Orange County Theatre Reviews

interview, Lake Forest, Modjeska Playhouse, News, Uncategorized Comments Off on The Boys of Modjeska : The Modjeska Playhouse Story |

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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Costa Mesa, Costa Mesa Playhouse, Review, Theater, Uncategorized Comments Off on Bickering Royalty : The Lion In Winter @ Costa Mesa Playhouse in Costa Mesa – Review |

Bickering Royalty : The Lion In Winter @ Costa Mesa Playhouse in Costa Mesa – Review

Written by Alina Mae Wilson 

New way, new day, new play—new things abound.  I had not seen this play before.  Although the name is something I’ve heard often enough.  Costa Mesa Playhouse is currently running The Lion in Winter –an impressive title if ever there was one.  (The Chronicles of Narnia can just step aside because the war of the titles is over).  The storyline is about a king and his captive queen living in a castle while their three sons argue and scheme to inherit the throne.  It’s a basic story with what turns out to be some great characters, but the acting is not as impressive.

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Chapman, OCcentric New Play Festival, Review, Theater, Uncategorized Comments Off on The Runaways All Grown Up – OCcentric New Play Festival Presents : Fabulous Monsters @ Chapman University – Review |

The Runaways All Grown Up – OCcentric New Play Festival Presents : Fabulous Monsters @ Chapman University – Review

Written by Patrick Chavis

Music and theatre have always gone hand in hand. In some ways they pull from the same emotional well. While watching playwright Diana Burbano’s new play, we get a nicely condensed drama about punk rock, love and family.  I really liked it, but I couldn’t help but feel I had seen this story done before. Of course Fabulous Monsters is its own narrative.  The plot has enough differences to set it apart –especially for an older generation.  Still, the positive differences felt less new after watching it and more like a rehash of another story. Continue Reading

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Garden Grove, Gem Theater, Musical, Review, Uncategorized Comments Off on Double Dose of Emotion : Next To Normal @ The Gem Theatre in Garden Grove – Review |

Double Dose of Emotion : Next To Normal @ The Gem Theatre in Garden Grove – Review

Written by Daniella Litvak 

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Photographer ONE MORE PRODUCTIONS

Next to Normal  is the gripping story of an American woman named Diana Goodman and her family’s struggle with her bipolar disorder. In rock n’ roll fashion we are treated to the various effects the disorder has on herself and the people around her. In both tone and message the show manages to fit in with other rock musicals/operas like The Who’s Tommy or Pink Floyd’s The Wall.  Some of the larger differences between the shows have to do with the fact that Tommy and The Wall can give their audiences comfort in that the horrors visited upon their  protagonists are so absurd, so surreal, they feel unlikely to happen in real life. What makes Next To Normal so dark is that the Goodman family feel like people who make up our normal, everyday lives–and the tragedies they experience could happen to anyone.

For what it’s worth, the show tries to end as optimistically as possible. However, one still leaves feeling emotionally exhausted. So if you are looking for a light-hearted romp or an escapist fantasy, this isn’t the show to see. On the other hand, don’t let the fear of angst make you miss out on a really good show. Continue Reading

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Musical, podcast, Theater, Uncategorized Comments Off on AMB Theatre Podcast #13 presented by OCR – Samsara @ The Chance Theatre in Anaheim 5/2015 |

Laguna beach, Laguna Playhouse, podcast Comments Off on AMB Theatre Podcast #11 presented by OCR – Murder for Two PART TWO @ The Laguna Playhouse 04/2015 |