Orange County Theatre Reviews

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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Old Acquaintances @ Westminster Community Playhouse March 8 – March 25

A delightfully witty play about two childhood best friends who are now dealing with success and love on their own terms. Both well-known authors; one a critical darling and the other a prolific bestseller. No nonsense gal Katharine “Kit” Markham, is currently working on her latest novel and carrying on a steamy love affair with a younger man. While the other; a meddling divorcee, Mildred Drake is refusing to loosen her overbearing claws on her free-spirited daughter Deirdre and struggles with a deep hidden jealously of Kit.

Once a 1943 film by the same name with stars Bette Davis, Miriam Hopkins and Gig Young; WCP brings you another Hollywood Classic that tackles the boundaries of friendship and true meaning behind the word “frenemy”.

Spotlighting the talents of:

Kimberly Wooldridge, Maria O’Connor, Grace O’Neill, Jeremy Krasovic, Rick Werblin, Laurie Robbins, Tamra Talbert

March 8 – March 25

 

 

 

Address: 7272 Maple St, Westminster, CA 92683
Phone: (714) 893-8626

(Paid by Brandon Ferruccio) 

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fullerton, Musical, Review, Uncategorized Comments Off on Cabaret @ STAGEStheatre in Fullerton – Review |

Cabaret @ STAGEStheatre in Fullerton – Review

Written by Daniella Litvak 

Cabaret debuted in 1967 and has endured in the public’s consciousness ever since. The original and its revivals have garnered 12 Tony Awards. It was adapted into an Oscar-winning film starring Liza Minelli and Michael York. Now it’s STAGEStheatre’s turn to utter the lines,

“There was a cabaret, and there was a master of ceremonies… and there was a city called Berlin, in a country… and it was the end of the world.”

Of course when young, American Cliff Bradshaw (Sam Kostka) comes to Berlin in 1929, he didn’t plan on witnessing the end of the world. All he wanted to do was find a cheap place to live and write his novel. Those plans get derailed when he discovers the decadent Kit Kat Klub and meets the vivacious Sally Bowles (Tatiana Alvarez). While their relationship deepens, the changing political climate is about to complicate things for Cliff, Sally, and all their Berlin friends.

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Creating a Theatre Show in the OC #1 Costa Mesa Playhouse

There are over 50 different theatre venues in Orange County, and they all have different methods on how they pick their shows for the season. Each month we will take the time share how one of these theatres make those challenging decisions. This month we’re spotlighting the Costa Mesa Playhouse. 

 

Costa Mesa Playhouse in Costa Mesa

 

Costa Mesa Playhouse is already in process of picking their new season right now, so if you’re reading this, you will probably have to wait until next year to apply. The process is simple. You pitch to them a play you would like to direct –original or a well known. Then you send them a sales pitch telling them why they should do it –including concept art for the set, costumes, etc.  If it’s a musical, you need to answer whether you would use tracks or musicians.  Afterwards, they read the scripts and have many discussions.  The whole process usually starts around December. The directors are interviewed between January to March, and decisions are made around May.

 

Send your work to :    submissions@costamesaplayhouse.com

 
Pay –  $500 flat fee for directors
 HH3 Stephanie Thomas, John Sturgeon, Kay Richey, Robin L. Watkins, Elle Grant, Gabriel Lawrence B&B 3 - Kay Richey, Suzannah Gratz, Wayne MayberryBC2-Lance Smith, Ashley Arlene Nelson. Photo by Gigi Greene

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To Kill a Mockingbird @ Stage Door Repertory Theatre in Anaheim – Review

Written By Daniella Litvak

FullSizeRender

Nick Charles Stage Door Repertory Theatre

The show starts out a bit slow.   There is a lot of exposition, and the delivery of it is a bit clunky. But once setting and characters are set up and the plot moves away from the slice of life storytelling and focuses on the Robinson trial, you can’t resist getting sucked into the drama even if you already know the outcome.

To Kill a Mockingbird is based off of Harper Lee’s critically acclaimed novel. The story is told from the perspective of a little girl nicknamed “Scout”. In the story, Scout reflects back on what it was like to grow up in Maycomb, Alabama in the 1930s. Scout and her brother Jem used to think Maycomb people were the best people in the world. But their view of their hometown starts to change after their father, country lawyer Atticus Finch, is appointed to defend Tom Robinson, an African American man accused of assaulting a white girl.

My favorite performance was from the ten-year old Dilynn Cathey, who nails the part of Scout. Especially during the beginning when the show feels a bit stiff and awkward, she livens it up with her spunky innocence. Eric Davis, Bill Carson, and Kyra Olschewske all turn in strong performances as Tom Robinson, Bob Ewell, and Mayella Ewell respectively.

Of course I can’t discuss To Kill a Mockingbird without discussing Atticus Finch. The role of Atticus has got to be one of the toughest to play. Gregory Peck’s Academy Award winning performance of the character in the film version casts a very long shadow for all other performers in the role. The character himself has had quite an impact on society. When your watching Jeffrey T. Brem deliver Atticus’ closing argument, you forget all your expectations and preconceived notions and just care about what is happening on the stage before you. 

I also think it helps that the show embraces the source material. As much as I love it when a show takes risks and attempts innovation, there is merit in performing a faithful adaptation that (for the most part) straightforwardly gives the audience the iconic moments –such as the “sin to kill a mockingbird” spiel or Scout’s shaming the mob speech –it wants to be seen.

The set is great. It’s divided into four areas. The Finch house, the rest of the neighborhood, the Radley house with the tree, and a brick wall representing the outside of the town jail. I love how the Finch house is painted a warm yellow symbolizing the openness and good nature of its inhabitants in contrast to the angrier red and brown tones used for houses of their more hostile neighbors. I also liked how the neighbors’ houses were situated on a platform, which allowed the supporting characters to talk down to Finches and maintain their distance from the Radley’s. The lighting, which goes on and off at exactly the right moments works magnificently.

When I think of To Kill a Mockingbird, I will no longer think of the weeks of agony that came from studying the novel during my freshman English class. Your production is a much better memory. 

8.3/10

April 18th – May 2nd  2015

Stage Door Repertory 

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The Darkest Family Matters -The Marriage of Bette and Boo @ Costa Mesa Playhouse in Costa Mesa – Review

Written by Alina Mae Wilson 

Indeed, a great many comedians today have proven that political and social issues can create the groundwork for sheer hilarity.   But I think matching the humor that numerous comedians bring to the table is especially difficult when attempting to do it in the form of storytelling. Black humor can be dated, it can hit too close to home, it can be so strange it doesn’t make sense in the context of the actual plot, but someway…somehow…The Marriage of Bette and Boo as done by Costa Mesa Playhouse hits just the right tone.  Continue Reading

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