Get 'Em, Girls! 

Faster, comedians! Kill! Kill!

Sat 12/18

Women, unite! There's a terrible marketing plot being perpetuated through media to disguise our true selves, and it's time to set the record straight. First of all, unlike Carrie and her fashion minions of Sex and the City fame, we discuss things other than fellatio, infidelity, and high heels. When real girls get together, the cackles can be heard for blocks, and the truly wicked of us leave skid marks across the sky with our broomsticks. Male interlopers be warned: Should you come across such a meeting, a coven if you will, do yourself a favor and buy the gals a round. Sit somewhere nearby and take mental notes, because it's a rare opportunity to see women evolve, as the moon rises, into the beer-guzzling, sailor-talking, opinionated beings we really are. Welcome, all, to what is universally recognized as "girls' night out." Maybe you can't relate to this exact scenario. Maybe you lunch with the gals on Sundays, and that's cool, too. But an undeniable alchemy and spirit arise when a gaggle of women get together, no matter what the occasion. If you've never been privy to such a meeting, then make a call and reserve your tickets now to La Peña's inaugural Girls' Night Out, an all-female stand-up comedy showcase this Saturday night. Find out what women are thinking as they blast open the myths with raw experience and high levels of estrogen. Performing in this ladylike lineup are Sia Amma, the organizer and founder of CelebrateClitoris.com, and her band of local funny girls: Betsy Salkind, Miracle Malone, Chantal Carrere, Reannie Roads, Nora Lavelle, and Erikka Innes.

If your own girls' night has gotten stale and you're sick of everyone's same old jokes, consider this show an end-of-the-year resuscitation -- take the whole tribe. And for the men who have always been suspicious about their crafty counterparts, you are sure to be tickled with revelations about the not-so-dainty but oh-so-sensitive other half who in real life discuss food, drugs, politics, global issues, money, spirituality, exes, exercise, kids, bodily functions and. yes, even and especially sex.

Girls' Night Out happens at La Peña Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck, Berkeley, December 18 at 8 p.m. $12 at the door. Visit www.lapena.org for more info. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Women's Cancer Foundation. -- Justine Nicole

12/11-12/19

Free at Last

Gratis Black Nativity

Allen Temple's annual production of Langston Hughes' Black Nativityhas been one of the highlights of the East Bay's holiday season for 23 years. And now it's free. Thanks to an anonymous donor, all performances of Hughes' two-act musical stage play, including Saturday's 2:30 and 8 p.m. shows and Sunday's 6 p.m. show, are free and open to the public. Black Nativity is directed by Betty Gadling, who notes that the publicity-shy benefactor is obviously aware that this year especially, many families are having tough economic times. Allen Temple Baptist Church Family Life Center is at 8501 International Blvd. in East Oakland. 510-544-8924. -- Kelly Vance

Sun 12/19

Bubble Economy

Say this fast: The Bubble Lady at the Buddy Club. In her role as the Bubble Lady, clown Rebecca Nile does sight gags and blows bubbles (unlike the other bubble lady who also performs poetry), but what poetry there is in bubbles. Laughs, too. When she produces a bubble spaceship, or a series of bubbles within bubbles, or when she gets a volunteer to stand inside a really huge bubble ("The volunteer does get clean at the same time," the Buddy Club promises), kids of all ages will be delighted. She and folksinger Gerry Tenney perform Sunday afternoon (1 to 2 p.m.) at the Berkeley JCC Theater, 1414 Walnut St. $7. 510-236-7469. -- Kelly Vance

Mon 12/20

Moving Music

Since most holidays -- this time of year and otherwise -- are derived from Mama Nature's natural changes, it's appropriate that Songs as Vehicles, taking place this winter solstice eve, comprises songs from ten different cultures. Ten vocalists, including director Antero Alli, his wife Sylvi Alli, and Robin Coomer of the bands Birdsaw and Ruby Iron present songs from their ancestral cultures. The Finnish Brotherhood Hall, 1970 Chestnut St., Berkeley. $10 suggested donation. ParaTheatrical.com -- Stefanie Kalem

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