Costa Mesa Theater Reviews
 


BWW Review: South Coast Repertory Raises Hopeful, Exquisite New Production of ONCE BWW Review: South Coast Repertory Raises Hopeful, Exquisite New Production of ONCE
by Michael Quintos - September 21, 2017

Though the Tony Award-winning musical adaptation of writer/director John Carney's well-liked indie film ONCE is a musical that this reviewer has liked quite a bit from past productions, it took seeing South Coast Repertory's brand new regional production---now on stage in Costa Mesa through Septembe... (more...)
BWW Review: Recontextualizing Architecture as Art in Pacific Standard Time LA/LA's CONDEMNED TO BE MODERN BWW Review: Recontextualizing Architecture as Art in Pacific Standard Time LA/LA's CONDEMNED TO BE MODERN
by Ellen Dostal - September 15, 2017

While watching Crystal Sep lveda perform during the opening of Pacific Standard LA/LA's Condemned To Be Modern exhibit, I couldn't help but think of a quote by Frank Lloyd Wright: 'Space is the breath of art.' Poetic in its simplicity, it is an observation that is particularly eloquent when consider... (more...)
BWW Review: Theatrically Inventive CURIOUS INCIDENT Tour Captivates at OC's Segerstrom Center BWW Review: Theatrically Inventive CURIOUS INCIDENT Tour Captivates at OC's Segerstrom Center
by Michael Quintos - September 15, 2017

A cross between a murder mystery and a psychological drama told with a high-tech showmanship flair, the intriguing touring production of Simon Stephen's Tony Award-winning play THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME now in Costa Mesa at Orange County's Segerstrom Center for the Arts throu... (more...)
BWW Review: The Pure Joy of MUSE-IQUE's Summer of Sound: GLOW/TOWN BWW Review: The Pure Joy of MUSE-IQUE's Summer of Sound: GLOW/TOWN
by Ellen Dostal - August 31, 2017

It's official. I have a new favorite thing, and it is called MUSE/IQUE. You would too if you'd been in the audience for GLOW/TOWN, the third in a 3-part series celebrating Motown and its roots Saturday night at Caltech. From the structure of the program to the sophistication of the environment, Arti... (more...)
BWW Review: Soulful, Nostalgic A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN Rocks Laguna Playhouse BWW Review: Soulful, Nostalgic A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN Rocks Laguna Playhouse
by Michael Quintos - August 25, 2017

If you're looking to get a definitive Janis Joplin biography/musical (in the vein of the Carole King musical BEAUTIFUL), then you may be disappointed with A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN, the short-lived 2013 Broadway musical. More akin to a tribute concert rather than actual musical theater, a new region... (more...)
BWW Review: Beautifully Poignant FUN HOME Tour Moves Into OC's Segerstrom Center BWW Review: Beautifully Poignant FUN HOME Tour Moves Into OC's Segerstrom Center
by Michael Quintos - August 04, 2017

Riveting, powerful and beautifully poignant at every step, FUN HOME—the Tony Award-winning musical based on Alison Bechdel's 2006 autobiographical graphic memoir—is one of those rare, great stage musicals that represents an astonishingly unique point-of-view that is somehow miraculously universal an... (more...)
BWW Review: Backstage Antics Abound in Indie Film OPENING NIGHT BWW Review: Backstage Antics Abound in Indie Film OPENING NIGHT
by Ellen Dostal - July 30, 2017

Every theatre production comes with its share of backstage drama. One Hit Wonderland, the Broadway musical comedy depicted in Gary De Leon and Greg Lisi's indie film OPENING NIGHT is no exception. Sex, drugs, and crazy characters collide in this rousing tongue-in-cheek comedy full of splashy product... (more...)
BWW Review: Nettles and Cameron Lead an Exuberant MAMMA MIA! at the Hollywood Bowl BWW Review: Nettles and Cameron Lead an Exuberant MAMMA MIA! at the Hollywood Bowl
by Michael Quintos - July 29, 2017

Arguably one of musical theater's more enjoyable jukebox musicals, the crowd-pleasing, ABBA-centric musical MAMMA MIA! aims to entertain its audience, all while trying to provide a much more interesting way to experience the ubiquitous pop catalog of one of the most successful pop music groups of th... (more...)
BWW Review: Laguna Playhouse Welcomes Adorably Plucky HAIRSPRAY BWW Review: Laguna Playhouse Welcomes Adorably Plucky HAIRSPRAY
by Michael Quintos - July 28, 2017

To open its historic 97th season, Orange County's Laguna Playhouse is presenting an admirable new production of the Tony Award-winning 2002 hit musical comedy HAIRSPRAY, which via popular demand has now been extended through August 5. Filled with spirited performances, memorably cheeky songs, and an... (more...)
BWW Review: Chance Theater presents Emotional, Intimate Staging of PARADE BWW Review: Chance Theater presents Emotional, Intimate Staging of PARADE
by Michael Quintos - July 24, 2017

