Best Bets / JULY 25-31, 1999


Director Garry Marshall and his "Pretty Woman" stars Julia Roberts and Richard Gere re-team for "Runaway Bride," a romantic comedy about a woman who has stranded three men at the altar, attracting the attention of reporter Gere. It opens Friday.


"Deep Blue Sea," the latest thriller from action director Renny Harlin ("Die Hard 2," "Cliffhanger"), is about a ruthlessly ambitious scientist (Saffron Burrows) whose experiment to genetically alter a group of mako sharks backfires when she and her team become stranded with the killer fish on their sinking marine laboratory. Samuel L. Jackson, Stellan Skargard and Thomas Jane co- star. It opens Friday in general release.


In Jason Reed's burlesque, fantasy romp, "Tagteam Lovefest 2000," a new offbeat mainstage production from the Actors' Gang, space travelers through time discover "funkadelic Roller-Derby madness" awaiting them on the eve of the new millennium in New York City. Opens Saturday.


Two installations composed of perfume-filled steel containers and 1,500 long-stemmed roses wrapped in cotton create arresting sculptural environments in "Valeska Soares: Vanishing Point," opening today at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego/Downtown.


Five concerts in connection with an international piano symposium dedicated to Chopin takes place at Pepperdine University, Malibu, Aug. 1-8, with recitals by Natalia Troull, Halina Czerny-Stefanska, Mikhail Voskressensky and others. Previewing the series, Russian pianist Nikolai Petrov plays a benefit for the symposium, Saturday night in Zipper Hall at the Colburn School, downtown.


With Richard Move in very serious drag as Martha Graham, the American Repertory Dance Company performs works by master California choreographers--Ruth St. Denis, Ted Shawn, Doris Humphrey, Agnes de Mille, Lester Horton, Bella Lewitzky, Joyce Trisler and Donald McKayle--on Thursday and Friday in California Plaza, downtown.


Kenny Garrett has been one of the top alto-saxophonists in jazz during the past decade. A fiery player (formerly with Miles Davis) whose passionate style recalls John Coltrane but who has a sound of his own, Garrett will be performing at Catalina's for six nights this week, starting Tuesday.

Pop Music

The diva derby is a heated competition in the '90s, but even while keeping a low profile, Whitney Houston has withstood most of her challengers. On her first tour in five years, Houston has scaled down from vast venues to more intimate settings, including the Universal Amphitheatre, where she headlines Wednesday and Thursday.


Mel Gibson takes on a rare bad guy role in the violent action-thriller "Payback." Gibson plays a career criminal bent on revenge in the film noir, which marks the directorial debut of Oscar-winning screenwriter Brian Helgeland ("L.A. Confidential"). Kris Kristofferson also stars in the hit, which arrives Tuesday on video.

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