My Dear, My Dear, It's Not So Dreadful Here The Latin poet Ovid finds an unlikely compatriot in documentary photographer Jim Goldberg in Polaroid Stories, as playwright Naomi Iizuka combines the centuries-old stories of mythological transformation from Metamorphoses with Goldberg's Raised by Wolves, a gritty photojournal chronicling the lives of homeless kids in Hollywood and San Francisco that hung at SFMOMA last year. In Iizuka's treatment, the mythological characters retain their names (including Persephone, the original child of hell), but the setting changes to the streets and squats of contemporary San Francisco, where Zeus builds his kingdom on drugs and women, Orpheus pursues Eurydice with the zealousness of a stalker, Narcissus turns into an alienated street hustler, and everyone searches for identity and a means for survival. Campo Santo stages the West Coast premiere of Polaroid Stories, which previews at 8 p.m. (and runs through Aug. 2) at Intersection for the Arts, 446 Valencia (at 15th Street), S.F. Admission is $9-14; call 626-3311.
Ten Feet Deep The Summerfest/Dance '98 showcase offers a three-week crash course in the history and style of San Francisco contemporary dance, through the movement of emerging and veteran dancers and the multiple collective local influences they bring to the stage. The ghost of the late choreographer Ed Mock lingers around opening night when former Mock dancer Wayne Hazzard and Margaret Jenkins company member Mercy Sidbury team up in the tragicomic duet Down Softly, while former Mock dancer Tamara Yoneda joins LINES Contemporary Ballet dancer Yannis Adoniou in a duet by Katherine Warner. And so it goes throughout the showcase, in two programs a week, as LINES's Tomi Paasonen investigates the push and pull between pedestrian movement and the artifice of ballet (July 11-12); Nesting Dolls dance out a punk rock fable (July 18-19); and AXIS Dance Company takes six dancers, three wheelchairs, and two rattan poles to the limit (July 22-23). Shows begin at 8 p.m. at Theater Artaud, 450 Florida (at Mariposa), S.F. Admission is $12-15; call 646-0661.
Mouthing Off Smart Mouth Theater won raves for its production of John C. Russell's comedy Stupid Kids and was razzed for staging the U.S. premiere of Sarah Kane's raunchy mythology redux Phaedra's Love. For an encore, director Steve Cosson has taken The Children's Hour -- Lillian Hellman's controversial drama about a girl who accuses her teachers of lesbianism -- and remixed it with transcripts of a 19th-century lesbian sex-scandal trial and writings by Joan Didion and Judy Blume. This piece of cut-and-paste camp is called Fingered; it begins at 8 p.m. (and continues through Sunday) at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission (at Third Street), S.F. Admission is $5-7; call 978-ARTS.
Playtime for Workers The city's monthlong Laborfest '98 was inspired by the 1934 San Francisco General Strike, but its scope is international: Tonight's video evening, for example, features The Single Spark, about the history of the Korean labor movement. Merle Woo and James Tracy are among the local poets reading at a Bastille Day event commemorating the storming of the French prison (7:30 p.m. July 14 at the Women's Building), Intersection for the Arts hosts an "International Labor Cartoon Show" (opening July 18), and the labor songs of Ireland, Latin America, Asia, and the U.S. will be sung at the "International Labor Music Night" (7:30 p.m. July 18 at the Mission Cultural Center). Closer to home and local history, festival organizers have planned labor history bus and boat tours and a tribute to leader Paul Robeson (7 p.m. July 12 at the Bayview Opera House). The video evening begins at 7:30 p.m. at Mission Cultural Center, 2868 Mission (at 25th Street), S.F. Admission is free, but donations are accepted; call 642-8066 for information about this and all other Laborfest '98 events.
Home If learning to tile, paint, wallpaper, and decorate your own home isn't incentive enough to swing by the Brave New Home Expo, there's always the lure of improving someone else's home -- the show benefits Habitat for Humanity, the good-works group (one of whose most active members is ex-President Jimmy Carter) that helps build housing for ownership by low-income families. Presentations include "How to Talk to Your Boss About Telecommuting From Home" and "Home Improvement for Dummies." Lest we forget, there will also be food, wine, and microbrewery beer tastings. Doors open at 11 a.m. (also Saturday and Sunday) at the Festival Pavilion, Fort Mason, Marina & Buchanan, S.F. Admission is $6; call (888) 298-EXPO.
Celluloid Closet Priscilla, Queen of the Desert was packed with adventures and all that, but what lingered in the memory after it was over? Guy Pearce, draped in yards of vibrant silk that billowed out over the bus in the windy Australian Outback. Priscilla, which won an Academy Award for costume design, would have been a good candidate for the summer series "The Way We Wore: Fashion in Cinema," which spotlights designers whose costumes set the mood of a film and influenced pop culture of its era. Among the striking selections: Jean Paul Gaultier's elaborate couture for The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover, fabled Hollywood studio designer Edith Head's creations for Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief, Yves Saint-Laurent's mod boot-and-trench ensembles for Catherine Deneuve in Belle de Jour, and Wim Wenders' film about designer Yohji Yamamoto, Notebook on Cities and Clothes. The series, which also includes rarely screened works like Artists and Models Abroad and The Scarlet Empress, begins with Adrian's mannish designs for Greta Garbo in The Kiss at 7 p.m. in the George Gund Theater of the Pacific Film Archive, 2625 Durant, UC Berkeley campus. Admission is $6-7.50; call (510) 642-1412.