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Best Bets: Friday 11/27

November 26, 1998

6 pm: Holiday Lights

Universal Studios Hollywood is pulling out all the stops--or, at least, plugging in all the outlets--for its "Holiday Wonderland" light display. Among the excesses: 100 miles of strung lights and more than 240 Christmas trees. The kickoff ceremony Friday includes an appearance by the Rockettes, who will illuminate the 60-foot tree; country singer Randy Travis; and actor James Cromwell, who starred in the movie "Babe."

* "Holiday Wonderland" at Universal Studios Hollywood, Hollywood Freeway at Lankershim Boulevard, Universal City, (818) 508-9600. Daily from 6-9 p.m. Free with admission to the park. Adults, $38; seniors 60 and older, $33; children 3-11, $28; under 3, free.

8 pm: Music

One-third of the Three Tenors, Spanish opera star Jose Carreras, does not disappoint when he sings solo, as he will in Thousand Oaks, offering a mostly familiar program of songs and arias by Bellini, Tosti, Ginastera, Leoncavallo, Puccini and others, accompanied by pianist Lorenzo Bavaj.

* Tenor Jose Carreras, Civic Arts Plaza, 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, 8 p.m. $66-$96. (805) 449-2700.

8 pm: Music

American conductor Kent Nagano returns to lead the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Leonard Bernstein's Symphonic Suite, "On the Waterfront," the Concerto in F by Gershwin (with pianist Wayne Marshall as soloist) and Charles Ives' Fourth Symphony at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

* Kent Nagano conducts the L.A. Philharmonic at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., 8 p.m. $11-$65. (213) 850-2000. Also Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

7:30 pm: Movies

The L.A. County Museum of Art is celebrating the year 1934, a touchstone year for elegant, screwball comedies. On Friday evening: "The Thin Man," with William Powell and Myrna Loy as those urbane and witty sleuths Nick and Nora Charles, and Ernst Lubitsch's sexy musical "The Merry Widow," with Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald and Edward Everett Horton. On Saturday: Frank Capra's "It Happened One Night" and Howard Hawks' "Twentieth Century." "The Waterboy" these ain't.

* Great American comedies from 1934, LACMA, Bing Theater, 5905 Wilshire Blvd. Friday, 7:30 p.m., "The Thin Man" and "The Merry Widow." Saturday, 7:30 p.m., "It Happened One Night" and "Twentieth Century." $5-$7. (323) 857-6010.

8 pm: Theater

Satirist and National Public Radio commentator David Sedaris' celebrated "The Santaland Diaries," about working as a Christmas elf at Macy's; and "Season's Greetings," his sardonic take on a Midwestern housewife's holiday letter, come to the stage, conceived, adapted and directed by noted director Joe Mantello. Evan Gore and Ann Magnuson will perform, with other cast members to be announced.

* "The Santaland Diaries" and "Season's Greetings," Coast Playhouse, 8325 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, Friday, 8 p.m. Regular schedule: Wednesdays through Fridays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 7 and 10 p.m.; Sundays, 7 p.m. Ends Dec. 6. $20. (323) 650-8507, (323) 660-8587.

8 pm: Movies

A big screen salute to the kings, uh, clowns, er, court jesters of comedy, the Three Stooges. Five rare Stooge short films--"Micro-Phonies" (1945), "A Plumbing We Will Go" (1940), "An Ache in Every Stake" (1941), "Hot Scots" (1948) (with Shemp) and "Hoi Polloi" (1935)--will screen, as will footage from the 1958 film "Oils Well That Ends Well." Stooge memorabilia will be displayed in the lobby. Presented by the Alex Film Society and Comedy III Entertainment.

* The Three Stooges Big Screen Event, Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale. Friday, 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 and 8 p.m. $6-$12. (818) 754-8250.

*

FREEBIE: The youthful but experienced Rossetti Quartet appears at Recital Hall, L.A. Harbor College, 1111 Figueroa Place, Wilmington, 8 p.m. Also Sunday at the Pacific Unitarian Church, 5621 Montemalaga Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes. 3 p.m. (310) 374-2141.

Trumpeters Clay Jenkins and Dave Scott play jazz at the L.A. County Museum of Art, 5905 Wilshire Blvd.; 5:30 p.m. (213) 857-6000.

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