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Cary Ginell

Cary Ginell 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 (, 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.


Interview: Jonalyn Saxer of NEWSIES at 5-Star Theatricals
July 3, 2022

Jonalyn Saxer grew up in Oak Park dreaming of becoming a star on Broadway. After making her debut in 'Bullets Over Broadway,' Saxer has continued from one show to the next, shining with her superb dancing abilities and versatile singing and acting. This July, she returns to her home town to play the key role of Katherine Plumber in 5-Stat Theatricals' production of 'Newsies.'

BWW Review: SOUTH PACIFIC at Fred Kavli Theatre
March 25, 2022

American Theatre Guild's current national tour of the venerable Pulitzer-Prize winning 'South Pacific' cleans up some potentially objectionable language and characterizations to retain its essential love story and message of racial tolerance.

BWW Interview: Guy Noland of SOUTH PACIFIC at Fred Kavli Theatre
March 21, 2022

Guy Noland is currently in a second career as an actor and having the time of his life. During his early years, Guy found himself looking like 'a million other' young stage actors, but the 9/11 tragedy sent his career in a new direction as he became an award-winning documentary director for the Salvation Army's media department.

BWW Review: KINKY BOOTS at Moorpark College
March 15, 2022

Christopher J. Thume blows the roof off the building with a bravura performance as drag queen Lola in 'Kinky Boots,' the 2013 Tony Award winning musical.

BWW Interview: Anna Kotula of THE BELLE OF AMHERST at Elite Theatre Company
February 28, 2022

Anna Kotula reprises her one-woman show as poet Emily Dickinson in 'The Belle of Amherst,' playing from March 3 - 13 at the Elite Theatre Company in Oxnard

BWW Interview: Matt Faucher of JERSEY BOYS at Fred Kavli Theatre
February 21, 2022

Matt Faucher has a knack for playing Nicks. After performing on Broadway and on the national tour of 'Beautiful: The Carole King Musical,' Matt is now doing the same thing with a different Nick - the Four Seasons' Nick Massi. Cary Ginell does an exclusive interview with Matt about this unique and important show, which plays for one night in Thousand Oaks on Thursday, February 24.

BWW Interview: Gerard Alessandrini of SPAMILTON at Scherr Forum, Thousand Oaks
February 18, 2022

Read a behind-the-scenes look at Broadway's master parodist, Gerard Alessandrini, who dismembers 'Hamilton' with his 2016 spoof 'Spamilton.' The show plays at the Scherr Forum in Thousand Oaks from March 1 - 6. 'I laughed my brains out!' said Lin-Manuel Miranda when he saw this show. You will too.

BWW Interview: Aleks Pevec & Justin Michael Wilcox of SOMETHING ROTTEN! at Fred Kavli Theatre
February 9, 2022

It's always nice when we see a show that has never been performed in Ventura County so we were looking forward to seeing 5-Star Theatricals' Something Rotten!, the 2015 sendup of Shakespeare that answers the question: 'What if Shakespeare had a rival?' As you will read in our upcoming review in The Acorn, we were not disappointed. Something Rotten! is a riotous romp with a twisted premise, as brother Nick and Nigel Bottom attempt to upstage (literally) theatre superstar Willie Shakespeare with their next production: the first musical. Due to the faulty efforts of a befuddled Nostradamus, the Bottom Brothers set out to produce their musical, titled Omelette. Recently, we visited with two stars from 5-Star's production: Justin Michael Wilcox, who plays Nick Bottom, and Aleks Pevec, who plays the strutting Shakespeare.

BWW Review: ALWAYS...PATSY CLINE at Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center
December 6, 2021

'Always...Patsy Cline' brings to life Cline's rich catalog of songs, impeccably portrayed by Michele McRae, with Kathleen Silverman as her friend, Houston housewife Louise Seger.

BWW Review: THE BAND'S VISIT at Dolby Theatre
December 4, 2021

See what our critic thought of the national tour of 'The Band's Visit' - an inspiring musical about the healing power of music and its ability to show common ground between two historically opposing cultures. The show stars Janet Dacal as the vulnerable cafe owner Dina and Sasson Gabay as Tewfiq, the orchestra leader who has been traumatized by a past tragedy.

BWW Review: MAMMA MIA! at 5-Star Theatricals
October 20, 2021

5-Star Theatricals returns to the stage with a new production of its postponed musical 'Mamma Mia!' starring Kim Huber and Eric Martsolf.

BWW Review: LES MISERABLES at Young Artists Ensemble
August 5, 2021

Of all elements of society hit by the pandemic, the one that got hit the hardest was the performing arts. Many theatre companies were forced to close their doors while those that managed to survive were crippled by 16 months of inactivity and decimated budgets. Young Artists Ensemble has not only been a growth culture for local talent for 40 years, it has never shied away from a challenge and while other companies were subsisting on shows with small casts, YAE was determined to stage the Student Edition of 'Les Miserables,' the larger-than-life 1985 Broadway masterpiece, for its annual teen summer musical.

BWW Review: THE LAST, BEST SMALL TOWN at Will Geer's Theatricum Botanicum
August 2, 2021

John Guerra's new play brings Thornton Wilder's 'Our Town' up to date with its sensitive portrayal of two families - one white and one Latino - in modern-day Fillmore, California.

BWW Review: THE REVOLUTIONISTS at Santa Paula Theater Center
March 6, 2020

Four Frenetic Feminists Fight Fate In France - Lauren Gunderson's hilarious black comedy groups four French Revolutionaries on their way to the guillotine.

BWW Interview: David Krassner of RENT at Agoura High School
February 29, 2020

Director David Krassner brings a deep theatrical resume to his new role as drama director at Agoura High School, which is currently staging 'Rent,' which made its debut nearly a quarter century ago.

BWW Review: WIT at Elite Theatre Company
February 27, 2020

Margaret Edson's Pulitzer-Price winning play 'Wit' focusers on Dr. Vivian Bearing, a 50-year-old professor of English who is dying from ovarian cancer. The play examines the dispassionate way cancer patients are treated, with Sindy McKay-Swerdlove delivering a startling and emotional performance as Dr. Bearing.

BWW Review: IT SHOULDA BEEN YOU at Musical Theatre Guild
February 22, 2020

A typical mismatched wedding between a Jewish bride and a Catholic groom gets turned on its ear when a shocking revelation stuns the wedding party. This unfairly neglected 2015 musical gets new life with a winning performance (in a staged reading) by Musical Theatre Guild at the Alex Theater in Glendale.

BWW Interview: Gilles Chiasson of RENT at Agoura High School
February 20, 2020

Theater veteran Gilles Chiasson, who performed in the original New York Theatre Workshop, Off-Broadway, and Broadway productions of 'Rent' now is in charge of the Performing Arts Education Centers at Agoura and Calabasas High Schools. We talked to him about his experiencing performing in New York with legendary producer Jonathan Larson, in anticipation of Agoura High's upcoming performance of the musical.

February 14, 2020

Kennedy Caughell gives a heartfelt performance as Carole King in 'Beautiful,' an otherwise flawed musical that does to King's career what most Broadway musicals do to the subjects of jukebox musicals. The musical element of the show, however, overcomes its many deficiencies to result in an overall enjoyable production.

BWW Interview: Kennedy Caughell of BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL at American Theatre Guild
February 12, 2020

An exclusive interview with Kennedy Caughell, a stunning multi-talented redhead who is currently starring as Carole King in the national touring musical, 'Beautiful: The Carole King Musical' in Thousand Oaks at the Fred Kavli Theatre.

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