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BEST BETS Friday 11/17

November 16, 2000

IRVINE

8:30 & 10:30pm

Comedy

Whenever political pundits discuss the Washington-Hollywood connection in presidential politics, they undoubtedly bring up Bill Clinton's 1992 appearance on "The Arsenio Hall Show" during which the future chief executive donned a pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarers and blew "Heartbreak Hotel" on his sax. We all know what Bill's been up to these past eight years, but what about Arsenio?

* Arsenio Hall, Irvine Improv, 71 Fortune Drive. 8:30 and 10:30 p.m.; Saturday, 7, 9 and 11 p.m. $27. (949) 854-5455.

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO

8pm

Pop Music

Roots-rock torch carrier Brian Setzer puts his big band in the garage briefly to head out for some trio dates with bassist Mark Winchester and drummer Bernie Dresel. The side project is called '68 Comeback Special, after Elvis' legendary TV show in which he shook off nearly a decade of Hollywood-spun cobwebs and suddenly, stunningly started singing relevant music again. Is this an "anything you can do, I can do better" response to Setzer's former Stray Cats cohort Lee Rocker's recent shows with Elvis' original guitarist, Scotty Moore? Probably only Setzer knows for sure, but either way, Setzer knows his way around the early rock canon as well as anyone, so these Southland shows should be spiked with stripped-down primal rock energy.

* Brian Setzer, Coach House, 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano. 8 p.m. $28. (949) 496-8930. Also Sunday, Belly Up Tavern, 143 S. Cedros Ave., Solana Beach. 7:30 p.m. $25. (858) 481-8140.

FULLERTON

8pm

Theater

"Keely & Du," a 1993 Pulitzer Prize finalist by the pseudonymous Kentuckian, Jane Martin, is an unalloyed political play that dramatizes the abortion debate at its most extreme. Keely has been raped by her drunken stalker of an ex-husband and wants an abortion; a posse of fundamentalist abortion foes has kidnapped her en route to the clinic and is holding her prisoner until she comes to term. The warmhearted, sympathetic Du is her jailer; the two women put human faces on a moral issue that remains as current and contentious as ever.

* "Keely & Du," Vanguard Theatre Ensemble, in the College Business Park, 699A S. State College Blvd., Fullerton. Fridays and Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 5 p.m. $13 to $15. Through Dec. 16. (714) 526-8007.

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