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VALLEY WEEKEND | BEST BETS

December 19, 1996|JAMES E. FOWLER

HOLIDAYS: Dance

The West Valley Ballet Company will offer its 16th annual presentation of Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker" this weekend at CSUN's Performing Arts Center.

This classic ballet--with the Sugar Plum Fairy, the Mouse King, Uncle Drosselmeyer, the Nutcracker Prince and all the rest--is set on Christmas Eve.

Directed by Suzanne Haffamier, the production features more than 60 performers between the ages of 5 and 55. Most are students at the Performing Arts Institute in Canoga Park, which Haffamier owns and operates.

Haffamier, a former member of the San Francisco Ballet, has extensive choreography credits with Walt Disney Studios, CBS, NBC, the Los Angeles Children's Dance Company and other performing ensembles.

* West Valley Ballet Company's "The Nutcracker," at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday in the Performing Arts Center at Cal State Northridge, 18111 Nordhoff St. $10 general, $5 children under 12. Call (818) 677-2488.

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Singing

The Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles will present its annual holiday concert this weekend at the Alex Theatre.

"Don We Now . . ." will feature two hours of holiday favorites spanning several centuries and three continents.

Metropolitan Opera soprano Ellen Sewell Griffith will be a special guest performer. But if you can't make it to the concert at the Alex, you can still buy the CD.

Now in its 18th season, the chorus has recorded a new holiday album, also titled "Don We Now . . ." It's a great title, why not use it again?

A portion of the album's proceeds will benefit Aid for AIDS, an organization that provides financial assistance for people living with AIDS and HIV.

* "Don We Now . . . " by the Los Angeles Gay Men's Chorus at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale. $15-42. Call (818) 243-2611.

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Music

The San Fernando Valley Symphony Orchestra will perform a holiday concert Saturday at Pierce College.

Music Director James Domine will lead the orchestra through a program that includes works by Haydn, Vivaldi and Bach in addition to excerpts from Handel's "Messiah."

Joining the orchestra will be the Southern California Bach Chorale with soloists, soprano Joan Bluske, mezzo Nancy Endres and tenor J. Lee Graham.

* San Fernando Valley Symphony Orchestra and the Southern California Bach Chorale perform at 8 p.m. Saturday at Pierce College Performing Arts Theater, 6201 Winnetka Ave., Woodland Hills. $8-$12. Call (818) 717-0978.

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Last Chance

This weekend is your last chance to catch one or more of the special holiday shows being presented in Valley theaters.

Closing this weekend are the American Renegade Theatre's "The Christmas Dragon," The Bitter Truth's "A Christmas Carol," the Granada Theatre's "Greetings!" and Ovations' "Easy Bake Xmas."

Glendale Centre Theatre's annual version of "A Christmas Carol" is not far behind, closing Monday. The Ventura Court Theatre's "Fa La-La-La Follies" will run through New Year's Eve.

But lasting into 1997, Actors Workout Studio's "No Ho Ho in NoHo," closes Jan. 11, long after your tree has been recycled and your resolutions forgotten.

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