Monday, July 18, 2011

OC-bred opera stars headline "Annie Get Your Gun" in New York

Two opera super stars from Orange County are playing the leads in "Annie Get Your Gun" at Glimmerglass Opera Festival in Cooperstown, New York--Deborah Voigt & Rod Gilfry (ArtsOC is honoring Rod at the 12th Annual OC Arts Awards on September 20th).  Here is what the New York Times said today about their performance.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

New Palm Court Arts Complex Opening at OC Great Park

Anyone expressing impatience over the ultimate fulfillment of the dream to create a "great park" on the former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro first needs to be reminded that some of the greatest parks, like New York's Central Park and San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, took many decades to evolve.
But, second, they owe it to themselves to pay a visit to the park, which just welcomed 25,000 people on Saturday to its anniversary celebration, "Growing the Park," complete with hands-on arts activities, performances, exhibits, food, air show and fireworks.  Arts Orange County coordinated more than a dozen arts organizations and performing groups for the event.
During the celebration, the public had its first opportunity to visit the latest step in the park's evolution: the opening of its Palm Court Arts Complex.
The Palm Court (so named because of its expansive plaza containing 54 gigantic, shade-producing Canary Island palm trees) consists of two former squadron buildngs that have been renovated into an art gallery and a raw studio space for the park's new artists in residence program (ArtsOC consulted with the park on the selection process for that program).
The official opening of the inaugural art exhibition in the gallery is on July 23rd, and I'll post something about it at that time.
But mark your calendar to attend and to explore some of the other riches the park has to offer.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Shag returns to sign more autographs!

In case you missed last Saturday's opening and signing with SHAG, he will be at Grand Central Art Center again, August 6, 6:00-7:00 p.m. signing more posters, books, and merchandise.

Et tu, Brute?

"Julius Caesar" opens the season at Shakespeare Orange County in the Festival Amphitheatre in Garden Grove.I served as managing director from 1987-1990 of its predecessor organization, Grove Shakespeare Company (aka Grove Theater Company), which also operated the adjacent Gem Theater, a restored 1920s movie theatre (now operated by One More Productions).
When I was being interviewed, during the summer of 1987, I saw Grove Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" in a splendid production directed by Jules Aaron.
In addition to "Julius Caesar," Shakespeare Orange County is presenting "The Comedy of Errors" and "The Complete Works of Shakespeare, Abridged".

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

3D--OFF the screen

It's not just Hollywood that's going 3D these days (though there are some who say that it's already "jumped the shark").
Orange County Center for Contemporary Art in the Santa Ana Artists Village opened a 3D-themed exhibition by its affiliate artists last Saturday night.
Since this is a varied group of creative individuals, their expression of the theme was quite eclectic.  I was most taken by the provocative neons of Joella March, like "Conspire to Transform Reality," appropriately exhibited within its own niche, and the worm-like paintings of Pamela Grau (pictured: "Entangled")--a continued evolution by a talented artist whose work I admire (it was great seeing her there, sporting a full head of hair, following a chemo regimen last year).
But there is much more to enjoy in this show, which runs through July 30th.

Born to Bossa Nova

Returning from this morning's workout, I had Pandora on my iPhone, listening to the "Burt Bacharach" Channel I had created, which led me into the world of Antonio Carlos Jobim, Joao and Astrud Gilberto, and "Wave," a world in which I would live a carefree existence forever.
That's the world in which an artist named "Shag" lives, or so it seems to me.  The 49 year old Josh Agle's work (his name comprises the last two letters of his first and first two letters of his last name) is well known to Southern California art lovers from multiple group and solo exhibitions, the latest of which is "Hand Pulled: The Complete Shag Print Collection" at Cal State Fullerton's Grand Central Art Center Gallery in the Santa Ana Artists Village.
The beatnik, 50s deco line drawing caricatures set against day-glo oranges, yellows, blues, magentas and greens are OF that era--but not FROM that era.  Judging by the line around the block of perhaps 100 or more Shag-lovers waiting to get posters & books signed by him before Saturday night's opening, his work has struck a chord right out of "Girl from Ipanema" territory.  I hesitate to call it retro because he's no johnny-come-lately to his style--rather, I'd say he was born to bossa nova.
And for someone like me, it was something to revel in.
The exhibit continues through August 6 and admission is free.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Absentee blogger returns

