We don't normally recommend that you spend this much money on an evening's (legal) entertainment, and it's even more unusual that we'd tell you it's a good idea to drop nearly a hundred bucks on a single person's act. But Sandra Bernhard is worth it, baby. The comedian, singer, actor, and "self-appointed and fully realized diva," according to Playboy, definitely warrants breaking open the old piggy bank. Famous for exuding the aura of a lesbian feminist left-wing ball-breaker, the lady delights audiences of all persuasions. She's even been known to make vicious fun of lesbian feminist left-wingers while performing live on San Francisco stages. She doesn't like the president, but she does like singing show tunes and heavy metal songs as accompaniment to her outspoken one-woman shows. Tonight is one of the most festive nights of the year, and Bernhard has chosen to come to our town for it -- not a random decision, we're convinced. Rumor has it that audiences should have high expectations, so shell out. Bernhard takes the stage at 8 and 10:30 p.m. at the Alcazar Theater, 650 Geary (at Jones), S.F. Admission is $80-95; call 441-4042.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
Fresh fables for 2005
Despite what you've learned from Whose Line Is It Anyway?, not all improv is to be feared. Just ask those who've enjoyed the "spontaneous storytelling" of True Fiction Magazine, an improv troupe that eschews two-minute gags for a full night of interwoven tales. Using characters based on '40s pulp fiction, the players take suggestions from the audience and craft fully fleshed story lines, moving backward and forward in time as the accounts warrant. Tonight special guests Amos Glick and John Kovacevich join the True Fiction Magazine regulars for their eighth annual New Year's Eve show, which may seem like a long run until you realize that the group has told more than 6,000 stories in the past 15 years. The insta-show hatches at 8 p.m. at the Florence Gould Theater at the Legion of Honor, 34th Avenue & Clement, S.F. Admission is $20; call 863-3330 or visit www.truefictionmagazine.com.
-- Michael Leaverton
We like our comedy mean
Scott Capurro is no lovable, impish, Billy Crystal-style comic. Instead, he's bitter and venomous, pissed off about everything from his deprived childhood to San Francisco's shallow queer community. In other words, the man's a spiteful type in full bitch mode -- and since he doesn't have anything nice to say, he's invited to come sit right down by me and make my New Year's complete with "Scott Capurro: Erect on New Year's Eve," an evening of brutally honest rants on PC oppression, aging gracelessly, and Dubya's follies. Accept a refreshing antidote to holiday schmaltz at 8 p.m. at the Victoria Theatre, 2961 16th St. (at Capp), S.F. Admission is $25; call 863-7576 or visit www.scottcapurro.com.
-- Joyce Slaton
The End Is Near
The unruly tuba-playing cacophony of Rube Waddell seems the perfect sound for "New Year's at the End of the World." Joining the Tom Waits-ian goofballs are the lounge madness of the Wink & Yoni Show and the Runaway Truck Tramps, who promise to hoe down. Face the apocalypse at 9 p.m. at Amnesia, 853 Valencia (at 20th Street), S.F. Admission is $10-15; call 970-0012 or visit www.amnesiathebar.com.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser