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Best Bets: Friday 11/20

November 19, 1998

All day: Movies

There's no way around it. Your kids are going to want to see "The Rugrats Movie," the feature-length film based on the popular Nickelodeon 'toon. The good news is, you'll probably like it too. It's not the usual treacly kids' fare, and the filmmakers had the good sense to keep the running time to a kid- (and parent-) friendly 79 minutes.

* "The Rugrats Movie," which is rated G, opens Friday in general release.

All day: Swing Dance

The annual Lindy hop extravaganza Swing Out! comes to Pasadena this weekend. Classes are available all day Friday and Saturday, with instructors including Fankie Manning, one of the founding fathers of swing dancing. But the partying starts in the evenings, with dance parties every night, featuring the music of Pete Jacobs and his Wartime Radio Revue, Steven Mitchell and the Hollywood Hepcats and Red and the Red Hots. Sunday night's dance will have a Lindy hop competition with a $500 prize.

* Swing Out! at the Exhibition Hall, Pasadena Center, 300 Green St. Dances Friday, 8:30 p.m.; Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 6 p.m. $225 unlimited classes and evening dances. Dances only, $25 per person. (626) 799-1179.

All day: Movies

Let the holiday movie season begin: This weekend's movie lineup is especially rich, and most of the films are actually for grown-ups. Here are a few tips on what's what. In director Tony Scott's "Enemy of the State," Will Smith stars as a D.C.-based attorney caught in a political web of intrigue. Gene Hackman co-stars as the mysterious operative who helps Smith. "Waking Ned Devine" is a delightful comedy about the shenanigans that take place in a tiny Irish town when one of its 52 residents wins the national lottery. Also set in Ireland is Pat O'Connor's "Dancing at Lughnasa," which stars Meryl Streep as the eldest and most sensible of five spinster sisters. And the prolific Woody Allen is back with another ensemble comedy, "Celebrity," set in, where else, Manhattan. (If you haven't booked a baby-sitter yet, get moving.)

* "Enemy of the State" opens Friday in general release. "Waking Ned Devine," "Dancing at Lughnasa" and "Celebrity" open Friday at selected theaters.

All day: Art

Like inspired Thomas Brothers guides, the new paintings of Ed Ruscha deliver both fact and fiction in an exhibition of work opening Friday at Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills. Charting the various routes and neighborhoods of L.A., Ruscha's street map paintings demonstrate the artist's long fascination with urban landscape.

* "Ed Ruscha: New Paintings," Gagosian Gallery, 456 N. Camden Drive, Beverly Hills. Ends Dec. 23. Gallery hours: Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission free. (310) 271-9400.

10 pm: Pop Music

In her 80s and still the queen of salsa, Celia Cruz returns to the Conga Room for another master class in the art of Afro-Caribbean music.

* Celia Cruz at the Conga Room, 5364 Wilshire Blvd. $35 (VIP seats, $75 and $100). (323) 938-1696.

Noon: Urban Dance

Fans of hip-hop dance might be surprised to find out that the moves they use date back decades. At the First International Underground Dance Masters Tournament, the best dancers around are invited to show off their locking, popping and b-boying styles for judges and a chance at a $1,000 prize. Competitors can also try their hands at setting a world record for the Guinness Book, including most continuous head spins, windmills and backspins. On Saturday there also will be a screening of the documentary "Underground Dance Masters: History of a Forgotten Era."

* First International Underground Dance Masters Tournament, at the Country Club, 18415 Sherman Way, Reseda. Also Saturday, 1 to 11 p.m. and Sunday, 5 to 10 p.m. $45 entry fee. (818) 727-1979.


FREEBIE: The Mark Taper Forum's 11th Annual New Work Festival, Falcon Theatre, 4252 Riverside Drive, Burbank, 8 p.m. (213) 972-7389. Through Dec. 20.


Saxophonist Harvey Wainapel plays jazz at LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., 5:30 p.m. (213) 857-6000.

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