Pop Life Even the future is loaded with TV references from the 1960s and '70s in the rock opera Suburbia 3000, the third part of the Brite Sleep trilogy that began with The Cereal Killers and The Possession of Mrs. Jones. Enrique's D'Arcy Drollinger wrote and performs in this show about the planet Suburbia, a society inhabited by next-door-neighbor characters from old TV shows -- Helen Roper, Betty Rubble, etc. -- and ruled by a king who looks like Elvis (Elvis Herselvis). A reluctant spiritual leader wearing a Superman costume (Drollinger) inspires a near-revolt and is condemned to death after he encourages people to express their individuality. As in the previous shows, an epic battle rages between the forces of good and evil, a mildly seamy side of Americana is exposed, and trash culture duly asserts itself. Former Cockettes member Richard "Scrumbly" Koldewyn provides musical direction. The show opens at 8 p.m. (and runs through April 26) at the SOMAR Theater, 934 Brannan, S.F. Admission is $14; call 995-4667.

march 22
Esther the Protector As the Book of Esther has it, Queen Esther prevented King Mordechai's evil minister Haman from massacring Persian Jews, and at Purim, the Jewish holiday that commemorates the series of events, celebrants are known to throw carnivals and wear costumes representing all three characters. The public is invited to share in Purim merrymaking with "Megilla Madness," a celebration featuring a reading by David Henkin and music by the Cheeseballs at 9 p.m. at Studio 435, 435 Broadway ($20-25; 436-0711); a Purim celebration with a reading, costume parade, carnival, and food fair Sunday at 10 a.m. at Congregation Beth Israel-Judea, 625 Brotherhood (free; 586-8833); and a Purim carnival, with a film on the event's history, clowns and jugglers, arts and crafts, and lots of food Sunday at noon in the San Francisco County Fair Building, Ninth Avenue & Lincoln Way, Golden Gate Park, S.F. Admission is free-$2; call 751-9861.

Climb Every Mountain Rookie musher Tim Triumph and his dog team finished the 1995 Iditarod race long after the camera crews had packed up, but Triumph's dogged determination is nonetheless captured on film in Dead Last, a short piece that plays as part of the Banff Festival of Mountain Films. Kayaks and Coconuts, a tale of water sports in Guatemala, and Tsaatan: Reindeer Riders, a documentation of nomadic Mongolian people, are also featured. Short works on snowboarding, rock climbing, and conservation efforts complete the festival program, which stops locally as part of its world tour at 7 p.m. in Wheeler Auditorium, UC Berkeley campus. Admission is $8-10; call (510) 527-1961.

march 23
Down in the Valley Because the Precita Valley Community Center is near the park where teen-age couple Sylvia Menendez and Carlos Hernandez were slain nearly a year ago, the center's new mural will be dedicated to their memory. The 30-foot-by-40-foot mural, which was painted by master muralist Susan Cervantes and covers the building's entire facade, focuses on community efforts to curb violent activity, and features among its many subjects portraits of neighborhood children. The San Pancho Bike Club will display a collection of lowrider bicycles and Cruzin' Coyotes will provide the live music at a mural dedication and open house celebrating the center's 75th anniversary. Speakers and poets will visit and refreshments will be served at the event, which begins at 1:30 p.m. at the Precita Valley Community Center, 534 Precita, S.F. Admission is free; call 206-7756.

One Man's Land Sen. Alan Cranston and Earth Island Institute founder David Brower are among the guests who will wax nostalgic about the life and times of photographer Ansel Adams at "Ansel Adams Remembered," a tribute to their friend and colleague and a kind of insider's guide to the upcoming exhibit "Ansel Adams, a Legacy: Masterworks From the Friends of Photography Collection." This exhibit of work by one of America's best-known photographers is comprised mostly of silver gelatin prints of Western landscapes, from the early morning forest of Washington's Mount Rainier to a thunderstorm over New Mexico's Chama Valley Ghost Ranch. The exhibit opens Wednesday, preceded by the tribute, held at 2 p.m. today ($25) and "Cultural Pearls: The Friends of Photography's 30th Anniversary Celebration," held at 9 p.m. Tuesday ($125). Both events take place at the Ansel Adams Center for Photography, 250 Fourth St., S.F.; call 495-7000.

march 24
Oscar Wieners It's no good watching the Academy Awards alone: Hollywood goes to a lot of trouble staging those flashy, stupid production numbers and scoring those thousand-dollar outfits, and it wants a big, big reaction, damn it! Jeers, cheers, giggles, groans, and unforgiving fashion commentary will likely be heard at the following locations: "Boulevard of Dreams," a catered fund-raiser for Bay Area HIV/AIDS service organizations, with live entertainment and a vintage Hollywood theme, beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the Festival Pavilion, Fort Mason ($125-150; 252-0173); "Oscar Night at the Fringe," with a no-host bar and snacks, beginning at 5 p.m. at the Exit Theater, 156 Eddy ($10; 673-3847); and "Up the Academy," a lively benefit party to which viewers bring their own snacks and beverages, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Roxie Cinema, 3117 16th St. ($6; 863-1087). Meanwhile, spoken-word poet Justin Chin performs at "Fuck the Academy Awards," in the live-recording series for the compilation Beer, Gits, and Laundry, at 9 p.m. at Brain Wash, 1126 Folsom, S.F. Admission is free; call 255-4866.

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