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BEST OF THE WEEKEND.

STAGE

BABES IN THE WOODS: Audiences at the Pacific Resident Theatre in Venice can feel a little bit Puckish starting this weekend when a young cast adapts Shakespeare's comedy ``A Midsummer Night's Dream.''

Subtitled ``The Night They Missed the Forest for the Trees,'' the adaptation by Nancy Linehan Charles features a number of performers who are the children of award-winning actors, directors and writers from the PRT company. The production is directed by Sarah Zinsser, one of PRT's founding members.

Performances are at noon and 3 p.m Sunday at 703 Venice Blvd., in Venice. Tickets are $5-$10. Call (310) 822-8392.

- Evan Henerson

SHADES OF GRAAE: There will be more selndulgence from Jason Graae - that's Graae's promise, not ours - when the actor/singer returns with his one-man show to the Cinegrill for five performances beginning Tuesday.

``Jason Graae: An Evening of Selndulgence ... the Sequel!'' features the performer accompanied by musical director/pianist Gerald Sternbach.

Graae, on hiatus from the national tour of the Jerry Herman revue ``Hello Jerry!,'' appeared at the Cinegrill in January and August 2000. He recently wrapped the animated film ``Sweating Bullets'' for Disney and had a recurring role on the Showtime series ``Rude Awakening.''

Performances are at 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday at 7000 Hollywood Blvd. in Hollywood. Tickets are $15 with a two-drink minimum. Call (323) 466-7000.

- E.H.

EVENT

WEEKEND BEST BETS: Looking for a little fun with the kids before school starts? How about the 63rd Antelope Valley Fair and Alfalfa Festival, which begins today and runs through Sept. 3 at the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds? The fair features carnival rides, contests, dancing, concerts, livestock auctions, rural Olympics, a demolition derby, car racing and much more. It opens at 4 p.m. today with an F-117A flyby. The festivities continue Saturday with the Antelope Valley Fair parade, beginning at 10 a.m. at Lancaster Boulevard on 10th Street West.

This years musical acts include Wynonna Judd with Dennis Quaid and the Sharks, today; Bob Dylan, Saturday (sold out); Chubby Checker, Sunday, free with admission; Lonestar and Tracy Bird, Monday; Glen Campbell, Tuesday, free with admission; and Destiny's Child and Stacie Orrico, Wednesday (sold out). Tickets are still available for Wynonna Judd and Lonestar and can be purchased by calling (661) 948-6060, Ext. 155.

General admission is $6 for adults, $4 for seniors and children, children six and under are free. The Antelope Valley Fairgrounds is located at 155 E. Ave. I in Lancaster. For more information, call (661) 948-6060 or visit www.avfair.com.

- Elizabeth Rodriguez

LIGHTS UP: Sublime, ridiculous, etc.: British director Richard Eyre's documentary miniseries ``Changing Stages'' offers a personal, insightful look at theater in the 20th century. He presents an erudite, eloquent response to both others' work and his own. The series, debuting at 9 p.m. Sunday on KCET (Channel 28), begins with a peripatetic excursion through the works of William Shakespeare (who, obviously, began his career before the 20th century) and the various ways theaters have kept his work vibrant - or is it the other way around?

Dame Judi Dench, Sir Ian McKellen and playwrights Arthur Miller and Tom Stoppard are among those who offer their insights. Eyre focuses on how John Gielgud and Laurence Olivier together reimagined Shakespeare for 20th-century audiences, then engaged in something of a competition (as Eyre comments on this, artful editing cuts to a shot of two dogs on a beach circling and sniffing out one another).

Eyre, who assumes a certain level of intelligence in his viewer, charts how each era reinterpreted Shakespeare for itself: Olivier transformed his characters into Freudian case studies, and then, during World War II, directed ``Henry V'' as a veritable piece of wartime propaganda. And although Eyre points out that one of theater's charms is the ephemeral quality of its live performances, he nonetheless stuffs his program with great clips from classics productions. The second part of tonight's program examines Ireland's great playwrights, such as George Bernard Shaw and Oscar Wilde, and features Liam Neeson and Stephen Rea.

