"Pretty Woman," a postmodern fairy tale about a gold-hearted hooker who falls for a steel-hearted business magnate, was one of the biggest blockbusters of 1990, and it made a lanky ingenue by the name of Julia Roberts an international star. Now the "Pretty Woman" troupe--director Garry Marshall, Richard Gere and Roberts--have re-teamed for "Runaway Bride," a romantic comedy about a commitment-phobic woman (Roberts) who has left three hapless grooms at the altar. Gere plays the USA Today reporter who sets out to do a story on the free-spirited woman and ends up falling in love.
* "Runaway Bride," rated PG for language and some suggestive dialogue, opens Friday in general release.
10 am: Family/Theater
In East L.A. Classic Theatre's hourlong, family-friendly musical adaptation of Shakespeare's romantic classic "Much Ado About Nothing," set in early California, heroes Benedick and Claudio are Mexican soldiers, returning home in 1872.
* "Much Ado About Nothing," John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood. Friday, Sunday, also Aug. 7 and 8, 14 and 15, 10 a.m. Ends Aug. 15. $7. (323) 461-3673, (323) 981-1710.
8 pm: Cabaret
You've seen her in such movies as "The Last Picture Show" and her eponymous television series. Now, catch actress-comedian Cybill Shepherd moonlighting as a singer as she moves into the intimate confines of this Hollywood cabaret to present standards and show tunes all done in her own sweet, personality-filled way.
* Cybill Shepherd, the Cinegrill, Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, 7000 Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, 7000 Hollywood Blvd. Also Saturday. $25. (213) 466-7000.
8 pm: Theater
Theatre of NOTE will present Jennifer Maisel's drama "Eden," a winner of South Coast Repertory's California Playwrights Competition, about three women struggling to keep their friendship in the face of AIDS and alienation.
* "Eden," Theatre of NOTE, 1517 Cahuenga Blvd., Thursdays through Saturdays, 8 p.m. Ends Sept. 4. $10 to $12; Friday's opening gala, $20. (323) 856-8611.
8 pm: Theater
Circle X Theatre Co., a big award-winner for last year's production of "Great Men of Science Nos. 21 & 22," will present the premiere of "Beatrice," Suzanne Maynard's erotic postmodern fairy tale. Michael Michetti will direct Maynard's exploration of the dark and magical territory between girlhood and womanhood, bliss and despair.
* "Beatrice," Hudson Theater Guild, 6543 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. Friday, 8 p.m.; opening night gala, 7:30 p.m. Regular schedule: Thursdays through Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 and 7 p.m. Through Sept. 4. $15, except Sunday matinees, pay what you can; opening night, $20. (323) 969-9239, Ext. 2.
8 pm: Dance
A featured soloist in the Rachel Rosenthal Company, actor-dancer Michael Sakamoto is also the creator of "The Cinema Trilogy," interdisciplinary performance works exploring the 20th century's obsession with the silver screen. In the 75-minute solo final installment, "Glorious Day for an Unknown Woman," he evokes the hothouse glamour of Japanese silent film in the 1920s, focusing on a man who interprets and narrates the films, as well as the actresses that haunt his imagination. Texts in Japanese, English and French supplement the visual imagery, the music (both classical and popular) and the slow, eerie butoh dance idiom that Sakamoto invokes to depict a life lived in the dark.
* "Glorious Day for an Unknown Woman," Espace DbD, 2847 S. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles. 8 p.m. Also Saturday and Sunday, 8 p.m., and Aug. 6 through 8, 8 p.m. $10 (students, seniors), $15. (310) 839-0661.
FREEBIES: Firefighting groups hold fire safety workshops at the California Science Center, Exposition Park, 700 State Drive, L.A. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (213) 724-3623.
Bold R&B-fired; saxophonist Red Holloway plays the courtyard of the UCLA/Armand Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood, 6:30 p.m.; (310) 824-6365.