Back in Blakk After a long and successful late-night run, drag queen par excellence Joan Jett Blakk (aka Terence Smith, of the Pomo Afro Homos) sweeps into prime time with co-host White Trash Chef Babette and pianist Kenny Melman clinging to her apron strings. Also in tow are the best and brightest names in San Francisco politics and entertainment: Scheduled guests include Supervisor Tom Ammiano, writer/performance artist Kate Bornstein, legendary scenester Bambi Lake, queer comics Sabrina Matthews and Mark Davis, and musical gusts Death Card 13 and two-stepping twangers 2WMN. If you couldn't stay up late enough to see Blakk last time she appeared, you have two weeks to catch her early show at 8 pm, Wed-Sun through April 23, at Josie's Cabaret & Juice Joint, 3583 16th St, S.F. Tickets are $10; call 861-7933.
Animal Instinct With government funding for wildlife preservation endangered, the Marine Science Institute is struggling to ensure that Bay Area kids are aware of the human impact on the animals around them. To bolster that effort, the institute is hosting Witness: Endangered Species of North America, a slide show and lecture presented by local photographers Susan Middleton and David Liittschwager. The show includes images selected from over 100 photos of plants and animals that are nearing extinction; admission donations will help finance scholarships for the Marine Science Institute's innovative Discovery Voyage program, a hands-on marine science expedition on San Francisco Bay. The same photos are also displayed at the California Academy of Sciences and included in Middleton and Liittschwager's recently published book, also named Witness: Endangered Species of North America. The slide show begins at 7:30 pm at the Randall Museum, 199 Museum Way, S.F. The suggested donation is $5-10; call 554-9600.
This Is Where It Comes From If you thought the furies were women, think again. Solo performer Sten Rudstrom taps into deeply buried reservoirs of anger in his excavation of the roots of sexuality, This Is Where It Comes From. Flailing against the facile categorization offered by terms like “hetero-sexual” and “homosexual,” Rudstrom also cringes at fears of hermaphrodism. Rudstrom, a resident artist at the New Performance Gallery, integrates improvisation, movement and text into intensely physical performances. Perhaps most surprising is the savage humor the performer employs to bind together the scary, scandalous and romantic. Having performed throughout the U.S. and Germany, Rudstrom unleashes his personal furies at 8 pm through April 16 at the New Performance Gallery, 3153 17th St, S.F. Tickets are $10; call 863-9834.
Slam Dunk Never been to a poetry slam? Sample the best these fast-paced, performance-style poetry competitions have to offer when San Francisco's 1994 champion poetry slam team goes head to head with the London U.K. champs in an unprecedented international slam. Because slamming rules require that pieces last no longer than three minutes, quick wit will carry the day; audience members will be chosen to act on an Olympic-style panel of judges. The home team includes poets Bana Witt, Marci Blackman, George Tirado, Sparrow 13 Laughing Wand and Dominique Lowell. Their challengers are poets Abeng Medu-Netchar, John O'Neill, Sally Simpson, Martin Daws and Gillian Tipena. Proceeds from the event will help send the S.F. poetry slam team to the National Poetry Slam in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in August. Both teams start hurling couplets at 9 pm at Cafe International, 508 Haight, S.F. Cover charge is $3. The San Francisco Poetry Slam begins in earnest April 19 with Wednesday-night slams at Intersection for the Arts, 446 Valencia, S.F.; call 641-5406.
After the End of the World Eat, drink and watch a passel of jugglers and musicians as the End of the World Coretet celebrates the release of their second album, Quaternity. Regularly aired on KUSF, KPOO, KPFA and KJAZ, the Coretet plays experimental “jazz without cobwebs,” influenced by blues, folk, jazz and free jazz. This is your last time to catch them before they embark on an open-ended European tour. The party starts at 8 pm at 111 Minna Street Gallery, S.F. Cover is $4-6; call 974-1719.
Toni Morrison With her 1970 novel The Bluest Eye, Morrison inspired a generation of African American women — notably Alice Walker, Gloria Naylor and Toni Cade Bambara — to tell their own stories. And given the way race, especially as it affects women's lives, has informed all of Morrison's writings, she is the perfect addition to City Arts & Lecture's “On Art and Politics” series. The reading and lecture, introduced by A.S. Byatt, will benefit the Women's Foundation; the event begins at 8 pm in the Masonic Auditorium, 1111 California, S.F. Tickets are $15; call 392-4400.
Rocky Horror Superstar It's zero B.C. and your nightmare unfolds: Jesus of Nazareth has become Jesus of Frankenfurter and he's lip-synching a mixed platter of songs by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice and Richard O'Brien. Actually, it's taken Andrew Wood, Diet Popstitute and a cast of almost 30 gaudily costumed performers to set this particular nightmare in motion. Adapted from the Bible, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Jesus Christ Superstar, Play-stitute's musical dance comedy, Rocky Horror Superstar: The Jesus of Frankenfurter Story, follows its hero from immaculate conception to glorious resurrection with a few pit stops in between. Ted Curtis Mashi stars as Jesus and Fennel Skellyman is Judas/Riff-Raff. Appropriately, Jesus of Frankenfurter makes his first appearance on Good Friday at 8 pm at the Third Wave Dance House, 3316 24th St, S.F.; perform-ances continue through April 29. Tickets are $12; call 331-1583 ext 1313 or BASS.
