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VENTURA COUNTY BEST BETS

Scrooge on Stage

November 30, 2000

The Santa Susana Repertory Company will return Friday to the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza to present its 11th annual production of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol." The holiday favorite stars Walter Koenig--Ensign Pavel Chekov of "Star Trek"--as Ebenezer Scrooge, and Lane Davies as the Ghost of Christmas Present. The play was adapted by James Egan and features original music by the show's producer, Rick Rhodes.

* "A Christmas Carol," Friday-Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, 2:30 p.m.; Dec. 16 matinee, 2:30 p.m.; Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza's Scherr Forum, 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Through Dec. 23. Seats still available for some 10 a.m. performances; call for dates. $22-$25. 449-2787.

Kwanzaa Festival

Cal Lutheran University will get an early jump on this year's Kwanzaa observance with daylong festivities scheduled Saturday. The African American cultural celebration was created in 1966 by Maulana Karenga, chairman of the black studies department at Cal State Long Beach, and takes its name from the Swahili phrase meaning "first fruits." The holiday is celebrated from Dec. 26-Jan. 1 and emphasizes togetherness and unity. Cal Lutheran's celebration will include African dance, a jazz band, a storyteller, gospel music and African food.

* Kwanzaa celebration, Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; Cal Lutheran University, 60 W. Olsen Road, Thousand Oaks. Free. 493-3151.

'The Nutcracker'

The Channel Islands Ballet will be joined by the New West Symphony and the Ventura Master Chorale Children's Choir in "The Nutcracker" this weekend in Oxnard. The production features original choreography by Yves de Bouteiller. Professional dancers from the ballet company will perform alongside children from dance schools throughout the county.

* "The Nutcracker," Saturday, 3 and 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, 3 p.m.; Oxnard Performing Arts Center, 800 Hobson Way. $12.50-$30. 384-8558. Internet: http://CIBallet.com.

Family Fun

The veteran troupe Tickle Tune Typhoon will stage its holiday show, "Keep the Spirit," for an installment of the Performances to Grow On series Sunday in Ventura. The troupe, which recently received a Parents Choice Gold Award, has been performing and recording since 1980. Sunday's program will include original, traditional and ethnic styles of music and dance celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah and winter.

* Tickle Tune Typhoon; Sunday, 3 p.m.; Ventura High School Auditorium, 2155 E. Main St., Ventura; $10 general, $8 children (all children regardless of age must have a ticket); 646-8907.

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