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BEST BETS: Sunday 5/21

11am Museums

May 18, 2000

Five museums located along the Arroyo Seco from Pasadena to Highland Park will offer free admission during the 11th annual Museums of Arroyo Day celebration. Participating museums include the Gamble House, Heritage Square Museum, the Lummis Home and Garden, the Pasadena Historical Museum and the Southwest Museum. In addition, free and continuous shuttle service will be offered between the museums.

* The Gamble House, 4 Westmoreland Place, Pasadena, (626) 793-3334; Heritage Square Museum, 3800 Homer St., Los Angeles, (626) 449-0193; Lummis Home and Garden, 200 E. Avenue 43, Los Angeles, (323) 222-0546; Pasadena Historical Museum, 470 W. Walnut St., Pasadena, (626) 577-1660; and Southwest Museum, 234 Museum Drive, Los Angeles, (323) 221-2164. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Free.

4pm Music

Commissioned by Pacific Serenades, and played by violinists Miwako Watanabe and Connie Kupka, violist Roland Kato and cellist David Speltz, the String Quartet No. 2 by Kathryn Mishell will be given its world premiere performances on the Pacific Serenades series this week. Mishell, a composer, pianist and teacher who now lives in Austin, Texas, is a native of Los Angeles. Her quartet is the 56th new work commissioned by the series. Surrounding the premiered piece are quartets by Mozart (in B flat, K. 589) and Ravel.

* Pacific Serenades presents string quartets at the Neighborhood Church, 301 N. Orange Grove Blvd., Pasadena. 4 p.m. $20. Also, May 30 at 8 p.m. at the UCLA Faculty Center, 405 N. Hilgard Ave., Westwood. (323) 660-7742.

7:30pm Pop Music

He's been rollin' down the highways of America since the mid-'70s, he's played before smatterings of late-night drinkers at tiny nightclubs and to packed stadiums, he's toured with his storied E Street Band and with other musicians, he's done solo acoustic tours and he's joined other stars in support of social causes. But one thing Bruce Springsteen has never done is play a note of music on a stage in Orange County. That changes with his two-night stand at the Arrowhead Pond, and the Boss is sure to have a comment or two on his belated debut in the land of the Mouse.

* Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band at the Arrowhead Pond, 2695 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim. Sunday and Monday, 7:30 p.m. Sunday sold out; Monday, $37.50 and $67.50. (714) 704-2500.

7:30pm Pop Music

RZA, the rapper and main producer of the Wu-Tang Clan, recently stretched artistically, creating the moody score for the film "Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai," as well as producing the soundtrack album. The hip-hop pacesetter headlines the House of Blues, where he recently made an appearance with another of his clients, rapper Ghostface Killah.

* RZA at the House of Blues, 8430 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, 7:30 p.m. $22.50. (323) 848-5100.

all day Art

Tour the studios and homes of Venice artists Annette Bird, Enrique Martinez Celaya, Robin Mitchell, Ruth Weisberg and many others as the Venice Art Walk--an enduring component of the local art scene--returns. The annual event was created to benefit the Venice Family Clinic, which provides free medical care to the homeless and working poor. While the main Art Walk takes place on Sunday with the usual studio tours, art exhibitions, food fair and children's art center, other weekend highlights include docent-led tours of architecturally significant homes on Saturday and special musical performances today and Friday.

* Venice Art Walk, Westminster School, 1010 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice. Parking is available at Walgrove Elementary, 1630 Walgrove Ave., and Broadway Elementary, 1015 Lincoln Blvd. Continuous shuttle service will be provided, 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m. An opening night "Evening of Jazz" with David Benoit will be held at 8 tonight and "An Evening of Classical Music" with Robert Winter will be held Friday at 8 p.m., both at private residences. Tickets are $125 and include admission to Sunday's Art Walk. Docent tours of architecturally significant homes will be held Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tickets are $150 and include lunch and admission to Saturday's art auction preview and Sunday's Art Walk. Advance reservations required. The silent art auction preview is Saturday, 4-6 p.m., at Westminster School; bids will be accepted Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. The main Art Walk is Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Studios open at noon. Tickets are $50. (310) 392-9255.

all day Festival

When it started in 1961, the Topanga Banjo Fiddle Contest was at some guy's house where 31 musicians entertained 500 people. Last year, the event drew 120 competitors and 4,000 spectators. This year, dancing, arts, crafts and such bluegrass bands as Highway 52 and the Witcher Brothers provide entertainment for those who aren't busy plucking out a tune.

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