of the best-known women in the industry talking about the correlation between women's and geeks' issues. The Venusians, dubbed "the champions of the Jetsonian Set," add to the space-age ambience with live sets mixing jazz, funk, and rock with electronica, ska, and world music. Prize drawing participants could win high-end geekware (people who know what a 3Com Palm Pilot 3 is should be very excited) and Geekapalooza T-shirts. The party begins at 7 p.m. at the Transmission Theater, 314 11th St. (at Folsom), S.F. Admission is $7-10; call 642-5795.
Fringe Element Lunacy reigns at the Fringe Festival, the annual monthlong performance event where viewers race from one venue to the next, soaking up as much experimental performance from international companies as they can. At the 1998 "Fringe Benefit Party," a fund-raiser for this year's festival, the addition of make-your-own wine has upped the lunacy factor. The Wine Brats will be pouring wines outside the fund-raiser mainstream, including pinotage and viognier, and setting up an educational table on the art of blending, where guests can mix barrel samples from several grape varieties to make their own style of wine in the glass. The rest of the evening will be spent trotting through a series of theatrical stations, watching performances by mask artist Nina Barlow and toothsome musical duo the Whistleaires. When the actual Fringe Festival gets under way next month, viewers can look forward to the antics of the Troubadour Theater Company in the bawdy, gender-bending musical Butt Pirates of the Caribbean, along with local sketch comedy group Killing My Lobster, Linda Brokenshire's one-woman clown show about the motivational industry, and a dozen others. The party begins at 7 p.m. at the Exit Theater, 156 Eddy (at Mason), S.F. Admission is $15; call 673-3847.
Adulto Entertainment Outside Europe, Nobel laureate Dario Fo doesn't get much play, except in the Bay Area, where in 1979, the S.F. Mime Troupe distinguished itself as one of the first American companies to stage We Can't Pay! We Won't Pay!, a theatrical satire Fo wrote with his wife and creative partner, actress Franca Rame. The Italian anti-capitalist's comic treatment of social institutions and class goes over well here, and the city has staged several other Fo/Frame productions since, including this spring's "Fo Fest," a weekendlong celebration with plays, film, and symposia. The international love affair continues with Orgasmo Adulto Escapes From the Zoo, a one-woman Fo/Frame show that has arrived after a healthy Southern California run. Italian-born actress Francesca Fanti plays four different women in the show, which dissects man's inhumanity to woman in four swift strikes, as an impoverished factory worker juggles the demands of a hot-tempered husband and a newborn, an institutionalized prostitute recounts poverty and abuse, a housewife is driven mad by her brother-in-law's obscene phone calls, and a profanity-spewing doll liberates her owner. The show opens at 8:30 p.m. (and continues through Sept. 20) at the Marsh, 1062 Valencia (at 22nd Street), S.F. Admission is $8-15; call 826-5750.
Sight Lines To poke fun at the mostly macho notion of action painting, artist Laurie Long will strap on her "Live Action Painting Bra" at the fourth annual group show "The More You See" and squirt colored ink from strategically placed jets onto her canvas. Six locals are participating in the exhibit, which is open to emerging artists in all media: This particular crop invites a double take on the work that inspired the show, as well as the work itself. Besides Long, "The More You See" spotlights Reanne Estrada's "soap drawings," a creative commentary on cleanliness that deliberately sullies a bar of Ivory soap by wrapping long, thick strands of hair around it in intricate, and obsessive, patterns. Photographer Maizie Gilbert freezes fleeting gestures and expressions, and the writer/artist collective South to the Future raise questions about technology, culture, and politics with Virtual Tomagutchi, a 6-foot-high interactive installation that's part arcade game and part dialogue instigator. (It's named for those bleeping, omnipresent digital toy pets.) The show opens with a reception at 6 p.m. at Southern Exposure, 401 Alabama (at 17th Street), S.F. Admission is free; call 863-2141.
