As the world's foremost deep core oil driller, Bruce Willis (center, with Will Patton, left, and Ben Affleck) is just the man for NASA to send out to destroy an asteroid the size of Texas, which is hurtling toward Earth at 22,000 mph. "Armageddon" is heading to a theater near you on Wednesday.


After a year's absence, Occidental Theater Festival returns for a 39th season under the stars, at Occidental College's outdoor Hillside Amphitheatre. The festival kicks off Friday with a visit to Grover Corners, in Thornton Wilder's bittersweet American masterpiece, "Our Town."


As ever, the Fourth of July is not being ignored: At Hollywood Bowl, the Fireworks Spectacular will go on for three nights, beginning Friday, while on Saturday the Pacific Symphony offers a fireworks program at Irvine Meadows and the Pasadena Pops Orchestra opens its season at Descanso Gardens in La Can~ada.


One of a handful of essential '90s rock bands, the Smashing Pumpkins recently released another acclaimed album, the soul-searching "Adore." Led by Billy Corgan, the group continues a series of benefit concerts with shows Wednesday and Thursday at the Universal Amphitheatre.


"Double Trouble," a contemporary survey drawn from the collection of Tom Patchett, opens today at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego. With an emphasis on wit, the show comprises more than 200 pieces including works by Marcel Duchamp, Joseph Beuys and the Fluxus Collective.


Six industrial strength steel sculptures by Mark di Suvero, above, will go on display Thursday on the greens of Town Center Park in Costa Mesa. Presented by the Orange County Museum of Art, "Mark di Suvero: Orange County" will feature wind-activated sculptures balanced to move and rock.


The 14th annual Santa Monica Pier Twilight Dance Series, free Thursday night events featuring a wide assortment of music, begins this week with Maynard Ferguson's Big Bop Nouveau Band. The legendary high-note trumpeter heads a little big band that plays straight-ahead jazz with fire.


Even though he languished in "Sphere" and "Mad City," Dustin Hoffman is in top form in Barry Levinson's political satire "Wag the Dog." Hoffman won his seventh Oscar nomination for his funny turn as an oily film producer. The comedy, which also stars Robert De Niro, arrives Wednesday in video stores.


Early Warning: Only 47 more shopping days to round up the appropriate duds to welcome back John Steed and Mrs. Emma Peel in "The Avengers," the movie.

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