Pin It

This Week's Day-by-Day Picks 

Wednesday, September 3, 2003
"She wasn't sexy, she wasn't mysterious, and she wasn't vulnerable," claimed Margo Jefferson, writing in the New York Times about the gut-busting vocal style of Ethel Merman. Despite her snippiness, Jefferson and a whole lot of other people have been impressed by Everything the Traffic Will Allow: The Songs and Sass of Ethel Merman, a tribute by cabaret performer Klea Blackhurst. If audiences haven't been seduced by Blackhurst's show, they seem 100 percent charmed by the lack of irony. The operative word here is "belt" -- it's what Merman did best, and it's what Traffic is all about. Blackhurst goes right to the heart of the matter with some of the songs written specifically for Merman: "Everything's Coming Up Roses," "You're the Top" (you there, in the leather, stop that laughing), and the immortal "There's No Business Like Show Business." Blackhurst lets loose tonight at 8 at the Plush Room in the York Hotel, 940 Sutter (at Jones), S.F. Shows continue through Sunday. Admission is $25; call 885-2800 or visit

Thursday, September 4, 2003
Describing herself as a "shy bookworm sweater femme boy princess," Leticia Marisol Estrella Torrez, the protagonist of the novel Trace Elements of Random Tea Parties by Felicia Luna Lemus, moves to Los Angeles. In that bastion of collectively-agreed-upon falsehoods, the book-smart lady must find a way to stay both honest and sane. Lemus has been compared to superstars like April Sinclair and Rita Mae Brown, and seems to be running with the in-crowd of new queer literature in this town: She recently read with Michelle Tea, and tonight she shares the podium with Daphne Gottlieb, who reads from her newest novel, Final Girl. The stories begin at 7:30 at Modern Times Bookstore, 888 Valencia (at 20th Street), S.F. Admission is free; call 282-9246 or visit

Friday, September 5, 2003
The Spice Boys of Denmark, Junior Senior, are from the Gravy Train!!!! school of dirty lyrics and lotsa booze, but the band's feel-good dance anthem "Move Your Feet" takes so much from early Michael Jackson that it's totally freaky. The number of the duo's influences might not sound good on paper -- Salt 'n Pepa, Gram Parsons, psychedelia, plenty o' guitars -- but to hear people tell it, Junior Senior is Sly & the Family Stone, ABBA, and Chumbawamba all rolled into a couple of white guys onstage. The group even has backup singers. High energy plus no respect for nothin' plus great pop songwriting equals you sweating, tonight. Communiqué and Young Heart Attack open at 10 p.m. at the Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St. (at Missouri), S.F. Admission is $10; call 621-4455 or visit

Saturday, September 6, 2003
Mikhail Baryshnikov -- a guy who, it's safe to assume, knows what he's talking about when it comes to dance -- says very good things about Tere O'Connor's choreography. Things like "... deeply personal, quirky and utterly amusing, but beneath the humour lies tenderness and truth" (as Misha was quoted as saying in a press release). Currently in the Bay Area for the first time, O'Connor lets his imagination go further than dance-world people generally do by using text, video, and everyday life in his pieces. Such genre-bending would give most ballet masters fits -- and we like that. For instance, his world premiere, Lawn, addresses undancerly issues like ecosystems and garbage. Again with the balletomanes having conniptions -- picture us laughing and cheering. Lawn begins this evening at 8 (and repeats tomorrow at 7 p.m.) at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater, 700 Howard (at Third Street), S.F. Admission is $13-25; call 978-2787 or visit

Sunday, September 7, 2003
If the world were a high school, San Francisco would be one of the cool kids, slouching in the corner wearing black eyeliner, hanging out with Amsterdam. The Pride Parade would be our feather boa, the Folsom Street Fair our leather pants, and Nob Hill our perfume. But we wouldn't be caught dead without our Fringe Festival -- the glitter on our face. Providing high-quality out-there theater for the 12th year in a row, the well-organized series allows audiences to walk from show to show, since most are right next to each other downtown. If you don't like Union Square, a bunch of other productions that promoters call "BYOV" (Bring Your Own Venue) go up in places like planetariums and buses. This year's festival highlights include the coming-out baseball drama The Seventh Game of the World Series, Howard Zinn's Marx in Soho, and Clearing Hedges, about sports figure Babe Didrikson. The first shows start at 7 p.m. at the EXITheatreplex near the corner of Taylor and Eddie and several other venues in S.F. Admission is $8; call 673-3847 or visit

Monday, September 8, 2003
Pastor Martin Niemöller famously wrote about the World War II-era Nazi party, "First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew." And thus did a vast number of folks allow the Axis powers to go about their dirty work virtually unopposed. Still, a few brave souls offered up their resistance -- and, in many cases, their lives. German theologian, author, and Protestant pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer was one such antagonist. His plot to help a group of Jews escape to Switzerland got him arrested and imprisoned in 1943, and his participation in a July 1944 Hitler assassination attempt led to his 1945 hanging in the Flossenbürg camp. Martin Doblmeier's documentary Bonhoeffer tells this tragic yet inspiring tale. The movie screens at 7 p.m. (and runs through Sept. 11) at the Rafael Film Center, 1118 Fourth St. (at A), San Rafael. Admission is $5.50-9; call 454-1222 or visit

