Orange County Theatre Reviews

Calendar Girls @ Newport Theatre Arts Center – Review

Written by Alina Mae Wilson 

It is absolutely essential for a story to have conflict.  You cannot have a story without it.  Problems are what drive the narrative and keep us in the audience interested.  Sometimes the conflict is overt, abrupt, and slamming against your face the entire time you’re watching.  Sometimes it’s subtle.  Sometimes it’s too subtle.  Sometimes it’s so subtle you completely forget there was a conflict at all, only to be briefly reminded before a hasty resolution, and you walk out of the theater frustrated and exhausted because the show is so…darn…long.  In this instance, the show is called Calendar Girls. Continue Reading

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Newport Beach, Newport Theatre Arts Center, Review, Theater, Uncategorized Comments Off on How the Other Half Loves @ Newport Theatre Arts Center in Newport Beach – Review |

How the Other Half Loves @ Newport Theatre Arts Center in Newport Beach – Review

(photo credit: newport theatre arts Center- Emily MacAgy (Mary), Abel Garcia (William))

Written by Alina Mae Wilson 

The Newport Theatre Arts Center is somewhat diminutive and is located on a hill overlooking part of Newport Beach.  You would miss it if you weren’t actively looking for it or driving up the hills to see some nice houses.  I’m here to tell you that How the Other Half Loves is definitely a play to be actively sought out and driving uphill for a few minutes will absolutely be time well spent.  The acting is great almost all around; there’s a steady stream of humor with jokes landing pretty much every time, and the storyline keeps you fully invested in each individual character. Continue Reading

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Newport Beach, Newport Theatre Arts Center, Review, Theater, Uncategorized Comments Off on A Murder Is Announced @ Newport Theatre Arts Center – Review |

A Murder Is Announced @ Newport Theatre Arts Center – Review

Written by Daniella Litvak 

Agatha Christie is the “Queen of Crime.”  Author of  sixty-six detective novels and fourteen short story collections, only the Bible and Shakespeare outsell her.  She is the only woman dramatist to have three plays running simultaneously in West End and the playwright of the world’s longest running play —The Mousetrap.  Please don’t worry, I am not about to spoil the ending of The Mousetrap because the Agatha Christie mystery (which Leslie Darbon adapted for the stage) I’ve investigated at Newport Theatre Arts Center is A Murder Is Announced.          Continue Reading

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Musical, Newport Beach, Newport Theatre Arts Center, Review, Uncategorized Comments Off on I Do! I Do! @ Newport Theater Arts Center – Review |

I Do! I Do! @ Newport Theater Arts Center – Review

Written by Daniella Litvak 

How I Do! I Do! made it to the stage is a tale many other musicals share. The story originated in the Broadway play The Fourposter, which debuted in 1951, and a film version followed shortly afterwards. Then in the 60s The Fourposter was adapted into the musical I Do! I Do. It was nominated for several Tonys and won the award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical. Continue Reading

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1776 @ Newport Theatre Arts Center in Newport Beach – Review

Written by Alina Mae Wilson 

As we approach our annual time of summer patriotism, I find myself hard pressed to name shows that are appropriate for the season.  American politics is often a heated subject and an exhausting constant in the United States. When it comes to arguing about it, the most enthusiastic debaters often resort to invoking the founding fathers.  “Our founding fathers fought for freedom, therefore…!”  Now with the 4th of July drawing nearer, it seems only fitting to watch a play featuring these historic men.   For anyone staying in the New York area sometime soon, I hear good things about Hamilton.  Although it’s currently easier to get into the Pearly Gates while still living than it is to get into that show.  For us west coasters there is a smaller, less lavish musical to attend about that time period– 1776, playing over at the Newport Theatre Arts Center. Continue Reading

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Newport Beach, Newport Theatre Arts Center, Review Comments Off on Strong & Tender : Steel Magnolias @ Newport Theatre Arts Center – Review |

Strong & Tender : Steel Magnolias @ Newport Theatre Arts Center – Review

Written by Patrick Chavis 

Steel Magnolias sounds like the perfect name for either a Guns N’ Roses cover band or a post punk, feminist rock group. It turns out to be neither (at least I don’t think so). Steel Magnolias is mostly known for the 1989 film with the all-star cast: Shirley MacLaine, Olympia Dukakis, Sally Field, and more. I could continue, because this movie was pumped with as much talent as Ocean’s 11. Before it hit the big screen, Steel Magnolias was a successful play because of its unique take on women, southern life, and death. Newport Theatre Arts Center’s talented cast gracefully pulls you into their southern Louisiana world. There’s no acting here, just six very unique women baring their souls on stage. On the surface it’s a show about a sad event that changes the lives of these women in a beauty parlor. Once you go deeper, the show really is about a bunch of Chatty Cathys that love to bicker about anything and everything, and having the strength to do it.

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Yara Wilde (Shelby)

The play is set in a shop in Chinquapin, Louisiana, and centers around a lot of different conversations that occur while the women are getting their hair done. The dialogue in this play is funny but not over the top. It’s the kind of everyday humor that kind of pops out at you, and you can’t help but chuckle a little bit.  The things that really make this show enjoyable are the relationships between the characters and how each one of them interacts with one another. This play is truly an actor’s piece. Just fifteen minutes in you already have a good idea where the plot is going, and you know it’s going to be sad.  Still that inevitable sadness takes a backseat to the often funny and whimsical conversations and gossip the characters have.  Continue Reading

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