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BEST BETS: Saturday 4/21

3:30 pm: Pageant

April 19, 2001

The Ramona Pageant has gone from re-creating California history to being California history. Adapted from Helen Hunt Jackson's 1884 novel about mistreatment of California's Indians, the outdoor drama has been produced annually since 1923. This year's staging will include 400 actors, singers, dancers and horsemen. For the third year, Cesaria Hernandez returns in the title role and Vincent Whipple reprises the part of her Indian lover, Alessandro.

* The Ramona Pageant, Ramona Bowl, 27400 Ramona Bowl Road, Hemet. Saturdays and Sundays, 3:30 to 6 p.m., through May 6. $15 to $25. (800) 645-4465 or

8 pm: Theater

Guilty or innocent? Shakespeare's Hamlet finds himself in court, charged with murder, and hearing the case are some of Los Angeles County's best judiciary talent in "Hamlet on Trial," conceived by Elizabeth Falk. With former Gov. George Deukmejian as judge, Long Beach prosecutor Tom Stolpman representing the prosecution and legal eagle Ed George serving as defense, members of A Noise Within theater company play Gertrude, Claudius, the Ghost, Ophelia, and Hamlet. The West Coast premiere is a fund-raiser for the Carpenter Performing Arts Center's arts and educational outreach programs.

* "Hamlet on Trial," Carpenter Performing Arts Center, Cal State Long Beach, 6200 Atherton St., Long Beach, Saturday, 8 p.m. (trial); 9:30 p.m. (party). $35 (trial only); $100 (trial and party). (562) 985-7000.

7:30 pm: Movies

The Foreign Films Featuring Friendship series at the Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro presents Giuseppe Tornatore's "Cinema Paradiso." Winner of the 1989 best foreign language film Oscar, "Paradiso" pays homage to the wonder of the movies evoked in both young and old. Set mostly in a small Sicilian coastal village in the '40s and '50s, where a great bear of a projectionist (Philippe Noiret) is paterfamilias to a movie-mad provincial youth. It's unabashedly sentimental, but it gets right at the way movies capture and enrapture us, and features a swooningly romantic Ennio Morricone score. 7:30 p.m.

* "Cinema Paradiso," Warner Grand Theatre, 478 W. 6th St., San Pedro. Saturday, 7:30 p.m. $6. (310) 548-7672.

all day: Earth Day

Earth Day celebrations abound this weekend with events at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, the city of Manhattan Beach and the Los Angeles Zoo. The aquarium celebration on Saturday and Sunday will include interactive displays, crafts, a drawing contest for kids 12 and under, games and booths by local environmental organizations. On Saturday, the 10th annual Earth Day Celebration & Concert will take place at Manhattan Beach's Polliwog Park. Educational activities and booths, healthy food and environmentally friendly product vendors, entertainment and a full lineup of live music (including a performance by the Beatles tribute band the Fab Four) will be elements of this "Green" celebration. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Zoo will offer booths for crafts, recycling and environmental information, guessing games and face painting on Saturday.

* Earth Day Celebration, Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach. Saturday-Sunday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Aquarium admission: $14.95; seniors, $11.95; children 3-11, $7.95. (562) 590-3100. Earth Day at the Los Angeles Zoo, 5333 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles. Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Zoo admission: $8.25; ages 2-12, $3.25. (323) 644-6400. Earth Day Celebration & Concert, Polliwog Park, Manhattan Beach Boulevard between Sepulveda and Aviation boulevards, Manhattan Beach. Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Free admission. (310) 226-2927.

8 pm: Pop Music

It's been some five years since the Toadies unleashed their last album, "Rubberneck," which included the enduring radio hit, "Possum Kingdom." The Dallas band is back with a new collection of its mysterious, menacing punk-metal, "Hell Below/Stars Above," recorded in L.A. with producers Tom Rothrock and Rob Schnapf (Beck, Elliott Smith, Foo Fighters).

* Toadies, with Enon, at the Troubadour, 9081 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, 8 p.m. Sold out. (310) 276-6168.

8 pm: Music

"Our Town: American Reflections" is the West Hollywood Orchestra's latest program, featuring music by Ronald Caltabiano, John Knowles Paine, Elinor Armer/Ursula LeGuin and John Alden Carpenter. Nan Washburn conducts; also participating are the West Coast Singers. Narrator is state Sen. Sheila Kuehl (D-Santa Monica).

* West Hollywood Orchestra plays in West Hollywood Park Auditorium, 647 N. San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood. 8 p.m. $10 to $20. (866) 946-2255.


FREEBIES: "Raising Readers--A Literacy Festival," celebrates the joys of reading with the Dan Crow Trio, musician and children's author Jose-Luis Orozco, a performance by the L.A. Children's Museum's Readers' Theatre, appearances by Clifford the Big Red Dog, Franklin the Turtle and more. Santa Monica College, 1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica. Noon. (310) 452-3325, (310) 434-4303.

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