Scary Monsters and Super Creeps Spend a lazy afternoon watching Tokyo get stomped at the Artists' Theater Workshop, a new movie and performance theater created and run by an Oakland-based artists' collective. Since its opening party two weeks ago, the theater has been luring viewers with a mix of old favorites and experimental new stuff. This afternoon's double bill, called Daycamp, features Godzilla on Monster Island (Godzilla and Angillus fend off Gigan, a monster with a buzz-saw in his belly) and Mothra (giant caterpillar invades Tokyo, steered by supernatural twin girls). After bad dubbing, jerky action shots, and garish Tohoscope color, the evening's films may seem foreign in their own relatively sophisticated way. Lumiere and Company is a collection of 40 52-second films shot by 40 filmmakers, each using the original camera the Lumiere Brothers used at the turn of the century. David Lynch is among them, turning in a surreal dreamscape viewers can compare with his portrait of a druggy, psycho Dennis Hopper in Blue Velvet, the last film of the night. John Boorman's Zardoz, a sci-fi adventure starring Sean Connery as an exterminator, plays between Lumiere and Lynch. Daycamp begins at 2 p.m.; Lumiere & Co. begins at 8 p.m. at the Artists' Theater Workshop, 1932 Telegraph (at 19th Street), Oakland. Admission is $5 (drinks and refreshments available); call (510) 653-1602.
And Noow, Trrrropic of Cancerrrrr! Erotica means different things to different people -- at the April Fool Follies Fund-Raiser, it means people with heavy Scottish burrs, or people affecting heavy Scottish burrs, or just drunk, slurring people reading erotic poetry and performing excerpts from the steamy stories of Henry Miller and Anais Nin. It's a benefit for pub thespian collective the Bare Bones Theater, who'll read with Edinburgh Castle manager Alan Black. In between readings, you can be sure that people will be getting their hands good and greasy with fish 'n' chips and looking for dance partners to trundle around the floor to '60s cover band the Termites. Turned on yet? The show, which really is for a good cause, begins at 8 p.m. at the Edinburgh Castle, 950 Geary (at Polk), S.F. Admission is $7-10; call 885-4074.
"But Easter-Day Breaks!" ... as Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote; "But Christ rises! Mercy every way is infinite -- and who can say?" Easter day breaks especially early in some quarters, thanks to daylight-saving time and the 77th annual Easter Sunrise Service. Spiritually minded San Franciscans will gather at the top of Mount Davidson at 6:30 a.m. for a nondenominational service at which Dr. Glenn Cole delivers an Easter message and the Rev. Stacy Boorn reads an Easter story, followed by live choral music. The gathering is centered around the Mount Davidson Cross, the largest privately owned cross in America since the Council of Armenian-American Organizations bought it from the city in 1996; voters approved the sale after a contentious civic discussion over the separation of church and state. (Mount Davidson Park is located at Landsdale & Myra, S.F. Admission to the service is free; call 566-8393.) This spring, a new citywide debate over religious and secular traditions was sparked by the announcement that the Castro would be cordoned off on Easter Sunday so the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence could celebrate their 20th anniversary with "Easter 1999: Two Decades of Decadence," a picnic and stage show. Catholic San Francisco and the gay Catholic group Dignity are counseling tolerance, but as the daily editorial pages will attest, some of the city's devout Catholics (including actual nuns) are offended by the flamboyant drag-queen sisters and their naughty party plans, which include Easter Bonnet and Basket contests and a Hunky Jesus competition. Tasteless? Sure. But overlooking the obvious fact that the church has offended plenty of people in its day, it's important to note that the Sisters are an international charitable institution that takes care of the needy and the infirm, just like other nuns. Phranc, Connie Champagne, and the Metropolitan Community Gospel Choir play the party, a benefit for two local youth programs. It begins at noon on Castro between 17th and 18th streets, S.F. Admission is by donation; call 552-0220.
A Bitter Pill Carl Djerassi, the Stanford chemist who helped develop the birth control pill, is something of a Renaissance man: Besides writing scholarly papers, he has dabbled in essays, autobiography, and fiction. He calls his work "science in fiction" to distinguish it from science fiction, which should appeal to readers who find the science in science fiction strangely convoluted or outright unlikely. ACT alum Ed Hastings will direct the Eureka Theater's production of Djerassi's drama An Immaculate Misconception, which considers the ethical and emotional implications of pregnancy. At the heart of this tale of love and reproductive technologies is a scientist who tests a controversial procedure on herself without telling her lover or colleagues. The show, which debuted at last year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival, opens at 8 p.m. (following previews Thursday through Sunday, and runs through May 2) at the Eureka Theater, 215 Jackson (at Battery), S.F. Admission is $15-25; call 788-SHOW.
Springtime for Hitler Dictators and despots will have their day in ... People Too, a collaboration between audio artist Paul DeMarinis and filmmaker Jay Rosenblatt. DeMarinis, a multimedia and electronic sound artist whose work has been installed at the SFMOMA, will discuss his audio collage-in-progress, which is based on a speech given by Soviet ruler Joseph Stalin around 1936, the text of which he remixes with relevant audio clips from Stalin's era. Rosenblatt, a documentary filmmaker, will screen and discuss Human Remains, which profiles Hitler, Mao, Tito, Mussolini, and Stalin, sidestepping the atrocities they committed to reveal lesser-known, human aspects of their personalities: the pets they enjoyed, the people they liked, what kinds of tea they drank, and so on. The show begins at 7:30 p.m., preceded at 6 p.m. by a family-style dinner, at Headlands Center for the Arts, East Wing, Fort Barry Building 944, San Rafael. Admission is free-$12; call 331-2787 to reserve dinner space.