A So. Cal. Contributing Editor since 2009, Michael Lawrence Quintos is a quiet, mild-mannered Designer by day. But as night falls, he regularly performs on various stages everywhere as a Counter-Tenor soloist, actor, and dancer for MenAlive since 2002. He's sung everything from Broadway, Jazz, R&B, Classical, Gospel and Pop. His musical theater roots started early, performing in various stage productions and a couple of nationally-televised programs. The performing bug eventually brought him a brief championship run in the Philippines' version of "Star Search" before moving to Las Vegas at age 11. College brought him out to Orange County, California, where he earned a BFA in Graphic Design and a BA in Film Screenwriting. He has spent several years as a designer and art director for various entertainment/media companies, while spending his free time performing and, yes, watching shows.
Follow Michael on Twitter at: twitter.com/cre8iveMLQ.
In a theatrical touchdown for the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, stage and screen star Darren Criss has agreed to reprise the notable title role he stepped into last year on Broadway: as Hedwig in the just-launched national tour of the rousing 2014 Tony Award-winning reboot of the glam rock musical HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH, which began last month in San Francisco and continues its Los Angeles-area performances through November 27 (Euan Morton assumes the role for the rest of the tour starting November 29 in San Diego). Featuring solid direction from Michael Mayer and dynamic new musical staging from choreographer Spencer Liff, the searingly electric, engagingly hilarious show, at its core, celebrates the triumph of living life as authentic and as tenaciously as possible, no matter the constant obstacles. It's certainly a wonderful message to remind everyone in such uneasy times of late.BWW Review: OC's Segerstrom Center Presents HARRY POTTER - IN CONCERT November 14, 2016
With the popularity of film screenings paired with live symphony orchestras at an all time high, I'm glad one of the many to get the treatment is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, the first installment of the 8-film movie franchise adapted from JK Rowling's worldwide best-selling books. What an incredible thrill it was to hear John Williams' now-iconic score reverberate live in full force via a massive 84-person symphony orchestra while synced up perfectly to the film screened in HD above the orchestra on a 40-foot screen. The concert series continues through November 13 at OC's Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa.BWW Review: South Coast Rep Lovingly Skewers Telenovelas in DESTINY OF DESIRE November 7, 2016
Lovingly skewering the not-so-subtle art of telenovelas, Karen Zacaras' winning play DESTINY OF DESIRE---now being performed at Orange County's South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa through November 13---compresses an entire series' worth of over-the-top melodramatic goodness into a two-act play that, not surprisingly, comes off as an intentionally hilarious comedy.BWW Review: La Mirada Brings the Laughs with LEND ME A TENOR November 4, 2016
When it comes to the theatrical art of farce, Ken Ludwig's hilarious 1986 stage play LEND ME A TENOR certainly qualifies as a perfect example of the genre. Amusingly cheeky throughout, the 9-time Tony Award nominated comedy has been revived locally with a posh new production under the direction of Art Manke that is now playing at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts through November 13. Utilizing a laundry list of classic madcap set-ups, LEND ME A TENOR feels very much like a well-paced, meticulously crafted, old fashioned sitcom episode that has been super-sized into two gloriously funny acts.BWW Review: South Coast Rep Reimagines Shakespeare in DISTRICT MERCHANTS October 17, 2016
Coming off the heels of another politically-charged play ALL THE WAY that they presented last month, Orange County's Tony Award-winning regional theater South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa is following up that searing drama with a staging of a brand new production of playwright Aaron Posner's DISTRICT MERCHANTS, a clever, thoughtful, and occasionally humorous re-imagining of William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice. This time around, the play-a self-aware comedic drama set during America's post-Civil War Reconstruction era-continues performances through October 23, 2016.BWW Review: Alan Menken Debuts Fresh Retrospective Concert at Segerstrom Center October 10, 2016
The prolific eight-time Academy Award-winning composer---perhaps best known for his decades of unforgettable work in several landmark Disney animated musicals---was on hand to unveil a world premiere concert entitled 'A WHOLE NEW WORLD WITH ALAN MENKEN' on September 30, 2016 at Orange County's Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa. Part cabaret concert, part one-man retrospective story time/show-and-tell, this 'trial' showcase, he hoped, would serve as the springboard for what is to become a series of similar concerts celebrating his enviable career thus far.BWW Review: Aptly Titled BEAUTIFUL - The Carole King Musical Charms OC October 6, 2016
Even without eye-popping special effects, a gimmicky storyline, or those oft-used literary or cinematic source materials, some stage musicals just manage to entertain by sheer likability alone. A big warm hug of a show that's brimming with lots of surprisingly snappy wit and, arguably, some of the previous century's most melodious pop hits, BEAUTIFUL---the Broadway stage musical based on the life of treasured Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Carole King---is a show that certainly lives up to its title. This charming, swiftly-paced bio-musical's first national tour continues performances at Orange County's Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa through October 16.BWW Review: Outstanding ALL THE WAY Stirs at South Coast Repertory September 19, 2016
