Best Bets


The resigned restaurant owner, the hopeful waiter, the immigrant busboys, the ambitious young couple dining: People on the job and on the town are looking for--or giving up--their personal American dreams in the world premiere of Joe Hortua's seriocomic play "Making It," set in the kitchen and dining room of a Manhattan restaurant. Opens Friday at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa. Right: Laura Hinsberger and JD Cullum.

Pop Music

A growing chorus of support has developed for Arkansas death row inmate Damien Echols, whose controversial 1994 trial was the subject of the HBO documentary "Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills." Los Angeles rock acts the Autumns, W.A.C.O., Parlour and Dick Army join Wednesday at L.A.'s El Rey Theatre in a benefit for Echols, who is seeking a new trial.


Live music composed by Erik Satie, Antonin Dvorak, Robert Schumann and others accompanies the Mark Morris Dance Group, below, in mixed rep Thursday to Saturday at the Irvine Barclay Theatre. The program includes three Southern California premieres--"Bijoux" (1983), "Peccadillos" (2000) and "V" (2001)--along with "The Office" (1994) and "Dancing Honeymoon" (1998).


Noted film editor Eva Gardos wrote and directed the semiautobiographical drama "An American Rhapsody." Nastassja Kinski, Scarlett Johansson and Tony Goldwyn head the cast of this heartfelt film about a Hungarian couple who escape the communist country but accidentally leave behind their baby daughter. Arrives Tuesday on VHS and DVD.


Jazz takes a historical turn this week when trombonist Curtis Fuller, an alum of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers of the early 1960s, brings his quartet to Culver City's Jazz Bakery for a six-night run beginning Tuesday. On Wednesday, a former Dizzy Gillespie sidekick, saxophonist James Moody, arrives at the Catalina Bar & Grill in Hollywood for a five-nighter.


"Ceramic Annual 2002," the latest installment of the nation's oldest annual exhibition of ceramic art, will open Saturday at Scripps College's Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery in Claremont. For this, the 58th show, guest curator Nancy Selvin has chosen a variety of abstract sculptures by a dozen artists who work in the U.S. and England. Below: Kevin Nierman's "Shard Wall (Raku)" from 2001.

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