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Too Highbrow at Arts Center

December 09, 1990

Orange County's Performing Arts Center should not be blaming the Mideast crisis or a recession for its inability to run a profitable organization.

The problem is the hoity-toity, nose-in-the-air, highbrow productions that make up most of its engagements.

Philadelphia has its Academy of Music and New York has its Carnegie Hall. And Washington has its Philharmonic Theatre. These houses specialize in the ballet, opera and classical music productions. And they are dark as often as they have performances running.

There is just not that big an audience in Orange County for the type of entertainment our Performing Arts Center is forcing on us. And when they do give us a Broadway show, it is a second-rate road show that has played crossing the country from Dubuque, Iowa, to Phoenix, Ariz. Certainly not good theater.

San Diego gets Neil Simon's plays for their tryout runs. That's good theater. Los Angeles gets all the Second Company productions of the big shows. Why can't Orange County bring something from New York for a few months, and then let it go to Los Angeles?

There's nothing wrong with Orange County's economy that the Center can blame. Most areas in the United States envy our low unemployment and high standard of living.

Just give us a break. Give us good entertainment that appeals to the middle class. Think Garden Grove, Westminster, Buena Park, and forget Newport Beach.

JIM BUCK, Tustin

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