Splendor in the Grass The healing properties of cannabis provide a focus for the Medical Marijuana Show and Hemp Expo, but the weed's everyday uses (high-fashion hemp clothing!) are showcased at the information booths. Supervisor Tom Ammiano and activist Brownie Mary are among the scheduled speakers at the show, a benefit for medical marijuana initiative Proposition 215. The expo begins at noon (with an evening concert by Zero at 7 p.m.; the event continues Sunday) at the San Francisco Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, Ninth Ave. & Lincoln Way, S.F. Admission is $4-8 for the expo, $10 for the evening concert alone, $15 for a combo pass; call (510) 486-8090.

Good With Their Hands Craftsmanship is not a lost art, although the abundance of generic, junky, assembly-line products contributes to that widespread impression. Solid individual style triumphs over the corporate bottom line at the Contemporary Crafts Market, where over 240 craftspeople will show and sell blown glass, furniture, clothing, jewelry, housewares, sculpture, and ceramics. The fair begins at 10 a.m. (also Sunday) at the Concourse at Showplace Square, 635 Eighth St., S.F. Admission is free-$5; call 995-4925.

Love the One You're With A village nobleman turned social reformer hires a sorcerer to create a brotherly love potion in Gilbert and Sullivan's comic opera The Sorcerer. The elixir backfires, however, and villagers wind up falling hopelessly, passionately, and indiscriminately for one another, setting the stage for all kinds of romantic mayhem. Lamplighters Music Theater stages this rarely performed piece, set in the 1770s and based on Gilbert's short story "An Elixir of Love." The show begins at 8 p.m. (and continues through Oct. 27) at the Lindland Theater, 175 Phelan, S.F. Admission is $12-23; call 227-0331.

Pilgrim's Progress No one can accuse Geoffrey Chaucer & Co. of lacking ambition. Over the next two years, this company of Bay Area actors will stage, in installments, the entire cycle of the English poet's The Canterbury Tales. This medieval literature classic concerns a band of pilgrims who pass the time with a storytelling competition as they travel from a London tavern to the Canterbury shrine of St. Thomas a Becket. Perennial themes -- marriage, politics, religion -- factor into these tales, which range from lusty to macabre. The cycle opens with "The Knight's Tale," a man's account of his battles in love and war. The show begins at 8 p.m. ("The Knight's Tale" continues through Oct. 6; the cycle continues through January 1998) at the Marin Center Showcase Theater, Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. Admission is $10-20; call 472-3500.

Pen Palaver Actor Martin Sheen steps down from the big screen to the more intimate format of a junior high school stage in the two-person drama Love Letters. A.J. Gurney penned this play about two people who maintain a lifelong friendship despite significant personal differences that develop over time. Sheen stars opposite Samantha Langevin, who appeared in Gorillas in the Mist and Agnes of God and who, it turns out, has been Sheen's close friend since they met as kids in Ohio. The single performance begins at 7:30 p.m. at King Middle School, 1781 Rose, Berkeley. Admission is $20 (benefits San Carlos Foundation); call (510) 525-3787.

september 29
Hello, Old Chaps Nowhere are tan lines and whip marks more visible than at the Folsom Street Fair, a leather and fetish festival benefiting local HIV/AIDS service organizations. Bands like Glamazon and Extra Fancy play on two outdoor stages; booths provide plates of food and cups of beer, dungeon supplies, and anatomically correct Ken dolls trussed up in tiny harnesses. But the best part of the fair is savoring that bare-skinned feeling of freedom, as out-of-towners trying hard not to stare and point wonder aloud about the city's leash laws. The Fetish and Fantasy Ball, held at 7 p.m. Friday at 1015 Folsom ($10-25, 863-8647) offers a preview; an after-fair party begins at 8 p.m. at Pleasuredome, 177 Townsend ($8, 985-5256). The fair begins at 11 a.m. on Folsom between Seventh and 12th streets, S.F. Admission is free; call 984-1902.

Gimme Shelter The Festival of the Booths, a slightly different street fair demonstrating the city's diversity, celebrates the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, but is open to all. The actual holiday lasts a week and traditionally marked the gathering of the fall harvest. The modern San Francisco version is held on the holiday's first day and features arts and crafts, a book fair, food booths, and live klezmer, modern rock, and Israeli folk music. Organizers do acknowledge an old custom, however, with a traditional sukka, a temporary structure built to resemble the biblical-era tents of Jews wandering the desert. The festival begins at 10 a.m. on Arguello between Washington and Sacramento, and on Lake between Arguello and Second Ave., S.F. Admission is free; call 346-9162.

september 30
Primal Screen Dennis Hopper has endeared himself to legions of film fans by playing mostly unendearing but nonetheless delicious misfits and villains in cult favorites like Red Rock West and Blue Velvet, although his career dates back to Rebel Without a Cause. Hopper is joined by '60s multimedia light show and film pioneer Bruce Conner for an onstage discussion of moviemaking, role-playing, and the pair's joint art exhibit at Gallery Paule Anglim. The evening begins at 8 p.m. at the Herbst Theater, 401 Van Ness, S.F. Admission is $16; call 392-4400.

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