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 ... (more...)
BWW Review: Jolly Good MARY POPPINS Flies Into Musical Theatre West BWW Review: Jolly Good MARY POPPINS Flies Into Musical Theatre West
by Michael Quintos - 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 conti... (more...)
BWW Review: Superb Performances Mark Beautifully Poetic THE PRIDE at The Wallis BWW Review: Superb Performances Mark Beautifully Poetic THE PRIDE at The Wallis
by Michael Quintos - 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... (more...)
BWW Review: Geffen Playhouse Sets Its Course for Love in CONSTELLATIONS BWW Review: Geffen Playhouse Sets Its Course for Love in CONSTELLATIONS
by Ellen Dostal - June 16, 2017

What a difference one decision makes. Turn a corner, say hello, say nothing, leave - even the smallest of choices has the power to alter our future. In CONSTELLATIONS, Nick Payne's exquisite play for two, now on stage at Geffen Playhouse, we watch the various stages of a couple's relationship play o... (more...)
BWW Review: UPSTAIRS - A MUSICAL TRAGEDY Debuts at Hollywood Fringe Festival BWW Review: UPSTAIRS - A MUSICAL TRAGEDY Debuts at Hollywood Fringe Festival
by Michael Quintos - June 08, 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 t... (more...)
BWW Review: Stage Adaptation of THE BODYGUARD Makes OC Debut at Segerstrom Center BWW Review: Stage Adaptation of THE BODYGUARD Makes OC Debut at Segerstrom Center
by Michael Quintos - June 06, 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 C... (more...)
BWW Review: East West Players presents Emotional NEXT TO NORMAL BWW Review: East West Players presents Emotional NEXT TO NORMAL
by Michael Quintos - 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... (more...)
BWW Review: 'S Wonderful AN AMERICAN IN PARIS Tour Enchants O.C. BWW Review: 'S Wonderful AN AMERICAN IN PARIS Tour Enchants O.C.
by Michael L. Quintos - May 01, 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 s... (more...)
BWW Review: La Mirada Theatre Revisits Classic Musical WEST SIDE STORY BWW Review: La Mirada Theatre Revisits Classic Musical WEST SIDE STORY
by Michael L. Quintos - 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 nostal... (more...)
BWW Review: Curiosity-Baiting New Play THE SIEGEL Brings Fresh Comedy to South Coast Repertory BWW Review: Curiosity-Baiting New Play THE SIEGEL Brings Fresh Comedy to South Coast Repertory
by Michael L. Quintos - 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--... (more...)
BWW Review: Theatrics Overpower Storytelling in ECT's ROMEO AND JULIET BWW Review: Theatrics Overpower Storytelling in ECT's ROMEO AND JULIET
by Ellen Dostal - April 12, 2017

Elysium Conservatory Theatre has thrown everything but the kitchen sink into its latest production of Shakespeare's ROMEO AND JULIET, the first in their brand new space in downtown San Pedro.... (more...)
BWW Review: It's Reigning Cats And Dogs In Palm Springs! Dezart Closes Its Season With A Very  Warm And Funny CHAPATTI! BWW Review: It's Reigning Cats And Dogs In Palm Springs! Dezart Closes Its Season With A Very Warm And Funny CHAPATTI!
by David Green - April 04, 2017

Dogs and cats reign supreme  - and, in fact, are the catalyst for all of the action  - in Christian O'Reilly's warm and intelligent comedy CHAPATTI, the final production in Dezart Performs rather remarkable ninth season in Palm Springs. Dezart Performs, a long time 'best kept secret' in Coachella Va... (more...)
BWW Review: Charming but Flawed FINDING NEVERLAND Searches for Magic BWW Review: Charming but Flawed FINDING NEVERLAND Searches for Magic
by Michael L. Quintos - 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... (more...)
BWW Review: ABSINTHE L.A. Brings Sin City to Los Angeles, and It's an Instant Hit BWW Review: ABSINTHE L.A. Brings Sin City to Los Angeles, and It's an Instant Hit
by Ellen Dostal - March 24, 2017

It used to be true that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. But not anymore. For the next five weeks, LA audiences will get a taste of Sin City right here in our own backyard, thanks to Spiegelworld's in-your-face adult-only production, ABSINTHE LA.... (more...)
BWW Review: Not Man Apart's PARADISE LOST: RECLAIMING DESTINY Viscerally Recreates The Fall of Man BWW Review: Not Man Apart's PARADISE LOST: RECLAIMING DESTINY Viscerally Recreates The Fall of Man
by Ellen Dostal - March 15, 2017

There's not a chance in hell that an audience member could fail to be engaged in Not Man Apart Physical Theatre Ensemble's latest new work, PARADISE LOST: RECLAIMING DESTINY. The company has found a tantalizing niche with its athletically rich dance, movement & sensory exploration of stories that li... (more...)
BWW Review: Quirky Musical Farce GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE Kills at OC's Segerstrom Center BWW Review: Quirky Musical Farce GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE Kills at OC's Segerstrom Center
by Michael L. Quintos - March 03, 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, ... (more...)