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

Photo credit: Courtesy of Muckenthaler Cultural Center

 

DIA DE LOS MUERTOS FIESTA
NOV. 3
Families get together to celebrate their relatives who have passed on, honoring them with ofrendas stocked with their favorite things. Live music and performances, food, hands-on art activities for kids, and an arts and crafts sale round out the experience at this free event. Muckenthaler Cultural Center, 1201 W. Malvern Ave., Fullerton, 714-738-6595, themuck.org

“I AM AN AMERICAN”
THROUGH NOV. 3
Personal testimonials, artifacts, and memorabilia document the experience of Japanese Americans relocated from Anaheim to the Poston, Arizona, incarceration camp from 1942 to 1945. The exhibit, put on in partnership with the Anaheim Public Library, also looks at the business, religious, educational, and cultural life Japanese Americans built in Anaheim before and after World War II. Muzeo, 241 S. Anaheim Blvd., Anaheim, 714-956-8936, muzeo.org

Photo credit: Courtesy of Soka Performing Arts Center

 

TAJ MAHAL
NOV. 3
Henry St. Claire Fredericks Jr., known by his stage name Taj Mahal, above, has entertained crowds with his own brand of blues music for more than 50 years. The guitarist and singer-songwriter infuses his songs with Caribbean and African sounds and has three Grammys for Best Contemporary Blues Album, including 2018’s “TajMo.” Soka Performing Arts Center, 1 University Drive, Aliso Viejo, 949-480-4278, soka.edu

“ANASTASIA”
NOV. 5 THROUGH 17
Inspired by the animated movie of the same name, this musical follows Anya, a young woman who flees Russia for Paris in the 1920s with Vlad and Dmitry, two con men who plan to use her resemblance to Princess Anastasia, a Romanov rumored to have survived her family’s assassination, to extort money from the Dowager Empress. The plan is upended when they realize Anya might actually be Anastasia. Tony Award winner Terrence McNally wrote the book, with a score by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens. Segerstrom Hall, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714-556-2787, scfta.org

MATT RIDLEY: THE EVOLUTION OF EVERYTHING
NOV. 6
Ridley, a science writer from England, uses wit and humor to explain everything from biology to economics to climate change in his books, which have sold more than a million copies. In this lecture, he presents the central claim in his 2015 book, “The Evolution of Everything,” which argues that our most important achievements developed through evolution, not design. Musco Center for the Arts, 1 University Drive, Orange, 844-626-8726, muscocenter.org

DAVID SEDARIS
NOV. 6 AND 7
Known for his self-effacing wit and insightful observations on human nature, Sedaris has been called a modern-day Mark Twain. His stories in The New Yorker, commentary on “This American Life,” and best-selling books mix satire with stories about his own offbeat adventures. In his latest story collection, “Calypso,” he addresses aging, mortality, and strained family relationships with his ever-present sense of humor. Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine, 949-854-4646, thebarclay.org

“THE LION IN WINTER”
NOV. 6 THROUGH 24
In this comedy set in the 12th century, King Henry II is planning to abdicate his throne and must choose which of his three sons will take over. Henry would like to pass the crown to Prince John, but his wife, Queen Eleanor, is angling for Prince Richard. The sibling rivalry and competing ambitions come to a head as the family gathers for the holidays. Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, 949-497-2787, lagunaplayhouse.com

“THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD”
NOV. 8 THROUGH 10
The audience gets to decide the ending of this Tony Award-winning musical, based on Charles Dickens’ unfinished novel. Dickens died before completing the mystery set in a small English town and never revealed who murdered Edwin Drood: Was it the newly arrived Landless twins, or his romantic rival, John Jasper, or someone else? At the end of the production, the actors put it to an audience vote. Ticketholders can celebrate the theater’s 40th anniversary at preshow parties with free refreshments and Champagne. Curtis Theatre, 1 Civic Center Circle, Brea, 714-990-7722, curtistheatre.com

“ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY”
NOV. 8 THROUGH 24
The beloved children’s book by Judith Viorst comes to life on stage in this musical. As Alexander faces one challenge after another—from gum in his hair to a trip to the dentist to lima beans for dinner and a broken nightlight—he learns that you can turn around almost any bad day. The production is recommended for ages 4 and up. South Coast Repertory, 655 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714-708-5555, scr.org

BRAHMS “REQUIEM” AND PÄRT “TE DEUM”
NOV. 9
To open its 51st season, the Pacific Chorale will present two very different works that both aim to give the listener a sense of peace. Brahms’ traditional requiem was written in German, rather than Latin, so that all of his audiences could understand and find consolation in it. Pärt’s composition uses a recording of a wind harp and three choirs (men’s, women’s, and mixed) to create a mystical, meditative sound. Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, 615 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714-662-2345, pacificchorale.org

LEANN RIMES
NOV. 10
The country singer-songwriter saw her first album, “Blue,” shoot to No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart and net her two Grammy Awards when she was 14. In the 20 years since, she has released 10 more albums and been nominated for five more Grammys. The setlist for this concert likely will include hits like “Nothin’ Better to Do” and “How Do I Live.” Musco Center for the Arts, 1 University Drive, Orange, 844-626-8726, muscocenter.org

