Jail is no joke. Many of us see it as a distant notion, a place we'd rather not visit, let alone stay. But to the folks whose only window on the world is a long, dark corridor seen through steel bars, it's quite a real experience. Local artist Rhodessa Jones became interested in the lives of female inmates while teaching at the San Francisco County Jail in 1989. She created a performance piece based on the lives of the imprisoned women she encountered there. The show had such an impact that it birthed the Medea Project: Theatre for Incarcerated Women, a venture intended to create social change through art.
While such a project is obviously full of good will, no one expected it to become an acclaimed international movement -- but it did. The latest chapter of the Medea Project, California Stories: A Time ... A Place, will bring the voices of local incarcerated women and ex-offenders to life. Break out of your own imprisoned routine at 8 p.m. (and continuing through March 28) at the Buriel Clay Theater in the African American Art and Culture Complex, 762 Fulton (at Webster), S.F. Tickets are $12-25; call 292-1850 or visit www.culturalodyssey.org.
-- Karen Macklin
God Only Knows
Chatting with the Creator
He toys with us. He's not the benevolent being some people make him out to be. If he were, would he allow kittens to die? On the other hand, would 1959 Cadillac Coupe de Villes exist without him? These questions and more may or may not be answered (he works in mysterious ways, after all) at "Late Night With God," "the only talk show hosted by the Almighty Himself!" promoters brag.
God's sidekick, Moses, holds down the Ed McMahon role, while the Paul Shaffer et al. thing is replicated by the notoriously Dead Milkmen-esque Boneless Children Foundation. Guests may think they're getting a good deal, talking to God and all, but recent reports suggest that though the show is often hilarious, even his jokes sometimes fall flat. Forgive us, Father, we know not what we do. See God at 8:30 p.m. at El Rio, 3158 Mission (at Cesar Chavez), S.F. Admission is $7-10; call 282-3325 or visit www.elriosf.com.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
Dance company does more than dance
A world premiere, three guest performers, and the engaging choreography of Leyya Tawil and Christopher Keys decorate this week's installment of modern dance company Dance Elixir's "Frequency" series. The performers' broad range of disciplines pushes the whole thing into the realm of multimedia presentation: Videography from Camille Auburtin and Cristina Waltz, voice work and physical theater by Rasmus Jørgensen, and innovative movement by emerging dance troupe Angelina Nicole's Imaginary Friends are some of the special offerings in addition to the DE work that Voice of Dance calls "a true testament that choreography can communicate."
"Frequency" begins at 8 p.m. nightly at Venue 9, 252 Ninth St. (at Folsom), S.F. Admission is $10-15; call 289-2000 or visit www.venue9.com.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
Carnival of Souls
Vintage serial killer H.H. Holmes dispatched 50 visitors to the 1893 Chicago World's Fair at his "Castle of Horrors" boardinghouse. Hear author Erik Larson draw eerie connections between Holmes and the fair when he reads from his The Devil in the White City at 7 p.m. at A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books, 601 Van Ness (at Turk), S.F. Admission is free; call 441-6670 or visit www.bookstore.com.
-- Joyce Slaton