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Irvine Blog - Posts from Local Experts

Category - Performing Arts & Theater

Circus Vargas Comes to the OC Great Park

Posted by: Amanda Nguyen
Posted on: Monday, Jun 12, 2017

Come one, come all and take wonder in the marvel that is Circus Vargas at the OC Great Park until this weekend, June 18th. Guests will get the full big top circus experience with sugary sweets, popcorn, snow cones and face painting as well as classic and new circus acts. 

This year, Circus Vargas embarks on a new adventure, Steam Cirque, under their blue and yellow big top. Jump into the world of steam punk, science fiction and exciting and suspenseful circus performances. While waiting for the show to start, kids can partake in pre-show activities in the circus ring, then join their families up in the stands or seats. The non-animal show is great for all ages with a robust mix of a traditional circus atmosphere including concessions and novelty items being sold throughout the stands, and a fun, action-packed show including acts such as trapeze, trampoline, aerial rope and a motorocycle cage; along with a journey through humour, mystery magic and more. The performers also include audience participants in comedic acts throughout the show, but it is fun and lighthearted; they know how to get everyone involved and have a good time. 

My fianceé Scott and I attended a Circus Vargas show last Thursday not knowing what to expect and we truly had a great time. We were blown away by the array and diversity of acts performed, and also in awe of how many roles each performer plays. You'll see all hands on deck to help run the show smoothly; a performer will be selling tickets at the ticket booth, to flying through the air in a death-defying act, then helping to move the sets around. You can really see how much hard work goes into this production. 

Get to Circus Vargas this week before the big top is gone! For more ticket information, click here.  

Photos taken by Feast.Fashion.Faves 

Live Music is Back On in Irvine!

Posted by: Ellen Bell
Posted on: Tuesday, Mar 21, 2017

Irvine City Council OK's Plan for Outdoor Music Venue 

Before an overflow crowd, the Irvine City Council Tuesday night unanimously approved a 12,000-seat outdoor amphitheater next to the Orange County Great Park. The temporary venue will keep the music playing in Irvine after the closing of the Irvine Meadows Amphitheater, which closed last fall after 35 years. The council vote will ensure that local live music won't skip a beat after all. 


If all goes well, the new interim venue with all the conveniences, amenities and high-quality experience concert fans have come to expect, could open by early August for the second half of the 2017 summer concert season.

To learn more about the proposed new stadium, read the Destination Irvine article here. 

Thanks to the local grassroots organization, Save Live Music Irvine, the impossible was made a reality.  Live Nation and FivePoint now have the green light to build and operate a new outdoor concert venue to keep the rich summer tradition started with Irvine Meadows alive in Irvine.

The Christmas Guide to Orange County 2016

Posted by: Amanda Nguyen
Posted on: Thursday, Dec 08, 2016

Orange County has a variety of Christmas festivities to enjoy this holiday season. Although we may not experience below freezing temperatures or snowfall, you will be overcome with merry, holiday spirit through these decked out places and cheerful entertainment.

Knott's Merry Farm

Until January 1, 2017, experience Knott's Berry Farm's transformation into a winter wonderland with thousands of twinkling lights and holiday décor. Join in the fun with the ice skating spectacular, Snoopy on Ice, sing-along with the Calico Carolers, meet Santa Claus in his Christmas Village and be dazzled by the all new production, ‘It's The Merriest Christmas Show Ever, Charlie Brown'. At night, Ghost Town comes alive with Snow and Glow, a holiday celebration of music, lights and a blanket of snow that falls from the sky. Click Here for more information. 

OC Chill Ice Rink in Irvine

At the Irvine Spectrum Center, visitors can ice skate until their heart's content at one of Orange County's only outdoor ice rinks. Now through January 16, 2017 the rink will be open daily from 11 a.m. until 9:15 p.m. and guests of all ages can shred the ice for only $20 per person with rentals. On Saturday nights, grab a hot cocoa and enjoy live bands scattered throughout the Center. For this upcoming Saturday, enjoy Snow Day! presented by the Active Ride ShopClick here for more information.  

