By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Thursday, March 4
I am so confused. I've never seen Leonard Bernstein's opera Candide (performed by Opera Pacific), but I have, you know, read the book. So when OP's website says David Miller (from Baz Luhrmann's Broadway La Boheme) plays "the witty Candide," are we talking about an alternative-universe Candide? 'Cause here in Rightsideupland, Candide is a happy moron—you know, like George W. Bush, except innocent, decent and good. The score includes "Glitter and Be Gay," "Make Our Garden Grow" and "Oh, Happy We." Yo, OCPAC, seriously, send me some tickets, bras. Opera is so freakin' cool. 7:30 p.m. $40-$185. Orange County Performing Arts Center, Segerstrom Hall, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa, (714) 740-7878 or (213) 365-3500; www.ocpac.org.
Offer up your prayers to the Church of Phil Shane. With just a guitar, a karaoke machine and many (many) spangly jackets, the wee lounge singer shows us how pure love transforms us from squashed humanity to the sublime. Don't worry: he's not singing Sandy Patty or POD; he does all his saving with Neil Diamond and Elvis, with maybe just a touch of Manilow thrown in. Sing hallelujah! I said sing it! 9 p.m. $5. 21+. Alex's Bar, 2913 E. Anaheim Blvd., Long Beach, (562) 434-8292.
Watch Boy Scout troops, teeny-weeny ROTC tykes, Indian Princesses and their daddies, and a bunch of guys in fezzes play Elvis tunes from the back of a truck. Laguna Beach's Patriot's Day Parade really is a joyous affair. Bonus! For the first time, they're letting in the hippies of the Laguna Beach Peace Vigil. It's just like when the gays got to march in the St. Patty's Day parade! Bring a sign (keep it nice; no GW with a Hitler 'stache), and join in the fun. 11 a.m. Main Beach, Pacific Coast Hwy. & Ocean Ave., Laguna Beach.
David Spade from Just Shoot Me. I've never seen his act. Do you suppose he makes fun of celebrities in a supersnide way? I love that. Do you think he could make fun of Liev Schreiber if we asked him to? Nah. He probably doesn't even know who that is because, really, Schreiber's not that famous. $30. 18+. Brea Improv, 120 S. Brea Blvd., Brea, (714) 482-0700; www.improv.com.
Chase Frank is a cool Long Beach chick. (Of course, all Long Beach chicks are cool Long Beach chicks. It's the law.) And every Monday, Chase hosts the Songwriter Supper Club. This week? It's Cornerstone R.A.S. Artist Night with Bert (of The Ziggens), Mike (of Frank Jordan), Josh (of Bargain Music) and Dave (of Fiver). The Ziggens are dreamy, especially doughy Bert (he's like a sexy Fred Flintstone), and once? When I was in Austin? Dickie Ziggen was up onstage, and he saw me in the audience and did that fake thumping-heart thing where he put his hand under his shirt? Also, he came down from the stage to hand me two drink tickets. Yeah, I really never got over that. Also, once? My homegirl Arrissia called Frank Jordan wuss-rock? (She meant it in a good way, I think.) And they never really got over that either. 9 p.m. 21+. DiPiazza, 5205 E. Pacific Coast Hwy., Long Beach, (562) 498-2461; www.dipiazzas.com.
So the preparators at the Orange County Museum of Art are a bunch of dirty Finish Fetishists—the kind of guys for whom the only proper art is white scabs of paint on white canvases, maybe with some scratches gauged out to better expose the lie that is representation. Or something. So they were yawning to themselves when the news came they would be hanging "Picasso to Pollock: Modern Masterpieces from the Wadsworth Athenaeum Museum of Art." But once they started opening those crates? The ones with the tiny Magrittes and the neoclassical Picassos? And that Arp? Even they started getting excited. This is the kind of exhibit that gets you a little breathless. That Dali? And the Matisse? They're right there before you. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Orange County Museum of Art, 850 San Clemente Dr., Newport Beach, (949) 759-1122; www.ocma.net.
Do you love Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson like I love Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson? No? That's okay. How about Starsky & Hutch? Do you love them? Then check out the actual red-and-white ride used in the movie. Wasn't it an El Torino? Am I making that up, or do I have a freakish recall of 1976, when I was three? Call for show times and ticket prices. Krikorian Metroplex Movie Palace, Buena Park, (714) 826-2152.
Thursday, March 11
Nineteen Orange County Chambers of Commerce and convention and visitors bureaus bring together business and professional people representing hundreds of different industries, companies and corporations throughout Orange County to provide the ultimate networking experience. Does this sound beyond deadly to you? Me, too! However! Don't you want to see the inside of the Diamond Club at Angel Stadium? Me, too! Don't forget your business cards. 5:30-9 p.m. $10. Diamond Club, Angel Stadium, 2000 E. Gene Autry Way, Anaheim, (949) 222-6600; www.ocmixer.com.