Lend Me a Tenor Last year, Keith Ikaia-Purdy filled in for an ailing Luciano Pavarotti in a performance of Tosca at the Vienna Festival, and in a triumph "under impossible conditions" (to quote one review), gained many ovations from a crowd of Pavarotti devotees. Now a leading tenor with the Vienna State Opera, Ikaia-Purdy is returning to the city -- San Francisco -- where he began his training. He'll be joined by soprano Sharon Davis and baritone Michael Davidson in an homage to the three singers' vocal coach, Maestro Peter Gregg. Titled "A Night at the Opera," the evening includes selections from Mozart, Weber, Verdi, and Puccini. The music begins at 7:30 p.m. at Calvary Presbyterian Hall, 2515 Fillmore, S.F. Tickets are $16-20; call 392-4400.
Mission Maniacs The corner of 16th and Valencia is always noisy and busy, but the "16th Street Rendez-Vous" provides an official excuse for the loud and unruly to congregate. A 12-hour party, the event offers food, live music, and a variety of displays on and off the street. DJs will spin world music at Dalva, and Kilowatt will host several bands throughout the day and night. La Hacienda, Abbondante Restaurant, Malia Thai Restaurant, New Dawn Cafe, Dr. Bombay's, and Katz Bagels will serve up edibles; dancers and jugglers will punctuate the festivities. The mayhem lasts from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. at 16th & Valencia, S.F. Free; call 206-1995.
Attack of the 50-Foot P J She's forsaken heaven and traveled seas and deserts to bring you her love. In fact, she's even willing to go to Mountain View! She's P J Harvey, she's on tour, and her performance at the Warfield earlier this year was so awesome it even makes her superb recent LP seem lame-o in comparison. Liberated from her guitar, free to dance around in a slinky black slip with scary whiteface and fake lashes so long you could sweep the floor with them, the new glam incarnation of the Peej is larger than life. In fact, by the time her razor-sharp band launches into the raucous "50 Foot Queenie," it really does seem like she's a giantess. Prove your adoration; make your own journey to see her open for the god-awful Live at 6:30 p.m. at Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View. Tickets are $15 (lawn seats only); call 962-1000. (P.S. Is megawhiny Alanis Morissette the worst P J wannabe on the planet right now? I sure hope so ...)
Balanchine Ballet The S.F. Ballet's annual summer appearance is both the final event of the Stern Grove Festival season and the last chance to see the company before they depart for a national fall tour. Accompanied by the S.F. Ballet Orchestra, dancers will perform Helgi Tomasson's "Haffner" Symphony, the pas de deux from William Forsythe's In the middle, somewhat elevated, and the principal pas de deux and grand finale of George Balanchine's American tribute, Stars and Stripes (performed to music by John Philip Sousa). Hosted by Ronn Owens, the show starts at 2 p.m. at Sigmund Stern Grove, 19th Ave & Sloat, S.F. Free; call 865-2000.
The Walter and Bell Show Though Walter Mosley's whodunits belong to the hard-boiled tradition of Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, and James Cain, they also sport some basic distinguishing features. Mosley is a master at evoking urban settings -- from New Orleans to postwar Los Angeles -- and through his memorable main character Easy Rawlins, he inserts an African-American voice into a role normally occupied by white males. The last installment in City Arts and Lectures' "On Art and Politics" series finds Mosley discussing theories of mystery and mysteries of theory with teacher/cultural critic bell hooks, who's authored three books (Teaching to Transgress, Outlaw Culture, and Art on My Mind) in the past 12 months. The conversation commences at 8 p.m. at the Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness, S.F. Tickets are $15; call 392-4400.
It's A Crumb-y Life The media hoopla surrounding Terry Zwigoff's documentary Crumb would seem to be a filmmaker's dream, but Zwigoff wasn't pleased when critics and journalists painted comic artist R. Crumb and his siblings as a "dysfunctional family" of freaks. The panel discussion "The Making of Crumb" gives Zwigoff, producer Lynn O'Donnell, and editor Victor Livingston a chance to air their views. It also gives the film's passionate audience a chance to ask questions. Hear more about one of this year's biggest independent smashes from 7 to 10 p.m. at Film Arts Foundation, 346 Ninth St, S.F. Tickets are $15-20; call 552-8760.