Christmas Boat Parade

A combination of opulence and beauty, the 108th Annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade showcases luxury yachts, personal boats, and kayaks covered in Christmas lights and holiday decorations. Running December 14th through the 18th, 2016 the annual tradition is one of Orange County's most popular attractions and was even named "one of the top ten holiday happenings in the nation" by the New York Times. The Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade is one of the local traditions that I look forward to and if I'm able to make it, enjoy every year! I love getting a toasty cup of hot cocoa or coffee and walking on the boardwalk along the water as the boats sail by. There are many spots along the water in which you can take a seat to watch (bring blankets to get extra snuggly). You'll really have fun seeing the creativity, and ingenuity that is poured into lighting up these small to large boats! Click here for more information and a map of the parade route!

"Pirate's Take Christmas!," at Pirate's Dinner Adventure

Shiver me timbers...scoundrel pirates have captured Santa and Mrs. Claus and are threatening to put an end to the holiday season at Pirate's Dinner Adventure. The two hour, interactive Christmas dinner show runs December 5th through the 25th, 2016 and includes a delicious, four-course holiday feast. View the Pirate's Dinner Adventure's Rise of the Sea Dragon show below to get a taste of what's in store. Get tickets to Pirate's Take Christmas here!

Video and Images via Pirate's Dinner Adventure

Bolsa Chica's Christmas at the Beach

To escape the cold of the North Poll, Santa Claus visits Bolsa Chica ever year on December 11th, 2016. Garnering his favorite Southern California outfit, Santa meets with all the good boys and girls on his Christmas jet ski. After the sun sets, put on your ugly Christmas sweater and cozy up by the fire to roast marshmallows and watch the hit movie, "Despicable Me." Sounds like the perfect evening with a loved one or family!

Holidays at the Disneyland Resort

One of my all time favorite places has been sprinkled with pixie dust for a transformation into a winter wonderland for Holidays at the Disneyland Resort which runs now through January 8th, 2017. The iconic Sleeping Beauty Castle glimmers with Christmas lights, Jack Skellington has taken over the Haunted Mansion and boughs of holly line Main Street. Visitors can also enjoy favorites like It's A Small World Christmas with over 100,000 lights, the beloved Fantasy Parade and the night-time firework spectacular. You can even catch Santa Clause and his merry elves at Redwood Creek Challenge Trail at Disney California Adventure Park. While in the Disney California Adventure Park, experience cultural traditions with the Disney Festival of Holidays, and you'll want to stay for the World of Color - Season of Light, your favorite water and lights spectacular with a holiday twist! Santa will also visit the Disneyland Park and he can be seen at a special location in Critter Country. You'll also want to try the variety of holiday-inspired decorated sweet treats available at the Disney Parks! Click here for ticket info!

The Christmas Carol at the South Coast Repertory

Charles Dicken's classic, A Christmas Carol comes to life at the South Coast Repertory. The whole family will enjoy the live play depicting Scrooge as he transform from a cold, greedy man to a generous, kind-hearted business owner set in nineteenth-century London. The limited time production runs November 25th through the 26th, 2016.  Click here for ticket info!

Images via South Coast Repertory 

Festival Ballet Theatre's The Nutcracker Ballet

Take part in the grandeur and extravagance of the timeless Nutcracker ballet - the holiday season isn't complete with out dancing mice and snowflakes, the sugarplum fairy & nutcracker and more! The Festival Ballet Theatre is back with a performance of over 100 dancers at  Barclay Theatre! Click here for ticket info!

Images and Video via Festival Ballet Theatre
Happy Holidays!
Some event information provided by Visit Buena Park 

Cavalia Returns to Irvine for Holiday 2016

Posted by: Amanda Nguyen
Posted on: Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016

If you didn't get to experience the Odysseo Show by Cavalia the last time they were in Irvine, here is your chance, AND Irvine Company is offering special discount deals for up to $25 off ticket prices for evening shows. 

You may have already seen the large white tent being built within the last couple of months right near the 133 and 405 freeway connectors and thought, is the horse show back already? Due to huge demand, Cavalia returns to Irvine November 16 - January 8! The last time they were in town, the show was extended to accommodate the demand. Now you have no excuse in attending as Irvine Company is providing the below exclusive offers on evening shows in Irvine:

 10$ OFF / GOLD Ticket  Junior/Senior/Children Tickets
 15$ OFF / GOLD Ticket  Adult Tickets
 25$ OFF / ALL RDV VIP Tickets


* This promotion cannot be combined with any other offer and applies only to new purchases on Gold & Rendez-vous VIP sections only. Not valid on matinee shows. Certain conditions apply. Limited quantity.

For more information on the show, performance dates, purchasing tickets and the Irvine Company special promo - CLICK HERE!

