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NEWS
By Alan Blank | January 5, 2009
Sam Weaver, the prop master for the percussion and dance troupe STOMP, is kind of like a real-life MacGyver. The group, which begins a six-day engagement at the Orange County Performing Arts Center tonight, is world renowned for making music in a visually stunning fashion using everyday household implements like trash cans, brooms and basketballs as instruments. Weaver’s job is to procure the props for the eight-person crew that tours around the United States and make sure they make the right noises and can be easily tossed around, worn and beaten.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Brianna Bailey | June 13, 2008
“Rocky Horror Picture Show” fan Bill Ung thinks of the now-shuttered Balboa Theater as an old friend. Every few years Ung, who still plays the bespectacled character Brad Majors in stage reenactments of “Rocky Horror” with the performance troupe Midnight Insanity, has gone and peered in the windows of the old theater on Balboa Peninsula. But he only ever sees dust and rubble. “It was home for such a long time — this is where I met all my friends,” Ung said.
NEWS
By Daniel Tedford | June 7, 2008
When Stephanie Vazquez was a little girl, she dreamed of growing up and traveling the world. She would see France, visit the Eiffel Tower and enjoy it all with her friends. But now, Stephanie says, who needs to grow up? Stephanie was one of 10 girls who traveled with the Spotlight Spinners, a cheerleading and baton-twirling team out of Newport Heights Elementary School that recently competed at an international competition in Paris. “I didn’t think I would travel the world at 10 years old,” Stephanie said.
FEATURES
By Michael Miller | March 16, 2008
COSTA MESA — Unlike the girls in his troupe, Jacob Folsom doesn’t have to wear a wig when he dances. But that doesn’t mean the Newport Beach resident forgets about his hair before a show. Jacob, 9, is one of the few boys in the Claddagh Dance Company, an Irish-themed school that operates eight studios in Southern California. When the troupe goes on stage, the girls wear tightly curled wigs to give off that old-fashioned look — and Jacob, who sports a long mane of hair, firms his with gel to keep it from tossing up and down.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Sue Thoensen | February 21, 2008
Exotic music, elaborate, colorful costumes and lots of bare midriffs. Sounds like a rock concert, right? Well, not quite. The multifaceted art form known as belly dancing will be taken to new heights as east meets west in the Bellydance Superstars’ production of “Babelesque” Friday night at the Orange County Performing Artscenter. Miles Copeland, who founded the group in 2002, said managing a troupe of beautifully exotic belly dancers is a welcome change from the rock ’n’ roll legends he managed in the past like the Police as well as Sting and Miles’ brother Stewart Copeland solo.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Sue Thoensen | December 13, 2007
Kathy Lenhardt has always loved the Radio City Rockettes. Tonight, when the Radio City Christmas Spectacular makes its West Coast premiere at the Orange County Performing Artscenter, she will be ushering people to their seats. Her daughter Amy will be on stage, performing in a show that has become a holiday tradition across the country. Amy, of Huntington Beach, was 5 when she saw the Rockettes perform for the first time. She and Kathy were watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on television.
FEATURES
By Kelly Strodl | October 1, 2007
The feathers on Adolfo Arteaga’s toucan-inspired headdress whirled and swirled as he bounded across the outdoor Plaza Stage at the second annual Community Arts Festival put on by the Orange County Performing Artscenter Sunday. Arteaga, along with his wife, Eva, and daughters Tonanzin, 17, and Huitzi, 14, shared their Aztec heritage with the crowds swarming the center’s grounds that day at a free event aimed at bringing the community into the arts. Tonanzin and Huitzi are home-schooled and love it because it gives them more time to travel with the family performance troupe “Danza Azteca Xochipilli.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Sue Thoensen | September 26, 2007
Long legs and short, red velvet costumes trimmed in white fur. Christmas was in the air as two of the Radio City Rockettes danced into Roger’s Gardens in Corona del Mar on Monday as part of a weeklong promotion for the upcoming “Christmas Spectacular” at the Orange County Performing Arts Center. Tickets to performances of the holiday classic, running from Dec. 13 through Dec. 30 in Segerstrom Hall, went on sale this week, with prices ranging from $25 to $75. Autumn Withers and Alexis Thebolt were treated to a peek of the decorated Christmas showroom at Roger’s.
FEATURES
By Jessie Brunner | August 12, 2007
The plane plummeted toward the Camden Haven River, Bob Hope told jokes and Patty Thomas, dance shoes tied around her neck, prayed the rosary. It was August 1944, and Thomas was on her way to the land Down Under for a little R&R after a month of touring the South Pacific with Hope's USO troupe. She was writing a letter to her mother when she noticed the left propeller stutter as the treetops and mountains grew dangerously close. The crew members jettisoned anything they could — suitcases, emergency medical supplies, tools — but not Thomas' precious tap shoes.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Miller | July 22, 2007
COSTA MESA — It's a moment that always astonishes the crowd. Juma Mwasahani sets up a limbo bar in the middle of the stage, wriggles under it twice, then lowers the bar to barely a foot off the ground. As the audience claps in unison, the acrobat flattens his back to the carpet and slowly pushes himself to the other side. It's a stunt that might exhaust even a seasoned performer, but Mwasahani, the leader of the Mapapa African Acrobats, performs it four times a day. The troupe, which hails from Kenya and has performed around the world, puts on shows every afternoon and evening in the Fair Square at the Orange County Fair.
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