Beam Me Up Start Trekkin' takes theater sports to the Starship Enterprise. As if it's not enough to do a parody of Star Trek, these guys go improv with audience suggestions and participation. We hope this translates into no more pacifism, no more equality, and no more nonviolence for the Trekkers. Shows are late-night, meaning the hopelessly devoted will either a) miss out, or b) have to set their VCRs. Start Trekkin' opens at 10:30 p.m. (and repeats Nov. 14 and 21) at the Bayfront Theater, Building B, Fort Mason, Marina & Buchanan, S.F. Admission is $6; call 431-5092.
Portrait of an ... Ackamoor Idris Ackamoor goes solo ... but not alone. For years he's coupled his musicianship, acting, tap dancing, and directing with some of the most brilliant of the creatives: choreographer Bill T. Jones, actress Rhodessa Jones, poet Ntozake Shange, guitarist Vernon Reid, and the late filmmaker Marlon Riggs. Ackamoor finally put his jazz on record with his new CD, Portrait. In between running a few theater companies, teaching in Holland, and studying in Africa, Ackamoor will perform with his quartet -- Fred Harris on piano, Mark Williams on bass, and Al Marshall on drums -- at Radio Valencia tonight (no firetrucks allowed) and Noe Valley Ministry next Saturday, Nov. 15. Shows at 7:30 and 9 p.m. at Radio Valencia, 1199 Valencia (at 23rd Street), S.F. Admission is $5; call 292-1850.
We Got the Books This year's San Francisco Bay Area Book Festival is not just about books. It's about cooking, publishing, kids, the Internet, and even bookmaking. Aside from this plethora of seminars, the visiting authors are Ernest Gaines, Wendell Berry, Nikki Giovanni, Mollie Katzen, and Henry Rollins, among others. New this year is the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Cafe, featuring all-day poetry readings honoring the late writer. Readings were programmed by Intersection of the Arts, Youth Speaks, La Pena Cultural Center, and River of Words. The 1991 Youth Speaks Teen Poetry Slam champs Jason Mateo, Sharonna Caractor, and Mario Balcita also will be reading. The event opens at 10 a.m. (also Sunday) at the Concourse Exhibition Center, Eighth Street & Brannan, S.F. Admission is free-$2; call 908-2833.
Step Off, Priscilla DNA brings in the drag kings from New York's DragStrip, Club Confidential, and Club Casanova and all for a good cause. As they say at the House of Dick, "gender bends over backwards at the DragStrip." Father of all drag kings Mo B. Dick will host the debauchery (we hope) of Elvis Herselvis, Juanita More, Cockateila, and Joan Jett-Blakk. Not to mention Rock Candy, Rico Suave Bolla, Fudgie Frottage, and many others. DJ Alvin A-Go-Go spins (with a name like "A-Go-Go," it has to be good). The best part is that partial proceeds will go to three local health organizations: the Godfather Service Fund, the Tom Waddell Clinic, and the Lyon-Martin Clinic. The evening begins at 8 p.m. with drag shows at 9 and 11 p.m. at the DNA Lounge, 375 11th St. (at Harrison), S.F. Admission is $7; call 331-9595, ext. 300.
Run, Don't Walk You've heard of the Ventures -- but do you really know the Ventures? The original surf band's articulate, intense guitar lines, crisp, ringing production, and implacable rhythm section made them one of the most popular groups in the world through much of the early '60s. After forming in Seattle with key member Don Wilson on guitar, their first single, the irresistible "Walk, Don't Run," became a worldwide hit. Form there on in, the band virtually owned '60s instrumental rock. In the now 30 years since their last true hit (the Hawaii Five-O theme, in 1969), the Ventures have continued to tread the boards; they've always been big in Japan, yet they still tour the world, introducing new generations to the thrill of a bass, a drum set, and one wild man with a tremolo pedal. The Swamis open at 8 p.m. at Bimbo's 365 Club, 1025 Columbus (at Chestnut), S.F.. Admission is $15; call 474-0365.
East Meets West The fourth annual Other Minds Festival marries composers and techies from Japan and California for three concerts. A more appropriate name might be the Electric Kool-Aid Acid Concert. The festival opens with Mona-Lisa, a huge multimedia trip put on by four artists: Pamela Z, Donald Swearingen, Laetitia Sonami, and Visual Brains. Pamela Z distorts her voice via electrode bodysuit, Swearingen plays the piano with infrared beams rather than hands, Sonami controls sound with a lady's glove, and Visual Brains provides the eye candy -- as if the other three weren't enough. It's an evening of cross-cultural, cross-technological, cross-audio collaboration. Mona-Lisa begins at 8 p.m. (the festival continues through Nov. 12) in the Cowell Theater, Fort Mason Center, Marina & Buchanan, S.F. Admission is $16-18; call 441-3687.
B Flat Lookin' Sharp So that's what all those chalk-outlined bodies are doing in the Mission. It's not the Mission-turned-Johannesburg, it's just Sam Shepard's new play, Suicide in B Flat -- a comical whodunit about the death of a jazz musician -- on its way to the Justice League Nightclub. The play is set and performed at the bar, which cuts back tremendously in the prop department. The music is live and weaved into the action onstage -- the actors even take breaks at the bar. The musical cast includes local greats Kenny Brooks, Josh Jones, Dred Scott, Marcus Shelby, and Scheherazade Stone and will play a set after the show of pieces inspired by the play itself. Suicide opens at 8 p.m. (and continues through Nov. 19) at the Justice League, 628 Divisadero (at Hayes), S.F. Admission is $10; call 440-0409.