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Wednesday, August 6, 2003
Producing a comic for daily newspapers can be tough for rebellious types. In the sanitized, G-rated world of syndicated strips, even joking about sensitive issues can get your ass canned -- or at the very least convince management to refuse to print the strip until it returns to safer subjects. That's why free weeklies (like the paper you now hold in your hand) have become havens for artists who can't or won't dumb themselves down. Now these cartoonists and the work they produce are getting their due at "Alternative to What? Comic Art of the Free Weeklies," a multimonth exhibit of pieces from and biographical sketches of artists like Tom Tomorrow, Jules Pfeiffer, and Nina Paley. "Alternative" runs through Oct. 5 at the Cartoon Art Museum, 655 Mission (at New Montgomery), S.F. Admission is free-$6; call 227-8666 or visit www.cartoonart.org.

Thursday, August 7, 2003
The latest band to showcase Tina Lucchesi -- San Francisco's answer to Gossip lead singer Beth Ditto -- is bound to please: The Deadly Weapons feature ex-Bainbridge Islander Larry Rickets and Justin Mocheeks as well as the beloved former Bobbyteen Lucchesi. The queen of adorable brat-rock always charms, always screams, and we always want to be there to hear her. With a sneer that says "I've watched Hairspray many, many times," Lucchesi takes no prisoners -- her rock is the true rock: loud, gritty, and up your nose with a rubber hose if you don't like it. We're pretty sure, though, that you will (like it, that is). Taxi, from Italy, and the Radio Reelers join the Weapons at 10 p.m. at Thee Parkside, 1600 17th St. (at Wisconsin), S.F. Admission is $5-7; call 503-0393 or visit www.theeparkside.com.

Friday, August 8, 2003
Writer, Filipino labor activist, and so-called subversive Carlos Bulosan wrote about racism, American imperialism in the Philippines, and the perfidy of property and factory owners, which was enough to brand him a dangerous radical in the '50s. Sadly, Bulosan didn't live long enough to see Filipino grape pickers launch the historic strike that led to the founding of the United Farm Workers of America. But his difficult life and influential works inspired more than labor strikes. Shift>>> Physical Theater has unveiled "Giving Strength to This Fragile Tongue," a celebration of Bulosan's ideas in movement rather than in rhetoric. The three dances cover various aspects of the activist's life, from his experiences as a migrant farm worker to the prejudice he faced as an Asian man in white America. "Strength" opens tonight at 8 and runs through Sunday at Dance Mission Theater, 3316 24th St. (at Mission), S.F. Tickets are $15-20; call 282-4765 or visit www.shiftdance.org.

Saturday, August 9, 2003
Lizzie Borden was said to be a quiet girl, who spent her time reading and sewing; she always obeyed her strict parents' demands. Until one fateful day when, it seemed, her pent-up anger exploded. After the hacked-apart bodies of Andrew and Abby Borden were found in Fall River, Mass., in 1892, presumed murderess Lizzie became a potent symbol of unchecked female rage, despite her exoneration by a criminal court in 1893. The mysterious crime is sliced open once more in The Fall River Axe Murders, a dramatic play that imagines what may have happened just before the mutilation. The stage show was adapted from a short story by Angela Carter, the writer best known for her feminist reworking of children's fairy tales in 1970's The Bloody Chamber, so her sympathetic take on Lizzie's cloistered, suffocating life and difficulties with her overbearing parents should surprise no one. The show starts tonight at 8 (and runs through Sept. 7) at the Magic Theatre, Fort Mason, Building D, Marina & Buchanan, S.F. Admission is $27 (Wednesdays are pay-what-you-can); call 437-6775 or visit www.zspace.org.

Sunday, August 10, 2003
Film is seldom treated as a gallery-worthy art form; flicks are generally pablum for the masses rather than sustenance for culture vultures. Not at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, however, which approaches short movies like the art pieces they are with daily continuous loop screenings of themed collections. This month's presentation is particularly stellar: "Looking Is Better Than Feeling You" pulls together 16 shorts made by women who explore the small rebellions we wage in our daily lives -- a housewife who refuses to care for a crying baby, young girls who dance their hearts out despite being targeted by the camera's merciless eye. Don't miss Kirsten Stoltmann's You Think You're Punk Rock But You're Not, a hilarious shout-out to punkish posers. "Looking" plays nonstop starting at 11 a.m. every day through Oct. 5 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission (at Third Street), S.F. Admission is free-$6; call 978-2787 or visit www.yerbabuenaarts.org.

Monday, August 11, 2003
Comedienne Sarah Silverman is more famous for her sex life than for her onstage antics. In a recent appearance on Howard Stern's radio show, she admitted that divorced-two-seconds-ago late-night host Jimmy Kimmel is now her main squeeze. Her subsequent (and frequent) co-host appearances on Kimmel's TV program only set further tongues to wagging. Does Silverman have the talent to become a major funnies force, or is the most interesting thing about her whom she's porking? Judge for yourself at the "Cannabis Action Network Benefit," which features appearances from her and fellow comics Doug Benson and Ngaio Bealum. We can't promise Silverman will dish onstage about her controversial love affair, but you can probably count on some pretty good Cheech & Chong-style dope jokes. The show starts at 9 p.m. at the Punch Line, 444 Battery (at Clay), S.F. Admission is $20; call 397-4337 or visit www.punchlinecomedyclub.com.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003
Plaster casts of hideously deformed babies. John Wilkes Booth's thorax floating in a jar of formaldehyde. Narrow drawers containing 2,000 accidentally swallowed items removed without surgery by one determined physician. Yes, the Mütter Museum's medical monstrosities are far, far from typical gallery exhibits. Though the Philadelphia institution is open to the public, most camera-toting tourists would rather visit the Liberty Bell instead. But ghoulish Bay Areans don't even have to book a ticket east for a thrillingly horrified peek, not when "Mütter Museum Photographs" is in town. The show features appallingly fascinating photos on view through Sept. 6 at SF Camerawork, 1245 Folsom (at Eighth Street), S.F. Admission is free; call 863-1001 or visit www.sfcamerawork.org.

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