Right at the start of Robert Schenkkan's mesmerizing Tony Award-winning play ALL THE WAY---now playing in an outstanding new production at Orange County's South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa through October 2---actor Hugo Armstrong is introduced in what would become one of the most powerful, fiery acting performances I have witnessed on this very stage. Commanding, and yet remarkably relatable without ever traversing caricature, Armstrong deftly portrays one of American History's most complex leaders, our 36th President, Lyndon B. Johnson. Armstrong's powerhouse portrayal is the explosive epicenter of a richly dense, dialogue-heavy drama that recounts the rocky 11-month period leading up to Johnson's re-election as the leader of the world's most powerful nation. The play spends its entirety focusing on this contentious time which finds Johnson pushing for the passage of the Civl Rights Act---which itself incites a tug-of-war between his longtime pro-segregation Dixiecrat friends and the African-American community lobbying for rights that have been long overdue.BWW Review: Tony Winner Patti LuPone Returns to the OC with COULDA, WOULDA, SHOULDA September 12, 2016
The very second that Tony Award-winning Broadway Legend Patti LuPone sings---heck, even when she walks out before she belts a single note---you know you're in the presence of someone that deserves the mountains of accolades she has continuously enjoyed through a very long, illustrious career on the stage. That very storied career became the abundantly cheeky narrative jumping-off point for her latest one-woman concert entitled COULDA, WOULDA, SHOULDA... PLAYED THAT PART, which played to a packed house at Orange County's Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa this past Friday, September 9. For her one-night-only return to the OC (part of the Center's 30th Anniversary offerings), Ms. LuPone was armed with a songbook of both showtunes she wishes she would have sung on Broadway and showtunes she herself made famous.BWW Review: RTC's Revived CABARET Tour Returns to OC's Segerstrom Center August 16, 2016
CABARET's Tony Award-winning 1998 Broadway revival co-directed by Sam Mendes and Rob Marshall, still stands, arguably, as the show's definitive stage iteration. That same vibrant Roundabout Theatre Company production rightly serves as the basis for the newer 2014 revival that is now in the midst of a brand new North American national tour---currently performing at Orange County's Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa through August 21. Whether you're a fan of that amazing '98 revival or, better still, the iconic 1972 film adaptation, this brazenly confident new CABARET---a rousing combo-platter of the best elements of the show through its entire history---will surely entertain and, yes, even move you.BWW Review: Lopez, Rodriguez, and Company Lead Sensational A CHORUS LINE at the Hollywood Bowl July 30, 2016
Engaging, well-paced, aurally pleasing, and exceedingly entertaining from start to finish, the Hollywood Bowl's A CHORUS LINE is an exceptional presentation of this iconic show which celebrates those hard-working, ultra-talented, under-paid men and women who willingly choose a volatile career in which they sing and dance their hearts out in the background of a musical. It is set in the far out mid-70's, hence, the show is a retro-tastic trip down memory lane as it showcases a day of auditions for eight chorus member positions in a brand new musical opening on Broadway. For this Bowl version of A CHORUS LINE, producers enlisted TV host/actor Mario Lopez and then filling the rest of the large 17-member cast with a diverse group of proven triple-threat stage professionals. The resulting show is, hands down, one of the most well-performed musical productions that I have seen at the Bowl. From the execution of director/choreographer Baayork Lee's Michael Bennett-inspired choreography to the incredible singing performances of Kleban and Hamlisch's memorable classic songs, this is a production of A CHORUS LINE that can stand proudly side-by-side with any acclaimed full production of the musical, regional or otherwise.BWW Review: OC's Segerstrom Center Welcomes Delightful New THE SOUND OF MUSIC Tour July 27, 2016
A surprisingly well-done, beautifully-paced production that feels like a truly fresh revival of something many of us have forever seared in our brains, this brand new, Jack O'Brien-helmed national tour of THE SOUND OF MUSIC---now on stage at Orange County's Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa through July 31---is a resplendent enterprise that is equal parts heartwarming nostalgia and entertaining, feel-good theater. Say what you will about how hokey and old-fashioned this show may be now... but I, for one, truly adored it. Besides its lovely visuals, this new revival has made a wonderful discovery in Kerstin Anderson, who plays a spunky, utterly charming version of everyone's favorite nun-turned-nanny Maria.BWW Review: The Con is On with DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS at Musical Theatre West July 20, 2016
The con is on! With plenty of wit, charm, and double entendres galore, Musical Theatre West's new regional production of the 2004 Broadway musical comedy 'DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS' is one enjoyably silly romp. The show which features a book by Jeffrey Lane and music and lyrics by David Yazbeck continues its final weekend at the Carpenter Center for the Performing Arts in Long Beach through July 24. Based on the 1998 film comedy starring Steve Martin and Michael Caine, the stage adaptation eventually garnered 11 Tony nominations during its run. For MTW's fun new local revival, the title roles---a couple of con men who've taken to swindling the riches off of easily-seduced women in the French Riviera---are embodied by stage vets Davis Gaines (now a multiple fixture at MTW) and the incredibly funny Benjamin Schrader (The Book of Mormon).BWW Review: Chance Theater High-Kicks Intimate Production of A CHORUS LINE July 16, 2016
