Costa Mesa Theater Reviews

View the latest BroadwayWorld reviews of live + streaming theatre in Costa Mesa.

Review: Musical Theatre West Revisits Classic 42ND STREET in Long Beach Photo Review: Musical Theatre West Revisits Classic 42ND STREET in Long Beach
by Michael Quintos - February 13, 2024

For the most part, MTW's brand-new, admirably plucky 2024 production—now on stage through February 25—succeeds as an entertaining, visually cheerful show, filled with strong performances, a rousingly robust orchestra, and dynamic, zestfully tap-tastic dance numbers. Despite its lack of any real, ser...

Review: Bold Staging of HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH Rocks Chance Theater Photo Review: Bold Staging of HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH Rocks Chance Theater
by Michael Quintos - February 09, 2024

Featuring a humorous yet surprisingly poignant original story from John Cameron Mitchell and piercing, high-octane tunes from composer Stephen Trask, the gloriously ribald glam-rock musical HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH is currently flipping its wigs out in a brand new extremely engaging production at t...

Review: Disney's THE LION KING Rules Once More at OC's Segerstrom Center Photo Review: Disney's THE LION KING Rules Once More at OC's Segerstrom Center
by Michael Quintos - February 06, 2024

Now in its 27th year, Disney's game-changing, Tony Award-winning global megahit THE LION KING has once again taken over OC's Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa for another month of performances that continues through February 25, 2024. Even today, the show still manages to elicit genuine w...

Review: Broadway's Jessica Vosk Honors the Songwriters of Laurel Canyon at OC's Seger Photo Review: Broadway's Jessica Vosk Honors the Songwriters of Laurel Canyon at OC's Segerstrom Center
by Michael Quintos - January 30, 2024

A spectacular one-night-only concert at OC's Segerstrom Center starring one of Broadway's most acclaimed stars, Jessica Vosk's 'California Dreamin'' is a rousing, informative tribute to the incredible singer/songwriters that populated the Laurel Canyon artists community in Los Angeles that included ...

Review: Fun-Filled Musical Remake of MYSTIC PIZZA Debuts at La Mirada Theatre Photo Review: Fun-Filled Musical Remake of MYSTIC PIZZA Debuts at La Mirada Theatre
by Michael Quintos - January 25, 2024

A lively, vibrant new jukebox musical based on the 1988 film, La Mirada Theatre's fun and entertaining new production of MYSTIC PIZZA—now playing through February 11, 2024—is a charming, if forgivably predictable coming-of-age tale featuring 80's/90's hits and a cast of likable actors and characters...

Review: Broadway Talents Honor Olivia Newton-John at OC's Segerstrom Center Photo Review: Broadway Talents Honor Olivia Newton-John at OC's Segerstrom Center
by Michael Quintos - January 19, 2024

Hosted by Scott Coulter at OC's Segerstrom Center, this beautifully-curated 'greatest hits' showcase celebrating Olivia Newton-John provided an entertaining tribute, delivered via superb performances from the likes of Jessica Hendy, David Burnham, and Mike Schwitter, plus a first-person testimonial ...

Review: OC Welcomes Weekend Holiday Concerts from Megan Hilty and Linda Eder Photo Review: OC Welcomes Weekend Holiday Concerts from Megan Hilty and Linda Eder
by Michael Quintos - January 05, 2024

In December 2023, the OC welcomed back two powerhouse vocalists who each gave their own respective holiday-themed concerts: Broadway fave Megan Hilty at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa; and recording artist Linda Eder at the Irvine Barclay Theatre. To no one's surprise, both entertained...

Review: THE GRINCH Stage Musical Slithers Back into OC's Segerstrom Center Photo Review: THE GRINCH Stage Musical Slithers Back into OC's Segerstrom Center
by Michael Quintos - December 21, 2023

The touring stage adaptation of Dr. Seuss' cheeky holiday tale returns to the OC's Segerstrom Center with a non-equity cast. While the show itself is still a charmer—especially for young audiences—the bad audio mix at Costa Mesa's largest theater leaves most of the show's lyrics and dialogue indecip...

Review: FORBIDDEN BROADWAY Returns to OC's Segerstrom Center Photo Review: FORBIDDEN BROADWAY Returns to OC's Segerstrom Center
by Michael Quintos - November 28, 2023

On November 16-18, 2023, Segerstrom Center for the Arts's Samueli Theater welcomed back FORBIDDEN BROADWAY, the hit Broadway-skewering parody show that pokes fun at the Great White Way. Aimed as a 'greatest hits' iteration, the show was a (mostly) funny 2-Act program, but a lot of its material prove...

Review: Carole King's Life Story Blossoms in BEAUTIFUL at La Mirada Photo Review: Carole King's Life Story Blossoms in BEAUTIFUL at La Mirada
by Michael Quintos - November 20, 2023

McCoy Rigby Entertainment is currently presenting a superb, highly-entertaining Southern California Regional Premiere production of BEAUTIFUL at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, which continues performances through December 3, 2023. To put it simply, this production is quite well done....