My only excuse for the long absence is that I was directing a play, which has now opened. Also, that I haven't been quite as motivated to blog since it's easier to just post one-liners on Facebook and Twitter.
At last, though, an issue has arisen that certainly got my attention and made me want to comment: the protest campaign against The Chance Theater for its upcoming production of "Jerry Springer: The Opera," a hit musical from London that also has played in New York.
I saw the London production--in fact, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones were sitting right behind us!
There is a Catholic organization that has sent over 1500 emails to the Chance Theater today to protest what they claim is a blasphemous show. Well, they might as well protest the Jerry Springer show on TV as well, since this is a relatively faithful (though satirical) facsimile of the daily melees representing the worst excesses of American life. And, like the creators of the satirical animated show South Park, "Jerry Springer: The Opera" is an "equal opportunity offender," taking aim at just about everyone and everything.
Satire isn't everyone's cup of tea, and let's face it, some people don't have a sense of humor about their own political or religious beliefs.
In one of my earliest years at the Laguna Playhouse, I produced the classic play "An Enemy of the People" by Henrik Ibsen. This was at a time when Laguna Beach environmentalists were fighting the development of the 73 Toll Road. The play is about a doctor who discovers that the spa waters in his town are severely polluted & orders it to be shut. His brother, the Mayor, refuses to do so because it's the town's primary driver of the local economy. Townspeople storm the doctor's house & declare him an enemy of the people. He is bullheaded & refuses to leave or to rescind his order.
Well, our play managed to offend both the environmentalists--who did not like the critical portrait of the stubborn doctor in this play--AND the development community--The Mission Viejo Company withdrew its support for the Laguna Playhouse because of the play.
So, kudos to The Chance Theater for taking on a controversial play. The protesters, however, are probably doing a big favor to the theatre, which is getting far more attention for it as a result of their efforts.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Give me that old time music

Dikram Gobalian was in town on Saturday. Nobody knows him by that name--he's Leon Redbone to you & me, and nobody has done a better job of preserving & interpreting music from the turn of the 20th century, teens and twenties that this mysterious guitar player and singer. As unusual as he seems in his recordings and early TV appearances on Saturday Night Live and other late night programs in the '70s and '80s, he's even more eccentric in live performance as witnessed at Saddleback College's McKinney Theatre before a full house of devoted fans. The 90 minute intermission-less set was comprised of about 25% humorous smalltalk with his talented stride pianist Paul Assaro, complaints that he hasn't been feeling well (a ruse to set up a string of lamenting blues songs), feigned forgetfulness and playfulness. Amusing as these were, I would have welcomed more music and less talk, notwithstanding his endearing persona. He constantly cajoled the audience to sing along to obscure songs nobody knew (even after the song was over), but rewarded them with a few better known classics like "Sweet Sue" and "Shine On Harvest Moon." As a musicologist and preservationist, he has made a major contribution to our appreciation for a bygone era of unique and outstanding work. And amidst an age in which "over the top" was the only way to draw attention, his low key, old fashioned style set him apart. It was a privilege to experience him live.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

"Disappeared" at Monkey Wrench Collective

It's hard to resist a theatregoing experience where you walk into a playing area transformed into a bar, they have a classic Wurlitzer jukebox churning out your personal favorite hits of the '60s, and they hand you a beer.

It's equally hard to resist a play with an eccentric and mysterious protagonist who may or may not be a murderer, and then you're still left to speculate at the end.

That's Phyllis Nagy's Disappeared, which runs through May 22 at Monkey Wrench Collective under artistic director Dave Barton's direction.

A few thoughts came to mind as I watched the play last night:

Our proclivity to jump to conclusions, and our endless pursuit of some ideal of objective truth, despite the fact that three different people can witness the same occurrence yet see three different things (a la the classic Rashomon).

The differences between writing for the live theatre and for film--evidenced in this play by a number of short scenes designed to advance the plot or provide some essential bit of information that make perfect sense in a movie, but tend to sell short the unique storytelling opportunities afforded by the stage.

Nevertheless, Nagy shows herself adept in both media as her meatier opening and closing scenes demonstrate and through a truly compelling second act opener.

Whether the disparate styles belong together has been an ongoing debate in the theatre world where more and more script submissions look like screenplays and fewer writers seem to have mastered the craft of live theatre.

