Art Picks

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October 17, 2005 // UPDATED 1:58 pm - April 26, 2007
By: Anna Pratt
Anna Pratt

Monsters, ink

While most children cowered from the monsters under their beds, I venture to say that artist Nathan Jurevicius actually befriended them. Being an imaginative sort, the monsters that populated his dreams and nightmares were most likely colorful, fuzzy and cute (monsters you can squeeze).

Because they’re kind of like mice, he regarded them the way adults always console children about mice: They have just as many reasons to be scared of you as you do of them.

Jurevicius’ Scarygirl brand of designer vinyl toys, products and clothing is also anything but scary — despite the mischievous gleam in her eye and toothy smile. No wonder the charming Scarygirl has inspired a feature-length animated film. Jurevicius has experience with clients such as MTV, the Wall Street Journal, Coca Cola and Warner Bros.

• Tu-Sa thru Oct. 31; Tu-F 4-8 p.m., Sa 1-5 p.m. Ox-Op Gallery, 1111 Washington Ave. S. Free. 259-0085, www.ox-op.com.

‘The Mad Dancers’

It’s hard to keep a secret, especially when strictly forbidden not to blab. Whenever you tell someone something in confidence, you rate his or her SQ (Secret Quotient, or ability to keep a secret). Even then, the odds are still against you because your secret will probably leak out anyway.

Sometimes, it takes awhile to find a confidante to trust with hush-hush information. In Yehuda Hyman’s “The Mad Dancers,” Elliott Green, a neurotic computer operator in San Francisco, is just such an honest individual.

To give you an idea of how reliable he really is, his one and only chemical problem is a caffeine addiction. That doesn’t stop him from becoming a somewhat off-kilter hero and the keeper of a huge secret. Kind of like a storybook adventure come to life, here a 19th-century Jewish mystical genius supernaturally emerges to select Elliott to keep a memory for him.

That inspires an even larger story, as seven guides become advisors to Elliott. He strives to find other people who’re good (other do-gooders and well-wishers who can keep secrets). Wisdom comes in different forms, including people of varying cultures and disabilities: There’s a deaf man, Sephardic Jew, a stuttering Yemenite, Persian woman with a twisted neck, blind man, an Ethiopian, a no-handed Indian and a man with no feet.

Songs are sung in Arabic, Spanish, Yiddish, Hebrew, American Sign Language and English.

• W-Su thru Oct. 30; W-Sa 7:30 p.m., Su 3 p.m. Mixed Blood Theatre, 1501 S. 4th St. $11-$28. 338-6131, www.mixedblood.com.

‘Shades of Lady Grey’

Lady Grey is a Goth. But instead of a wardrobe composed of all black, she dresses head-to-toe in gray and sees the world through dark sunglasses. In her steely-colored dress, long hair and painted face, she looks like a heavy-metal ballerina.

Even though she doesn’t dress or apply her makeup conventionally, she really just wants to fit in — by being invisible. Of course, her insecurity comes from her need to know herself better.

In this dance performance from Ballet of the Dolls, Lady Grey tries to recede into the gray picture. Her reticence to believe in a more colorful picture might be just denial since it turns out she’s really a passionate character. In this coming-of-age tale, Lady Grey takes an introspective journey to discover that a more accurate nickname for her might be Lady Technicolor.

You’ll see too that she’s way too moody to consider herself so blas/ (typical of adolescence). With women’s writings and music, the show is ritualistic, cheesy and lovely, altogether.

• Th-Su Oct. 20-23; Th-Sa 8 p.m., Sa 5 p.m., Su 4 p.m. & 7 p.m. The Southern Theater, 1420 Washington Ave. S. $20-$25. 340-1725, www.southerntheater.org.

You can reach Anna Pratt at annapratt@artlover.com.