A few years ago, I met up with two of the founders of Modjeska Playhouse, Christopher Sullivan and Joshua Stecker. In the interview below, we discussed the founders’ history and how they decided to start the challenging — especially in an area with very little theatre presence — endeavor of creating a theatre. Even now the Modjeska Playhouse stands as the only performing arts theatre in the city of Lake Forest. Despite these challenges, the Modjeska Playhouse has consistently released a wide variety of scripted and unscripted shows for Lake Forest and the surrounding communities. Continue Reading
Family, tradition, and moral values –no matter what culture or religion you subscribe to –these things are important. They appear in the Bible, the Torah, the Quran, and many more religious and cultural traditions worldwide. The stories may be different, but many lessons are very similar. Aldergate Church in Tustin, California –a Methodist church by association — putting on the most famous Jewish musical of all time demonstrates their belief in this concept. Some may say it’s odd, but Aldergate doesn’t think so.
Photo Courtesy: Aldergate Church
A little history: Fiddler on the Roof was at one time the longest-running show to hit Broadway for quite a while. Fiddler’s long reign on the tremendous white way lasted until Grease came along. When Fiddler first came out, many people thought the production might be too Jewish for a mainstream audience and not Jewish enough for a Jewish one. Both were wrong –like any well-written story —Fiddler straddled the line of appealing to all demographics while staying true to its Jewish roots. The musical is based on a novel written in the 1800s about a Jewish dairyman named Tevye who has six troublesome daughters.Continue Reading
The New Swan Theatre is an Elizabethan-style theatre. Transportable and roofless, this theatre provides a sense of an authentic Shakespearean time as it hosts two of Shakespeare’s classics this summer.
Macbeth–Known by many as the Bard’s most ominous play, Macbeth is the tale of a Scottish nobleman who is spurred to obtain the throne through malice and treachery. This gruesome tragedy is a warning to all who would seek power for power’s sake. July 22nd – August 29thContinue Reading
Liz Filios, Joel Davel, Matt Spencer and Miche Braden : Courtesy: South Coast Repertory
Written by Alina Mae Wilson
You can’t go wrong with Shakespeare. I take that back, it is actually mind-blowingly easy to go wrong with Shakespeare. It is so unpleasant to watch actors in uncomfortable costumes, uncomfortably performing their lines, making you feel uncomfortable because you don’t know what they are saying, and it’s entirely possible neither do they. The story follows a former Duke named Prospero who uses sorcery to plot vengeance against the people who wronged him. So far, I’m excited, I always wondered what The Count of Monte Cristo (similar revenge story) would have been like if Emond Dantes had known witchcraft.
I’ve heard some good things about the special effects that will be showcased in the performance, especially from the creative team responsible for the show. In their video detailing why this particular production of “The Tempest” stands out from the others, director Aaron Posner calls it “the hardest, the most challenging, and the most…thrilling production” he has ever been part of. He also went on to refer to his co-director Teller(one part of the magic duo Penn & Teller) as a genius and that this production has the type of magic Shakespeare wished he had. Wow. I’m not skeptical, I’m impressed by the obvious passion and fervor that went into this project, and I hope it shows.
Side note :
Singer-songwriter Tom Waits also collaborated musically with Kathleen Brennan on the music.