Sketch comedy often relies on wordplay, allusion, and inappropriate sexual situations -- think Saturday Night Live's 1970s heyday ("Jane, you ignorant slut"). Local comedy in-crowd Killing My Lobster knows this already; in the group's wildly popular shows, these key elements abound. KML doesn't necessarily rely on such devices, though: Its last show included a verging-on-absurdist piece in the form of a two-note opera, called "High Heels." It really stuck with us.
For the troupe's newest production, Killing My Lobster Kisses a Toad, director Melanie Case has decided to use the deep pit of fairy tales as material, which is rich with possibilities. What, for example, will the award-winning actors do with "Little Red Riding Hood"? They've promised to do something with it, but knowing them, they've done something to it. We've never heard of one of the other tales they intend to molest -- "The Three Heads in a Well" -- but it sounds appropriately gruesome.
Storyteller and "battle flautist" Tim Barsky provides accompaniment as Kisses a Toad opens Thursday at 8 p.m. (and continues through March 13) at Noh Space, 2840 Mariposa (at Florida), S.F. Admission is $12-17; call 558-7721 or visit www.killingmylobster.com.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
Oh, You Kid
Vintage kitsch onstage
You just gotta love a revue that claims to offer "Weimar perversions at rock-bottom Oakland prices," particularly when it pays a visit to your neck of the woods. The sad demise of the East Bay venue the Mile High Club has left "SpeakEasily" without a regular home for its slate of performances that pay tribute to the Jazz Age: guys strumming ukuleles, burlesque girls in rolled stockings, that sort of thing. But Oakland's loss is S.F.'s gain. Tonight "SpeakEasily" invades the Madrone Lounge with a neat lineup of gimcracks: dancing, prancing rent-boy Roky Roulette; the Indra's retro-Hollywood striptease and song (she does a great Dietrich); and the rentable attentions of the Meter Dancers, who'll spin you around the dance floor for a couple of bucks. Whoop it up at 9 p.m. at the Madrone, 500 Divisadero (at Fell), S.F. Admission is $4-6; call 241-0202 or visit www.audrawolfmann.net.
-- Joyce Slaton
Sustenance for the Hungry
Holding you over till Burning Man
It's six months since you breathed your last choking gulp of dusty Burning Man air, and it'll be six more months before you pack up gallons of water and thrift-store furniture to do it all over again. Celebrate the midway point at "Burning Solstinox," a big DJ-oriented party with a dance floor and breaks for those who want to get down, and comfy couches and chill music for those who don't. Eye candy in the form of lap dancers, playa-compliant visual art, and costumed revelers abounds at 8 p.m. at the SomArts Cultural Center, 934 Brannan (at Eighth Street), S.F. Admission is $17-20 (all proceeds benefit the coffers of Burner/throat cancer patient Curtis Coleman); call (408) 482-1708 or visit www.solstinox.com.
-- Joyce Slaton
A Red State
If you consider yourself an ardent feminist but still yearn for an excuse to strut around in satin hot pants, hit the "International Women's Day Russian Disco Party," where third-wave activists can revel in every facet of femininity. Expatriate Russian DJs further the equal-opportunity mood. Boogie down at 9 p.m. at Studio Z, 314 11th St. (at Folsom), S.F. Admission is $10; call 252-7666 or visit www.studioz.tv.
-- Jane Tunks