Orange County Theatre Reviews

Garden Grove, Musical, Review, shakespeare oc, Uncategorized Comments Off on Shakespeare OC presents : Pirates of Penzance @ The Strawberry Bowl in Garden Grove – Review |

Shakespeare OC presents : Pirates of Penzance @ The Strawberry Bowl in Garden Grove – Review

Written by Alina Mae Wilson 


Garden Grove’s Strawberry Bowl Theatre was built-in 1979 and has provided a variety of programming: band shows, comedy skits, and movie nights.  Most notable however are their Shakespearean plays, which Shakespeare Orange County performs, typically with fervor and quality costumes.  Now they are breaking new ground with their first non-Shakespearean play (fine, musical), the Gilbert and Sullivan favorite Pirates of Penzance.  Based on what could be heard the acting and singing ability are definitely on full display.  To get the full picture across I will point out that I saw the preview night performance.  As such there were visible kinks to work out.  I can’t ignore the blatant issues, but if they intended to hook up the speakers before their real run then the problem may have already been fixed.   But therein lies the problem–audio.  Despite setting up chairs on the stage to form closed in quarters, the microphones do very little to pick up sound.  The soloists are all but inaudible.  In spite of this obvious  problem the delightful chorus and enthusiastic acting communicate the story effectively. Continue Reading

Read more

fullerton, Maverick Theatre, Review, Theater, Uncategorized Comments Off on All You Need is Rope : Rope @ The Maverick Theatre in Fullerton – Review |

All You Need is Rope : Rope @ The Maverick Theatre in Fullerton – Review

Written by Erin Tobin 
For me, fall means more than the return of pumpkin spice lattes. It also means the return of stories of horror and suspense, and the Maverick Theater in Fullerton has the latter covered with Rope, a tragic, psychological thriller where the question isn’t “who done it” but rather “will the murders be found out.”
Continue Reading

Read more

Advanced Drama, Musical, Uncategorized Comments Off on New Show – OCR Presents : Advanced Drama with Aj Rafael |

New Show – OCR Presents : Advanced Drama with Aj Rafael

Written by Patrick Chavis & Alina Mae Wilson 

Announcement!   The Orange Curtain Review presents our newest collaboration, Advanced Drama with AJ Rafael.

 AJ Rafael is known for performing covers and original songs on his YouTube channel.  His full-length album, Red Roses, was released in 2011.  Since then he has continued to make new music and videos. 

AJ’s love of musical theatre drove him to create the YouTube channel Advanced Drama, which focuses on music from that genre.  As of 2015 AJ has joined with the Orange Curtain Review to perform with different theatre artists in the O.C. area. We couldn’t be happier to have AJ on aboard. Look out for his new show on our website in our Shows & Columns section.  

Below are the first two episodes.   Watch AJ performwith Julia Cassandra Smith, who has performed in Anaheim’s Chance Theatre’s productions of In the Heights and (most recently) Loch Ness: A New Musical.  Together they both perform “Seventeen” from Heathers and Hey #1 #2 #3 Medley”  from Next to Normal. Continue Reading

Read more

La Habra, Musical, Mysterium, Review, Uncategorized Comments Off on Mysterium Theatre presents – Jekyll & Hyde the Musical @ The La Habra Depot Playhouse in La Habra – Review |

Mysterium Theatre presents – Jekyll & Hyde the Musical @ The La Habra Depot Playhouse in La Habra – Review

Written by Zack Johnston 

Beloved musical thriller Jekyll & Hyde opened at the Mysterium Theatre on Friday, September 4th.

Dr. Jekyll is a sophisticated yet tenacious scientist fascinated with the concepts of good and evil, who conducts unorthodox experiments on himself.  These result in an alternate, wicked personality forming inside of him that wreaks havoc on the streets of London.  

In a valiant effort spearheaded by Co-directors Jessica Taylor and Stacee Tweedlie, an impressively talented cast makes this dark classic an enjoyable spectacle, but the show remains in the realm of amateurism.   Taylor and Tweedlie’s production excels because of their own talented performances, as well as those from the other principal performers, but it falls flat in its execution and staging.

Glaring shortcomings in the design and direction aspects of the production are riddled throughout the performance.  However, among the fumbling transitions and awkward blocking, there are glimpses of passionate and authentic talent.

Playing the show’s titular characters in an impressive dual performance is Adam Bradley Clinton.  His striking tenor vocals make him amazing to watch.  When the charming Dr. Jekyll transforms into the devious Mr. Hyde, Clinton displays remarkable physicality in his performance.

A greater distinction between the Jekyll and Hyde characters could make for a more profound performance, but Clinton still manages to be direct and full of energy in every moment.

Mark Slama plays Dr. Jekyll’s soon-to-be father-in-law.  In his portrayal of Carew, the seasoned actor delivers an elegant blend of support for Jekyll’s endeavors intermingled with concern for his wellbeing.  A character with similar intentions is Dr. Jekyll’s close friend and attorney, John Utterson.  John Korbonski performs the part of this level-headed lawyer with an appropriate amount of sternness and compassion.

