Orange County Theatre Reviews

Gem of the Ocean @ South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa – Review

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(photo courtesy: Jordan Kubat)

Written by Patrick Chavis 

Gem of the Ocean, now playing at South Coast Repertory, is the first play in a 10-play series by August Wilson, which covers every single decade of the twentieth century.  These plays were not written in order, nor was Gem of the Ocean the first play written. Regardless, all of them demonstrate Wilson’s talent for getting to the point of serious issues –predominantly African-American issues but a few other topics as well –while also creating dramatic, honest and entertaining theatre.  South Coast Repertory’s rendition of this classic play is a strong production, but more importantly, its lessons about what is right, wrong, and truthful are still incredibly relevant more than a decade later.   Continue Reading

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Costa Mesa, Musical, Review, South Coast Repertory, Uncategorized Comments Off on Once Upon the Stage… Once @ South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa – Review |

Once Upon the Stage… Once @ South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa – Review

(photos by Jordan Kubat) 

Written by Scotty Keister 

Once, the movie and the stage musical now running on the South Coast Repertory Segerstrom Stage, is a romance that defies clichés. There is no last minute run to the airport, no sudden eye-opening change of heart, nor is there a throw everything away and surrender to the passion of the moment. There are two people who fall in love, make each others’ lives better, and then move on as friends. It is a romance that celebrates compassion over passion. It celebrates a love of music over a love of self. The title itself is an abbreviated take on the fairy tale line “Once upon a time…” As such, this musical is one of a kind and an exquisite treat. Continue Reading

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Costa Mesa, Review, South Coast Repertory, Theater, Uncategorized Comments Off on Orange @ South Coast Repertory – Review |

Orange @ South Coast Repertory – Review

(Photo by ​Debora Robinson/SCR)

Written by Alina Mae Wilson 

There is not a single person on earth who has never felt loneliness.  Most people, I am fairly certain, have had a desire to go off and do something wild, wonderful, exciting, or to simply put it –have an adventure.  If either of my assertions are wrong, you are welcome to correct me (since I am not you, I will have to take your word for it.)  Still I rather think I am right. It is part of humanity’s history and condition to desire companionship and excitement in some form or another.  Aditi Brennan Kapil’s Orange over at the South Coast Repertory is one of the finest depictions of these desires in the modern day.  Set right here in Orange County, Orange is exciting, funny, and compassionate in all the right ways.  It’s also complex enough to keep you alert and ready for more the entire time. Continue Reading

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Costa Mesa, Review, South Coast Repertory, Theater, Uncategorized Comments Off on A Moby Dick for a New Time @ South Coast Repertory – Review |

A Moby Dick for a New Time @ South Coast Repertory – Review

Written by Scotty Keister 

Let there be no mistake: Moby-Dick is a book about whales. Its full title, which does not even appear on my paperback copy, is Moby-Dick; or, The Whale. First published in 1851, it was poorly reviewed and derailed what was a budding literary career for Herman Melville, who went on to become a customs clerk and die in relative poverty, having sold only a little over 3,000 copies of the book in his lifetime. However, Moby-Dick lives on as a literary classic that has been championed by countless writers and debated endlessly. The story has fascinated generation after generation. There are a number of stage versions (including a worthy one by Orson Welles), but this newest one, adapted and directed by David Catlin for Chicago’s Lookingglass Theatre Company, and now running on South Coast Repertory’s Segerstrom Stage, is—for my money—the best. Simply titled Moby Dick, it is a rollicking, spectacular, breath-taking and astonishing work of theater craft. Encompassing the arts of acrobatics, ballet, music and singing, aerial dance, creative costuming, and stunning light and sound work, the play manages to touch on most of the themes the novel pores over at length, using only minimal words and movement. Continue Reading

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Behind The Orange Curtain, News, Press Releases, South Coast Repertory, Uncategorized Comments Off on Behind the Orange Curtain #4 – FOR THE KIDS: FREE Theatre Education Opportunities in Orange County! |

Behind the Orange Curtain #4 – FOR THE KIDS: FREE Theatre Education Opportunities in Orange County!

Written by Patrick Chavis 

Theatrical education is incredibly important.  Not merely for those who want to become performers, directors, or any other part of the industry–no, it’s been found that learning about the theatre is beneficial in everyday life (Studies) (Studies). After researching the county, I was able to find three different programs facilitated by South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa and The Chance Theatre in Anaheim that are working to get kids into theatre–and what’s even more impressive, the programs offered are free to students.  Continue Reading

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Costa Mesa, Review, South Coast Repertory, Theater, Uncategorized Comments Off on The Roommate @ South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa – Review |

The Roommate @ South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa – Review

(Photo by Ben Horak/SCR)

Written by Daniella Litvak 

Near the start of The Roommate, the character of Robyn (Tessa Auberjonois) succinctly sums up the play’s main theme:

“There’s a great liberty in being bad.”

The characters are not the only ones who see the appeal of this sentiment. Playwright Jen Silverman seems to relish subverting expectations, and the result is a compelling, thoughtful play with some good laughs. Continue Reading

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