Orange County Theatre Reviews

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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Musical, Review, Theater, Uncategorized, Vanguard Uni Comments Off on American Coast Theater Company Presents : The Beat Goes On @ Vanguard University in Costa Mesa – Review |

American Coast Theater Company Presents : The Beat Goes On @ Vanguard University in Costa Mesa – Review

photos by Susie Sprinkel Hudson

Written by Daniella Litvak 

Rock ‘n’ roll belongs to everyone, but the origin of The Beat Goes On belongs to Orange County. Back in 2014 Vanda Eggington created The Beat Goes On as a showcase for Vanguard University’s students. It was a hit. Now it’s back, but it’s not just a repeat of a previous success. This time The Beat Goes On is an American Coast Theater (the resident professional theater of Vanguard University) production. In addition to the professional upgrade, Eggington has also made some changes that include more material. Continue Reading

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Interview with Writer/Director Vanda Egginton creator of The Beat Goes On @ Vanguard University in Costa Mesa

An interview with Vanda Eggington creator of Boomers, American Rhythm, and Love Makes the World Go ’Round. We will be talking about her latest project present by The American Coast Theatre Company: The Beat Goes On a Rock and Roll road trip through the last half of the 20th Century with stops in small town malt shops, sunny California beaches, mirror ball disco halls, and MTV studio extravaganzas. 

June 2nd- July 30th

 

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Costa Mesa, Musical, Review, Vanguard Uni Comments Off on Grimm Happy Tales : Into The Woods @ Vanguard University in Costa Mesa – Review |

Grimm Happy Tales : Into The Woods @ Vanguard University in Costa Mesa – Review

(photo credit: Susie SprinkleHudson)

Written by Patrick Chavis 

A few years ago if I had mentioned Into the Woods, I may have been lucky enough to run into a theatre goer who had heard of the musical.  Now that Hollywood has adapted it into a film, the show is about as hidden for theatre folks as Comic-Con is for geeks. Everyone knows about it now, and that’s not changing anytime soon.  As a consequence this is a well-known show and with that comes interesting challenges for the performers. How do we make this production ours?  What is this show about, and how can we communicate it in the best way possible?  Vanguard University took on the challenge of producing such an epic musical and, under the direction of Vanda Eggington, pulled off an entertaining night of theatre but also missed opportunities to capitalize on the show’s vital moments. Continue Reading

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Costa Mesa, Theater, Uncategorized, Vanguard Uni Comments Off on The Importance Of Being Earnest @ Vanguard University – Review |

The Importance Of Being Earnest @ Vanguard University – Review

Written by Patrick Chavis 

I wasn’t able to finish this review and send it out on time since I was out of the county and couldn’t find an adequate internet connection for a week. I would like to apologize to Vanguard University Theatre for not finishing this review on time.) -OCR 

Oscar Wilde has many plays, but the most famous and most oft repeated of these is The Importance of Being Earnest. I’ve read and seen plenty of versions of this story, and there is no other way of putting this– The Importance of Being Earnest is challenging material.   It has great comedic moments, tons of dialogue, and the performers need the confidence to say some pretty wacky stuff. Vanguard meets the material with a steampunk gender bending version all their own. While the gender bending hits  well and brings plenty of hilarity, the steampunk ambiance is little more then an embellishment on the rest of the story. Continue Reading

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Costa Mesa, Musical, Review, Uncategorized, Vanguard Uni Comments Off on Blame it on the movies @ Vanguard University in Costa Mesa – Review |

Blame it on the movies @ Vanguard University in Costa Mesa – Review

(photo credit Susie Sprinkel Hudson) 

Written by Mike Martin 

Blame it on the Movies, currently playing at Vanguard University, is a true cabaret style production. This has its benefits and drawbacks. The audience is spared the tacked on (and often tacky) “story” that gets written for most “Juke Box Musicals” (think All Shook Up, Ring of Fire, Crazy, and the like), which is a blessing. Instead this show is a collection of songs from the movies, pure and simple. While I appreciated dispensing the pretense of trying to make a full blown musical out of it, it does mean the show rests on the songs themselves and the performances, and that is where Blame it on the Movies has its ups and downs. Continue Reading

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