Orange County Theatre Reviews

King Kong @ The Maverick Theatre in Fullerton – Review

Written by Alina Mae wilson 

I’ve not seen the old movies, the new movies, nary a graphic novel nor a review about the famed beast have I laid eyes upon–until now.  Ladies and gentlemen, I have been to the Maverick Theater in Fullerton, where I have feasted my eyes on The Eighth Wonder of the World King Kong! And I am so glad I did, it was actually a lot of fun. Continue Reading

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Wait Until Dark @ Camino Real Playhouse in San Juan Capistrano – Review

Written by Daniella Litvak 

A common complaint about movies and tv shows these days is that they devolve into overindulgent CGI-fests.  Sure, entire galaxies could be at stake or an endless horde of zombies could overrun humanity, but sometimes when the scope is so broad and the images are so over the top, the ability to connect with the story on an emotional level is lost.  Theater in general, and plays like Wait Until Dark in particular, are a great reminder of how stories with smaller stakes and more intimate settings can be far more intense than any blockbuster.     Continue Reading

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The Barber is In: Sweeney Todd is Back in Town @ South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa – Review

(photo by Jordan Kubat)

Written by Scotty Keister 

Chinese proverb: He who seeks revenge should remember to dig two graves.

The legend of Sweeney Todd is a long and storied one. Todd began life in the mid-19th century in a penny dreadful tale. In this original version Todd was a secondary character. He soon came to life in a stage version penned by George Dibdin Pitt. His legend continued throughout the 20th century in dozens of stage, film and television versions. Ultimately, when British playwright Christopher Bond created Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street in 1973, new life was breathed into Sweeney’s aging, bloodthirsty barber. The tale was fleshed out, making the story into more of a revenge tragedy, and not simply a bloody horror tale. This is the version that first brought Sweeney to Stephen Sondheim’s attention and led to him creating  what might be considered the ultimate edition in 1979. Continue Reading

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The Glass Menagerie @ Modjeska Playhouse in Lake Forest – Review

Written by Alina Mae Wilson

It’s kind of funny that even though I remember reading the play for school, before last night, I don’t think I would have been able to tell you that much about the story.  Perhaps I only partially read the script.  Or perhaps I wasn’t paying as much attention as I should have been.  I suppose it would be fitting then for me to only recollect part of it, because, as the narrator and leading man Tom is kind enough to inform us at the start, this is not a true-to-life depiction of the events as they happened in his life.  This is, as he says, a “memory” and an “illusion.”  More specifically it’s his memory, and he’s weaving the illusion.  Needless to say, a plot that starts off so clearly committed to pondering the question “What is real?” is a story that promises to be interesting, if not downright thought-provoking.   Continue Reading

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STAGEStheatre Presents:  Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Nile in Fullerton – Review

Written by Patrick Chavis 

Murder, murder, and more murder — who knows the subject better than the queen of the murder mystery herself, Agatha Christie.  In her lifetime Christie wrote over 50 different novels, mostly focusing on a genre she mastered, the murder mystery.  Christie’s stories are all different and unique, but one thing they have in common is a mysterious death and a group of people that all seem to look guilty.  This trope is consistent in Stages Theatre presents Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Nile. While the climax and twist ending in this production give a much-needed boost of energy to the show, the buildup in the first act lacks a kick and feels almost irrelevant after watching the whole story play through. Continue Reading

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