Sticky Fingers What kind of high-minded literary journal launches itself with a "Jell-O Wrasslin' Party"? That would be Fnord, and for the record, they'd prefer to be called a quarterly publication so as not to scare off potential readers who might equate "literary" with stuffy. With the express purpose of "making intellectualism fun again," the journal, which declares itself devoid of any kind of thematic bent, has packed its premiere issue with essays that take a swipe at intellectualism, like the "Pure Thought Manifesto" (facts aren't knowledge) and "Neurolinguistic Hacking for Dummies," plus a quote from celebrated thinker Jello Biafra. Which brings us back to "Jell-O Wrasslin'": A few heats have been set, but guests can bid their way into the ring during the Get In on the Action Auction, and the hosts, who will be grappling their way through the sticky edible muck as well, provide free showers. It's a BYOB and BYO towels affair, but prizes and refreshments will be pro-vided, and a DJ will spin throughout the evening. Meanwhile, Jell-O and booze are out and the hustle is in at "Mondo A-Go-Go," a dance party fund-raiser for the Metropolitan Community Foundation. A light show and a DJ spinning disco, Motown, soul, R&B, and new wave will take the geezers back to the bad old days, and let the kids play dress-up for a night. The Jell-O party begins at 8 p.m. at Crucible Steel Gallery, 2050 Bryant (at 19th Street), S.F. Admission is $5-10; call 282-7406. The disco party begins at 8 p.m. at the Harvey Milk School Auditorium, 19th Street & Collingwood, S.F. Admission is $7; call 863-4434.
Find Yourself a Nice Jewish Comedian and Settle Down It's been a good month for Jewish comedy: In the beginning we got "Feygelah Schmeygelah," an evening of queer Jewish humor, and now we get "An Evening of Jewish Comedy," queer and otherwise, benefiting the Jewish Family and Children's Services AIDS Project. Headliner Wendy Liebman is a Letterman and Leno regular who specializes in the one-two punch line. ("I'm a writer: I write checks. Mostly fiction.") She'll be supported by Dennis Miller Live head writer David Feldman, this year's U.S. Arts and Comedy Festival winner Todd Barry, and Josie's regular Dan Rothenberg. Michael Krasny, host of KQED's Forum show, MCs. The evening offers the additional draw of free bagels and begins at 7 p.m. at the Palace of Fine Arts, Bay & Lyon, S.F. Admission is $22.50-30; call 478-BASS.
Surrender to Dorothy The late jazz pianist Dorothy Donegan was internationally prized, not only for the way she could turn something simple like "Tea for Two" into an extended medley with elements of "Hungarian Rhapsody," but for her showy style, which sometimes included pounding the piano keys with her bare feet. Donegan did movies and Broadway as well as the concert and club circuit, and her influence was far-reaching. (Her motto was "A rolling stone gathers no moss, but it gets a hell of a lot of polishing.") Donegan recently succumbed to colon cancer, and in her honor, the Bright Moments Music Lovers Club is hosting a tribute to her career and her memory. Jazz artists David Hardiman, John Handy, Marcus Shelby, Fred Harris, and others will play, and there will be trivia, prizes, and film clips featuring Donegan performances. Proceeds will benefit children's music education programs. The show begins at 7 p.m. at Kimball's East, 5800 Shellmound, Emeryville. Admission is $10-12 (under 18 $5 with ID); call 822-1314.
Lingua auf Musique Former Zap Mama singer Sally Nyolo takes the idea of world music to heart on her solo album Multiculti: In its title track, she sings in Spanish, French, the Eton of her native Cameroon, and, quite disarmingly, in lilting, delicately accented English. The music, too, is more muscular and less slickly produced than some of its ilk, with traditional African instruments like birimbau layered over burbling bass lines and infectious percussion. Nyolo, who has resettled in Paris and contributed to American projects like the Blue in the Face soundtrack and Peter Gabriel's label, steers this tuneful, West African-based cosmopolitan mix with her breathy soprano and worldly outlook. She'll perform at 3 p.m. at Hear Music, 1809B Fourth St. (at Hearst), Berkeley. Admission is free; call (510) 204-9595. She'll also play Tuesday at 9 p.m. at the Justice League, 628 Divisadero (at Hayes), S.F. Admission is $10; call 440-0409.
Dis-Suede-ed English songwriter/guitarist Bernard Butler has struck out on his own, but for a long time to come, people will probably describe him as "that guy who left Suede." Butler's tough guitar lines gave credibility to frontman Brett Andersen's overemoting much the same way Johnny Marr's did, once upon a time, for Morrissey in the Smiths. But Butler is trying hard: His recent solo album's title provides the short answer to why he would walk away from a band that was still storming the music world: People Move On. He played guests spots with Teenage Fan Club, Paul Weller, and even the Verve, until his presence made Richard Ashcroft edgy and Butler finally decided to run his own show. People Move On won't sound entirely foreign to glam fans who embraced Suede, what with its spacey, dreamy vocals, and lush orchestral swell. The jolt will more likely come from seeing Butler sing, something he didn't do with his old band, and play a solo acoustic set, without expensive amps or star status to hide behind. Canadian singer/songwriter Emm Gryner opens the show at 8 p.m. at Bimbo's 365 Club, 1025 Columbus (at Chestnut), S.F. Admission is $10-12; call 474-0365.