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BEST BETS: Saturday 3/17

2 & 8 pm: Family

March 15, 2001

The internationally touring New Shanghai Circus is in town with its latest dazzling spectacle of gravity-defying acrobatics and balancing acts, from hoop-diving and plate-spinning to dragon dancers and the "Tower of Chairs."

* New Shanghai Circus, Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 12700 Center Court Drive, Cerritos, 2 and 8 p.m. $32-$42. (562) 916-8500, (800) 300-4345.

7:30 pm: Movies

LACMA's film department and the Goethe-Institut place a Spotlight on Monika Treut, the adventuresome German independent filmmaker, with a screening of her 1999 documentary "Gendernauts," as well as 30 minutes of footage from her work in progress, "The Angel of Rio." Over the last 15 years, Treut has blended fiction, documentary and performance in exploring the dual themes of sexuality and gender. With "Gendernauts," she focuses her camera on a group of transgendered individuals in San Francisco and examines the fluidity of gender as her subjects defy conventional definitions of male and female. Treut will be on hand to discuss her work.

* Spotlight on Monika Treut, "Gendernauts," LACMA, Bing Theater, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., L.A., 7:30 p.m. $5 to $7. (323) 857-6010.

9 pm: Pop Music

With the Eagles and on his own, Don Henley has secured his position as one of rock's essential singer-songwriters, but at his Staples Center concert he'll get a good run for his money from his opening act, the lesser-known but world-class John Hiatt.

* Don Henley, with John Hiatt, at Staples Center, 1111 S. Figueroa St., downtown L.A., 9 p.m. $66 and $86. (213) 742-7340.

all day: Antiques

More than 100 dealers from around the world will display decorative works from 1900 to the 1960s at this weekend's "Modern Times 20th Century Design Show and Sale," held at the Glendale Civic Auditorium. From Eames chairs and tables to bakelite jewelry to a Man Ray lithograph, the event promises a wide variety of objects, including costume jewelry, vintage clothing and textiles, books, fine art and home furnishings and accessories.

* "Modern Times 20th Century Design Show and Sale," Glendale Civic Auditorium, 1401 N. Verdugo Road, Glendale. Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Adults, $6; children under 12, $1. (310) 455-2894 or www.moderntimesla.com.

10 am: Children

Plenty of people have wondered if Barbie is a good role model for girls over the years. With Barbie University, the publishers of Barbie-related books hope to make Barbie an inspiration for young girls to go to college. The famous blond, with help from some TV personalities--Beverely Mitchell ("7th Heaven"), Lori Beth Denberg ("The Steve Harvey Show"), Mindy Burbano (KTLA News), Shar Jackson ("Moesha") and Marabina Jaimes (PBS' "Storytime")--and others will lead workshops about reading, counting, crafts, music and more. There's space for 500 girls ages 4 to 8, each of whom will get a diploma from Barbie herself.

* Barbie University at the Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., L.A., 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Free. Reservations required. Limited to 500 girls, ages 4 to 8. (310) 248-6179.

8 pm: Music

Enrique Arturo Diemecke, the fifth and final guest conductor vying for the position of music director of the Long Beach Symphony, takes the baton and leads the orchestra in his own "Chacona a Chavez," the Violin Concerto by Samuel Barber--with soloist Corey Cerovsek--and Dvorak's "New World" Symphony.

* The Long Beach Symphony, Terrace Theater at the Long Beach Convention Center, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, 8 p.m. $13-$55. (562) 436-3203.

5 pm: Family

Alfred Desio & Colburn Kids Tap/L.A. perform a program of tap dance for family audiences, including the premiere of "Zapped Taps--Electronic Tap."

* Alfred Desio & Colburn Kids Tap/L.A., Zipper Hall, Colburn School of Performing Arts, 200 S. Grand Ave., downtown L.A., 5 p.m. Free. (213) 385-1171; (213) 621-2200.

*

FREEBIES: Traditional Himalayan music, folk dancing, food, and arts and crafts will be offered at the family-friendly Mandala Festival, Pacific Asia Museum, 46 N. Los Robles Ave., Pasadena., 1-4 p.m. (626) 449-2742.

*

Paul Huebner conducts his Concerto Orchestra, with a number of soloists playing concerto movements, in the Cultural Hall of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 16750 E. Colima Road, Hacienda Heights, 3 p.m. (562) 693-5512. Works to be played include concertos by Mozart, Mendelssohn, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Haydn and others.

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