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O. C. LIVE | Best Bets

February 22, 1996

Pop

Aimee Mann's specialty is the prosecutorial pop song. Almost every tune on "I'm With Stupid," the second solo album from the former singer of 'Til Tuesday, is devoted to the one-sided cross- examination of some indictable target, usually for crimes of betrayal or self-destructiveness.

But Mann is no rage merchant; her salvos are usually icily calm, with a tinge of weary regret lending the songs their emotional complexity. A good ear for melody, steeped in classic '60s pop, and an Elvis Costello-like penchant for rearranging the usual lyrical cliches help Mann turn the felonies of everyday emotional life into diverting songs.

* Who: Aimee Mann, 3 Day Wheelie, Semisonic.

* When: Friday, at 8 p.m.

* Where: Galaxy Concert Theatre, 3503 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana.

* Whereabouts: Exit the San Diego (405) Freeway at Harbor Boulevard; go north. Take the third right, Lake Center Drive, to parking and theater.

* Wherewithal: $18.50.

* Where to call: (714) 957-0600.

Comedy

For more than 15 years, raspy-voiced Bobby Slayton has made a career of picking on women, minorities and the overwhelmed. What is often overlooked, however, is his commitment to making people laugh. His rat-a-tat-tat delivery includes something for everyone.

And if the American Comedy Club Awards' former Stand-Up Comedian of the Year should offend someone? "So long as you're laughing, I don't really care if you like me or not," he says.

* Who: Bobby Slayton.

* When: Tonight at 8:30, Friday 8:30 and 10:30 p.m., Saturday 8 and 10:30 p.m., Sunday 8 p.m.

* Where: Irvine Improv, 4255 Campus Drive, Irvine.

* Whereabouts: Exit the San Diego (405) Freeway at Jamboree Road; go south. Turn left onto Campus Drive. The club is in the Irvine Marketplace.

* Wherewithal: $8-$12.

* Where to call: (714) 854-5455.

Art

You might not think that relatives of the deceased would find comfort in viewing the specific tortures awaiting the perpetrators of such crimes as debauching virtuous virgins or digging up human bones to make medicines for profit. But these illustrations on the Chinese folk paintings known as hell scrolls served to comfort survivors who knew that reincarnation would await all but the worst sinners.

Two annotated sets of these rarely exhibited paintings, which depict the 10 separate kingdoms in which the souls of the dead are judged and punished, are at the Bowers Museum of Cultural Art.

* What: "A Journey Through Chinese Hell: Chinese Hell Scrolls of Taiwan."

* When: Through March 24. Gallery hours: 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday through Sunday; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursdays.

* Where: Bowers Museum of Cultural Art, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana.

* Whereabouts: Exit the Santa Ana (5) Freeway at 17th or Main streets; museum is on the corner of 20th and Main streets.

* Wherewithal: $4.50 adults; $3 students, seniors, $1.50 children 5-12; under 5 free.

* Where to call: (714) 567-3600.

Family Affair

Children's books by Dr. Seuss have been translated into more than 20 languages. Saturday, the Cat in the Hat--a.k.a. El Gato--comes to life in Spanish via veteran actress Lupe Ontiveros, whose movie roles include Irene in "Mi Familia/My Family."

Ontiveros will read aloud and perform improvisations from the book, then lead a discussion. Recommended for all ages, the program will be presented entirely in Spanish at Laguna Art Museum's South Coast Plaza satellite in conjunction with "Seuss Is Loose! Original Drawings From Four Classics" on exhibit at the gallery.

* What: Lupe Ontiveros reads "The Cat in the Hat" in Spanish.

* When: Saturday, at 2:15 p.m.

* Where: Laguna Art Museum at South Coast Plaza, 3333 S. Bristol, Suite 1000, Costa Mesa.

* Whereabouts: Exit the San Diego (405) Freeway at Bristol Street north; South Coast Plaza is on the left. LAM's satellite gallery is on the first floor, near the carousel.

* Wherewithal: FREE.

* Where to call: (714) 494-8971.

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