Jack in the Beanstalk, magic sprouted from a handful of legumes
when the Orange County Performing Arts Center rose up out
of a bean field in Costa Mesa in 1986. The $654 million jewel
in Orange County's cultural crown was seeded with generous
donations in both land and cash by the Segerstrom family.
addition to being home to the Pacific Symphony Orchestra and
the Philharmonic Society, the 3,000-seat center has also hosted
a number of touring Broadway productions and international
dance and opera troupes. Plans for a second, smaller concert
hall, the Segerstrom Center for the Performing Arts, are currently
is the Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory, considered
one of the finest regional theaters in the country. Spilling
across South Coast Plaza are a number of outdoor art installations,
like the world-famous 1.6 acre outdoor sculpture garden created
by Isamu Noguchi, titled the "California Scenario,"
as well as major pieces of work by artists like Alexander
Calder, Joan Miro, and Jean Dubuffet. Excellent theatre can
also be found at the Laguna Playhouse, Alternative Repertory
Theatre in Santa Ana, and the Vanguard Theatre in Fullerton.
Orange County's rich and diverse cultural mix, the Irvine
Barclay Theatre offers an eclectic mix of world music and
contemporary dance and serves as the home to the county's
largest dance company, Ballet Pacifica.
this is only a taste of the arts in Orange County. To see
the whole menu, you'd have to travel to the Bowers Museum
of Cultural Art in Santa Ana, with its acclaimed art collection
of indigenous peoples and fine California painting to the
Orange County Museum of Art in Newport Center with its premier
collection of visual arts from California Impressionists to
provocative contemporary art. Laguna Beach, home to the Festival
of Arts & Pageant of the Masters in the summer, draws
lovers of California art to the Laguna Art Museum year round,
while contemporary artists can be seen practicing their art
at the Artists Village, centered around the historic Santora
Arts Complex in downtown Santa Ana.
this would be only the start. You would still need to make
time to visit the ExplorOcean/Newport Harbor Nautical Museum,
located in the Balboa Fun Zone, and the Richard Nixon Presidential
Library & Birthplace in Yorba Linda, so you can tour the
farmhouse where America's 37th President was born.
children, there's the Children's Museum of La Habra, Santa
Ana's Discovery Museum of Orange County, with its restored
Victorian building, and the County's most recent addition,
the Discovery Science Center, also in Santa Ana, with over
100 hands-on exhibits. And don't forget the surfing museum
in Huntington Beach!