Orange County Theatre Reviews

(photo courtesy: Stuart McNeeley)

Written by Patrick Chavis

I went to Super Antojitos in Tustin a little early to eat something before the show started. Super Antojitos is not a theater venue that happens to serve food or a restaurant that also puts on shows. It is a Mexican restaurant, and it continues to be a Mexican restaurant while the show is performed.  The show is performed in the back of the restaurant, so be sure to find a seat there to get the best view of the show. Seating is first-come, first-serve.

Production-wise, the use of a Mexican restaurant is an interesting choice for the show. However, the space didn’t add anything besides being a place to put on the show.  There may have been more creative ways to utilize the space. I was near the actors, and they did project their voices, but the use of some mics and a sound system would have been helpful. Much of the play is written in a poetic language similar to Shakespearean English, making the language one of the most essential parts of the show. This is troubling since they were competing with the family enjoying their time eating at the front of the restaurant. That family had way too much fun. They were just tacos — simmer down. I’m joking, but it was hard to listen at times.

Unnamed Theatre presents a pretty bare-bones telling of The Great Theatre of the World. The story is told with competent actors, but the acting doesn’t feel connected to the narrative. The theatricality in the show is too subdued for the subject matter of God and humanity.

Story:

The show is The Great Theatre of the World by Spanish writer Pedro Calderon de la Barca. This play was written in the 1600s and was heavily inspired by Catholic doctrine. In this play, God is a playwright. He writes a play, and he writes a play about the world. God (The Director, played by Dani Burley) gives different actors roles: the beggar, the peasant, the rich man, etc.  As the play progresses, we get to hear the other characters’ perspectives throughout their short time on earth.

The play answers the age-old question people have been posing for a very long time. If God exists, why do bad things happen to good people?  The play is a product of its time because its message only works for the converted who believe in an afterlife. Even if you are not religious, I think this story could provide insight into Catholic reasoning. Learning to understand someone better is a benefit.

This is the first show from this theatre company, and in that context, it’s a brave first show to put on. It’s even braver to put it on in such a different environment. If interested, they have one more show on October 9th at 9 pm.

https://www.onthestage.tickets/show/unnamed-theatre-company/the-great-theatre-of-the-world-by-pedro-calderon-de-la-barca-adapted-by-adrian-mitchell-49806?fbclid=IwAR34e2j1KMqpSeN9L0yoo0yRYSlwV2DnV6N9RYE1RQ0qTBcLFlOj-V5aZfc

Okay!
Review
6.6 Overall
7.4 Users (1 vote)
Story7
Acting7
Set & Design6.5
Costumes6
Entertainment6.5
What people say... 1 Leave your rating
God presents the unspeakable topic
There was a noisy table in the back of the restaurant but the actors held up. Lots of applause in the end.

There was a scene where all the characters had died and were marching in a solemn death dance,and giving accountability to God. The whole place went stone quiet when that occurred, even the noisy table hushed.

Interesting.
The reality of death and accountability to God grabbed everyone's attention, at least for 2 minutes. Probably because death and accountability for one's sins are the unspeakable topic. I think this theme caught the audience off guard.
October 9, 2021, 9:02 pm
Story10
Acting8
Set & Design5
Costumes6
Entertainment8
0
2
Leave your rating

Comments are closed.