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 Countertenor 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.
It is nearly impossible not to be emotionally affected by the events depicted in PARADE, the stirring, Tony Award-winning 1998 musical inspired by shocking actual events surrounding the trial of a man accused of raping and murdering a 13-year-old girl. It's certainly a heavy, morose subject to wrap an entire musical around, which is probably why PARADE is so rarely produced, despite its high-caliber book by Alfred Uhry and gorgeous music by Jason Robert Brown. But when the material is executed with emotional heft and interesting staging---as it mostly is in Chance Theater's latest production---the results can be powerful, gut-wrenching, and, most importantly, thought-provoking.BWW Review: Jolly Good MARY POPPINS Flies Into Musical Theatre West July 18, 2017
Disney/Cameron Mackintosh's stage adaptation of MARY POPPINS, the closing production of Musical Theatre West's 64th season is mostly jolly good fun. Full of palpable joy, wonderfully-performed songs, and smile-inducing moments, MTW's buoyant, crowd-pleasing production of the London-set musical continues performances at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center in Long Beach through July 23.BWW Review: Superb Performances Mark Beautifully Poetic THE PRIDE at The Wallis June 26, 2017
Fittingly, as most of the world celebrates Gay Pride month, the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills is presenting an absorbing, beautifully-poetic production of playwright Alexi Kaye Campbell's drama THE PRIDE, which continues its Los Angeles-area premiere through July 9, 2017. Highly-stylized yet riveting and universally approachable, this new production of the play that originated in the UK features a superb cast smartly directed by the Wallis' Artist-in-Residence Michael Arden.FREE MOVIE MONDAYS Return to Segerstrom Center for the Arts June 12, 2017
Summer has once again returned to Orange County, California and with it, Segerstrom Center for the Arts' annual outdoor free-for-all movie screenings! The Center's popular FREE MOVIE MONDAYS---back for its 11th consecutive year in Costa Mesa---includes 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' on July 10, 'The Wiz' on July 17, 'Stand and Deliver' on July 24, 'Edward Scissorhands' on July 31 and, finally, 'School of Rock' on August 7.BWW Review: UPSTAIRS - A MUSICAL TRAGEDY Debuts at Hollywood Fringe Festival June 8, 2017
Up until the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida a year ago, the deadliest known attack on a gay club in U.S. history happened more than 40 years before at the Up Stairs Lounge in New Orleans, Louisiana. The events prior to and following that deadly, still unsolved 1973 blaze make up the fact-based narrative of UPSTAIRS - A MUSICAL TRAGEDY, now having its Southern California debut at the Los Angeles LGBT Center through June 11. Featuring book, music and lyrics by Wayne Self, the new musical tries to piece together a timeline that led up to the tragic fire using both real and fantasy/speculative elements while shining a light on some of the real-life human inspirations that were lost or have been directly affected by what happened on that fateful day.BWW Review: Stage Adaptation of THE BODYGUARD Makes OC Debut at Segerstrom Center June 6, 2017
First, let's get this out of the way: while sitting through the national tour production of THE BODYGUARD---the stage adaptation of the late Whitney Houston's 1992 film that boasts the best-selling soundtrack of all time---one thing is absolutely for certain: chart-topping recording artist Deborah Cox is unquestionably a spectacular singer. But sadly, it pains me to say, that Cox's musical contributions---and Houston's musical gems themselves---are pretty much where THE BODYGUARD itself excels. When Cox and company aren't singing or dancing up a storm, the audience is left with mostly cheesy, overly-exaggerated melodrama, flat, one-dimensional characters, and even at times over-done 'thrills' that make you laugh instead of feel any suspense.BWW Review: East West Players presents Emotional NEXT TO NORMAL May 30, 2017
To close out its historic 51st season, East West Players is presenting a bold and emotionally-packed production of the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning Broadway musical NEXT TO NORMAL, which continues performances at the David Henry Hwang Theater at the Union Center for the Arts through June 11, 2017. Featuring a deeply connected, all-Asian-American cast led by a stirring, awards-worthy performance by Deedee Magno Hall, EWP's top-notch production of NEXT TO NORMAL is one of the most impressive and important regional productions of this notable musical you will ever experience. No matter what your racial or ethnic background, this production will sear its way into you.BWW Review: 'S Wonderful AN AMERICAN IN PARIS Tour Enchants O.C. May 1, 2017
