Live Girls Do Elektra
(THEATER) One World Theatre's Kristina Sutherland and Desiree Prewitt take the Greek tale of Elektra and filter it through suburban squalor; think of it as Oresteia meets Ordinary People. Instead of a monolithic chorus, a host of supporting characters (neighboring secretaries and soccer moms) provide snide, gossipy commentary as Elektra acts out her grief by scrubbing the driveway, and Clytemnestra boozes and seduces her lawyer in order to get a restraining order placed on her potentially vengeful son. The result is a smart and funny black comedy that's been touring up and down the Canadian fringe, so it should be cat-fighting trim when it plays at the Oddfellow's Hall for two weeks. BRET FETZER
One World Theatre at the Chamber Theatre, 910 E Pine St, Fourth Floor, 264-1735, Thurs-Sat at 8, $12. Through Feb 10.
Chocolate for Choice
(BENEFIT) Join WA NARAL (the Washington chapter of the National Abortion Rights Action League) in celebrating the 28th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade at its 10th annual Chocolate for Choice contest. The magnificent Dome Room will host the region's top chocolatiers and bakers and their most delectable chocolate creations in a contest where your vote counts. Sample obsessive interpretations of chocolate donated by Cascadia, Sammie Sue's, Macrina Bakery, Flying Fish, Brasa, and Pacific Dessert Co.; vote for the winner of the People's Choice Award; and drink. Watch celebrity judges Dan Savage, Judy Nicastro, Reggie Watts, and Nick Licata, among others, fondle, prod, lick, and otherwise satiate their taste buds with the voluptuously smooth aphrodisiac. Purchase tickets in advance, as this fundraiser is sure to be packed (seeing as our new president has declared war on women's reproductive freedoms, waging his first battle in my uterus--how absurd!). RACHEL KESSLER
Dome Room (in the Arctic Building), 700 Third Ave (at Cherry), 624-1990, 6-8 pm, $35-$100. Tickets available at Bailey-Coy Books, Fremont Place Books, and on the web at www.wanaral.org.
(MUSIC) The EMP kicks off its six-week Winter Speakers Series tonight with talented and sensitive local Damien Jurado, whose latest album, the understatedly beautiful Ghost of David, received far less attention than it deserves--though perhaps tonight's unique appearance will help change that. Less a performance than a cozy, interactive affair, each installment of the series will offer audience members the chance to pick the brain of a songwriter (other confirmed participants include Mark Eitzel, Scott McCaughey, and the Posies), as well as experience an intimate performance in the civilized setting of EMP's JBL Theater. Jurado's low-key, somber songs, and gracious, almost self-effacing demeanor should provide the series an excellent start. BARBARA MITCHELL
JBL Theater at EMP, 367-5483, 7 pm, $5.
A Single Girl
(FILM) Benoît Jacquot's A Single Girl stands as one of the most rigorous experiments in real-time filmmaking ever undertaken: Fully an hour of its length, during which its heroine goes about her job in a hotel while deciding whether to continue both her relationship and her newfound pregnancy, does not deviate from strict chronological accuracy. But rigor is stifling without some compensatory beauty; all the film's sharp social and class observations would be for naught without the singular presence in the lead of Virginie Ledoyen, whose intelligence and stunning naturalism before the camera make any film of hers seem smarter and more lifelike than it is. No other actress could have made Jacquot's many wordless shots of walking down halls and waiting in elevators quite as riveting. BRUCE REID
Little Theatre, 608 19th Ave E, 675-2055. See Movie Times for details.
(BENEFIT) Nothing beats a good party for a good cause, and if the folks behind FuseBall are to be taken at their word, this "sultry, sexy, and surreal masquerade ball" should be a blowout. Hosted by everyone's favorite loudmouths Dan Savage and Judy Nicastro, and featuring performances by IQU, DJ Masa, Pie the Clown Shooting Gallery, glassbones ensemble, and many, many others, FuseBall's nouveau bacchanal will raise money for the Fuse Foundation, which gives life-changing grants to emerging cultural innovators and artists; also benefiting will be the Northwest AIDS Foundation, Chicken Soup Brigade, and Consolidated Works. For artsy types with a soft spot for fire walkers, scavenger hunts, and piñatas, FuseBall should be heaven on earth. DAVID SCHMADER
Consolidated Works, 410 Terry Ave N, 860-5245 or 654-4452, 9 pm, $30 adv/$35 door.
(READING) Eden Robinson emerges from the suddenly extraordinarily fruitful Vancouver scene (Hello, Seattle! This is what arts funding can do!) to read from her "tough, tender and fierce" (says Sherman Alexie) first novel, Monkey Beach. Deeply rooted in the geography and culture of British Columbia's Haisla and Heiltsuk tribes, the story follows several evocative characters, but tumbles around the loss of one: Jimmy, 17-year-old swimmer and Olympic hopeful. The logic that rules Monkey Beach allows for visions and gifts from the past, and results ultimately in a very satisfying, darkly disturbing read. TRACI VOGEL
Elliott Bay Book Company, 101 S Main St, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, free (advance tickets).
