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BEST BETS Friday 5/26

May 25, 2000

ANAHEIM

8:30pm

Comedy

They've both made separate appearances at the Irvine Improv within the past 10 months, but comedians Bill Maher and Richard Lewis will be back in Orange County tonight--this time together at the Sun Theatre in Anaheim. Maher will serve up his politically incorrect view of life in these United States. But even Lewis, a walking bundle of neuroses and insecurities, has broadened his comic outlook. "Let's face it," he said last fall, "there is more about 2000 than just my fear of intimacy."

* Bill Maher and Richard Lewis, Sun Theatre, 2200 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim. 8:30 p.m. $29.50. (714) 712-2700.

GARDEN GROVE

Family

all day

Opting to leave the holiday traffic to others and remain local this weekend? No need to miss out on the holiday festivities. During the Garden Grove Strawberry Festival 2000 the only traffic found is in line for the tilt-a-whirl or surrounding the world's biggest strawberry shortcake. What started more than 40 years ago as a means to promote the area as one of the nation's largest strawberry producers is now a full-scale carnival and festival featuring one of the largest parades on the West Coast and drawing thousands daily. The strawberry fields may have dwindled, but the carnival is still going strong, with several events and dozens of rides.

* Garden Grove Strawberry Festival 2000, Village Green, 12862 Euclid Ave. 1-10 p.m. Also Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Monday, 10 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Admission to festival grounds is free; rides, games and food are available for purchase. (714) 638-0981.

SANTA ANA

7:30 & 10:30 p.m.

Pop Music

X recaptured its former glory at the recent punk-rock wake in Irvine for Social Distortion guitarist Dennis Danell, with original members Exene Cervenka, John Doe, Billy Zoom and D.J. Bonebrake thrashing with the same dark intensity they possessed 20 years ago. They'll probably still be feeling some of the emotion from that night when they arrive Friday at the Galaxy in Santa Ana.

* X, Galaxy Concert Theatre, 3503 S. Harbor Blvd., Costa Mesa. With the Bleeders (7:30 show) and Creeper (10:30 show). $22.50 to $24.50. (714) 957-0600.

COSTA MESA

8pm

Theater

"Short People" got new reason to live--as do more than 40 other numbers from Randy Newman's marvelous, 32-year catalog of poignant, hilarious and satirically cutting songs. They've all been melded into a story line in "The Education of Randy Newman," an unusual musical in which a cast of seven singer-actor-dancers unfolds the songwriter's life and times by bringing his songs to theatrical life. It's not a revue but an attempt to connect Newman's songs into a narrative thread without the benefit of scene-setting dialogue.

* "The Education of Randy Newman," South Coast Repertory's Mainstage, 655 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Preview performances begin tonight through June 1. Opens June 2. Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 7:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:30 p.m. Pay-what-you-will performance June 3 at 2:30 p.m. $23 to $52. Ends July 2. (714) 708-5555.

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