Costa Mesa, CA, USA

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The Rainforest Café Restaurant Review

Posted on May 19, 2009 | Food

The Rainforest Café at South Coast Plaza offers far more than simply good food and drinks.  Enjoy a full dining experience that includes entertainment for any age and any interest.  They offer adult entertainment at the bar with streaming sports games along with the many attractions for the younger diners; from the animal wild ‘life’ and simulated storms to the fish acquariums, the décor seems more like an escape into the jungle than a family, friend or birthday outing.

The service was above adequate and any fault was certainly made up for in energy.  Our waitress’ guidance about beverages and entrees to try was additionally helpful.  I was impressed by her ability to multi-task between our table and many of the other families in her area. Read More

Arts and Shopping in Costa Mesa

Posted on May 11, 2009 | Music & Art

Saturday, Joseph and I drove up to Orange County to stay with Allison, and help her with her fashion show on Sunday. On the way, we stopped at South Coast Plaza. It is the premiere shopping center in Southern California and Orange County.

Since it wasn’t open yet, we parked and decided to walk around a bit. Luckily, there was a walking bridge that extended from the shopping center into the city! Everything was so cool and artistic, but interestingly strange. As you can see, I got “lost” in all of these bush shrubs. Read More

Happy Hour at The Clubhouse

Posted on May 5, 2009 | Food

As Happy Hour Week only lasted so long, each restaurant choice was crucial. Happily enough to say, The Clubhouse Restaurant at South Coast Plaza granted us a satisfying experience. Although we were seated at the incorrect location at first, they were more than accommodating in directing us to the bar where the Happy Hour menu was offered.

The service was wonderful. The hostess, waitress and bartender were very pleasant and friendly, however each withheld any intrusive, snobby or forced conversation. Read More

An Authorized Production

Posted on April 27, 2009 | Music & Art

Despite being a work-in-progress, as the director readily reminds us at the beginning of the show, “The Unauthorized Autobiography of Samantha Brown” could easily become a smash hit as it currently is.  The director noted how much the show is still changing, how songs are being added and deleted on a regular basis and that the show viewers see next week could be different from the one my peers and I were there to watch that evening.  He also noted that because of these constant changes, cast members may stumble over lines to request lines that may have altered drastically in rehearsal that very morning. Read More

A Brief Affair with the South Coast Reperatory

Posted on April 23, 2009 | Music & Art

There’s a bizarre sense of innate realism that accompanies a work centered on the comfortably awkward relationship between a mom and her kids.  Richard Greenberg’s “Our Mother’s Brief Affair” acknowledges this, as the title alone suggests.

Trickled in this family drama about a dying mother presenting the story of an affair she had years ago to her two now-grown children is unique bouts of humor, both present in the content itself as well as in the manageable portrayal of the struggling, realistic characters.

The show is small, with only four actors present and a single, unchanging set.  Though each of the four actors hold their own and offer extremely convincing performances, Jenny O’Hara’s portrayal of Anna, the mother, arguably steals the spotlight.  The depiction of her character’s genuine naivety produces both sympathy and discontent (though that may be too harsh a term).

The narrative is conveyed straightforwadly at times, as well as in flashback-form.  Sometimes these two deliveries are independent of the other, while sometimes they’re intertwined.  The fact that this maneuver works well and doesn’t get confusing speaks volumes of the writing, set-direction and abilities of the actors.

Don’t miss Our Mother’s Brief Affair at South Coast Repertory through May 3.