Night + Day

March 17
Erin Go Bragh-Less This isn't Boston, where you could get clobbered for less than the "Trailer Trash Twisted St. Patrick's Bash." This is the Bay Area, where any holiday is a good excuse for performance-art hijinks -- especially a holiday that so many people like to observe by getting shitfaced and claiming Irish roots. Not that this event, a fund-raiser and kickoff party for the new Artists' Theater Workshop, is wholly untraditional: There's Molly's Irish Boil and pints of Guinness to be had, plus live music and dancing. There are leprechauns, too, but this is where things get a little upsetting: They're Cacophony Society leprechauns, not to be confused with the strolling freak acts that are also part of the show. Guests can get in on the freakishness by bringing objects to be painted green or auditioning for the Debauchery Theater. That leaves the rest of the night for Playboy party games and puppets. The bash begins at 6 p.m. at 1922 Telegraph (at 19th Street), Oakland. Admission is $6; call (510) 653-1602. For more St. Patrick's Day events, see Page 38.

One Fish, Two Fish When we left Tuna, Texas, last Christmas, gun shop owner Didi Snavley had lost her husband to alien visitors, and devout Baptist Bertha Bumiller had found a new religion after tossing back a few drinks with DJ Arles Struvie at a holiday party. With a remarkable talent for quick costume and character changes, actors Joe Sears and Jaston Williams created the fictional Texas town and all 22 quirky, deluded, hopeful people in it, beginning with Greater Tuna and followed by A Tuna Christmas, which played the city in December. Local fans can catch up on the latest and meet new characters at the third installment of the Tuna trilogy: Red, White, and Tuna. This time the homespun comic premise is a high school reunion, which promises a fierce fight for the Reunion Queen title and the return of two prodigal Tunites from their newfound bohemian lifestyles. Williams and Sears make droll work of conservative small-town life in the show, which opens at 8 p.m. (and runs through March 28) at the Marines Memorial Theater, 609 Sutter (at Mason), S.F. Admission is $25-39; call (877) 771-6900.

March 18
Dance Through Time There were complaints in the early '80s that America's line of great modern dance innovators had ended with Merce Cunningham and Paul Taylor. Then along came the Mark Morris Dance Group, who electrified dancegoers and changed the conversation completely. American modern dance hadn't come to an end, of course: There were fine new and old choreographers working then, and Morris absorbed plenty from both before striking out on his own, reviving classical scores through unadorned, often joyful, modern movement. The company unveils the world premiere of Morris' Dixit Dominus, with live music from the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra and the American Bach Soloists Choir, along with Love Song Waltzes and New Love Song Waltzes, set to movements from Brahms' Liebeslieder Walzer. The show begins at 8 p.m. (and runs through Sunday) at Zellerbach Hall, Bancroft & Telegraph, UC Berkeley campus. Admission is $20-45; call (510) 642-9988. For comparison's sake, catch this weekend's free performance by Taylor 2, the youth offshoot of Paul Taylor's company, who offer a window on the upcoming S.F. Taylor residency. The show begins at 2 p.m. Saturday in the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Forum, 701 Mission (at Third Street), S.F. Admission is free; call 978-2710, ext. 110.

March 19
Out of the Frying Pan Set to Wagner and tango music, Lillian Garrett-Groag's drama The Magic Fire follows one family's flight from the political unrest of Hitler's Europe to the political unrest of Juan Peron's Argentina. Daughter Lise Berg (played by a rotating cast of actresses) narrates the story, which begins in 1952 when she is 7 years old and Eva Peron is dying. Berg's eccentric family members hold grim political realities on both continents at bay through their love of the arts, especially opera, but in the end, fascism's choke hold tightens unbearably. Garrett-Groag (author of The Ladies of the Camellias) saw the show become a hit at last year's Oregon Shakespeare Festival. It previews at 8 p.m. (and runs through May 7) at the Berkeley Repertory Theater, 2025 Addison (at Shattuck), Berkeley. Admission is $29.50-45; call (510) 845-4700.

Manly Dances Air Force brat Scott Wells spent a macho childhood on military bases, playing sports with his older brothers. For the last two years, the adult Wells has been thinking about his youth and what it means to be a man, and his answer lies in "Chaos Theory," a dance concert that snaps the sissy-boy male dancer stereotype clean in half. An hour or two with Scott Wells & Dancers would do that anyway, considering their strong, athletic contact improv style. Wells' new work, Wrestling With Affection, combs through our culture in search of male physicality, finding its expression in the butt-slapping, full-body tackling tradition of team sports and weird adolescent rites of passage. Also on the program: Square Dance, an installation of movable walls that shape the choreography, as dancers navigate a shifting maze of alleys and doorways in the space. The show begins at 8 p.m. (and runs through March 27) at ODC Theater, 3153 17th St. (at Shotwell), S.F. Admission is $12-15; call 863-9834.

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