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BEST BETS Thursday 5/18

May 18, 2000

SANTA ANA

8pm

Theater

Visions of the apocalypse have brought out the weirdness in writers since the Book of Revelation. Jose Rivera's 1991 play, "Marisol," offers a nightmarish world in which racist skinheads run amok in a collapsing New York, a man gives birth, and the title character's guardian angel goes AWOL to join her fellow angels in a revolution against God. The surrealistic play takes off from an all-too-real premise of society's haves trying to insulate themselves from its have-nots.

* "Marisol," by Jose Rivera, at Phillips Hall Little Theatre West, Santa Ana College, 1530 W. 17th St. Thursdays through Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2:30 p.m. Ends May 28. $6-$8; half-priced preview tonight, $3-$4. (714) 564-5661.

IRVINE

Noon

Music

As part of his residency at UC Irvine this week, composer John Harbison will lecture today on his new opera, "The Great Gatsby," which premiered in December at the Metropolitan Opera. The Met had commissioned the work, based on F. Scott Fitzgerald's famous novel, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of its music director, James Levine. Music by Harbison will be featured at a faculty concert Friday night.

* John Harbison, Winifred Smith Hall, West Peltason Drive and Mesa Road, UC Irvine. Noon. Free. Also, faculty concert of Harbison's music, 8 p.m. Friday, Winifred Smith Hall. $10. (949) 824-2787.

FULLERTON

8pm

Music

Under the direction of David Grimes, the Cal State Fullerton Guitar Ensemble plays music composed or arranged for multiple guitars. This program will include "Toccata," by Portland composer Bryan Johanson; "Time and Again Stories," for narrator and three guitars by Alexander Radvilovich (text by Donald Bisset); and works by Nikita Koshkin, Luc Levesque and Dusan Bogdanovic.

* Guitar Ensemble, Little Theatre, Cal State Fullerton, Nutwood Avenue and State College Boulevard. 8 p.m. $8. (714) 278-3371.

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO

8pm

Pop Music

The blues are in the air this week, and one way to get a jump on the annual Doheny Blues Festival this weekend is to check out Merl Saunders tonight at the Coach House. Don't expect any of the pals such as Dr. John, Blues Traveler's John Popper and especially Jerry Garcia (Saunders handled keyboards in the Jerry Garcia Band), who turned up on Saunders' recent CD, "Merl Saunders With His Funky Friends Live." Do expect lots of Saunders' keyboard work honed over the last 3 1/2 decades.

* Merl Saunders, Coach House, 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano. With Delta Nove. 8 p.m. $15 to $17. (949) 496-8930.

ANAHEIM

8pm

Pop Music

The The marked its 20-year anniversary in 1999 and began 2000 with "NakedSelf," the Brit group's first album of new material in seven years. Group founder Matt Johnson, recently quoted as saying that John Lenon was the musician who had the most influence on him personally and musically, brings the band to Anaheim tonight on its "World Tour of Tiny Spaces."

* The The, Sun Theatre, 2200 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim. With Moonwash. 8 p.m. $28.50. (714) 712-2700.

FOOTHILL RANCH

all day

Family

No chaps required! Just come equipped to have a good time at the Fiesta Days and Rodeo in Lake Forest. For cowboys, the highlight of the four-day event will take place Saturday and Sunday with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Assn.'s rodeo. Throughout the weekend other rodeo activities, such as team roping and barrel racing, will take place. Country music fans pay attention: KIK-FM 94.3 will broadcast live from the fiesta grounds Friday and Saturday evenings. Entertainment abounds with a full carnival; live entertainment, including jazz, mariachi bands, country and local bands; food and beverage stands; and arts and crafts. No wonder past Fiesta and Rodeo Days have drawn more than 40,000 people.

* Fiesta Days and Rodeo, Foothill Ranch (Portola Parkway and Glenn Ranch Road, off the Foothill toll road). 3-11 p.m.; Friday, 3 p.m.-midnight; Saturday, 10 a.m.-midnight; Sunday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. $4-$6. (949) 858-6549.

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