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WEEKEND FORECAST

TODAY

THEATER

What the body can do

The acrobats of the New Shanghai Circus will perform their eye-popping array of magic, juggling, archery, trick cycling and more at the Cerritos Center.

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New Shanghai Circus, Cerritos Center, 12700 Center Court Drive, Cerritos. Opens today at 2 and 8 p.m. $31 and $42. (562) 467-8810; www.cerritoscenter.com* Also 2 and 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday. Ends Sunday.

CABARET

Two who are in tune

Jason Graae and Liz Callaway celebrate more than 25 years of friendship (and 11 Broadway credits between them) with a duo cabaret show they’ve dubbed “Everything’s Coming Up Music.”

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She played Grizabella in “Cats” for five years; he had a similar tenure voicing the leprechaun in the Lucky Charms TV commercials.

Jason Graae and Liz Callaway, Samueli Theatre, Orange County Performing Arts Center, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. 7:30 tonight. $72. (714) 556-2787; www.ocpac.org

* Also 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 7 p.m. Sunday. Ends Sunday.

FRIDAY

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MOVIES

Tangled up in tragedy

Writer-director Karen Moncrieff follows up her 2002 feature debut, “Blue Car,” with “The Dead Girl,” four stories that intersect with the murder of a young woman. The acclaimed cast includes Toni Collette, Rose Byrne, Mary Beth Hurt, Marcia Gay Harden and Brittany Murphy, and the movie is nominated for three of Film Independent’s Spirit Awards.

“The Dead Girl,” rated R for language, grisly images and sexuality/nudity, opens Friday exclusively at Laemmle’s Sunset 5, 8000 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood. (323) 848-3500.

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POP MUSIC

Making progress

You can call it progressive hip-hop or underground, but by any name the music of Blackalicious is unfailingly uplifting and fiercely funky -- especially on its latest album, “The Craft,” when joined by George Clinton. The duo of Gift of Gab and Chief Excel also employs some stalwarts of the Bay Area music scene on its fifth album, which marks another step forward for one of the most inventive outfits in any genre of hip-hop.

Blackalicious, El Rey Theatre, 5515 Wilshire Blvd., L.A. 9 p.m. Friday. $20. (323) 936-6400.

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JAZZ

Yet more on his plate

Pianist Larry Karush has a Guggenheim Fellowship in music composition, is adept with contemporary classical music and African-based percussion, plays swinging, straight-ahead jazz and has lectured at universities throughout the United States. That’s a full plate for any musical artist, but he brings his diverse skills and interests together in a fashion that is both adventurous and entertaining, with snatches of blues, country, boogie-woogie and bebop likely show up in any given improvisation. This week, he performs with the backing of bassist Chris Colangelo, drummer Kendall Kay and percussionist Mike Shrewsbery.

Larry Karush, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., L.A. 5:30 p.m. Friday. Free. (323) 857-6000.

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MOVIES

Buddy to a bunny

Renee Zellweger, Ewan McGregor and Emily Watson star in the biopic “Miss Potter.” As author and illustrator, Beatrix Potter created Peter Rabbit among other children’s favorites and became a quiet rebel in early 20th century English literary circles.

“Miss Potter,” rated PG for brief mild language, opens Friday exclusively at Laemmle’s Sunset 5, 8000 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, (323) 848-3500; Landmark’s NuWilshire, 1314 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, (310) 281-8223.

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SATURDAY

EVENTS

Kwanzaa fun that just keeps going

The modern Kwanzaa holiday celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. In 1966, Maulana Karenga, a professor at Cal State Long Beach, first celebrated Kwanzaa here in Los Angeles. The annual Kwanzaa Heritage Parade and Festival is slated for Saturday. The parade -- with marching bands, cheerleaders, antique cars, drill teams, cowboys, cowgirls and more -- starts at noon at Rodeo Road and Crenshaw Boulevard and goes south on Crenshaw to Leimert Park Village, where the festival -- featuring drumming, music, dance and spoken word performances, children’s activities, arts, crafts and foods from around the world -- will take place.

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Kwanzaa Heritage Parade and Festival, Leimert Park Village, 43rd Place and Crenshaw Boulevard, Leimert Park. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday. Free. (213) 955-5239.

OPERA

A far-flung ‘Flute’

The Metropolitan Opera in New York kicks off its series of six live high-definition broadcasts into movie theaters Saturday with a 100-minute version of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute,” directed by Julie Taymor (“The Lion King”) and conducted by James Levine. On view will be Taymor hallmarks such as fanciful puppets and dancing beasts. George Tsypin (“Grendel”) created the sets. The cast includes Ying Huang (Pamina), Matthew Polenzani (Tamino), Nathan Gunn (Papageno), Erika Miklosa (Queen of the Night) and Rene Pape (Sarastro). The opera will be sung to a new English translation by poet J.D. McClatchy.

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“The Magic Flute,” AMC Burbank 16, 125 E. Palm Ave., Burbank. 10:30 a.m. Saturday. $18. (Sold out.) (310) 289-4262.

* Also Regal Irvine Spectrum 20 Plus Imax, 65 Fortune Drive, Irvine. 10:30 a.m. Saturday. $18. (Sold out.) (949) 450-4920.

SUNDAY

EVENTS

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In view for 2007

Out with the old; in with the new. Some people greet the new year with family and friends while others prefer to sit on a barstool and toot a toy horn. The 17th annual Welcome to the New Year Hike and Party invites people to perambulate about a half to three-quarters of a mile into the Palisades Highlands and meet the new year head-on with music, food, conversation and beautiful evening views of the city and the sea. Each hiker is responsible for a potluck dish or drinks with cups (Champagne is OK) to share with about five people. Guitars and musical instruments are welcome. Participants are asked to gather at Chastain Parkway East and Via Las Palmas at 10 p.m.

Welcome to the New Year Hike and Party, Pacific Palisades, 10 p.m. Sunday. $9; no reservations required. (310) 479-5717.

TUESDAY

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THEATER

Ascended to the throne

Hey, hey, he’s a monarch. Micky Dolenz was the most hyper Monkee; 40 years later, he’s well-settled in his musical theater career, now appearing as King Charlemagne in “Pippin.” The story’s eponymous prince can’t seem to find himself, which creates more than a little tsoris for dear old dad. Stephen Schwartz, lately of “Wicked” fame, wrote the songs.

“Pippin,” Segerstrom Hall, Orange County Performing Arts Center, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Opens 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. $15 to $65. (714) 556-2787; www.ocpac.org.

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* Runs 7:30 p.m. Tuesday to Jan. 5; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Jan. 6; 1 and 6:30 p.m. Jan. 7. Ends Jan. 7


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