Cary Ginell has been writing theater reviews in Ventura County since 1996. He joined the staff of the Ventura County Acorn in 2007 and since then, has written over 500 reviews. In 2013, he started his own theater arts blog, VC On Stage (www.vconstage.com), which includes reviews of musicals and plays from Calabasas to Ojai. From 2005 to 2010, Cary was Broadway project manager for Alfred Publishing, producing all of the publisher's piano/vocal songbooks. He is the author of 9 books on music, including "Broadway Musicals: Show By Show," published by Applause Books.
In Part 2 of our interview with Adam Pascal, Adam talks about two traumatic Broadway experiences: going on with 'Rent' right after the sudden death of Jonathan Larson and having to do 'Aida' two days after the 9/11 tragedies.BWW Review: THE BELLE OF AMHERST at Rubicon Theatre Company September 3, 2019
Mariah Tobin and Dakota Heer play Corie and Paul Bratter, two newlyweds who are moving into a fifth floor Manhattan walkup, only to find the apartment has no furniture, no bathtub, and a gaping hole in the skylight. And it's February. Neil Simon's 1966 classic never had better players in Tobin and Heer, whose chemistry lights up the theater in this wonderful production.BWW Interview: Anna Kotula, Steve Grumette of THE BELLE OF AMHERST at Rubicon Theatre Company August 14, 2019
Actress Anna Kotula reprises her sold-out performance as Emily Dickinson in William Luce's 'The Belle of Amherst' in a new production staged on August 31 at the Rubicon Theatre Company in Ventura. The show features a champagne reception in which Dickinson's famous 'black cake' recipe will be served to guests.BWW Interview: Patrick Ortiz of WEST SIDE STORY at 5-Star Theatricals July 30, 2019
Patrick Ortiz, who plays Bernardo in 5-Star Theatricals' production of 'West Side Story,' comes into the show with experience, having played Chino in the Broadway revival and a Shark gang member on the national tour.BWW Review: WEST SIDE STORY at 5-Star Theatricals July 27, 2019
Led by stars Brandon Keith Rogers (Tony) and Giselle Torres (Maria), 5-Star Theatricals' production of 'West Side Story' features scintillating new choreography by Karl Warden, including some stunningly visual interpretations of the story. Dynamic performances all around, this is a MUST-SEE production! Plays through August 4 at the Kavli Theatre in Thousand Oaks.BWW Interview: Sami Staitman of THE GREEN ROOM at Sargent Theatre, NYC July 26, 2019
Girl-next-door makes good! Calabasas High School graduate Sami Staitman, who is entering her sophomore year as a musical theatre student at Pace University in New York, has already landed her first Off-Broadway starring role in the theatre-themed musical, 'The Green Book,' which opens September 27. We caught up with Sami during her summer 'break' (Sami never takes time off from acting!)BWW Review: THE BOOK OF MORMON at Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza July 22, 2019
'The Book of Mormon' came a-callin' to Thousand Oaks with its national tour - a fast-moving, crude but hilarious satire of those white-shirted, clean-cut missionaries. The clever score was written by the creators of 'South Park.' Audiences flocked to see the performance at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza in a sold-out run.BWW Interview: Larry Raben of WEST SIDE STORY at 5-Star Theatricals July 17, 2019
An interview with director Larry Raben, who is utilizing new choreography (Karl Warden), ethnic-accurate casting, and a more athletic approach to the look of 'West Side Story' to bring it into the 21st century. 60 years after its debut, the Bernstein/Sondheim classic still packs relevant punch in today's gun and immigrant-conscious society.BWW Review: BLUE/ORANGE at Beacon Theater Company July 16, 2019
Concepts of madness and racial prejudice cross paths in this tense trialogue drama by English playwright Joe Penhall about an incarcerated patient in a London psychiatric hospital and the tensions between his two doctors as to whether he should be released.BWW Review: VANITIES at Elite Theatre Company July 2, 2019
A story about a murdered dog turns into a character study of a teenager with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), brilliantly portrayed by 19-year-old Benjamin Colby Wilson. This play will warm your heart as it shows Wilson's honest and sympathetic portrayal of a boy in search for comfort and acceptance by his separated mother and father.BWW Review: RAGTIME at Pasadena Playhouse February 20, 2019
Pasadena Playhouse's vibrant re-thinking of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty's masterpiece, 'Ragtime' is a triumph of innovation and imagination. The show has been extended until March 7.BWW Review: MINNIE'S BOYS at Musical Theatre Guild February 12, 2019
Musical Theatre Guild revived an oldie but not so goodie last Sunday at the Alex Theatre. 'Minnie's Boys' purported to be modeled on 'Gypsy,' using a meddlesome, domineering mother to get her progeny, the four Marx Brothers, into show business. Unfortunately, a tepid book and uneven score made this a flop in 1970 and it doesn't fare much better today, despite the valiant efforts of the MTG cast.BWW Review: HEISENBERG at Rubicon Theatre Company February 11, 2019
Joe Spano and Ovation-Award nominee Faline England portray two lost souls who meet in a London Underground station and embark on an unlikely May-December romance. The story takes unexpected twists and turns that results in a life-affirmation display of how walls need to be broken down, and not built between people of different backgrounds and experiences.BWW Previews: MAMMA MIA! at Agoura High School February 8, 2019
Agoura High School senior Griffen Hamilton has gone all out in directing his first full-length production, the ABBA-driven jukebox musical 'Mamma Mia!' Utilizing the talents of 33 fellow students, Hamilton is putting on a world-class production in the school's black box theater. We talked with Hamilton about the process.BWW Interview: Shannon Warne & Marc Baron Ginsburg of RAGTIME at Pasadena Playhouse February 8, 2019
Shannon Warne (Mother) and Marc Baron Ginsburg (Tateh) talk about playing these 'kill for' roles in 'Ragtime,' a show that reflects as much about themes like racism, immigration, and vigilantism in today's society as it did at the time the story takes place.