september 21
Radio Ready Richard Montoya, Ricardo Salinas, and Herbert Siguenza, known collectively as Culture Clash, have taken Miami. The comic, politically minded theater trio that began at Galleria de la Raza in the Mission becomes an entire urban metropolis in Radio Mambo: Culture Clash Invades Miami, a collection of impersonations demonstrating that Miami isn't just comprised of Cubans and Jewish retirees. Culture Clash's portraits of the Caribbean, Haitian, African-American, and gay communities there point audiences toward forces at work elsewhere in our increasingly segmented nation. The show opens at 8 p.m. (and continues through Oct. 13) at Brava Theater Center, 2789 24th St., S.F. Admission is $12-35; call 487-5401.

True to Form "Did you ever wonder why/ I tried to sock you in the eye?" asks Overwhelming Colorfast in "Shiner," a bittersweet, hilarious ode to tough love, banked by the chorus "Get away, get away, get out of my head." There are echoes of punk's dark and shining past here, of HYsker DY with tangled guitar strings and a longing for beauty. The former Relativity Records band has moved over to Headhunter Records, and to celebrate, they're playing a record-release party for new album Moonlight and Castanets; Mineral opens at 9 p.m. at the Kilowatt, 3160 16th St., S.F. Admission is $6; call 861-2595.

Lunar Tunes The Moon Festival, also known in Asian cultures worldwide as the Mid-Autumn Festival, celebrates a bright moon in the lunar cycle and the moon goddess, Chang O, who, legend has it, fled to the celestial body after accidentally swallowing an elixir meant for her tyrannical husband. The thousand-year-old festival gets under way locally with traditional moon cakes in several flavors and the cacophony of taiko drummers and Chinese rock 'n' rollers. Lion and Balinese dancers, pole climbers, and martial arts groups will also perform, and a new element, the Re Festival, will educate kids about recycling through arts activities like origami made from used paper. A children's costume parade launches the festivities at 10:45 a.m. (the festival is also held on Sunday at 11 a.m.) on Grant between California & Pacific, S.F. Admission is free; call 982-6306.

Style Counsel The Independent Style Merchants of San Francisco want to help you get dressed. The group of local up-and-coming clothing designers gives vogue a local angle with S.F.-styley street, work, and nightlife wear at Fastpass '96, a fashion show benefiting Larkin Street Youth Center. From the medieval and psychedelic designs and hemp clothing of Labyrinth Phassions and Costumes to the ready-to-wear clothing and shoe line Futura Double Nought by Phobos and Deimos, the show offers clotheshorses some intriguing options. Doors open at 8 p.m.; the show begins at 9 p.m. at the California College of Arts and Crafts, 450 Irwin, S.F. Admission is $12.50-15; call 289-7998.

Hey Lady! At 6 feet 7 inches, M*A*C cosmetics diva RuPaul is easily one of the world's tallest spokesmodels, and with his 1993 hit "Supermodel of the World," the only supermodel to crack No. 1 on the Billboard charts. The former Atlanta used-car salesman-turned-New York club queen has worked celebrity long beyond one-hit wonderdom with the release of his autobiography, Lettin' It All Hang Out; film and TV cameos (both Brady Bunch movies, Blue in the Face, All My Children); bookings at the Stardust in Las Vegas; and host slots on New York radio station WKTU and VH1's RuPaul Show. Ru celebrates the upcoming release of new album Snapshot with a local show -- doors open at 9:30 p.m. at Club Universe, 177 Townsend, S.F. Admission is $10; call 974-1156.

september 22
Swing Shift It may not provide the comedic melodrama that Strictly Ballroom did, but the City Lights Ball, a ballroom dance competition and showcase, can at least promise the thrill of fiery tangos, the agony of broken heels, etc. Take it all in from the sidelines as dancers, who compete in separate skill divisions, go sailing through categories like Pro/Am American Smooth 1 Dance (waltz, Viennese waltz, fox trot, tango). Four-time U.S. champions Victor Veyrasset and Heather Smith, along with British finalists Peta Siddall and Marilyn Benitez, offer exhibition performances. Daytime rounds begin at 10 a.m. (at 9 a.m. for competitors); evening rounds begin at 6 p.m. (5:30 p.m. for competitors) at the Metronome Ballroom, 1830 17th St., S.F. Admission is $5-32; call 252-9000.

Art for the Short Set Kill the tube and rally the rug rats for Family Day at the University Art Museum, where smarter-than-average kids entertainment includes folk tales told by Awele Makeba; a show by the Prescott Clown Troupe; and international children's films like Kuumba: Simon's New Sound, a film based on the African/Caribbean legend of a boy who invents steel drums to celebrate Carnaval. Youngsters may find a creative outlet in face-painting, or puppet- and hat-making. Some of the art will be put in a time capsule to be opened in 2070. Activities begin at noon at the University Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive, 2626 Bancroft, Berkeley. Admission is free; call (510) 643-2194.

september 23
The Sign of the Wooster Ever wondered where performance artist Spalding Gray was coming from? Try the Wooster Group. Same with the late Ron Vawter; both men bolstered their skills at the New York experimental theater collective, which was born back in 1975. The group combines classic texts, new material, film, video, dance, movement, and multitrack scoring in its ensemble performances, which speak to the collision of cultures. The present company includes Willem Dafoe, Kate Valk, Peyton Smith, J.J. Johnson, and Artistic Director Elizabeth LeCompte. The group makes its first Bay Area appearance for a presentation and lecture on Wooster's work as part of the "Modus Mondays" series, 7:30 p.m. at the Center for the Arts Theater, 701 Mission, S.F. Admission is free-$4; call 346-6456.

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