Orange County Theatre Reviews

The Boys of Modjeska : The Modjeska Playhouse Story

(photo credit Patrick Chavis)

Written by Patrick Chavis 

A few years ago, I met up with two of the founders of Modjeska Playhouse, Christopher Sullivan and Joshua Stecker. In the interview below, we discussed the founders’ history and how they decided to start the challenging — especially in an area with very little theatre presence — endeavor of creating a theatre. Even now the Modjeska Playhouse stands as the only performing arts theatre in the city of Lake Forest.  Despite these challenges, the Modjeska Playhouse has consistently released a wide variety of scripted and unscripted shows for Lake Forest and the surrounding communities.  Continue Reading

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Fiddler on the Roof @ Aldergate Church in Tustin – Review

Written by Patrick Chavis 

Family, tradition, and moral values –no matter what culture or religion you subscribe too –these things matter. They appear in the Bible, the Torah, the Quran, and in many more religious and cultural traditions all over the world. The stories may be different, but many of the lesson are very much the same.  Aldergate Church in Tustin, California –a Methodist church by association — putting on the most famous Jewish musical of all time, demonstrates their belief in this very concept.  Some may say it’s an odd choice, but Aldergate doesn’t think so. 

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Photo Courtesy: Aldergate Church

A little history: Fiddler on the Roof was at one time the longest running show to hit Broadway for quite a while.  Fiddler’s long reign on the great white only lasted until Grease came along.  At the time Fiddler first came out, many people thought the production might be too Jewish for a mainstream audience and not Jewish enough for a Jewish one. Both were wrong –like any well written story —Fiddler straddled the line of being to appealing to all demographics while staying true to it’s Jewish roots.  The musical is based on a story written in the 1800’s about a Jewish dairyman man named Tevye who has six troublesome daughters. Continue Reading

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News, Uncategorized Comments Off on The New Swan Shakespeare Festival at UCI – News |

The New Swan Shakespeare Festival at UCI – News

Written by Alina Mae Wilson 

The New Swan Theatre is an Elizabethan-style theatre.  Transportable and roofless, this theatre provides a sense of an authentic Shakespearean time as it hosts two of Shakespeare’s classics this summer.

 

Macbeth–Known by many as the Bard’s most ominous play, Macbeth is the tale of a Scottish nobleman who is spurred to obtain the throne through malice and treachery.  This gruesome tragedy is a warning to all who would seek power for power’s sake.  July 22nd – August 29th Continue Reading

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Anaheim, Serial Killers, The Chance Theater, Theater, Uncategorized Comments Off on Serial Killers OC @ The Chance Theatre in Anaheim – Second Night 5-01-2015 Competition Update |

Serial Killers OC @ The Chance Theatre in Anaheim – Second Night 5-01-2015 Competition Update

Rules of Serial Killers OC :  5 play groups showed up on May 1st 11 pm at the Chance Theatre only 3 shows were victorious and will return next session to continue their story.

Viewpoints  Episode 2

The Viewpoints team comes back to continue their story.

Two brothers, that have different viewpoints on their father, argue about him before his funeral. 

Written and Directed by Travis K Donnelly 

John – Jake LaRosa 

Joe – Alexander Walters 

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News, Serial Killers, The Chance Theater, Theater, Uncategorized Comments Off on Serial Killers OC @ The Chance Theatre in Anaheim – First Night 4-24-2015 Competition Update |

Serial Killers OC @ The Chance Theatre in Anaheim – First Night 4-24-2015 Competition Update

Rules of Serial Killers OC :  5 play groups showed up on April 24th @ 11 pm at the Chance Theatre only 3 shows were victorious and will return next session to continue their story.

Amateurs 

Four individuals as they traverse the Paradox Tunnels in their effort to solve the puzzle and survive the maze.

Written by Drew Chappell 

Directed by Travis K. Donnelly 

Guide –   Mary Sherg 

Misty – Jessica Ackerson 

Perter – Christopher Yu

Tasha – Sara Farrell

Kane – Alexander Walters  

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Birds Of a together, Feathers Flying

Two brothers get into an argument after Nathan (Collin Andrews)  a cop finds out his little Brother Jimmy (Kieran Flanagan) is selling drugs out of their house; hilarity ensues.

Written by Varag Kamali

Directed by Ryan Hawke East

Nathan – Collin Andrews

Jimmy – Kieran Flanagan

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Girl Problems

In a random turn of events Lyle a sensitive guy is turned into a girl and now has to figure out out how to turn himself back while trying to adapt to his new womanly form.

Written and Directed by Lexi Heuser & Kian Amini

Lyle (M) –  Griffin Vrabeck

Lyle (F) – Brooklyn Boukather

Shawn – Michael Fenner

Melissa –  Liz Farkas

Emma – Elena Bonvinci

Heather – Amanda Cohn

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The Bartender 

Bartender is a complicated story about how millennials deal with social interaction.

Written and Directed by Itztli De La Torre

Alex- Jessica Ackerson

Bouncer – Gina Sandy

Josh – Carlos De La Torre

Hephaestus – Christopher Yu

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Viewpoints 

Two brothers, that have different viewpoints on their father, argue about him before his funeral. 

Written and Directed by Travis K Donnelly 

John – Jake LaRosa 

Joe – Alexander Walters 

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Winners

Birds Of A Together, Feathers Flying

Girl Problems

Viewpoints

If you like what you’ve read and heard, come to the next serial killers as an act or a guest and lets kill some more acts. P1000165 (1) Next show is May 1st 11pm.

If you want to be apart of the next show email a 10 minute script to Travis Donnelly @ SK@chancetheater.com

Then get your group together. For more specific info check the Serial Killers Website

Location : Chance Theater 5522 E. La Palma Ave.   Anaheim, CA  92807

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Costa Mesa, Preview, South Coast Repertory, Theater Comments Off on William Shakespeare’s : The Tempest at South Coast Repertory – Preview |

William Shakespeare’s : The Tempest at South Coast Repertory – Preview

Liz Filios, Joel Davel, Matt Spencer and Miche Braden in South C

Liz Filios, Joel Davel, Matt Spencer and Miche Braden : Courtesy: South Coast Repertory

Written by: Alina Mae Wilson 
 

You can’t go wrong with Shakespeare.  I take that back, it is actually mind-blowingly easy to go wrong with Shakespeare.   It is so unpleasant to watch actors in uncomfortable costumes,  uncomfortably performing their lines, making you feel uncomfortable because you don’t know what they are saying and it’s entirely possible, neither do they. The story follows a former Duke named Prospero who uses sorcery to plot vengeance against the people who wronged him.  So far I’m excited, I always wondered what The Count of Monte Cristo (similar revenge story)  would have been like if Emond Dantes had known witchcraft.

 

I’ve  heard some good things about the special effects that will be showcased in the performance, especially from the creative team responsible for the show.  In their video detailing why this particular production of “The Tempest” stands out from the others, director Aaron Posner calls it “the hardest, the most challenging, and the most…thrilling production” he has ever been part of.  He also went on to refer to his co-director Teller(one part of the magic duo Penn & Teller) as a genius, and that this production has the type of magic Shakespeare wished he had.  Wow. I’m not skeptical, I’m impressed by the obvious passion and fervor that went into this project and I hope it shows.

 

Side note :

Singer song writer Tom Waits also collaborated musically  with Kathleen Brennan on the music.

 

Ticket Info at the website:

http://www.scr.org/calendar/view?id=6891

 

Location & Dates :  

South Coast Repertory
655 Town Center Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

August 29, 2014 – September 28, 2014

 

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