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Wednesday, Nov 26 1997
november 26
The Santa Cause Are you known for your big beer gut and your hearty chuckle? Call the Cross Cultural Family Center, quick: They've got empty red Santa suits they'd like to fill. Perhaps you're a struggling actor/dancer/musician? The Salvation Army needs soloists and groups to entertain at kettle sites and holiday programs. Budding essayist? Writer David Sedaris based The Santa Land Diaries on his stint as a holiday elf. Out-of-shape and creative people aren't the only ones in demand now that the holidays have officially arrived, and agencies listed with the Volunteer Center of San Francisco could use help in planning and executing Thanksgiving and Christmas events. Episcopal Community Services needs volunteers to prepare and serve a Thanksgiving meal to 300 homeless folks; the S.F. AIDS Foundation seeks dexterous types to wrap Christmas gifts; Meals on Wheels is looking for licensed drivers to deliver dinners; the Hearing Society of the Bay Area needs bilingual people to translate materials; the Wah Mei School hopes to find party planners to thrill kids at its Hanukkah Celebration; and so on. Some of these are one-day gigs, but if you haven't got a few hours to spare, you can donate materials, too, like food, clothing, toys, and books. Call the Volunteer Center at 982-8999 for more information on which agencies need who and what.

november 27
Don't Kolo Solo The turkey tray has been licked clean and all the nitrous has been sucked out of the Reddi Wip can: time for a brisk round of folk dancing! The 46th annual Kolo Festival, billed as "the premier Balkan folkdance festival of the West Coast" by organizers, features three days' worth of Eastern European cultural entertainment ranging from sing-alongs and folk dance classes to ethnic foods and vendors hawking costumes, accessories, and crafts. Guests are, in fact, encouraged to dress in traditional togs to lend an extra-festive air to the proceedings. Bands hail from as far away as Hungary and Greece to as near as Eugene, Ore., via Bulgaria, and if the promise of continuous live music in two rooms isn't lure enough, the Dalmatian singing must surely be. The festival opens with folk dance rounds and finger-food snacks tonight at 8 p.m. (and continues through Saturday) at the San Francisco Russian Center, 2450 Sutter (at Divisadero), S.F. Admission is $2.50-65; call (800) 730-5615.

november 28
Winging It Angels rise above the banal realm of the self-help book and take flight in Iona Pear Dance Theater's evening-length work The Mythology of Angels. The troupe, voted "Honolulu's Best Dance Company" by readers of the Honolulu Weekly, uses arresting and often meticulously detailed costumes, the music of Dead Can Dance and Peter Gabriel, and the concentrated theatrical language of butoh to transport viewers. Mythology is divided into six sections detailing various aspects of angel lore, beginning with the guardian angel treatise "There's an Angel on my doorstep ... an Angel in my heart," and continuing with "Between Two Worlds," which takes the angels depicted in Eastern and Western art and sets them in motion. The show begins at 8 p.m. (also Saturday) at the Cowell Theater, Fort Mason, Marina & Buchanan, S.F. Admission is $20; call 441-3687. Angels from the piece are also expected to materialize on the streets of San Francisco Wednesday and Thursday in a couple of outdoor performances, which ought to give the busiest shopping day of the year a distinctly surreal edge.

Dear George Letters Thanks to the vigilant efforts of Spy, we now realize that well-known authors help each other out by swapping glowing book-jacket blurbs. But when The Haunted Pool author George Sand wrote a kind review of Madame Bovary author Gustave Flaubert's novel Salammbo in 1863, Flaubert's thank-you note initiated an extended, if not well-known, epistolary relationship. Sand must have enjoyed Flaubert's tale of an unhappily married woman who yearns for life beyond the provinces; Flaubert, in turn, must have appreciated the style of the elder Sand, a romantic writer who divorced her husband early on, raised her children on a writer's salary, and enjoyed a liaison with Chopin. Aurora Theater Company playwright in residence Dorothy Bryant brings the relationship between the French authors to light in Dear Master, which was first produced in 1991 and was performed at the 1994 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The show opens at 8 p.m. (and runs through Dec. 14) at the Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant (at Dana), Berkeley. Admission is $18-25; call (510) 843-4822.

november 29
Bear Affair The Teddy Bear Parade and Film Festival just couldn't be cuter unless puppies and kittens and baby harp seals were somehow involved. This is where tiny tots clutching adorable plush toys march through the PFA auditorium to the tune of "The Teddy Bears' Picnic," then snuggle down into their seats to watch animated and live-action films about bears and their animal friends. One of these, The Forgotten Toys, happens to feature actors known for distinctly unwholesome roles: Bob Hoskins (Mona Lisa) and Joanna Lumley (the boozehound party girl Patsy of Absolutely Fabulous) are the voices of a teddy bear and a rag doll who go searching for new homes after their owners cast them out in favor of new Christmas toys. Toys screens with Curious George, Happy Birthday, Moon, the story of a bear's connection to the moon, and the muddy action-adventure film A Boy, a Dog, and a Frog. Helium balloons will be doled out after the screenings, which are held at 1 and 3 p.m. (also Sunday) at the Pacific Film Archive, 2621 Durant (at College), Berkeley. Admission is $3.50; call (510) 642-1412.

