(THEATER) Some of us old-timers remember the halcyon days of Greek Active, a frenzied camp assault on well-known plays of dubious distinction, directed by one Keenan Hollahan (a.k.a. Stranger sex columnist and doorknob licker, Dan Savage). Now Hollahan is dragging his rusty old directing/adapting skills out of storage to tackle the most pompous, portentous play of all time, Peter Shaffer's Equus--a Freudian tale of a boy who blinds six horses. Fans of Mr. Savage will go, hoping for a triumphant return of his biting wit; foes of Mr. Savage will go, hoping for a dismal failure filled with limp, toothless schtick. The audience tension will be palpable. And if that weren't enough, John (linger) Kaufmann plays Nugget, the Rooster. BRET FETZER

Consolidated Works, 410 Terry Ave, 381-3218, Thurs-Sun at 8, $14 general, $12 members, $7 for special "coop" seating. Through March 18.

First Thursday

(ART) Our monthly artwalk can be a fruitless slog through a lot of unexciting work, but this month happens to look very promising. At Grover/Thurston (309 Occidental Ave S, 223-0816) there are large-scale paintings by Karen Ganz, who deftly reveals the darkness in cartoon figures by combining them with painterly strokes; Christian French is at Nico Gallery (619 Western Ave, 264-1710) with photographs, both new and previously shown; and George Chacona and Theresa Batty, at Esther Clay-pool (617 Western Ave, 264-1586), are showing Egyptian-inspired collage and photography printed onto glass, respectively. Have a stiff drink first; the wine served along Occidental is still pretty bad. EMILY HALL

Pioneer Square, 6-9 pm.



Rainer Maria, Rocky Votolato, Mike Kinsella

(LIVE MUSIC) On the its newest album A Better Version of Me, three-piece Rainer Maria sweeps aside the emo-tendencies that confined its earlier albums and opens up to a rockier/poppier sound. With Caithlin De Marrais bending her voice around Kyle Fischer's guitar lines and her own melodic bass lines, Rainer Maria plays its strongest songs to date. Live, the band shines brightest with a high-energy stage presence--Fischer's hyperactivity and drummer William Kuehn's propulsive attack create a swirl of sound and texture around De Marrais' magnetic presence. It's a visceral experience, mixing harrowing and elliptical lyrics with music that recalls Superchunk and Tsunami. NATE LIPPENS

Paradox, 5510 University Way NE, 529-7677, 8 pm, $8.

Jason Puccinelli

(ART) Taking us to new heights of putting ourselves in the shoes of others, Jason Puccinelli brings us sideshow paintings (with holes for our faces) of the most disturbing kind. It's not geeks and lizard boys, however, but grunts trudging through the mud in Vietnam, a lovely couple shooting each other up, and other atrocities we could never imagine. Or perhaps we could. Bring your camera. EMILY HALL

Vital 5 Productions, 2200 Westlake Ave, 254-0475. Opening reception Fri March 2, 6-11 pm. Through April 4.


The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai

(FILM) I remember with great pleasure the moment in Buckaroo Banzai when Carl Lumbly--as John Parker, the good "black lectroid"--turns to Buckaroo and says, in his best mid-'80s Rasta affect, "Believe it, mon." His command should extend to everyone watching this admirably B-grade picture: Let it go. Allow the goofy, nerdy humor to waft through your cortex like pot smoke in a dorm room. Any film that recasts Orson Welles' broadcast of War of the Worlds as a cover-up operation for an actual alien invasion, has villains named John Smallberries and John Bigbooty, and uses the insult "Monkeyboy" is alright by me. JAMIE HOOK

Egyptian, 805 E Pine St, 323-4978, Fri-Sat atmidnight.


(FILM/MUSIC) Lori Goldston uses her cello the way a king uses his army: to build empires, and then rule over them. This Saturday in Olympia, she joins forces with Kill Rock Stars artists C Average to present a new live score to F. W. Murnau's legendary Nosferatu. If you have never taken in the decrepit splendor of Olympia's Capitol Theater, be assured that ghosts are only one of its many charms. This should be a very enjoyable moviegoing experience. JAMIE HOOK

Capitol Theater, Olympia, 206 E Fifth Ave, 360-754-5378, 8 pm, $10.



