Photo Courtesy : Debora Robinson South Coast Repertory Lily Holleman (Bess Johnson) Paige Lindsey White (Macon Hill)
Every once in a while you come across a show that causes you to feel a genuine emotional investment. It is the type of show that speaks the truth about human nature without being totally grim and allows us as viewers to feel for and understand each of the characters onstage. A show like this makes us want good things to happen for these people onstage because the people we are watching are us. They are every person at their best and worst moments in life. And as in life, a show like this keeps us guessing. Abundance at South Coast Repertory is one of these shows. Continue Reading
When it comes to theater, there wasn’t much Curtis Jerome couldn’t do. He thought of himself as a dancer, but he was also a director, choreographer, set designer, builder and painter, costumer who both designed and created costumes, actor, singer, and even a playwright. Jerome did all of these things with imagination, consummate skill and an immense passion for the craft. He directed musicals at the Maverick Theater over the past five years; large scale, complicated musicals like Chicago, Rent, The Producers, Spamalot, Legally Blonde, and Les Miserables. He was a shrewd judge of talent, casting people in roles they weren’t necessarily comfortable with until he drew out of them talents they didn’t know they possessed. He made better everyone he worked with. It’s a sad, tragic loss for the local OC theater community that Curtis was killed this week in a car accident. It’s a loss that has touched an incredible number of lives. The outpouring of love and respect for Curtis on Facebook has been overwhelming. What better tribute to Curtis than the words of those he worked with in the theater community. Here are some comments posted about Curtis: his talents, his humor, his compassion, his intelligence, and how he made us all better performers.
Les Miserables. Just writing the words, I begin to shudder in awe and expectation. As a storytelling device, the play itself is rushed (have you read the book it’s adapted from? It’s a wonder they made it fit in the space it does), but the music is historically beautiful. The Maverick Theater has made the latest attempt to master this gargantuan piece, which I would call a choral success.