Cavalia's new production Odysseo will take you on an immersive journey, experiencing nature's greatest wonders through jaw-dropping acrobatic performers and dancers in harmony with singers and awe striking horses and riders.  

Odysseo - the largest touring production on earth - features 65 magnificent horses and 48 talented riders, acrobats, dancers, and musicians under a White Big Top the size of an NFL football field. 

You definitely will not be disappointed, you will be bewildered and wowed by this entertainment and theatrical feat! Gift this experience to yourself, family or friends this holiday season - It will surely be an unforgettable performance and experience.  

Information, Images and Video Content from Irvine Company or Cavalia.    

Casting Call for Pageant of the Masters Volunteers

Posted by: Terry Winkler
Posted on: Friday, Jan 01, 2016

Do you enjoy art, theater and music?

Have you ever thought about posing on a stage?

Do you enjoy being in the spotlight?

And can you stand still for 90 seconds?

Perfect! You could be a volunteer cast-member in the Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach.

The world-famous Pageant of the Masters is looking for volunteers to participate in the 2016 summer presentation of "Partners"

People of all sizes and ages are needed to be cast members in the world's most famous presentation of tableaux vivants (living pictures). No theater experience necessary.

Casting call is a fun experience for all involved. Prospective volunteers will be measured and photographed, enjoy refreshments and meet the behind-the-scenes pageant staff. No theater experience is necessary. The only requirement is the ability to stand still and have fun.

Don't like being on stage?  There are other fun ways to help out. Volunteers are needed for positions in the wardrobe, make up, and headdress departments, as well as cast area coordinators and refreshment servers, among other positions.


Festival of Arts
Irvine Bowl (backstage)
650 Laguna Canyon Road
Laguna Beach, CA 92651        (949) 494-3663



Friday, January 8              7pm - 9pm

Saturday, January 9         7pm - 9pm

Sunday, January 10         2pm-5pm

Festival of Discovery at UCI

Posted by: Amanda Nguyen
Posted on: Tuesday, Sep 29, 2015

This Saturday, October 3rd, UCI celebrates its 50th anniversary with the first-ever Festival of Discovery! The Festival of Discovery combines discovery pavilions, educational activities, entertainment, and the Anteater 5K Family Fun Run/Walk.

The event will start with the Anteater 5k and Family Fun Run/Walk at 7 a.m. This is not your normal 5K! Here, your family will "run through the decades" with deejays playing music and themed décor of the 60s through today. The course will finish at the festival event site in Aldrich Park at the heart of the campus. If you pre-register to attend the festival here you'll receive a complimentary festival tote bag!

Click on the links below to learn more about the programming and offerings at the Festival of Discovery

Discovery Pavilions - a collection of hands-on interactive experiences featuring the best and brightest UCI has to offer in Health + Wellness, Local + Global Impact, Samueli Foundation Ingenuity + Innovation, and Arts + Culture.

Events Schedule- includes activities throughout the day such as live music, food trucks, interactive demos, hands-on displays, athletic clinics, and more.

Anteater 5K & Family Fun Run- all you need to know aout the 1k (not timed) and 5k (timed) run including the schedule, what to wear, the route map, parking and directions.

Got Questions? Visit the contact page here or Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Concordia University Performs RECKLESS

Posted by: Terry Winkler
Posted on: Sunday, Dec 28, 2014

RecklessConcordia University kicks off 2015 with the whacky dark comedy Reckless by Craig Lucas. The play chronicles the (mis)adventures of Rachel who, on Christmas Eve, finds out her husband has hired a hit man to kill her!  After a narrow escape, she ends up going through a series of crazy events that finds her on the run and, at various times, living with another family, on a game show, homeless and later appearing on a talk show.  On the way she sees six different therapists and travels all over the United States - leaving a trail of mistakes and crazy coincidences in her wake.

"I love plays that send characters on a great journey." says Tony Vezner, director of the production. "In this case, Rachel is propelled on this nightmarish journey by one crazy event right after another and it's her job to adapt and go with it.   She's a sweet woman who just keeps getting into one madcap adventure after another. It's simply hilarious to see her deal with each new crazy situation."

