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BEST BETS Thursday 5/25

May 25, 2000

ANAHEIM

8:30pm

Pop Music

Aimee Mann and Michael Penn as the first couple of literate pop are two of the anchors at the stimulating music scene at the Largo in L.A., both in their solo shows and in their occasional teamings. With Mann's profile high after her acclaimed songs for the film "Magnolia"--one of them got an Oscar nomination--the husband and wife bring their collaboration to some larger settings, including the Sun Theatre in Anaheim.

* Aimee Mann and Michael Penn, Sun Theatre, 2200 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim. 8:30 p.m. $25. (714) 712-2700.

BREA

8:30pm

Comedy

If you've seen one Flip Orley show, you haven't seen them all. That's because the comic hypnotist uses volunteers from the audience in his act. "This is the purest form of improvisational entertainment you will ever see, as the show rewrites itself every night," says Orley, who is adamant about not embarrassing audience members who share the stage with him. "I want the audience to laugh with them, not at them."

* Flip Orley, Brea Improv, 945 E. Birch St., 8:30 p.m. Also Friday, 8:30 and 10:30 p.m.; Saturday, 8 and 10:30 p.m.; Sunday, 8 p.m. $10 to $12. (714) 529-7878.

LAGUNA BEACH

8pm

Theater

Richard Dresser's light comedy "Gun-Shy" has been likened to Noel Coward's airy 1930 souffle "Private Lives." The plots are parallel: A couple divorces, the husband and wife take up with new partners, but there's enough unfinished business between the exes to keep the laugh lines coming. Dresser outfits his tale wittily as he sets the desperately comical search for romantic fulfillment against a thoroughly modern landscape of technologically abetted pregnancy, gun-control crusading and designer coffee merchandising. A hit when first performed at the 1997 Humana Festival of New American Plays in Louisville, Ky., "Gun-Shy" will receive its first Southern California production.

* "Gun-Shy," by Richard Dresser, the Laguna Playhouse's Moulton Theatre, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach. Opens tonight. Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 7 p.m. (no evening performances June 18 and 25). Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Ends June 25. $21 to $40. (949) 497-2787.

COSTA MESA

8pm

Music

To close his 10th season as music director of the Pacific Symphony, Carl St.Clair will conduct the orchestra in Beethoven's monumental Ninth ("Choral") Symphony. Soloists will include soprano Carmen Pelton, mezzo-soprano Emily Lodine, tenor Michael Hendrick and bass Kyle Ketelsen. The program additionally includes "Benediction" by Leonard Bernstein and "First Light" by Richard Danielpour, Pacific's composer-in-residence.

* Pacific Symphony, Orange County Performing Arts Center, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. 8 p.m. $18 to $50. (714) 556-2787.

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO

8pm

Pop Music

When singer-songwriter Todd Snider arrived in 1994 with his album "Songs for the Daily Planet," he was cast as a young John Prine for his observant and humorous character studies. So it's no great surprise that having left MCA Records after three albums, he has found a home at Prine's Oh Boy! Records, which just released his new "Happy to Be Here" CD.

* Todd Snider, Coach House, 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano. With Ross Durand. 8 p.m. $15 to $17. (949) 496-8930.

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