This Week's Day-by-Day Picks 

WED 29

Catherine of Aragon was married to one prince and two kings. Anne Boleyn rose from mistress to queen, only to lose her head in the end. Jane Seymour produced a much-longed-for son. But what were the six wives of Henry VIII like? And, should they meet up for lunch in Point Reyes Station in the year 2004, where would they eat lunch? Find out the answer to questions like these when Ruth Stotter directs Wives: A Gathering of the Queens of Henry VIII tonight only at the Hillside Club, 2286 Cedar St. in Berkeley. Stotter and six other storytellers created the original play, and those six others portray Henry's hapless half-dozen. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. and tickets cost $15; call 510-527-1141 for reservations. -- Stefanie Kalem

THU 30

Artists' books are not just books by artists, nor are they books about art. Rather, they are art pieces that come to the viewer in the form of a book, printed or folded into pages and bound together, a visual surprise disguised as a narrative tome. Disguised, that is, unless the artists' book actually has a story in mind. Such is the case with Hotdog Highway, the first collaboration between artists and longtime friends Jeannie Lydon and Alison Tharp. Hotdog Highway contains three intertwined, somewhat interchangeable road-trip narratives, the text swerving between the art of Lydon and Tharp like a drunken trucker careening around the white lines of an interstate. The original works that went into the book will be on display at 21 Grand (449B 23rd St., Oakland) from today through October 24, with an artists' reception this Friday night from 7 to 10 p.m. Gallery details: 510-444-7263, -- Stefanie Kalem


This is the opening weekend for the Lower Bottom Playaz' fourth season of Shakespeare in the Yard, titled Notes from William, III. If you're like us, and can't quite remember a clairvoyant Shakespeare play about the late-17th-century Prince of Orange, don't worry. The production, which runs weekends through October 17, is the group's third collection of Shakespearean monologues; hence, "William, III." The Afrocentric play is directed by performance poet Ayodele "WordSlanger" Nzinga, and the show -- which features a cast ranging in age from 7 to 52 -- goes on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 4 p.m. Admission to the Sister Thea Memorial Theatre is $10 general, $5 for seniors and students, and free for West Oakland residents. The outdoor theater is located at 920 Peralta St. Further deets: 510-208-5651 or 510-208-1912. -- Stefanie Kalem


Organizers of the Million Worker March in DC on October 17 are sweating overtime to raise funds for what they hope will be an historic event. They're mobilizing workers to "reshape America, restore democracy, and secure power for ... working people" -- and to show that guy in the White House what the working class really thinks of him. All Star Artists Performing (ASAP) is a benefit show for the march at the First Congregational Church of Oakland, 2501 Harrison St., from noon to 10 p.m. today, with musicians Street Sounds, UpSurge!, the Rhythm Doctors, Annie and the Vets, Asheba, Destiny, John Santos, and plenty more. Plus theatrical performances, art-making, and the ILWU drill team to keep your kids excited about being activists too. It's $10 just for the all-day show, and $20 with dinner. -- Nora Sohnen


Shake out your best black T-shirt, shoplift some Visine, and get ready to throw the goat early and often when High Tone Son of a Bitch graces the Golden Bull with a deafening dose of Soundgardenesque stonercore. The band has some releases out on Spain's Throne Records, but it's from SF, so don't let its members give you that "no habla inglés" crap when you ask to borrow a rolling paper. They'll be joined by Dirty Power, which features Pansy Division guitarist Patrick Goodwin and members of Planet Seven getting their heavy, hooky ya-yas out, and Night After Night. The Golden Bull is 21-and-up, and you can find yourself there by heading to 412 14th St. in downtown Oakland. Bar information: 510- 893-0803. -- Stefanie Kalem


Today's the day to beg, borrow, or steal a sewing machine. Okay, we can't endorse stealing one, but does your mom use hers all that much? What happened to that Halloween costume she was going to make you in fifth grade? Did you look more like a sack of flour than a million bucks? Spend the next six Mondays at the Crucible's advanced costuming workshop and your feelings of (Halloween-related) inadequacy will be a thing of the past. You'll learn techniques in construction -- corset-boning, gathering, lacing, wire sculpture, and more -- and how to costume fire performers. In addition to a sewing machine, you should bring photos or sketches of your ideas. The six-week class costs $250, including tuition and materials, and has very limited space, so register ASAP. 7 to 10 p.m.; 1260 7th St., Oakland. Info and registration: 510-444-0919 or -- Nora Sohnen


David Copperfield will be at the Paramount Theatre tonight, and since he once made the Statue of Liberty disappear, we're wondering what he has planned for Oakland. Will he turn the San Francisco Bay into water? Change the school district's budget numbers from red to black? For a closer look at the celeb magician, look at the "Rumors" page of his Web site, You'll find out what really happened with him and Claudia Schiffer -- but don't hold your breath for any tricks of the trade. You have two chances to catch An Intimate Evening of Grand Illusion tonight, at 5:30 and 8:30 p.m.; tickets are $39.75-$74.75, with a 10 percent discount for kids under twelve. The Paramount is at 2025 Broadway, Oakland. Tickets available at the Paramount box office, 510-465-6400, and from or 510-625-8497. -- Nora Sohnen


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