This massive legitimate theatre is to Orange County what the Shubert Theater or the Music Center is to Los Angeles: the home to major Broadway musicals such at "Phantom of the Opera," "Cats," "Showboat" and "Les Miserables," as well as concerts, ballet, the symphony, and grand opera. Broadway musicals tend to come to this theatre after they have already played Los Angeles. "Chicago," for instance, came to the Performing Arts Center immediately following its run at the Ahmanson. But that can be a good thing - it gives theatre-goers who missed the initial L.A. run a second chance to catch the show.
Located next to the megacenter South Coast Plaza, the Orange County Performing Arts Center is housed in an impressive building made of polished red granite; its dynamic five-story exterior features a massive proscenium arch, framing a dynamic sculpture entitled "Firebird," with wings made up of a bold sweep of interweaving gold, silver and red metallic strands. Just northwest of the theater is a maze of manicured hedges and sculptures by Moore.
As befits conservative Orange
County, OCPAC was the first performance hall in the U.S built and operated
entirely by private support. Since its opening in 1986, the stage has hosted
such stars as Bob Hope,
Tickets to such events vary in price, of course, from $70 down to around $17.
(Also see the separate
page about theatrical premieres.)
Parking: There is a huge parking structure on the north side of the Center, but it costs $7 during events and even more during the daytime hours. If you don't mind a short stroll, your best bet for the tour is probably the free parking lots nearby at the adjacent South Coast Plaza mall, just west of Bristol. (Valet parking is not available to the general public.)
Hours: Free Guided tours (mornings only):
Wednesday & Saturday at 10:00 AM.
For more tour info, call (714) 556.2122 ext. 4246.
(Tours are not held on certain
days due to conflicting events. Be sure to phone first for a recording
that will list the days when the tours will not be held.)
Getting there: The Center is located in the northeast corner of South Coast Plaza's Town Center (in Costa Mesa), just east of the intersection of Town Center Drive and Park Center Drive, east of Bristol. (See directions to South Coast Plaza mall.)
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