BEST BETS Friday 3/16




"The Big Table" by local playwright Adam Martin seeks to answer the question "What do they do for entertainment in hell?" The devil forces a newly arrived playwright to watch a play that apparently is the sum total of said writer's own misspent talent. What unfolds is a bizarre series of comic sketches that satirize the conventions of theater and screen, with appearances by Godzilla and James Bond's nemesis Dr. No, among other unlikely characters.

* "The Big Table," The Hunger Artists Theatre Company, 204 E. 4th St., Suite I, Santa Ana. Fridays and Saturdays, 8:30 p.m.; Sundays, 7:30 p.m. Through Sunday. $10 to $12. (714) 547-9100.



Pop Music

Alice in Chains guitarist-songwriter Jerry Cantrell, who launched his solo career in 1998 with his debut solo album, "Boggy Depot," continues to enjoy life free of Chains. In his show at the Whisky in Hollywood last month, he supplemented the "Boggy Depot" material with newer material as well as AIC favorites. He plays the Galaxy Theatre on Friday.

* Jerry Cantrell, Galaxy Theatre, 3503 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana. With Swarm, Parise. 8 p.m. $13.50 to $15.50. (714) 957-0600.




Finding parallels between Czar Paul I (1776-1801) and Shakespeare's "Hamlet," contemporary Russian choreographer Boris Eifman created a full-length story ballet titled "Russian Hamlet: The Son of Catherine the Great," in 1999, originally for the Bolshoi Ballet. His Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg will dance the West Coast premiere of the work, which uses music by Beethoven and Mahler, in the company's Orange County Performing Arts Center debut. Three casts will appear in the principal roles over the four performances.

* Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg, Orange County Performing Arts Center, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. 8 p.m. Also Saturday and Sunday, 2 and 8 p.m. $20 to $60. (714) 556-2787.

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