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VALLEY WEEKEND | BEST BETS

November 28, 1996|JAMES E. FOWLER

HOLIDAY: Deck the Malls

"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. . . ." So the song goes and so it is, starting this week at Universal CityWalk with live entertainment, a 45-foot tree, outdoor ice skating and even falling snow.

Through the wonders of modern technology, snow will fall in CityWalk's Fountain Court for about five minutes at the top of the hour from 5 to 9 p.m. nightly through Jan. 2. In addition to strolling carolers and small musical ensembles, local community bands and choirs will perform from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays until Dec. 22.

None other than Vanna White, television's most famous clapper, will star in a special tree-lighting ceremony on Friday afternoon to inaugurate the holiday season. White will sing and the City of Angels Ice Theatre--featuring Olympic silver medalist Lisa-Marie Allen--and cast members from the musical "Showboat" also will perform.

CityWalk's outdoor ice skating rink will offer unlimited skating for $6, with a $2 skate rental through Jan. 5.

* CityWalk holiday tree-lighting ceremony starts at 4:30 p.m. Friday in the Cinema Plaza. Free. Ice rink hours: 4:30-11:30 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, 3 p.m.-1 a.m. Fridays, noon-1 a.m. Saturdays, noon-11:30 p.m. Sundays. Call (818) 622-4455.

FRIDAY: Many Worlds of Music

Although her music at times sounds otherworldly, Hollienea is really just a Valley girl at heart. The New Age harpist and Grant High alumna, who just had her first CD, "Goddess of Circe," released worldwide, will perform Friday evening at the Burbank Barnes & Noble.

North Hollywood resident Hollienea's musical influences cover a wide spectrum, including recording artists Peter Gabriel and Loreena McKennitt, ancient mythology and her own parents.

"I was born in Culver City, but raised in a Hungarian Gypsy family," she says. "I grew up speaking the language and hearing the music." Additionally, her mother was of French and Irish heritage.

"It wasn't like a choice where I could say yes or no," Hollienea says. "But also, I'm fascinated by my cultures as well."

Hollienea, 24, lived in Hungary for six months when she was 15. She absorbed the Hungarian musical culture and became fascinated with the harp when she heard a street performer play one. "He really hypnotized me. I just wanted to live this enchantment," she said. "It was like a spirit that was from centuries and centuries ago."

When she returned to the Valley, she started harp lessons with Deborah Frio at the Sylvia Woods Harp Center in Glendale.

"As soon as I took two or three lessons, I knew this was the instrument I wanted to play for the rest of my life," she said.

Hollienea recorded her CD earlier this year and spent the summer touring the country. She has additional concerts scheduled at the Encino Barnes & Noble on Dec. 21 and the Valencia store on Dec. 22. She also performs regularly on the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica.

* Hollienea plays the harp at 8 p.m. Friday at Barnes & Noble Bookstore, 731 N. San Fernando Road, Burbank. Free. Call (818) 558-1383.

*

WEEKEND: Last Chance

The Woodland Hills Community Theatre's production of "Guilty Conscience" closes this weekend. The suspense thriller was written by Richard Levinson and William Link, the creators of two highly successful television shows, "Columbo," starring Peter Falk, and "Murder, She Wrote," starring Angela Lansbury.

Woodland Hills Community Theatre's artistic director, Jon Berry, says "Guilty Conscience" features all the twists and turns associated with Levinson and Link's best work.

* "Guilty Conscience" at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays at the Woodland Hills Community Theatre, 22700 Sherman Way, West Hills. $15. Ends Saturday. Call (818) 884-1907.

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