Orange County Theatre Reviews

Canada Rocks : Come From Away @ Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa – Review

Written by Patrick Chavis 

Even though Come From Away is set against the tragic backdrop of 9/11, it focuses more on the tension, feelings, and emotions of the time — as opposed to a more strait-laced recap of the period. The characters we see stranded in Canada remind us of the pain felt by all Americans at home and abroad alike. Yet even in tragedy, the characters were about to find a silver lining.   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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More Clown Please : William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night , or What You Will @ Fullerton Community College in Fullerton – Review

Written by Patrick Chavis 

As you become more familiar with Shakespeare’s works, you will soon find different trends and concepts explored more then once in different places.  I have always felt Twelfth Night to be the perfect example of this.  Twelfth Night is like a late night paper, the kind a brilliant but procrastinating student writes at the last second in order to graduate.  It’s creative, outside the box and probably a mixture of three or four old ideas–but who cares, because we need to pump out another play and I want to go to the bar!  What makes it even more hilarious, it’s also known under the title What You Will.  Shakespeare already knows he’s shot gunning out another play, but you have to admire his “you’re gonna love it because I’m Shakespeare” attitude.

Fullerton Community College’s production of Twelfth Night, directed by Tim Espinosa, is a unique and extremely comical rendition.  With masterful stage work, design, music and direction we witness a truly professional level throughout a large portion of the production.  The minor flaws with line delivery and a lack of energy at lengthily sustained moments are pretty much remedied in this brave new adaptation. Continue Reading

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AMB Theatre Podcast #31 presented by OCR – Forbidden Broadway @ Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa – Podcast

“Forbidden Broadway’s latest round of fun-poking celebrates the current season of Tony-worthy musicals in an uproarious evening of lyric-twisting. The original New York production, with what Variety calls “an amazingly versatile cast of four,” is guaranteed to have you on the mat with laughter! Playing now @ Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Samueli Theater, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa” taken from the http://www.scfta.org/

 

Tune in every Friday to http://www.kuci.org/or if you’re in the areas of Santa Ana, Irvine or Tustin turn your radio receiver to 88.9FM @ 4pm – 5pm for the AMB Theatre show in partnership with the Orange Curtain Review.

October 1, 2015 – October 4, 2015

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Theatre Shows in September to Remember – News

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photo by: Patrick Chavis 

Written by Patrick Chavis 

An American Girl Trapped in Nazi Germany: Eleanor’s Story

I was lucky enough to catch this show at the Hollywood Fringe earlier this year. The story is about an American girl and her family’s experience living in Berlin during WW2. It was well worth the drive to see CSUF Alumni Ingrid Garner perform this very real, extremely relevant material with only a box and two chairs. For more info check out the review below and be on the look out for a more in-depth interview with Ingrid in OCR Magazine coming out at the end of the year. My Review on Eleanor Story.

October 10th – 24th  @ The Maverick Theatre in Fullerton 

OCR consensus: 

Eleanor’s Story is a wonderfully minimalist play and Ingrid Garner works extremely well in this, bringing with her a fresh perspective on WW2 not often seen in the mainstream media.The transformation of her voice and dedication to each character is phenomenal. If you can get over the unimaginative set, you are in for a very interesting theatre experience.  8/10 

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Little Shop of Horrors 

Synopsis: 

Gardening can be murder! Especially if you cultivate the exotic plant you found just after a mysterious black-out…. And that is all you need to know to be sucked into this Broadway smash hit based on the Roger Corman horror film from the 50’s. Lots of bright, bouncy songs delivered with Doo-Wop gusto narrate the tale of timid Seymore, Audrey, Mr. Mushnik, and the blood-thirsty little plant that changes their lives. A Broadway hit and cult favorite, this one promises a few thrills, a few chills and a lot of laughs. You’ll never look at a potted plant in quite the same way again? Taken directly from whittiercommunitytheatre.org

 September 11, 12, 18, 19  *20 (Matinee), 25, & 26  @ Whittier community Theatre 

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God of Carnage 

There’s a reason God of Carnages has been one of the top 1o most performed plays in American Theatre’s and it’s not just because there’s only one location. This show has terrific dialogue and with carnagethe right cast as proved by Roman Polanski film adaption Carnage, the shows deep and well thought out storyline will keep audiences interested from beginning to end.

Synopsis: 

Two pairs of parents hold a cordial meeting after their sons are involved in a fight, though as their time together progresses, increasingly childish behavior throws the discussion into chaos. Taken directly from IMBD

September 24th – October 17th @ Modjeska Playhouse in Lake Forest 

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Same Time, Next Year

Synopsis: 

Two people meet at a Northern California inn in February 1951. They have an affair, and agree to meet once a year, despite the fact both are married to others and have six children between them. Over the course of the next 24 years, they discuss the births, deaths, and marital problems each is experiencing at home, while they adapt themselves to the social changes affecting their lives. Taken directly from http://www.cabrilloplayhouse.org

Friday 9/11/2015 to Sunday 10/4/2015
Thursday, Friday & Saturday shows at 8pm, Sunday at 2pm @ Cabrillo Playhouse in San Clemente 

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Pirates of Penzance 

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Synopsis:
A young pirate’s apprentice who falls in love with the daughter of a Modern Major-General. But no sooner has ended his pirate obligations and found true love with Mabel than the pirates reel him back on a technicality. Taken directly from http://shakespeareoc.org/

September 12, with performances Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. through September 26. There will be previews September 10 and 11. All seats are only $20 @ The strawberry bowl in Garden Grove. 
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