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Stories That Underscore the Music


Musical theater and theater about music has been abuzz in Ventura County in recent weeks.

The Rubicon Theatre Company dazzled with its Schumann-enriched "Old Wicked Songs" and, as part of this season's admirable "Lost and Found" series, presented the bubbly '40s-era Jule Styne-Sammy Cahn musical "High Button Shoes."

In other corners of the county, the Santa Paula Theater Center is presenting its version of "Master Class," the Terrence McNally play about Maria Callas, through June 23. Linda Livingston plays the mercurial diva and David Ralphe directs. Continuing through July 14 at Oxnard's Elite Theater Company is Ken Ludwig's "Lend Me a Tenor," in which funny things happen on the way to the Cleveland Grand Opera.

* "Master Class," Santa Paula Theater Center, 125 S. 7th St., Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.; Sundays at 2:30 p.m. Ends June 23. $15, general; $12, senior citizens and students; $10, children 12 and younger. (805) 525-4645.

* "Lend Me a Tenor," Petite Playhouse, 730 South B St., Oxnard, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:30 p.m.; Sundays at 2:30 p.m. Ends July 14. $14, general; $12, senior citizens and students. (805) 483-5118.


Jazz Keyboard Skills: Two jazz pianists of note are passing through Ventura County this weekend. An important West Coast pianist since the '50s, Pete Jolly will show up with his trio--longtime comrades Chuck Berghofer on bass and Nick Martinis on drums--at Ventura College on Saturday, as part of the Ventura Vanguard jazz concert series.

On Sunday, the Simi Valley Cultural Center hosts pianist Tamir Hendelman, a strong young player seen in various L.A. jazz settings, including at the Hollywood Bowl with his role in the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra.

* Pete Jolly Trio, Saturday at 8 p.m., Ventura College Theater, Loma Vista Road. $20. (805) 644-9247.

* Tamir Hendelman, Sunday at 7:30 p.m., Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center, 3050 Los Angeles Ave. $15, general; $12, senior citizens and students; $10, children 12 and younger. (805) 581-9940.

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