Opera, Man Phantom of the Opera cast members, Opera Center Adler Fellows, San Francisco Ballet students, S.F. Gay Men's Chorus, Smuin Ballets/S.F., and Harry Denton's Starlight Orchestra are among the guests performing at the Opera Fair, but in case the afternoon sounds intimidatingly highbrow to some, organizers are also offering opera karaoke and macarena lessons (OK, and Phantom of the Opera, but let's not start). The fair, a celebration of the Opera House renovation and reopening, will feature tours of the building every 10 minutes at $1 a pop, and kids activities will be ongoing throughout the day. Plus local arts organizations will be setting up booths along the square, and musicians and greeters decked out in opera costumes will be roaming the periphery. The fair begins at 10 a.m. in the War Memorial Courtyard, Van Ness & Grove, S.F. Admission is free; call 861-4008. In a related note, the San Francisco Performing Arts Library & Museum offers "Great Moments at the Opera House," an exhibit of photos, reviews, programs, and recordings of highlights like the appearances of Gershwin, Stravinsky, and Ballets Russes. The exhibit is open through the end of the year at 399 Grove (at Gough), S.F. Admission is free; call 255-4800.
Are You Art Lover Enough? Every 10 minutes for 12 hours, local comedians, dancers, actors, musicians, and monologuists will be performing at Theater Artaud's ninth annual Performance Marathon. The event, which features over 70 companies and 150 artists, is a cheap and effective way to discover who's doing what, and which performers you might want to see again. Run for Your Life! ... It's a Dance Company joins Contraband's Sara Shelton Mann, Fat Chance BellyDance, and the Stephen Pelton and Della Davidson dance companies in the terpsichorean corner; Connie Champagne, Amandla Poets, and the Golden Gate Men's Chorus are among the musical guests; and a Traveling Jewish Theater's Albert Greenberg helps hold up the theater end at the marathon, which runs from noon-midnight at Theater Artaud, 450 Florida (at 17th Street), S.F. Admission is $8 and up sliding scale, good for a re-entry stamp; call 621-7797.
Faster, Enrique! Patty Duke as a slurring, pill-popping Hollywood has-been in Valley of the Dolls is funny enough, and the druggy three-way between the Strawberry Alarm Clock, director Russ Meyer, and screenwriter Roger Ebert that yielded Beyond the Valley of the Dolls is funnier still. And then there's Joe Eszterhas, whose work is so bad it's ... just bad. Hard on the high heels of the Castro's Valley of the Dolls revival, disco rockers Enrique and members of the Sick and Twisted Players do the starlets-gone-wrong genre one better with the original rock musical Above and Beyond the Valley of the Ultra Showgirls. Enrique, whose performances are marvels in hummable hooks and flammable outfits, and the Players, who specialize in reviving schlock dramas like The Poseidon Adventure, share a deep and abiding love of camp. And Above and Beyond, the story of three naive showgirls corrupted by sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll, is all about camp, from the orgies to the angel dust freakouts. Viewers may create post-show scenarios of their own at midnight following each performance, when a guest band will play, followed by DJs Robeena Diet-Biscuit of "Trannyshack" and Deena Davenport of "Baby Judy's," who spin records until 2 a.m. The show begins at 10 p.m. (and runs Sunday nights through Sept. 28) at Club 181, 181 Eddy (at Market), S.F. Admission is $5; call 636-3987.
Brazil Nuts Bahia Cabana celebrates 175 years of independence from Portuguese rule with a street party illustrating the country's complex cultural heritage. The capoeira demonstrations offer some insight into African religious influence, and performances by Fogo na Roupa Samba School and Samba do Coracao spotlight popular music and dance styles. The fair offers games and kids activities, tourist information and food booths, and live music and dance performances throughout the day. It all begins at noon outside of Bahia Cabana, Market & Page, S.F. Admission is free; call 626-3306.
Parker Here Lovers of old-school funk and soul treat a Maceo Parker show sort of like a pilgrimage, essential and divine. Lucky for them, Parker keeps coming back and blowing his horn, the tenor, baritone, and alto saxes leading off some of James Brown's biggest hits, from "Cold Sweat" to "Gonna Have a Funky Good Time." A sometime member of P-Funk and a Parliament/Bootsy Collins offshoot called the Horny Horns, Parker played with Brown on and off for over 20 years, including a gig at the "Rumble in the Jungle" Ali-Foreman fight in Zaire immortalized in the movie When We Were Kings. That longtime collaboration shows when he gets up a cover of "Pass the Peas" or "I Got You (I Feel Good)," but Parker's way with a groove has left a singular impression on groups from the Rolling Stones to Deee-Lite. New Orleans' Royal Fingerbowl open for Parker at 9 p.m. tonight in the first show of a three-night run; the Latin jazz-schooled Cabaret Diosa open at 9 p.m. Tuesday and pop funksters What It Is open at 9 p.m. Wednesday at the Great American Music Hall, 859 O'Farrell (at Polk), S.F. Admission is $17; call 885-0750.