Orange County Theatre Reviews

CSUF, fullerton, Musical, Review, Uncategorized Comments Off on Telekinetically Inclined : Carrie the Musical @ CSUF in Fullerton – Review |

Telekinetically Inclined : Carrie the Musical @ CSUF in Fullerton – Review

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(Top to Bottom) Brooke Aston as Margaret White and Madeline Ellingson as Carrie White Photo by Alvin Chiu.

Written by Alina Mae Wilson 

In what is possibly the most logical decision a theatre department made this month, Cal State Fullerton has elected to put on Carrie the Musical.  With Halloween just around the corner it’s nice to have a spooky show to watch, and it’s even nicer to see a musical with some gore to shepherd in the holiday.  Stephen King’s 1974 novel Carrie has served as the inspiration for three films (and a horrible sequel),  and the picture of a girl drenched in blood is so iconic most people recall the image if not the actual story it originates from.  After a spectacular failure as a production on Broadway, many people thought Carrie the Musical was over for good until the Off-Broadway revival took a hatchet the original score and script.  Now Carrie the Musical is back with a vengeance, and Cal State Fullerton is bringing us their version of the telekinetic teen.  Of all the “scary” shows I have seen this is definitely one of the better ones. Continue Reading

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CSUF, Review, Theater, Uncategorized Comments Off on Dancing at Lughnasa @ CSUF in Fullerton – Review |

Dancing at Lughnasa @ CSUF in Fullerton – Review

Written by Zack Johnston 

(Photo Courtesy of CSUF College of The Arts)

For the dense slice-of-life story Dancing at Lughnasa, it can be understandably tricky to create an entirely captivating production. While Cal State Fullerton’s production of the Irish drama fails to engage in compelling storytelling, it succeeds in some of its performance and technical aspects.

Set in Donegal, Ireland in 1936, the humble Mundy siblings struggle to maintain their household while different obstacles threaten their stability. With an absent father, an ill-minded brother and the household’s main source of income on the line, the five Mundy sisters must find a balance between pleasure and discipline. Continue Reading

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News, Theater, Uncategorized Comments Off on Theatre Shows in September to Remember – News |

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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interview, podcast, Uncategorized Comments Off on AMB Theatre Podcast #22 presented by OCR – Green Man @ STAGEStheatre in Fullerton – Podcast |

Review, Stagestheatre, Theater, Uncategorized Comments Off on Who is the Green Man? : Green Man @ STAGEStheatre in Fullerton – Review |

Who is the Green Man? : Green Man @ STAGEStheatre in Fullerton – Review

Written by Scotty Keister 

Who the heck is this green guy and what does he want? Why do these three people seem to know him as someone completely different? How long does it take to get all that green crap off? These were the questions I kept asking myself during the West Coast Premiere of Jim Knable’s “Green Man,” currently running at Stages Theatre. These questions are all eventually answered, all except for the part about taking the green stuff off. That’s the one that really puzzled me. Continue Reading

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fullerton, Review, Theater, Uncategorized Comments Off on Loose Ends @ Cal State University, Fullerton – Review |

Loose Ends @ Cal State University, Fullerton – Review

Written by Daniella Litvak 

If I had to come up with alternate title for Loose Ends, it would be Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House In The 70s. Paul and Susan fall in love on a beach in 1970’s Bali. The rest of the play follows them throughout the decade as they get married and experience relationship problems because Susan’s career clashes with Paul’s dreams. It’s a solid enough premise. 

(Left to Right) Bailey Castle as Susan and Joshua Johnson as Paul in Cal State Fullerton's Loose Ends Photo by Jordan Kubat

(Left to Right) Bailey Castle as Susan and Joshua Johnson as Paul in Cal State Fullerton’s Loose Ends Photo by Jordan Kubat

The problem with Paul and Susan is that their love for each other is never believable.  The actors have a better chemistry when they’re fighting with one another, but they’re still more tiresome than entertaining. The secondary characters are pointless. At their best, the secondary characters are living props the main characters can tell his/her problems to. At their worst, they’re unfunny caricatures delivering tangents that have no impact on the plot. I blame the story more than the actors. I give the actors credit for not phoning in their performances, but the cast isn’t strong enough to rise above the material.

On one or two occasions, the script is witty. Most of the time it’s a clunker.

Photo by Jordan Kubat

(Left to Right) Bailey Castle as Susan and Joshua Johnson as Paul in Cal State Fullerton’s Loose Ends Photo by Jordan Kubat

The other story related problem is structure. The play is divided into nine scenes with each scene representing a different year from the 70s. In between scenes the theater lights go dark, and the screens on the wall come alive to feature black and white clips of 70s events as well as photographs of a couple meant to be Paul and Susan while a 70s song plays. At first, this is a nice way to add atmosphere, invoking the feeling of traveling back in time. By the third or fourth time, it becomes annoying and disrupts the flow of the play.  

I’m baffled at why the play choose to depict these moments of Paul and Susan’s relationship. Every scene feels like it’s the aftermath of something: the aftermath of Paul and Susan reuniting after Bali, the aftermath of their decision to marry, the aftermath of their trial separation, and so on, which causes the play to commit the cardinal sin of telling instead of showing.

 All in all, Loose Ends is a dead end.

 3/10

Runs until April 26th 

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