Prints Among Men If the name Edward Hagedorn sounds unfamiliar, blame it on the controversy of 1927. Hagedorn, a Bay Area native who studied at the San Francisco Art Institute when it was still the California School of Fine Arts, won honors for his work in the '20s and '30s but drew fire when he refused to pull one of his paintings, a female nude, from a 1927 exhibition at the Oakland Art Gallery. Shortly thereafter, he was disowned by his father. Reclusive by nature, Hagedorn pocketed an inheritance from his mother's side and removed himself from the public eye in the late 1930s, refusing from then on to exhibit his work. When he died in 1982, nearly a million dollars and boxes of prints, drawings, and paintings were found in his Berkeley home; the UAM exhibit focuses on the German Expressionist-influenced, anti-war images Hagedorn produced when conflicts like the Spanish Civil War occupied the collective consciousness of early 20th-century America. The exhibit is up through Sept. 29 at the University Art Museum, 2625 Durant, UC Berkeley campus. Admission is free-$6; call (510) 642-0808.
Pas de Quatre Four is the magic number right now for the Robert Henry Johnson Dance Company, which celebrates its fourth season with the premiere of four new works informed by classic and modern technique. The first week's program features Three Women Flying, Blue Light Till Dawn, and Phylia, a partnered duet on a developing relationship, set to music by Prince. Hip-hop collective Midnight Voices joins the company the second week to perform their original score for Johnson's first evening-length piece, Bio, based on Johnson's experiences as a San Francisco Ballet School student and a young dance-maker, incorporating a section from last year's Late Nite at the Upper Room pointing to the influences of African culture on American urban life. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. (continuing Thursday-Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 2 & 7:30 p.m., through July 21) at the Cowell Theater, Fort Mason, S.F. Free chartered buses to the show run from the Bayview Opera House and the Center for African & African-American Art and Culture Sunday, July 14. Admission is $10-35; call 392-4400.
Cops and Robbers The Emerald Isle takes center stage when the Penny Farthing Players, directed Damon Poeter, present a theatrical adaptation by Irish transplant Lorcan Keating of Irish novelist Flann O'Brien's book The Third Policeman, accompanied live on selected nights by the mandolin, fiddle, and penny whistle strains of Celtic band Resident Aliens. O'Brien's novel, published a year after his death in 1966, is the tale of a murder motivated by greed, but that is as literal as O'Brien gets in this satirical, philosophical Swiftian comedy: After their crime goes awry and their partnership sours, culprits No Name and his conscience, Joe, find themselves in an otherworld populated by ghosts, mad cops, one-legged robbers, and strangely human bicycles. The Third Policeman premieres at 8 p.m. (continuing through Aug. 4) at New College Theater, 777 Valencia, S.F. Admission is $10-12; call 263-0714.
Black Is Back Pam Grier may exude star power, but blaxploitation films remain popular two decades after their release due mostly to camp value. From Grier's turn as an ass-kicking avenger saddled with a coke-dealing brother in Foxy Brown to Richard Pryor's role as a hustler who enters a pimp beauty pageant in The Mack, the films are loaded with drugs and violence, slick threads, and righteous dialogue from protagonists who aren't afraid to stick it to the man. These were meant as action films with social commentary, although at least one, The Mack, found itself embroiled in an actual socially charged situation, resulting in a truce between gang and crew members while the film was shot on location in Oakland. The Red Vic's "Blaxploitation Classics" series, the second of what could become an annual event, begins with Sheba Baby at 7:15 and 9:15 p.m. at the Red Vic, 1727 Haight, S.F. Admission is $3-6; call 668-8999.
Ehn Visions Local playwright Erik Ehn plants one foot in the troubled present and one foot in a surreal future with Tailings, a fable in play form about a North Carolinian farm family torn apart when the Appalachians become submerged under the Atlantic and rural children are recruited to work in the vapor mine of Uranus. Director Steven Cosson and Smart Mouth Theater (the team that produced 1994's Stupid Kids) and contributors from several disciplines -- composer Bob Ostertag and visual artist D-L Alvarez among them -- have collaborated to mount Ehn's work at 8 p.m. (continuing through July 28) at Intersection for the Arts, 446 Valencia, S.F. Admission is $10-12; call 273-1069.
And What About Naomi? Tune in to Liquid Soap!, the interactive drama for anyone who's ever yelled at Erica Kane; for unpublished scriptwriters with day jobs; for actors who really want to direct. Director Ron Kelly establishes the characters, and then acts as a liaison between the ensemble and the audience, "freezing" the action and taking suggestions from viewers about who should do what to whom. An imaginative cast and crew rely on minimal props and tech tricks to convey rapidly changing situations, and each episode ends with a cliffhanger to kick off the next week's show. Meddling in someone else's affairs is encouraged here, so go ahead: Kidnap the twins and switch the blood tests. Life, after all, is not a cabaret. Liquid Soap! runs Fridays at 10:30 p.m. (through Aug. 23) at the Cable Car Theater, 430 Mason, S.F. Admission is $8-10; call 241-8887.
