COSTA MESA — Alone on the expansive stage, Jake Shimabukuro looked like he was about to launch into a stand-up routine.
An audience of some 2,000 at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall was waiting for him to strum four short strings. With the modest ukulele and a knack for storytelling, Shimabukuro's March 24 performance evoked a wide range of emotions.
"There's no one equal to that," Huntington Beach resident Shirley Orlando said of Shimabukuro, widely considered one of the top ukulele players.
"It was just unparalleled," said Orlando, who owns the Island Bazaar ukulele store in Surf City. "There are very few people that could compete on the stage."
She gambled and used her credit card to buy 150 tickets for her groups' members. Orlando offers lessons and a place for people to play.