(PERFORMANCE/BENEFIT) If there's one thing I hate, it's battered women. Wait, that came out wrong. What I mean is, domestic violence sucks. Getting mugged by strangers in Belltown is bad enough; getting clobbered in your own home by someone who's supposed to love you is about as crappy as life gets. So here's an opportunity for all us lucky non-battered folks to do some good, and to see some good art in the process. V-Day 2001 is the "global movement dedicated to ending violence against women," and in celebration, the 5th Avenue Theatre is presenting Women, featuring new works by Eve Ensler, the ass-kicking author of The Vagina Monologues, along with performances by Northwest jazz faves Tasha Owen, Katt Tait, Adrienne Wilson, and Kelly Johnson. Best of all, all proceeds go to New Beginnings and SafePlace, two local groups dedicated to ending violence against women. DAVID SCHMADER
5th Avenue Theatre, 1308 Fifth Ave, 628-0888, 8 pm, $30. (Tickets at all Ticketmaster locations.)
Bruce Vilanch: Almost Famous!
(BIO-COMEDY) Bruce Vilanch is the man responsible for the bulk of the jokes at the Oscar ceremonies--which, frankly, isn't much of a recommendation. But he's been in showbiz for a long time, and one of his first gigs was writing for Donny and Marie Osmond's variety show. When they first met, Donny looked at the plump, shaggy Vilanch and sneered, "You look like a Muppet." To which Vilanch replied, "Funny you should say that. Jim Henson had his fist up my ass not 10 minutes ago." If this performance has more of that bite, it'll be worth your time--but anyone hoping for Hollywood dish is bound to be disappointed; after all, Vilanch still has to work there. BRET FETZER
Emerald City Arts at Meany Theater, UW Campus, 323-2992, 8 pm, $28-$32. One night only.
dan raphael & Laura Winter
(READING) Portland poets dan raphael and Laura Winter read from new work in a perfect Sunday afternoon event. The poetry of raphael works the sense-lines of literature, knitting everyday object metaphors into beautiful skeins of language. His new book is titled Showing Light a Good Time. Winter is described as a "jazz poet," and her new chapbook, No Gravy Baby, is published on dan raphael's Unum/26 Books press. TRACI VOGEL
Elliott Bay Book Company, 101 S Main St, 624-6600, 4 pm, free.
The New Frontier
(ART) Here's a look, historical and aesthetic, at how we've digested the tube. It includes seminal new media work by Yoko Ono and Nam June Paik, as well as by other artists who, understanding television's power, use it to critique itself. You can also see Andy Warhol's split-image video of Edie Sedgwick talking to herself, in a typically reflexive Warholian example of how we're absorbed by the media we use. The biggest surprise is that many of these important pieces were made in the early '60s, when attention spans were longer and television didn't seem quite as dangerous--and they've (chillingly? prophetically?) aged very well. EMILY HALL
Tacoma Art Museum, 1123 Pacific Ave, Tacoma, 253-272-4258. Through March 18.
Indie Girl Showcase
(ROCK & READINGS) The Rendezvous Reading Series, whose mission is to put the "lit" back in "literature," presents an evening that proves rocker girls can write and writer girls can rock. Nikki McClure, of Olympia's K Records, and Sarah Polle from Muy Triste, along with other surprise celebrity guests, will read their fiction and/or poetry. Then, Canadian indie dominatrix Jean Smith, from Mecca Normal, and Hells Belles' Om Jahari, take the stage to sing. The Rendezvous women promise it'll be "half rock, half reading, and all party." It should be a great event, and a perfect kick-off for the Little Theatre's upcoming Madcat Women's Experimental Film Festival. TRACI VOGEL
Little Theatre, 610 19th Ave E, 329-2629, 7:30 pm, $5.
Will Sing, Dance for Food
(PANEL DISCUSSION) For aspiring Northwest actors and film buffs who want to work in movies, the local scene can be depressing. We don't have an abundance of auditions, big-budget studios, or influential people to sleep with. But thanks to WigglyWorld Studios, you can learn how to break into the business from Washington State Film Commissioner Suzy Kellett, John Forsen of the Washington Motion Picture Council, and other industry experts; they'll divulge practical advice and insider tips as they try to answer the question, "How the Hell Do You Find Work in This Town?" Stay for the wine-and-cheese social afterward, and (kiss kiss) network with budding talent. Who needs Hollywood? MIN LIAO
Little Theatre, 608 19th Ave E, 329-2629, 8 pm, $10.