Orange County Theatre Reviews

Rockin’ Lizzie Borden : Lizzie The Musical @ Chance Theater – Review

Written by Patrick Chavis 

(All photos by Doug Catiller, True Image Studio)

“Lizzie Borden took an axe
And gave her mother forty whacks.
When she saw what she had done,
She gave her father forty-one.”  -anonymous

I had heard of Lizzie Borden before this production, and I had previously heard the folk rhyme that I posted on the top of this article.  However, that was the extent of my Lizzie Borden knowledge.  While I can definitely say I know a little bit more now after watching the show, I wouldn’t say Lizzie the Musical is the place to satisfy your itch for accurate history.  What I would say is this: unlike Rent, which was a rock musical with lots of theatricality and some rock thrown in, the Lizzie production at the Chance Theater felt like a rock concert with a small dose of theatricality thrown in — but most importantly — it does ROCK!!!

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King Kong @ The Maverick Theatre in Fullerton – Review

Written by Alina Mae wilson 

I’ve not seen the old movies, the new movies, nary a graphic novel nor a review about the famed beast have I laid eyes upon–until now.  Ladies and gentlemen, I have been to the Maverick Theater in Fullerton, where I have feasted my eyes on The Eighth Wonder of the World King Kong! And I am so glad I did, it was actually a lot of fun. Continue Reading

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Wait Until Dark @ Camino Real Playhouse in San Juan Capistrano – Review

Written by Daniella Litvak 

A common complaint about movies and tv shows these days is that they devolve into overindulgent CGI-fests.  Sure, entire galaxies could be at stake or an endless horde of zombies could overrun humanity, but sometimes when the scope is so broad and the images are so over the top, the ability to connect with the story on an emotional level is lost.  Theater in general, and plays like Wait Until Dark in particular, are a great reminder of how stories with smaller stakes and more intimate settings can be far more intense than any blockbuster.     Continue Reading

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Canada Rocks : Come From Away @ Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa – Review

Written by Patrick Chavis 

Even though Come From Away is set against the tragic backdrop of 9/11, it focuses more on the tension, feelings, and emotions of the time — as opposed to a more strait-laced recap of the period. The characters we see stranded in Canada remind us of the pain felt by all Americans at home and abroad alike. Yet even in tragedy, the characters were about to find a silver lining.   Continue Reading

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The Boys of Modjeska : The Modjeska Playhouse Story

(photo credit Patrick Chavis)

Written by Patrick Chavis 

A few years ago, I met up with two of the founders of Modjeska Playhouse, Christopher Sullivan and Joshua Stecker. In the interview below, we discussed the founders’ history and how they decided to start the challenging — especially in an area with very little theatre presence — endeavor of creating a theatre. Even now the Modjeska Playhouse stands as the only performing arts theatre in the city of Lake Forest.  Despite these challenges, the Modjeska Playhouse has consistently released a wide variety of scripted and unscripted shows for Lake Forest and the surrounding communities.  Continue Reading

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