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VENTURA COUNTY WEEKEND | BEST BETS

February 01, 1996

FRIDAY: TIME TO DANCE

Well, so they're not THAT young, but three-sevenths of the Young Dubliners actually are from Dublin. The group will be making people dance with their hybrid of Irish and American music as they have many times before at Nicholby's in Ventura.

Frontman Keith Roberts doesn't have to worry about getting gigs for the band--he owns a bar called Fair City in Santa Monica, which his band packs whenever they play. The band was signed to Scotti Brothers, a label conveniently located around the corner from Fair City, and released an EP, "Rocky Road," in 1994. These days, the band is working on a new full-length album, "Breathe."

As Roberts noted during his last interview in these pages, "Much like the Gulf War, if there's air support, it works."

Nicholby's is located at the corner of Oak and Main streets in downtown Ventura. Call them at 653-2320 and find out more about the $6, 9:30 p.m. show.

TIME TO LAUGH

Ventura County's most consistent comedy outlet--the Comedy Club Inside Hornblower's--will bring to its stage the skills of Chris Bliss, a talented performer who mixes thought-provoking banter with virtuosic juggling skills.

A veteran Las Vegas casino and cable-TV performer, Bliss has been invited back numerous times to the "Tonight Show," after making his first appearance in 1994.

For this two-night engagement, Bliss will headline the proceedings, which include comedians Penny Wiggins and Andy Gross.

The venue is at 1559 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura Harbor Village, Ventura. Show times: 8 p.m. today, 8 and 10 p.m. Saturday. Tickets: $8. Information: 658-2202.

SATURDAY: PIANO RECITAL

A prizewinning pianist of international credits and California associations, Thomas Otten will perform a solo recital at 8 p.m. at the new Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center.

Otten, a California native, has traveled throughout the United States and abroad, earning high marks for both his solo concerts and special guest performances with various symphonies. Lauded for his vast range and technique, Otten will at this appearance stage Haydn's Sonata in F major, Beethoven's Sonata in C minor, Opus 13, plus works by Prokofiev, Ravel, Chopin, Utterback, a ragtime piece by Scott Joplin and more.

Tickets: $15, $12 senior citizens and students. The center is 3050 Los Angeles Ave., Simi Valley. Information: 581-9940.

UP THE COAST

* The Santa Barbara Civic Light Opera will open today with "West Side Story" at the Granada Theatre. Here's the Leonard Bernstein/Stephen Sondheim collaboration with all its irrepressible dance action and love story.

Show times: 8 p.m. Wednesdays-Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 2 and 7 p.m. Sundays, plus 3 p.m. next Wednesday; through Feb. 25. Tickets: $15-$35. Call 684-6035.

* The Santa Barbara Chamber Ballet will present "Choreochronicle: Works by California Choreographers," which will include new works by Diane Knowles, Valerie Houston, Beth Burleson and others.

Performance: 8 p.m. today at the Lobero Theater. Tickets: $15, $10. Information: 963-0761.

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