Beau Brummel, Baby! Novelist Radcliffe Hall? A dandy. Saturday Night Live character Pat? Not a dandy. The jazz musician Billy Tipton, a dapper gent who was posthumously revealed to be a woman? Well .... Alice Jurow's lecture "The Androgynous Dandy: An Art Deco Icon" mixes slides, music, and fashion in a lively public discussion about what constitutes a dandy. Gay culture has especially embraced dandy characters for blurring gender lines in entertainment (Virginia Woolf's Orlando) and history (George Sand, the Duke of Windsor), but what sets dandies apart from cross-dressers and the merely androgynous is their elegance and ease in their own skins. A cocktail reception at 6:30 p.m. precedes the 7 p.m. lecture at Hotel Rex, 562 Sutter (at Mason), S.F. Admission is free-$5; call 982-DECO.
Go Play The cast of characters in this year's Emerging Playwrights Festival includes a Noel Cowardish society couple swapping martini-sodden confessions (in Sean Owens' Climax), and a woman whose plan to live in self-imposed exile, with just her phone and the Internet for company, is foiled by the arrival of the grocery delivery man (in Katherine Koppett's Don't Get Around Much Anymore). The festival features seven 10-minute plays, ranging stylistically from Greek tragedy to farce, culled from nearly 200 submissions to PlayGround's "Monday Night PlayLab," a monthly series in which emerging playwrights craft short works around a common theme. Established writers and directors like the Magic Theater's Benny Sato Ambush helped choose which plays got full stagings, and some writers are return guests. The show begins at 8 p.m. (and runs through June 27) at A Traveling Jewish Theater, 470 Florida (at 17th Street), S.F. Admission is "pay-what-you-can" on Thursdays and Fridays, $20-25 other nights; call 399-1809.
A Bug in Your Ear As with Telephone, the game in which an original phrase becomes mangled after multiple repetitions, one worker's simple request -- that he not be transferred to St. Louis -- generates a huge misunderstanding involving informants, slush funds, and assassins in The Bug. Richard Strand's timely satire of corporate ineptitude and runaway technology (which, coincidentally, debuted on the 17th floor of PG&E headquarters), centers on Jericho Systems employee Dennis Post, who discovers in the course of seeking a supervisor's advice that he doesn't have a supervisor, suggesting a bug in the system. The show, a favorite of the late arts booster Genevieve Hustead, will be the first to play Z Space once it's renamed the Genevieve Gallery for the Visual and Performing Arts in a public ceremony at 9:30 p.m. Saturday. The show previews tonight at 8 p.m. (and runs through July 18) at Z Space Studio Theater, 1360 Mission (at 10th Street), S.F. Admission is $13-15; call 437-6775.
Chock-a-Block Put your head in the hands of Victoria Vain and you'll walk away from the Hayes Valley Visual Block Party transformed. The Seattle stylist will be giving Asphalt gallery guests what she calls "Guerrilla Hair," an instant hairdo that an on-site photographer will capture for posterity. Each gallery, cafe, and boutique in the area has planned some kind of art event for the neighborhood bash, be it an exhibit of Tinhorn Press prints or a Taxco jewelry display. The party begins at 7 p.m. in Hayes Valley, from Laguna to Franklin and Grove to Oak, S.F. Admission is free; call 626-5196. A similar theme threads through the Arty Farty Block Party on Valencia, where vintage clothing shops Retrofit and Schauplatz offer fashion shows (at 8:30 and 9:30 p.m., respectively), and CityArt inaugurates its bimonthly Art Walk among local galleries. The party begins at 7 p.m. along Valencia between 19th and 20th streets, S.F. Admission is free; call 970-9900.
June Jam News of the Emancipation Proclamation reached Texas slaves a good two years after the document was signed, but when the word finally did arrive, on June 19, 1865, you can bet there was a great big party. The Juneteenth celebration that began in Texas eventually migrated west and will be celebrated in this city with cowboy tricks, a greased pig contest, and bareback riding at the Invitational Black Rodeo (2:30 p.m. today at Bercut Field, Golden Gate Park; $5-12). Additional festivities include the first annual Melvin Van Peebles Maverick Award film festival (11 a.m. Friday and Saturday at the AMC Kabuki Theater, 1881 Post; free-$20), a Juneteenth Parade (10 a.m. Saturday at Fell & Masonic; free); a festival with carnival games, music, and food (10 a.m. Saturday-Sunday at Kimball Park, Geary & Steiner; free), and a free gospel concert with Bobby Jones (6 p.m. Sunday at the Fillmore, 1805 Geary). Call 346-2634 for more information on all events.
You Mock Me! Most comics slated to play the Mock Festival of Comedy regularly ply their trade outside the club circuit, in drafty little storefront theaters and neighborhood pubs. Theirs is funny business infused with DIY energy and a local edge: Take Holy City Zoo alumna Bridgette Schwartz, whose inspired "Late-Night Live" series at Josie's paired people like SFPD Officer Bob Geary (and his ventriloquist dummy Brendan O'Smarty) with ex-hooker Margo St. James to discuss current events. Or former Associates member Bill Bernat, who joined Schwartz in skewering the corporate crowd with Financial District Sideshow. Bernat's new sketch comedy group Right-On Insane Asylum plays the five-night festival's opening gala along with fellow sketch groups the Fresh Robots, Please Leave the Bronx, and Liz White's Morton Science Players. Saturday's "Variety Night" guests include satirist Reannie Roads and Edinburgh Castle Lo-Fi Comedy host Harmon Leon. The following weekend promises "Improv Night" with interactive improv games from the East Bay Improvisers (June 25), "New and All-Star Comics" with Schwartz and Joe Klocek (June 26; additional 10 p.m. show), and "All-Women's Night" with Aundre the Wonderwoman (June 27; note 7 p.m. show). All shows begin at 8:30 p.m. (unless otherwise noted) at the Marsh's Mock Cafe, 1074 Valencia (at 22nd Street), S.F. Admission is $5-10; call 826-5750.