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ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Miller | August 9, 2013
If Adele tried to sneak into the OC Fair undetected, she probably wouldn't make it past the turnstile without getting mobbed. The surviving Beatles? Of course not. Bob Dylan? Fat chance. Mick Jagger? The 70th-birthday greetings would swell to a roar. But Roger Hodgson, who will play the Toyota Summer Concert Series' final show Sunday evening, has a hunch that he's not nearly as famous as the songs his tenor graced. "I think I'm one of the music industry's best-kept secrets," the former Supertramp member said by phone Tuesday.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Miller | August 8, 2013
When Upstream brings its mix of reggae and soca to the Newport Beach Civic Center this weekend, it will not be the work of a tribute band bringing a little imagined Caribbean spice to town. Rather, it will be music whose roots extend into Trinidad's soil - almost literally. Lead singer Haile Blackman, the son of soca pioneer Ras Shorty I, spent several years of his childhood living in the forest with his family. His father, who had had a religious conversion and changed his name from Garfield Blackman, decided to step away from the trappings of superstardom.
NEWS
By Chasen Doerr | August 8, 2013
Opening night is just a day away for South Coast Repertory Summer Players production of "Annie," which plays this weekend and next on the Julie Argyros Stage. The show stars local youth in grades 5-12 who auditioned for their roles after completing one year in SCR's theater conservatory. The musical will be performed in the 336-seat theater, giving the students the complete experience: the big stage, full lighting and sound, period costumes and sets changes. Theatre conservatory director Hisa Takakuwa is directing the show, which takes place during the Great Depression.
NEWS
By Michael Miller | August 1, 2013
The exercise wasn't on the schedule, but Bill Brawley had learned to read the eyes of kids and improvise when the moment required it. Monday morning in a rehearsal room at the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, 40 young vocalists were working on R. Kelly's ballad "I Believe I Can Fly," and Brawley abruptly turned the song into a group exercise. Or maybe therapy. As pianist Jarod Sheahan played softly, Brawley, the director of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts' annual Summer at the Center program, had each participant stand and utter a sentence that began with the words "I believe.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Miller | July 12, 2013
Austin Wintory doesn't care to participate in debates about whether video games count as art. But if anyone corners him about it Wednesday when he joins the Pacific Symphony as a guest conductor, he'll have a couple of powerful friends to back him up. One is the voting bloc of the Recording Academy, which a few months ago made Wintory the first composer to snare a Grammy nomination for a game score. Another is the Museum of Modern Art in New York, which around the same time added 14 games to its collection - including "flOw," a project Wintory co-created while a student at USC. In recent years, the medium's increasing sophistication has caused many to question whether it can stand alongside novels, movies and other venerable forms.
NEWS
By Jeremiah Dobruck | July 6, 2013
The Orange County Fair doesn't specify exactly what "it" is in this year's theme of "Come & Get It," but there's plenty to choose from. Friday marks the beginning of the annual event's deep-fried grandeur, cornucopia of entertainment, rides, animals, games and more at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa, according to news releases and the fair's website. This year, a new cast of food mascots is ready to welcome fairgoers Wednesdays through Sundays, from Friday to Aug. 11. Although attendees won't be able to eat Arturo the churro, Olivia the orange or Mike the bacon-wrapped turkey leg, they can buy plush toys depicting the "foodies" and find them in costume around the grounds.
NEWS
By Bradley Zint | April 30, 2013
The Costa Mesa Technology Branch Library reopened Tuesday in a new location that administrators hope will better accommodate users. The branch is now in Fairview Court shopping center, 2263 Fairview Road, near Wilson Street. The Technology Branch spent 11 years at 3303 Bristol St. before closing there April 13. The new location, in the College Park neighborhood, is similar to its predecessor in most respects, though it is slightly larger at 2,200 square feet. It has about 25 public computers, two printers and a laptop station with outlet plug-ins.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Miller | April 18, 2013
If David Lynch, Salvador Dali or some other surrealist master were given the task of programming a symphony concert, he or she might concoct something akin to this week's offering at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. First, take an orchestra that recently performed Beethoven's Fifth Symphony and have it play a tribute to 20th-century American composers plus a selection from the fantasy video game "Diablo III. " Then, to cap off the evening, bring in Gladys Knight, the woman who sang lead on "Midnight Train to Georgia" and other 1970s soul hits.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Rhea Mahbubani | April 11, 2013
Broadway luminary Barbara Cook is in for a treat. During her one-night-only performance at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall on Saturday, she will be presented with a birthday card. Yes, birthday cards are common, but not ones filled with best wishes submitted by fans nationwide. Since Saturday's performance is to celebrate the year of Cook's 85th birthday, the Segerstrom Center for the Arts created a way for fans to wish her well via Twitter and Facebook. (Her actual birthday is Oct. 25.)
NEWS
By Bradley Zint | March 6, 2013
In those hectic days, hours and minutes before opening night, it's time to "either laugh or cry. " So says Pauline Maranian, director of Estancia High School's upcoming musical theater production of "Guys & Dolls," which opens Thursday for a three-night run at the Robert B. Wentz Theatre at Newport Harbor High School. At the beginning of Monday's rehearsal, Maranian, an Estancia teacher since 1996, calmly held her dog Hamlet backstage as throngs of students prepped themselves for the evening.
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