Orange County Theatre Reviews

Musical, Review, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Theater, Uncategorized Comments Off on Fiddler on the Roof @ Segerstrom Center for the Arts – Review |

Fiddler on the Roof @ Segerstrom Center for the Arts – Review

(Photo by Joan Marcus)

Written by Patrick Chavis 

When it comes to storytelling there is often overlap with certain themes.  Storytelling doesn’t happen in a bubble. Stories are told by humans, and because of similar life experiences, similar themes pop up in different stories. It’s the nature of the beast.  While watching Fiddler on the Roof at Segerstrom Center for the Performing Arts one of these themes pops up.  The philosophical struggle between tradition and an ever-changing world and how do we cope with it? Fiddler may have one of the most nuanced solutions.

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Costa Mesa, Musical, Review, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Uncategorized Comments Off on CATS THE MUSICAL @ SEGERSTROM CENTER FOR THE ARTS – Review |

CATS THE MUSICAL @ SEGERSTROM CENTER FOR THE ARTS – Review

(Photo by Matthew Murphy)

Written by Patrick Chavis 

Cats was, for nearly a decade, the longest-running Broadway show in history. Some of the songs in Cats are iconic. I’ve never seen Cats, but I found myself humming along to the tunes as if I’ve known them my entire life. Cats is playing now at the Segerstrom Centers for the Arts for a very short run of 6 nights. While this production will probably thrill the already initiated Cats fan. The spectacle of Cats can leave newbies a little confused with the direction of the story. Continue Reading

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Musical, Newport Beach, Newport Theatre Arts Center, Review, Uncategorized Comments Off on You’re Trapped Underground! : Floyd Collins The Musical @ Newport Theatre Arts Center in Newport Beach – Review |

You’re Trapped Underground! : Floyd Collins The Musical @ Newport Theatre Arts Center in Newport Beach – Review

(photo credit: Ron Yee)

Written by Scotty Keister 

Spelunking, or the exploring of caves, seems to be an odd topic for a stage musical. Floyd Collins, based on the true story of a Kentucky man stuck underground for seventeen days in 1925, proves a little too odd to be a complete success. The musical, now running at the Newport Theater Arts Center, is a handsomely produced show featuring a remarkable set design and solid performances, but there is something missing in the play itself. Continue Reading

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Laguna beach, Laguna Playhouse, Musical, Review, Uncategorized Comments Off on Blues in the Night @ Laguna Playhouse – Review |

Blues in the Night @ Laguna Playhouse – Review

(PHOTO CREDIT:  Ed Krieger)

Written by Alina Mae Wilson 

Make of this what you will, but to me, the “blues” was only something that plays in the background while at restaurants (quietly of course so as not to distract from the table chatter).  I couldn’t help but feel underwhelmed at the prospect of spending an evening attending a show called Blues In The Night.  Yet once the show began, my biases were proven completely unfounded. Almost against my will, I was lured into the music and into the lives of the characters onstage.  Though I wouldn’t necessarily describe it as ‘riveting’ all the way through, Blues In The Night varies in range, tempo, and soul.  It is one of the most pleasant surprises I have had in a while. Continue Reading

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Anaheim, Musical, Review, The Chance Theater, Uncategorized Comments Off on Rockin’ Lizzie Borden : Lizzie The Musical @ Chance Theater – Review |

Rockin’ Lizzie Borden : Lizzie The Musical @ Chance Theater – Review

Written by Patrick Chavis 

(All photos by Doug Catiller, True Image Studio)

“Lizzie Borden took an axe
And gave her mother forty whacks.
When she saw what she had done,
She gave her father forty-one.”  -anonymous

I had heard of Lizzie Borden before this production, and I had previously heard the folk rhyme that I posted on the top of this article.  However, that was the extent of my Lizzie Borden knowledge.  While I can definitely say I know a little bit more now after watching the show, I wouldn’t say Lizzie the Musical is the place to satisfy your itch for accurate history.  What I would say is this: unlike Rent, which was a rock musical with lots of theatricality and some rock thrown in, the Lizzie production at the Chance Theater felt like a rock concert with a small dose of theatricality thrown in — but most importantly — it does ROCK!!!

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Costa Mesa, Review, South Coast Repertory, Theater, Uncategorized Comments Off on The Barber is In: Sweeney Todd is Back in Town @ South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa – Review |

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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