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PATRICK CANT/PACIFIC PINBALL MUSEUM Patrick Cant's work "You're Going to Have to Run Faster" is on display at the Pacific Pinball Museum.

1 STOLEN BABIES: If you were resigned to going through life having never encountered a band that performs "quirky-prog pop art-rock avant-garde-cabaret metal-horror punk" with "a tinge of industrial, goth and dark wave," I bring to you the Stolen Babies, a Southern California band that inhabits the dark cabaret musical world popularized by bands such as the Dresden Dolls and Gogol Bordello. And like these bands, Stolen Babies is said to offer a richly theatrical stage show. The band is touring in support of the new album "Naught" and stops at the Oakland Metro Operahouse on Feb. 21.

Details: Show starts at 7 p.m.; Turisas and Firewind are also on the bill; $17; www.oaklandmetro.org.

2 "FILLING A VOID -- THE ART OF PATRICK CANT": Alameda's Pacific Pinball Museum is always worth a visit, but now it has a new attraction. This exhibit by Cant, a copy editor at Bay Area News Group, features spray-can and screenprint renderings of old cars, typewriters, film cameras, and other fading technologies (insert your own newspaper joke here). His goal is not just to capture fading bits of hardware, but to challenge our very memories of these remnants. "The act of printing," says Cant, "connects us with the paper and the image in ways that a more perfect digital reproduction cannot."

Details: Through March 14; admission to see the art is free, but access to pinball machines is $7.50-$15; www.pacificpinball.org.


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3 REEL BLONDES: The long-running zany song, dance and comedy show that got its start in a real beauty salon is back. Although it's now based in Danville's Village Theatre, the fundamental recipe is unchanged -- 90 minutes of rapid-fire jokes, puns, pop culture references and silly song-and-dance routines. Who can argue with that? Find Pat Craig's review on this website's theater page.

Details: Through March 9; $35; 925-314-3400, www.victoriasreelblondes.com.

4 GRATEFUL DEAD MARATHON: Bay Area musician and revered Deadhead David Gans is back to host the 27th edition of this annual event on radio station KPFA-FM 94.1. The show promises 16 consecutive hours of Grateful Dead music, which, by my estimates, is probably enough time for about five Dead songs (ho, ho, a little jam-band humor there). Actually, the marathon will also feature some exclusive tracks from the Mickey Hart Band, an in-studio performance by Sycamore Slough String Band, interviews and other attractions. The event is also a fundraiser for KPFA.

Details: 9 a.m. Feb. 23 to 1 a.m. Feb. 24 on KPFA, also streamed on www.kpfa.org. Those interested in volunteering on the donation-collection squad can call 510-848-6767, ext. 206.

5 BRANDY NORWOOD: Many of the R&B star's fans hailed her 2012 album "Two Eleven" as a return to the classic R&B that marked the early years of a career that has taken several musical turns and ventured into acting and other pursuits. Brandy's tour in support of the album lands at Oakland's Paramount Theatre on Feb. 23 for a show that also features singers Raheem DeVaughn, Martin Luther, John Hart and Bridget Kelly.

Details: 8 p.m.; $41.75-$71.75; 800-745-3000, www.paramounttheatre.com.

6 "STEVE SEABROOK -- BETTER THAN YOU": I'm going to go out on a limb here and posit that most of us view the self-help industry with some degree of contempt and mistrust, preferring to let our lives spiral out of control without anyone else's help. And it appears we have a friend in San Francisco comedian Kurt Bodden, whose new solo show casts him as a self-help guru who offers such penetrating advice as "become a you ... that's better than you," and us, the audience, as participants in his seminar.

Details: Feb. 22-March 30, show times are 8 p.m. Fridays and 8:30 p.m. Saturdays; the Marsh, San Francisco; $15-$50; 415-282-3055, www.themarsh.org.

7 REUNION OF THE DOO WOP STARS: Leon Hughes, one of the original members of the legendary Coasters, heads this show that will unspool such 1950s-'60s hits "There Goes My Baby," "26 Miles/Santa Catalina," "Yakety-Yak" and "Charlie Brown." The touring show stops at Livermore's Bankhead Theater on Feb. 22, with comedian Scott Wood serving as host.

Details: 8 p.m.; $43-$63; 925-373-6800, www.mylvpac.org.

8 "EXPECTING ISABEL": Lisa Loomer's sharp but touching comedy about a couple's odyssey through the fertility industry has won strong reviews in a couple of Bay Area runs. It's still on at Masquers Playhouse in Point Richmond, but this is your last weekend to see it there.

Details: 8 p.m. Feb. 22-23; $22; 510-232-4031, www.masquers.org.

9 DAVE ALVIN AND THE GUILTY ONES, MARSHALL CRENSHAW: Here's a great double bill of Americana music. Alvin, who has won devoted fans with his electric roots-rocking tunes and solo acoustic career, and pop/rock/folk hero Crenshaw come to the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco on Feb. 22, and admission is a very reasonable $22.

Details: 9 p.m.; www.slimspresents.com.

10 "THE MOTHER ... WITH THE HAT": Stephen Adly Guirgis' dark comedy about people dealing with drug and trust issues has drawn a buzz wherever it goes, including its current run at SF Playhouse. And the production there sports a killer cast anchored by Gabriel Marin, whose comic chops have won fans in the East Bay and San Francisco, and Carl Lumbly, a Bay Area stage legend.

Details: Through March 16; SF Playhouse, San Francisco; $30-$70; 415-677-9596, www.sfplayhouse.org.

Contact Randy McMullen at rmcmullen@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/randymac57.