This Week's Day-by-Day Picks 

WED 26

This space almost never sends readers across the Bay Bridge, but for a stage show as uproarious as Christmas with the Crawfords, we'll make an exception. It's a holiday camp musical comedy based on the sadistic off-screen exploits of Hollywood movie icon Joan "Mommie Dearest" Crawford, and her tortured attempts to lead a "normal" life with her two miserable adopted children. New York drag diva Hedda Lettuce stars as Joan, with Jef Valentine as poor daughter Christina, David Bicha as Crawford's wimpy (what else?) son Christopher, and the great Matthew Martin and Trauma Flintstone as various Tinseltown harpies and gargoyles. A ghastlier Christmas you couldn't imagine. Christmas with the Crawfords, created by Richard Winchester, written by Mark Sargent, and directed by Donna Drake, runs through January 3 at Theatre Rhinoceros, 2926 16th Street between Mission and South Van Ness in the heart of SF's rats-'n'-winos belt. Tix: 415-861-5079 or -- Kelly Vance

THU 27

Last-minute Thanksgiving plans are often the best ones. So here are two eat-'n' meet options -- one for the veggies and one for the carnivores. At 2 p.m., the Upaya Center (478 Santa Clara, at Grand Ave., Oakland,, KookNotCook, and the Bay Area Vegetarians host a Raw and/or Vegan Potluck, to celebrate what they're calling "Turkey Liberation Day." Bring generous amounts of high-quality, healthy foods to share, with a list of ingredients to place next to your dish, a serving dish, and a reusable eating dish and utensil. "Don't use any ingredients taken from animals or bees," the organizers ask, "without their written consent." No reservations are required, and a $1 donation is requested per diner. But if you're hankering for the sweet, meaty bird of your youth, you can attend the Lake Merritt United Methodist Church's 24th Annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner. No reservations are needed here, either, and a complete dinner with all the traditional trimmings is free for all. The church is located at 1330 Lakeshore Ave. in Oakland; call 510-465-4793 for more information, 510-633-0744 to volunteer. -- Stefanie Kalem

FRI 28

Yup. It's the official start of that consumerist free-for-all known as the holiday shopping season. And it's up to you to stay home and celebrate Buy Nothing Day, or to just not fight that feeling anymore. If you choose the latter, consider heading on over to the African American Business Exchange's Eighteenth Annual Holiday Kwanzaa and Christmas Gift Show, a traveling shopping extravaganza that lands today at the Oakland Convention Center (550 10th Street). The show starts at 1 p.m. and runs through Sunday, but you just know that all the best stuff is going to go today. Over a hundred vendors will be there, and there will be game shows, an essay contest, spoken word, a fashion show, and festive holiday vittles. -- Stefanie Kalem

SAT 29

Saturday night with the Peanuts gang? Hey, you could do worse. Pack up the kids, leave the dog at home, and make your way in the family truckster to the Contra Costa Jewish Community Center tonight for the live theater opening of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Tonight's curtain is 7:30 p.m. The late Charles Schulz' G-rated perennial musical favorite (music and book by Clark Gesner, first staged in 1967) is presented by Center Stage Theatre Company in a production directed by Diane Kamrin, for ten performances only through December 13. Tell them Pigpen sent you. The CoCo JCC is at 2071 Tice Valley Blvd., Walnut Creek. Tickets: $11 general, $9 students and seniors. Info: 925-938-7800. -- Kelly Vance

SUN 30

Local filmmaker Kevin Epps has been screening his gang warfare/hip-hop docudrama Straight Outta Hunters Point around the Bay Area for more than a year, to much popular acclaim. At this latest installment of Epps' Hip-Hop Film Festival at the Parkway Theater in Oakland, you can see the performance documentary Soundz of Spiritz, preceded by B+'s short Keepintime and followed by a Q&A with Soundz director Joslyn Rose-Lyons. That program begins at 6 p.m. Then at 9:00, Epps introduces Straight Outta, on a bill with a short by Minh-Chieu, Cycle. Proceeds ($8 admission per program) benefit Early Bird Prep, a private pre-school in West Oakland run by Tulani King. ("We're academic," she says. "We start academics as young as two.") 1834 Park Blvd., Oakland. -- Kelly Vance


On her newest release, Midnite Kiss, according to All About Jazz author Craig W. Hurst, "flutist Nika Rejto 'burns' on an instrument that is often thought of as a delicate option in the woodwind family." The flute does seem to get the short end of the reed in some circles, but Rejto (pronounced "Right-O") is helping to reverse that stereotype. She has performed with Hubert Laws, Freddie Hubbard, Benny Carter, and others, and her fourth CD features eight originals -- all composed, arranged, and produced by the lady herself. Tonight only, at 8 and 10 p.m., Rejto brings her group, featuring guitarist Rick Vandivier, Dan Zemelman on piano, Perry Thoorsell on bass, and drummer Deszon Claiborne, to Yoshi's (510 Embarcadero West, Jack London Square, Oakland). Tickets cost $10 from 510-238-9200 or -- Stefanie Kalem


You may not have eaten at Unicorn Pan Asian Cuisine yet, though the restaurant has been open for just about two years now. Well, there's no better day to sample the reasonably priced, warmly appointed South Berkeley spot than today, during Think Globally, Eat Locally. During lunch and dinner (11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 to 10 p.m.), 25 percent of your meal money benefits AIDS charities ACT UP East Bay and HealthGAP. Unicorn is at 2533 Telegraph Ave., and reservations are suggested -- as are the salt-and-pepper calamari. Call 510-841-4339 for the complete lowdown. -- Stefanie Kalem


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