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Best Bets Orange County HERE AND NEAR

May 06, 1999

TODAY

8pm

Music

A Juilliard School classmate of Panayis Lyras once counted all the notes the pianist has to play in Rachmaninoff's Third Concerto. The total, he said, was more than 28,000, beating the competition--either one of the knuckle-busting Brahms concertos--by several thousand. Lyras will play all the notes with the Pacific Symphony led by Carl St.Clair. The program also includes music by Mozart and Strauss.

* Panayis Lyras will play Rachmaninoff's Third Piano Concerto with the Pacific Symphony led by Carl St.Clair at the Orange County Performing Arts Center, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. 8 p.m. today. $17 to $48; $10, student and senior rush tickets. (714) 556-2787.

TODAY

8pm

Dance

Founded in 1981 by Moses Pendleton, Momix is a company that "refuses to be categorized," says Pendleton. Even so, what we know for sure about it is that the troupe combines dance, theater, gymnastics, vaudeville, slapstick and who knows what else in freewheeling but often deeply meaningful movement vignettes. This program will range from some of its classic pieces to more recently conceived works.

* Momix will perform a varied program of playful and imaginative works by Moses Pendleton and other choreographers at the Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine. 8 p.m. Performances continue 8 p.m. Friday, and 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday. $22 and $25. ($11 and $12.50 for children at the 2 p.m. Saturday performance.) (949) 854-4646.

TODAY

8pm

Theater

Legendary playwright Bertolt Brecht was forced out of Nazi Germany but never stopped trying to inform the world about its horrors. One of his attempts was "The Irresistible Rise of Arturo Ui," set in pre-World War II Chicago and detailing the professional advance of a minor thug in the green grocery protection racket to become the kingpin of Chicago's mob world. Brecht's rarely produced gangster allegory--equating Capone with Hitler--is as bitterly powerful today as it was when first staged.

"The Irresistible Rise of Arturo Ui," Studio Theatre, UC Irvine. 8 p.m. Also Friday; Saturday, 2 and 8 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m. Ends Sunday. $6-$8. (949) 824-2787.

TODAY

8pm

Theater

Subtitled "A Conversation With Carol Where the Audience Asks the Questions," this popular evening with television legend Carol Burnett finds fans guiding the program, just as they did in the free-form question-and-answer segment of her long-running TV series. The show is never the same; it's a close-up view of Burnett as a modern day "hostess with the mostest," singing the songs the audience wants to hear, telling tales to satisfy their curiosity, in an intimate moment with this prize-winning personality.

"Laughter and Reflection With Carol Burnett," Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 12700 Center Court Drive, Cerritos. $37-$47. (800) 300-4345 or (562) 916-8500.

TODAY

8:30am-6:30pm

Family

"The Dragon and His Tail" is the artistic creation of Staff Sgt. Sarkis E. Bartigan, a World War II motor-pool artist who used the fuselage of B-24s to create nose art for the 5th Air Force Liberators. Nose art was used as a talisman for a safe return; "The Dragon," which runs the length of the 65-foot, 45,000-pound plane, is considered one of the best examples. (B-24 Liberators, known as the workhorses of World War II, dropped more bombs and flew more combat missions than any other aircraft.) Tours of that B-24 bomber will be available along with the the 8th Air Force's B-17 Nine-O-Nine (which completed 140 missions without an abort or loss of a crewman).

* Tours of a B-17 and a B-24, Sunrise Jet Center, John Wayne Airport, Dove Street and Campus Drive, Costa Mesa. 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Also Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Free to view the airplanes; tours: $7 for adults, $3 for children. For information on flights, call (904) 451-9508.

TODAY 8pm

Pop Music

Meshell Ndegeocello isn't easy to peg with her kicking R&B grooves, jazz influences, hot work on electric bass and songs that cover the sociopolitical as well as the personal. Fans may get an earful of her upcoming third album, "Bitter," which is due in late August. Ndegeocello's busy summer ahead also includes a dozen shows as leadoff main-stage artist on the East Coast leg of Lilith Fair.

* Meshell Ndegeocello, with Dakota Moon and Nola's Yard, Galaxy Concert Theatre, 3503 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana. $20-$22. (714) 957-0600.

TODAY

11am-5pm

Last Chance

The Orange County Museum of Art will close the doors Sunday on its "1999 Biennial," an exhibition by 10 emerging artists from California whose works celebrate color and space. The show, curated by Bruce Guenther, explores the realm and function and form while emphasizing both formal and personal issues. It includes paintings, constructions, mixed-media works and sculpture by Kim Anno, Kevin Appel, Ingrid Calame, Steven Criqui, Jacci Den Hartog, Michelle Fierro, Jeremy Kidd, Laurie Reid, Tim Rogeberg and Kathryn Spence.

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