Written by 6:50 pm Musical, Review, The Chance Theater, Theater, Uncategorized

California Premiere of Ride the Cyclone @ Chance Theater in Anaheim – Review

(Photo by Doug Catiller, True Image Studio)

Written by Patrick Chavis

Ironically, this might be the happiest story about death I have ever seen. The Chance Theater has transformed its stage area to look like some haunted carnival that time has forgotten in the middle of the county. To further the illusion, the show tickets look like tickets you would use at a carnival. The seating pattern in The Chance also facilitated the feeling of going to the carnival. Add a strong cast of singers and a goofy but clever script with a unique twist on the genre, and, well, I think you’ve got a hit.

Ride the Cyclone is about — this is not a spoiler; this is the concept of the show — six teenagers dying on a malfunctioning rollercoaster. Stuck inside some kind of purgatory, the six teenagers have one more chance at life. They discuss who out of the six should be saved, but since it’s a musical, they do it in song.


This show has such an interesting concept, regardless of whether this was a musical or not. The progression of the story makes a lot of sense, and the setup is a powder keg for drama. I enjoyed the story quite a bit. It holds your attention, and the 90-minute runtime flies by. While the music varies from song to song, there is some serious Space Rock – Pink Floyd influence that finds itself inserted all over this musical.

The following are the standout songs from the musical.


“Dream of Life,” performed by EM Flosi, who plays Jane Doe in this production. Thanks to a collaborative effort from the design team and cast, Flosi’s character steps out on stage looking like a mannequin from a Tim Burton film. Flosi is equally eerie and operatic in their delivery and has a voice that makes you take notice.

“Talia” is a heart-wrenching ballad of lost love from Mischa, played by Jared Machado, a muscle-bound Ukrainian jock-type character. Conventionally, when I think of this tune, it’s pretty goofy, but in the context of this show which is honestly a little cartoony, it’s hard not to take it seriously with that performance.

Third but not least is “Space Age Bachelor Man,” which is performed by Jaylen Baham, who plays Ricky Potts. Ricky Potts is disabled in some way and needs crutches to get around. He also struggles with communication. Both problems are cured in purgatory. During “Space Age Bachelor Man,” we get front-row seats into the space fantasy adventures Potts creates in his mind to fight the isolation and loneliness he feels. The audio in the theater was excellent on opening night, and they had mics to help balance out the sound. It makes it much easier to get a balanced sound, especially when dealing with multiple voices. The characters are supposed to be part of their high school chamber choir, and I believe it. The performers sing well separately and complement each other when singing in unison.

There’s lunacy in a show like this. Yes, lunacy is definitely the right word. The design team captured it with an array of influences that blend together so cohesively.

For musical theatre lovers looking for something a little outside the box, Ride the Cyclone might be your ticket.

8.8 Overall
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Set & Design8.5
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Great Show! OCR Recommended!

Jan 27 – Feb 26, 2023

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