1 CURIOSITY: If you have been fascinated with the arrival and search for signs of life on Mars by the NASA rover Curiosity, the Exploratorium in San Francisco is the place to be. The museum has a life-size replica of the rover (which is about the size of a small SUV) and other information on the plucky space vehicle. And if you can't make it to the museum, check out the museum website for updates and live webcasts sent by Curiosity.
Details: The museum is at the Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco; open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Sundays; $19-$24; www.exploratorium.edu.
2 AJA VU: Steely Dan has created a ton of memorable rock sounds over the years, from the bitter histrionics of "Reelin' in the Years" to the quirky heartbreak of "Rikki Don't Lose That Number." And the very good cover band Aja Vu can re-create a lot of these sounds, which is no small feat. See for yourself when the band lands at Pittsburg's E.J. Phair Brewing Company on Aug. 25.
Details: 8:30 p.m.; $15 advance/$20 door; 925-427-7204, www.liveontapmusic.com.
3 "ALL MY SONS": This explosive 1940s Arthur Miller play centers on a contractor who sells faulty parts to the military during World War II and the effect the scandal has on his family. Thanks to its blunt assessment of the American dream, the drama landed Miller in trouble with the House Un-American Activities Committee. A new production
Details: Plays Aug. 24 through Sept. 29; $20; 510-232-4031, www.masquers.org.
4 "UNIVERSAL PICTURES: CELEBRATING 100 YEARS": With its celebrated history of embracing schlock as well as prestige films, Universal has a truly eclectic catalog of films. This Berkeley Film Archive series is screening some of the studio's best-known releases through the end of August, including Spike Lee's masterpiece "Do the Right Thing" (8:30 p.m. Aug. 25); "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein" (5:15 p.m. Aug/. 26) and the classic rom-com "Pillow Talk" (7 p.m. Aug. 29).
Details: All screenings at Pacific Film Archive Theater, UC Berkeley; $9.50 per film ($13.50 for double bill); 510-642-5249, http://bampfa.berkeley.edu.
5 STEVE MARTIN AND THE STEEP CANYON RANGERS: Like a little sass with your bluegrass? Steve Martin is pretty adept at both. He's a talented banjo picker (and the Rangers are a terrific band), and you probably know about his comedic prowess already. Both will be on display when Martin and the Rangers close Wente Vineyards in Livermore's summer concertseason.
Details: 8:15 p.m. Aug. 29; $89-$269 for dinner and nondinner packages; 925-456-2424, www.wentevineyards.com.
6 BRIAN REGAN: Speaking of Steve Martin, this Ohio-born comedian is a big fan, and it shows in his witty, observational humor, which is devoid of vulgarities and nastiness and which has won him a legion of followers and lots of critical acclaim. Regan makes a rare small-club appearance next weekend when he stops at San Francisco's Cobb's Comedy Club for a weekend run. Get your tickets now.
Details: 8 and 10:15 p.m. Aug. 31, 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. Sept. 1; $45; www.cobbscomedyclub.com
7 JANIVA MAGNESS: You'll hear more than a little Bonnie Raitt in the voice of this fiery, up-and-coming blues singer with a reputation for throwing every inch of herself into each concert. Backed by a sizzling band, Magness stops at Yoshi's in Oakland for one show only next week.
Details: 8 p.m. Aug. 30; $16; 510-238-9200, www.yoshis.com.
8 FREIGHT FIDDLE SUMMIT: Fiddle fans and Celtic music lovers look forward to this annual event, as it brings the world-class Scottish musician Alasdair Fraser and a few of his talented friends to the Freight & Salvage stage in Berkeley.
Details: 8 p.m. Aug. 23; $26.50 advance/$28.50 door; 510-644-2020; www.thefreight.org.
9 A CABARET GONE CHORAL: Tri-Valley Repertory Theatre's Broadway Chorus presents this night of Broadway and cabaret classics from Irving Berlin, Leonard Bernstein and more.
Details: 8 p.m. Aug. 25, 2 p.m. Aug. 26; Firehouse Arts Center, Pleasanton; $20; 925931-4848, www.firehousearts.org.
10 DANCE MISSION THEATER: The San Francisco theater this weekend hosts "Along the Way," a collaboration between Detour Dance and Caitlin Elliott Dance Collective that features a live work as well as a dance film. Detour Dance's film, "Pedestrian Crossing," follows a cast of dancing characters that are anything but pedestrian as they make their way around San Francisco. Caitlin Elliott Collective's new live work, "Fancy," follows three women fighting over something they see and want.
Contact Randy McMullen at firstname.lastname@example.org.