Few people can resist the "Altered Barbie" show, save those in the office of Mattel's in-house counsel. The annual exhibit, now in year five, has become one of those summer delights that remind you a little goodness is set upon the world whenever people pursue their own vision of Barbie, especially one that requires a Sawzall. This year's show features the usual heavy dose of transformative Barbie bashing: Barbie shows up as Divine, RuPaul, and Marie Antoinette (satisfyingly headless with her bloodied head in her hands), as well as a centaur cavorting with a horse-face Ken. But with 75 artists, much more will be revealed. Opening night traditionally draws big crowds, and organizers Julie Andersen, founder of arts organization ChatterBox, and her right-hand lady Kayla Garelick have nailed down two venues to hold the sparkly events: the Barbie Ball, which includes music and screenings of The Tribe by Tiffany Shlain and Barbie Nation by Susan Stern, and an opening reception in a nearby gallery. You're encouraged to come dressed as Barbie and Ken. For some of you, that simply means leaving the house. For others it requires a trip to the Gap -- we've got like 10 of them, so that shouldnt hold you up.
The Barbie Ball starts at 5:30 p.m. at Age Song, 580 Hayes St. (at Laguna), S.F. Admission is free; call 431-8143 or visit www.alteredbarbie.com.