Perhaps Nagy believes that a successful fusion of the two is achievable. Disappeared doesn't entirely convince me of that, but I'm open to being persuaded.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Triptych of Artists at OC Fine Art Storage in Anaheim

This art storage and restoration facility is attempting to carve out a name for itself as a place to view small exhibitions, like last month's "Aunt Doris" show. Its latest presentation is works by three respected local artists: Jane Bauman, David Michael Lee and Jay Sagen. Each artist has a distinctive abstract style but their works are complementary to each other's. I think you'll be able to tell that Lee is a longtime studio assistant to Tony DeLap from the semafore-like painting above, but that's really a departure from his oeuvre, which is actually rather eclectic (I know that because I've seen quite a bit of his work around). I'm less familiar with Bauman and Sagen, but think it noteworthy that Sagen has jumped on the Yupo bandwagon--that's a synthetic sheet material that watercolorists in particular have acquired a real fondness for of late. Anyway, OC Fine Art Storage is open Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm, but David Aeppli there says don't hesitate to call if you want to see the exhibition outside of those hours.

How I Learned to Drive or The Unexpected Guest

Take your pick for the best title to STAGEStheatre's new drama--a car plowing into its storefront facility! Check out the photos on their Facebook page.

Friday, April 1, 2011

To review or not to review

I'm not a professional critic, and my approach in this blog has been to report more than to review arts experiences in our community. So, my reports have generally taken a "glass half full" approach to describing what I see, making any critical points in a gentle or subtle fashion. That has led me on occasion to skip writing about something I couldn't find enough positive things to say about, like last night's performance of An Evening With Mark Twain at the Coach House. There is room for artistic endeavor at all levels of talent in our community, and it's my job to encourage it. I will be writing on that subject in greater depth very soon when an Arts Orange County project is completed by two intrepid students in the Claremont Graduate University arts management program. Its findings are likely to be controversial.

Monday, March 28, 2011

"An Evening with Mark Twain" -- Where?

I've been to a lot of great concerts at San Juan Capistrano's The Coach House over the years--saw the legendary jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli there TWICE when he was already in his 80s, and more recently Judy Collins and Savoy Brown, as well as Suzanne Vega, Michael Franks, Michael McDonald, Little Feat and others.

But I have to say that I never imagined The Coach House as a venue for theatre--so when I learned that they have booked in "An Evening with Mark Twain" featuring actor Kurt Sutton for this Thursday evening, I just had to check it out.

I'm sure I won't be the first audience member to have seen the legendary Hal Holbrook perform the "Mark Twain Tonight" solo performance he's done for over 50 years. But it's a rarity to see him do it today (he's now 86), and he's never totally "owned the franchise," as several actors over the years have toured widely in their own interpretations of the life of one of America's most important and intriguing men of letters.

So, I look forward to seeing Sutton bring him to life in this unexpected venue, and will let you know what I think.

Festival Ballet Theatre's "Coppelia"

Hopefully by now people know that they don't have to wait for annual "Nutcracker" performances for the kind of delightful storybook ballet suitable for all ages. Festival Ballet Theatre reminded OC audiences at the Irvine Barclay Theatre last weekend of that fact with a production of "Coppelia" that featured two stars of the New York City Ballet, FBT professional company members, and even some of the littlest students in FBT's Southland Ballet Academy.

There is plenty of familiar music in the Leon Delibes score that carries the tale from E.T.A. Hoffmann about two young lovers whose romance is temporarily derailed by the attraction of a "new girl in town" who turns out not to be real, but a doll. It's sort of a cross between "Nutcracker" and "Pygmalion," but the sweet silliness of the plot is mostly just a vehicle for some lovely dance, and Megan Fairchild and Andrew Veyette, the guest stars, were captivating, in choreography by Arthur Saint-Leon staged by FBT Artistic Director Salwa Rizkalla.

It marked the end of the current FBT season except for their May 6 Gala of the Stars, which will featured guest artists from American Ballet Theatre and San Francisco Ballet, also at The Barclay.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Saturday Night Satire at Breath of Fire

For anyone who watches satirical revues like Saturday Night Live it's a given that some sketches will hit the mark while others will miss by a mile--so your experience rolls with the punchlines. But the other essential to enjoying satire is being aware of all the targets of the humor.

