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Artscapes: Backhausdance Boldly Steps Into the Spotlight

A noted Orange County-based dance group, Backhausdance (founded in 2003 by dancer and choreographer Jennifer Backhaus), took a giant step towards national recognition last weekend with its sold-out concert at Irvine Barclay Theater featuring the world premiere of “Drift” plus the...

Artscapes: Newport Marriott Hosts a Swinging Jazz Party

Valentine’s weekend is a time for lovers—and lovers of jazz music, thanks to the Newport Beach Jazz Party. Jazz fans from around the world will be descending on the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa Feb. 11-14 for a weekend of what’s described as “Right Down the Middle...

Artscapes: Bernadette Peters Brings Broadway to Orange County

She’s won three Tony Awards plus a Grammy and a Golden Globe, and now the powerhouse actress and singer Bernadette Peters brings her dynamic talents to Segerstrom Center for a pair of Valentine’s weekend concerts with Pacific Symphony Pops. I had the pleasure of seeing one of...

Under Cover: Political Prisoner Maziar Bahari Shares Memoir at Newport Library

While the Newport Beach Public Library and the Witte Lecture Series have brought us countless entertaining, enlightening, and thought-provoking speakers, few will have had as powerful a message as Maziar Bahari, the next guest set to appear. Coming to Newport later this month,...

Artscapes: Beach Boys Bring Good Vibrations

If nostalgia can be defined as a wistful and sentimental desire to return to an often happier time in one’s life, last Sunday’s Beach Boy’s concert at Segerstrom Concert Hall fit the bill. With nearly three hours of surf, car, and love songs that are as rooted in our...

Under Cover: Past and Present Collide in “The Forgetting Time”

How far would you go to ease your troubled child’s suffering? If the answer came in the most unexpected of ways, would it be enough to make you reconsider everything you previously believed about life and death, and where we go when this life ends? These are just some of the...

Artscapes: K.K. Barrett Rises with “Nufonia Must Fall’

In 1978, the L.A. punk music scene was starting to bloom. Myriad bands sprang up as fast as they could buy guitars and learn three chords. One of those early bands was Middle Class, the first punk band from Orange County (then a bastion of conservatism). Intrigued by that dynamic...

Soundcheck: Rockabilly Icon Wanda Jackson Still Rockin’

When one hears the word “Rockabilly,” images of Elvis Presley and Gene Vincent come to mind, but what about Wanda? Whether you call her The Queen of Rock, The Queen of Rockabilly, or just her plain old name, Wanda Jackson is a living legend and the absolute matriarch of the...

Under Cover: Laughing in the Face of Death

Death, at one time or another, will come for all of us. Known as “The Great Equalizer,” there is no amount of money, fame, hoping, or pleading that can keep it at bay. The fact of the matter is that, sooner or later, each of us must meet our maker. So, the question becomes, do we...

Artscapes: ‘If/Then’ Musical Asks ‘What if?’

“Regrets, I’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention.” Those lyrics from the song “My Way” hint at the “what if?” moments we’ve all had: What if I do this instead of that? What if I say yes to this relationship and no to that one? How would my life change based on a...

Under Cover: Books Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.

This weekend, millions of Americans will enjoy an extra day off. There will be traffic on the ski slopes, movie theater popcorn poppers will crank out endless batches of the buttery treat, and countless working stiffs will lounge around the house, enjoying the rare Monday without...

Curtain Up: New Year Brings New Shows to Segerstrom Center

A new year brings new concerts, plays, musicals and dance ensembles to Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Here are a few performances I’m looking forward to seeing in the next few weeks: Segerstrom Center presents Dilijan Chamber Players with Armen Guzelimian, January 14, 8 p.m. in...

Under Cover: “Downton Abbey” Author Comes to Newport Library

This past Sunday, I was in a restaurant when a nearby patron asked me for assistance. Apparently, she and her companion were travelling, and she wondered if she might ask me a question. Expecting a query about the menu, or local attractions, I was surprised when instead, she...

Curtain Up: From ‘Nutcracker’ to ‘Riverdance’ at Segerstrom Center

American Ballet Theater’s production of “The Nutcracker” recently completed a successful run at Segerstrom Center, and two young Newport Beach dancers were in the cast. Newport Beach residents Miranda Watson and Ava McLarand, both 13 and students at the American Ballet Theater...

Under Cover: Secrets of a Charmed Life

Welcome to 2016! There is nothing quite like New Year’s Day to remind us of the ability to start our journey anew. Much like the first page in a crisp new calendar, devoid of scribbles and obligations, a new year offers us a blank page, eagerly awaiting the ink that will tell its...

New ‘Star Wars’ Movie is Out Of This World at Port Theater

By Norm Bour & Christopher Trela | NB Indy  Can you duplicate the Mona Lisa? Can anyone beside Michelangelo create another “David” sculpture? That was our fear when we attended a screening of the new “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” at The Port Theater in Corona del Mar. Just...
Posted On 24 Dec 2015

Artscapes: Shakes, Buns & Nutcrackers

By Christopher Trela & Catherine Del Casale | NB Indy Christmastime is “Nutcracker” time on local stages. Seems like every amateur, pre-professional and professional dance company is staging “The Nutcracker” this year, but Segerstrom Center managed to snag American Ballet...

Under Cover: Enjoying eBooks from Newport Beach Library

The blissful two weeks of carefree freedom known as Winter Break are officially upon us, which sounds nice in theory until reality sets in and you remember that you now have 5,634 things to accomplish, and kids to entertain. With Christmas just days away, chances are you will...

Star Wars Books Offer Great Reads for Fans

This week has brought the holiday season in full force. Many are lighting the candles for Hanukkah, while others are decking the halls, preparing for a visit from St. Nick. Some are feeling the satisfaction of checking that last gift off their shopping list, and more are just...

Curtain Up: Celebrating the Holidays On Stage

The holidays are a time for tradition, which means it’s time for a traditional holiday show. This year, holiday offerings range from SCR’s annual production of “A Christmas Carol” to ABT’s “The Nutcracker” at Segerstrom Center to a new holiday-themed show...