After a long absence from Southern California, the distinguished American pianist Richard Goode returns. He appears in recital at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, in a program listing works by J.S. Bach--the French Suite No. 1 and the B-flat Partita--Chopin and Beethoven, the penultimate Sonata, the one in A-flat, Opus 110.
* Richard Goode, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., L.A., 8 p.m. $10-$45. (323) 850-8000.
7:15 pm: Pop Music
Like Counting Crows before it, Florida's Matchbox Twenty has hit pay dirt by evoking the pre-punk, pre-rap spirit of early-'70s rock, with its soul and R&B strains as filtered through Van Morrison. It doesn't hurt to have a photogenic frontman, Rob Thomas, who rode the Santana bandwagon to additional exposure with the hit "Smooth." The result? Sales of nearly 3 million for the band's latest album, "Mad Season."
* Matchbox Twenty, with Everclear and Lifehouse, at the Universal Amphitheatre, 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City. Today-Friday, 7:15 p.m. Sold out. (818) 622-4440.
8 pm: Dance
The perennially touring international percussion spectacle Stomp returns for a run at the Wilshire Theatre through mid-April. A freewheeling, high-energy showcase with its roots in British street theater, the production utilizes such unlikely objects as keys, push brooms, lighters and car parts for rhythm instruments. You might think that finding music in everything from hubcaps to trash cans seems unfashionably low-tech, but with the specter of rolling blackouts, it might be wise to look into unplugged entertainment. And this one has won awards galore, from the Olivier in England to the Obie and Drama Desk Award over here.
* Stomp, Wilshire Theatre, 8440 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, 8 p.m. Also Friday, 8 p.m.; Saturday, 5 and 9 p.m.; Sunday, 2 and 7:30 p.m.; Tuesday-Wednesday, 8 p.m. Ends April 15. $37-$57. (213) 365-3500.
8 pm: Theater
"The King Stag," Carlo Gozzi's 18th century commedia dell'arte fable of kings, damsels and sorcery, directed by Andrei Serban, features costumes, masks, puppetry and movement by Tony Award-winning director-designer Julie Taymor ("The Lion King").
* "The King Stag," Royce Hall at UCLA, Westwood. Today-Friday, 8 p.m.; Saturday, 2 p.m. $25-$40.  825-2101).
FREEBIE: "Allan Murray's Talk Show From Outer Space," in which a large cast performs for space aliens demanding to be entertained, is at 7:30 p.m. at the HBO+Warner Bros. Television Workspace, Melrose Theatre, 733 N. Seward St., Hollywood. Reservations required. (323) 993-6099.