Mixed media works by a master of mordant commentary, who long ago proclaimed his independence from art world trends, are the ingredients of the show of the year at the Laguna Art Museum (through Jan. 21). “Llyn Foulkes: Between a Rock and a Hard Place” includes the artist’s enigmatic mythic landscapes from the ‘60s, tortured portraits and cartoon imagery from the ‘70s and works of social commentary from the past decade. Curated by Marilu Knode of the Huntington Beach Art Center, it is Foulkes’ most inclusive retrospective to date.

* What: “Llyn Foulkes: Between a Rock and a Hard Place.”

* When: Tuesdays through Sundays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (through Jan. 21).

* Where: Laguna Art Museum, 307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach.


* Whereabouts: San Diego (405) Freeway to Laguna Canyon Road exit. Head south. Go right on Pacific Coast Highway to Cliff Drive, one block past Main Beach.

* Wherewithal: $5 for adults, $4 for students and seniors, free for children under 12; free to all on Tuesdays.

* Where to call: (714) 494-8971.


In an effort to broaden his life last summer, funnyman Bill Engvall decided to take up bronc riding. The class started at 8 a.m. and ended at 8:01 with Engvall sprawled on the ground, his ego and spirit crushed. Fortunately, his comedy career has enjoyed more staying power, thanks to what he describes as friendly humor aimed at a broad audience. He also keeps it “real simple. It’s setup, joke, setup, joke.”

* Who: Bill Engvall.

* When: Tonight at 8:30, Friday night at 8:30 and 10:30, Saturday night at 8 and 10:30 and Sunday night at 8.

* Where: The Improv, 4255 Campus Drive, Irvine.

* Whereabouts: Take the San Diego (405) Freeway to the Jamboree Road exit and head south. Turn left onto Campus Drive. The Improv is in the Irvine Marketplace shopping center, across from the UC Irvine campus.

* Wherewithal: $8 to $12.

* Where to call: (714) 854-5455.


Chucho Valdes will make his first local appearance in 16 years Saturday night at UC Irvine. The Cuban keyboard player--who first caught the ears of American jazz fans as a member of Irakere, a band that featured trumpeter Arturo Sandoval and bassist Carlos Del Puerte--has been kept out of the United States by politics, but a few recordings of his work have appeared, and they show him to be an expansive player in the spirit of McCoy Tyner, Cecil Taylor and Art Tatum. In Irvine, he will be joined by fellow Irakere veteran Del Puerte and a host of rhythm-minded locals including saxophonist Justo Almario, drummer Alex Acuna and trombonist Art Velasco.

* Who: Chucho Valdes.

* When: Saturday at 8 p.m.

* Where: UC Irvine Concert Hall, Bridge Road and Mesa Road, Irvine.

* Whereabouts: Take the San Diego (405) Freeway to the Jamboree Road exit and head south. Turn left onto Campus Drive and right onto Bridge Road.

* Wherewithal: $6 to $10.

* Where to call: (714) 824-2787.


Igor Stravinsky’s score for Vaslav Nijinsky’s ballet “Le Sacre du Printemps” was so complex and innovative that it took two pianists to play it in rehearsals for the dancers. The two-piano arrangement (used by modern choreographer Paul Taylor in his 1980 version of the ballet) will be discussed and played at Saddleback College today by Gretchen Peregrine and Norman Weston.

* What: Igor Stravinsky’s “Le Sacre du Printemps,” discussed and played by pianists Gretchen Peregrine and Norman Weston.

* When: Today. Lecture at noon, recital at 8 p.m.

* Where: The lecture will be in Room 101 of the Fine Arts Complex and the recital in the McKinney Theatre, at Saddleback College, 28000 Marguerite Parkway, Mission Viejo.

* Whereabouts: Take the Avery Parkway exit from the San Diego (5) Freeway and go east to Marguerite Parkway. Turn left and proceed about a half mile to the campus entrance. Turn right, then follow Theater Circle Road to the top of the hill. Park in Lot 12.

* Wherewithal: Lecture free. Recital $3 to $5.

* Where to call: (714) 582-4656.