Editor’s note: Our award-winning theater and arts critics, Joel Beers and Dave Barton, have never had a co-byline . . . until now. More, I say! (“More arts pages!” they reply.)
Like new work? Need more art by women? Want some provocation? Looking to do it all cheaply? Check out the following. All are free or less than $10 and listed in order of the exhibition’s closing date.
The group exhibition “Women of the New Contemporary” and solo show “Meet U on the Astral Plane,” from local, self-described “professional weirdo” Sara M. Lyons, at Artists Republic close June 25. Hurry up and support women artists! Artists Republic Gallery, 400 W. Disney Way, Ste. 137, Anaheim, (949) 988-0603; artists-republic.com. Open Wed.-Sun., noon-8 p.m. Free.
Through July 1, Huntington Beach Art Center features “Crossing Boundaries,” the first of three exhibitions highlighting female artists. This group show includes Sandy Abrams, Nicola Lamb, Connie DK Lane, Nancy Mooslin, Hiromi Takizawa and Carolyn Buck Vosburgh, all artists working in different mediums. Huntington Beach Art Center, 538 Main St., Huntington Beach, (714) 374-1650; www.huntingtonbeachartcenter.org. Open Tues.-Thurs., noon-8 p.m.; Fri., noon-6 p.m.; Sat., noon-5 p.m. Free.
Resist! with those troublemakers over at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, in a group exhibition of political art, “Art As Protest,” juried by the artistic director at Culver Center of the Arts and director at Sweeney Art Gallery at UC Riverside, Tyler Stallings. OCCCA, 117 N. Sycamore St., Santa Ana, (714) 667-1517; www.occca.org. Open Thurs.-Sun., noon-5 p.m. Through July 8. Free.
“Emerging Masters 2017,” Laguna College of Art + Design‘s collaboration with Laguna Art Museum, gives you a leg up on the best new work of more than 20 MFA students. Discover them before others do. Laguna Art Museum, 307 Cliff Dr., Laguna Beach, (949) 494-8971; lagunaartmuseum.org. Open Fri.-Tues., 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thurs., 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Through July 9. $5-$7.
The biggest news this summer is that it’s been three years since the last California-Pacific Triennial, so Orange County Museum of Art‘s second California-Pacific Triennial is running through Sept. 3. Though the rubric “Building as Ever” gives us a grammar-y headache, this visual survey of Pacific Rim art, involving 70-plus artists, looks focused on site-specific installations—something we love and that OCMA excels at. There’s also enough sculpture, photography and performance-based work that we’re planning to spend an entire day wandering through the eye and mind candy. OCMA, 850 San Clemente Dr., Newport Beach, (949) 759-1122; www.ocma.net. Open Wed.-Thurs. & Sat.-Sun., 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Fri., 11 a.m.-8 p.m. $7.50-$10.
Summer theater in OC means a shitload of Shakespeare, and this year is no exception. What is a bit different is that three of our best producing entities are taking aim at the Bard, and there’s some interesting non-British stuff happening as well. Here’s a breakdown of some of the most intriguing shows happening in this long summer of our discontent. . . .
The Merchant of Venice. Jew vs. Gentile. Money vs. money. A pound of flesh vs. centuries of contempt. STAGEStheatre, 400 E. Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton, (714) 525-4484; www.stagesoc.org. June 23-July 23.
The Balcony. This is one of those plays that theater-types who love being theater-types adore. But since its initial production in 1957, the question has been: Why should anyone else give a fuck? But this troupe is gritty and experimental, so let’s see. Garage Theatre, 251 E. Seventh St., Long Beach, (562) 433-8337; www.thegaragetheatre.org. June 23-July 22.
Parade. This 1998 Tony Award-winning musical is enjoying a renaissance these days, in no small part because of how fucked-up so much of America is. It’s about racism, the South, lynching and the true events that led to the rise of two groups: the KKK and the ADL. Chance Theater, 5522 E. La Palma, Anaheim, (888) 445-4512; chancetheater.com. June 30-July 30.
The Twilight Zone. STAGES wheels out its salute to the bizarre and influential world of Rod Serling for the ninth year, with staged adaptations of four shows. June 30-July 22.
Evil Dead: The Musical. A team of Canadians came up with this rock adaptation of the film series, which The New York Times opined could be the next Rocky Horror Picture Show. Maverick Theater, 110 E. Walnut Ave., Fullerton, (714) 526-7070; www.mavericktheater.com. June 30-Aug. 19.
The Tempest. The always-entertaining New Swan Shakespeare Festival returns in this county’s most unusual outdoor venue with this show, along with The Taming of the Shrew, which runs in repertory. New Swan Shakespeare Festival, 249 Drama, Irvine, (949) 824-2787; newswanshakespeare.com. July 6-Sept. 2.
Henry IV, Part I. Attendance at this venue has tripled in the past three years, thanks to John Walcutt and his talented crew’s outreach to the ethnically diverse city as well as its strong record of knocking its mainstage productions out of the city’s Festival Ampitheatre. (It’s also producing The Tempest, July 7-29.) Shakespeare Orange County/Summerfest, 12763 Main St., Garden Grove, (714) 590-1575. Aug. 11-26.
OC-Centric New Play Festival. OC’s lone festival for new plays from writers with Orange County connections holds court for the seventh year. Chapman University’s Moulton Center Studio Theatre, 300 E. Palm Ave., Orange, (714) 902-5716; www.oc-centric.com. Aug. 17-28.
Breath of Fire Latina Theater Ensemble. The summer is full of writer and production workshops, play readings, and other special events courtesy of a local company that truly understands what the word community means in community theater. Cal State Fullerton Grand Central Arts Center, 125 N. Broadway, Santa Ana; www.breathoffire.org.