Night + Day

Wednesday
January 20
Well, You Heard About the Boston Strangler "Speedy's Wig City," that bastion of white trash living in an increasingly Gap-collared neighborhood, has moved from Monday to Wednesday nights, and to celebrate, they're throwing a dance party tonight with the Blue Bell Wranglers and next week with the Texas Manglers. These aren't the same bands, understand; they're not even kissing cousins. The Wranglers, musical guests of Greaseball '98 who have served as the opener for both Wanda Jackson and Harry Dean Stanton, are three guys (including one Deluxe bartender) and a gal on lead vocals playing rockabilly chased with country-and-western swing. The Manglers, meanwhile, mix Tex-Mex tejano with R&B. Neither of them are from Texas and both go down easy with the auto mechanic decor and the pork rinds. The show begins at 10 p.m. at the Elbo Room, 647 Valencia (at 17th Street), S.F. Admission is $4; call 552-7788.

Thursday
January 21
I Dream of Jean She's done Moliere and movies, but to most of us, Jean Stapleton will always be the harried housewife Edith Bunker on the '70s TV series All in the Family. That's not a bad thing, necessarily: Stapleton inhabited that role so completely that she burned herself into our collective memory as one of TV's most sympathetic characters, with her drawn-out sigh of "Oh, Ahhhchie" and her bumbling gait. American Conservatory Theater Artistic Director Carey Perloff will be asking Stapleton about that show and others in an onstage interview at "Lives in the Theater." They'll have plenty to talk about besides TV: Stapleton appeared in ACT's production of The Matchmaker, and next month she'll appear in ACT's North American premiere of Tom Stoppard's Indian Ink. She was also in town recently to narrate the Women's Philharmonic tribute to Eleanor Roosevelt, whom Stapleton portrayed in the film Eleanor: First Lady of the World. Listen for anecdotes about working with John Travolta and Stockard Channing as well when Stapleton speaks about her theatrical life at 8 p.m. at the Osher Marin Jewish Community Center's Hoytt Theater, 200 North San Pedro Rd., San Rafael. Admission is $14-18; call 479-2000.

Friday
January 22
Good Girls Don't ... or Do They? The virgin/whore dichotomy is about to go a few more rounds during a public debate between Wendy Shalit and Carol Queen. The first debate that Solar Light Books has planned could be its most heated, as ideological opposites spar over a loaded topic -- sex. Shalit and Queen get 20 minutes each to speak or read from their respective books, followed by a two-minute rebuttal, and finally, an informal Q&A session with the audience. Shalit, a recent Williams College graduate and the author of A Return to Modesty, got her first major public exposure when her critique of Williams' coed bathrooms made its way into Reader's Digest. She is expected to argue that sexual restraint and a return to romantic ideals can preserve women from a host of ills ranging from eating disorders to date rape, a contentious idea aligned with the backlash against the freewheeling '60s and '70s. Carol Queen, a self-avowed whore and the locally based author of Exhibitionism for the Shy, Pomosexuals, and freelance work for Penthouse, hails from just that era and is likely to make the case for sex work and sexual freedom. The debate begins at 7:30 p.m. at Solar Light Books, 2068 Union, S.F. Admission is free; call 567-6082. Meanwhile, Romeo Void's Debora Iyall, who declared her own position nearly a decade ago with the lyrics "I might like you better if we slept together," reads her work at the Tip Top's Monday night poetry series. Peter Dunne and Kjell Cronn join Iyall at the reading, which begins at 9 p.m. Monday at the Tip Top Inn, 3001 Mission (at 26th Street), S.F. Admission is free; call 824-6486.

Follow the Talking Dog Remember life before "Yo quiero Taco Bell?" Actor/comedian Carlos Alazraqui does: His one-man show, This Is a Size 6 ... and This Is Your Head, is all about it, in fact. Alazraqui is the voice of the pint-sized canine in the fast-food ads (for the record, the hungry pup with an eye for the ladies is actually a female Chihuahua named Gidget). He had a career before that, although not one that paid him so obscenely well to walk into a sound studio and knock out a few simple phrases. Alazraqui supplied voices for A Bug's Life and has done comedy clubs and Hollywood Squares -- prior to that, he was just a regular guy from Concord. Sort of. A first-generation American son of Argentine parents, Alazraqui learned a lot about difference and assimilation as a kid, which he parlays into a show populated by characters like Jon the Scottish soccer coach and Carl the Midwestern health club owner. The show, which plays in repertory with Dan Scopazzi's Outer Mission, Middle Class, another piece about a Bay Area childhood with immigrant parents, previews at 8:30 p.m. (and runs through March 7) at the Bannam Place Theater, 50A Bannam Place (at Grant), S.F. Admission is $15; call 281-0126.

Saturday
January 23
Net Worth Basketball fans have already had a rough season and the season hasn't even started yet. Just after the protracted NBA players strike was settled with a controversial six-year collective bargaining agreement, the game's most revered player, Michael Jordan, announced that he was leaving the arena. With this year's shortened season and Jordan's departure, disaffected NBA fans may be more likely to turn to the relatively uncomplicated world of college ball and the Harlem Globetrotters. Former Globetrotter Mannie Jackson purchased the 73-year-old team in 1993 and gave it a major overhaul, adding music, a mascot, a new rival (the New York Nationals, who replace the long-suffering Washington Generals after 40-some years), and corporate sponsorship designed to stem the financial bleeding that had weakened the outfit in recent years. What hasn't changed are the trick shots, the physical comedy routines, and the familiar whistling theme song "Sweet Georgia Brown." See how the team's newest recruit, former University of Oregon guard Jamal Curry, stacks up against famous former players like Curly Neal and Meadowlark Lemon. The games begin at 7:30 p.m. in the New Arena in Oakland, I-880 & 66th Avenue, Oakland. Admission is $9.50-30; call (510) 762-2277.

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