Orange County Theatre Reviews

Shakespeare Orange County Presents: Zoot Suit @ Santa Ana College – Review

 (Please credit Jordan Kubat Photography)

Written by Alina Mae Wilson 

I just watched an amazing play called Zoot Suit.  Prior to this performance, I had never heard of the Zoot Suit Riots or Henry Leyvas- the man upon whom the central character is based.  After watching Zoot Suit at Santa Ana College, I immediately raced home to bombard Google with searches about the riots and Henry Leyvas, which led to me to gasping over my ignorance on the subject.  How could something like the Zoot Suit Riots happen in my home state, in nearby Los Angeles to be exact, without me knowing about it?  How could the subject of Henry Leyvas’s (and many other people’s) false arrest and imprisonment not be broached a single time during all my years of education?  Continue Reading

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Can’t Keep These Puffs Down : Puffs @ STAGEStheatre in Fullerton – Review

Written by Patrick Chavis 

Harry Potter is one of the top, if not the top, best-selling fantasy books of all time.  It’s a story people of all ages know. Puffs utilizes nostalgia and the preexisting story structure of the Harry Potter series to weave a smaller and slightly less epic tale about the lives of average students attending Hogwarts School of Wizardry. Think of them as the crew members on Star Trek who were never named or, better yet, as the nameless extras seen in the Harry Potter movies.  Now there’s a play all about them.  Alchemy Theatre Company presents: Puffs at STAGESTheatre in Fullerton.  It’s a theatrical feast with an excellent cast, charming story. and non-stop comedy for two hours.  This is quality theatre at community theatre prices. More than that – it’s magical!     

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The Merry Wives of W.I.N.D.S.O.R @ Laguna Hills Community Center – Review

Written by Daniella Litvak 

Sir John Falstaff has always been one of the Bard’s most beloved characters.  Queen Elizabeth was such a fan she allegedly demanded Shakespeare write a play about Falstaff in love.  As with much of the information we have about Shakespeare, whether or not Queen Elizabeth actually ordered him to write such a story is debatable.  However, such a play does exist, and it’s called The Merry Wives of Windsor (hereinafter referred to as “Merry Wives”). Continue Reading

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Musical, Review, The Chance Theater, Theater, Uncategorized Comments Off on Ragtime @ Chance Theater – Review |

Ragtime @ Chance Theater – Review

All photos by Doug Catiller, True Image Studio

Written by Patrick Chavis 

American stories, Chinese stories, even Jamaican stories — there are stories that’s don’t just define individuals but define a collective idea, collective identity or at the very least a strongly perceived identity.  Ragtime is a true American story because it explores the collective idea of America, the idea that anyone, no matter where you come from can make it in America.  Not only does it tell this story but the musical also challenges this idea of anyone can make it in America — highlighting the real-life obstacles put against immigrants, people of color, and adherents of different faiths.  To tell a story of this magnitude, any production of Ragtime needs a wide stage and big cast. Continue Reading

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World Premiere: Strong Arm @ Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana – Review

Allie (Autumn Paramore)

photo courtesy: Jordan Kubat

Written by Patrick Chavis 

As the old saying goes — what was once old becomes new again.  I’ve heard this before, but I don’t remember who said it. The basic idea, though, is ideas from the past are always recycled.  When something is recycled or not original, you start noticing how that idea, that style seems to reverberate more. Sometimes there are good explanations for why these thoughts reverberate so much. Sometimes, there’s no explanation.  Still, as a theatre critic seeing these thoughts reverberate and become trends, it informs me of how storytelling has changed over the years.  These trends influence how I judge new material. This fact is a factor in everything I review.  Some shows make this more apparent than others. Continue Reading

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Attic Theatre, Review, Theater, Uncategorized Comments Off on A Piece Of My Heart @ The Attic in Santa Ana – Review |