A Good Look The Film Arts Foundation salutes David Michalak's 25-year film career with a premiere and a retrospective featuring Portraits, Pt.1 and Start Talking, among others. In the era of computer animation and digital soundtracks, Michalak continues to produce silent movies and spoken-word instructional films, as well as cinematic portraits of family and friends, financing his ventures with revenue from his mail-order CD and record business, Earwax. The program concludes with his new film, Inside Out, a collaboration with the Kate Foley Company that relies on the dancers' movements and expressions to convey the story of one performer's recovery from a physical and mental breakdown. The Club Foot Orchestra will perform its original score live at the screening. The program begins at 8 p.m. in the Victoria Theater, 2961 16th St., S.F. Admission is $7-8; call 552-FILM.
More Signs of Summer Add Japantown to the list of neighborhoods offering seasonal outdoor festivals: This one appeals to contemporary sensibilities with a karaoke show but leans on the traditional, with drum performances by Taiko Dojo, Okinawan dancing and drumming, tea and rice-pounding ceremonies, calligraphy and martial arts demonstrations, and a bonsai exhibit. The festival begins at 1 p.m. (also on Sunday) at the Japantown Peace Plaza, Post & Buchanan, S.F. Admission is free; call 202-0353.
Titans of Tomorrow Now in its 22nd year, the San Francisco Art Dealers Association's exhibit "Introductions '96" features artists in a diverse array of media making their major Bay Area gallery debuts. Thirty galleries citywide are participating in the monthlong exhibit (see Calender listings under "Art Galleries"). The showing officially begins with an open house from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and culminates with an opening night celebration at 6 p.m. on the new San Francisco campus of the California College of Arts and Crafts, 450 Irwin, S.F. Open house admission is free, celebration admission is $20-30; call 626-7498.
Punked Up Why do so many punk bands germinate in Orange County? Is it the water? Ask the Vandals when they come to town: They've been around since the '80s and they ought to have a few ideas. The Vandals have lots of ideas, in fact, and with songs that typically clock in at a breezy three minutes or less, they can cover lots of ground, with time for beer breaks in between. The Vandals offer the flip side to angry, serious punk in guitar-driven, grin-inducing style, as in their acknowledgement of the Ramones with "Change My Pants (I Don't Wanna)" and their salute to '90s living in "And Now We Dance" ("Like soldiers on the battlefield/ Crack your head open and sue somebody"). Punk's not dead, damn it. Assorted Jellybeans and the Suicide Machines open at 8 p.m. at the Trocadero, 520 Fourth St., S.F. Admission is $2-5; call 995-4600.
The World Through Lavender Lenses German filmmaker and AIDS activist Rosa von Praunheim has been making gay-themed films for over 20 years: His chronicle of the work done by a transsexual activist group, Transexual Menace, screened at this year's S.F. Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, while his portrait of an East Berlin transvestite, I Am My Own Woman, enjoyed a recent run at the Castro. Von Praunheim discusses these films; the cinematic version of his own life story, Neurosia; and his plans to film a comedy set in the year 2202, with the working title The History of Homosexuality. He speaks at 7 p.m. at the Film Arts Foundation, 346 Ninth St., S.F. Admission is $8-12; call 552-8760.
Cash Back Johnny Cash's daughter, Rosanne, makes her Capitol Records debut with 10 Song Demo, produced and released just like a regular demo, screw-ups and all. Cash sings of her travels and describes her life's roadblocks and milestones in this personal effort, a stripped-down melange of countrified folk with a pop sheen. She does an acoustic show at 8 p.m. at the Great American Music Hall, 859 O'Farrell, S.F. Admission is $21.50; call 885-0750.
Catch of the Day The bitter losing third of a love triangle confronts his rival and co-worker at a remote New England lake in Benjamin Bettenbender's comic drama Scaring the Fish. The pretext of an office fishing trip is worked into a metaphor for modern love, as the pair engage in an emotional battle over the multiple meanings of fishing as applied to relationships. Secrets are revealed and notions challenged in this world premiere by New York City theater development group the Lab, an ensemble of over 300 professional theater artists including advisers Lanford Wilson and Jon Robin Baitz. Scaring the Fish opens at 8:30 p.m. (continuing through Aug. 11) at the Magic Theater, Bldg. D, Fort Mason, S.F. Admission is $15-24; call 441-8822.