The full house that enthusiastically received Las Ramonas Gone Wild at Breath of Fire Latina Theatre Ensemble last night (running through April 2) knew all the reference points and reacted with peals of laughter. That we, seemingly the only non-Latinos in the house, laughed at all during the two hour show (even when we were clueless as to the meaning) was largely because of the talented three-woman Xicana comedy troupe from LA whose skillful antics were irresistible. The material didn't always rise to the level of their performances, but that's sketch comedy.

It's great to see Breath of Fire partnering with talented artists like these throughout the region. It will be even greater to see their upcoming production in South Coast Rep's new Studio Series (May 13-15) of the play, Angel of the Desert by Janine Salinas and directed by Breath of Fire's Artistic Director Sara Guerrero, which I suspect will be more representative of the work this company typically produces. And it's a wonderful opportunity for Breath of Fire's work to be seen by a wider audience.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Saturday in the galleries

I finally made it over to OC Fine Art Storage in Anaheim. Co-owner Brian Ross has been nagging me to get there, so when I received an invitation to a showing of works by Doris Rosenthal, I seized the opportunity. OC-FAS is not a gallery per se but a secure, climate-controlled facility to store art for museums (all of OC's major museums use it), for collectors and for businesses. Periodically, Brian hangs a show in the front half of their facility, which has one gallery-sized room and several smaller rooms with wall-space enough to display about 40 works--the number in the Rosenthal showing. Her works (above right is one of the oil paintings on display) are mostly depicting peasant life in rural Mexico where she spent most of her life as an artist after having studied in New York at the famed Art Students League in the 1930s (though she was originally from California). She was the recipient of three Guggenheim fellowships, and was most active in the 1950s and 1960s. Her step-grand-nephew Dennis has lovingly assembled the bulk of her works, had them restored and reframed, and opened them for view to invite museum curators to consider them for future exhibitions. Her compositions offer perspectives that are unexpected and demonstrate a hand skilled at capturing the spill of natural light.
I first met Enzie Shamiri at a dedication of murals installed at the Laguna Hills City Hall a year or so ago, but we had already been Facebook friends. She is the featured artist right now at Artist Eye Laguna Gallery where a collective of 17 artists exhibit. Enzie has a particular fondness in Oriental art throughout the ages, but especially oil paintings that portray Middle Eastern life in realistic style--and she often posts images of works she comes across on her Facebook page. In her own oils, she also explores these themes, but some of her works reflect a slightly more heightened, almost dreamlike quality--like in the portrait of the girl above, a lovely yet rather haunting image.
Peter Blake remains an OC treasure as he exhibits in his Laguna Beach gallery the work of cutting edge artists--some famous, like Tony Delap and Lita Albuquerque, some less-known but established artists, as well as emerging artists. The recession has been a struggle, Peter admits, but the "enthusiasm" in the art market is returning, he said. Delap's deceptively simple angled geometrical paintings in forest green, white and black--some on a burlap colored textile--evoked for me the national flags of some African nations. Pastine's subtle gradations of of solid color have always appealed to me.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Arpana Dance at SCR's New Studio Series

The stated goal of SCR's new Studio Series is "to create stronger ties between arts organizations and expose audiences to the rich diversity of the local arts scene." Last night's preview of as a river featured Orange County's Indian dance organization of longstanding, Arpana Dance Company, and its artistic director Ramya Harishankar (left). It continues through Sunday.

Ramya, an internationally respected choreographer who has preserved the legacy of Indian dance by educating new generations of artists here in Southern California for many years, stepped outside her comfort zone when she married the traditional "Bharata Natyam" program that she choreographed with a second act original contemporary work utilizing traditional idioms that she partnered with Priya Srinivasan to create.

There is an altogether different kind of athleticism required in Indian dance from its Western counterparts--yet no less physically demanding. There is also a refreshing attention to smaller gestures, facial expressions and even vocalization that instills a high degree of drama and humor in both the traditional and contemporary pieces performed.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Musical Theatre Geekdom

Over the past two weekends, I've seen two local shows that glorify & lampoon musical theatre geeks: The Drowsy Chaperone, produced by 3D Theatricals (new tenant at Plummer Auditorium in Fullerton), and West Side Terri at Monkey Wrench Collective in Fullerton.

