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July 28-Aug. 3, 2002

Best Bets

July 28, 2002

Movies

Steven Soderbergh downsizes in both budget and scope with the run-and-gun, digital-video feature "Full Frontal." Based on Coleman Hough's play, it's a movie about movies with a sexual roundelay featuring David Duchovny, Catherine Keener, and, above, Blair Underwood and Julia Roberts. The film opens Friday.

Also: Strange circles appear in former minister Mel Gibson's cornfield, as well as other places around the world, raising fears about extraterrestrials. Will the truth be out there in M. Night Shyamalan's "Signs"? Joaquin Phoenix, Cherry Jones and Rory Culkin co-star. Opens Friday.

Theater

The comic barbs fly as satirist Jackie Mason, right, takes aim at politics, the stock market, health care, the Internet, political correctness and other pet peeves in his newest solo stage show, "Jackie Mason--

Much Ado About Everything (The Broadway Tour)." Opens Tuesday for six performances at the Wilshire Theatre in Beverly Hills.

Music

After a 14-year hiatus, superstar flutist James Galway returns to the Hollywood Bowl this week for twin performances, Tuesday and Thursday nights, of William Bolcom's "Lyric Concerto," commissioned by and written for the Irish musician. Miguel Harth-Bedoya conducts the L.A. Philharmonic at these outdoor shows; the program includes Richard Strauss' "Don Juan" and the Seventh Symphony by Dvorak.

Pop Music

Two of pop music's ascendant divas head for the (Hollywood) hills. Alicia Keys headlines the Greek Theatre on Tuesday and Wednesday in an encore of sorts to her breakthrough performances of last year. Norah Jones looks to take the promise of this year's debut album and club shows to a new level Thursday at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre.

Art

Adding to an already highly regarded permanent collection, the Norton Simon displays more important works in "The Art of Giving: Recent Acquisitions of the Norton Simon Museum," opening Friday in Pasadena. Included among the 75 works will be Asian masterpieces, European and American paintings and sculpture and works on paper by Rembrandt van Rijn, Emil Nolde, Lyonel Feininger and George Herms.

Dance

With the appearance Saturday of Alonzo King's exciting and innovative LINES Contemporary Ballet, Cal State L.A. upgrades its annual two-day BalletFest to a must-see event. Based in the Bay Area, LINES has grown into a chamber ensemble of spectacular technical daring and expressive power. At the Luckman Fine Arts Complex, it will perform "Long Straight Line," "Koto" and the pas de deux from "Heart's Natural Inclination." The less reliably distinguished Ballet Pacifica and Oakland Ballet share the opening program Friday.

Jazz

The Henry Mancini Institute continues its free summer concert series with trumpeter Randy Brecker and the HMI Big Band conducted by Justin DiCioccio on Friday. The Saturday program is a tribute to American film music featuring the HMI Orchestra with guest conductors David Raksin, Johnny Mandel, Richard Kaufman and Peter Boyer. Both concerts are at Royce Hall in Westwood. Upcoming concerts in the series will feature Christian McBride, Billy Childs, Eddie Daniels and Peter Erskine. The series culminates with the institute's annual Mancini Musicale fund-raiser Aug. 17 honoring Phil Ramone, and featuring Patti Austin, John Clayton and Roy Hargrove.

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