This ain't yo mama's ballet -- or, more aptly, it ain't ballet at all. Huckabay McAllister Dance, an unlikely match of two dissimilar choreographers, marks its 10th year of existence with a celebratory show, "Honey, I'm Home!" Emma Lou Huckabay and Jenny McAllister turn dance on its ear with humor, sass, and a penchant for the bizarre, injecting creepy themes and sexual fantasies into their work, while consistently investigating the human condition. In this decadent celebration of togetherness, the two are putting on old and new works that are as primal in the gut as they are agile and sleek on the stage.
First up is a seductive HMD quintet (four ladies and a gent), which is part of a collaboration with Michelle Amador, a local jazz vocalist who performs live with her sultry four-piece band. Then, in a reprisal of Huckabay's 1995 solo piece Solomon, a young woman sings an ancient madrigal as a man's mind battles with his aging body.
McAllister throws in a little rowdy hoo-ha with an old fave from 1996, Tastes Like Chicken. Set in a trashy trailer park amid Budweiser swillers, it features feuding lawn chairs and a good dose of nasty wife-swapping. Her two premieres are no less gritty: Technicolor uses classic movie music to revisit naughty fantasies of the past, and a new gothic fairy-tale piece explores the gruesome, carnivorous aspects of the stories "Hansel and Gretel," "The Owl and the Pussycat," and "Snow White." The festivities begin at 8 p.m. at ODC Theater, 3153 17th St. (at Shotwell), S.F. Tickets are $18-35; call 863-9834 or visit www.hmdance.com.
-- Karen Macklin
Before you succumb to a bad flashback of those heinous PBS "Three Tenors" shows, give opera a chance with an afternoon of alfresco auditory delights. Pack a picnic. Take a blanket. Heck, bring the kids. The theme of this year's Opera in the Park performance -- the San Francisco Opera's 31st -- is "Opera's Greatest Hits." There are sure to be some melodious crowd-pleasers in the lineup (and I, for one, happen to know that Act 3 of La Bohème has been known to make a grown man cry). Catch the vocal pyrotechnics at 1:30 p.m. in Sharon Meadow, Kezar & John F. Kennedy in Golden Gate Park, S.F. Admission is free; call 565-6416 or visit www.sfopera.com.
-- Charyn Pfeuffer
It'll Slay You
A hammy murder mystery
When the kitschy Clue was released in 1985, long before such game-to-movie flicks as Resident Evil or Tomb Raider, the idea of transforming a board-game story line into a film was ludicrous. But then Cluebecame a cult VHS sensation, growing so popular that you can still find it on video store shelves almost two decades after its box office failure.
The camp-loving crew at the Dark Room Theater do the goofy melodrama up right in Clue: The Play, now in its second staging following sold-out summertime shows. You've got your slinky Ms. Scarlet (Jacinta Tobin), your supercilious omniscient butler (Jack Daniel), and all the giggly whodunit-spoofing dialogue and action you can handle. Clue continues its run on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. through Sept. 25 at the Dark Room Theater, 2263 Mission (at 18th Street), S.F. Admission is $12.50-16; call 401-7987 or visit www.cluetheplay.4t.com.
-- Joyce Slaton
Out of the Shadows
Black Tape for a Blue Girl's funereal rock
If you do exceptionally large loads of darks at the laundromat, have a case full of Bauhaus and London After Midnight CDs, and generally hold an affinity for all that is gloomy, it's no news to you that Black Tape for a Blue Girl is back again. The doleful sound that set the mold for various artists on the dark-wave label Projekt Records in the '80s (founded by Black Tape composer/keyboardist Sam Rosenthal) is still built around keening keyboards, mournful lyrics about doomed love, and ethereal vocals from Elysabeth Grant and Brett Helm. But thanks to the band's new affection for acoustic guitar and orchestral instrumentation, what could have sounded irredeemably past-it is fresh enough for a new generation of fans. Nicki Jaine and Drop Black Sky open at 9 p.m. at the DNA Lounge, 375 11th St. (at Folsom), S.F. Admission is $12; call 626-1409 or visit www.dnalounge.com.
-- Joyce Slaton
Oud Girls Out
There's no such thing as too much Ultra Gypsy. The tattooed, belly-dancing hipsters (pun intended!) perform a lot, and still audiences can't seem to get enough of the talented troupe, which is busy inventing its own dance traditions. Now tribal dance fans can wiggle into the Mission for "Deshret," an evening of Arabic and Middle Eastern music accompanied by the moves (and free lessons) of Ultra Gypsy. UG's apprentice group, Djun Djun, performs, too, as do a passel of DJs spinning Arabic breakbeat, Moroccan "drum 'n' bendir," and Turkish hip hop, at 9 p.m. at El Rio, 3158 Mission (at Cesar Chavez), S.F. Admission is $5; call 282-3325 or visit www.elriosf.com.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser