Blondes Have More Fun? When Marilyn Monroe starred in Some Like It Hot, she was still playing breathy blondes. But Sugar Kane — her character in the film — has a sadness and vulnerability absent from gold diggers like Gentleman Prefer Blondes' Lorelei Lee. Monroe herself was unhappy during filming; she needed up to 40 takes to deliver simple dialogue. Still, as director Billy Wilder said, “Anyone can remember lines, but it takes a real artist to come on the set and not know her lines and give the performance she did.” Like Gentleman Prefer Blondes, Some Like It Hot upends the oppressive gender roles associated with '50s America (and Monroe). See a romance that begins with a St. Valentine's Day Massacre at 7 and 9:30 p.m. at the Lark Theatre, 549 Magnolia, Larkspur. Tickets are $4-6; call 924-3311.
Fight for Your Love Rights “Some Enchanted Evening” pays tribute to Hawaii, where same-sex marriage may soon become a legal reality. A benefit for the Hawaiian Equal Rights Marriage Project, the indoor luau features limbo dancing (to Martin Denny and Don Ho), fruity drinks, and a roast suckling pig. The fun lasts from 6 to 11 p.m. at Eichelberger's, 2742 17th St., S.F. Tickets are $50; call 863-4177. Also on the homo beat, “Love Fest” offers a night of lesbian/gay love stories by Justin Chin, Kris Kovick, and others. The yarns begin at 8 p.m. at New College Theater, 777 Valencia, S.F. Tickets are $7-10 ($20 with catered pre-show reception); call 641-7285.
Funny Face Silk-screen artist Jim Winters has a new medium: stickers. “Stuck Up!” showcases Winters' Day-Glo portraits of smiling faces. An opening reception for the exhibit spans 7 to 10 p.m. at Little Frankensteins, 3804 17th St., S.F. Free; call 864-6543. “Stuck Up!” continues through March 17.
Fancy Feet The first of two Bay Area programs by the Dance Theatre of Harlem includes works both classic (Balanchine's The Prodigal Son) and contemporary (The Joplin Dances by Robert Garland; Signs and Wonders by Alonzo King). Mixing traditional African music with compositions by Prokofiev and Joplin, the show starts at 8 p.m. at Zellerbach Hall, Bancroft & Telegraph, UC Berkeley campus. Tickets are $18-32; call (510) 642-9988. Dance Theatre of Harlem performs through Feb. 18.
(Un)Orthodox Jews A caffeinated, less academic Tikkun, the S.F.-based Davka highlights spoken word, fiction, visual arts, and music by Jewish artists. Issue No. 1 features poems by Marge Piercy, Julia Vinograd, Alan Kaufman, and Allen Ginsberg; longer pieces include a temp tale by Josh Kornbluth and an interview with critic J. Hoberman (about Yiddish cinema). Kornbluth, Kaufman, Sara Felder, and others will perform at a bash for the fledgling mag; called “Challahpalooza,” the party starts at 7 p.m. at 330 Ritch, S.F. Tickets are $10-12; call 567-6689.
Leslie's Inferno A cycle of films and videos made between 1985 and 1995, Peggy and Fred in Hell watches two children of the future as they create a nonsense world from fragments of 20th-century U.S. culture. Peggy and Fred was a hit at last year's Whitney Biennial; filmmaker Leslie Thornton appears at the Bay Area premiere (presented by S.F. Cinema-theque) at 7:30 p.m. at Center for the Arts, 701 Mission, S.F. Tickets are $3-6; call 558-8129.
On Shaky Ground How do earthquakes affect the creation of buildings? That's the question behind The Bay Area Project, a series of drawings by N.Y. experimental architect Lebbeus Woods, currently on view at SFMOMA. Woods presents a lecture at 6 p.m. at SFMOMA's Phyllis Wattis Theater, 151 Third St., S.F. Tickets are $4-8; call 776-1999.
