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Sat: Best Bets 1/3

Flying

January 01, 1998

Japan's Zero fighters seemed unstoppable in the early days of World War II, though the Allies eventually were able to overpower the agile airplanes. The Air Museum Planes of Fame will give a flying demonstration--weather permitting--of the only fully authentic flying example of the Japanese Mitsubishi A6M5 Zero in existence. The plane was captured in Saipan in 1944 and rescued from the scrap heap by Planes of Fame founder Edward T. Maloney. Pilots who have flown Zeros will talk about their experiences.

* Flying demonstration, Air Museum Planes of Fame, 7000 Merrill Ave., Chino. Included in museum admission, $7.95; ages 5-12, $1.95. (909) 597-3722.

2pm

Art

"A Celebration of Chinese Firework Art" may be as close as you can get to indoor fireworks. A reception for artist James McNulty takes place 2 to 5 p.m. at Pacific Asia Museum, where an exhibition of his bright and colorful collages--made of authentic fireworks wrappers--is on display through Feb. 1.

* "A Celebration of Chinese Firework Art," Pacific Asia Museum, 46 N. Los Robles Ave., Pasadena. Daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $4; students and seniors, $2; 12 and younger, free. (626) 449-2742.

7:30pm

Theater

KTTV sports anchor and columnist Chuck Benedict's "Chuck Benedict's Scrapbook," his performance of comic and unusual stories based on real-life sports and show-biz personalities, opens at Two Roads Theatre.

* "Chuck Benedict's Scrapbook," Two Roads Theatre, 4348 Tujunga Ave., Studio City, Saturday, 7:30 p.m., then Sundays, 7:30 p.m., through Jan. 18. $15.

2 & 8pm

Theater

Andrew Lloyd Webber's darkly romantic musical "The Phantom of the Opera" is still going strong, and the latest incarnation of the show, featuring Ron Bohmer's enjoyable performance in the title role, is a treat at the Pantages Theatre.

* "The Phantom of the Opera," Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. Tuesdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays-Sundays, 2 p.m.; except dark New Year's Day. Ends Jan. 31. $17-$72. (213) 365-3555.

8pm

Music

The chamber orchestra Mozart Camerata's first program of every year celebrates the birthday of Mozart (Jan. 27). In 1998, that program comes early, and will be heard Saturday at the Irvine Barclay Theatre and Sunday afternoon in Newport Beach. Music director Ami Porat leads a Mozart/Giardini program on which L.A. Philharmonic violinist Mischa Lefkowitz will be soloist. Happy birthday, Wolfgang.

* Mozart Camerata, Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine. $25-$29. (714) 854-4646. Also, Sunday at 4:30 p.m. at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, 600 St. Andrew's Road, Newport Beach. $25-$29.

10pm

Pop Music

Two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Stephen Stills is usually associated these days with the venerable Crosby Stills & Nash, or maybe even with his son Chris Stills, a promising singer and songwriter. But now and then the old man likes to step out front, as he'll do when he leads a quartet at the House of Blues.

* Stephen Stills at the House of Blues, 8430 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood. $22.50. (213) 650-1451.

FREEBIE: Stories and crafts with Miss Spider, Mrs. Nelson's Toy & Book Shop, La Verne. 11 a.m. (909) 599-4558.

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