Life & Arts

On Theater: 'Sound of Music' still loud and clear

The hills are still alive with "The Sound of Music" nearly 60 years after this final collaboration between Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II won five Tony awards and inspired the Oscar-winning movie version that followed in 1965. It's one of the most popular family-oriented Broadway shows...

  • The Gossiping Gourmet: Mexican food that is far from ordinary

    The Gossiping Gourmet: Mexican food that is far from ordinary

    The Laguna Beach Brewery & Grille has opened in what used to be the Ocean Avenue Brewery, giving the space a very pleasant facelift. Guillermo Sandoval is the new executive chef, and the food is a quite refined version of Mexican cuisine. The dining area has a long bar on one side next to a beautiful,...

  • On Theater: George and Lenny revived in classic story

    On Theater: George and Lenny revived in classic story

    In 1937, when John Steinbeck wrote his classic novella "Of Mice and Men," he intentionally structured it like a play, seemingly aware that it would find a life on the stage. He didn't have to wait long. The next year, the Broadway version earned the New York Drama Critics' Circle award for best...

  • On Theater: Elvis gets Laguna 'All Shook Up'

    Elvis Presley, Shakespeare and a touch of "Footloose" may not seem like a match made in theatrical heaven, but somehow it all comes together in the sprightly musical "All Shook Up," now entertaining audiences (and festival-goers) at the Laguna Playhouse. Structuring a show around Elvis songs doesn't...

  • At Pageant of the Masters, living pictures come to life — no, really

    At Pageant of the Masters, living pictures come to life — no, really

    Organizers of the Pageant of the Masters, which has opened for the season, think outside the box, or rather the frame.

  • The Gossiping Gourmet: Climb aboard the 101 Noodle Express

    The Gossiping Gourmet: Climb aboard the 101 Noodle Express

    I love to find small ethnic restaurants with great food. I recently heard about a place in Irvine's Orange Tree Square Shopping Center, which is a mecca for seekers of Asian cuisine. It is called 101 Noodle Express. The restaurant, part of a very small chain, came to Orange County more than a year...

  • On Theater: UCI brushing up its Shakespeare

    On Theater: UCI brushing up its Shakespeare

    For a fellow who's been pondering whether to be or not to be since the 16th century, "Hamlet" certainly still gets around, especially around Orange County. Shakespeare's greatest tragedy is currently being offered at three countywide venues — Costa Mesa's Vanguard University, the Festival Ampitheatre...

  • On Theater: Playhouse plans 52nd year and hopes for a 53rd

    On Theater: Playhouse plans 52nd year and hopes for a 53rd

    The Costa Mesa Playhouse has been staging local theater productions since about this time in 1965. I remember it well, since I made my acting debut in that very first show. Spearheaded by the late Pati Tambellini, who guided the theater's artistic fortunes for a quarter of a century, the playhouse...

  • The Gossiping Gourmet: Where the food keeps coming, the Brazilian rodizio way

    The Gossiping Gourmet: Where the food keeps coming, the Brazilian rodizio way

    Agora Churrascaria is a Brazilian restaurant in Irvine that features 16 kinds of meat on giant skewers that servers carry around the room, watching for guests to summon them over to their table. The diners then select how much they want of that particular offering. Also available is a hot buffet...

  • Sawdust, now 50, tries keeping it fresh

    Sawdust, now 50, tries keeping it fresh

    The festival, which had a rough start but finally took off, is now trying to win over younger visitors. Look for new sights and sounds when it opens this week.

  • The Gossiping Gourmet: Persian and Italian food blends well at Urban Kitchen

    The Gossiping Gourmet: Persian and Italian food blends well at Urban Kitchen

    It is always a treat to find some new, small neighborhood restaurant that has very good food. I recently discovered Urban Kitchen, tucked away just off Jamboree Road on Scholarship Road near Campus Drive in Irvine. The restaurant has an extensive menu, in part because it features both Persian and...

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