This Week's Day-by-Day Picks 

WED 20
Let's not ever get the idea that Network Associates Coliseum isn't the greatest sports facility on earth -- but if you're a baseball fan and want a treat (and can afford premium ticket prices), you should sneak across the bay after work today and catch the Giants vs. Atlanta Braves game at 7:15 at Pac Bell, quite possibly the most bee-yoo-tee-ful ball yard in the majors. The Jernts and the Tom-Tom Club are the two best teams in the National League, and this series (their last of the regular season) could well be a playoff preview. Check out the Giants' pitching sorcery, glimpse the serene Bonds, and admire the glories of the fastball league. If you see John Smoltz warming up in the bullpen, get out your kneepads and pray. Tickets: 510-762-2277, SFGiants.com, or any of the friendly scalpers that line the Embarcadero as you stroll up to Momo's. -- Kelly Vance

THU 21
Charles Dickens never finished The Mystery of Edwin Drood, but that didn't stop playwright Rupert Holmes (who also wrote The Piña Colada Song) from having some play-within-a-play fun with the 19th-century English novelist's least-known work. Holmes' musical comedy of the same name is about a Victorian theater troupe and its efforts to put Drood on the stage -- each actor, in effect, plays two parts. Best of all, in Town Hall Theatre's production, the audience is invited into the action the moment they step into the theater, decorated as a London music hall -- they get to mingle with the actors and even "vote" for an ending. Shaun-Michael Morse directs, with choreography by Michael Ryken and set design by Kim Tolman. The Mystery of Edwin Drood previews tonight (8 p.m.), then opens Friday for a run through September 28 at Town Hall, 3535 School St., Lafayette. Tickets: 925-283-1557. Info: THTC.org -- Kelly Vance

FRI 22
Oh, those wacky, cocky rich kids. Always jetting off someplace, spending their way to the top, or killing people for the fun of it, as in the case of Leopold and Loeb. That case shocked the nation with its motifs of homosexuality and smug privilege. When Patrick Hamilton wrote Rope, he moved the action from Chicago to his native London and invented an amateur detective to unravel the crime. Hamilton also put ironic pressure on the situation by having the perps invite their dead chum's dad to a dinner party in the same room where the body is hidden. Masquers Playhouse (105 Park Place, Point Richmond) knows that you can rent the Hitchcock movie, but the original play is just as masterfully tense. See for yourself when it opens tonight at 8 p.m. It plays through Sept. 27, and tickets cost $13. 510-232-4031. -- Stefanie Kalem

SAT 23
Time moves slo-o-owly in the two-dimensional world. The first Uncle Scrooge comic to feature the Internet was Geoffrey Blum's 2001 debut script for Egmont, the Danish publisher of Disney titles. That story, "World Wide Witch," saw release stateside this summer, via Gemstone's Uncle Scrooge 320, and the author will be celebrating it in the city where he started his ducky adventure: Berkeley. Blum began to study Scrooge McDuck creator and longtime Donald Duck writer and illustrator Carl Barks while an undergraduate at Cal, and has since become the leading authority on the beloved artist. Blum himself has been an editor at Another Rainbow Publishing, written reviews, poetry, criticism, even half of a Victorian thriller. But now he's a full-time Scroogeman, and you can shake his unwebbed hand today at Comic Relief (2138 University Ave.), between 2 and 4 p.m. -- Stefanie Kalem

SUN 24
With its vibrant combination of Asian cultures and sidewalk serendipities, Oakland's Chinatown is a three-ring circus almost any weekend anyway, but today it's officially a four-stage, ten-city-block, open-air carnival -- the Oakland Chinatown StreetFest, sponsored by the Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce. From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., you can take in four separate stages of entertainment, with circus performers from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, Oakland Ballet dancers, celebrity chef Martin Yan, and live music of all types, plus the Oakland Raiderettes, the Oakland Museum's Cultural Village, kids' crafts and games, and more than 270 booths full of fun. It's absolutely free. Just come to downtown Oakland between 7th and 11th streets, from Broadway to Harrison. -- Stefanie Kalem

MON 25
The slowest evening of the entertainment week doesn't have to be completely dead. Get your laff riot on at Mingles, where every Monday night is comedy night, hosted by RIP, BET's Playa of Comedy. The fun begins at 9 p.m. Better yet, show up early for Happy Hour, $1 off all drinks from 6-9 p.m., just to get you in a jolly mood for the jokes. After the comedy show, stick around for music and dancing with DJ Tone Legend, from midnight till closing. Mingles Martini and Champagne Lounge is located at 370 Embarcadero, near Jack London Square, in Oakland. 510-835-3900. -- Kelly Vance

TUE 26
Burning Man. So high, you can't jump over it; so big, you can't get around it; so deep, you can't dig under it. It started yesterday, but if you're smart and decided to go today instead to avoid the crush, you won't miss a thing. From now through Labor Day, the Black Rock Desert outside Gerlach, Nevada is the biggest hippie magnet since Janis Joplin dangled her tuchis out of a window on Haight Street. What could anyone say about Burning Man that hasn't already been said? Officially, it's "an annual experiment in temporary community dedicated to radical self-expression and radical self-reliance." And you can get naked. Even if you're not planning to go, the Web site (BurningMan.com) is fun to read. Sample: "Defecation on the playa is a violation of the law." No dogs allowed. No drugs or drug paraphernalia. No commercial vending. No firearms. No loud noises outside certain areas of "our city." No cruising. No private fireworks. Attend if you must. 415-TO-FLAME. -- Kelly Vance

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