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Thursday, January 05, 2006 | Upcoming theater, music and film events:

THEATER

A tragic tradition. Big muscles and a sharp sword may have made Ajax one of the mightiest heroes of the Trojan War, but they didn’t do much for his mental stability. Forgotten by society, misunderstood by his allies and betrayed by his own pride, Ajax resorts to treachery and finally, suicide, to cope with the fast pace of social change in ancient Greece. Replace the prize of Achilles’ armor with a purple heart and a government paycheck, and Ajax could easily be a shell-shocked veteran of a modern war, looking to a society that’s turned its back for an explanation of the horrors he endured in its name. Sophocles’ tragic take on the myth of the war hero spans a few thousands years under the smart, socially conscious direction of 6th@Penn. “Ajax” plays at 8 p.m., Thursdays through Saturdays and at 2 p.m. Sundays, through Feb. 5, at 3704 6th Ave., Hillcrest. Info: (619) 688-9210 or www.sixthatpenn.com.

More theater:

-Robert Louis Stevenson’s macabre tale of the mind’s dark secrets gets a musical makeover as the California Youth Conservatory Theatre performs “Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical.” Plays at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, through Jan. 15. Info: (619) 544-1000 or www.cyctheatre.com.

– Guests of the “Twelfth Night” festival will partake in a final holiday hurrah, donning costumes on the official last night of the Christmas season to help recreate the revelry of the Renaissance. Irish fiddling, bawdy singing, traditional games and comic plays performed by Marlowe’s Shadowe provide a cultural excuse for one more night of excessive feasting and drinking. The event runs from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Jan. 7, at the La Mesa Women’s Center, 5220 Wilson St., La Mesa. Info: (858) 292-6083 or www.mlhdesigns.com/12thnight.html.

– It may lack the refinement of Shakespearean comedy, but we guarantee that all ages will be present to catch hilarious ventriloquist Lynn Trimble and his puppet sidekicks perform “Giddy Up Cowboys!” Runs 10 and 11:30 a.m., Wednesday through Friday and 11 a.m., 1 and 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 11-15, at the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater, 2125 Park Blvd., Balboa Park. Info: (619) 544-9203 or

MUSIC

And the beat slows down. And so now we get the Winter Blues. Sadly, that’s not a music festival but a chronic condition: the music scene’s almost gone into hibernation, leaving paltry pickings for early January eardrum engagements. Some dates that rate regardless:

– The music of saxophonist, composer and Coltrane protégé Wayne Shorter with Boston saxman Brian Levy and his quintet, 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 6 at Dizzy’s San Diego, 344 Seventh Ave., downtown. $15/$10 students.

– Los Lobos can rock the corrido. The Latin-American roots rockers perform their latest full-length, “Kiko and the Lavender Moon,” 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 6 at House of Blues, 1055 Fifth Ave., downtown. $33-36.

– Southern California punk got it right with The Adolescents, whose acidic, garage-teen ganders reveal today’s bop-tart punk-pop to be as exceptional as a tract home. Reunited and touring again, these boys tow music history behind their bus. 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 7 at SOMA, 2250 Sports Arena Blvd. $10.

– Winter also brings Salsa Sundays at the Belly Up Tavern, where the rhythms of San Diego’s Orquestra Primo can while away the monotony (and slim pickings) of January. 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 8 at the Belly Up Tavern, 143 S. Cedros Ave., Solana Beach. $10. (IP)

FILM

Before Bollywood. This trilogy traces the life of a Bengali boy named Apu, as he journeys from childhood in a rural tribe to adulthood in the city of Calcutta. Made in the 1950’s, the films garnered international attention and created the spark necessary for the then-tiny Indian film industry to grow. The films have now been restored and include digital remixing of Shankar’s original soundtrack. The first installment, “Pather Panchali,” begins tonight with an introduction to young Apu and his family. The second and third installments follow on Thursday, Jan. 12 and Thursday, Jan. 19. All shows play at 7 p.m. at the Museum of Photographic Arts, 1649 El Prado, in Balboa Park. Info: (619) 238-7559 or www.mopa.org.

More films:

– “Negroes With Guns: Rob Williams and Black Power” screens at the Central Library. The documentary takes a look at black radicalism and resistance and features interviews with historian Clayborn Carson and Williams’ wife, Mabel. Plays at 2 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 8, at the Central Library, 820 E St., downtown. Info: (619) 236-5800 or www.sandiego.gov.

– Central Library’s free film series continues with the romantic comedy “Frankie and Johnny are Married.” The low-budget film features Michael Pressman and his real-life wife, Lisa Chess as a married couple struggling to save their marriage while working on a theatrical production in L.A. Plays at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 9. Central Library, 820 E St., downtown. Info: (619) 236-5800 or www.sandiego.gov.

– Maxed out on Fridays? Spend the evening sitting back and watching an IMAX film. “Fridays at the Fleet” presents four IMAX films for your viewing pleasure. Friday, Jan. 6 you can see “Wild California” at 6 p.m., “Ring of Fire” at 7 p.m.,”Mystic India” at 8 p.m. and “Mystery of the Nile” at 9 p.m. A different selection of films is offered each Friday at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, 1875 El Prado, in Balboa Park. Info: (619) 238-1233 or

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