Gay life has evolved throughout this country in the last 50 years, but the core and color of it resides in San Francisco -- and Donald Currie has documented every minute. His acclaimed spoken-word CD series Sex & Mayhem chronicles queer culture using the events of his own life over the past five decades. His story begins with a 1950s Noe Valley childhood playing baseball in the streets, and winds through the psychedelic sexual revolution of the '60s, the unbridled revelry of the '70s, the AIDS epidemic's beginning in the '80s, and the slow but liberating aftermath that occurred in the '90s. Currie even started his own prominent theater company, but after heavy involvement in Chinese medicine to help treat Kaposi's sarcoma, he eventually gave up acting.
It has been a life of extreme highs and extreme lows, freedoms and constrictions, flying rainbow flags and endless memorial services. Now the author is back onstage to tell his stories in a solo show. Get on Currie's train through time when it opens this Thursday at 8 p.m. (and continues through Oct. 10) at the New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness (at Market), S.F. Tickets are $15-25; call 861-8972 or visit www.nctcsf.org.
-- Karen Macklin
Conspiracy of Dances
Girls just want to rock out
Lipstick Conspiracy, as we've noted before in these pages, is more '80s than the actual '80s were. So, all you nostalgia fruitcakes out there: If you ever wanted to pretend-star in your own queer John Hughes movie, don't hesitate. This is your band, so hand-sew yourself a pretty pink dress and get there. Glitter, sneers, and ridiculously high heels are abundant, as are raging keyboard riffs and catchy lyrics, part of a new CD's worth of original pop songs. These transsexuals mean business! Plus, they lend an extra layer of meaning to the name of this show, "Rock Out w/o Your Cock Out," a monthly queer prog/experimental hoedown. Joining the Conspiracy tonight are Gangway with Tami Hart, TITS, and Band Practice, at 9 at the Edinburgh Castle, 950 Geary (at Larkin), S.F. Admission is $5; call 885-4074.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
Hours of entertainment
Publisher John Pace Seavering is at a crossroads. It's 1919 and his career depends on the success of the next book he sets to print. But will it be the sprawling, potentially brilliant novel by his best friend or a racy autobiographical work by his sexy older mistress? While Seavering agonizes over the choice, a new office machine starts spewing forth random papers covered in historical facts -- or perhaps predictions. Can we really choose our destinies, or is the future already written? Richard Greenberg's The Violet Hour plays Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m. (with a 3 p.m. matinee on Saturdays) through Oct. 23 at the SF Playhouse, 536 Sutter (at Powell), S.F. Tickets are $30; call 677-9596 or visit www.sfplayhouse.org.
-- Karen Macklin
Sing Out, Sean
We know a guy who's normally bitter and jaded, but under the lilt of Sean Hayes' old-timey music, he melted. "He's just singing his heart out, and it's so beautiful," he said. "You gotta hear it!" We agree. The Boneless Children Foundation and Aphrodesia share the bill at 9 p.m. at the Independent, 628 Divisadero (at Hayes), S.F. Admission is $12-14; call 771-1421 or visit www.independentsf.com.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
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