Sticky Business The country in question sounds like Afghanistan, where the Islamic fundamentalist rule of the Taliban has severely curtailed women's freedoms, but Gum could, of course, be set in plenty of places. Playwright Karen Hartman's original drama unfolds in some unnamed fundamentalist territory where women must cover themselves in veils and deny themselves simple pleasures like cigarettes, gum, and rock 'n' roll. Hartman localizes the conflict between state-mandated modesty and sensual longings (and the secrecy that forbidden activity engenders) in the walled garden behind a big estate, where Rhami, the older of two sisters, begins to sneak smokes and sticks of Juicy Fruit. Jean Randich directs Gum, which Hartman wrote in her last year of grad school at Yale. The show previews at 8 p.m. (and runs through May 23) at the Magic Theater, Building D, Fort Mason, Marina & Buchanan, S.F. Admission is $18-32; call 441-8822.
A Walk on the Wild Side The Pacific Northwest guards its natural beauty fiercely, especially from real-estate-sucking Californians, who've despoiled the landscape nearly as much as clearcutting. (As far back as the early '70s, Oregonians were greeting Californians with bumper stickers that read "Have a nice visit -- please don't stay," or something to that effect.) California will try to make nice this evening at the Earth Day release party for the CD compilation Fish-Tree-Water Blues. Proceeds from CD sales benefit the Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund (formerly the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund), a nonprofit environment-friendly law firm working for the preservation of clean waterways, old-growth forests, and the now-waning salmon population -- Northern California is actually part of the contested territory. Ani DiFranco, Etta James, Loudon Wainwright, and Mavis Staples are among the musicians whose originals and covers highlight the album; contributors Charlie Musselwhite, Tracy Nelson, and the Robert Cray Band take the blues live at the party, which begins at 8 p.m. at the Fillmore, 1805 Geary (at Fillmore), S.F. Admission is $35; call (510) 762-2277.
Pretty in Pink, Part Deux Whether your prom memories are the blissful, pawing-your-dream-date kind or the terrifying, dodging-buckets-of-pig's-blood variety, rest assured that somewhere some adult who just can't seem to let the prom go has made a movie or planned a theme party to help you either relive your experiences or blot them out with new ones. "New Wave City Prom Night" is just such a party. The roaming '80s dance club pays tribute to Pretty in Pink, the prom movie of the '80s, in which director John Hughes got a few things right, like Molly Ringwald's lacy, polka-dotted abomination of a prom dress, and most things wrong (Jon Cryer over James Spader? C'mon!). For people of a certain age, no curfew, no high-school politics, your own wheels, and easy access to liquor ought to improve the odds of a good time immensely, and this time you only have to wear '80s fashions if you want to: Prom King and Queen awards will be given to the best dressed. DJs will be spinning late-'70s/early '80s dance tunes and romantic ballads in the Slow Dance room -- have your picture taken in the photo booth and thumb your nose at Ringwald in the video lounge. The party begins at 9 p.m. at 550 Barneveld (at Oakdale), S.F. Admission is $5-10; call 675-LOVE.
Rock Their Worlds Jeff Ott came by his social consciousness the hard way, as an abused homeless kid with a substance-abuse problem. Because of whom he met and what he saw, Ott is determined that his band Fifteen, born of the Bay Area punk band Crimpshine, make an impact beyond that of the teeth-rattling feedback variety. That makes Fifteen the perfect candidate to play the launch party for Sub City Records, an offshoot of punk-ska label Hopeless Records. Five percent of all Sub City releases will go toward charities handpicked by the label's bands: So far, beneficiaries include New Day Runaway Shelter and the Redwood Summer Justice Project. Fifteen headlines the launch party, preceded by Voodoo Glow Skulls tourmates Falling Sickness and the old-school punk of Albuquerque's Scared of Chakra. Doors open at 7 p.m. at the Cocodrie, 1024 Kearny (at Columbus), S.F. Admission is $7; call 986-6678.
Can't Help Lovin' Those Men They're a cheeky bunch, those Gay Men's Chorus fellas; they've given us "KGAY, FM: Sounds of the '60s," with camp queen Florence Henderson, and demanded "Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Man After Midnight)" at their ExtrABBAganza. Maybe it's a case of laughing to keep from crying: The Gay Men's Chorus got off to a fairly tragic start nearly 20 years ago when they gathered on the steps of City Hall to memorialize slain city officials George Moscone and Harvey Milk in song, and since then they've lost nearly 200 members and sung as many AIDS requiems and elegies as they could be expected to stand. This spring's concert, "Misbehavin'," falls somewhere between the classical canon that informs their holiday concerts and the silly side of their theme shows. Broadway star Nell Carter joins them for an evening of '30s and '40s-era jazz with an emphasis on the elegant works of Duke Ellington. The show begins at 8 p.m. (also Sunday at 2 p.m.) at the Masonic Auditorium, 1111 California, S.F. Admission is $10-40; call 863-4472.