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BEST BETS Friday 1/19

January 18, 2001

SANTA ANA

8 p.m.

Theater

"October" by local playwright Brook Stowe begins in 1959 with desperadoes on the run. Buzz is a small-time hood with delusions of grandeur and a craving for amphetamines. Betty, his girlfriend, has just shattered a bottle over a clerk's head during a holdup. They come upon a strange, middle-age couple in the desert--a lusty woman and her brain-damaged former bombardier husband. Dodger baseball and the Bible emerge as key motifs, and Lee Harvey Oswald keeps showing up to proclaim how he is about to change history. The play aims to give a phantasmagorial vision of America on the eve of the '60s with the thunderclouds about to crack.

* "October," Empire Theater, 200 N. Broadway, Santa Ana. Fridays and Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2:30 p.m. $12 to $15. Through Feb. 4. (714) 547-4688.

ANAHEIM

8 p.m.

Pop Music

Reggae star Gregory Isaacs, who turns 50 this year, has just come off as prolific a year as any in his long career. He put out two studio albums of his own, another studio collaboration with his son, Kevin, a live album, and he was featured on several reissues and reggae compilations. He'll be at the new Anaheim House of Blues.

* Gregory Isaacs, House of Blues, 1530 S. Disneyland Drive, Anaheim. 8 p.m. $20. (714) 778-2583

IRVINE

8 p.m.

Music

The Hutchins Consort consists of eight acoustically matched and scaled violins--each a half-octave apart--designed and crafted by Carleen Hutchins. Unlike a standard string quartet, these eight violins produce a unique, homogenous sound. Directed by Joe McNalley, who also plays the large bass violin, the consort will play works by Bartok, Brubeck, Bach and Gershwin. The ensemble plays one of only six sets of instruments created by Hutchins. Others are in museums in Edinburgh and Stockholm and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

* Hutchins Consort, Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Drive. 8 p.m. $10 to $30. (949) 854-4646.

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