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!!!

Continue Reading

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

Laguna beach, Laguna Playhouse, Musical, Review, Uncategorized Comments Off on Beauty And The Beast: A Christmas Rose @ Laguna Playhouse – Review |

Beauty And The Beast: A Christmas Rose @ Laguna Playhouse – Review

Photo Credit: Cathy Cunningham Photography

Written by Daniella Litvak 

Seeing a Lythogoe Family Panto (a fairy tale with told with musical numbers, lots of jokes and audience participation) at the Laguna Playhouse during the holiday season has become an Orange County tradition.  Over the past few years, Lythoge Family Productions has staged Aladdin and His Winter Wish, A Snow White Christmas, and Sleeping Beauty and her Winter Knight.  This year’s production is Beauty And The Beast: A Christmas Rose (hereinafter “Beauty”). Continue Reading

Read more

La Mirada Theatre, McCoy Rigby Entertainment, Musical, Review, Theater, Uncategorized Comments Off on A Night With Janis Joplin @ La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts – Review |

A Night With Janis Joplin @ La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts – Review

(PHOTO CREDIT:  Jason Niedle)

Written by Alina Mae Wilson 

If you were to head over to La Mirada right now, you could treat yourself to a night of Janis Joplin over at the La Mirada Theatre.  Depending on your feelings towards 1960’s rock and blues music, you will either spend your evening besotted or in shock. If you walk in new to Janis (as I did) you’ll probably be in shock.  But A Night With Janis Joplin is loud, vigorous, and colorful!  If you walk in as a conscientious fan, I have no doubt you’ll leave besotted. Continue Reading

Read more

Laguna Niguel, Laguna Niguel Community Theatre, Musical, Review, Uncategorized Comments Off on Guys and Dolls @ Laguna Niguel Community Theatre – Review |

Guys and Dolls @ Laguna Niguel Community Theatre – Review

Written by Daniella Litvak

Wiseguys and musicals–they go together. If not like peanut butter and jelly, then perhaps like avocado and chocolate. The combination might appear bizarre, but as the success of Bullets Over Broadway and Kiss Me, Kate demonstrate, it works. Perhaps the most known entry in the wiseguy/musical pantheon is the show responsible for the Broadway standard “Luck Be a Lady” —Guys and Dolls. Continue Reading

Read more