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Volume 8, Issue 8  |  January 27, 2023


In-Conversation Series arrives at Segerstrom Center with exciting roster of talent

An astounding roster of inspiring individuals comes to Segerstrom Center for the Arts, as part of an exciting new In-Conversation Series. First is the author of The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan on January 23. Author and comedian Fran Lebowitz will speak on February 6. Lastly, author and historian Erik Larson appears on March 6. All In-Conversation events take place Monday evenings at 8 p.m. in Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. Three show packages start at $60.

Each person in this diverse group brings something unique to share with the audience about their books, what inspires them and how their lives have shaped their art. Each speaker will have a celebrity host to facilitate conversation and audience involvement.

Amy Tan on Monday, Jan. 23 at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $29.

Tan is best known as the author of The Joy Luck Club, which was made into a successful film, as well as five other novels, a memoir, and two children’s books. Her work often focuses on a Chinese mother and her daughters, derived from her own experience.

In Conversation Series Tan

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Photo by Julian Johnson

Amy Tan

She was born to Chinese parents who emigrated to the Bay Area to escape the Chinese Civil War. There were dark secrets for Tan to discover, many of which found their way into her writing and that make her books so compelling.

Tan’s novels are all New York Times bestsellers and her memoir, two children’s books, and numerous magazine articles enjoy popular acclaim. Today, she’s the subject of a PBS documentary and is still sought after for what she has to say about writing, families, and the trauma and resilience that shaped her.

This will be an exceptional opportunity to hear Tan share what made her who she is as a writer.

Her discussion will be moderated by Josie Huang, a reporter for the Asian American communities of Southern California. In the past, she has served as a host and reporter for Maine Public Radio. She currently works as a radio host for KPCC in Los Angeles and writes for LAist. In 2020, she was awarded the SPJ/LA Distinguished Journalist Award for working in print, television, radio and digital media. She covers issues of immigration, housing, and religion – always keeping an ear out for underrepresented voices.

Fran Lebowitz on Monday, Feb. 6 at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $29.

In a cultural landscape filled with endless pundits and talking heads, Lebowitz stands out as one of our most insightful social commentators.

Her essays and interviews offer her views on current events and the media – as well as pet peeves including tourists, baggage-claim areas, after-shave lotion, adults who roller skate, children who speak French, or anyone who is unduly tan.

In Conversation Series Lebowitz

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Photo© by Brigitte Lacombe

Fran Lebowitz

A fixture of the NY art scene since the 1970s, Lebowitz gained fame for her books Metropolitan Life (1978) and Social Studies (1981), which were combined into The Fran Lebowitz Reader in 1994.

A fascinating character in her own right, she has once again captured the public’s imagination with the Netflix docu-series Pretend It’s a City, directed by Martin Scorsese. Come spend an evening with this true American original.

Erik Larson on Monday, March 6 at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $29.

Author and historian Larson is the brilliant mind behind six non-fiction best sellers. Vividly written, meticulously researched gripping narratives have been Larson’s calling card since the breakout success of The Devil in the White City in 2003, which the New York Public Library named one of the 125 most important books of the past 125 years.

In Conversation Series Larson

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Nina Subin

Erik Larson

Hailed as “one of America’s greatest storytellers” by NPR, Larson regales us with the captivating stories behind his subjects, how he creates such immersive histories, and what strange and inspiring details show up in the random archive boxes he searches through for a good story.

Rico Gagliano will moderate for Larson. Gagliano is an American journalist, podcaster and radio host. He is best known as the co-host, with Brendan Francis Newnam, of American Public Media’s arts-and-culture radio show and podcast “The Dinner Party Download,” and as a reporter for the public radio business show “Marketplace.” He has served as Senior Story Editor for the Crooked Media podcast “Missing America,” and as co-writer and co-producer of Wondery’s “Jacked: Rise of the New Jack Sound,” hosted by Taraji P. Henson.

Tickets are available for purchase online at www.scfta.org, or at the Box Office, located at 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, or by calling 714.556.2787. For inquiries about group ticket savings of 10 or more, call the Group Services office at 714.755.0236.

Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall is located at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. For more information, visit www.scfta.org.

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