Orange County Theatre Reviews

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Experimental Theatre, Review, South Coast Repertory, Theater, Uncategorized Comments Off on Clever Gangsters – Big Shot A.K.A This Is Not The God Father @ South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa – Review |

Clever Gangsters – Big Shot A.K.A This Is Not The God Father @ South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa – Review

Written By Patrick Chavis 

Big Shot A.K.A This Is Not The God Father is many things, so many things it’s not really a show you can put in a box. The show is live, innovative and unapologetically unique. Though the production is scripted gangsterand planned, everything seems spontaneous and strangely bizarre.  These are some really talented people, and I probably could watch them recite the constitution and get excited. The elements for a great show are there: the talent, the message and even a little innovation. But the show is fragmented and maybe a little too esoteric to connect effectively with most audiences, even if they have seen The Godfather

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Anaheim, Review, Theater, Uncategorized Comments Off on To Kill a Mockingbird @ Stage Door Repertory Theatre in Anaheim – Review |

To Kill a Mockingbird @ Stage Door Repertory Theatre in Anaheim – Review

Written By Daniella Litvak

FullSizeRender

Nick Charles Stage Door Repertory Theatre

The show starts out a bit slow.   There is a lot of exposition, and the delivery of it is a bit clunky. But once setting and characters are set up and the plot moves away from the slice of life storytelling and focuses on the Robinson trial, you can’t resist getting sucked into the drama even if you already know the outcome.

To Kill a Mockingbird is based off of Harper Lee’s critically acclaimed novel. The story is told from the perspective of a little girl nicknamed “Scout”. In the story, Scout reflects back on what it was like to grow up in Maycomb, Alabama in the 1930s. Scout and her brother Jem used to think Maycomb people were the best people in the world. But their view of their hometown starts to change after their father, country lawyer Atticus Finch, is appointed to defend Tom Robinson, an African American man accused of assaulting a white girl.

My favorite performance was from the ten-year old Dilynn Cathey, who nails the part of Scout. Especially during the beginning when the show feels a bit stiff and awkward, she livens it up with her spunky innocence. Eric Davis, Bill Carson, and Kyra Olschewske all turn in strong performances as Tom Robinson, Bob Ewell, and Mayella Ewell respectively.

Of course I can’t discuss To Kill a Mockingbird without discussing Atticus Finch. The role of Atticus has got to be one of the toughest to play. Gregory Peck’s Academy Award winning performance of the character in the film version casts a very long shadow for all other performers in the role. The character himself has had quite an impact on society. When your watching Jeffrey T. Brem deliver Atticus’ closing argument, you forget all your expectations and preconceived notions and just care about what is happening on the stage before you. 

I also think it helps that the show embraces the source material. As much as I love it when a show takes risks and attempts innovation, there is merit in performing a faithful adaptation that (for the most part) straightforwardly gives the audience the iconic moments –such as the “sin to kill a mockingbird” spiel or Scout’s shaming the mob speech –it wants to be seen.

The set is great. It’s divided into four areas. The Finch house, the rest of the neighborhood, the Radley house with the tree, and a brick wall representing the outside of the town jail. I love how the Finch house is painted a warm yellow symbolizing the openness and good nature of its inhabitants in contrast to the angrier red and brown tones used for houses of their more hostile neighbors. I also liked how the neighbors’ houses were situated on a platform, which allowed the supporting characters to talk down to Finches and maintain their distance from the Radley’s. The lighting, which goes on and off at exactly the right moments works magnificently.

When I think of To Kill a Mockingbird, I will no longer think of the weeks of agony that came from studying the novel during my freshman English class. Your production is a much better memory. 

8.3/10

April 18th – May 2nd  2015

Stage Door Repertory 

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News, Serial Killers, The Chance Theater, Theater, Uncategorized Comments Off on Serial Killers OC @ The Chance Theatre in Anaheim – First Night 4-24-2015 Competition Update |

Serial Killers OC @ The Chance Theatre in Anaheim – First Night 4-24-2015 Competition Update

Rules of Serial Killers OC :  5 play groups showed up on April 24th @ 11 pm at the Chance Theatre only 3 shows were victorious and will return next session to continue their story.

Amateurs 

Four individuals as they traverse the Paradox Tunnels in their effort to solve the puzzle and survive the maze.

Written by Drew Chappell 

Directed by Travis K. Donnelly 

Guide –   Mary Sherg 

Misty – Jessica Ackerson 

Perter – Christopher Yu

Tasha – Sara Farrell

Kane – Alexander Walters  

P1000146 (1)

P1000166 (1)

Birds Of a together, Feathers Flying

Two brothers get into an argument after Nathan (Collin Andrews)  a cop finds out his little Brother Jimmy (Kieran Flanagan) is selling drugs out of their house; hilarity ensues.