november 30
The Face of All the World Is Changed Hunter Reynolds will be commemorating World AIDS Day/A Day Without Art this year by assuming his drag persona, Patina du Prey, and donning his Memorial Dress, a strapless, floor-length black gown painstakingly imprinted with the names of 30,000 people who have died from AIDS. World AIDS Day officially falls on Monday, but local observances like Reynolds' begin earlier and will include plenty of art and performance. Today's events include the sale of photography, ceramics, paintings, and other art made by a group of HIV-positive women artists at the Positive Women, Positive Art! show, beginning at 2 p.m. at Noe Valley Ministry, 1021 Sanchez (at 23rd Street), S.F. Admission is free (buffet and raffle included); call 332-7370, ext. 192. Performance artist Justin Chin presents "Holy Spook," a reading and performance about life and love in the age of loss, at 2 p.m. at the Asian Art Museum, Golden Gate Park, S.F. Admission is free with museum admission (free-$7); call 379-8801. Tom Ammiano and cast members from The Phantom of the Opera are among the performers at "Happenstance ... A Happening," where art will also be on display and a painting will be created by participants, auctioned off, then draped in Day Without Art fashion. "Happenstance" begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Jon Sims Center for the Performing Arts, 1519 Mission (at South Van Ness), S.F. Admission is $8-10; call 554-0402. On Monday, there will be a public program at 9:45 a.m. in the AIDS Memorial Grove, Golden Gate Park, S.F. Admission is free; call 750-8340. A daylong "Count-a-Thon" tabulating the number of pennies collected for the AIDS Emergency Fund penny jar drive includes a last-ditch collection effort and live entertainment beginning at 10 a.m. in Union Square, Geary & Powell, S.F. Admission is free; call 558-6985. "Death-Defying Acts," a tribute to artists lost to AIDS, features poetry and theatrical performances by Michael Fitzgerald, Robert Henry Johnson, and others at noon at the Veterans Building, 401 Van Ness (at McAllister), S.F. Admission is free; call 252-2559. East Bay ACT UP hosts a World AIDS Day Candlelight Vigil for Needle Exchange at 5 p.m. at the Oakland Federal Building, 1301 Clay (at 12th Street), Oakland. Admission is free; call (510) 568-1680. PoMo Afro Homos member Brian Freeman, choreographer Joe Goode, actor Ken Ruta, and others perform at a World AIDS Day Benefit Reading and Concert for Leland House at 8 p.m. at Intersection for the Arts, 446 Valencia (at 15th Street), S.F. Admission is $7-12; call 626-2787. And lastly, Patina du Prey, who commemorates the day by standing on a revolving platform in the Memorial Dress, appears Friday through Sunday, Nov. 28-30, at 1 p.m. at Center for the Arts, 701 Mission (at Third Street), S.F. Admission is free; call 978-ARTS.

Communi-Kate Stand-up comic Kate Clinton has a brother named Bill, and she once toyed with the idea of changing her name to Hilarity Clinton, but she's no relation to the first couple. That isn't to say that Clinton, a former high school English teacher, is unfamiliar with Beltway shenanigans: Her one-woman show Impure Thoughts was dedicated to short-lived Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders, and she's mused out loud on Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's "coming out" with her Jewishness. The coming-out process provided plenty of material for Clinton, an out lesbian, in the early part of her career, but her shows tend toward the more broadly political these days. In other words, along with the Ellen jokes, you also get some zingers about Orange County Republican Rep. "B-1" Bob Dornan. Clinton's three-day East Bay run includes a Tuesday night benefit for the Breast Cancer Fund. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. (also Monday and Tuesday) at the Montclair Women's Cultural Arts Club, 1650 Mountain, Oakland. Admission is $22.50 ($25-50 for the Tuesday show or show and reception); call (510) 339-1832.

december 1
The Gay Blade Olympic gold medalist Brian Boitano glides through the basics in Boitano's Edge: Inside the Real World of Figure Skating, covering everything from music and choreography to training and judging. His photos from the road will give readers a sense of the distance skaters go to bring home the gold, and his gallery of famous skaters puts the sport's competitive history in perspective. With "Skating Slang" and anecdotes from his career, however, Boitano introduces skating fans and laymen to the mysterious inner workings of the pro-am circuit. We can only cross our fingers that some of those stories relate to the Tonya-Nancy debacle. Boitano signs copies of the book at 4 p.m. at A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books, Opera Plaza, 601 Van Ness (at Golden Gate), S.F. Admission is free; call 441-6670.

december 2
Dude! Motley Crue are trying hard to persuade us that they're new for the '90s with Generation Swine, but except for the smaller hair and the bigger wives, the band looks and sounds pretty much like it has for the last 17 years. Tommy, Vince, Nikki, and Mick are Hollywood bad boys who pride themselves on breaking the rules, despite a strict adherence to the rock 'n' roll rule book and all the tattoo-sportin', eyeliner-wearin', Playmate-squeezin', dope-coppin', hotel room-trashin', car-wreckin', drug-renouncin' high jinks that come with it. The image and the antics helped make them millionaires, after all; it took more than just shouting at the devil to send Dr. Feelgood to a staggering quadruple-platinum status and suck a subsequent $25 million deal out of Elektra. Why should they care if dedicated metalheads think they're pussies? Cheap Trick have opened for them. What more could a bad boy want? Big Beats and Vibe open for Motley Crue at 8 p.m. at the Cow Palace, Geneva & Santos, Daly City. Admission is $25; call 469-6065.

About The Author

Heather Wisner


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