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The Best of O.C.

Another year, another reason to look ahead. We’ve scoured the region to bring you the best of what’s next in culture, design, beauty and—of course—style. Now consider yourself in the know.

Actress and playwright Zoe Kazan

Photo by Jeff Forney


The “It” Girl
Zoe Kazan is young, gorgeous and, in addition to being an award-winning stage and film actress, she’s a gifted playwright. And Jan. 5-26, South Coast Repertory will stage the world premiere of Trudy and Max in Love, her rom-com about two writers who fall in love. Here’s something else we know: SCR has a knack for picking world premiere works-seven of its debut plays have become Pulitzer Prize finalists. (One of them, Wit, even won the award.) We expect that number will grow after this year. It is, after all, the 50th anniversary, and SCR’s got a sensational season ahead. Encore!

Thank Heaven!
Even if you’re not a fan of South Park, there’s no denying this stage production by its creators (that’s Matt Stone and Trey Parker) will be a can’t-miss engagement when it arrives in Orange County on May 13, kicking off a 12-day run at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. We’re talking about The Book of Mormon, the hit sensation that debuted on Broadway in 2011 and has since won rave reviews among critics, captured nine Tony Awards (including Best Musical, of course) and garnered a Grammy for its score-though that hardly comes as a surprise, given that Robert Lopez had a hand in that. (Remember Avenue Q? Yep, he co-composed that too.) This popular satire has traveled from coast to coast, but this will mark its first stop in Orange County, and we couldn’t be more thankful. Praise be!

Sound Man
If there’s a force in O.C.’s music scene, it’s Dallas Kruse—but he’ll never admit it. “I just push buttons and let people do their thing,” says the founder of Zion Studios, humble son of a minister and grandson of the woman who founded O.C.’s first gospel choir. The O.C. Music Awards named him 2013’s Producer of the Year, and albums he’s produced have been nominated for top nods three of the last four years—oh, and he sings, composes and plays the keyboard. Next, watch for his influence in works by David Ryan Harris. And he’s been tapped for a movie score and plans to expand Zion into a full production house with film capabilities. “I feel sort of like the kid who’s just happy
to be at prom,” he says.

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