Orange County Theatre Reviews

Gem of the Ocean @ South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa – Review

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(photo courtesy: Jordan Kubat)

Written by Patrick Chavis 

Gem of the Ocean, now playing at South Coast Repertory, is the first play in a 10-play series by August Wilson, which covers every single decade of the twentieth century.  These plays were not written in order, nor was Gem of the Ocean the first play written. Regardless, all of them demonstrate Wilson’s talent for getting to the point of serious issues –predominantly African-American issues but a few other topics as well –while also creating dramatic, honest and entertaining theatre.  South Coast Repertory’s rendition of this classic play is a strong production, but more importantly, its lessons about what is right, wrong, and truthful are still incredibly relevant more than a decade later.   Continue Reading

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Costa Mesa, Musical, Review, South Coast Repertory, Uncategorized Comments Off on Once Upon the Stage… Once @ South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa – Review |

Once Upon the Stage… Once @ South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa – Review

(photos by Jordan Kubat) 

Written by Scotty Keister 

Once, the movie and the stage musical now running on the South Coast Repertory Segerstrom Stage, is a romance that defies clichés. There is no last minute run to the airport, no sudden eye-opening change of heart, nor is there a throw everything away and surrender to the passion of the moment. There are two people who fall in love, make each others’ lives better, and then move on as friends. It is a romance that celebrates compassion over passion. It celebrates a love of music over a love of self. The title itself is an abbreviated take on the fairy tale line “Once upon a time…” As such, this musical is one of a kind and an exquisite treat. Continue Reading

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Costa Mesa, Costa Mesa Playhouse, Review, Theater Comments Off on Real Women Have Curves @ Costa Mesa Playhouse – Review |

Costa Mesa, Costa Mesa Playhouse, Review, Theater, Uncategorized Comments Off on Food For Thought : Dinner With Friends @ The Costa Mesa Playhouse – Review |

Food For Thought : Dinner With Friends @ The Costa Mesa Playhouse – Review

Written by Daniella Litvak 

 

Lily: We’re not gonna date them; we’re just gonna be friends with them.

Barney: That’s the couple’s version of dating.[1]

 

Dinner With Friends is Donald Margulies’ play about two very different married couples —Karen/Gabe and Tom/Beth.  These couples have been friends for a long time.  They’ve vacationed together, raised kids together, and of course shared many dinners together.  Karen and Gabe think all is well until one evening when Beth announces her and Tom’s marriage is over.  Now the four of them must face the consequences this bombshell leaves in its wake. Continue Reading

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Interview with Writer/Director Vanda Egginton creator of The Beat Goes On @ Vanguard University in Costa Mesa

An interview with Vanda Eggington creator of Boomers, American Rhythm, and Love Makes the World Go ’Round. We will be talking about her latest project present by The American Coast Theatre Company: The Beat Goes On a Rock and Roll road trip through the last half of the 20th Century with stops in small town malt shops, sunny California beaches, mirror ball disco halls, and MTV studio extravaganzas. 

June 2nd- July 30th

 

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Costa Mesa, Musical, Review, Vanguard Uni Comments Off on Grimm Happy Tales : Into The Woods @ Vanguard University in Costa Mesa – Review |

Grimm Happy Tales : Into The Woods @ Vanguard University in Costa Mesa – Review

(photo credit: Susie SprinkleHudson)

Written by Patrick Chavis 

A few years ago if I had mentioned Into the Woods, I may have been lucky enough to run into a theatre goer who had heard of the musical.  Now that Hollywood has adapted it into a film, the show is about as hidden for theatre folks as Comic-Con is for geeks. Everyone knows about it now, and that’s not changing anytime soon.  As a consequence this is a well-known show and with that comes interesting challenges for the performers. How do we make this production ours?  What is this show about, and how can we communicate it in the best way possible?  Vanguard University took on the challenge of producing such an epic musical and, under the direction of Vanda Eggington, pulled off an entertaining night of theatre but also missed opportunities to capitalize on the show’s vital moments. Continue Reading

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