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VALLEY WEEKEND | BEST BETS

July 25, 1996|JAMES E. FOWLER

WEEKEND: History in the Shakin'

Show business historians often debate the demise of vaudeville. Was it World War II or television or rock and roll that did vaudeville in? Or by failing to evolve did the medium just commit suicide on the installment plan over a period of years?

Valley residents will have a chance to make up their own minds this weekend when "The Vaudeville Follies" bows at CSUN.

The show, in addition to the full range of variety acts associated with a vaudeville show, features the legendary burlesque star, Tempest Storm. After all, it was burlesque that kept vaudeville going in its later years. Storm, 68, has never retired and still performs regularly to packed houses in "The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies" at the Plaza Theatre in the desert city. Storm says she does more than just take off her clothes.

Storm told The Times' Diane Haithman earlier this year "[Burlesque] leaves something to the imagination . . . it has sex, it's entertainment."

Other acts appearing are comic Jim MacGeorge, magic act Mr. Electric & Carol, Marimba Mama, violinist-comic Bob Ryman, harmonica player Michael Grayson, and singers Priscilla LaVelle, Richard Halpern and Clive Baldwin.

* "The Vaudeville Follies," starring Tempest Storm and eight other acts, at 7 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at CSUN's University Student Union's Performing Arts Center, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge. Tickets are $20. Call (818) 785-8885.

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SUNDAY: Hit It

Poncho Sanchez, who's playing at the Starlight Bowl on Sunday, is one of Latin music's top draws internationally as well as one of its finest conga drummers. Born in Texas, Sanchez was raised in Norwalk, where he still lives.

Sanchez worked with jazz great Cal Tjader from 1975 until Tjader's death in 1982. Sanchez's album, "Soul Sauce," which was released last year, is a tribute to his friend and mentor. Sanchez's latest album, "Baila Mi Gente, Salsa!" (Dance, My People) is a retrospective collection of Sanchez's hottest salsa numbers from his previous 13 albums.

Some people are surprised that Sanchez's Latin Jazz band plays such a wide variety of music.

On a typical night, the congero's eight-piece ensemble will serve up hefty portions of salsa along with some jazz and R&B standards--songs such as "Night in Tunisia" and "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag."

Sanchez told The Times' Zan Stewart last year, "This is the music I heard and played growing up, so I'm just expressing myself.

"So when we do those songs now, it's like 'This is who I am, folks, this is what I love. I hope you love it too.' "

* Poncho Sanchez plays Latin Jazz at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at the Starlight Bowl, 1246 Lockheed View Drive. Tickets are $1. Call (818) 238-5300.

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Pick It

Buzzworld, a Celtic-based acoustic folk/alternative band, will perform in concert Sunday at the Raven Playhouse in North Hollywood.

The band consists of Kevin Crehan on fiddle, George Lockwood on mandolin and fiddle, Pat MacSwyney on mandolin and cittern (a guitar-like instrument shaped like a pear, but with a flat back), Bryan Ogihara on bousouki (an instrument similar to the mandolin), and Steve Pribyl on flute and banjo.

The concert is the second in the Celtic Arts Center's Celtic Music series. Other acts scheduled are Finagle on Aug. 11, Highland Sun on Aug. 25, Wicked Tinkers with Donel MacClain on Sept. 8, and the Browne Sisters & George Cavanaugh on Sept. 22.

* Buzzworld, an acoustic folk/alternative band, at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Raven Playhouse, 5233 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Tickets are $7. Call (213) 462-6844.

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