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O. C. LIVE | Best Bets

May 30, 1996

Comedy

From the opening routine (Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne and others sitting around a campfire) to the closing bit (postcards from the mind's eye), Jim O'Brien and Alex Valdez take comedy fans on a 60-minute trip with sound effects, drop-dead timing, great lines and even a little blues. Besides traditional targets, O'Brien--a brash Irish Catholic raised in Chicago--and Valdez--a blind, snappy-dressing Latino who lives in Santa Ana--also take more than a few shots at breaking down stereotypes. No one does it better.

* Who: O'Brien & Valdez.

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

* Where: The Improv, 945 E. Birch St., Brea.

* Whereabouts: Take the Orange (57) Freeway to the Lambert Road exit and go west. Turn left onto State College Boulevard and right onto Birch Street. The Improv is on the right, in the Brea Marketplace, across from the Brea Mall.

* Wherewithal: $8-$10.

* Where to call: (714) 529-7878.

Festivals

Pig and fat cat weight-guessing contests, adobe brick-making demonstrations, candle dipping, a crawfish boil, an art show, cowboy reenactments, pony rides and a pie-eating contest are among the highlights slated for a street festival Saturday in San Juan Capistrano's Los Rios Historic District--the oldest neighborhood in California. Among its 31 structures are three adobe homes built in 1794.

* What: The Los Rios Street Festival.

* When: Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

* Where: Los Rios Street, at San Juan Capistrano's train depot crossing.

* Whereabouts: Take the San Diego (5) Freeway to the Ortega (74) Highway exit and head west. Turn left onto Camino Capistrano and right onto Verdugo Street, which leads to the crossing.

* Wherewithal: Admission and many of the activities are free.

* Where to call: (714) 493-4700.

Music

The Capistrano Chorale is marking its fourth anniversary with four performances beginning Saturday at the Sea Country Senior and Community Center in Laguna Niguel. The program, "Singing Through the Ages," includes a mass movement by Venetian composer Antonio Lotti (1667-1740), "Unchained Melody" and chorale director Jonathan Jenkins' arrangement of Psalm 150. The 55-member ensemble will repeat the program Sunday at the San Clemente Community Center; June 8 at Laguna Beach High School's Artists Theater; and June 9 at the Dana Point Recreation Center.

* What: The Capistrano Chorale.

* When: Saturday at 8 p.m.

* Where: The Sea Country Senior and Community Center, 24602 Aliso Creek Road, Laguna Niguel.

* Whereabouts: Take Interstate 5 to the Alicia Parkway exit and head south. Turn left on Aliso Creek Road.

* Wherewithal: $7. $5 in advance.

* Where to call: (714) 768-8783 or (714) 661-8148.

Pop

Ani DiFranco is a free-ranging folkie whose style encompasses sweet, breathy trilling from the Joni Mitchell and Suzanne Vega schools and heated, confrontational moves that position her a far leap of maturity ahead of Alanis Morissette. Add a touch of the Patti Smith-type street poet, a respect for life's complex, contradictory nature in her writing and a facility on guitar that compares with Shawn Colvin's, and you have a complete performer. The 25-year-old singer-songwriter from Buffalo, N.Y., has been flying independent, resisting big-label blandishments as she cranks out releases on her own Righteous Babe Records, including last year's "Not a Pretty Girl" and the just-released "Dilate." She's backed by bass and drums on her current tour.

* Who: Ani DiFranco.

* When: Tonight at 8.

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

* Whereabouts: Take the San Diego (405) Freeway to Harbor Boulevard; go north, and take the third right, Lake Center Drive. The theater is on the left.

* Wherewithal: $17.50-$19.50.

* Where to call: (714) 967-0600.

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