Night + Day

Wednesday
February 24
The Doubtful Guests Enigmatic artist Edward Gorey has spent much of his life illustrating the horror of the mundane with grimly hilarious pen-and-ink renderings. In Gorey's world, sofas are strangely menacing, ballerinas are wan and dispirited, and children meet violent ends, most famously in The Beastly Baby (through a messy explosion) and the Gashlycrumb Tinies, a rhyming alphabet song in which tykes perish from mysterious fits and crushing ennui. A recent resurgence in the availability of Gorey books and ephemera (calenders were big last Christmas) suggest that a new generation has discovered his work. The elegant Jazz Age couture of Gorey's characters and the macabre nature of their stories evidently appealed to goth pianist and torch singer Jill Tracy, who will perform in "The Enchanted Mannequins," a fashion show and salon inspired by Gorey's work. Tracy and members of her Malcontent Orchestra will be joined by fellow devotees Uncle Paul, a magician and performer; installation artist Maya Rattinger; and Horsey pianist Steven Moon, as models draped in Martini Mercantile period clothing pose in Gorey-styled vignettes. The show begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Black Cat's Blue Bar, 501 Broadway (at Kearny), S.F. Admission is $7 ($5 for guests in Gorey-like attire); call 831-7421.

Thursday
February 25
Doobie Doobie Do Dumb and Dumber creators the Farrelly Brothers love Zuba. After those arbiters of poor taste caught the band's act at an Aspen nightclub, Peter Farrelly asked them to contribute music to the bowling comedy Kingpin. He liked their songs "Imagine Freedom" and "I'd Have to Say (In the Butt Bob)" so much, he gave them a cameo appearance, then asked them to do something for There's Something About Mary. Now, nobody's suggesting that the Farrelly Brothers smoke a lot of pot, or that their fans might include potheads, or that pot figured into their movies in any way, but besides casting vocal hemp activist Woody Harrelson as a Kingpin lead, the Farrellys seem to have a powerful faith in a trio that High Times dubbed "Stoner Band of the Month." Did we mention that the group writes songs -- melodic, meandering, funk-lite songs with titles like "4:11" -- about pot? Zuba plays at 9 p.m. at the Red Devil Lounge, 1695 Polk (at Clay), S.F. Admission is $5; call 541-9678. They also play at 10 p.m. Saturday at the Elbo Room, 647 Valencia (at 17th Street), S.F. Admission is $6; call 552-7788.

Pluckin' Good Six-string samurais put three-chord rock to shame at "International Guitar Night," where Chilean Latin jazz guitarist Oscar Lopez, a regular on the folk-music circuit of his adopted Canada, should draw a healthy crowd. Lopez coaxes rippling flamenco and rumba rhythms from his instrument, with dexterous displays of virtuosity. The bill also includes fellow Canadian Don Ross (who incorporates slapping, tapping, and hammer-ons into his playing style), Italian guitarist Antonio Calogero, and local strummer Brian Gore. The show begins at 8 p.m. at Freight and Salvage, 1111 Addison, Berkeley. Admission is $13.50-14.50; call (510) 548-1761. In a related note, blues guitarist and John Lee Hooker collaborator Roy Rogers (who was named for the cowboy star) demonstrates the fine art of bottleneck slide in a solo show of American roots music. Shana Morrison and Tom Rigney open at 9 p.m. Saturday at the Great American Music Hall, 859 O'Farrell (at Polk), S.F. Admission is $14; call 885-0750.

Friday
February 26
Going All the Way Sonya Delwaide has thrown her entire self into the full-length group concert "De la Téte aux Pieds (From Head to Toes)." The French-Canadian transplant not only put the show together, but dances in it and created new work subtly tailored to her other dancers' strengths and backgrounds. She took advantage of dancer Suzanne Gallo's richly varied technical experience to create a textured solo set to ritual chants from other countries, and for former Broadway hoofer Frank Shawl, she offers a solo about thwarted expectations. For the inventive, "differently abled" dancers of Axis Dance Company (and perhaps, their tongue-tied viewers), Delwaide created Chuchotements (Whisperings), which draws parallels between Baroque-era emphasis on protocol and the modern concern with political correctness. And with members of Compagnie de Danse L'Astragale, the theatrical modern dance company she helped found in Quebec, Delwaide herself takes the floor to explore the human need to meddle, in Les Voisins (The Neighbors). The show begins at 8 p.m. (also Saturday, 7 p.m. Sunday) at ODC Theater, 3153 17th St. (at Shotwell), S.F. Admission is $12-14; call 863-9834.

Ich Bin Eine Berliner The city's liberal politics and sexual decadence have trickled into its cabaret scene: Unless we're talking about San Francisco in the '90s, this must be "Berlin in the Twenties: Metropolis on the Edge." The two-day Humanities West lecture and performance program attempts to capture that fleeting but memorable era after World War I, when new political and social freedoms let German artists experiment with art, architecture, music, and theater, giving the world new performers like Marlene Dietrich and new works from dramatist Bertolt Brecht and composer Kurt Weill. Berlin chansonnier Tim Fischer, with his sultry voice and fluid gender identity, re-creates a Weimar-era cabaret show on opening night, following a slide lecture on the Berlin cabaret scene from University of Texas history professor Peter Jelavich. History professor David Large kicks off the following day's events with a lecture on literature and politics of the era; additional highlights include film historian Timothy Donahue Bombosch's lecture with film clips from The Blue Angel and Nosferatu, and soprano Lauren Carley's "Brecht/Weill Repertoire" concert. The program begins at 8 p.m. tonight and 10 a.m. Saturday at the Herbst Theater, 401 Van Ness (at McAllister), S.F. Admission is $20-50; call 392-4400. It's worth noting, too, that Fischer's act will be the first when Josie's Cabaret reopens in March. According to owner Ron Lanza, the deal to sell the club, which shut down early in January, fell through. The club will be open nights only for dinners and shows through the end of the year, when the lease expires. Berlin Cabaret opens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 3, followed later in the month by the Troubadour Theater Company's Butt Pirates of the Caribbean and Tom Orr's Sweet Parody! Call 861-7933 for reservations.

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