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MUSICIANS WILL ROCK CIVIC ARTS PLAZA.

Byline: P. CATHERINE SHANKS Community Columnist

Acoustic folk music and a festival of rock find a summer place in the Forum Theatre, beginning at 8 tonight with a performance by local singing duo Zelig.

Although rock groups are not usually a staple on the Civic Arts Plaza menu, a theater season hiatus provides local bands with an available stage, and gives orphaned audiences an alternative form of entertainment.

``We are delighted to have rock concerts in both the Forum Theatre and the Civic Auditorium,'' said Thousand Oaks Theater Director Tom Mitze, adding that previous rock concerts and festivals have been well received. ``Rock 'n' roll is certainly a major part of our programming.''

Laurel Hoffman and Brian Wurschum are the harmonious twosome known as Zelig. Accompanied by Wurschum on the guitar, the singers offer a soothing, if not completely sedate, seasonal transition.

Tonight's concert represents a return to the venue for Zelig, and a third anniversary of performing at the Civic Arts Plaza for Wurschum. The guitarist is part of a larger band known as Majority Dog, the first rock band to play at the plaza in 1995.

``We're going to acousta-cize a couple of Majority Dog songs,'' said Wurschum, who fondly remembers his first and second performances at the site. Both times, the musician found receptive audiences, though a minority at the Majority Dog concert approached the rockers with some apprehension.

``We were definitely under scrutiny,'' said Wurschum, who challenged doubters to attend the event. ``We just told them to get a ticket.''

When Hoffman and Wurschum got together nearly 10 years ago, they named themselves Zelig because of their chameleon-like ability to imitate the sounds and styles of the performers whose songs they sing. The popular singers have become well known for their creative renditions of tunes by the Beatles, Cat Stevens, and Simon and Garfunkel, among other legends.

Zelig also recently recorded a CD of original material titled ``Race You to the Sun.''

According to Wurschum, Zelig has performed in virtually every performance-worthy structure in the Conejo Valley. The Forum Theatre stands out above all others.

``It is our favorite place to play,'' he said. ``You have people's undivided attention.''

Upcoming at the theater is the Mind-to-Mouth Music Festival on Aug. 8, which will feature four bands and the offbeat CD-spinning antics of disc jockey Derek Howard. The bands will present a marathon evening of rock, funk, metal, hip hop, jazz hop and more.

The members of Formula, Hoobustank, Fiasco and Phatty all hail from communities within 15 minutes of the Civic Arts Plaza. The festival gives the young rockers a chance to perform for friends and families in a theater setting.

``The bands are more well known in Los Angeles then they are in Thousand Oaks,'' said festival producer Chris DePalma. ``Lots of times, people from this area don't want to drive to Hollywood to see a band perform at 11 p.m. Outside of the Civic Arts Plaza, there's no place here to play.''

THE FACTS

For tickets and information about Zelig, call (805) 498-0341. For information concerning the Mind-to-Mouth Music Festival and other rock-oriented events at the Civics Arts Plaza, call (805) 449-ARTS. The Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza is at 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jun 27, 1998
Words:541
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