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VENTURA COUNTY WEEKEND | BEST BETS

July 04, 1996

SATURDAY: Funny and Gay

I am so gay right now. I am so gay and so out I could just redecorate this whole room by looking at it.

--Jason Stuart

Comedian Jason Stuart says it's important to establish his sexuality upfront. And his quip, above, just might be a likely opener when he hits the stage at the Ventura Theatre. Once a member of the legion of struggling comics, Stuart kicked down the proverbial closet door with mucho bravado when he planted one on the lips of mustachioed talk-show host Geraldo Rivera in a 1993 "Geraldo" guest appearance. Liberated, Stuart has since blossomed into a successful funny man, selling out houses across the country and making numerous television appearances. You can catch his act during the theater's "Le Gay La Comedie Nite," with Marcie Smolin and Lacie Harmon sharing the bill. Tickets: $8. Call 648-1888.

WEEKEND: Jazz Festival

If Dixieland jazz is a passion of yours, your cup is about to runneth over. The three-day Dixieland Jazz Festival at the Oxnard Performing Arts Center, 800 Hobson Way, will feature a dizzying array of Dixieland purveyors. There are too many to mention them all, but here's a glance: Beverly Hills Unlisted Jazz Band with Conrad Janis and special guest George Segal, Tami's Hotsy Totsy Jazz Band, Carl Sonny Leyland, Hux Reid and His High Society Jazz Quartet and the Untouchables. Music begins at 6 p.m. Friday, 10:15 a.m. Saturday and Sunday; open jam sessions 7:15 p.m. Saturday, 5:15 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $15 Friday, $25 Saturday and Sunday, event pass $45. Call 486-2424.

MONDAY: Time to Blow

They're easy to tell apart. Bernie Pearl is the little, skinny guy without the harmonica and Harmonica Fats is, well, the other guy. Monday night as an alternative to attending the Ventura City Council session, Harmonica Fats & Bernie Pearl will bring their good-time acoustic blues show to the outdoor patio of Cafe Voltaire in Ventura. The musical duo has recently released their second album, "Blow, Fat Daddy, Blow!" on their own Bee Bump label. It has a dozen originals on it by the pair, who have long been VIPs on the Southland blues scene.

Cafe Voltaire has the requisite rocket fuel disguised as coffee, but also a zillion kinds of beer, wine and good food, too. Get there a little early to get a good seat. Tickets are $8 before the fact and $10 at the gig itself. The venue is at 34 N. Palm Street in the Livery. Call 641-1743 to find out more about this 7:30 p.m. show.

UP THE COAST

* The Santa Barbara County Fair will continue through Sunday at the fairgrounds in Santa Maria. Concert highlights include Eddie Rabbitt (today, including fireworks show) and the Mavericks with Junior Brown and Williams & Ree (Friday). Also featured are a carnival, agriculture exhibits and the like. Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Admission: $5, $2 children 6-11, 5 and under free. Call (800) 549-0036.

A GLANCE AHEAD

* The Young Artists Ensemble will stage its annual fund-raiser "Broadway Under the Stars" at the Arts Council Center Courtyard, 482 Greenmeadow Drive. The program features songs, dances and scenes from a selection of award-winning Broadway hits. A champagne reception follows each performance. Show times: 8 p.m. July 11-13. Tickets are $15. Refreshments and live music will begin at 7 p.m. Reservations are advised. Proceeds benefit the ensemble. Call 381-2747.

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