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BEST BETS SATURDAY 10/21

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1 & 8pm Music

If you are devoted to the masterpieces of Benjamin Britten--and “masterpieces” is the right word--you can hear and experience two of them, live, today, both in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. At 1 p.m., Los Angeles Opera gives its second (of seven scheduled) performances of “Peter Grimes,” conducted by Richard Armstrong, with stage direction by John Schlesinger. At 8 p.m. Antonio Pappano conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the L.A. Master Chorale and soloists Elena Zelenskaya, Ian Bostridge and Thomas Mohr in Britten’s monumental “War Requiem” (1962).

* Los Angeles Opera presents Britten’s “Peter Grimes” in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., at 1 p.m. $28-$148. (213) 365-3500. Also Tuesday, Oct. 27 and 29, and Nov. 1 and 4. The L.A. Philharmonic and L.A. Master Chorale perform the “War Requiem” in the Pavilion at 8 p.m. $10-$70. (323) 850-2000. Also Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

all day

art

“Mexico: From Empire to Revolution,” the first in a two-part photography exhibition focusing on Mexico’s turbulent history, opens Saturday at the Getty Research Institute Exhibition Gallery. Drawn from the institute’s archive of more than 1 million photographs, the survey explores the historical importance of photographs in depicting history. The show is divided into two parts: “Empire and Intervention” and “Ruins of Pre-Hispanic Empires,” which explore the period from 1860 through the 1880s. The second part of the series, opening Feb. 24, will focus on the period between 1910 and 1915.

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* “Mexico: From Empire to Revolution.” Getty Research Institute, Getty Center, 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood. Tuesday and Wednesdays, 11 a.m.-7 p.m; Thursdays and Fridays, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Free. Parking reservations required Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and Thursdays and Fridays before 4 p.m. Ends Jan. 21. (310) 440-7300.

8pm

Theater

Sean Hayden opens in his off-Broadway solo musical, “Confidentially, Cole,” about two gay men of different generations, using the lyrics of Cole Porter to explore in each the nature of love, forbidden passion and heartbreak.

* “Confidentially, Cole,” Tiffany Theatre, 8532 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, Thursdays through Sundays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays, 3 p.m. Ends Nov. 5. $30. (310) 289-2999.

2pm

Comedy/Family

Master magician Bradley Fields presents “MatheMagic!”--a combination of illusions, storytelling, comedy--and math, of course. Fields’ show for children and families also teaches some math trickery for kids to try at home.

Boost those Stanford 9 scores and have fun at the same time.

* “MatheMagic!,” Caltech, Beckman Auditorium, 332 S. Michigan Ave., Pasadena. 2 p.m. $5 to $10. (888) 222-5832, (626) 395-4652.

7 & 9pm

Comedy

Those who still think the world’s shortest book is “100 Years of Lesbian Humor” haven’t seen Suzanne Westenhoefer. Back when Ellen was playing straight on TV, Westenhoefer was recording a live CD titled “Nothing in My Closet but My Clothes.” The New York Post said she could “make even Bette Midler blush.”

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* Suzanne Westenhoefer at the Village at Ed Gould Plaza, 1125 N. McCadden Place, Hollywood. 7 and 9 p.m. $20. (323) 860-7300.

8pm

Music

The three-time Tony Award-winning Audra McDonald returns for two Southern California appearances in “An Evening of Song,” cabaret-style at Royce Hall Saturday, then Sunday at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido.

* Audra McDonald performs in Royce Hall at UCLA, 8 p.m. $35 to $50. (310) 825-2101. Also, Sunday at 7:30 p.m. at the California Center for the Arts, 340 Escondido Blvd., Escondido. $20 to $50. (800) 988-4253.

3pm

Festival

If you want to wallow in the true ghoulish spirit of Halloween, then the aptly titled Bizarre Vampire Bazaar might be up your alley. Now in its fifth year, the two-day festival in Long Beach will offer a hearse car show featuring hot rod and restored hearses; a “Vamphear Circus” with a sword swallower, a contortionist and a fire breather; and five doom-and-gloom gothic/industrial/death rock bands at the event’s 21-and-over nightclub. Vampire poets, Aztec dancers and unique vendors (including a booth manned by Bat Conservation International) round out this celebration of the macabre.

* Bizarre Vampire Bazaar, 600 Queensway Drive, Long Beach. Saturday and Sunday, 3 p.m.-2 a.m. $12 to $15; both days $15 to $20. “Vamphear Circus,” both nights at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Circus only: $6 to $8; children, $1 to $3. (562) 436-9886.

Freebies

The Fire Burns Blue II is an afternoon of scary storytelling for adults done by local actors at the Mark Taper Auditorium of the Central Library, 630 W. 5th St., downtown Los Angeles. 2 p.m. (213) 228-7000.

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Arts and crafts workshops, sports clinics and merry-go-round and pony rides will be a few of the attractions at the family-oriented KTLA Kids Day L.A., Griffith Park, near the merry-go-round, Los Angeles. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (213) 485-1406.

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