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Best Bets

January 27-February 2, 2002

January 27, 2002

Movies

Dissatisfied bachelor Ben Chaplin, above left, orders up a Russian bride over the Internet, only to discover Nicole Kidman carries more baggage than he bargained for in the thriller "Birthday Girl." British playwright Jez Butterworth directed. Opens Friday.

Theater

"Side Show," the cult musical by Bill Russell and composer Henry Krieger, is based on the true story of beautiful, talented twin sisters--joined at the hip--who became the toast of Vaudeville during the Depression. Opening Saturday in its Southern California premiere, the production by the Colony Theatre Company at the Burbank Center features Misty Cotton and Julie Dixon Jackson as the conjoined twins.

Also: Anne Bogart's New York-based SITI Company and Dutch theater group Zuidelijk Toneel Hollandia bring two offerings to UCLA Live's eclectic Solo Festival. In the Freud Playhouse, SITI associate director and actor Ellen Lauren will perform the California premiere of "Room," a journey through the thoughts of Virginia Woolf. In the Macgowan Little Theater, Holland's Jeroen Williams will perform the West Coast premiere of "Voices," a critique of the excesses of capitalism, set during the messy aftermath of a dinner party. Both shows open Wednesday.

Art

The Museum of Contemporary Art prides itself on having built an astonishingly rich collection in a little more than two decades. A new show, "L.A. on My Mind: Recent Acquisitions From MOCA's Permanent Collection," proves that the downtown L.A. museum is snapping up works by hot, young, home-grown talents as well as established figures in New York and Europe. Opening today, the exhibition features paintings and sculptures by Amy Adler, Liz Craft, Andrea Bowers and Richard Hawkins, among many others. Below, Adler's "Nervous Character" (1999).

Dance

Postmodern pioneer Trisha Brown collaborates with jazz composer and trumpeter Dave Douglas in "El Trilogy," to be performed Friday and Saturday at Royce Hall in Westwood. Linked by solos defined as "intervals," three major sections enlist the full Trisha Brown Dance Company in abstractions of classic jazz line dances, scat-singing, Lindy hop moves--even notes in a musical score.

Pop Music

In an auspicious start for Luis Miguel's 20th year as a recording artist, the Mexican crooner kept adding shows at the Universal Amphitheatre in Universal City until he had a new personal high at the venue--six consecutive nights, beginning Tuesday. But Miguel, right, is not the only Latin pop heartthrob in town this week. Julio Iglesias--who still holds the Universal Amphitheatre's record of 10 consecutive shows--headlines the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday and Friday.

Jazz

The Orange County Performing Arts Center is offering jazz fans something "old" and something "new" next weekend--with the Count Basie Orchestra scheduled for two concerts in the Costa Mesa venue's Segerstrom Hall and singer Jane Monheit slated for five performances in Founders Hall.

Video

Jerry Zucker, who earned his early reputation directing comedies such as "Airplane" with brother David Zucker and Jim Abraham, returns to slapstick with the silly but very funny "Rat Race." The ensemble comedy starring Whoopi Goldberg, John Cleese, Cuba Gooding Jr., Jon Lovitz and Rowan Atkinson, among others, revolves around an eccentric Las Vegas casino owner and the race he creates to satisfy high stakes gamblers. Arrives Tuesday on VHS and DVD.

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