Dancing on the Edge A multisite forum for experimental dance and performance works, “The Edge Festival” celebrates its 10th birthday this year. The event opens with Eros, a collaboration between playwright David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly) and dance artist Maureen Fleming. In Eros, Fleming (whose work physically and thematically responds to a childhood accident that left a bone spur in her vertebrae) performs her distinctive style of butoh, while projected texts by Hwang appear and disappear behind her. The show starts at 8 p.m. at Theater Artaud, 450 Florida, S.F. Tickets are $12-15; call 621-7797. Eros continues through Sunday.
The Harder They Fall “Tear Down the Walls” is a film/lecture series examining the current climate of public hysteria and political cynicism about crime. It begins with documentaries about embattled '70s radicals: Attica! captures (and comments on) the 1971 New York prison rebellion; Geronimo Pratt portrays the incarcerated Black Panther. Dennis Cunningham (one of the original attorneys for the Attica Brothers) and Muhjah Shakir will speak; the benefit (for Prison Activist Resource Center and other groups) begins at 7:30 p.m. at Artists' Television Access, 992 Valencia, S.F. Tickets are $5; call (510) 845-8813.
They're Grrreat! Fine-art fans can feast (visually) upon a city constructed from burned Cheerios and Rice Krispies at “Morphology.” The group show features caustic breakfast artist Gordon Simpson, Michael Damm (who uses hardware to create “engineered” versions of the male body), Teresa Smith, Daniel John Stingle, and Robert G. You. Simpson will present a multimedia performance — Cereal and Sugar-Coated Ideology, featuring 200 slides and 50 commercials– at the show's opening-night shindig; the reception lasts from 6 to 9 p.m. at the LAB, 2948 16th St., S.F. Free; call 864-8855.
Pain Revisited Pierced and tattooed people can get even more piercings and tattoos at the return of “Terminator,” the industrial, mod-prim nightspot. The Seemen will entertain with strange machines, a “sonic bazooka” will do whatever a sonic bazooka does, a robot named Stretch will spit fire at the dance floor, and nine artists will be on hand to work on human canvases. The fun starts at 8:30 p.m. at the Trocadero, 520 Fourth St., S.F. Tickets are $8-10 (you and a guest can get in free if you bring a working TV); call 495-6620.
Coffin Car No other film has captured the look, the smell, and the sexual and racial tension of nighttime New York like Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver. The scenes of Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) and his coffin cab gliding down grimy, wet streets disorient the viewer. The performances — De Niro, Harvey Keitel, Albert Brooks, Cybill Shepherd, and Jodie Foster — are uniformly excellent. Like 1983's The King of Comedy, Taxi Driver cops out with an illogical, cynical ending, but until then, it's brilliant. (It also provides fine advice on where not to take someone on a first date.) In honor of Taxi Driver's 20th birthday, the film has been restored from the original negative and its soundtrack remixed in stereo; see it at 7 and 9:30 p.m. (continuing through Feb. 29) at the Castro Theatre, Castro & Market, S.F. Tickets are $6; call 621-6120. [page]
Art and Commerce News flash: Independent and Hollywood feature films are hard to tell apart these days. Detailing the interaction between creativity and money at schmoozefests like the Sundance Film Festival, John Pierson's Spike, Mike, Slackers, and Dykes gives some insight into this development. Pierson reads from and discusses the book at 7:30 p.m. at A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books, 601 Van Ness, S.F. Free; call 441-6670.
Attack of the Big, Angry Things During the age of the dinosaurs, mammals were small, inconspicuous, shrewlike creatures (kinda like journalists today). After dinosaurs became extinct, however, mammals grew humongous: Sloths as big as modern elephants, woolly mammoths, and creatures with massive bucktoothed snouts walked the earth. “Creatures of the Ice Age & Other Amazing Mammals” re-creates this long-ago era with robotic animals that move and make noises. Meet them, then run for your life from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (through May 5) at California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, S.F. Admission is $1.50-7; call 750-7145.
Seeing Things Depthography is a New York artist group specializing in multidimensional visuals. In “Artists of the Third Dimension,” they use a dual-projector technique to present images of the 1939 World's Fair. Four-D lenticular images, 3-D magic lanterns, stereo pinhole photos, and a special cameo appearance by “The Transparent Woman” are also part of the show; it starts at 2 p.m. (also Sunday) at the Exploratorium, 3601 Lyon, S.F. Admission is $2.50-9; call 563-7337.