“OTHERWORLDLY GLACIERS”
THROUGH NOV. 13
Treks through the mountains of the American West and journeys to Alaska’s glaciers were artist Mary Beierle’s inspiration for the works in this exhibit. The ceramic sculptures, which resemble glaciers, reveal something unique from every angle. Beierle, a Los Angeles native, is a resident artist at the American Museum of Ceramic Art. Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens, 415 Avenida Granada, San Clemente, 949-498-2139, casaromantica.org

MEGAN HILTY
NOV. 14 THROUGH 16
The stage star made her debut on Broadway as Glinda the Good Witch in “Wicked.” She went on to play Doralee Rhodes in the original Broadway cast of “9 to 5: The Musical” and earned a Tony nomination for her performance in the revival of “Noises Off.” She might be best known for playing Ivy Lynn in the NBC drama “Smash.” See her perform Broadway hits and standards in this cabaret show. Samueli Theater, 615 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714-556-2787, scfta.org

“RHAPSODY IN BLUE”
NOV. 14 THROUGH 16
Pacific Symphony presents the work of three American composers in this concert. The program starts with “Jubilee” from George Chadwick’s “Symphonic Sketches,” then moves on with two works from Chadwick’s student at the New England Conservatory Florence Price, the first black woman recognized as a symphonic composer. “Rhapsody in Blue” and “An American in Paris” by George Gershwin are set to close the show. Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, 615 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714-755-5788, pacificsymphony.org

POST MALONE
NOV. 16 AND 17
On this stop of his Runaway Tour, the multiplatinum-selling rapper and songwriter will perform with special guests Swae Lee and Tyla Yaweh. Expect to hear Grammy Award-winning “Rockstar,” “Zach and Codeine,” and “Psycho” from his 2018 album, “Beerbongs & Bentleys,” which broke the single-day streaming record on Spotify the day it was released. Honda Center, 2695 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim, 714-704-2400, hondacenter.com

SAWDUST FESTIVAL WINTER FANTASY
OPENS NOV. 23
The holiday version of the popular fest includes all the art, live entertainment, outdoor cafes, and art classes and demonstrations  featured in the summer event—and adds a petting zoo and visits from Santa. Sawdust Art Festival grounds, 935 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach

CHAMPIONS OF MAGIC
NOV. 23
Five international illusionists will display up-close magic, mind-reading tricks, a Houdini-style escape, and large-scale illusions. The magicians have appeared on “Penn & Teller: Fool Us,” “Caught on Camera with Nick Cannon,” and “The Today Show.” Two of the performers trained at the Magic Castle in Hollywood. Segerstrom Hall, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714-556-2787, scfta.org

THE LUCKY BAND
NOV. 24
Lucky Diaz and Alisha Gaddis team up to make indie pop-rock for kids, melding bossa nova with rock ’n’ roll and other genres. Using a variety of instruments, from electric guitars and drums to kazoos and toy pianos, their songs have earned them a Latin Grammy Award. Soka Performing Arts Center, 1 University Drive, Aliso Viejo, 949-480-4278, soka.edu

ADONIS ROSE AND THE NOJO 7 OF NEW ORLEANS JAZZ ORCHESTRA
NOV. 24
This seven-piece ensemble carved out of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra performs the grooving, swinging style of jazz and blues that spills out of clubs and bars throughout the Crescent City. Led by artistic director and drummer Adonis Rose, the musicians play a program heavy on the music of New Orleans legend Allen Toussaint. Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine, 949-854-4646, thebarclay.org

MANDY PATINKIN IN CONCERT: “DIARIES”
NOV. 24
Known for his TV roles in shows such as “Homeland” and “Chicago Hope” and as Inigo Montoya in the movie “The Princess Bride,” Patinkin started his career in musical theater, where he originated the roles of Che in “Evita” and Georges Seurat in “Sunday in the Park with George.” In this show, the Emmy and Tony Award winner performs his favorite Broadway show tunes and American standards from songwriters such as Stephen Sondheim and Randy Newman. Musco Center for the Arts, 1 University Drive, Orange, 844-626-8726, muscocenter.org

“ANNE OF GREEN GABLES”
OPENS NOV. 29
This family-friendly musical based on the classic novel by L.M. Montgomery tells the story of Anne Shirley, a red-haired orphan adopted by the Cuthbert family on rural Prince Edward Island. She gets into trouble but manages to win over her adoptive family and community with her personality and charm. Chance Theater, 5522 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim, 714-777-3033, chancetheater.com

LIGHTING OF THE BAY
NOV. 30
Kick off the season at Newport Dunes with train rides, crafts, a tree lot, and live entertainment before Santa flips the switch to light more than 50 holiday trees and decorations. Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort, 1131 Back Bay Drive, Newport Beach, newportdunes.com

THERE’S MORE!
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