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Best Bets: Thursday 12/31

9:30 am: Jazz

“New Year’s Jazz at Indian Wells” is one of the year’s biggest jazz parties with some 21 bands performing at three desert resort hotels. Take your pick between New Year’s Eve shindigs--"Traditional Jazz Dance” or “Swingin’ Blues"--then unwind through Saturday at all-day sessions that include performances from the Bobby Rodriguez Latin Jazz Band, singer Ernie Andrews, vibraphonist Charlie Shoemake, Lisa Hayley & the ZydeKats, the Don Miller Orchestra and others.

* “New Year’s Jazz at Indian Wells,” Renaissance Esmeralda Hotel, 44-400 Indian Wells Lane, Indian Wells. Also at the Hyatt Grand Champions and Mira Monte hotels, 9:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Also Friday and Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. $40 to $270. (562) 799-6055.

8 pm: Theater

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Mix one sleight-of-hand artist with one deck of cards and you’ve got a recipe for astounding magic--if the artist is edgy, acclaimed conjurer Ricky Jay. He can be seen this week and next in his mind-boggling theatrical evening, “Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants.” The audience is seated on the stage for a close-up view, so seating is limited; only 150 seats will be sold for each performance. Warning: This is not for kids. Review, Page TK.

* “Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants,” Irvine Barclay Theatre, Cheng Hall, 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine, Tuesdays through Saturdays through Jan. 9, at 8 p.m. $40 (audience members must be at least 17). (949) 854-4646; (714) 740-2000.

10:30 pm: Pop Music

Of all the New Year’s Eve music choices in L.A., only one promises to bring in ’99 to the seductive stomp of those legendary boots--Nancy Sinatra at the remodeled Viper Room.

* Nancy Sinatra, the Viper Room, 8852 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, 10:30 p.m. $75. (310) 358-1880.

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FREEBIE: The Rose Bowl Family Festival concludes at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. (626) 449-ROSE.


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