Dog Gone 

A smorgasbord of sleaze

SAT 7/5

In the immediate wake of a high-profile crime -- and a bloody, frothy wake it is -- it's all over the headlines, and every time you turn on the TV there's another interview with the victim's family, the key witness, the law, or the perp's former golf coach. Then a year or two later the book comes out. Aphrodite Jones ' The Red Zone: The Behind-the-Scenes Story of the San Francisco Dog Mauling recounts what happened one winter day in 2001 when Diane Whipple, a lacrosse coach at Moraga's St. Mary's College, was killed in front of her Pacific Heights apartment by two dogs in the care of her neighbors, lawyers Marjorie Knoller and Robert Noel. The pair had the dogs because their legally adopted "son" -- a Pelican Bay inmate and Aryan Brotherhood gang leader with whom they had exchanged erotic letters and pictures -- was cooking up a scheme in which vicious Presa Canario hounds would be bred to guard meth labs. Drugs! Blood! A beautiful victim! Bestiality! Bent lawyers! It's a true-crime writer's dream, and Jones feasts at a smorgasbord of sleaze. You might remember her as the author who sued Boys Don't Cry distributor Fox Searchlight, claiming that her book on the Brandon Teena case, All She Wanted, afforded her "life rights in perpetuity" from the people involved. She settled for an undisclosed amount. And she'll be at Berkeley Barnes & Noble on July 5. -- Anneli Rufus

7/2-7/28

Shaw Nuff

Satire under the stars

George Bernard Shaw, familiar to Irish-pub-goers as that bearded fellow grinning impishly beneath his woolen cap, was hot stuff in the London stage world of a hundred years ago, and not just for dreaming up scenarios like Pygmalion (later to become My Fair Lady). The acerbic Dublin-born wit, whose gravestone reportedly reads "I knew if I hung around long enough something like this would happen," never ceased his comic philosophical musings. And his Arms and the Man (1894) is a good place to start to appreciate the Shavian touch -- the wry story of a woman, a soldier, and chivalric love in the Balkans. It previews beginning July 2, then runs through July 28 at Cal Shakes, in a production directed by Lillian Groag. Tickets: 510-548-9666 or www.calshakes.org -- Kelly Vance

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