The Drowsy Chaperone is precisely what you would expect: a big, sprawling production with eye-popping costumes and scenic elements. Its narrator, a self-described musical theatre geek, confesses his love for an obscure (fictional) musical of the 1920s, the album for which he lovingly cues up on his LP turntable to play for us as he recounts its plot and the scuttlebut he's collected about its lead performers. The musical unfolds behind him, a silly-but-fun show redolent of (but nowhere as good as) Cole Porter. The cast worked hard to keep the show's 1 hour 45 minute intermissionless length peppy, but the conceit of the narrator occasionally slowed things down (probably a necessity to cover scene shifts and costume changes), and the way the script hints broadly at his being a closet homosexual reinforces the stereotype of gay musical theatre lovers that by now seems hackneyed. Critical reaction to The Drowsy Chaperone when it first appeared on Broadway was mixed, yet the show found an audience there and even more success on the road. And the former FCLO Music Theatre audience appeared to love the show--and there were definitely moments of undeniable entertainment gold that made seeing it worthwhile.

West Side Terri turned out to be a much more honest and satisfying expose of musical theatre geekdom, as accomplished local actress Terri Mowrey confides her obsession with West Side Story and proceeds to perform it almost in its entirety for us. In the hands of a less-skilled artist, this could have been excruciating, but Mowrey is a committed actor, unafraid of baring her soul. Anyone familiar with the film or stage productions of West Side Story will howl at her near-perfect replicas of some of the show's biggest moments--down to the Jerome Robbins choreography. Yet, as she hilariously deconstructs the scenes in her unabashed way, she also portrays with aplomb how easily seduced she was by the allure of musical theatre--especially one as great as West Side Story--and all in just slightly over an hour.

Having had a love-hate relationship with musicals all my life, seeing these two shows hit closer to home than I feel comfortable sharing!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Oversupply-side Artsonomics?

National Endowment for the Arts Chair Rocco Landesman spoke out recently--and the arts community talked back to him.

Charles Isherwood's NYTimes blogpost (and the many comments to it) address Landesman's statement that maybe there's an oversupply of the arts (specifically, theater) for what the market can bear.

Criticisms of his comments have focused on how Landesman's a commercial theatre producer--not from the government or nonprofit sector--so his opinion on this matter is suspect.

I don't buy that.

But, it does strike me that nobody ever says we have too many businesses in America. Isn't the basic idea that the market will sort out the winners and losers? If it's true of business, it's also true of nonprofits--even if some of us don't really want to admit that.

But the real question this raises is what has this to do with where the National Endowment for the Arts is headed? There is all sorts of speculation on how the NEA will divide up its pitiful ly small (though the largest amount in a lot of years) $167 million now that Rocco is running it.

Is the NEA spreading the money too thin, weakening its impact but satisfying political imperatives of keeping some money going just about everywhere geographically?

The problem is that it has become even more of a political imperative at a time when a high profile group of GOP members of Congress have included on their list of proposed government cutbacks the entire elimination of the NEA, National Endowment for the Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Such suggestions have certainly surfaced periodically--most notably due to the so-called "culture wars" of the 90s when Sen. Jesse Helms ran roughshod over the agency.

Now it's the "eliminate government from everything in our lives" armada that was elected in November that is targeting it -- but arts & humanities cuts are dwarfed by the many other items on their lengthy checklist.

The NEA and CPB survived the Helms era--and with some strong advocacy by the arts community, I feel confident they can survive the newest assault.

What kind of things the NEA will fund, however, remains to be seen.

Isherwood calls Landesman "Cowboy Mouth," a vocal shoot-from-the-hip type, whose comment on "too much theater" he tempered when there was an outcry.

Hopefully, he learned that an NEA chair should never be publicly stating that "less art" would be good for America!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sir Ken Robinson Will Deliver ArtsOC's 2011 Creative Edge Lecture

The dynamic, brilliant and funny Sir Ken Robinson, one of the world's noted authorities on creativity, has been announced to deliver ArtsOC's 2011 Creative Edge Lecture on Wednesday, March 30, 10 am-11:30 am in the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa. It is presented in partnership with Orange County Department of Education, Fourth District PTA and Segerstrom Center for the Arts. The Boeing Company is the title sponsor of the event. The title of Sir Ken's lecture is "Launch A Creative Revolution," and is sure to be provocative, inspiring and entertaining. Tickets are on sale now here.
Last year's Creative Edge lecture drew more than 1,000 people, so don't delay getting your tickets!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Segerstrom Legacy

It's my belief that you can't say thank you enough to the generous philanthropists who support charitable organizations, and yesterday, Orange County's largest cultural organization delivered a huge thank you to its largest donors, the Segerstrom family, by re-naming the Orange County Performing Arts Center the Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

Some of the details appear in articles today in the Orange County Register and Los Angeles Times.

