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Best Bets Orange County HERE AND NEAR

July 15, 1999

TODAY

11am

For Children

A teacher shakes his first-day jitters by watching TV and gets a rock 'n' roll lesson in reaching his kids in "Schoolhouse Rock Live!" a musical inspired by, and incorporating tunes of, the 1970s cartoon series "Schoolhouse Rock." Recommended for ages 3 to 11 and anyone old enough to recall this small-screen blast from the past.

* "Schoolhouse Rock Live!" at the Outdoor Children's Theatre at Saddleback College, 28000 Marguerite Parkway, Mission Viejo. Shows are today through Sunday at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Continues through Aug. 1. $6. (949) 582-4656.

TODAY

8pm

Last Chance

A gay nightclub owner agrees to hide his sexual orientation from the ultraconservative parents of the girl his son plans to marry in Harvey Fierstein and Jerry Herman's Tony Award-winning musical comedy, "La Cage aux Folles," which closes Sunday at Saddleback College's McKinney Theatre. Writing for The Times, T.H. McCulloh lauded Beth Hansen's robust and honest direction and called the Saddleback Civic Light Opera production "an entertaining, by-the-book staging, with three leads who give this giddy costume parade enough honesty and sincerity to make it work nicely."

* "La Cage aux Folles" at McKinney Theatre, Saddleback College, 28000 Marguerite Parkway, Mission Viejo. Today-Friday, 8 p.m.; Saturday, 3 and 8 p.m.; Sunday, 3 p.m. $20-$22. (949) 582-4656.

all day

Movies

"Eyes Wide Shut," the hotly anticipated final film from director Stanley Kubrick, who died at his London home earlier this year (but after the film was completed), finally hits theaters Friday. The movie, which has been called a tale of jealousy and sexual obsession, stars husband-and-wife team Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman (their third film together) as a sexy and successful Manhattan couple. Warner Bros., which is distributing the film, has been handling the project with kid gloves, and details about the plot have been scarce, but according to early reports, the film is just as steamy as has been rumored and very much in line with Kubrick's distinguished but quirky body of work.

* "Eyes Wide Shut," rated R for strong sexual content, nudity, language and some drug-related material, opens Friday in general release.

FRIDAY

all day

Movies

FRIDAY

6:30pm

Pop Music

The Offspring may have helped make punk-rock safe for the mainstream with its 1994 breakthrough release, "Ixnay on the Hombre." But what the Garden Grove quartet proved with last year's long-awaited "Americana" is that commercial success hasn't softened its bite, either thematically or sonically. Trouble is indeed brewing in the nooks and crannies of suburbia, a point delivered by Dexter Holland's wailing vocals, "Noodles" a ringing guitar and a propulsive rhythm section. Come out and watch them play a homecoming gig that promises to be one of the summer's finest.

* The Offspring, Lit and the Dickies, Irvine Meadows Ampitheatre, 8800 Irvine Center Drive, Irvine. Also Saturday at 6:30 p.m. $22. (714) 740-2000.

FRIDAY

8pm

Pop Music

The long-running Cowboy Junkies recently added a more confident, sexier and playful stage presence to their evocative blend of country, folk, blues and pop. Led by the warm, whispery-voiced Margo Timmins, the Toronto quartet's atmospheric soundscape is richly textured and dreamily seductive. Sharing this attractive double bill is highly influential finger-picker Leo Kottke, a master folk-blues guitarist from Minneapolis with a wickedly droll sense of humor. He'll surely play some tunes--perhaps "Snorkel"--from his excellent new CD, the fittingly titled "One Guitar, No Vocals."

* The Cowboy Junkies and Leo Kottke, Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 12700 Center Court Drive. 8 p.m. $35-$45. (562) 916-8500.

FRIDAY

8pm

Theater

Sudden romance shatters a lifetime of boredom for "The Heiress" but results in bitter retribution for both her and the young man who thought he loved her only for her money. Ruth and Augustus Goetz's 1947 drama was filmed in 1949 (with Olivia de Havilland and Montgomery Clift), and has been a theatrical staple ever since, frequently revived and cherished anew. This adaptation of the Henry James novel "Washington Square" opens at the Theatre District, in a new production directed by Mario Lescot and featuring Loriann Hill and Christian Holiday as the star-crossed lovers.

* "The Heiress," Theatre District, 2930 Bristol St., Costa Mesa. Fridays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 7 p.m. Ends Aug. 14. $15-$20. (714) 435-4043.

SATURDAY

11am-9pm

For Children

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