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BEST BETS: Saturday 6/29

June 27, 2002

8pm Music

Northern California's Shasta Taiko, a big hit (no pun intended) at the Taiko Jam 3.0 last year, comes back to the Japan America Theatre on a program that represents a bit of a family reunion. Shasta Taiko founders Russel Bab and Jeanne Aiko Mercer's son, Masato Baba, is part of the On Ensemble, an experimental taiko quartet that shares the bill. The offerings are diverse and include pieces titled "Taiko Stories From America," "Kumo ni Notte," "Watashi Watashi Tachi," "Itsuka," "The Ignorant Koto" and "Zeecha!"

Shasta Taiko and On Ensemble, Japan America Theatre, 244 S. San Pedro St., downtown L.A. 8 p.m. $15 to $20. (213) 680-3700.

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6pm Words

Call it the case of the serpentine plots, police procedurals and intuitive private eyes--when three Los Angeles-based mystery writers converge for Blues & Mysteries, an evening of music and spoken word. Prolific authors Gary Phillips, Barbara Seranella and Kris Neri will read from their mystery fiction and bop to the Blues Dawg blues and R&B band, all to benefit the L.A. chapter of Sisters in Crime.

Blues & Mysteries, Johnny Foxx's Irish Pub, 3387 Motor Ave., West L.A. 6 p.m. $5. (213) 694-2972.

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8:30pm Art

Frida Kahlo. Read the books! View the paintings! See the upcoming movie starring Salma Hayek ... no, wait--better yet, see the murals. The Museum of Latin American Art presents "Murals Under the Stars," a series of outdoor multimedia presentations hosted by the museum's director, Gregorio Luke. The first in the three-part series will offer a portrait of Kahlo's life and art through more than 300 slides including paintings, documentary photographs and rare film footage. These images will be projected onto a 2,000-square-foot wall using special Ultra Bright projectors, offering an intimate look at the woman whose persona was deeply intertwined with Mexican culture.

"Murals Under the Stars: Frida Kahlo" at the Museum of Latin American Art, 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach. 8:30 p.m. Future presentations include Diego Rivera on July 27 and Rufino Tamayo on Aug. 24. Members, $10; nonmembers, $20; children 12 and younger, $6. (562) 437-1689.

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midnight Pop Music

Daniel Lanois' career has long been a balancing act between his in-demand services as a producer (Bob Dylan, U2, Peter Gabriel) and as a singer-songwriter in his own right. So how fitting that he's now juggling work on his first solo album (due this fall) since 1993's "Beauty of Wynona," and writing the story and songs for "Silvio," a film on which he's collaborating with the Quebec-based Cirque du Soleil troupe. He makes a rare L.A. concert appearance at Spaceland.

Daniel Lanois, Spaceland, 1717 Silver Lake Blvd., L.A. Midnight. $10. (323) 661-4380.

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6:30pm Pop Music

The members of Southland punk quartet Strung Out would have a right to feel that way upon arriving at the Palladium on Saturday, a homecoming show that caps a string of 32 dates across the country in 43 days. But after 10 years of conditioning, pummeling out melodic punk, these guys are unlikely to exhibit any signs of fatigue, especially so early on a tour promoting the group's 2-month-old album, "An American Paradox."

Strung Out, with Glasseater, Poison the Well and Rise Against, Hollywood Palladium, 6215 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood. 6:30 p.m. $14.50. (323) 962-7600.

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8pm Music

Broadway's first three-time Tony Award winner under the age of 30, Audra McDonald, will make her Orange County Performing Arts Center debut on Saturday to open the center's 2002-03 Cabaret Series. McDonald won Tonys for her starring roles in "Carousel" (her Broadway debut, in 1994), "Master Class" (1996) and "Ragtime" (1998). Born into a musical family, McDonald grew up in Fresno and studied voice at the Juilliard School in New York, graduating in 1993.

Audra McDonald, Orange County Performing Arts Center, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. 8 p.m. $32 to $62. (714) 556-2787.

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8pm Theater

Pigs and chickens and cows, oh, my. Idealism falls victim to a new tyranny in George Orwell's sobering parable "Animal Farm." The tale of political fallout from a barnyard rebellion was adapted for the musical stage by Peter Hall, with music by Richard Peaslee and lyrics by Adrian Mitchell. Hall's stage version, sanctioned by the Orwell estate, was originally produced by Britain's National Theatre. Ellen Geer directs this outdoor production in the rustic Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum.

"Animal Farm," Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum, 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga. Saturdays at 8 p.m. through July 20; Sundays at 7:30 p.m. through July 28. Also Saturdays at 4 p.m. from Aug. 3 to Sept. 21; Sept. 29 at 7:30 p.m. $14 to $22. Ends Sept. 29. (310) 455-3723.

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