Eight Days

Thurs/Dec 2

Jake Johannsen takes the stage. He's stuttery. And wry. And you'll like him. 8:30 p.m. $15. 21+. Irvine Improv, 71 Fortune Dr., Ste. 841, Irvine, (949) 854-5455.

Fri

When I lived in Berlin, we took the train way out of town to see das welt-beruhmte Musikal, Grease! We thought it was hilarious and spent the rest of our two-months' stay emoting, "Hoffentlos verloren . . . an dich!" at one other ("Hopelessly devoted," etc.) . . . because it was hilarious! Now you've got the chance to see it, but in English, with three specially arranged songs from the film! Hilarious! 8 p.m. $39.50-$45.50. Long Beach Terrace Theater, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, (714) 740-2000.

Or you can check out yet another Hunger Artists show, Searching for Americana. It's the world premiere of Emily Brauer's offbeat love story about a documentary-film crew on a road trip across the country, making stops in such cities as Cawker City, Kansas, and Roswell, New Mexico. This one sounds better, and it's not $45. 8 p.m. $12-$15. The Hunger Artists Theater Co., 699-A S. State College Blvd., Fullerton, (714) 680-6803.

Sat

I don't usually recommend the Coach House, a.k.a. the town in Footloose, because when the music moves me, my feets gots to do their thing! But this Very Special Show with The Beat Farmers AD (our own Buddy Blue, among others, but not Country Dick because he's totally dead) also includes special guests (and one-fourth-of-X) Dave Alvin and Billy Zoom. Are they gonna brawl, or perhaps make faces of contempt, or just replace each other over and over again? Your guess, my friends, is as good as mine! Also with English Motorbike. 8 p.m. $15. All ages. Coach House, 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, (949) 496-8930; www.thecoachhouse.com.

Sun

Hey, hey! It's the John R. Wooden Classic College Basketball Doubleheader! If I liked basketball, this would be superfun. First the UCLA Bruins take on Boston College, and then the Arizona Wildcats battle Mississippi State. And none of them are USC! Go you! 1:30 p.m. $10-$300. You heard me. Arrowhead Pond, 2695 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim, (714) 704-2400; www.woodenclassic.com.

Mon

Perhaps you are writing a bit of fiction. I did that once, but it was actually nonfiction, and it was about me, and I really, really hated it, so I stopped. But by all means, bring bits of your writing for an open critique and discussion at Barnes & Noble's Fiction Critique. Then look glassy-eyed (with nostrils flared and mouth corners turned sideways into a Chris Cox smile) and pretend criticism doesn't bother you in the least, that you like it when a prospective agent says, "I think you might be overestimating people's interest." Because that's the best. 7 p.m. Barnes & Noble, 26751 Aliso Creek Rd., Aliso Viejo, (949) 362-9665.

Tues

Ever since Ryan Seacrest stopped bloating up Star 98.7's drive time with talk about his highlights, it's been okay to like the station again. But wouldn't you know it? He left just in time for us to forget all about poor Star in the wake of Indie's arrival at the scene of the crime. Bummer, you guys! Still, Star's Not So Silent Night really has a terrific lineup, one I don't hesitate to recommend even at festival prices. Duran Duran's new album is incredible, just like their bad old eyeliner days; Los Lonely Boys are sexy, dancey yum-yum; Alanis Morissette, if you can get over that "Ironic" song, is actually a pretty fucking cool chick with some fascinating (and melodic!) issues; and doesn't John Mayer have some pretty, funky G. Love-ness? Isn't that that guy? 6 p.m. $55-$135. All ages. Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim, 2695 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim, (714) 704-2400; www.arrowheadpond.com.

Wed

Sure, he finally goes somewhere I could actually get backstage for a stalking, and wouldn't you know it? I'm done. Delta Nu and Sigma Chi, I leave this Chris Isaak show for your drunken fumblings and pre-coital romps. He's all yours! (Unless you call me, Sean, with an offer I can't refuse.) 7:30 p.m. $62.50. All ages. House of Blues, 1530 S. Disneyland Dr., Anaheim, (714) 778-2583.

Thurs/Dec 9

Sure, it's three things at the Pond in one week, but is it my fault they booked Dolly Parton? The songbird with the world's sweetest soprano is my hero both onstage and off-; read an interview with her spunky self, talking about her poor mama and why she's always dressed to the nines and how if she were a factory worker, she would be the star of that factory because damn it, that's just how she is, and then go hear her sing her original "I Will Always Love You," which is graceful and lovely (unlike the odious and bombastic Whitney "Crackpipe" Houston version) and which she wrote, and she'll probably throw in some romps like "9 to 5" while she's at it, and I love her. I do. 7:30 p.m. $44-$54. All ages. Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim, 2695 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim, (714) 704-2400; www.arrowheadpond.com.

 
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