Written by Varag Kamali

Directed by Ryan Hawke East

Nathan – Collin Andrews

Jimmy – Kieran Flanagan

P1000162 (1)

P1000171 (1)

Girl Problems

In a random turn of events Lyle a sensitive guy is turned into a girl and now has to figure out out how to turn himself back while trying to adapt to his new womanly form.

Written and Directed by Lexi Heuser & Kian Amini

Lyle (M) –  Griffin Vrabeck

Lyle (F) – Brooklyn Boukather

Shawn – Michael Fenner

Melissa –  Liz Farkas

Emma – Elena Bonvinci

Heather – Amanda Cohn

P1000148 (1)

P1000175 (1)

The Bartender 

Bartender is a complicated story about how millennials deal with social interaction.

Written and Directed by Itztli De La Torre

Alex- Jessica Ackerson

Bouncer – Gina Sandy

Josh – Carlos De La Torre

Hephaestus – Christopher Yu

P1000155 (1)

P1000180 (1)

Viewpoints 

Two brothers, that have different viewpoints on their father, argue about him before his funeral. 

Written and Directed by Travis K Donnelly 

John – Jake LaRosa 

Joe – Alexander Walters 

P1000139 (1)

P1000184 (1)

Winners

Birds Of A Together, Feathers Flying

Girl Problems

Viewpoints

If you like what you’ve read and heard, come to the next serial killers as an act or a guest and lets kill some more acts. P1000165 (1) Next show is May 1st 11pm.

If you want to be apart of the next show email a 10 minute script to Travis Donnelly @ SK@chancetheater.com

Then get your group together. For more specific info check the Serial Killers Website

Location : Chance Theater 5522 E. La Palma Ave.   Anaheim, CA  92807

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Anaheim, Review, The Chance Theater, Theater, Uncategorized Comments Off on Politics Without The Drama : After the Revolution @ The Chance Theatre in Anaheim – Review |

Politics Without The Drama : After the Revolution @ The Chance Theatre in Anaheim – Review

Written by Alina Mae Wilson 

After the Revolution follows Emma, the main heroine of the story, as she discovers a world of political intrigue, dangerous family secrets, and an unknown future for herself and other characters.  This plot is not as interesting as it sounds.

Revolution 002

Marina Michelson and Andrew Puente True Image Studio

Emma is committed to social justice.  Her extremely left wing father is more than supportive of all of her endeavors and has nurtured and encouraged her commitment to change the world since childhood.  We discover early on she is the head of a fund named for her grandfather, a man who was blacklisted for his political beliefs in the 1950s.  It is also revealed Emma is working on the defense for Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal, who is being charged with the murder of a police officer and facing a lethal sentence.  Though Emma has always presumed her grandfather innocence, she learns he was indeed guilty of passing information to the Communists.  This piece of information is utterly debilitating to her.

Fine wooden floors give this set a refined yet casual appearance of  a house, and the fact they overlap contributes nicely to multiple scenes playing at one time.  Because of this scenery the characters share space in an interesting and meaningful way.  This aesthetic beauty is one of the most noticeable high points of the show.  Yet we are not completely without character beauty when witnessing Emma’s father.

Revolution 004

Karen Webster, Camryn Zelinger, Robert Foran and Marina Michelson True Image Studio

Robert Foran brings Emma’s father Ben to life with sensitivity and motivation. We understand his love for both his father and his daughter, and his evident pain reveals his frustration during some pivotal conversations.  It is due to his emotion and certain moments in the play that make him one of the more fleshed out characters onstage.  

The sense of wholeness I perceived from Ben is not as evident in his daughter Emma.  The scriptwriter would have us perceive Emma as a strong and intelligent human being, but it just doesn’t come across.  I felt really grateful that the script requires the declaration of lines announcing her state of mind– “I am scared”–because otherwise I would have no idea what she was feeling.  While Emma’s motives are fairly easy to understand, she is probably the most unsympathetic person onstage, which is a problem since the show is almost entirely focused on her.  Her response to the family secret and how she deals with the vitally important task does not make her a strong contender for the “Moral Compass of the Year” award.  Instead she comes across as unreasonable and unbelievably childish.

The idea is intriguing, and the set is visually beautiful, but the lead character and the writing surrounding her is ultimately a disappointment.

6/10

April 10th – May 10th 2015 

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interview, Musical, podcast, Uncategorized Comments Off on AMB Theatre Podcast #8 presented by OCR – Anything Goes @ Gem Theatre in Garden Grove 04/2015 |