Orange County Theatre Reviews

Costa Mesa, Review, South Coast Repertory, Theater, Uncategorized Comments Off on The Barber is In: Sweeney Todd is Back in Town @ South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa – Review |

The Barber is In: Sweeney Todd is Back in Town @ South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa – Review

(photo by Jordan Kubat)

Written by Scotty Keister 

Chinese proverb: He who seeks revenge should remember to dig two graves.

The legend of Sweeney Todd is a long and storied one. Todd began life in the mid-19th century in a penny dreadful tale. In this original version Todd was a secondary character. He soon came to life in a stage version penned by George Dibdin Pitt. His legend continued throughout the 20th century in dozens of stage, film and television versions. Ultimately, when British playwright Christopher Bond created Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street in 1973, new life was breathed into Sweeney’s aging, bloodthirsty barber. The tale was fleshed out, making the story into more of a revenge tragedy, and not simply a bloody horror tale. This is the version that first brought Sweeney to Stephen Sondheim’s attention and led to him creating  what might be considered the ultimate edition in 1979. Continue Reading

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Lake Forest, Modjeska Playhouse, Review, Theater, Uncategorized Comments Off on The Glass Menagerie @ Modjeska Playhouse in Lake Forest – Review |

The Glass Menagerie @ Modjeska Playhouse in Lake Forest – Review

Written by Alina Mae Wilson

It’s kind of funny that even though I remember reading the play for school, before last night, I don’t think I would have been able to tell you that much about the story.  Perhaps I only partially read the script.  Or perhaps I wasn’t paying as much attention as I should have been.  I suppose it would be fitting then for me to only recollect part of it, because, as the narrator and leading man Tom is kind enough to inform us at the start, this is not a true-to-life depiction of the events as they happened in his life.  This is, as he says, a “memory” and an “illusion.”  More specifically it’s his memory, and he’s weaving the illusion.  Needless to say, a plot that starts off so clearly committed to pondering the question “What is real?” is a story that promises to be interesting, if not downright thought-provoking.   Continue Reading

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Review, Theater, Uncategorized, westminster community theatre Comments Off on Westminster Community Playhouse presents : The Long Weekend @ Westminister Community Playhouse – Review |

fullerton, Review, Stagestheatre, Theater, Uncategorized Comments Off on STAGEStheatre Presents:  Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Nile in Fullerton – Review |

STAGEStheatre Presents:  Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Nile in Fullerton – Review

Written by Patrick Chavis 

Murder, murder, and more murder — who knows the subject better than the queen of the murder mystery herself, Agatha Christie.  In her lifetime Christie wrote over 50 different novels, mostly focusing on a genre she mastered, the murder mystery.  Christie’s stories are all different and unique, but one thing they have in common is a mysterious death and a group of people that all seem to look guilty.  This trope is consistent in Stages Theatre presents Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Nile. While the climax and twist ending in this production give a much-needed boost of energy to the show, the buildup in the first act lacks a kick and feels almost irrelevant after watching the whole story play through. Continue Reading

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La Mirada Theatre, Musical, Review, Uncategorized Comments Off on McCoy Rigby Entertainment presents : 1776 @ La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts – Review |

McCoy Rigby Entertainment presents : 1776 @ La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts – Review

(PHOTO CREDIT: Jason Niedle)

Written by Patrick Chavis 

There are many stories of brave men fighting on the battlefield for freedom against seemingly impossible odds.  As is often the case when telling stories about the American Revolution, the battles where farmers, common people, and soldiers fought side by side to free themselves from the tyranny of England take the spotlight.  In 1776 we see no battlefields nor musket fire, only the men of Congress. These men fought feverishly over the idea of freedom and what that meant.  McCoy Rigby Entertainment’s production of 1776 handles the material with an enormous amount of professionalism and fun.  1776 succeeds because of how well it humanizes the founding fathers’ warts and all. Continue Reading

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Costa Mesa, Review, South Coast Repertory, Theater, Uncategorized Comments Off on Culture Clash (Still) In America @ South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa – Review |

Culture Clash (Still) In America @ South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa – Review

(Photos by Jordan Kubat/SCR)

Written by Patrick Chavis 

Culture Clash (Still) In America running now at South Coast Repertory is composed of the Latino comedy group Culture Clash, that has been performing on theatre stages since the 1980s. As one of the comedians mentioned when they started, Ronald Reagan was president.  Their brand of comedy has always been politically charged. Even in 2019, with a lot of the controversy over comedians going overboard with their jokes and a very tense political atmosphere, these comedians pulled no punches and unloaded jokes on everyone: African-American preachers, Filipino Republicans, Trump voters and much more.

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