This week in Orange County, visitors and residents can join in a variety of special events, celebrations, and performances for every personality type. From big-number musicals (don’t miss the pre-Broadway production of “Empire”) to 8-seconds of epic glory riding on the back of a 2,000 pound bull (the PBR Built Ford Tough Series) to a cult-classic film showing that honors the life and legacy of David Bowie, the options for entertainment this week in Orange County are as diverse as the city’s residents.
The Man Who Fell to Earth: European Stereo Cut
305 E. 4th St.
Santa Ana, CA 92701
Celebrate the legacy and career of the late David Bowie at Frida Cinema this week with nightly showings of his 1976 science-fiction class, “The Man Who Fell to Earth.” This new, digital restoration of the European Cut represents the first time this exact production will be screened in the U.S. on a full stereo soundtrack. Bowie stars as Thomas Jerome Newton, an alien searching for water to return to his dying planet. Directed by Nicolas Roeg, this provocative, cult masterpiece pushed the limits of the genre in the 70s. The screening runs throughout the week.
South Coast Repertory
655 Town Center Dr.
Costa Mesa, CA 92628
It begins with a question, “What do you see?” Soon a debate over art and commerce brews between 20th-century abstract expressionist art titan Mark Rothko and his new assistant in the Tony-Award winning Red by John Logan, on South Coast Repertory’s Segerstrom Stage beginning this week. Veteran stage and screen actor Mark Harelik will take on the role of Mark Rothko while Paul David Story plays Rothko’s assistant. Tickets start at $22 with discounts available for full-time students, patrons 25 years of age and under, full-time educators, seniors and groups of 10 or more.
La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts
14900 La Mirada Blvd.
La Mirada, CA 90638
Don’t miss the pre-Broadway engagement of “Empire,” an original, new musical about those who bravely embodied the American spirit during the dark days of the Great Depression by building what was then the tallest structure in the world, the Empire State Building. Caroline Sherman and Robert Hull pen the book, music, and lyrics for this premiere that celebrates the American spirit with big dance numbers, pop-driven melodies, and captivating spectacle. The production runs through Valentine’s Day before heading to New York; tickets start at just $20.
The Boathouse Collective
1640 Pomona Ave
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
Find out what happens when classic music meets a local bar trivia night at Music Mixology, in collaboration with the Pacific Symphony and The Boathouse Collective. The second-installment of this event features live classical renditions of rock, pop, soundtracks, folk, and more as dining and drinking patrons interact with classical musicians (including Benjamin Smolen and Bridget Dolkas, and more) as they compete to answer music-inspired trivia questions and select the next song for the virtuosos to perform. Reservations are recommended but not required.
Shuck-It Oyster Challenge
Ways & Means Oyster House
21022 Pacific Coast Hwy B140
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Celebrate the grand opening of Huntington Beach’s Ways & Means Oyster House with an oyster eating contest that benefits local charities. The public is invited to watch the fun as team members from the Huntington Beach Police Department, Fire Department, and local lifeguards will be given 60 seconds to eat as many oysters as they can, with the winning team sending $3/oyster to the charity of their choice. Fans can dine on their own oysters as well as Ways & Means’ standout selections including lobster bisque, roasted octopus skewers, and Moroccan salmon rillettes. Reservations are highly recommended for the one-night only event.
PBR: Built Ford Tough Series
2695 E Katella Ave.
Anaheim, CA 92806
The stars of the Professional Bull Riders, including five PBR World Champions, return to Anaheim this weekend as the Honda Center hosts three days of bull riding action, the only PBR series in the Southern California region this year. Returning to the southland for nearly 20 years, this stop in the Built Ford Tough Series highlights the nation’s best bull riders as they go head-to-head with their massive opponents as they seek 8-seconds of glory. Tickets range from $17 to a $404 VIP PBR experience that includes a pre-event reception, backstage tour, meet and greet with Flint Rasmussen and PBR bull riders, and special seats.
Celebrate The Lunar New Year
Pretend City Children’s Museum
Irvine, CA 92618
Kids of all ages will want to head to Pretend City this Sunday for a special Lunar New Year festival to ring in the Chinese New Year (Feb. 8). Kick off the Year of the Monkey with art projects to help kids learn about Chinese traditions (including tangrams and lucky red wallets), a story-time reading of “Red is a Dragon” and “My First Chinese New Year,” a special Chinese New Year-themed parade, and more. Kids dressed in a Chinese cultural or dragon costume can receive a special $2 discount on admission.