Costa Mesa Theater Reviews
 


BWW Review: HAMILTON Who? SPAMILTON Reigns Supreme at the Kirk Douglas Theatre BWW Review: HAMILTON Who? SPAMILTON Reigns Supreme at the Kirk Douglas Theatre
by Ellen Dostal - November 16, 2017

For the last 25 years, Gerardo Alessandrini has paid homage to the Great American Musical in the best way he knows how, by skewering it relentlessly. It is an arena where nothing is off limits no diva, no composer, and no quirk of the genre, which is why his FORBIDDEN BROADWAY revues are as belove... (more...)
BWW Review: McClure & Pascal Bring the Hilarious High-Jinks of SOMETHING ROTTEN! to OC BWW Review: McClure & Pascal Bring the Hilarious High-Jinks of SOMETHING ROTTEN! to OC
by Michael Quintos - November 14, 2017

In a rarity that doesn't happen too often here in Southern California, a brand new national tour of a recent hit Broadway musical has arrived first in Orange County in advance of a much longer sit-down engagement in Los Angeles. And, boy, is this one a marvelous gift from the comedy gods! Behold, la... (more...)
BWW Review: August Wilson's GEM OF THE OCEAN Gets Exquisite New Staging at South Coast Repertory BWW Review: August Wilson's GEM OF THE OCEAN Gets Exquisite New Staging at South Coast Repertory
by Michael Quintos - November 06, 2017

Riding the wave of renewed interest in August Wilson's 10 play, American Century Cycle, South Coast Repertory has one particular Wilson drama on their sonar at the moment: GEM OF THE OCEAN, the riveting, epic-sized 2003 drama now continuing at the Costa Mesa theater through November 11. An exquisite... (more...)
BWW Review: Powerful Lead Performance Elevates END OF THE RAINBOW at La Mirada Theatre BWW Review: Powerful Lead Performance Elevates END OF THE RAINBOW at La Mirada Theatre
by Michael Quintos - November 02, 2017

Peter Quilter's unfiltered, devastatingly intense play, END OF THE RAINBOW, recounts the final months leading up to the death of one of the world's most iconic, treasured stars, Judy Garland, in her lowest depths of despair as she attempts a 'comeback' on the London stage. Now back in Southern Calif... (more...)
BWW Review: Musical Theatre West Presents Vibrant New Production of IN THE HEIGHTS BWW Review: Musical Theatre West Presents Vibrant New Production of IN THE HEIGHTS
by Michael Quintos - October 30, 2017

Lin-Manuel Miranda's first Tony and Grammy Award-winning musical, IN THE HEIGHTS is now on stage in a brand new Broadway-caliber regional production presented by Musical Theatre West at the Carpenter Center for the Performing Arts in Long Beach through November 5. Told as a series of interweaving vi... (more...)
BWW Review: South Coast Repertory Presents Engaging World Premiere Play CURVE OF DEPARTURE BWW Review: South Coast Repertory Presents Engaging World Premiere Play CURVE OF DEPARTURE
by Michael Quintos - October 16, 2017

In Rachel Bonds' beautifully-acted and cleverly written new play CURVE OF DEPARTURE---now finishing up its too-brief World Premiere run at Orange County's South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa through October 15---characters are confronted with unexpected events that forces them to make such choices f... (more...)
BWW Review: OC's Chance Theater presents Thought-Provoking Play TRIBES BWW Review: OC's Chance Theater presents Thought-Provoking Play TRIBES
by Michael Quintos - October 09, 2017

In its admirable Orange County premiere production directed by Marya Mazor, Chance Theater presents an intimately-staged version of Nina Raine's thoughtful, award-winning 2010 play TRIBES, now playing through October 22, 2017. This comedic drama which centers around a young deaf man caught between h... (more...)
Theatre in Historic Places: No Rest for the Wicked in WICKED LIT at Mountain View Mausoleum Theatre in Historic Places: No Rest for the Wicked in WICKED LIT at Mountain View Mausoleum
by Ellen Dostal - October 05, 2017

Thousands of souls have their final resting place in Altadena's Mountain View Mausoleum and Cemetery but, once a year in the fall, the living invade the domain of the dead. That's when Unbound Productions' WICKED LIT takes over the grounds and creates a site-specific theatrical experience based on c... (more...)
BWW Review: MASTER CLASS at Garry Marshall Theatre, or What Becomes a Legend Most? BWW Review: MASTER CLASS at Garry Marshall Theatre, or What Becomes a Legend Most?
by Ellen Dostal - September 26, 2017

In 1970, Maria Callas posed for Blackglama's iconic What Becomes a Legend Most ad campaign. The famous black and white Richard Avedon photographs shot against a simple gray background captured the glamour and allure of black mink featuring some of the most iconic faces in the world. It was indeed ... (more...)
BWW Review: Rousing Revival of AIN'T MISBEHAVIN' Roars at La Mirada BWW Review: Rousing Revival of AIN'T MISBEHAVIN' Roars at La Mirada
by Michael Quintos - September 25, 2017

In a new, incredibly enjoyable regional revival of the Tony Award-winning AIN'T MISBEHAVIN' - THE FATS WALLER MUSICAL SHOW, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts is presenting one of the most rousing, rip-roaring iterations of this musical treat, under the informed direction of one of the show's... (more...)
BWW Review: BENNY AND JOON, A Breath of Fresh Air for your Musical Senses BWW Review: BENNY AND JOON, A Breath of Fresh Air for your Musical Senses
by Ellen Dostal - September 24, 2017

The Old Globe has opened a window and let in a beautiful breath of fresh air in its latest world premiere musical, BENNY AND JOON, by bookwriter Kirsten Guenther, composer Nolan Gasser, and lyricist Mindi Dickstein. Based on the 1993 MGM film starring Johnny Depp, Mary Stuart Masterson and Aidan Qui... (more...)
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...)