Madame Maraschino and Miss Cherry Jubilie are two of the reasons that so many feathers, fishnets, and ruffled panties get flashed in this town, and the burlesque-producing pair are responsible for the occasional ukulele performance to boot. Thanks to these femmes fatales, eclectic crowds of elegant Art Deco Society members, grown-up punks, snazzy rockabilly boys, and sassy swing girls have been packing venues to witness wiggling and shimmying performers just bursting at the seams with va-va-voom at "Miss Cherry Jubilie's Burlesque Cabaret." Since burlesque is best described as striptease with a sense of humor, the numbers range from kittenish to downright bawdy, often both.
While many celebrate Pride Sunday in Castro bars or on SOMA dance floors, Maraschino and Cherry pull out all the stops for the revue that's thigh high with cabaret performances in a broad assortment of styles. The boa-length lineup includes the chiffon-a-riffic Simone De La Getto of Harlem Shake (the first African-American burlesque troupe to be formed this millennia in the United States), scintillating transvestite glamour-puss Miss Rodney, and a touch of rock 'n' roll courtesy of Eyeball and the Wooper from trucker punk band the Crosstops. Scads of vixens, minxes, and manly men mix starting at 8 p.m. at the Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell (at Van Ness), S.F. Admission is $10-12; call 861-2011 or visit www.rickshawstop.com. -- Marcia Gagliardi
"Joto," a group exhibition of queer artists from Latino communities, is intended to shock: The name itself is the Spanish-language equivalent of "faggot," and a featured piece, Who Would Jesus Torture? by Clinton Fein, displays a crucified George W. Bush near-nude on the cross sporting an erect "missile," flanked by Rumsfeld belting Hussein to an electric chair. Other artists take a milder approach, notably the self-taught Tony de Carlo, whose colorful portraits blend the spirituality of Mexican icon art with the soul of urban Los Angeles. "Joto" opens at 7 p.m. (and continues through July 31) at the Amaru Gallery, 510 Valencia (at 16th Street), S.F. Admission is free; call 552-3787 or visit www.amarugallery.com. -- Michael Leaverton
Old stereotypes die hard, but it's always good to see them go. Another one ("Lesbians don't care much for fashion") bites the dust at "Simply Studded," a lesbian fashion show designed to appeal to "butches, studs, and bois." The show features clothing with classic men's style, but cut for women's bodies. You don't have to be manly to know that this is a long overdue innovation, but if you are, you're probably cheering right now. The evening includes music, dance, and poetry in addition to the strutting, sharp-dressed models, starting at 9 p.m. at the Women's Building, 3543 18th St. (at Guerrero), S.F. Admission is $10-20; call (510) 866-6380 or visit www.chocolatebabydesigns.com. -- Hiya Swanhuyser
People on Paper
Salvador Plascencia's first novel involves a single dad, a little girl, a very young Nostradamus, and Rita Hayworth. It may seem an odd assortment of characters, but the Mexican-born novelist has a talent for telling unusual tales. In Plascencia's full-length fiction debut, Federico de la Fe and his daughter, Little Merced, travel from the small town of Las Tortugas to the big city of Los Angeles in search of an unlikely antidote for the blues. Plascencia reads from The People of Paper (and editors unveil McSweeney's Issue 16) at 7 p.m. at A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books, 601 Van Ness (at Golden Gate), S.F. Admission is free; call 441-6670 or visit www.bookstore.com. -- Karen Macklin