Whether you’re a cinephile or a sculptor, a writer or a raver, or if you just prefer to occasionally frequent a museum or two — there’s a place for you somewhere in Orange County to satisfy all your art and entertainment desires!
For music lovers and concert goers; the Observatory in Santa Ana is conveniently located less than twenty minutes away from UCI and it attracts a generous variety of artists — both well-known and indie. The acts, from both the past and future, span a wide spectrum of genres with diverse artists like The Drums, Cashmere Cat, Fetty Wap and Best Coast to name a few. Prices can range anywhere from $0 to over $100 — with most concerts averaging in the $20 – $30 range.
If the Observatory is a bit too raucous for your tastes, then the Segerstrom Center for the Arts may be just the venue you’re looking for. The elegant Segerstrom Center caters to the finer side of the performing arts. Routinely featured are productions similar to what one would find on Broadway. The center also hosts musical guests ranging from The Polish Baltic Philharmonic to Scott Bradley and the Postmodern Jukebox. Located only ten minutes away from UCI near the the affluent South Coast Plaza shopping center, the Segerstrom is an appealing destination for Anteaters. Worth noting however, Segerstrom can be quite expensive, but they do offer special deals and discounts for people between the ages of fifteen and twenty five.
Admirers of art, history, and culture owe it to themselves to take a trip to OCMA – The Orange County Museum of Art. The museum exhibits over 3,000 different pieces and objects. Its collection is composed primarily of Californian art. The pieces preserve the history of triumph and tribulation faced by Californians over the last few centuries; with particular detail to the hardships faced by immigrants and perpetuated by xenophobia. Appreciating this cultural preservation only requires a ten minute drive to the rich and sunny Newport Beach, and will only set students back by $7.50 if they have their student IDs – $10 without it.
The cinema scene in Irvine is diverse enough to keep it interesting and cheap enough to make it ideal. Edwards Theater is located right across the bridge from Campus at UTC. While Edwards is a household cinema brand, this particular theater plays primarily artsy and independent films – a breath of fresh air from the mundane.
If you find yourself on a budget, as most students almost inevitably will at one point or another, then the Woodbridge 5 theater is perfect. While the theater lacks many of the bells and whistles of wealthier venues, the $3 ticket deals more than make up for its shortcomings. Located less than 5 miles away; Woodbridge 5 is close AND cheap – something most college students are sure to appreciate.
For those on a budget, those who want to support their community and those who love to see great art without having to travel far – the Claire Trevor School of the Arts puts on numerous productions across the various disciplines: music, dance, art and drama. Claire Trevor currently has seventeen different venues, each with a unique ambience. Many events are free, and tickets for paid events are generally sold at very reasonable prices.
Additionally, Claire Trevor’s theater program consistently ranks amongst the nation’s top twenty – this statistic is reflected in the outstanding quality of the school’s theater productions.
This article is by no means comprehensive. Getting out, exploring, and discovering new venues is the best way to find ones you love, and ones you’ll frequent often over the next few years.