Orange County Theatre Reviews

fullerton, Maverick Theatre, Review, Theater, Uncategorized Comments Off on The Crucible @ Maverick Theater in Fullerton – Review |

The Crucible @ Maverick Theater in Fullerton – Review

(photos by Austin M Bauman)

Written by Patrick Chavis

I’m not a stranger to the story of The Crucible, having seen theater productions and the film version before. It’s a classic for good reason. The Crucible has legs. Its story and themes are timeless. From what I’ve read, Arthur Miller, the playwright, partially wrote it in response to “McCarthyism” because many people were being blacklisted in Hollywood if they were accused of having a connection to Communism, whether it was true or not. This play is a great example of how the truth can be twisted and used for power, greed, and the destruction of people’s lives. The Maverick and a cast of veteran actors inhabit the characters and show off their long-practiced skills onstage to great effect. Continue Reading

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Musical, Review, Santa Ana, The Wayward Artist, Theater, Uncategorized Comments Off on Streamed performance: Ordinary Days @ The Wayward Artist Ensemble – Review |

Streamed performance: Ordinary Days @ The Wayward Artist Ensemble – Review

(Photo credit Francis Gacad)

Written by Patrick Chavis

Kimberly Tiongco (Deb) David Albulario (Warren)

It was night, and I found myself sitting in my silver Prius surrounded by all types of trucks and cars on top of the Mess Hall parking structure in Tustin, waiting for the premiere of Ordinary Days, a musical put on by the Wayward Artist Theater Ensemble and the Frida Cinema.  I’ve been to a drive-thru before, but this was definitely a different experience. The production is a mixture of live theater performance production with film cuts and cinematography seamlessly moving with the story and transitions. If you didn’t make the one-time drive-thru premiere, you could watch the same recorded performance streamed from the Wayward Artist website through August 7th. Continue Reading

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Musical, Review, The Chance Theater, Theater, Uncategorized Comments Off on Orange County Premiere of EDGES @ Chance Theater in Anaheim Hill – Review |

Orange County Premiere of EDGES @ Chance Theater in Anaheim Hill – Review

All photos by Doug Catiller, True Image Studio

Written by Patrick Chavis

The Chance Theater brings back live, in-person theater for the first time since the pandemic with the Orange County premiere of EDGES, a musical written by Benj Pasek & Justin Paul, the award-winning songwriters of La La Land, The Greatest Showman, and Dear Evan Hansen. EDGES is an earlier work from the award-winning duo, and the signs of their talent are all over this script. Still, this script’s bones (structure) feel uneven, and this striped-down production shows off the flaws in the material instead of improving on it.  Continue Reading

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Anaheim, Musical, Review, The Chance Theater, Theater, Uncategorized Comments Off on A Heart Breaker : The Story of My Life @ Chance Theater in Anaheim – Review |

A Heart Breaker : The Story of My Life @ Chance Theater in Anaheim – Review

(All photos courtesy of Chance Theater)

Written by Patrick Chavis

Heartstrings, heartstrings, heartstrings — writer Brian Hill hits you and keeps hitting you in the heart until the curtain closes at the end of the production.  He understands the heart — or at least a portion of it — in this grounded two-hander about friendship, loss, and life now playing at the Chance Theater in Anaheim through a digital live streaming production. Continue Reading

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Chapman, Review, streaming, Theater, Uncategorized Comments Off on EQUalITY @ Chapman University – Review |

EQUalITY @ Chapman University – Review

Written by Patrick Chavis

Izzy Kaplan

During this pandemic, the theater has been hit as hard as any industry during this horrific time. But theater and the people that make it are also resilient, and it’s a medium built on creativity and making the impossible possible. At least, I like to think so.  Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and the horrendous killing of George Floyd, Chapman students filmed and wrote an almost 2-hour production of shorts named EQUalITY.  The film covers racial inequality topics, specifically highlighting the black community’s struggles with racism and other historical injustices. The play also covers the struggles of other marginalized groups using different mediums — spoken word, skits, and interviews  — that cover the topics of equality and racial justice.  Continue Reading

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Anaheim, Musical, Review, The Chance Theater, Theater, Uncategorized Comments Off on A Very, Very Chance Holiday Cabaret @ Chance Theater in Anaheim – Review |

A Very, Very Chance Holiday Cabaret @ Chance Theater in Anaheim – Review

Written by Patrick Chavis

A Very, Very Chance Holiday Cabaret is a streamed show full of Holiday Musical performances. The musical performances are split up by the comedic styling of well-known Chance Performers Alex Bueno (Loch Ness) and Matt Takashi (A Charlie Brown Christmas). While some of the songs are quite moving, the choice of mostly slow songs and ballads drags the show quite a bit. If you’re patient enough and can see through the 90’s style video production quality, the show can be quite charming and a throwback in a way. Continue Reading

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