Strikingly refined yet pleasingly grounded and altogether delightful, the gorgeous 2015 Broadway musical stage adaptation of AN AMERICAN IN PARIS---inspired by the Academy Award-winning 1951 movie musical of the same name---is a sweepingly lush, dance-centric production that combines the high-brow sophistication of classical ballet with the pure exuberance and emotional highs and lows of musical theater. The resulting hybrid? Absolutely beguiling. The national tour production continues its 'S'wonderful' Orange County debut through May 7, 2017.BWW Review: La Mirada Theatre Revisits Classic Musical WEST SIDE STORY April 30, 2017
Because it is arguably one the most beloved and critically-acclaimed musicals of all time, WEST SIDE STORY is revisited often by regional theaters across the country (and, frankly, the world). So it is no surprise that yet another large regional theater in Southern California is reviving this nostalgia-baiting, reliably-entertaining, and thematically-resonant show, this time by the talented folks over at McCoy Rigby Entertainment at their home base at the La Mirada Theater for the Performing Arts, where performances continue through May 14, 2017. The resulting show---while mostly and genuinely enjoyable---presented a few jarringly curious presentation choices that didn't quite sit well. Unfortunately, in its admirable quest to inject some 'new-ness' into the well-known retro musical, some of the slight staging reinventions did enough to really lessen the impact of certain scenes that have previously been significant highlights.BWW Review: Curiosity-Baiting New Play THE SIEGEL Brings Fresh Comedy to South Coast Repertory April 17, 2017
Utilizing a sort of amusing, somewhat wacky plot that somehow works in a sustainably fresh, surprisingly plausible, and audaciously charming way, the world premiere production of playwright Michael Mitnick's thoroughly engaging new play THE SIEGEL---continuing at SCR in Costa Mesa through April 23---proves itself quickly to be one of this season's must-see new plays. Of course, when you see the cast list before even knowing anything about the play, THE SIEGEL is already proving to be quite a curiosity-baiting production. But if you look past the familiar star-wattage and observe the interesting characters and the absorbing story, you'll discover a witty, entertaining, and even thought-provoking comedy that will have you asking... 'are we in a relationship with the right person?'BWW Review: Charming but Flawed FINDING NEVERLAND Searches for Magic March 27, 2017
A charming though perplexing adaptation of the 2004 film, FINDING NEVERLAND jets into too many erratic directions at any given moment and doesn't gel completely as a whole. And for all its gorgeous, visual splendor, it is surprisingly lacking in honest-to-goodness stage magic. The touring version of the 2015 Broadway stage musical adaptation continues at OC's Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa through April 2, 2017.BWW Interview: OC's Segerstrom Center Welcomes Charles Busch in THE LADY AT THE MIC March 6, 2017
Making his Segerstrom Center for the Arts debut, Tony Award nominee Charles Busch is bringing his unique and critically-acclaimed talents to the Samueli Theater March 9-11, 2017 as part of Segerstrom Center's Cabaret Series. Entitled THE LADY AT THE MIC, Busch will enchant audiences in this intimate evening of songs and stories which he originally created for Lincoln Center's American Songbook series. Busch will be accompanied by longtime musical director Tom Judson where the artists will be paying tribute to extraordinary and much-missed women. Before Busch sashays into Costa Mesa, he agreed to answer a few questions from BroadwayWorld's Michael L. Quintos about the upcoming OC cabaret concert.BWW Review: Quirky Musical Farce GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE Kills at OC's Segerstrom Center March 3, 2017
Genuinely one of the funniest musical comedies to ever grace Broadway, A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER easily proves quite early on---and pretty much throughout its two uproarious acts---why it won the 2014 Tony Award for Best Musical. Filled with hilarious sight gags, wickedly witty banter, and some of the silliest characters to ever be dropped into a musical (many of which are portrayed by one actor in a dizzying tour-de-force), the show's first national tour continues its way-too-short, week-long stop at Orange County's Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa through March 5.BWW Review: Chance Theater Amuses with New Video Game-Inspired Musical CLAUDIO QUEST February 20, 2017
