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Cesar Pelli and Henry Segerstrom Bring Culture to the OC


(Photo Credit: Don Barletti / LAT)

If you missed the New York Times' recent pronouncementthat classical music is back, baby, fear not. Our very own Christopher Hawthorne reviews the new $200-million Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa, opening this Friday. If you ever doubted the relationship between consuming culture and consuming Mrs. Field's cookies while shopping at Abercrombie & Fitch, the Cesar Pelli-designed concert hall "is practically joined at the hip with South Coast Plaza."

While Hawthorne seems to enjoy the walkability of the mall/concert hall/sculpture gardens in the wasteland of oversize SUVs that is Orange County, and the "plush, richly appointed piece of architecture" Pelli designed, he ultimately finds it's trying just a little too hard. He tiptoes gingerly around his criticism ("elegant statis?" "high-end hotel lobby or a luxury-car showroom?" dammit man, do you love it or do you hate it?), but in the end, he metaphorically yawns, shrugs, and leaves it up to the acoustics. Which no one will be able to review until Friday. Doesn't sound like Gehry has much to worry about.
· A Stasis Symbol [LA Times]