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VENTURA COUNTY WEEKEND | BEST BETS

February 29, 1996

FRIDAY: CHAMBER MUSIC

The Bach Camerata's short but full spring season continues this weekend with its third program, an enticing 20th century-leaning concert that features the late French composer Olivier Messiaen's towering chamber work, "Quartet for the End of Time." Also on the program is the Shostakovich second Piano Sonata, Opus 61. It should make for an evening of tonally agreeable yet thoroughly modern music. The program will be performed at two separate locales: 8 p.m. Friday at Ventura City Hall, 501 Poli St.; 3 p.m. Sunday at the Civic Arts Plaza Forum Theatre, 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. Tickets: $18: Information: (800) 557-BACH (557-2224).

SATURDAY: MOTHER HIPS

The Deadheads may not have reached the "Jerry Who?" stage yet, but you can bet your bottom paisley shirt that vast and colorful numbers of them will be soulfully swirling to the dance grooves of The Mother Hips, who will headline at the Ventura Theatre, 26 S. Chestnut St. The Chico-based band, after touring incessantly and building up that mailing list, are now signed to powerhouse American Recordings, which reissued the band's 1992 indie recording, "Back to the Grotto." Last year, the band played about 200 dates and still found time to release its second album, "Part-Timer Goes Full." Opening will be the greatest ska band since The English Beat, that ten-man party from Carpinteria, The Upbeat. Also on the bill and with a new tape is Southern Cross. Show time: 8 p.m. Tickets: $9. Information: 648-1888.

SUNDAY: MASTER CHORALE

English chorale music will be the center of attention in the Los Robles Master Chorale's performance at Civic Arts Plaza Auditorium. Conductor James Stemen will lead the chorale in "Music of the English Tradition," featuring music of R. Vaughan Williams, Elgar, English folk songs, and the U.S. premiere of composer John Tavener's "The Lament of the Mother of God." The soloist will be mezzo-soprano Ruth Robertson. In addition, the Amadeus Boys Choir, directed by Patricia Hesselbach, will perform. The concert will begin at 4 p.m. Tickets range from $8-$25 and are available through the box office and Ticketmaster outlets. For more information, call 482-2866.

UP THE COAST

* Remember some of those timeless swing tunes, "Moonlight Serenade," "In the Mood," "String of Pearls" and like that? Yep, The Glenn Miller Orchestra, a wildly popular big band during the golden swing era. Still going strong 50-plus years later, you can catch the orchestra, directed by Larry O'Brien, at the Lobero Theatre on Friday. Show time: 8 p.m. Tickets: $26.50; $50, includes preferred seating, post-concert reception and dancing. Information: 963-0761.

* Blending Middle Eastern musical strains with America's only indigenous art form--jazz--the UC Santa Barbara MultiCultural Center will present "An Evening of Armenian, Folk and Jazz Music" on Saturday at the campus center. A talented trio of performers, include Haig Manoukian--playing the 11-stringed, fretless oud--reedman Souren Baronian and Polly Tapia Ferber on the doumbek, a Middle Eastern drum. Show time: 8 p.m. Tickets: $12, $8 students. Information: 893-8411.

* The Russian classic "The Three Sisters" will open Friday at UC Santa Barbara's Hatlen Theatre. Show times: 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday and March 7-9; and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $12, $8 staff, students and senior citizens. Information: 893-3535.

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