This Week's Day-by-Day Picks 


Hey, hip mamas! Your patron saint is coming to Berkeley, and she has company. Celebrated author and Hip Mama zine creatrix Ariel Gore is traveling with the Perpetual Motion Road Show, which pulls into the Long Haul Infoshop (3124 Shattuck Ave., across from La Peña) this evening. The current incarnation of this itinerant literary cavalcade -- number eighteen, for those of you keeping tally --features Jokerman 8 econovelist Richard Melo, poet Fern Capella, the Psychopharmaceutical Lab Rats, and Roadshow ringleader, HarperCollins refugee, and No Media Kings founder Jim Munroe (author of Flyboy Action Figure Comes with Gas Mask and the new An Opening Act of Unspeakable Evil). This is a pay-what-you-can event, so you really have no reason to miss out. Doors open at 6 p.m. More info: -- Stefanie Kalem


People who love martinis -- and you know who you are -- are guaranteed to find one or two epiphanies in Peter Moody's congenial "docudramedy" (sounds more mysterious than "documentary"), Olive or Twist? The "happy-hour-length" film wanders all over the landscape, especially San Francisco, tracing the history and folklore of that most urbane of cocktails, with help from such experts as the late private eye Hal Lipset, author Barnaby Conrad, and Vince Amato, who stakes Martinez' claim as the birthplace of the martini. Best of all is Moody. He's a cheerful sod in his retro-outfitted SF flat, often glimpsed in the "face-down, palms-up" position, and his parents worry about him. They needn't. He's in good hands. He's in Martiniville. Olive or Twist? shakes, not stirs, the East Bay tonight at the Speakeasy Parkway Theater, 9:15 p.m., with filmmaker Moody and theremin band Project Pimiento in person. $7. 1834 Park Blvd., Oakland. Info: -- Kelly Vance


What, another film festival? So what does the California Independent Film Festival in Livermore have that all the other fests don't? Well ... Tony Curtis. The veteran H'wood actor shows up in person this evening (7 p.m.) for a screening of his (and Billy Wilder's and Jack Lemmon's) classic comedy Some Like It Hot at Livermore's Vine Cinema (1722 1st St., 925-447-2545). There's also a Marilyn Monroe look-alike contest for Sugar Kane Kowalczyk wannabes. Tix are $35 at the door. Earlier today, Curtis and Cathy Lee Crosby play in the festival's Celebrity Golf Classic at Poppy Ridge Golf Course. The film festival, which also hosts a tribute to Curtis Saturday night, runs through Sunday. Learn much more at: -- Kelly Vance


When they called themselves the Transcendence Gospel Choir, they weren't kidding around. The vocal group bills itself as the world's first all-transgendered gospel choir, and since its beginnings in 2001 has devoted itself to providing "a music ministry for the transgender community" at church services, Pride events, and such. This evening at the Pacific School of Religion Chapel, the choir performs a benefit concert to raise money for itself as well as for the all-inclusive New Spirit Community Church -- presumably singing selections from its recent CD, Whosoever Believes. Tickets are $1-$20 sliding scale, no one turned away for lack of funds. The chapel is at 1798 Scenic Ave. in Berkeley. More info:,, or 510-704-7729. -- Kelly Vance


"Woe, alas," cries an all-knowing Chorus of Firemen in The Firebugs, closing up this afternoon at Saint Mary's College's LeFevre Theatre. There's plenty to bemoan in Max Frisch's expressionist classic, but it is a farce, so expect some yuks from the Performing Arts Dept. production, as well. Director Rebecca Engle has moved the story -- that of a town preoccupied with the threat of fire and the self-righteous businessman who unwittingly takes in a pair of arsonists -- to a prewar Germany, using a Brechtian style to show how wee mistakes can lead to massive disasters. Playwright, novelist, and architect Frisch was a native of neutral Switzerland, but he had his share of political opinions, so this play should be fitting for a post-election weekend. Shows Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $8-$15; call 925-631-4670. -- Stefanie Kalem


She was a free woman in Paris. She felt Unfettered and Alive. That's the idea, with apologies to Joni Mitchell no doubt, behind Jean Sirius' exhibition of digital photos from Europe, now on display at Photolab Gallery in Berkeley. The writer and photographer has a habit of zooming in on the telling detail, of which that continent has an enormity. Like the corner of a painted cafe window or a bicycle wheel leaning against a wall. The sort of minutiae that define a place more indelibly than grand panoramas or even odd faces. For this show, her Sirius-ly captivating images are divided into three groups: "Peace Signs in Europe," "My Feet Go to Europe," and "This Is Me in Europe." The show runs through December at Photolab, 2235 Fifth St., Berkeley. -- Kelly Vance


So, you don't have tickets to see David Sedaris yet. Well, tough luck, buddy -- they're sold out. The good news is that tickets may become available at the last minute, owing to returns. So you should probably just go down to Zellerbach Hall anyway, some time before the Strictly Speaking series talk starts at 8 p.m., and see if you can get yourself one. Or just wait outside the stage door with your dog-eared copies of Naked and Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim in the hopes that the NPR star will like the cut of your jib. (The New York Times did, after all, call ol' Hilarious Sedarious "the closest thing the literary world has to a rock star.") And, if all else fails, may we suggest a little thing called Craigslist? Call 510-642-9988 or visit --Stefanie Kalem


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