The Age of Innocence

(FILM) Via the unlikely tag-team of Edith Wharton and Martin Scorsese, The Age of Innocence falls as far from Eden as the Big Apple of Mean Streets and Goodfellas. Within the claustrophobic rituals of fin-de-siècle New York, Daniel Day-Lewis yearns after large-souled, slightly soiled countess Michelle Pfeiffer. But his passion is doomed by fiancée Winona Ryder, who--only superficially guileless--swallows him up like an elegant little spider. Their blue-blooded tribe closes ranks with such politesse, to notice the carnage would be an unthinkable gaffe. Sumptuous to the eye (Michael Ballhaus photographed), The Age of Innocence expresses civilized savagery and sin in small gestures, half-heard phrases, sliding glances. Atypically, this Scorsese movie belongs to its women--to Pfeiffer, bruised and swollen with libido and honor, and Ryder, porcelain laced with poison. KATHLEEN MURPHY

Seattle Art Museum, 100 University St, 654-3255, 2 pm, $6.




(CIVIC PRIDE) Pedestrian Comrades! Let us recognize a fact: We are hopelessly oppressed under the dictatorship of manners, to the point that politeness on our streets has dangerously eroded the vital tension that must exist between cars and people at all times. Now, cars screech to a considerate and reckless halt as we pedestrians attempt to bolt illegally through a gap in their ranks. Ruthless, polite drivers smile menacingly and wave us across kindly, further endangering the streetscape. This must cease: We must fan the flames of automotive antagonism if we are ever to escape from this crippling arena of civility. So sidle up to that rushing river of traffic, seek out your dangerously-too-small opportunity, and RUN ACROSS THE STREET! And if they try to stop and wave you on, flip them the bird! Because good manners are just a polite way of saying, "I have no respect for you." JAMIE HOOK



Kristin Hersh

(LIVE MUSIC) "Music is the hardest drug I've ever done," Kristin Hersh confesses. "It's haunted me and messed me up, it's made me driven in a way I don't understand, and it's made me lose everything." Clearly, she's still coming to terms with life post-Throwing Muses. Her new record, Sunny Border Blue, is a love album--albeit a savage, brutally honest love album, one aimed at friends, children, and husbands that conveys emotion without ever slipping into self-pity (a trait that all those that came after and copied Kristin's muse, alarmingly badly--Alanis, Paula, Fiona--have never managed to grasp). So Kristin is back, and I bet she still stands on stage, her eyes elsewhere, her voice soaring up to the heavens and back, her presence overwhelming everyone who comes into contact with her. EVERETT TRUE

Borders Downtown, 1501 Fourth Ave, 622-4599, 12:30 pm, free.

Marie Ponsot

(READING) Quoted in The New York Times, Marie Ponsot said, slightly chagrined, that her poems are "meant to be beautiful"--and she also admitted that this is such an unfashionable thing to say that it's almost transgressive. Ponsot's poetry is beautiful, with the kind of knit domestic beauty that reminds a reader of the subtle slope of a porch, or of a finger skimming along the edge of a wet counter. Born in 1921, Ponsot has published only four books of poetry, in between raising seven children, but her most recent, The Bird Catcher, was recognized with the 1998 National Book Critics Circle Award. These poems speak in a multitude of voices, like unruly children, but are tied together by their unapologetic love of language. Ponsot reads in Seattle this week courtesy of renegade literary organizer Jeffrey Cantrell. TRACI VOGEL

University of Washington Faculty Club, University of Washington Campus, 282-2677, 7:30 pm, free.



Don't Bail on Ed

(TV) Good riddance to Bonnie, the character who nearly drove TV's best show, Ed, into the crapper. Each week I swooned in my armchair as the whimsically lovelorn title character, Ed Stevens, renewed my faith in the notion that some lovers, despite years of separation and unrelentingly sweet dispositions, are meant to be together. UNTIL that slut Bonnie showed up and bitched and argued her way into Ed's bed and Carol Vessy's craw. Carol may have realized 30 seconds too late that Ed was her man, but that's no reason faithful viewers should have been thrown into kickfits of disgust for three full episodes while we feared Bonnie--and Ed's newfound shallowness--were here to stay. But she's gone! She moved away the moment opportunity arose to advance her career. Don't let the door hit you where the good lord split you, Bonnie! And Ed, don't let us believers down again. KATHLEEN WILSON

NBC, 8 pm.