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VENTURA COUNTY BEST BETS

Classical

May 18, 2000

Led by conductor Boris Brott, the New West Symphony will present season-ending performances this weekend, highlighting soprano Jessica Tivens. The former Calabasas High School student first won acclaim in 1997 when she made her world debut in Iceland. The program will include Mahler's Symphony No. 4 in G, Schubert's Symphony No. 8 and Adams' "Lollapalooza."

* New West Symphony, 8 p.m.; Friday, Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza Kavli Theatre, 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd.; Saturday, Oxnard Performing Arts Center, 800 Hobson Way. $8-$55. 497-5800.

Festival

The California Strawberry Festival will return this weekend to College Park in Oxnard. The 17th annual event will be another big affair with lots of entertainment, arts and crafts, contests, food and more. Music headliners will include Los Lobos, Otis Day & the Knights, the Fabulous Thunderbirds and Starship.

* California Strawberry Festival, Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m., College Park, 3250 S. Rose Ave., Oxnard. $9 general; $5 ages 5-12; free 4 and under. 385-7578; http://www.strawberry-fest.org.

Powwow

More than 50 North American tribes will take part in this weekend's Lake Casitas Intertribal Powwow. The main attraction is the many hotly contested traditional drumming, music and dance competitions. There will also be arts and crafts booths, history reenactments and food.

* Lake Casitas Intertribal Powwow; Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. $7 general; $4 ages 5-11; free 4 and under. Event information: 496-6036. Campground reservations: 649-2233.

Opera

Opera performances are not exactly a staple of the local entertainment scene, so it is worth noting the proceedings being held Sunday at the Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center. Producers Bill and Lani Bartlett will stage the accessible "Night at the Opera," highlighting popular selections from "La Traviata," "Carmen," "Madame Butterfly," "Marriage of Figaro" and other operas. The program will be in good hands with a cast of veteran professionals.

* "Night at the Opera," Sunday, 7:30 p.m., Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center, 3050 Los Angeles Ave. $15 general, $12 seniors and students, $8 ages 12 and under. 581-9940.

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