With her superb soprano voice, Taylor plays Jekyll’s adoring fiancee Emma.  Throughout her performance, Taylor is able to maintain Emma’s unconditional love for her future husband despite the harrowing perils they face.  Tweedlie plays the part of the alluring temptress, Lucy.  Tweedlie displays the anguish and hurt that envelopes Lucy’s character.  As Lucy becomes infatuated with both Jekyll Hyde, Tweedlie demonstrates great character development in her performance.

Even in an outstanding ensemble cast, Judy Ballard’s charisma and charming humor cannot be forgotten.  Her performance in the role of Nellie is excellent.

Mysterium Theatre’s production of Jekyll & Hyde may be a bit rough around the edges, but within those edges there is promising talent and a timeless story. Jekyll & Hyde plays through Sept. 27.


My Review
7 Overall
0 Users (0 votes)
Impressively talented cast. Stand out ensemble performance.
Shortcomings in the design and direction aspects of the production.
Mysterium Theatre’s production of Jekyll & Hyde may be a bit rough around the edges, but within those edges is promising talent and a timeless story.
Set & Design0
What people say... 0 Leave your rating

Be the first to leave a rating.

Leave your rating

Read more

News, Theater, Uncategorized Comments Off on Theatre Shows in September to Remember – News |

Theatre Shows in September to Remember – News

2 (1)

photo by: Patrick Chavis 

Written by Patrick Chavis 

An American Girl Trapped in Nazi Germany: Eleanor’s Story

I was lucky enough to catch this show at the Hollywood Fringe earlier this year. The story is about an American girl and her family’s experience living in Berlin during WW2. It was well worth the drive to see CSUF Alumni Ingrid Garner perform this very real, extremely relevant material with only a box and two chairs. For more info check out the review below and be on the look out for a more in-depth interview with Ingrid in OCR Magazine coming out at the end of the year. My Review on Eleanor Story.

October 10th – 24th  @ The Maverick Theatre in Fullerton 

OCR consensus: 

Eleanor’s Story is a wonderfully minimalist play and Ingrid Garner works extremely well in this, bringing with her a fresh perspective on WW2 not often seen in the mainstream media.The transformation of her voice and dedication to each character is phenomenal. If you can get over the unimaginative set, you are in for a very interesting theatre experience.  8/10 





Little Shop of Horrors 


Gardening can be murder! Especially if you cultivate the exotic plant you found just after a mysterious black-out…. And that is all you need to know to be sucked into this Broadway smash hit based on the Roger Corman horror film from the 50’s. Lots of bright, bouncy songs delivered with Doo-Wop gusto narrate the tale of timid Seymore, Audrey, Mr. Mushnik, and the blood-thirsty little plant that changes their lives. A Broadway hit and cult favorite, this one promises a few thrills, a few chills and a lot of laughs. You’ll never look at a potted plant in quite the same way again? Taken directly from

 September 11, 12, 18, 19  *20 (Matinee), 25, & 26  @ Whittier community Theatre 





God of Carnage 

There’s a reason God of Carnages has been one of the top 1o most performed plays in American Theatre’s and it’s not just because there’s only one location. This show has terrific dialogue and with carnagethe right cast as proved by Roman Polanski film adaption Carnage, the shows deep and well thought out storyline will keep audiences interested from beginning to end.


Two pairs of parents hold a cordial meeting after their sons are involved in a fight, though as their time together progresses, increasingly childish behavior throws the discussion into chaos. Taken directly from IMBD

September 24th – October 17th @ Modjeska Playhouse in Lake Forest 



sametime (1)


Same Time, Next Year


Two people meet at a Northern California inn in February 1951. They have an affair, and agree to meet once a year, despite the fact both are married to others and have six children between them. Over the course of the next 24 years, they discuss the births, deaths, and marital problems each is experiencing at home, while they adapt themselves to the social changes affecting their lives. Taken directly from

Friday 9/11/2015 to Sunday 10/4/2015
Thursday, Friday & Saturday shows at 8pm, Sunday at 2pm @ Cabrillo Playhouse in San Clemente 





Pirates of Penzance 


A young pirate’s apprentice who falls in love with the daughter of a Modern Major-General. But no sooner has ended his pirate obligations and found true love with Mabel than the pirates reel him back on a technicality. Taken directly from

September 12, with performances Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. through September 26. There will be previews September 10 and 11. All seats are only $20 @ The strawberry bowl in Garden Grove. 

Read more

Costa Mesa, Costa Mesa Playhouse, Review, Theater, Uncategorized Comments Off on Bickering Royalty : The Lion In Winter @ Costa Mesa Playhouse in Costa Mesa – Review |

Bickering Royalty : The Lion In Winter @ Costa Mesa Playhouse in Costa Mesa – Review

Written by Alina Mae Wilson 

New way, new day, new play—new things abound.  I had not seen this play before.  Although the name is something I’ve heard often enough.  Costa Mesa Playhouse is currently running The Lion in Winter –an impressive title if ever there was one.  (The Chronicles of Narnia can just step aside because the war of the titles is over).  The storyline is about a king and his captive queen living in a castle while their three sons argue and scheme to inherit the throne.  It’s a basic story with what turns out to be some great characters, but the acting is not as impressive.

Continue Reading

Read more