Orange County Theatre Reviews

Musical, OCR Magazine, Theater, Uncategorized Comments Off on Shout Out to the Talented OC Set and Costume Designers |

Shout Out to the Talented OC Set and Costume Designers

(photo: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)

Written by Patrick Chavis 

Every year the OCR crew and I dedicate a lot of time to promoting our love for theatre (though nowhere near as much time as the people on stage or back stage of the performances we watch), which includes creating an annual magazine covering the theatre community in Orange County, CA.  So far we’ve released two magazines, which are free to the community.   Though the issues are not perfect we are pretty proud of what we’ve accomplished in the last two years. That being said, there is still room for improvement, and after being notified by a very trusted source, I’ve realized in the last two editions of OCR Magazine when we listed our favorite Set Designs and Costumes each year, we have forgotten to actually mention the people creating the sets and putting together the clothes, a huge misstep on my part, which will be rectified in future OCR Magazine editions and our regular reviews.  To start things off, see below for a list of the great designers whose work we marveled over during the past two years. For a full free copy of both magazines download a free copy @ http://theorangecurtainrev.com/magazine/  Continue Reading

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American Coast Theatre Company, Costa Mesa, Review, Theater, Uncategorized, Vanguard Uni Comments Off on Hamlet Goes Gangster : American Coast Theater Company Presents Hamlet @ Vanguard University in Costa Mesa – Review |

Hamlet Goes Gangster : American Coast Theater Company Presents Hamlet @ Vanguard University in Costa Mesa – Review

(photo courtesy : Susie Sprinkel Hudson)

Written by Alina Mae Wilson 

Many if not most leading characters in successful fiction today have qualities that endear them to the viewer, making them desirable as friends, lovers, or both.  But before there was all that nonsense about actually liking the star, there was someone else–there was Hamlet.  An angst filled Danish prince forever brooding about his castle, Hamlet is often described with words like “depressed” “whiny” and “cowardly”. As a result he has many times been the target of viewers’/readers’ scorn, derision, and annoyance.   In contrast with this is the portrayal from American Coast Theater Company’s Hamlet.  The young prince here is heavily sarcastic, bitter, and volatile. Not really likable or sympathetic, but he has an energy that is strange enough to keep you hooked.   Continue Reading

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Musical, Newport Beach, Newport Theatre Arts Center, Review, Uncategorized Comments Off on 1776 @ Newport Theatre Arts Center in Newport Beach – Review |

1776 @ Newport Theatre Arts Center in Newport Beach – Review

Written by Alina Mae Wilson 

As we approach our annual time of summer patriotism, I find myself hard pressed to name shows that are appropriate for the season.  American politics is often a heated subject and an exhausting constant in the United States. When it comes to arguing about it, the most enthusiastic debaters often resort to invoking the founding fathers.  “Our founding fathers fought for freedom, therefore…!”  Now with the 4th of July drawing nearer, it seems only fitting to watch a play featuring these historic men.   For anyone staying in the New York area sometime soon, I hear good things about Hamilton.  Although it’s currently easier to get into the Pearly Gates while still living than it is to get into that show.  For us west coasters there is a smaller, less lavish musical to attend about that time period– 1776, playing over at the Newport Theatre Arts Center. Continue Reading

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News, Press Releases, South Coast Repertory, Uncategorized Comments Off on South Coast Repertory’s Pinocchio Clowns Around in the Theatre for Young Audiences Series |

South Coast Repertory’s Pinocchio Clowns Around in the Theatre for Young Audiences Series

COSTA MESA, Calif.—The tale of the naughty puppet hoping to become a real boy gets an infusion of music, clowning and fun when South Coast Repertory’s Theatre for Young Audiences series presents Pinocchio by Greg Banks, based on the classic story by Carlo Collodi. Pinocchio runs Feb. 5-21 on the Julianne Argyros Stage and is directed by Jeremy Aluma. Tickets are on sale at www.scr.org. Continue Reading

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Costa Mesa, South Coast Repertory, Theater, Uncategorized Comments Off on Burning Woman : The Madwoman in the Volvo @ South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa – Review |

Burning Woman : The Madwoman in the Volvo @ South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa – Review

Written by Alina Mae Wilson 

South Coast Repertory is currently putting on a comedy based on the memoirs of leading actress Sandra Tsing Loh. Titled The Madwoman in the Volvo, her story is actually many stories. Sandra stands center stage and chats us up about everything: her mother, vacationing at Burning Man, and her affair with her best friend.  Helping her to bring these stories to life are actresses Caroline Aaron and Shannon Holt, each stepping in at varying times to play different people in Sandra’s life. Simplistically speaking, the focal point of the show is menopause–how it impacts women, how it impacted women in Sandra’s life, and how it impacted Sandra herself. Packed to the brim with both science and a smattering of humor, The Madwoman in the Volvo is best enjoyed by people in its targeted demographic–that is 45 to 60 year olds. 

Sandra Tsing Loh begins the show amiably. She chats with her friends about things you might expect women to chat about, “Sorry I was late, it took forever to find this place, I have to get up early for work tomorrow,” etcetera, etcetera.  These two friends are introduced to us as the actresses who are going to be helping Sandra regale us with her adventures after she reached the age of “almost 50,” as well as things that took place earlier –like Sandra’s mother’s serious bouts of depression.  We are treated to a story of Sandra’s new growth as a woman that is both comedic and dramatic. Continue Reading

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Press Releases, Uncategorized Comments Off on UCI Production OUR LIFE: THE BLACK YOUTH STORIES PROJECT remounts January 2nd and 3rd in Los Angeles |

UCI Production OUR LIFE: THE BLACK YOUTH STORIES PROJECT remounts January 2nd and 3rd in Los Angeles

Breathe Theatre Company’s powerful and important production Our Life: The Black Youth Stories Project opens on Saturday, January 2, 2016 for three performances only at CASA 0101’s Little Casa in the Boyle Heights, Los Angeles. Show times are 7pm on Saturday, January 2nd and 3pm & 7pm on Sunday, January 3rd.

The production is directed by Southern California native Amanda Novoa and the cast includes members of the show’s original production in June 2015: Maribel Martinez (Sunset Baby, The Liquid Plain, Ghosts), Amandla Bearden (Sunset Baby, Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Raven), and Taylor Fagins (Our Life original cast, Threadcount, Merry Live of Windsor); all of whom study acting at the University of California, Irvine. Continue Reading

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