Theatre of NOTE's "Fifth Annual Hollywood Performance Marathon" gears up in the afternoon and keeps going nonstop to the wee hours of Sunday. It'll serve up a continuous bill of spoken word and performance art, poetry, music, improv, dance, comedy and multimedia performed by noted local artists. Slated to appear, schedules permitting, are John Fleck, Luis Alfaro, Kitty Felde, Pamela Gordon, the Fabulous Monsters and many more. You get an all-day pass and a handstamp so you can come and go.
* "Fifth Annual Hollywood Performance Marathon," Theatre of NOTE, 1517 Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood. Saturday, 2 p.m. through dawn Sunday. Event pass, $7. (323) 856-8611.
1 pm: Opera
French conductor Phillipe Auguin this week makes his Los Angeles Opera and United States debuts leading Gounod's "Faust" with a cast boasting Leontina Vaduva (Marguerite), Marcello Giordani (Faust) and Samuel Ramey (Mephistopheles), with stage direction of the Frank Corsaro production by Christopher Harlan. Sung in French, with English supertitles, this series of performances continues through Feb. 5.
* Los Angeles Opera presents Gounod's "Faust," Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave. Los Angeles, 1 p.m. $27 to $146. (213) 365-3500. Also Tuesday and Jan. 28, 30 and Feb. 2 and 5 at 7:30 p.m.
8 pm: Theater
David Hyde Pierce and John Mahoney of "Frasier" and actors Peter Strauss and Christine Estabrook, a quartet who have racked up a host of major awards for their stage and screen performances, will perform a reading of "Disgruntled Employees" as a benefit for the Ojai Playwrights Conference. The dark comedy, a behind-the-scenes look at--yep, you guessed it--postal workers, is by Chicago Second City veteran Kevin Crowley.
* "Disgruntled Employees," Nordhoff High School Cafetorium, 1401 Maricopa Highway, Ojai, 8 p.m. $50. (805) 640-0400.
8 pm: Pop Music
The Airheads will be out in force at the American Legion Hall for a special show by Jean Benoit Dunckel and Nicolas Godin, better known as Air. The French duo, whose 1998 debut "Moon Safari" established them on the electro-pop landscape, will perform their score from the upcoming movie "The Virgin Suicides."
* Air, Hollywood American Legion Hall, 2035 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles, 8 p.m. $20. (213) 480-3232.
8 pm: Musical Theater
An all-star cast of jazz and pop musicians--including trumpeter-film composer Terence Blanchard, vocal team Jackie Cain and Roy Kral, guitarist Oscar Castro-Neves, pianist Billy Childs, singers Kurt Elling, Maureen McGovern and Dianne Reeves, bassist John Clayton and others--will explore the music of multi-Tony Award-winner Stephen Sondheim ("Sweeney Todd," "A Little Night Music," "Sunday in the Park With George") in "Sondheim & Jazz: Side by Side," a revue that brings jazz touches to the composer-lyricist's opus.
* "Sondheim & Jazz: Side by Side," Royce Hall, UCLA, 8 p.m. $40 to $60; UCLA students, $16. (310) 825-2101.
8 pm: Comedy
Talk about an interesting joining of forces . . . the Skirball Cultural Center and alternative comedy outlet Un-Cabaret have teamed up to create "Comedy Project: Comedy and Commentary for the New Millennium." Un-Cab creator Beth Lapides will host the events, which range from stand-up performances to shorts from the Slamdance festival. The series starts Saturday with "Spirit in the Sky," during which Dana Gould, Andy Kindler, Michael Patrick King, Julia Sweeney, Taylor Negron and Moon Zappa will tackle subjects of religion and spirituality.
* "Spirit in the Sky," part of "Comedy Project," at the Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, 8 p.m. $12; members, $10; students, $6. (323) 655-8587. Other events Jan. 27, Feb. 1, 5 and 11, and May 4, all at 8 p.m.
Works by top contemporary ceramists will be displayed at the 56th annual "Scripps College Ceramic Annual 2000" at the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery, Scripps College, 1030 Columbia Ave., Claremont. Wednesdays-Sundays, 1-5 p.m. Ends March 5. (909) 607-3517.
Black glass of the '20s and '30s will be discussed by expert Michael Krumme in a lecture presented by the Art Deco Society at the Beverly Hills Library auditorium, 444 S. Rexford Drive, 2 p.m. (310) 659-3326.