Orange County Theatre Reviews

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

The Understudy @ The Modjeska Playhouse in Lake Forest – Review

Written by Patrick Chavis 

Plays are a great medium for focusing on one subject. You’ve got a stage, actors, a few props and –potentially–maybe only a few scene changes. For the most part plays are very good at stripping away the excess of the exterior and uncovering the inter-workings of the people and ideas right in front of you.  Theresa Rebeck’s play The Understudy (running now at The Modjeska Playhouse) is one of those plays. However it tries to walk a tight rope between comedy and drama, with jokes that fail to bring laughs and dramatic moments which lack weight.     Continue Reading

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Lake Forest, Modjeska Playhouse, Uncategorized, Video Comments Off on Love Letters : An Interview with Director Sharyn Case @ Modjeska Playhouse – Video |

Love Letters : An Interview with Director Sharyn Case @ Modjeska Playhouse – Video

shot & edited by Patrick Chavis 

Love Letters, the classic two-person play by A.R. Gurney (The Cocktail Hour, The Dining Room) is a unique and imaginative theatre piece, comprised of letters exchanged over a lifetime between two people who grew up together, went their separate ways, but continued to share confidences. As the actors read the letters aloud, what is created is an evocative, touching, frequently funny but always telling pair of character studies in which what is implied is as revealing and meaningful as what is actually written down. Taken from website

Jan 22 – Feb 13 2016

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Lake Forest, Modjeska Playhouse, Review, Theater, Uncategorized Comments Off on Holiday Humor : David Sedaris’ The Santaland Diaries & Season’s Greetings @ Modjeska Playhouse in Lake Forest – Review |

Holiday Humor : David Sedaris’ The Santaland Diaries & Season’s Greetings @ Modjeska Playhouse in Lake Forest – Review

Written by Daniella Litvak

The holiday season inevitably stirs up a lot of emotions.  Right now, I’m nostalgic, remembering the time a friend gave me a book tiled Holidays On Ice and thereby, introducing me to the world of humorist David Sedaris.  I have read other Sedaris works since then, but Holidays On Ice has stuck with me the most, probably because it features my favorite Sedaris authored work, “SantaLand Diaries.”

Admittedly choosing “SantaLand Diaries” as my favorite is not a surprising choice.  Back in 1992 Sedaris was an unknown artist until the day he made, “his comic début on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition, reading ‘SantaLand Diaries.”[1]  Sedaris was a hit, and that reading became Sedaris’ springboard to a prolific career, which includes several published books, two Grammy Award nominations, and a stage adaptation of the “SantaLand Diaries” combined with “Season’s Greetings to Our Friends and Family!!!” (another selection from Holidays On Ice) titled The SantaLand Diaries & Season’s Greetings. Continue Reading

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Lake Forest, Modjeska Playhouse, Review, Theater, Uncategorized Comments Off on God of Carnage @ Modjeska Playhouse in Lake Forest – Review |

God of Carnage @ Modjeska Playhouse in Lake Forest – Review

Written by Daniella Litvak 

Have you ever watched an episode of television where the hero is trapped in a room with another character?  Most of the time the other character is someone the hero despises, or the trapped characters have unresolved romantic feelings for each other.  It could even be both.  Once trapped, secrets get revealed.  Feelings get shared.  However, at the end of the ordeal, the issues are resolved, and the characters have a newfound appreciation for themselves and for each other.  Yasmina Reza’s Tony Award winning play God of Carnage completely deconstructs this scenario.    

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photos courtesy Modjeska Playhouse (l to r) Keith Bush, Laura Flores, Cassidy McMillan, Wade Williamson

The cast consists of four characters –two pairs of husbands and wives.  Cassidy McMillan and Wade Williamson play Veronica and Michael Novak.  Veronica is a social activist who considers herself a “citizen of the world.”  Michael runs a hardware company and appears supportive of his wife’s ideals.  Keith Bush and Laura Flores bring Alan and Annette Raleigh to life.  Alan is an amoral attorney while Annette is increasingly frustrated with his unbreakable attachment to his cell phone and apathy towards everything else.  Together, the two couples meet in the Novak living room to discuss what they should do about the Raleigh’s son hitting the Novak’s son.  The conversation quickly steers away from the children and towards topics that shed light on everyone’s darker nature. Continue Reading

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Lake Forest, Modjeska Playhouse, Review, Theater, Uncategorized Comments Off on Momma Drama : Secrets of a Soccer Mom @ Modjeska Playhouse in Lake Forest – Review |

Momma Drama : Secrets of a Soccer Mom @ Modjeska Playhouse in Lake Forest – Review

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photo courtesy: Modjeska Playhouse

Written by Alina Mae Wilson 

Part of what makes a story enjoyable is it’s relatability .  As the viewers are we able to identify with and appreciate the situations presented to us?  If the answer is yes, then points can immediately be awarded to the writer of said story.  This is the case with the Modjeska Playhouse’s Secrets of A Soccer Mom, starring Shana Jean Martin, Kelly McNamara, and Hailey Tweter.   Listening to modern day mothers regale each other with everything from spousal complaints to adventures in soul-searching is so familiar to us that our understanding of the ladies’ predicaments is instantly acquired if not pre-implanted by society. Though much of the drama does comes from a very serious place, there is a decent balance in this play, with some genuinely funny moments. 

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