Starlit skies and summer breezes beckon; now's the time to think about putting outdoor concerts on the calendar. There is an abundance of alfresco entertainment in Orange County, and all that's needed to put together a festive evening are lawn chairs, some friends and a little repast.
Among the musical and theater events on tap this summer from San Juan Capistrano to Garden Grove, some offer catered dinners. Others are invitingly close to terrific takeout restaurants. So grab some grub, bring a blanket and head out for a romantic night under the stars.
On Saturday, the Music Under the Stars program at Mission San Juan Capistrano will feature the Max Bishop Orchestra from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $9 for seniors and children. For $8 more apiece, you can enjoy a dinner of chicken piccata and sun-dried tomato penne, courtesy of Sarducci's Capistrano Depot. Desserts and beverages also are available. Call (949) 248-2048 for more information.
On Thursday evenings through Sept. 9, the city of Westminster presents a free summer concert series from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Civic Center Sunken Gardens at 8200 Westminster Blvd.
Tonight's concert features the swing and pop band Stardust Sounds.
On tap in August will be the Orange Colored Sky (Aug. 5), Obsessions (Aug. 12), Westminster Chorale (Aug. 19), the Debra Davis Band (Aug. 26), Second Wind (Sept. 2), and Blue Pacific Swing Band (Sept. 9).
Nearby takeout stops include Dat Thanh at 7132 Garden Grove Blvd., Westminster, (714) 379-0382; Seafood World Restaurant, 15351 Brookhurst St., Westminster, (714) 775-8828; Uncle Pete's Cafe, 14276 Beach Blvd., Westminster, (714) 893-4991); and MVP Sports Grill, 14160 Beach Blvd., Westminster, (714) 903-7770.
The Grove Theater Center presents "Twelfth Dog Night" at the Muckenthaler Cultural Center in Fullerton on Friday and Saturday evening, and again Aug. 6 and 7. Tickets are $24.50 for the 8:15 shows. The Troubadour Theater Company will star in the comedy combining Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" with music of the rock group Three Dog Night.
Mastroianni's/Jay's Catering will serve a chicken Dijonnaise or lasagna dinner with rice, salad, vegetables and dessert for an additional $14 each. These can be ordered when buying tickets by calling the box office at (714) 741-9555.
Aug. 12-28, the Grove Theater Center will present "The Odd Couple" at the Muckenthaler Thursdays through Sundays. Same prices and times.
Shakespeare's "As You Like It" will be presented on weekends Aug. 19-29 at the Grove Theater Center's Festival Amphitheater at 12852 Main St., Garden Grove. Tickets are $18.50 for the Friday shows, $22.50 for Saturdays. Performances begin at 8:30 p.m. For more information, call the box office at (714) 741-9555.
Nearby Zlaket's Deli will prepare a box dinner to enjoy in the village green park or in the courtyard of the amphitheater. Call the box office to order the meals, which range from $6 to $14 each. Also nearby for takeout are Azteca Mexican Restaurant, 12911 Main St., (714) 638-3790, and Kaye's Kitchen, 12939 Main St., (714) 636-1480.
The Pacific Symphony welcomes picnickers at its summer concerts at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre. But concert-goers are asked not to bring folding lawn chairs or tables.
Remaining summer concerts in the series include "A Night in Old Vienna," featuring Strauss, Mozart and other composers, on Aug. 7, and "Hollywood in the Meadows," featuring compositions by John Williams and others, on Aug. 28. And on Sept. 18, Barry Jekowsky will conduct a Tchaikovsky spectacular, featuring works by the Russian composer.
Picnic time begins at 6 p.m., with concerts starting at 8.
Ticket prices range from $14 to $57; call the box office at (714) 755-5799 for tickets and information.
Reliable takeout spots in the general area include the Whole Foods Market at 14945 Holt Ave., Tustin; Claro's Italian Market at 1095 E. Main St., Tustin; Oscar's at 13786 Jamboree Road, Irvine; and Bristol Farms at 810 Avocado Ave., Newport Beach.