It's possible that Dubya's great-ancestors were rose enthusiasts, or perhaps they once dabbled in the mulberry trade. Whatever the derivation of the president's unfortunate monosyllabic surname, the American people have had a free- (and often mean-) spirited time putting it at the center of many an inappropriate innuendo. Jane Martin's new play is no exception. A satire of the current political situation, Laura's Bush is about a not-so-young prostitute and an astute librarian who team up to rescue the president's missis when they realize she is blinking distress signals in Morse code on TV. After Mrs. Bush has been safely whisked away from the madness taking place at the White House, she tells her new friends that her husband used to be a child prodigy, but as the result of a conspiracy he was privately dumbed down and replaced with a castrated Saddam body double.
It may sound ridiculous, but the writing is smart, says the venue's artistic director, Ellen Gavin. "Effective political theater has to be biting and sharp and witty," she says. "It has to tear the masks off the fools and give us some direction." She adds, however, that the play also promises hilarity. "It's an outrageous satire. Laura Bush is in leather and whips." Don't miss the opening of Laura's Bush, starring the wildly talented Elizabeth Millican, Wednesday at 8 p.m. at the Brava Theater Center, 2789 24th St. (at York), S.F. Tickets are $14-18; call 647-2822 or visit www.brava.org.
-- Karen Macklin
The known quantity of local rock powerhouse Kofy Brown has morphed. Exposed to the harsh rays of bassist Anita Lofton and drummer Ieela Gant, this energy source may have become even stronger. Audiences should be warned that Sistas in the Pit have been repeatedly described as a band able to "blow you away." And organizers of the Coming UP, Coming OUT! festival are creating a strong gravitational field around the trio, using phrases like "sexy rock ... black girl style." Try to resist at 8 p.m. (also Oct. 16) at the Jon Sims Center for the Arts, 1519 Mission (at 11th Street), S.F. Admission is $10-15; call 554-0402 or visit www.sistasinthepit.com.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
How is it that Herb Alpert garnered lasting acclaim with his Tijuana Brass Band when the far superior Space Age bachelor pad music of pianist Sergio Mendes and his brilliant bossa-nova sidekicks Brasil '66 is almost forgotten? While the lounge-music fad of the '90s gave acts like Esquivel and Martin Denny a boost, Mendes just hasn't gotten his props, despite several comeback attempts. But the old ivory-tickler still has psychedelic magic in his fingers, and with his new band (Brasil '04) he's on the road once more. Grab a cocktail and swing along at 8 p.m. at Bimbo's 365 Club, 1025 Columbus (at Chestnut), S.F. Admission is $38; call 474-0365 or visit www.bimbos365club.com.
-- Joyce Slaton
In the audience at a recent Frisky Frolics show, a local post-punk opera diva leaned over to us and said, "Oh my God, I'm basking in the light of a perfect hip cock." Not liking to be outquipped, we said, "You just like the long, long zipper on his high-waisted pants, Morgenstern." Who could inspire such slatternly articulations? Frolics lead singer Rick Quisol does it all the time, with his charming Tin Pan Alley ukulele tunes and faultless vintage attire. The overalls-clad band provides a surly, talented frame for all that showmanship, starting tonight at 9:30 at the Purple Onion, 140 Columbus (at Jackson), S.F. Admission is $10; call 956-1653 or visit www.caffemacaroni.com.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser