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VENTURA COUNTY WEEKEND

FRIDAY SKI SEASON

Filmmaker Warren Miller is back for the 46th installment of his annual ski film offerings--a kind of cult-ish commencement of the new ski and snowboard season. Ski buffs can catch “Endless Winter” at two locations: 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. Friday, Civic Arts Plaza, 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks; 7 and 9:15 p.m. Nov. 16, Ventura Theatre, 23 S. Chestnut St.

Miller’s camera crews chased the world’s best skiers and snowboarders across four continents, with stops in Austria, Canada, Argentina and Japan. The fast-paced, daredevil scenes include super-steep skiing, aerial exhibitions, heli-skiing and a stirring snowboarding sequence to end the movie. As always, the soundtrack will be laden with Miller’s witty narration and contemporary music.

Tickets: Friday, $14; Nov. 16, $7 in advance, $7.50 at the door. Information: Civic Arts Plaza, 449-2787; Ventura Theatre, 648-1888.

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SATURDAY

DRAMATIC BENEFIT

Malcolm McDowell and Scott Bakula will perform two benefit dramatic readings of “The Importance of Being Wilde” at the Civic Arts Plaza Forum Theatre, 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. The play--which has also been staged at New York’s Manhattan Theatre Club--is based on H. Montgomery Hyde’s account of Oscar Wilde’s three trials, his prison letter “De Profundis” and his letters and plays.

Proceeds will benefit the Oak Grove School Arts Center, which is slated for construction in 1996. Show times: 7 ($25, $40) and 9 p.m. ($25; $75, including preferred seating and reception). Information: 497-8607.

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MAGIC’S BAD BOYS

The folks at the Civic Arts Plaza in Thousand Oaks probably never expected a gas-powered chipper-shredder to grace their stage, but that is the kind of prop Penn & Teller have employed in past performances for their vanishing bunny rabbit trick.

The duo have staged their raucous bag of tricks on Broadway, Saturday Night Live and many other venues over a 20-year career. You can experience the Bad Boys of Magic when they bring their outrageous comedy/magic antics to the plaza for an 8 p.m. show. The Plaza is at 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. Tickets: $47, $37, $27. Information: 449-ARTS.

UP THE COAST

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* A celebration of African folk culture will be staged at 8 p.m. Friday at UC Santa Barbara’s Campbell Hall. Titled “Echoes of Africa,” the festivities will include performances from an array of artists, including steel string guitar sensation John Cephas, blues harmonica player Phil Wiggins, the Georgia Sea Island Singers and oral historian Djimo Kouyate from Senegal.

Tickets: students, $9 and $12; general $12 and $16. Information: 893-3535.

* Hissing cockroaches. Giant millipedes. Dung beetles and Desert Hairy Scorpions. These creatures and many more will be part of the Festival of Arthropods at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, 2559 Puesta del Sol Road.

The annual festival provides an entertaining and educational look inside the world of these creatures--and their importance to the environment. Activities include slide shows presented by five experts. Festival hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. No charge. Information: 682-4711.

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* The Santa Barbara Symphony will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at the Arlington Theatre, 1317 State St. The program will include works by Strauss, along with Miguel del Aguila’s “Caribbean Bacchanal.”

Tickets: $13-$36. Information: 963-4408.


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