En Garde

Smuin Ballet tackles the legend of Zorro

FRI-TUES 5/2-6

Even if you're too young to remember when Zorrofirst aired on ABC in 1957, you've likely seen reruns of the Walt Disney TV show about a masked, Robin Hood-esque freedom fighter who defends the people of the Spanish-ruled pueblos of Los Angeles from a cruel, unjust government. Based on a successful serialized novel -- The Curse of Capistrano-- written in 1919 by Johnston McCulley, the series starred the studly Guy Williams, and left its mark on television history and in the hearts of adoring teens.

Williams portrayed Don Diego, a wealthy landowner's son who disguised himself as the blade-wielding mystery man fighting for the rights of the misused poor folk. Riding around on his trusty horse Tornado and cracking his whip at the bad guys, Zorro made his presence known by carving his initial near each place he did business.

Smuin Ballet's Zorro.
Tom Hauck
Smuin Ballet's Zorro.
Mount Sims.
Dan Monick
Mount Sims.
Men and Animals.
Arthur Jones
Men and Animals.

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Now the dark and handsome caped wonder finds himself donning tights while fencing across the stage in Smuin Ballet's newest piece. Zorrofollows a young movie-theater usher -- hopelessly in love with a beautiful, unattainable ticket girl -- as he looks to his favorite action hero for romantic guidance and sword-swinging know-how. In addition to Zorro, a steamy ballet of pagan sexuality called Carmina Buranais also included in the program. Performances take place on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Tuesday at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater, 700 Howard (at Third Street), S.F. Tickets are $35-75; call 978-2787. -- Karen Macklin

Bootylicious

FRI 5/2

Few rappers have done more for the Rubenesque physique than Sir Mix-A-Lot, whose single, "Baby Got Back," honored the female rear end with straightforward lyrics such as: "I like big butts and I cannot lie." He'll be ogling all the full-figured gals while performing at tonight's installment of "Robot," a new electroclash and hip hop party. Those of you who spent the '80s emulating David Gahan, the lead singer of Depeche Mode, may be more comfortable in the electroclash room, where you can enjoy the new wave renaissance all you want; headliner Mount Sims sure does. Doors open at 10 p.m. at Space 550, 550 Barneveld (between Industrial and Oakdale), S.F. Tickets are $10-15; call 550-8286 or visit www.beatboxevents.com. -- Lisa Hom

Live Dangerously

SAT-SUN 5/3-4

Never mind the fact that some sites at Hunters Point Shipyard are contaminated with toxic waste: The former military base is home to a thriving artists' community. More than 150 studios are located at the Point, and they're open to the public just twice a year. The free Spring Open Studio and Spring Cleaning Saleis a chance for Bay Area collectors to score serious bargains on one-of-a-kind paintings, sculptures, photography, jewelry, and textiles. In addition to artists' demonstrations and family-oriented workshops, folks can enjoy a train ride to the Golden Gate Railroad Museum, which hosts its Spring Train Festival in conjunction with the Open Studios. Call 387-5936 or visit www.springopenstudio.com. -- Lisa Hom

Furry Friends

THURS 5/1

Jim Finn and Dean Rank are young Chicago filmmakers whose work using multiple forms of moving-picture stock is taking them on a grueling tour: 25 venues in 23 cities over the course of this spring. The Men and Animals Tour is a smorgasbord of indie hash from the two longtime pals, comprising 11 pieces of commentary on alienation and displacement. Finn is apparently overfond of gerbils -- in his movies, that is; he even chronicles their history, as in wüstenspringmaus. Rank's Team is an exploration of absurdity in the world of football, a vastly underappreciated subject. See them at Artists' Television Access, 992 Valencia. Admission is $5; call 824-3890 or visit www.atasite.org. -- Hiya Swanhuyser

 
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