Orange County Theatre Reviews

The Whale @ Costa Mesa Playhouse – Review

Photo credit: Kerrin Serna

Written by Patrick Chavis

Peter Hilton, Mia Anderson

The Whale will have a full cinematic release in movie theaters in early December 2022. It has already accrued early accolades on the film festival circuit with standing ovations for Brendan Fraser, who plays the lead character. The movie, mainly known by the theatre community, is based on the play produced in the early 2000s and garnered some prestigious theatrical awards. The Costa Mesa Playhouse puts on a whale-sized, powerhouse production of this powerful, dark, and crudely honest story about family, regret, and life. Continue Reading

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Noises Off @ Costa Mesa Playhouse – Review

(Photo credit: Mike Brown)

Written by Patrick Chavis

A British farce is a particular type of comedic play that originated in England. It often centers around an improbable situation causing chaos and distress for the zany characters involved. I’ve always seen it like a cartoon on stage. Under the careful direction of Kathy Paladino & David Rodriguez, the Costa Mesa Playhouse puts on a hilarious and well-executed physical comedy. Costa Mesa’s production of Noises Off is a strong rendition of this modern meta-theatrical farce. Continue Reading

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The Complete Works of William Shakespeare @ Costa Mesa Playhouse in Costa Mesa – Review

Written by Patrick Chavis

Sammie Moore,Hayley Jackson,Ana Funjimoto

What would typically be backstage is in the front of the stage in this production.  The costume rack is set upright in the center of the stage. Red curtains that would typically be in the front are in the back of the stage. Looking at the reversed set, you know this play will be told in a unique way.  This show is a gag that goes on for about 90 minutes. The gag is the original performers can’t perform, so the audience is going to watch the stage crew perform the show. Hayley Jackson, the dramaturg, Ana Fujimoto, the lighting assistant, and Sammie Moore, the costume assistant, haphazardly go through condensed versions of Shakespearian classics with minimal regard for accuracy. Continue Reading

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These Tiger’s Got Claws! : Tiger Style! @ South Coast Repertory – Review

(Photo by ​​Jenny Graham/SCR)

Written by Patrick Chavis

A Tiger parent is a form of strict child-rearing with an intense focus on academic success. It’s typically associated with Chinese culture. Amy Chua created the term Tiger mother in her famous book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.

Tiger Style, an Asian American comedy about two overachieving siblings, is now playing at South Coast Repertory from May 15 – June 5, 2022. Continue Reading

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1st Annual OC Theatre Guild Award winners

(Photo by Francis Gacad)

Taken from the Press release:

Awards were given for 16 categories in all. The four gender-neutral acting categories honored two recipients each for a grand total of 20 OCTG Awards handed out during the evening.

Broken down by theater company, Chance Theater had eight awards (Fun Home, Yellowman, Striking 12) Maverick Theater had six awards (The Crucible), Costa Mesa Playhouse had three awards (Silent Sky), and one award apiece for P3 Theatre Company (Doris Day), The Wayward Artist (The Nether), and Curtis Theatre (All Shook Up).

The OC Theatre Guild was founded in 2015 and officially organized in 2019 as a not-for-profit 501(c)3 to serve Orange County’s vital artistic community with a mission to nurture, support, and promote live theatre in greater Orange County. Continue Reading

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Costa Mesa, Review, Theater, Uncategorized, Vanguard Uni Comments Off on Mama Mia @ Vanguard University – Review |

Mama Mia @ Vanguard University – Review

photo courtesy: Vanguard University Theatre Department

Written by Patrick Chavis

There’s more to life than Amazon Prime and Netflix. If you’re not the typical Broadway or theater person, you could easily miss a lot of excellent material. Mama Mia is not one of those shows — though it has been around for decades and spawned two successful movies. Most people, even outside of the theater community, know the story of Mama Mia. Whether you like it or not, there’s something about Mama Mia that keeps people coming back for more. Vanguard University’s rendition of this classic Broadway musical leans into the material with gusto. While nothing is drastically different to bring in new fans, devoted fans of the material will enjoy this college production of their beloved Mama Mia!

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