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ENTERTAINMENT
By Rhea Mahbubani | February 14, 2013
Napoleon Gladney is no stranger to wearing several hats. A tree, emotions, the wind, a prince, a vampire, and even music notes - these are just a few roles that the Los Angeles-based professional dancer has enacted. Now, as part of the ensemble of the popular Broadway musical "Wicked: The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz," Gladney plays multiple parts in the same production, spinning in and out of gear as a student, towns person and flying monkey. "'Wicked's' music, costumes, light and scenery are all phenomenal and can stand on their own," Gladney, 25, said.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Tom Titus | February 13, 2013
They've explored the world of history ("Ragtime") and fantasy ("Seussical"), but the creative team of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty earlier elected to tackle two other genres - mystery and farce - in their offbeat musical comedy "Lucky Stiff," based on the novel "The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo. " The resultant project, now on view at the Costa Mesa Playhouse under the direction of David A. Blair, continues that theater's close kinship with the outlandish in a wild and wacky production designed to draw continuous chuckles, if not frequent belly laughs.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Miller | December 27, 2012
Alfred Hitchcock was once quoted as saying, "I enjoy playing the audience like a piano. " And so does Eileen Jeanette. The vice president of artistic and orchestra operations for the Pacific Symphony keeps a keen eye on how many people have bought tickets for every show at the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. It's not just a matter of fretting about the crowd's reaction; Jeanette needs to know how many human bodies will occupy the seats, because that will indicate how much she needs to shift the room's acoustics to accommodate them.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Heather Youmans | October 31, 2012
Four-time Tony Award-winning original musical "Memphis" rides the airwaves into Costa Mesa for a two-week engagement at Segerstrom Center for the Arts next week. "Memphis," two hours of fast-paced action and 19 high-energy song and dance numbers, is set in the segregated 1950s with blues and early rock 'n' roll the vehicle for a tale of fame and forbidden interracial love. The first national touring company features original Broadway cast members, including Bryan Fenkart as Huey Calhoun, a role he understudied and performed more than 200 times, ensemble member Jill Morrison said.
NEWS
By Britney Barnes | October 22, 2012
Baton in hand, Ryan Youd, 8, led his orchestra of invisible violins, drums, French horns, flutes and clarinets with increasingly frenetic arm movements through an energetic piece of classical music. With all the formality and prestige of Gustavo Dudamel after conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Stravisnky's "Rite of Spring," Ryan took his bow. "When I was conducting, it was so fun," he said. "I was listening to the music, and I was raising the baton; it went faster and faster.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Brittany Woolsey | October 17, 2012
If you've heard a ska band on the radio or live, Tazy Phyllipz probably had something to do with it. After helping bands like No Doubt and Sublime find their place on the musical map for more than 20 years, Phyllipz, an Irvine resident, is hoping to get something back so he can fund a tell-all book about his musical adventures. Phyllipz is looking to hire an editor and co-writer for the upcoming memoir. He hopes to raise $35,000, an amount he said may be too high for the positions he is hiring.
NEWS
By Brittany Woolsey | October 6, 2012
The smell of warm chili filled the air Saturday afternoon as Costa Mesa citizens and politicians gathered for the annual Halecrest Community Chili Cook-Off. About 15 chili-cooking groups competed at the free event, which included food, music and vendors. A variety of chili, from spicy to Hawaiian-influenced, was served for free at the cook-off. Local politicians took advantage of the event by serving their own chili and spreading the word about their campaigns for the upcoming elections.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Candice Baker | October 4, 2012
A daylong music festival next weekend will attract some of the country's top indie, rock and folk acts to the Balboa Pier area, to benefit the renovation of the historic Balboa Theater. Bringing acts like Matt Nathanson, Joshua Radin, A Fine Frenzy and Maria McKee to the sands of Newport Beach was the vision of the late Ken Phebus of the Producing Group, a Newport Beach native. Phebus died earlier this year. "He felt the Balboa Performing Arts Theater Foundation was supportive of the idea, believing the event would not only raise funds but help to expand awareness of the project and its importance to the community," said Phebus' former partner, John Sullivan of the Producing Group.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Bradley Zint | October 3, 2012
Lang Lang isn't a pianist to suit all tastes. I suppose no musician is, but in any case, there were a few times when he didn't suit mine last week. The 30-year-old Chinese virtuoso made a single stop in Costa Mesa on Sept. 27. He played with the Pacific Symphony in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. As conductor Carl St.Clair noted, he took on not one, but two concertos. Impressive indeed, no matter how you square it. But the manner in which this superstar - a superstar by classical world standards, that is - played Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 1 and Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5, the lauded "Emperor," surely got those of us thinking who are used to these pieces (especially the Beethoven)
NEWS
By Jill Cowan | September 25, 2012
Lee Childress, a fixture of the arts community who nurtured generations of high school students, died Friday at Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo, near her home in Laguna Woods. She was 95. Remembered as warm, giving and "a bit of a diva," Childress co-founded the MACY Awards with her husband, John Childress, who died in 2005. The MACYs, or Music and Arts Commendations for Youth, which were renamed the Childress MACY Awards a couple years ago, recognize achievement in high school musical theater and are presented to hundreds of students at a ceremony each May. "I have students who won trophies in the '80s that they still remember.
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