Video games get the musical comedy treatment in CLAUDIO QUEST, a clever new musical now having its West Coast Premiere performances at Orange County's Chance Theater through February 26 in Anaheim. Those familiar with the 8-bit characters of games like Super Mario Bros. will be amused by the adventures of a pair of heroic brothers whose mission is to save the kidnapped princess from the clutches of a fire-breathing platypus terrorizing the kingdom. When the game suddenly changes players, the heroes are thrown for a loop and must figure out how to navigate and triumph this glitch-filled new world.HAMILTON, THE COLOR PURPLE, SCHOOL OF ROCK Headline Segerstrom Center's 2017-18 Season February 16, 2017
A pair of fresh Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals, a couple of critically-acclaimed, Tony Award-winning revivals, plus Broadway's biggest hit of the century (hint: Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote it) will all be a part of the spectacular 2017-2018 Broadway season at Orange County's Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa. Announced earlier this week, SCFTA will be offering the following national tours for next season: SOMETHING ROTTEN THE KING & I (2015 Revival) LOVE NEVER DIES HAMILTON SCHOOL OF ROCK ON YOUR FEET! MOTOWN - THE MUSICAL KINKY BOOTS THE COLOR PURPLE (2016 Revival) JERSEY BOYS THE BOOK OF MORMONBWW Review: Thrilling Production of MOBY DICK Swims into South Coast Repertory February 13, 2017
Hands down, this incredibly absorbing stage adaptation of MOBY DICK is one of the most stunning and enthralling pieces of theater I have had the privilege of experiencing from a Southern California stage. Continuing through February 19 at Orange County's Tony Award-winning regional theater in Costa Mesa, this highly creative and mesmerizing play---adapted and directed by David Catlin---is a production from Chicago's highly regarded Lookingglass Theatre Company, who also produced similar successful runs of this adaptation at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta and the Arena Stage in Washington D.C.BWW Review: Fun and Cheeky MATILDA - The Musical Amuses at Segerstrom Center January 27, 2017
MATILDA - THE MUSICAL, overall, is genuinely a fun time. It's a cheeky, kid-friendly (and, really, kid-catering) stage musical that has plenty for both kids and their parents to enjoy together. Featuring lively songs by Tim Michin and a witty, yet easily digestible book by Dennis Kelly, MATILDA - THE MUSICAL celebrates how one adorable, truly likable kid ---who, sure, may seem a little odd and different---can overcome a troubled environment and still come out the other side a remarkably self-assured, open-minded, and kind-hearted young lady who can fully distinguish right from wrong---while having a bit of naughty fun along the way. The national touring company of the just recently closed Broadway musical adaptation of Roald Dahl's beloved children's novel continues through January 29 in Costa Mesa.BWW Review: South Coast Repertory's Quirky Play THE ROOMMATE Shakes Things Up January 20, 2017
Quirky and surprisingly unexpected, playwright Jen Silverman explores a delightfully fresh and edgy new take on the formulaic 'opposite personalities that live together' paradigm in the new dark comedy THE ROOMMATE, now continuing its West Coast premiere performances at Orange County's Tony Award-winning regional theater South Coast Repertory through January 22 in Costa Mesa. Consistently winsome and, at times, touchingly relatable, the play unveils two very complex, rather dysfunctional individuals you still ultimately want to root for and watch blossom into better people as we watch them long to transform their lives.BWW Interview: Jason Graae and Company Bring JERRY HERMAN LEGACY CONCERT to Segerstrom Center January 16, 2017
Broadway vet and musical comedy genius Jason Graae will be one of several incredible performers that will be presenting JERRY HERMAN: THE BROADWAY LEGACY CONCERT at Orange County's Segerstrom Center for the Arts from January 19 - 21, 2017. For three performances at the Center's Samueli Theater---the campus' intimate cabaret space---Graae and five other artists will be taking the stage to pay tribute to Jerry Herman's musical legacy, highlighted by musical numbers from his many classic shows that include MAME, MACK AND MABEL, HELLO, DOLLY!, and LA CAGE AUX FOLLES.BWW Review: ELF - THE MUSICAL Jingles into OC's Segerstrom Center December 26, 2016
Upon learning that part of Segerstrom Center for the Arts' holiday programming this season was to finally bring a national tour production of ELF - THE MUSICAL---the 2010 Broadway stage musical adaptation of the popular Will Ferrell holiday movie---to its stage, I was pretty ecstatic. For the most part, ELF---which performs at SCFTA through January 1, 2017---delivers enjoyable laughs sprinkled here and there throughout its two acts, and even offers up a non-equity cast equipped with lovely singing voices. But while ELF - THE MUSICAL is certainly festive and has lots of smile-inducing moments, overall, I felt the presented production felt surprisingly subdued. While, sure, it had plenty of genuinely funny and heart-warming moments, many aspects of the NETworks Presentations production needed to be much more over-the-top, manic, and downright silly.