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VENTURA COUNTY WEEKEND | BEST BETS

Saturday

February 08, 1996

BANG IN CONCERT

"Just Can't Stop It," by the English Beat, was one of the great albums of the '80s. Dave Wakeling, former frontman of the band, is back with a new band, Bang, doing new stuff, but also all those great Beat songs such as "Tears of a Clown," "Ranking Full Stop" and "Two Swords." Bang will be tearing up Nicholby's in Ventura with its brand of rockin' ska.

During the band's first visit in December, even the barmaids and bartenders were dancing, not to mention all who could fit onto the dance floor. Bang is Wakeling's latest outfit, succeeding the Free Radicals and General Public after the breakup of the Beat in the early '80s.

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

RECITAL

As part of the "Bouquet Musique" series presented by Classical Concerts, pianist Lisa Spector will give a recital in the intimate, chamber-music-friendly Forum Theatre of the Civic Arts Plaza, 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks.

Spector, who holds degrees from Julliard and USC, hails from Syracuse and has appeared with the Santa Barbara Symphony and the National Philharmonic of Romania. The performance, which starts at 8 p.m., will feature music by Debussy, Chopin, Scarlatti, Rachmaninoff and Gershwin-Wild. Tickets are $22. For advance tickets or more information, contact Classical Concerts at 371-1652. Civic Arts Plaza box office: 449-ARTS (449-2787).

GOTTA DANCE

Moorpark College's In-Motion Dance Company will "Celebrate Dance" along with some friends and special guests at its appearance at the new Moorpark College Performing Arts Center.

A large cast of performers--which includes professional guest artists and alumni--will present a varied program, including ballet, modern, jazz and other dance forms.

Highlights: Bella Lewitzky Company member John Pennington will perform "Isaac Wanted," choreographed by Scott Heinzerling; L. Martina Young, a dancer with the Los Angeles Dance Theatre, will perform Donald McKayle's solo "Angelitos Negros," set to Roberta Flack's memorable recording; and from the San Francisco area, soloist June Watanabe, who has garnered two Young Choreographer of the Year awards at the American Dance Festival. Also, the Plexus Dance Theatre will dance to Bach's "Brandenburg" Concerto.

The concert will begin at 8 p.m. Tickets: $10, $8 senior citizens, students and children. The Arts Center is at 7075 Campus Road. For advance tickets or more information, call 378-1458.

UP THE COAST

* In honor of Black History Month, UC Santa Barbara's MultiCultural Center will present a performance by Chic Street Man--a singer-songwriter often referred to as a "musical ambassador of peace and human rights." Once a regular--and popular--attraction in Santa Barbara before taking his talents abroad, the ever-upbeat Street Man will perform acoustic blues music at 8 p.m. Saturday. The concert is free. Information: 893-8411.

* The Ensemble Theatre Company of Santa Barbara will open Friday with the West Coast premiere of Euripides' tragedy "Medea" at the Alhecama Theatre, 914 Santa Barbara St. A surprise hit on Broadway in 1994, this staging will be led by artistic director Robert Grande-Weiss. Marking her return to Santa Barbara will be Gloria Rossi as the sorceress Medea. Show times: 8 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays; through March 10. Tickets: $18-$23. Information: 962-8606.

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