Holocaust Oral History Project In 1940, Chiune Sugihara, Japanese consul to Lithuania, acted against his government's stated policy and issued transit visas to more than 6,000 Polish Jews fleeing the Nazis. As part of the Cherry Blossom Festival in Japantown, the Holocaust Oral History Project and the Sugihara family have organized a photographic exhibit documenting the story of Sugihara and his wife, Yukiko. Titled Visas for Life, the exhibit incorporates Yukiko Sugihara's autobiography and many family photos never before publicly displayed. The Oral History Project of San Francisco has, over 13 years, collected some 1,600 interviews with Holocaust survivors. The exhibit opens at 11 am and runs 11 am-4 pm through April 23 at 1694 Post in S.F. Admission is $3.50; call 882-7092.
Animal Instinct: The Sequel By all accounts, the S.F. Zoo (which last October saw the escape of two monkeys and which currently has no evening zookeeping staff) is the laughingstock of the national zookeeping community. Wavelength, a benefit festival for the National Council for Excellence in Zoo Animal Management, brings 20 artists together to raise money so the council can deal with problems in the San Francisco facility. The Wavelength benefit, which has a Planet of the Apes theme, is the first new media event in a triennial series. Highlights include local dance group Trance Mission; five lifesize ape marionettes; Astralwerks recording artist Jonah Sharp; and Visible records artists Ecstatic Minds. Massawa, a restaurant that specializes in East African cuisine, will cater the event. Entertainment, gift certificates, toys, trinkets and free CDs start flowing at 8 pm at 1015 Folsom, S.F. Admission is $10-12; call 664-4769.
Honky Tonking Polish up your shit-kickers, break out your chaps and grab a two-stepping partner before you head over to the Fillmore to see country music legend Merle Haggard and the Strangers (featuring Dave Allen, Peter Case, Marshall Crenshaw, Iris Dement, Rosie Flores, Katy Moffat and Tom Russell). The show starts at 9 pm at the Fillmore, 1805 Geary, S.F. For the coolest all-star lineup west of the Rockies, admission is cheap at $22.50; call 346-0600.
Seeking the Promised Land Arriving as a rising tide of Cuban cinema hits the Bay Area's screens, award-winning filmmaker Luis Felip Bernaza brings Estado del Tiempo (Changing Tides), his documentary on the August 1994 Cuban exodus to the United States. Bernaza interviewed Cubans about their motivations for setting out on the dangerous raft trip to the United States; their answers uncover a complicated mix of tragedy and unexpected comedy. Bernaza will make two local appearances: The first is at La Pe–a Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck, Berkeley — show times are 7:30 and 9:30 pm, tickets $7-10; the second will be at 7:30 pm Wed 4/19 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Media Screening Room, Mission & Third St, S.F. Tickets are $5; call 978-2787.
Jesus Christ Superstar You saw Rocky Horror Superstar — here's your chance to get up close and personal with as much of the original source material as possible without staying up for the late show or dying and going to heaven to talk with the Son of Man yourself. Directed by Norman Jewison, the film is a '70s classic of the rock-opera genre. If you were looking for a Sunday excuse to check out the Casting Couch, a small luxury theater with a wait staff serving gourmet snacks, Jesus is it. Show time is 6 pm. The Casting Couch's located at 950 Battery, S.F. Tickets are $8.50; call 986-7001.
A Life in Dance Although cloistered on a farm in Vermont miles from any major dance centers, choreographer and videographer Lisa Nelson has nonetheless become something of a counterculture star in the universe of dance, where she has been exploring movement for 20 years. Her appearance, which includes a performance and a discussion about her life and work, is part of Talking Dance's investigation of improvisation. The discussion will focus on the question of whether viewing is a form of improvisation and will be moderated by David Gere of the UCLA Dance Department. Nelson's performance begins at 7 pm at the New Performance Gallery, 3153 17th St, S.F. Tickets are $10; call 863-9834.
Guided by Voices Despite a five-year hiatus from live shows, numerous personnel changes and what some might consider a grindingly slow rise to relative fame, Dayton's “low-fi pop kings” have not only survived a decade but garnered comparisons ranging from '70s stadium rock to the Beatles. Guided by Voices bring their melodic, hook-laden rock to the Great American Music Hall, 859 O'Farrell, S.F., starting at 9 pm. Tickets are $8; call 885-0750.
Loose Woman Just released in paperback, Sandra Cisneros' poetry collection, Loose Woman, stands with works like The House on Mango Street and Woman Hollering Creek as proof of her scathing insight into the lives of Chicana women in the late 20th century. Cisneros reads at 7:30 pm at A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books, 601 Van Ness, S.F. The event is free; call 441-6670.