The play takes the audience, and Rachel, through a whirlwind of different locations - a gas station, a game show set, 6 different therapist's offices, and a V.W. van on the road - so it was scenic designer Mark Klopfenstein's job to take the audience to each new location.  Klopfenstein, who previously worked as a Disney imagineer, has created an amazing set full of turntables, moving furniture wagons and movable panels that take the audience through Rachel's journey at a breakneck pace. When it came time to find a color scheme for the set's overall appearance, he turned to his 3-year-old granddaughter. She began doodling on Mark's computer rendering of the set while she was at his house for a visit.  She played with his iPad and swirled colors all over the picture of the scenery - Mark ended up keeping the idea!

Performances of Reckless will be held in the CUI Theater on January 9, 10, 16 and 17 at 7:30 PM as well as January 11 and 18 at 2:00 PM. Tickets are available here.

Be a Part of the Arts in OC: Casting Call for Summer 2015 Pageant of the Masters

Posted by: Terry Winkler
Posted on: Monday, Dec 22, 2014

Forget all the Christmas hoopla for a moment and consider this:  have you ever wondered what it would be like to step into a famous piece of art? I did it back in 1983 at the 50th anniversary of the Pageant of the Masters and I loved it!

Pageant of the Masters Volunteers

If you can stand still for 90 seconds, you could experience being a part of a living piece of art pagby volunteering for the renowned Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach - "where art comes to life!"  In preparation of the 2015 show, The Pursuit of Happiness, the Pageant is looking for men, women and children to volunteer. People of all sizes and ages are needed to be cast members in the world's most famous presentation of tableaux vivants.
Casting call will be held at the Irvine Bowl Park (650 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, CA) during the following times:

  • Friday, January 9 from 7 - 9pm
  • Saturday, January 10 from 7 - 9pm
  • Sunday, January 11 from 2 - 5pm
Next summer's performances of the Pageant of the Masters will run nightly at 8:30pm from July 8 to August 31, 2015. Please call (949) 494-3663 for additional information.

Casting call is a fun experience for all involved.  Prospective volunteers will be measured and photographed, enjoy refreshments and meet the behind-the-scenes Pageant staff. No theater experience is necessary.  The only requirement is the ability to stand still and have fun.
"Over 500 volunteers, both onstage and behind-the-scenes, are needed to put on the show," said Pageant director Diane Challis Davy. "Everyone has a great time backstage and many return year after year to take part in this one-of-a-kind performance. The Pageant just simply wouldn't be possible without our volunteers!"

Pageant volunteers are also needed for positions in the wardrobe, make up, and headdress departments, as well as cast area coordinators and refreshment servers, among other positions.
Volunteering for the Pageant is a great way to spend your summer and it is common to have several generations of the same family volunteering for different aspects of the show. Additionally, by volunteering for the Pageant, students can earn credit towards community service requirements.

Be a part of the history of the arts in OC.
The 2015 Pageant of the Masters, The Pursuit of Happiness, will be staged July 8 through August 31. Ticket prices range from $15 to $230. Tickets are on sale now by calling 1-800-487-3378 or online at  The Festival of Arts is a non-profit organization that produces The Festival of Arts - California's Premier Fine Art Show and the Pageant of the Masters.  Proceeds support the arts in Orange County.

New and Notable in Irvine for 2015

Posted by: Sharlene Earnshaw
Posted on: Friday, Dec 19, 2014

 New Irvine 2015

The new year is just around the corner and with that comes plenty to get excited about around Irvine. New businesses are opening and entertainment options continue to grow, further diversifying the city's already varied offerings. Here are just a few of the things in Irvine to get excited about in 2015.

  • UC Irvine will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2015. The school will feature a variety of events throughout the year under the theme "Bright Past, Brilliant Future". UCI has set up a special website highlighting the history of the school and planning of anniversary events, including the jubilee scheduled for Oct 2-4 which will include a Festival of Discovery.
  • The Hilton Garden Inn Irvine/OC Airport (2381 Morse) is scheduled to open March 15, making it Irvine's 16th hotel property and bringing the city's total room count to 3,870. The hotel will cater to both the business and weekend leisure traveler and plans to offer complimentary shuttle and parking. It will feature 170 guest rooms, 6 suites, a restaurant, bar, and 2,000 square feet of meeting space.
  • Located next to the massive Irvine Spectrum Center, Los Olivos Marketplace, a 120,000-square-foot specialty shopping center is scheduled to open in late 2015. The center will feature casual dining, shops, and the first Whole Foods Market in Irvine.

