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BEST BETS: Saturday 5/1

2 & 8 pm: Movie

April 29, 1999

The Alex Film Society will screen Billy Wilder's mordant Hollywood tale "Sunset Boulevard" (1950) at the opulent Alex Theatre in Glendale. The film, one of the last studio pictures to be filmed on nitrate negative stock, stars William Holden as a luckless screenwriter who becomes immersed in the bizarre world of silent movie queen Norma Desmond (played to perfection by Gloria Swanson). The memorable cast includes Erich von Stroheim as Desmond's butler, Buster Keaton, Jack Webb and, as himself, Cecil B. DeMille. The film was nominated for 10 Oscars and won three (for best screenplay, art direction and score). KNX radio entertainment reporter Tom Hatten will moderate a discussion with Nancy Olson Livingston, who played Holden's love interest in the film, following the 8 p.m. screening only.

* "Sunset Boulevard," Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale, 2 and 8 p.m. $6-$8.50. (818) 754-8250.

2 pm: Family

It turns out that the tortoise, the hare and more Aesop's creatures all live in the same forest--at least that's the way it is in theater troupe Imagination Station's comic version of "Aesop's Fables."

* "Aesop's Fables," Miles Memorial Playhouse, Reed Park, 1130 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica. Saturdays and Sundays, 2 p.m. Ends June 20. $6-$8. (310) 854-4196.

all day: Culture

Some of L.A.'s best-kept gardens are among the city's best-kept secrets--secrets that will be told during the fifth annual Secret Gardens of Venice Walking Tour. The self-guided tour through Venice's Milwood section will feature more than 20 private homes and gardens, many of them designed by Venice-based landscape designer Jay Griffith, who will serve as host. Docents will be posted at homes and gardens along the route to reveal the secrets of the gardens. The event benefits the Neighborhood Youth Assn.'s Las Doradas Children's Center.

* Secret Gardens of Venice Walking Tour, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Starting point: 717 California Ave., Venice. Adults, $50; children under 16, free. Tickets are tax deductible. (310) 390-6641.

7:30 pm: Pop Music

Faith Hill has sold millions of albums with her polished, pop-flavored country and, like Shania Twain and the Dixie Chicks, she is at the very center of a red-hot wave of country divas. For her first major show in Los Angeles, Hill will share the stage with another pop country songstress, Deana Carter.

* Faith Hill with Deana Carter and the Warren Brothers, Greek Theatre, 2700 Vermont Canyon Road, Griffith Park, 7:30 p.m. $20.25-$55.25 (213) 480-3232.

8 pm: Pop Music

The British techno trio Underworld are masters of hard-edged, shimmering electronica that harken back to genre pioneers such as Kraftwerk and Giorgio Moroder.

* Underworld, Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, 1855 Main St., Santa Monica, 8 p.m. $25. (310) 458-8551.

8 pm: Music

For a second concert in the 11-day Ventura Chamber Music Festival, violinist Corey Cerovsek is both conductor and soloist in a program of music by Bach and Brahms, including the Fifth "Brandenburg" Concerto. The fifth annual festival continues through May 9, with appearances by, among others, the Romero Guitar Duo, pianist Christopher O'Riley and the male vocal ensemble Chanticleer.

* Ventura Chamber Music Festival orchestral concert, Community Presbyterian Church, 1555 Poli St., Ventura, 8 p.m. $32. Festival continues through May 9. (805) 648-3146.

8 pm: Theater

Offbeat works by Actors' Gang founding artistic director Tim Robbins and other company members will be presented with the trademark Gang twist in "Sardines, a Tin of Ten Minute Plays," opening Saturday at Actors' Gang El Centro in Hollywood.

* "Sardines, a Tin of Ten Minute Plays," Actors' Gang El Centro, 6201 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. Thursdays to Sundays, 8 p.m. Through May 22. $12. (323) 655-8587.



"From the Alley to Magnolia" is a sidewalk show of NoHo artists at Vavoom! clothing store, 5221 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (818) 769-8700.

Imagination Celebration Street Fair and International Dance Festival at Artist's Village on 2nd Street between Main Street and Broadway, Santa Ana, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. (949) 833-8500.

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