While plenty of cover bands ply their trade with all the creativity of a clock-punching wage slave, some transcend mere mimicry with their passion and obsessive attention to detail. The French Canadian progressive-rock madmen who make up the Musical Box have been mounting their meticulous, note-for-note re-creations of Peter Gabrielera Genesis shows for over a decade. Pulling off the intricate music, elaborate costumes, and ambitious multimedia productions that matched -- and, in some cases, topped -- Pink Floyd's mind-bending concert theatrics during the '70s, the quintet offers prog-rock graybeards a chance to experience the lysergic sensory overload of Genesis concept albums brought to life onstage. Fans who sing "Invisible Touch" and "Illegal Alien" in the shower should stay home. The Musical Box makes its first visit to the Bay Area with a full-length rendition of the sprawling, surreal 1974 opus The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway on Sunday, Dec. 5, at the Nob Hill Masonic Center; call 478-2277 or go to www.sfmasoniccenter.com.
-- Dave Pehling
Maybe he's trying to make up for getting kicked out of military school as a teenager, but Kevin Spacey is either a giant overachiever or psychotically talented. While most of us are content working just hard enough to pay the bills and not get fired, Spacey has conquered Broadway (a Tony) and Hollywood (two Oscars). Acting muscle sufficiently flexed, he's tackling the next obvious challenge: lounge singing. As if producing, directing, co-writing, starring in, and singing on the soundtrack to this winter's Bobby Darin biopic Beyond the Sea weren't enough, Spacey is taking Darin's act -- and a 20-piece orchestra -- on the road, crooning for what will surely be capacity crowds in 10 cities. Locals lucky enough to snag tickets can expect to hear the actor's spot-on impersonation of Darin classics like "Mack the Knife" and "Splish Splash." The sold-out show hits Bimbo's on Sunday, Dec. 5; call 474-0365 or visit www.bimbos365club.com if you're in denial. If selling your mother for tickets doesn't work and nobody's scalping, treat yourself to a matinee of Beyond the Sea when it opens on Dec. 29.
-- Maya Kroth