Amidst all the hoopla of renaming OCPAC after a family that has given well over $100 million in cash and land, I hope it's not lost on the community that the word "Performing" has been removed from the title, leaving it as "Arts."

That is a strong signal that a renewed effort is under way to fulfill the dream of moving the Orange County Museum of Art onto the vacant piece of land just south of the concert hall.

One of the strongest symbols that the Segerstrom Center for the Arts is committed to the visual--as well as performing arts--took place prior to the opening of the concert hall, when a gift of Henry Segerstrom was installed: the dramatic sculpture by Richard Serra.

And that's not all: the Center announced that it will be making 10,000 tickets available for $10 each to a broad spectrum of its events this year, supplementing the increasing number of free events it has been hosting on its plaza.

The Center may still be a palace for the finest artistic experiences and a central gathering point for affluent business leaders and socialites, but it has worked extremely hard in recent years to ensure that everyone in the community has access to these experiences and feels welcome in the facilities.

The Segerstrom Center for the Arts truly belongs to all the people of Orange County, and we have the Segerstrom family and thousands of other generous donors to thank for that!
Pictured above: the Segerstrom family on stage with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Center officials at the renaming event yesterday.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Reports of FCLO's death premature?

On a weekend when first reports of Congresswoman Giffords' shooting stated she was dead (thankfully, she survived and the doctors are cautiously optimistic about her condition), the FCLO story was further illuminated in an article by Paul Hodgins in the Orange County Register.

It suggests that FCLO will continue to produce dinner theatre in its "Skyroom" facility, that Larry King will make a fund-raising appearance to help them resolve their remaining debt for renting Plummer Auditorium, and that they and 3D Theatricals will "cross-market" to each other's audiences.

It appears that 3D will still become the successor professional producer at Plummer, which is what 3D stated in their press release.

Friday, January 7, 2011

One Theatre's Loss is Another's Gain in Fullerton

The plucky new professional company 3D Theatricals, which found itself left out in the cold after impressing many with its debut season at the OC Pavilion in Santa Ana--only to be booted out when Pavilion owner Mike Harrah sold the theatre to OC High School of the Arts--has announced that it has now found a new home at Fullerton's Plummer Auditorium and will succeed the now-defunct FCLO Music Theatre (formerly Fullerton Civic Light Opera) as the resident producer.

3D announced a season that includes two performances by Sally Struthers--in The Drowsy Chaperone (an OC premier) and in Always, Patsy Cline, which I produced at Laguna Playhouse for a sold-out summer run in 2002. They also plan to revive All Shook Up, which they produced this past year.

In a magnamious gesture (3D's second in the past month: they offered to save Crystal Cathedral's The Glory of Christmas but were turned down by the church leadership), 3D Theatricals is offering to honor all tickets sold & seating currently held by FCLO subscribers and single ticket buyers.

FCLO's demise came as a shock to the theatre community. Some believed that the FCLO leaders Griff and Jan Duncan had not changed enough with the times to keep it a vital producing organization, but it was at least as much the fault of an audience that turned up its nose at any of the occasional newer musicals and premieres offered by FCLO. The quality of their productions was generally very high, and not only could the best SoCal talent be seen regularly on their stage, but they attracted Broadway stars as well. The lack of support from the City of Fullerton and the expensive rental of Plummer from the high school certainly contributed, in this time of recession, to shaky ground for FCLO.

It remains to be seen whether 3D will succeed. Members of the media have liked what they've produced but they were not attracting big audiences at the Pavilion (downtown Santa Ana has enjoyed a revival thanks to the arts, but still faces a stigma among traditional musical theatre audiences). 3D made clear that this family endeavor possessed a big bankroll to launch right into productions of high quality (their debut show Peter Pan was outstanding), but skeptics have wondered how long the money will last until they attract a sufficient audience.

Their eviction from the Pavilion appears to have been a blessing in disguise. Certainly, Plummer Auditorium's location and history as a successful theatre venue gives 3D a fighting chance to gain solid footing.