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BEST BETS Friday 5/19

May 18, 2000

NEWPORT BEACH

all weekend

8pm

Jazz

The second weekend of the seventh annual Newport Beach Jazz Festival kicks off Friday night at the Hyatt Newporter's attractive open-air amphitheater with a pair of Orange County locals--keyboardist Scott Wilke and saxophonist Eric Marienthal--and their bands. The fest continues on the Hyatt golf course Saturday with Jeff Golub and Avenue Blue, cross-cultural fusion band Hiroshima, former Jazz Crusaders keyboardist Joe Sample, singer Peabo Bryson and saxophonist David Sanborn. Sunday's daylong event includes guitarist Paul Taylor, War, pianist David Benoit and Chaka Khan.

* Newport Beach Jazz Festival, Hyatt Newporter, 1107 Jamboree Road, Newport Beach. 8 p.m. $20. Also Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m.-dusk, $32.50-$150. (949) 721-4000.

8pm

Theater

"From Russia With Anger" might have been the subtitle of Maxim Gorky's "The Lower Depths," a 1902 depiction of the penniless, downtrodden denizens of a seedy boardinghouse. This updated version offers a modern-American setting and revamped, freely cussing cast of characters that includes a drag queen, a bag lady and a junkie. Adaptor-director Dave Barton has taken a free hand in retooling the script, including structural changes that Gorky's friend, Anton Chekhov, suggested, but which Gorky didn't heed.

* "The Lower Depths," by Maxim Gorky, adapted by Dave Barton, at the Rude Guerrilla Theater Company's Empire Theater, 200 N. Broadway, Santa Ana. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2:30 p.m. $10-$12. Ends June 9. (714) 547-4688.

IRVINE

7 & 9pm

Film

He's little-known on this side of the Atlantic, but British filmmaker Kenneth Loach has forged a 30-year career out of making small, unpolished films about the ups and downs of his country's home life. One of his first and most acclaimed films is 1969's "Kes," a black-and-white character study about a young outcast who finds the light in his life by caring for an injured falcon.

* "Kes" (1969), UC Irvine Student Center, West Peltason and Pereira drives. 7 and 9 p.m. $2.50-$4.50. (949) 824-5588.

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO

8pm

Pop Music

After hooking up with Hole-Jane's Addiction producer Michael James, Nashville-based singer-songwriter-keyboardist A.J. Croce not surprisingly can be heard working with some edgier guitar textures and his throwback keyboard work on Vox organ and Hammond B3 on his new album, "Transit." Croce's at the Coach House on Friday, a show that was rescheduled from April.

* A.J. Croce, Coach House, 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano. With Alexander Burke, 34 Below. 8 p.m. $12.50 to $14.50. (949) 496-8930.

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