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BEST BETS: Friday 12/4

all day / Documentary

December 03, 1998

The latest effort from Peter Gilbert and Gordon Quinn, who last collaborated on the highly acclaimed 1994 documentary "Hoop Dreams," is "Vietnam: Long Time Coming," a documentary about American and Vietnam veterans who join together for a 16-day bike ride from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City.

* "Vietnam Long Time Coming," Aero Theater, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica. Friday-Dec. 10. $4-$6. (310) 395-4990.

11am: Art

Art dealers from across the country will display their wares in the bedrooms, kitchens and closets of Hollywood's hip Chateau Marmont Hotel at this weekend's fifth annual "Gramercy International Contemporary Art Fair." Designed as a low-budget, high-style affair, the emphasis at this popular event is on cutting-edge art by emerging artists. Visitors can check out the latest trends in art while purchasing an original artwork for quite a bit less than say, Vincent Van Gogh's recently auctioned self-portrait.

* Gramercy International Contemporary Art Fair. Chateau Marmont, 8221 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday-Sunday. Admission: $10. (323) 656-1010.

10pm: Pop Music

English singer Billy Bragg was tapped to write the music for a cache of unearthed Woody Guthrie lyrics, and the resulting album, "Mermaid Avenue," turned out to be one of the year's most vital recordings. Bragg made the album with the group Wilco, but at the House of Blues he'll be playing the songs with his own band, the Bloaks.

* Billy Bragg, House of Blues, 8430 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, 10 p.m. $22.50. (213) 848-5100.

7:30pm / Family Theater

Young people from the Virginia Avenue Project and adult theater professionals from the Project and Cornerstone Theater will inaugurate the newly restored Miles Memorial Playhouse with their production of "The Snow Teen," adapted by Steven Wolfson from Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen."

* "The Snow Teen," Miles Memorial Playhouse, Lincoln Boulevard, north of Wilshire Boulevard, Reed Park, Santa Monica. Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Ends Dec. 13. Free. (323) 330-8860.

8pm / Big Band

Like most singers, Frank Sinatra Jr. has been influenced by his distinguished father. Unlike most singers, Sinatra Jr. spent time as his father's musical director, learning the music inside out. You'll spot more than a few similarities to Ol' Blue Eyes when his son takes the mike in front of a 20-piece band in this fund-raiser for the Malibu Optimist Club's youth programs. Also on the bill: the Dixie Dandies.

* Frank Sinatra Jr., Smothers Theatre, Pepperdine University, Malibu, 8 p.m. $40. (310) 456-4522.

4pm: Pop Music

The mounting of the Hip-Hop Unity Festival has been a troubled process, but after relocating from the vast Coliseum to the Sports Arena, this ambitious gathering of rap talent is ready to roll.

* The Hip-Hop Unity Festival, with Shaquille O'Neal, DMX, Kurupt, Run-DMC, Slick Rick,

Xzibit, others, Los Angeles Sports Arena, 3939 S. Figueroa St., 4 p.m. $27-39. (213) 748-6136.

Freebies: View rare Chinese artifacts as items from the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) are auctioned off at Christie's, 360 N. Camden Drive, Beverly Hills, 10 a.m. (310) 385-2600.

Loyola Marymount University's Department of Music's Holiday Choral Concert, St. Lawrence Martyr Church, 1900 S. Prospect Ave., Redondo Beach, 8 p.m. (310) 338-7588.

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