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GOINGS ON / SANTA BARBARA : Offbeat Animation : Storytelling comes packaged in 'extra sick' cartoons, foreign dramas and American Indian bird singing.


It's theme week at Santa Barbara's Victoria Street Theater.

Tonight the theater will continue with one series, the Extra Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation, and Friday it will kick off another, the Asian Film Fest.

The animation series, which is not recommended for children under 17, features an odd assortment of shorts that includes "Bambi Meets Godzilla" and "In Bred Jed." There's a show tonight at 9:30 and Friday and Saturday at midnight. (The films will be shown at midnight each Friday and Saturday through August.) Admission is $7.

"Raise the Red Lantern," the 1992 Academy Award nominee by Chinese director Zhang Yimou (who also directed "Ju Dou"), will open the Asian film series Friday night. The story looks at the oppressed lives of the four wives of a 1920s Chinese landowner, focusing in particular on the 19-year-old fourth wife. The movie will be shown again on Sunday and Monday. General admission is $6.

"The Silk Road," a Chinese-Japanese production, will be the second film in the series. It is based on a novel about the lives of a soldier and a general stationed at the Dun Huang outpost in northwestern China in 1026. The film will be shown Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and next Thursday. General admission is $6. The Victoria Street Theater is located at 33 W. Victoria St. Call 965-1886 for show times.

The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History will continue its look at American Indian culture Sunday, when the Cahuilla Bird Singers come to town. Bird singing is an old musical form of storytelling that has nearly disappeared.

These songs, ranging from chants to upbeat melodies, tell of how the first ancestors arrived in the Southern California desert. The forbears, say the legends, circled the Earth before settling in their proper location. There are hundreds of songs in the Cahuilla cycle, all speaking of the migrations of birds and how they and other living creatures search for their homes.

The performance is free with admission to the museum: $3 for adults, $2 for teen-agers and seniors and $1 for children under 12. The museum is located at 2559 Puesta del Sol Road. For more information call 682-4711.

Some of Santa Barbara County's top wineries and eateries will get together Sunday for the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History's 11th annual Wine Festival. The sipping and gorging will be accompanied by music. Tickets, $30 for museum members and $35 for non-members, will be available at the door. For more information, call 682-4711, ext. 340.

While we're on the subject of wines, the Santa Barbara County Vintners' Assn. has updated its wine tour and map brochure. It lists the 30 wineries in the area and has information on wine tours and sales. The brochures are free. Call 688-0881 or write to the Vintners' Assn. at P.O. Box 1558, Santa Ynez, Calif. 93460.

And now for the classical music portion of our show:

Australian-born soprano Yvonne Kenny will team with pianist Graham Johnson for a Sunday-night concert at the Lobero Theater sponsored by the Esperia Foundation.

Kenny sings with the Royal Opera House in London and frequently with the Australian Opera. She has performed extensively throughout the United States and Europe. On Saturday she is scheduled to sing at the Royal Albert Hall in London before heading to these parts.

Johnson, a faculty member at Santa Barbara's Music Academy of the West, has produced shows for BBC Radio and Television and has served as professor of accompaniment at the Guildhall School of Music in London.

This will be the first Esperia Foundation concert with paid admission. Proceeds will benefit the Lotte Lehmann Fellowship in Voice and Vocal Accompanying at the Music Academy of the West. The Lobero is located at 33 E. Canon Perdido St. The concert will begin at 4 p.m., and tickets are $10 and $20. Call 969-3340 for more information.

HOT TICKETS: Tickets are hard to come by for upcoming concerts at the Gainey Vineyard in Santa Ynez. The Emmy Lou Harris concert on Aug. 21 is already a sellout, and as of late last week, only about 300 tickets remained for the Aug. 22 Christopher Cross concert, which are $28. Call 688-0558 for reservations.

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