Tuesday, September 9, 2003
Many who see the work of artist Simon Evans will be reminded of a phrenologist's bust -- those human-head sculptures covered in mapped-out areas labeled with traits like "tenderness for the offspring" and "mechanical skill." Practitioners of the 19th-century medical art felt for lumps on patients' heads, consulting the bust to "diagnose" characters and aptitudes. Evans' intricate maps of notions and places aren't intended to be predictive or serious; instead they're just a hell of a lot of fun to look at. Whether it's a chart explaining 100 Reasons Why I Hate the Irish (which includes only 33 reasons, including "Hairy women," along with tangential ramblings on Janet Jackson) or a Traveler's Map of Heaven (which looks suspiciously like an aerial view of Golden Gate Park), Evans' work is, plain and simple, hysterical; see for yourself through Sept. 13 at the Jack Hanley Gallery, 395 Valencia (at 15th Street), S.F. Admission is free; call 522-1623 or visit


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment


  • Nevada City and the South Yuba River: A gold country getaway

    Nestled in the green pine-covered hills of the Northern Sierra Nevada is the Gold Rush town of Nevada City. Beautiful Victorian houses line the streets, keeping the old-time charm alive, and a vibrant downtown is home to world-class art, theater and music. The nearby South Yuba River State Park is known for its emerald swimming holes during the summer and radiant leaf colors during autumn. These days the gold panning is more for tourists than prospectors, but the gold miner spirit is still in the air.

    South Yuba River State Park and Swimming Holes:
    The park runs along and below 20 miles of the South Yuba River, offering hiking, mountain biking, gold panning and swimming. The Highway 49 bridge swimming hole is seven-miles northwest of Nevada City where Highway 49 crosses the South Yuba River. Parking is readily available and it is a short, steep hike to a stunning swimming hole beneath a footbridge. For the more intrepid, trails extend along the river with access to secluded swim spots. The Bridgeport swimming hole has calm waters and a sandy beach -- good for families and cookouts -- and is located 14 miles northwest of Nevada City. Be sure to write down directions before heading out, GPS may not be available. Most swimming holes on the South Yuba River are best from July to September, while winter and spring can bring dangerous rapids. Always know the current before jumping in!

    Downtown Nevada City
    The welcoming, walkable downtown of Nevada City is laid back, yet full of life. Start your day at the cozy South Pine Cafe (110 S Pine St.) with a lobster benedict or a spicy Jamaican tofu scramble. Then stroll the streets and stop into the shop Kitkitdizzi (423 Broad St.) for handcrafted goods unique to the region, vintage wears and local art “all with California gold rush swagger,” as stated by owners Carrie Hawthorne and Kira Westly. Surrounded by Gold Rush history, modern gold jewelry is made from locally found nuggets and is found at Utopian Stone Custom Jewelers (301 Broad St.). For a coffee shop with Victorian charm try The Curly Wolf (217 Broad St.), an espresso house and music venue with German pastries and light fare. A perfect way to cool down during the hot summer months can be found at Treats (110 York St.) , an artisan ice cream shop with flavors like pear ginger sorbet or vegan chai coconut. Nightlife is aplenty with music halls, alehouses or dive bars like the Mine Shaft Saloon (222 Broad St.).

    The Willo Steakhouse (16898 State Hwy 49, Nevada City)
    Along Highway 49, just west of Nevada City, is The Willo, a classic roadhouse and bar where you’re welcomed by the smell of steak and a dining room full of locals. In 1947 a Quonset hut (a semi-cylindrical building) was purchased from the US Army and transported to its current location, and opened as a bar, which became popular with lumberjacks and miners. The bar was passed down through the decades and a covered structure was added to enlarge the bar and create a dining area. The original Quonset beams are still visible in the bar and current owners Mike Byrne and Nancy Wilson keep the roadhouse tradition going with carefully aged New York steaks and house made ingredients. Pair your steak or fish with a local wine, such as the Rough and Ready Red, or bring your own for a small corkage fee. Check the website for specials, such as rib-eye on Fridays.

    Outside Inn (575 E Broad St.)
    A 16-room motel a short walk from downtown, each room features a unique décor, such as the Paddlers’ Suite or the Wildflower Room. A friendly staff and an office full of information about local trails, swimming and biking gets you started on your outdoor exploration. Amenities include an outdoor shower, a summer swimming pool and picnic tables and barbeques. Don’t miss the free vegetable cart just outside the motel in the mornings.

    Written and photographed by Beth LaBerge for the SF Weekly.

  • Arcade Fire at Shoreline
    Arcade Fire opened their US tour at Shoreline Amphitheater to a full house who was there in support of their album "Reflector," which was released last fall. Dan Deacon opened the show to a happily surprised early audience and got the crowd actively dancing and warmed up. DEVO was originally on the bill to support Arcade Fire but a kayak accident last week had sidelined lead singer Mark Mothersbaugh and the duration of the west coast leg of the tour. Win Butler did a homage to DEVO by performing Uncontrollable Urge.

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular