Cups and Pints Threats of Islamic terrorism, the sidelining of drunk and injured players, and striking Air France pilots in the host country have already made this year's World Cup memorable, and the games haven't even started yet. Actually, they'll begin at 8 a.m. today our time, and to celebrate the inaugural match between Scotland and Brazil, the Edinburgh Castle will throw open its doors a wee bit early, so that Scottish football hooligans and their friends can have breakfast pints with their live coverage. Twelve hours and countless pints later at the World Cup Opening Party, writers Po Bronson, Alan Black, and Aidan McManus pay spoken-word tribute to the violent and colorful world of international soccer, and Italian operatic tenor Claudio Aronica sings the raunchy terrace songs of Scottish football rowdies. Prizes will be awarded, game footage will be shown, and dancing in the aisles is expected; free punch will be served to evening arrivals and anyone still standing without assistance after the morning broadcast. The party, a benefit for Gutted magazine, begins at 8 p.m. at the Edinburgh Castle Pub, 950 Geary (at Van Ness), S.F. Admission is $5; call 885-4074.
Rogue Warrior If the court of Louis the XIV had been less inclined to take a joke, French playwright Moliere's barbs at religious hypocrisy and social convention could have cost him his job, or worse. But with the patronage of the Palais Royal, Moliere created an extensive and enduring body of French comedies, including Tartuffe, which is said to have made Louis laugh, even though its mockery of the church made him nervous. Moliere thumbs his nose at authority yet again in Scapin, the Cheat, the comic tale of a scheming servant who not only lies, cheats, and steals to help his master, but savors his own cunning in the process. The California Shakespeare Festival will stage Othello, As You Like It, and Richard III later on, but it opens its 25th season with Scapin, which, like some of the Bard's works, traffics in physical comedy and was intended to keep the groundlings happy. The show previews at 8 p.m. (and runs through July 26) at the Bruns Memorial Amphitheater, Siesta Valley, Gateway exit off Highway 24, Orinda. Admission is $10-35; call (510) 548-9666.
A Lover and a Fighter Inspired by the wild life of artist-activist Tina Modotti, contemporary Italian composer Andrea Centazzo has created the multimedia opera Tina to tell her story. There's plenty to tell, and Centazzo would be hard pressed to make it dull: Modotti, an Italian expatriate, was a one-time San Francisco actress and Hollywood silent-film star whose photography career began under the tutelage of Edward Weston. Marriage to the poet Robo Richey brought Modotti to Mexico, where she slipped into an artistic social set that included John Dos Passos and Frida Kahlo. Modotti threw herself into love affairs and communism, which lent her photos an increasingly reportorial edge until her political activity got her kicked out of Mexico. From there she moved on to Berlin and Moscow, to less photography and more politics, including work throughout Europe as a secret emissary for the Red Aid and as a logistical chief for the Spanish Civil War. Mexican actress Lumi Cavazos, memorable in the film version of Like Water for Chocolate as Tita, the sister who pours her passions into cooking, narrates the opera, which begins at 8 p.m. at the Herbst Theater, 401 Van Ness (at McAllister), S.F. Admission is $25; call 392-4400.
The Politics of Dancing The Ethnic Dance Festival could show the U.N. a thing or two about the art of throwing people from different cultures into one room. Although these dancers and musicians live in Northern California, the 30 companies participating in the festival represent more than two dozen nationalities, and yet each year the concert proceeds without the bickering characteristic of political institutions. The 2-1/2-week festival, now in its 20th year, is split into three thematic programs: The first of these, "Planet Dance," features the Barbary Coast Cloggers, who show off their nimble Appalachian footwork alongside the barefoot, feather headdress-wearing Mexican Teocalli dancers and the henna-decorated Indian dancers of Anuradha Prabhashanker. The festival continues over the next two weekends with "Old Rivers, New Streams" (West African, Scottish, Bulgarian, Hawaiian) and "Border Crossings" (Haitian, Moroccan, Indonesian, Spanish, Irish). "Planet Dance" begins at 8 p.m. (also Saturday 2 and 8 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m.) at the Palace of Fine Arts, Bay & Lyon, S.F. Admission is $15-25; call 392-4400.
Get Your Phil The Philippines extracted itself from Spanish rule 100 years ago this year, but the influences of Spain, the U.S., China, and Mexico on Filipino culture are bound to reveal themselves at Fiesta Filipina, a two-day party held in the midst of a citywide centennial celebration. Among the biggest attractions at the festival are Tommy Boy artist Jocelyn Enriquez, a San Francisco native whose electronica-flavored pop songs are sung in English and Tagalog, and singers Joliva Magdangal and Marvin Agustin, who are flying in from the Philippines. Latin-jazz percussionist Pete Escovedo and salsa band Conjunto Cespedes will perform and Jorge Santana is putting together a Latin rock band with local musicians. A "jeepney," a modern adaptation of the WWII-era American jeep, will be shown at an auto show, and Southeast Asian and Latin dishes will be served at the food pavilion. The fiesta begins at 10 a.m. (also Sunday) at Civic Center Plaza, Larkin & McAllister, S.F. Admission is free-$5; call 438-9933. Filipino history further unfolds with "Unfinished Mission: The American Journey of Filipino WWII Veterans," a photography exhibit by Rick Rocamora at the Veterans Building (401 Van Ness at McAllister, S.F. Free; 252-2568) and "At Home and Abroad: 20 Contemporary Filipino Artists" at the Asian Art Museum (Golden Gate Park, S.F. Free-$7; 379-8801). For more information on local events, call 665-5763.