Future episodes explore American theater, the benchmark year of 1956 (which saw the debut of ``Look Back in Anger'') (both air Sept. 2), the works of Bertolt Brecht and Samuel Beckett and the mega-productions of today (Sept. 9). ``Changing Stages'' is a thoughtful and most engaging look at the medium that television has done its darndest to destroy.

- David Kronke

MUSIC

SPICED RUMBA: Baltimore may seem like an unlikely place to cultivate one of the hottest Latin-jazz bands around but it did spawn the Rumba Club.

The nine-member band, which comes to the Jazz Bakery tonight through Sunday, divines an otherworldly blend of Afro-Caribbean rhythms and jazz improv.

Formed 15 years ago, the Rumba Club enjoys an international following and has shared the stage with such Latin-jazz greats as Tito Puente.

The Jazz Bakery is at 3233 Helms Ave., Culver City. Show times are 8 and 9:30 p.m. nightly, and the cover is $20. Information: (310) 271-9039.

- Fred Shuster

FILM

NOTHING SHALLOW HERE: ``The Deep End'' is a hard-as-diamonds, daylight-drenched film noir in which a too-efficient supermom gets in, well, way over her head.

The movie stars the marvelously self-controlled British actress Tilda Swinton as the Tahoe matron who tries, between carpool responsibilities and her daughter's ballet practices, to cover up a murder she suspects her son committed. A well-oiled domesticity machine, this maternal marvel soon finds herself being blackmailed by a shady Reno character, played by ``ER's'' Goran Visnjic. What neither of them can predict is how profound an effect they'll have on one another's lives.

Made as ``The Reckless Moment'' in the 1940s, this thoroughly persuasive update is suspenseful melodrama at its behaviorally trenchant, psychologically fascinating best.

- Bob Strauss

TELEVISION

GRIM AND BEAR IT: For those whose tastes don't venture into such high-minded planes of insight, Cartoon Network premieres a new series with a tease of a title: ``Grim & Evil.'' Those who decry the media's abject influence on kids can relax: ``Grim'' is the Grim Reaper, a deadpan skeleton who has befriended two small children, Billy and Mandy, much to the eternal hysterics of Billy's mom. ``Evil'' is a diabolical, power-mad brain whose plans to destroy the planet with his generic henchmen seem to be perpetually undone by the body of the dopey circus bear to which he has been fused.

The show's highlight is its inventive design work, reminiscent of that other Cartoon Network phenomenon, ``The Powerpuff Girls,'' which itself cribs from Japanese anime. My step-daughters upon seeing this immediately began debating which of them was ``Grim'' and which was ``Evil'' (``Most kids might want to be 'Evil,' but I think 'Grim' is so cool,'' enthused my 8-year-old; my 11-year-old was perfectly comfortable with the appellation of ``Evil''). ``Grim & Evil'' debuts at 8 tonight.

``Grim & Evil'' was the winner of a Cartoon Network poll last year in which viewers picked their favorite pilot (I remember the original being a little funnier than tonight's premiere). And again this weekend, Cartoon Network most democratically allows its audience to program the network, offering up 10 new pilots amongst which viewers can decide, with the decidedly wacky titles giving a lot away: ``Captain Sturdy,'' ``Yee Hah & Doo Dah,'' ``Imp, Inc.,'' ``My Freaky Family,'' ``Major Flake'' (about a mascot for a lame breakfast cereal), ``Utica Cartoon,'' ``Kids Next Door,'' ``Swaroop,'' ``Ferret & Parrot'' and ``A Kitty Bobo Show.''

The 10 pilots will air four times over the weekend: 9 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday. And Cartoon Network promises no butterfly ballots to confuse voters, ensuring a fair vote.

- D.K.

DON'T MISS THIS: Tickets go on sale at noon Sunday for zesty Cape Verdean vocalist Cesaria Evora's return Oct. 11 at the Wiltern Theatre. She recently appeared at the Hollywood Bowl.

CAPTION(S):

7 photos

Photo:

(1) Will Rothhaar can be seen in an adaptation of ``Midsummer Night's Dream'' at the Pacific Resident Theatre in Venice.

(2) no caption (Jason Graae)

(3) no caption (Rumba Club)

(4) SWINTON

(5) EYRE

(6) no caption (Grim & Evil)

(7) no caption (Cesaria Evora)
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Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

 
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Title Annotation:Review; L.A. Life
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Aug 24, 2001
Words:1352
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