Orange County Theatre Reviews

The Merchant of Venice @ STAGEStheatre in Fullerton – Review

Written by Alina Mae Wilson 

Nothing says summer like Shakespeare –am I right?  Of course I’m right.  Theater upon theater, stage upon stage, and actor upon actor are racing to prepare elegant monologues for the benefit of theater goers all over this luscious orb we call Earth.  Ok, I might be exaggerating.  However, the fact remains that the season for Shakespeare is here, so it’s inevitable that we’ll be seeing more than one.  The first in the lineup is STAGEStheatre with their production of The Merchant of Venice and HOLY TOLEDO have they set the bar high.  I do not recall the last time I wished to see The Merchant of Venice twice. Continue Reading

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Kill Me, Deadly! @ STAGEStheatre in Fullerton – Review

Written by Scotty Keister 

The fictional world of the hard-boiled private eye, known in cinema as film noir, has been endlessly lampooned; its arch dialogue, cynical perspectives, femme fatales, low life criminals and world-weary detectives are wide open for ribbing. Now, Bill Robens’ “Kill Me, Deadly!” – originally produced in 2009 by Theatre of NOTE in Los Angeles – has found its way to STAGEStheatre in Fullerton. Relying on genre archetypes, well-worn hard-boiled dialogue and an impossibly complicated plot (Raymond Chandler was once asked by the producer of the filmed version of his novel “The Big Sleep,” who killed the chauffeur? to which he responded with a shrug – he had no idea), “Kill Me, Deadly!” is an often sharply written and frequently hilarious parody that is not without its faults. Continue Reading

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Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike @ STAGEStheatre in Fullerton – Review

Written by Scotty Keister 

You don’t have to be a fan of Chekhov to appreciate “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” but it certainly adds icing to an already delicious cake. Now running at Stages Theatre, Christopher Durang’s 2013 Tony winner for Best Play is not only a hilarious homage to Chekhov’s four main plays (Uncle Vanya, The Cherry Orchard, The Three Sisters, The Seagull) but also a spoof of modern life, clinging to the past while the present tramples all over it. Continue Reading

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Raised in Captivity @ STAGEStheatre in Fullerton – Review

Written by Daniella Litvak 

You know that famous Tolstoy quote — it’s in the opening line to Anna Karenina, and it goes, “All happy families are like one another; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”  Seeing STAGEStheatre’s production of playwright Nicky Silver’s Raised in Captivity reminded me just how true that quote really is.   Continue Reading

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Hurts So Good : Rajiv Joseph’s Gruesome Playground Injuries @ STAGEStheatre in Fullerton – Review

Written by Patrick Chavis 

When starring as the Joker in The Dark Knight, Heath Ledger asks a fearful Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal), “Do you know how I got these scars?”  Without the obviously threatening context, the words themselves leave you with a feeling close to what I experienced while watching Rajiv Josephs’ Gruesome Playground Injuries.  The aesthetics of the play do seem a little self-centered, in a “please watch this because it’s so important” kind of way. However, the human dialogue and chemistry between the two actors on stage combined with well thought out direction within the scenes made this one of best shows I’ve seen at STAGEStheatre thus far.  Continue Reading

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