If there was ever one musical that, on the surface, can translate well as an intimately-staged production in a black box theater space, then A CHORUS LINE---the classic 1975 Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning backstage musical---should certainly qualify as a strong contender. This still dazzling, groundbreaking show has been revived at Anaheim's Chance Theater, the lauded small regional theater company in Orange County, CA that has definitively, in the very recent past, shown a knack for taking large musicals and making them smaller, very special ones. For the most part, the same can certainly be said about their newest small-scaled local revival, which continues its extended run through August 7, 2016. Exceedingly admirable despite being a bit rough around the edges, Chance Theater's peppy production reminds audiences old and new why the world of musical theater continues to lure certain dreamy, insanely talented people to this sometimes frustrating, often euphoric, and always competitive profession time and time again.BWW Review: Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID Swims Beautifully Into La Mirada June 13, 2016
Besides the Hollywood Bowl's all-star concert event, THE LITTLE MERMAID also made a splash at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts. This visually-gorgeous, fully-staged new production of the film's Broadway stage adaptation---produced locally by McCoy Rigby Entertainment with new staging and direction by Glenn Casale---continues in the city of La Mirada through June 26.BWW Review: Talented All-Star Cast Brings Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID to the Hollywood Bowl June 5, 2016
It's clear that the smart and savvy architects behind Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID Live In Concert To Film, the sold out presentation of Disney's 1989 animated classic THE LITTLE MERMAID at the 17,000-seat Hollywood Bowl have indeed created a wholly wonderful experience. But it owes much of its must-see status to the winning all-star line-up that has been assembled for this special event. Yet, although the cast may have been the initial draw, the audience was treated to a truly magical evening all around.Summer Stages: BWW's Top Summer Theater Picks for Orange County/Costa Mesa! June 3, 2016
Yes, Summer in Orange County, California is often marked with escalating temperatures, the Laguna Beach Arts festival, and heavy beach traffic, but you can still escape the heat by jumping into an air-conditioned theater... where O.C. theaters are still buzzing with excitement (except those that have ended their season). Everywhere from Costa Mesa and Fullerton to Santa Ana and Irvine (and even our county-line neighbors in La Mirada and Long Beach), there are lots of stage goodies to fill your live theater cravings.BWW Review: Seize the Stage! Rousing NEWSIES Leaps Over to OC's Segerstrom Center May 24, 2016
Now after more than a year, NEWSIES' North American First National Tour is nearing its conclusion, finally stopping at Orange County's Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa through May 29 (the musical will motor down to San Diego the following week). After seeing the original Broadway production in NYC and then seeing its Los Angeles debut at the Pantages Theatre last year, experiencing this exuberant, high-energy, smile-inducing crowd-pleaser again here in my own home turf felt like a special gift. NEWSIES is a fun, uplifting night at the theater... and continues to be in subsequent, multiple viewings. With its winning combination of incredibly acrobatic dancing, family-friendly comedy, engaging story, awesome singing, and dazzling showmanship, there is a lot to love with this show---whether you're 5 or 95. Heck, it certainly made a #Fansie out of me.BWW Review: Opulent AMADEUS Revival Fancies Up South Coast Rep Stage May 23, 2016
To close out its current season, Orange County's Tony-winning regional theater South Coast Repertory has chosen to mount an opulent, high-caliber revival of Peter Shaffer's 1979 play AMADEUS, which continues performances in Costa Mesa through June 5, 2016. The recipient of the 1981 Tony Award for Best Play, AMADEUS most notably became the basis for Milos Forman's Academy Award-winning (and, yes, arguably, much more readily known) 1984 film of the same name. For SCR's season-ender---engagingly directed by Kent Nicholson---the rather lengthy play is presented with much of the visual grandness one expects from an antiquated period piece, particularly from this particular theater company. And as an added bonus, the play is performed by a cast of incredible, seasoned actors that winningly transports its audience to a time and place centuries ago. So is it worth revisiting the tug-of-war between Salieri and Mozart? If it is South Coast Rep's visually-stunning production, then the answer is an enthusiastic 'yes.'BWW Review: Impressive Smaller-Scale AMERICAN IDIOT Rocks La Mirada May 9, 2016
To be completely honest, my first exposure to the mostly sung-through, modern rock musical AMERICAN IDIOT (during its initial national tour stops in Southern California) was, at best, like seeing a really cool rock concert performed by some incredibly talented musical theater actors, surrounded by some top-notch high-tech visuals. To put it simply, my initial reaction hovered somewhere just slightly above the middle. Well, of course, that all changed for the better once I experienced the truly remarkable, brand-new, more intimately 'immersive' production now causing a stir at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts through May 15, 2016. Part of the theater's creatively innovative OnStage Series, this revitalized and, dare I say, more compelling AMERICAN IDIOT is a brilliantly-staged re-working of the musical that feels much more alive, more relatable, and, most importantly, more sensical. Yes, THIS new, more intimate production successfully converted me into an AMERICAN IDIOT fan. And, man, it is absolutely first-rate.