Can’t-Miss Events in Orange County This Month (May 2019)

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Photo credit: Courtesy of Musco Center for the Arts

HEARTBEAT OF MEXICO
MAY 25 AND 26
Celebrating Mexican culture, traditions, and family, the festival focuses on the history, music, and art of Mexico through performances from local and regional bands, dance troupes, and folklórico ensembles. It also features a food fair, arts and crafts for kids, and other hands-on activities for families. Musco Center for the Arts, 1 University Drive, Orange, 844-626-8726, muscocenter.org

NEWPORT BEACH FILM FESTIVAL
THROUGH MAY 2
The annual event celebrates its 20th anniversary with a week’s worth of screenings: more than 300 feature films and shorts, including documentaries, culinary films, family movies, and a youth film showcase featuring shorts made by filmmakers ages 18 and younger. Various locations, Newport Beach, 949-253-2880, newportbeachfilmfest.com

CASA UP CLOSE: RONALD REAGAN FOUNDATION AND INSTITUTE
MAY 2
The Reagan institute was established to promote the 40th president’s guiding principles of “individual liberty, economic opportunity, global democracy, and national pride.” In this lecture, the foundation’s chief learning officer, Anthony Pennay, will discuss Reagan’s early life and his evolution as a leader. Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens, 415 Avenida Granada, San Clemente, 949-498-2139, casaromantica.org

AVP HUNTINGTON BEACH OPEN
MAY 3 THROUGH 5
The world’s top beach volleyball teams compete in this tournament on courts flanking the Huntington Beach Pier. Fans can watch the games during the day, then meet the players at parties held at bars that include Gallagher’s and Legends. Huntington Beach Pier, Huntington Beach, surfcityusa.com

“TIGERS BE STILL”
OPENS MAY 3
This comedy by “New Girl” writer Kim Rosenstock follows Sherry Wickman, who moves back in with her family after earning her art therapy degree and gets a job as a substitute art teacher. Then a tiger escapes from the local zoo—though Sherry, her sister, and her mother are so caught up in their own problems that they barely notice. Chance Theater, 5522 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim, 714-777-3033, chancetheater.com

ACALOVE: SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA’S A CAPPELLA FESTIVAL
MAY 4
For the second year, UCI A Cappella and the UCI Chamber Singers invite the top a cappella singing groups from around Southern California for this concert, including some that have competed in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella contest and have been featured on the “Best of College A Cappella” compilation album. Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine, 949-854-4646, thebarclay.org

“FIDDLER ON THE ROOF”
MAY 7 THROUGH 19
This revival of the classic musical is directed by Tony Award winner Bartlett Sher and features fresh choreography from Hofesh Shechter, an acclaimed Israeli choreographer, based on the original staging by Jerome Robbins. Songs like “Sunrise, Sunset,” “If I Were A Rich Man,” and “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” illuminate the timeless story of fathers and daughters navigating a changing culture. Segerstrom Hall, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714-556-2787, scfta.org

HERSHEY FELDER: “A PARIS LOVE STORY”
MAY 8 THROUGH 19
In the final show of his Great Composer Series, pianist and actor Hershey Felder delves into the life of impressionist French composer Claude Debussy, one of the most influential musicians of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The one-man show includes performances of several Debussy compositions. Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, 949-497-2787, lagunaplayhouse.com

JOSHUA BELL, STEVEN ISSERLIS, JEREMY DENK
MAY 9
Celebrated violinist Bell teams with his longtime musical partners, cellist Isserlis and pianist Denk, to perform chamber music by Mendelssohn, Shostakovich, Rachmaninoff, and Ravel. All three have played extensively as soloists and chamber musicians and have received numerous prizes and awards. Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, 615 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 949-553-2422, philharmonicsociety.org

ORCHESTRA COLLECTIVE OF ORANGE COUNTY SPRING CONCERT
MAY 11 AND 12
This symphony, a collaborative of veteran musicians from Southern California, performs three favorites—Mozart’s “Overture to The Marriage of Figaro,” Wagner’s “Siegfried Idyll,” and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4, “Italian”—to welcome spring and celebrate Mother’s Day. Curtis Theatre, 1 Civic Center Circle, Brea, 714-990-7722, curtistheatre.com

