Orange County Theatre Reviews

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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Costa Mesa, Review, South Coast Repertory, Theater, Uncategorized Comments Off on Orange @ South Coast Repertory – Review |

Orange @ South Coast Repertory – Review

(Photo by ​Debora Robinson/SCR)

Written by Alina Mae Wilson 

There is not a single person on earth who has never felt loneliness.  Most people, I am fairly certain, have had a desire to go off and do something wild, wonderful, exciting, or to simply put it –have an adventure.  If either of my assertions are wrong, you are welcome to correct me (since I am not you, I will have to take your word for it.)  Still I rather think I am right. It is part of humanity’s history and condition to desire companionship and excitement in some form or another.  Aditi Brennan Kapil’s Orange over at the South Coast Repertory is one of the finest depictions of these desires in the modern day.  Set right here in Orange County, Orange is exciting, funny, and compassionate in all the right ways.  It’s also complex enough to keep you alert and ready for more the entire time. Continue Reading

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Costa Mesa, Theater, Uncategorized, Vanguard Uni Comments Off on The Importance Of Being Earnest @ Vanguard University – Review |

The Importance Of Being Earnest @ Vanguard University – Review

Written by Patrick Chavis 

I wasn’t able to finish this review and send it out on time since I was out of the county and couldn’t find an adequate internet connection for a week. I would like to apologize to Vanguard University Theatre for not finishing this review on time.) -OCR 

Oscar Wilde has many plays, but the most famous and most oft repeated of these is The Importance of Being Earnest. I’ve read and seen plenty of versions of this story, and there is no other way of putting this– The Importance of Being Earnest is challenging material.   It has great comedic moments, tons of dialogue, and the performers need the confidence to say some pretty wacky stuff. Vanguard meets the material with a steampunk gender bending version all their own. While the gender bending hits  well and brings plenty of hilarity, the steampunk ambiance is little more then an embellishment on the rest of the story. Continue Reading

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Costa Mesa, Review, South Coast Repertory, Theater, Uncategorized Comments Off on A Moby Dick for a New Time @ South Coast Repertory – Review |

A Moby Dick for a New Time @ South Coast Repertory – Review

Written by Scotty Keister 

Let there be no mistake: Moby-Dick is a book about whales. Its full title, which does not even appear on my paperback copy, is Moby-Dick; or, The Whale. First published in 1851, it was poorly reviewed and derailed what was a budding literary career for Herman Melville, who went on to become a customs clerk and die in relative poverty, having sold only a little over 3,000 copies of the book in his lifetime. However, Moby-Dick lives on as a literary classic that has been championed by countless writers and debated endlessly. The story has fascinated generation after generation. There are a number of stage versions (including a worthy one by Orson Welles), but this newest one, adapted and directed by David Catlin for Chicago’s Lookingglass Theatre Company, and now running on South Coast Repertory’s Segerstrom Stage, is—for my money—the best. Simply titled Moby Dick, it is a rollicking, spectacular, breath-taking and astonishing work of theater craft. Encompassing the arts of acrobatics, ballet, music and singing, aerial dance, creative costuming, and stunning light and sound work, the play manages to touch on most of the themes the novel pores over at length, using only minimal words and movement. Continue Reading

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Costa Mesa, Costa Mesa Playhouse, Review, Theater, Uncategorized Comments Off on A Piece of My Heart @ The Costa Mesa Playhouse – Review |

A Piece of My Heart @ The Costa Mesa Playhouse – Review

(Photo by Mike Dale Brown)

Written by Mike Martin 

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: The Vietnam War was bad. If you agree with that statement or have consumed any sort of media about that conflict, then A Piece of My Heart has very few surprises in store. We’ve all read this book, watched this movie, and even seen this play before under a hundred other names. It not that it isn’t moving, well-written, or even true… But things like this are hard to get excited for anymore these days. Continue Reading

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