The establishment of Israel's statehood was incredibly complex, and was driven, in part, by a force of nature named Golda Meir. Once a Milwaukee schoolteacher, Meir became involved with Israel's Labour Party and helped Israel resettle Holocaust survivors, battle national poverty, and establish a Jewish state. Eventually, in 1969, she assumed the role of prime minister. She saw the country through many ups and downs, but her biggest challenge would come when Israel was surprise-attacked by its neighbors during the Yom Kippur War of 1973. With her people devastated and her health declining, she began to consider all methods of retaliation toward her attackers in Egypt and Syria, including the possible use of nuclear weapons. William Gibson's acclaimed play Golda's Balcony delves into the nitty-gritty details of Meir's life, as she moved from domestics to politics and became a worldwide icon for idealism, Zionism, and the protection of the Jewish people.
On tour in its original Broadway production, Golda's Balcony stars another force of nature, Tovah Feldshuh, and opens at 8 p.m. Saturday (and continues through Aug. 13) at the Geary Theater, 415 Geary (at Mason), S.F. Admission is $18-69; call 749-2228 or visit www.act-sf.org.
-- Karen Macklin
No Joke Band
Dark knights of the soul
Of all the dirty tricks -- the armor-wearing Knights of the New Crusade ("He is the Rock/ We will Roll you" says the T-shirt) are best known for an ironic stance so stone-faced it confuses people. If the quartet is not really a Bible-thumping Christian rock get-up, then why does its Web site have links to actual Christian film studios and stuff? On the other hand, what kind of serious Jesus lovers would play so many shows with white power-mocking cover band Jewdriver? Group members' refusal to back down from their chapter-and-verse-quoting personas has caused serious confloption among audience members ... and music critics, including SF Weekly's own. Either way, the songs off the CD My God Is Alive! Sorry About Yours! are excellent garage-y, organ-laced freakouts about how to avoid sin.
Adding to the general bad taste and good music of the evening are the Misfats, who get this party started at 9:30 p.m. at the Hemlock Tavern, 1131 Polk (at Post), S.F. Admission is $6; call 923-0923 or visit www.hemlocktavern.com.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
All Fired Up
Help send hell-raisers abroad
SAT 7/23Two groups that have burned some of the finest work in our strange combustive art scene are going to Amsterdam's Robodock festival, and they need your help (money). But rest assured that the "Flaming Lotus/Seemen Fundraiser and Art Show" will provide well for your dollars, dazzling you with objects that ignite and burn, controlled and/or wildly, and others that make a racket to wake the dead (which would include debilitating noise bands). Featuring work by Kal Spelletich, Al Honig, Charlie Gadeken, and plenty of others (as well as a make-your-own-kinetic-art table), the event starts at 7 p.m. at CELLspace, 2050 Bryant (at 18th Street), S.F. Admission is $10; call 648-7562 or visit www.qbox.org.
-- Michael Leaverton
A virtuoso will no doubt take top honors at the "Freestyle Olympics," which differs from the usual MC fight by testing in categories such as tempo, topics, and battle. Eight competitors are up for the medal, but next year's hopefuls can bone up by watching Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme or simply getting down with DJs Kelsone and Satva at 8 p.m. at Club Six, 60 Sixth St. (at Jessie), S.F. Admission is free-$10; call 863-1221 or visit www.clubsix1.com.
-- Michael Leaverton