  • The Segerstrom Center for the Arts has a full calendar of entertainment set for 2015. Highlights include Sleeping Beauty put on by the American Ballet Theatre (March 3-8), Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg (June 5-7), Dirty Dancing (Feb 3-15), Annie (May 13-24), The Phantom of the Opera (August 5-16), Motown the Musical (June 16-28) and Guys and Dolls (April 14-19). For a full calendar of offerings visit the Segerstrom website.

  •  The newest grocery store to join Irvine's diverse ethnic markets is Seafood City, an incredibly popular chain of Filipino grocery stores known for its produce, bakery, and yes, its seafood. Inside the store is Jollibee which is a bit like the Filipino version of Mc Donald's, Red Ribbon Bakery which features beautiful light-weight pastries and flaky empanadas, and Valerios Tropical Bakery, known for its pan del sal.
  • Diamond Jamboree  is Orange County's international restaurant destination featuring over a dozen different ethnic dining options. Recently the center released a Diamond Jamboree gift card which allows guests to purchase one gift card to use at several participating restaurants throughout the center, making it a great gift. Best of all, the card gives users 10% off their bill, adding to its value. 

  • Fulfill your inner Willie Wonka by taking a tour at ChocXO , Irvine's bean to bar chocolate factory at the Irvine Spectrum Center. During the one hour tour you will learn how the chocolate bean is fermented and dried, view the factory, and sample raw cacao pulp. cocoa nibs, cocoa liquor, chocolate bar, filled chocolate, and even chocolate bark. Yum!

  • Burntzilla is planning on opening in the Trader Joes plaza at Walnut and Culver, making it the first brick and mortar store for two of Orange County's favorite food trucks.  Dogzilla is known for its menu of wildly tasty gourmet hot dogs while The Burnt Truck's focus is on delectable gourmet sliders. No official opening date has been set but we think the two are sure to be a winning combination!

  • The Jeffrey Open Space Trail will be having its official ribbon cutting on January 10th, officially opening two of the four sections of the trail. The trail is designed to have a woodsy feel and will connect the Woodbury, Stonegate, and Cypress Villages. The 3.5-mile trail will feature plaques and monuments highlighting region's history.

  • Pretend City, Irvine's hand-on childrens museum, has plenty of education fun in the works for kids. The year begins with a brand new dental exhibit and the tranformation of their pretend cafe into the Veg-N-Out Café in January. On Feb 2nd, the museum will be celebrating the opening of their new Imagination Playground. Families also have a Tales of Korea exhibit, set to open May 25th, to look forward to in the new year.

Style Week OC Wraps Up at the Irvine Spectrum Center

Posted by: Amanda Nguyen
Posted on: Tuesday, Oct 07, 2014

SWOC Orange County's premier Fall fashion event, Style Week OC returned for it's sixth year, bringing an array of runway shows, and in-store fashion parties and events to the OC community between the three Irvine Company shopping centers: Fashion Island®, Irvine Spectrum Center®, and The Market Place. This year, festivities took place for 10 days and ended with a huge finale show at the Irvine Spectrum's Giant Ferris Wheel; the runway show line up consisted of the Nikolaki Spring 2015 Collection designed by Style Week OC & Red Carpet host and Project Runway star Nick Verreos along with his design parter David Paul, a variety of casual street to dressy fall looks from stores within the center (MaxStudio, Francesca's Collections, KAITLYN, Bebe, Tommy Bahama, White House | Black Market, Windsor, and Nordstrom), and a Celebrity Cruises Design Competition showcasing four FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising) designers with resortwear looks inspired by the cruise line's many exotic destinations (the Caribbean, Galapagos Islands, Alaska, & Europe). The winning design was designer Leetal Platt's two-piece look, quite reminiscent of the striking blue waters and tropical vibes of the Galapagos Islands. 

Style Week OC may be over until next September, but there will be an exciting schedule of holiday festivities, shopping extravaganzas and such for you to take part in these coming months at the Irvine Spectrum Center®. What are these festivities you may ask? To name a few, the center recently opened their ever so popular Ice Rink which will stay open through February 16; the center will also host 'Black Friday Frenzy' , a holiday shopping event featuring complimentary ice skating, Giant Wheel and Carousel rides, and valet from midnight through 8:00am for attendees and shoppers; and 'Selfies with Santa' in which Santa will be dressed in a Hawaiian Shirt and board shorts ready to hang loose holiday style for two complimentary selfie photos with you! Check out more of the holiday events here, and hope to see you around the Irvine Spectrum this season!


swoc3 Images courtesy of FeastFashionFaves

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