Who says theater has to take place onstage? The ever-experimental Theatre Rhino is taking its latest show on the road -- sort of. Flaming Iguanas, based on Erika Lopez's novel by the same name, is the story of Tomato Rodriguez, a Puerto Rican biker chick from New Jersey who sets out on an unwieldy adventure, exploring life in relation to the prefix "bi": She's bicoastal, biracial, and bisexual.
In fact, Iguanas is more of a road trip than a stage play; as Rodriguez makes her way across the country, the audience makes its way around the 16th Street building the Rhino is housed in. The action takes place in a number of on-site locales: the main stage, the studio theater, various hallways and offices, the backyard loading dock, and even the fire escapes. Unlike most plays, Iguanas intends to debunk the illusions theater is built upon, rather than create them. Dressing down is highly recommended, for audience mobility -- even drag queens are asked to consider sporting flats. Get tossed around with Tomato as Iguanas opens at 8 Thursday night at Theatre Rhinoceros, 2926 16th St. (at South Van Ness), S.F. Tickets are $15-25; call 861-5079 or visit www.therhino.org.
-- Karen Macklin
Crap into art
Kittycam and Jennycam were among the first to make it big: Internet users anywhere in the world could watch Kitty and Jenny go about their business. The cat was more modest than the woman, who set off an explosion of amateur nudity on the Net. But while the word "cam" itself causes eye-rolls nowadays, one artist is mining the technique for creative possibilities.
Elliot Anderson is (still) watching, and his analysis of images culled from such low-resolution videos may redeem them. He recontextualizes the stills by exhibiting them as large-scale photographs, admiring their fuzzy appearance and the way the subjects portray themselves. Further, he asked a handful of writers to compose "around" some of the pictures he chose, and as part of his show "Cams," several of them read their work. They'll begin at 7 p.m. at Gallery 16, 1616 16th St. (at Rhode Island), S.F. "Cams" continues through April 30. Admission is free; call 626-7495 or visit www.urbandigitalcolor.com.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
Figures of Fun
Four days of puppetry in S.F.
Modern puppetry permutations run the gamut from the divine (Christian ventriloquists) to the profane (Crank Yankers), from the childish (the Muppets) to the over-18-only (Avenue Q). You'll find representations of all these forms at PuppetLOVE, a four-day extravaganza of marionette theater.
Artists should dig the slate of how-to workshops, but spectators can simply show up for the performances, such as Thursday's "Fools Day Cabaret," which boasts shadow puppetry, Balinese dancing, and cutesy skits, or Friday's "Day After Cabaret," an adult affair that twits targets from President Bush to imperfect parents. The festival runs April 1-4 at SomArts Cultural Center, 934 Brannan (at Eighth Street), S.F. Admission is free-$20; call 905-5958 or visit www.somarts.org for a complete schedule.
-- Joyce Slaton
A packed house usually means a large audience, but here it also means the stage wings will be elbow-to-elbow. Tutoring center 826 Valencia hosts a "Comedy Night" with a lineup a mile long: local comics, dance troupe Sparkle Motion, and nationally known funnyman Al Madrigal, among others. Yuk it up at 7 p.m. at the Everett Middle School Auditorium, 450 Church (at 16th Street), S.F. Admission is $12-20; call 642-5905 or visit www.826valencia.com.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser