Orange County Theatre Reviews

Shrew! @ South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa – Review

(photo by Debora Robinson)

Written by Daniella Litvak 

Time to brush up on your Shakespeare: The Taming of the Shrew is one of Shakespeare’s most popular —actually his second most popular according to a survey the Royal Shakespeare Company conducted in 2003. The story goes like this. In sixteenth century Italy, Padua to be exact, there lives a rich gentleman named Baptista. He has two daughters. Several suitors clamor for the hand of Bianca, the younger daughter. Unfortunately, Baptista refuses to permit any of the suitors marry Bianca until his elder daughter, Katherine (whose name varies from production to production), is wed first. Katherine is deemed a shrew —aka an abusive woman who does not know her place. Bianca’s suitors convince Petruchio —a gentleman of Verona —to woo Katherine. Attracted to her dowry and the idea of breaking her, Petruchio goes after Katherine’s hand while the rest of them continue to scheme for Bianca’s.  Continue Reading

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Young Frankenstein @ Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts – Review

Written by Alina Mae Wilson 

Simply because of its universal infamy, the story of Frankenstein’s monster is heralded as one of the most well-known horror stories of all time. You don’t need to read the book to get the reference.  Anyone and everyone who has gone trick-or-treating at least once is familiar with the image of the stocky green monster staggering about with his arms stretched rigidly outward.  If you HAVE acquainted yourself with the original source material, you know that the story of the gargantuan creature cast out from society is tragic as well as terrifying.  But fear not –over at the Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts, they have opted for a significantly brighter approach.  They are doing the Mel Brooks’ musical Young Frankenstein, which although quite long, is well acted, well sung, and brimming with trollish humor. Continue Reading

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Crimes of the Heart @ STAGEStheatre in Fullerton – Review

Written by Patrick Chavis

Crimes of the Heart, now playing at STAGEStheatre, is a family drama set in Mississippi about three sisters getting through their daily lives the best they can after a criminal act one of them commits brings the sisters back together.  While the presentation of the set and even a few of the performances stand out, the direction for this production misses the right tone for certain characters and does not quite capitalize on opportunities for dark comedy, making the production less impactful and slightly confusing. Continue Reading

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OCR Podcast #11 : Interview with Director Nicole Lauren & Playwright Jacqueline Bircher of “Another Revolution” @ The Chance Theatre

Jacqueline Bircher

Nicole Lauren

Talk Back Theater will present a reading of Another Revolution, a new play by Jacqueline Bircher.

Kat and Henry, two graduate students from opposing scientific disciplines, are forced to share a lab at Columbia University in 1968. Amid interpersonal differences, a campus devolving into political chaos, and the uncertainty and turmoil of the outside world, they each discover what it’s like to be thrown into someone else’s orbit. Taken from the website

March 8th 2018

 

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Bullets Over Broadway @ The Gem Theatre in Garden Grove – Review

Written by Daniella Litvak 

The term jukebox musical is used to describe a musical that features popular songs from the past. Shows like Mama Mia and Rock of Ages are popular examples. Bullets Over Broadway belongs to the jukebox musical category too. Reaching a little further back into musical history than the aforementioned examples, the show features songs from the 1910s to the 1930s. These are not exactly the songs you would envision yourself head banging to, but the musical numbers are most definitely energetic and vibrant. Continue Reading

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Violet @ The Chance Theatre in Anaheim – Review

(All photos by Doug Catiller)

Written by Alina Mae Wilson

While I can understand the heart behind the production of Violet, the realism the playwright tries to bring into this story is so far off it would have been better if it was just imaginary.  However, this production’s talented cast keeps the audience’s attention with well-practiced action and drama.
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