A Mother's Love Thanks to Faye Dunaway's scenery-chewing, the “real” Joan Crawford is the meanest mommie in movie history. But Crawford the actress' best-known star turn was as a masochistic mother victimized by an ungrateful daughter in Mildred Pierce. Michael Curtiz's 1945 melodrama is a quintessential “women's film,” complete with family ties that strangle. See it and weep at 7 p.m. at Pacific Film Archive, 2625 Durant, Berkeley. Tickets are $3.50-5.50; call (510) 642-1124.
Happy New Year, Again In Tibet, the lunar new year is called Losar. Since excessive drinking isn't a prerequisite, celebrations traditionally last one to two weeks. Chaksam-Pa Tibetan Dance and Opera Company — a local group formed in 1989 to preserve and foster traditional Tibetan art — will perform at a “Tibetan New Year's Celebration.” The festivities commence at 2 p.m. at the Asian Art Museum, Adrian Gruhn Court, Golden Gate Park, S.F. Admission is $3-6; call 668-7855.
The Medium Is the Message Nam June Paik was part of the '60s Japanese Fluxus movement, but his techno-art fusions are markedly different from Yoko Ono's body-mind fixations. “Electronic Super Highway: Nam June Paik in the '90s” traces Paik's pioneering video creativity from past works like Sonatine for Goldfish to his latest installation, which uses 500 TVs to mimic an entire city community. Tune in from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (through May 5) at San Jose Museum of Art, 110 S. Market, San Jose. Admission is $3-6; call (408) 271-6840.
Queen of the House Loleatta Holloway began her career singing gospel with Albertina Walker and the Caravans, but she achieved pop notoriety in 1991, when an Italian disco duo — Black Box — spliced her ecstatic wails together (without her permission) and pretended they were sung by a leggy model on the huge Euro hit “Ride on Time.” Five years later, disembodied diva shrieks are a house music trademark (some might say defect), but at least Loleatta is making her own records. She sings at Pleasuredome's “Presidents' Day Celebration”; the dancing endures from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. at 177 Townsend, S.F. Tickets are $7 (two-for-one); call 985-5256.
Poor, Pitiful Me He calls himself the clown prince of self-pity. His name is Johnny Lonely. He's the creation of writer/performer Brian Lohmann, and he's taking a break from sites like Seattle's Velvet Elvis to bring his retro-lounge stand-up routine to S.F. The audience acts as understudy, therapist, and pep squad at Johnny Lonely's Unhappy Hour; a benefit for Rough and Tumble's upcoming production of Tom Jones, the show starts at 7 p.m. at 450 Geary Studio Theatre, 450 Geary (duh), S.F. Tickets are $20; call 789-8532.
All You Can Eat k.d. lang's new LP, All You Can Eat, is scientifically sexy; it never quite matches the looser, languorous appeal of 1992's Ingenue. (“Constant Craving” is a fantastic song about how queer desire will never be killed.) Like many megatalents, lang is most appealing when she's hurt and vulnerable; her voice, especially live, is spine-chilling. She croons at 8 p.m. (Tuesday also) at the Paramount Theatre, 2025 Broadway, Oakland. Tickets are $45; call (510) 465-6400.
Hush Hush In the '80s, she had heavy MTV rotation playing a bleached-blonde (with one of those heinous hair tails beloved by American new-wavers) who embarrasses her abusive asshole boyfriend by singing at some hoity-toity function. The video was “Voices Carry,” the group was 'Til Tuesday, and the singer was Aimee Mann. 'Til Tuesday's second LP was super-good, but no one bought it. Since then, Mann has put out a bunch of clever-clever solo pop efforts in the vein of ex-husband Jules Shear. She's had one more hit — but it was a track on the Melrose Place soundtrack. (Music for thinking about Sydney and Kimberly.) You can hear her (along with Semi-Sonic and 3 Day Wheelie) at 8 p.m. at Slim's, 11th Street & Harrison, S.F. Tickets are $12; call 255-0333. [page]