“M. BUTTERFLY”
OPENS MAY 11
In this drama based on a true story, a French diplomat living in China falls in love with a Chinese opera singer, unaware that in China, men traditionally played female roles. The singer follows the diplomat back to France, and the two embark on a 20-year affair marked by scandal and betrayal. When the play first opened in 1988, it won Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle ​awards. South Coast Repertory, 655 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714-708-5555, scr.org

DOHENY BLUES FESTIVAL
MAY 18 AND 19
Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals, Jonny Lang, the Taj Mahal Quartet, and the Marcus King Band headline this annual event held on three stages. A vendor village, food court, and craft beer tastings round out the music bonanza. Sea Terrace Park, Dana Point,
dohenybluesfestival.com

Photo credit: Courtesy of Bryan Flores Photography

MUCKENTHALER MOTOR CAR FESTIVAL
MAY 18 AND 19
The 25th edition of this annual event for car lovers rolls out hundreds of cars over 8 acres of lawns. On Saturday, hot rods and customs take the spotlight; on Sunday, the Concours d’Elegance features everything from vintage 1920s automobiles to classic Corvettes. Live bands provide entertainment. Muckenthaler Cultural Center, 1201 W. Malvern Ave., Fullerton, 714-738-6595, themuck.org

BALBOA ISLAND ARTWALK
MAY 19
More than 90 artists set up displays along the South Bayfront Promenade on Balboa Island for the art festival celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Visitors can browse paintings, jewelry, blown glass, sculpture, and photography while enjoying live music on five stages stationed along the way. Balboa Island, South Bay Front, balboaislandartwalk.info

DOUG BENSON
MAY 19
The comedian known for his Comedy Central show “The High Court” will record an episode of his popular podcast, “Doug Loves Movies,” during this live show. Benson and his guests will discuss movies and comedy and play movie trivia games. Brea Improv, 180 South Brea Blvd., Brea, 714-482-0700, improv.com/brea

BACKHAUSDANCE
MAY 22
On the heels of its 15th anniversary season and its first European tour, the acclaimed dance troupe founded by Jennifer Backhaus will present the world premiere of a new work by choreographer Dwight Rhoden, a former principal dancer with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine, 949-854-4646, thebarclay.org

NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK
MAY 24
The iconic boy band stops in Orange County on its MixTape Tour, which features guest appearances by other pop and hip-hop groups from the late 1980s and early 1990s: Salt-N-Pepa, Tiffany, Debbie Gibson, and Naughty by Nature. Honda Center, 2695
E. Katella Ave., Anaheim, 714-704-2500, hondacenter.com

Photo credit: Souheil Michael Khoury

EIFMAN BALLET OF ST. PETERSBERG PRESENTS “THE PYGMALION EFFECT”
MAY 24 THROUGH 26
Renowned choreographer Boris Eifman presents the American premiere of his latest ballet, based on the Greek myth about Pygmalion. In this retelling set to music by Johann Strauss Jr., the sculptor is a ballroom dancer who mentors a girl as she transforms into a brilliant performer. Segerstrom Hall, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714-556-2787, scfta.org

ANAHEIM JAPAN FAIR
MAY 25
This downtown festival puts the spotlight on Japanese food, art, and culture. Vendors will offer Japanese barbecue, takoyaki, yakitori, tofu pudding, and Orion beer, while martial artists and performers entertain crowds. Center Street Promenade, Anaheim, anaheimjapanfair.com

“SELF-HELP GRAPHICS”
THROUGH MAY 27
A group of printmakers and artists banded together in the 1970s to establish Self Help Graphics & Art, an organization that provided studio facilities, materials, and guidance from master printers to Chicana/o and Latinx artists in East L.A. In 1992, the Laguna Art Museum acquired a collection of prints from the studio. A selection is on display here. Laguna Art Museum, 307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach, 949-494-8971,
lagunaartmuseum.org

There’s More!
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