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Art

Clay was still a genteel, small-scale medium in the United States in the late 1950s when Peter Voulkos began pummeling it into the three-dimensional equivalent of Abstract Expressionist paintings.

"The Art of Peter Voulkos," at the Newport Harbor Art Museum beginning Saturday, presents 70 sculptures spanning the California artist's career. Organized by the Oakland Museum, the exhibition includes massive plate forms from the '50s, photos and maquettes of monumental bronze sculptures from the '60s and '70s, and wood-fired works from the past 15 years.

Voulkos will give a lecture at the museum Saturday at 3 p.m.; admission is free with museum admission.

* What: "The Art of Peter Voulkos."

* When: Saturday through Feb. 25. Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

* Where: Newport Harbor Art Museum, 850 San Clemente Drive, Newport Beach.

* Whereabouts: San Diego (405) Freeway to the Jamboree Road exit; drive south for five miles. Turn left onto Santa Barbara Drive, left again onto San Clemente Drive.

* Wherewithal: $4 adults; $2 students and seniors, free for children under 12; free for everyone on Tuesdays.

* Where to call: (714) 759-1122.

Comedy

Combining comedy, music and impressions (Kermit the Frog, Stevie Wonder and Louis Armstrong, among others), James Stephens III offers a set of good, clean fun. With his trademark hat and opening line ("Yo, what's up?"), the versatile comic draws from perceptions and experiences and also takes down racial myths and misconceptions with ease.

* Who: James Stephens III.

* When: 8:30 p.m. tonight and Sunday, 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, 8 and 10:30 p.m. Saturday.

* Where: The Brea Improv, 945 E. Birch St., Brea.

* Whereabouts: Orange (57) Freeway to the Lambert Road exit; go west. Turn left onto State College Boulevard and right onto Birch Street.

* Wherewithal: $8-$10.

* Where to call: (714) 529-7878.

Music

British composer Peter Warlock went all the way back to a 16th century French dance manual for tunes to develop into his 1926 "Capriol Suite."

Richard Hickox will conduct the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra in Warlock's suite, on a program that also includes music by Handel, Purcell, Mozart and Ralph Vaughan Williams. Allan Vogel will be the oboe soloist. The program is sponsored by the Philharmonic Society.

* What: Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.

* When: Saturday, 8 p.m.

* Where: Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine.

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

* Wherewithal: $22-$35.

* Where to call: (714) 854-4646.

Family Affair

A Newport Beach couple will give the gift of song Sunday, but this will be no cozy serenade. Ophthalmologist Gordon Fishman and his wife, Hannareta, are organizing and underwriting the Orange County Chanukah Concert, complete with Grammy-winning composer and singer Doug Colter, singer-composer Julie Silver, and the cantors and children's choirs from five Orange County temples. The program will include selections sung in English, Yiddish or Hebrew, including several traditional Hanukkah songs.

Rabbi Arnold Rachlis, leader of the Fishmans' temple, University Synagogue in Irvine, helped coordinate the program and is not surprised that ticket sales have been brisk.

"Hanukkah falls at a time of year when there is so much celebration in the American culture over Christmas that Jews sometimes feel they don't have a comparable way to gather and rejoice quite as festively," he explained.

* What: Orange County Chanukah Concert.

* When: Sunday, 6:30 p.m.

* Where: Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine.

* Whereabouts: See Music item above.

* Wherewithal: $12 for adults, $6 for ages 12 and younger; a $100 benefit ticket includes a post-show supper with the artists.

* Where to call: (714) 553-3535.

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