In Orange County, entertainment and pleasurable distraction stretches well beyond the resorts and roller coasters. Everyone likes a good thrill or concert, but Orange County also offers some magnificent, if slightly lower in key, one-person performances at some of the world's most inviting, elegant venues. Poetry, dance, drama, performance art; pick your pleasure, then come find it right in your backyard.
The Adventures Of Alvin Sputnik Deep Sea Explorer
The Orange County Performing Arts Center
600 Town Center Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
More than a show like none other you have ever seen, performer Tim Watts has created a spectacle probably unlike any you are currently aware of. Likened to a Pixar theatrical performance, "The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik" will challenge your understanding of talent and change your definition of entertainment. You will be transformed into an inconceivable, but for a time, very real and desperate world quite beyond the brink of destruction. Journey with artist, musician and puppeteer Tim Watts into the forbidding sea, which holds, for us and Alvin, our unlikely hero, the key to salvation. Technically and emotionally stirring, Alvin's is a touching tale of the conflicting elements of hope and torment, passion and the end of the world. The intimate, yet plush and comfortable Samueli Theater at Sergestrom Center for the Arts is an ideal venue to capture this award-winning solo performance. Tickets begin at $20.
Irvine Barclay Theatre
4242 Campus Drive
Irvine, CA 92612
Best-selling author and much-acclaimed humorist, David Sedaris makes his much-anticipated return to Orange County for a show you don't want to miss. Especially if you have read all of his books, you will love seeing this brilliant man perform live. Come peek into the mind, if you dare, of a man who actually released a book with a story in it entitled, "The Judicious Brown Chicken." Satire, deprecation, political irreverence; Sedaris is bursting with it. Something of a regular at the Barclay, you won't want to trust your luck that he will come back anytime soon. He's got the kind of issues with airport security that could one day make it difficult to travel (see No-Fly List). The Barclay Theater is glorious and this is the perfect show to see there. Tickets begin at $35.
Joe Monti Magic
The Muckenhalter Cultural Center
1201 W. Malvern Ave.
Fullerton, CA 92833
While not a single worthwhile best-of list would contain the words magic show, Joe Monti is, rather, an accomplished comedian who also performs magic. As exciting a stage show and as impressive a performance as you are likely to see by a solo artist who is not named Criss Angel, Joe Monti did work extensively with Criss Angel, and is much easier on the eyes. He also possesses a wealth of the type of wit that separates a magic show that you will enjoy from one that is intolerable. You may volunteer when invited to become part of the act, or simply sit back, if you prefer, and watch others make total fools of themselves. Tickets are $16 for students and seniors, $10 for Muckenthaler members $20 for non-members.
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Christopher Schmidt is a freelance writer experiencing and espousing the glory that is Orange County. Driven to travel, drawn to sports, spirits and celebrity, Chris' work can be found on
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