Review: East West Players Presents Energetic SPRING AWAKENING Photo Review: East West Players Presents Energetic SPRING AWAKENING
by Michael Quintos - November 15, 2023

Based on Frank Wedekind's controversial 1891 play about a group of young students ill-informed about their budding sexuality, this 2006 Broadway adaptation is buoyed by its alt-rock score by Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik. EWP's new production boasts a pleasantly diverse cast blessed with excellent s...

Review: Superb A RAISIN IN THE SUN Moves In at South Coast Repertory Photo Review: Superb A RAISIN IN THE SUN Moves In at South Coast Repertory
by Michael Quintos - November 09, 2023

Directed with engaging, often riveting pacing by Khanisha Foster—and featuring some of the absolute best, deeply-searing acting performances I've witnessed so far this season—this brand new, powerfully-staged SCR production of Lorraine Hansberry's groundbreaking 1959 play is just too damn good to mi...

Review: Musical Theatre West's Heartwarming THE SOUND OF MUSIC Blesses Long Beach Photo Review: Musical Theatre West's Heartwarming THE SOUND OF MUSIC Blesses Long Beach
by Michael Quintos - October 25, 2023

MTW's pleasantly perky, traditionally-executed production comes across as a show that's very eager to please, armed with a keen, fine-tuned goal of making sure both fans and newbies to this beloved Rodgers and Hammerstein classic are left feeling uplifted and happy. The show continues through Novemb...

Review: AIN'T TOO PROUD Revisits The Temptations' Hits at Segerstrom Center Photo Review: AIN'T TOO PROUD Revisits The Temptations' Hits at Segerstrom Center
by Michael Quintos - October 20, 2023

A surprisingly enjoyable jukebox musical featuring phenomenally-performed song-and-dance spectaculars (but with an awkwardly delivered story structure), this touring version of the 2019 Broadway musical about the founding of Motown's R&B supergroup The Temptations is a fun evening at the theater, es...

Review: A Legend is Reimagined in Octavio Solis' QUIXOTE NUEVO at South Coast Reperto Photo Review: A Legend is Reimagined in Octavio Solis' QUIXOTE NUEVO at South Coast Repertory
by Michael Quintos - October 17, 2023

On the immediate surface, QUIXOTE NUEVO is a feast for the senses. On a deeper level, the play explores relevant issues, particularly those affecting the Latinx community. Sandwiched in between, however, is a distracting use of sophomoric humor that slightly threatens to counter all of the good mess...

Review: The Scorching-Hot Rhythm of ON YOUR FEET! Is Gonna Get You at La Mirada Photo Review: The Scorching-Hot Rhythm of ON YOUR FEET! Is Gonna Get You at La Mirada
by Michael Quintos - October 12, 2023

La Mirada Theatre’s new production of the Estefans’ aspirational life story reverberates with high-octane, vivacious Latin rhythms presented via enthusiastically-performed dance numbers and beautifully-sung songs—elevated by its terrific, talented ensemble. This engaging production (going on tour so...

Review: Tony Winner Kelli O'Hara Performs Exquisite Concert at Irvine Barclay Photo Review: Tony Winner Kelli O'Hara Performs Exquisite Concert at Irvine Barclay
by Michael Quintos - October 02, 2023

Tony Award-winning Broadway star Kelli O'Hara has established herself as true theater royalty, one of a handful of go-to leading ladies that have amassed a rabid, fanatic following that can elicit frequent deafening kudos from audiences and critics alike. She brings undeniable evidence of this in he...

Review: Thunderous LES MISERABLES Tour Storms Back into Segerstrom Center Photo Review: Thunderous LES MISERABLES Tour Storms Back into Segerstrom Center
by Michael Quintos - September 22, 2023

Don't let the show's overall over-the-top theatrics dissuade you from experiencing this visually-stunning, showstopper-filled production which continues at Segerstrom Center through October 1. A boisterous, grandiose spectacle of overtly expressed emotions and overtly belted show tunes, LES MISÉRABL...

Review: Remarkable New Production of RENT Takes Up Residence at Anaheim's Chance Thea Photo Review: Remarkable New Production of RENT Takes Up Residence at Anaheim's Chance Theater
by Michael Quintos - August 02, 2023

Featuring distinctively intuitive direction from Matthew McCray, and an amazing, youthful ensemble cast that are consistently giving it their all, this latest OC iteration of Jonathan Larson's Tony-winning 1996 rock opera is much more impactful than even past stagings that have toured---and is one o...

Review: South Coast Repertory Brings LA HAVANA MADRID to Mission San Juan Capistrano Photo Review: South Coast Repertory Brings LA HAVANA MADRID to Mission San Juan Capistrano
by Michael Quintos - July 28, 2023

While the play-with-music has its fair share of interesting and even poignant moments, SCR's overall production feels surprisingly low-stakes, and only really becomes much more lively when it reaches its celebratory music-filled finalé. With its stories delivered via monologues, it becomes difficult...

Review: TINA - THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL Pulsates at Segerstrom Center Photo Review: TINA - THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL Pulsates at Segerstrom Center
by Michael Quintos - July 19, 2023

Now at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa through July 23, 2023, the musical is mostly engaging and passionately performed. But a chaotic, sped-through first act only provides brief vignettes of a challenging life. The better second act focuses on Ms. Turner's comeback, concluding with a m...

Review: THE WIZARD OF OZ Drops Into Musical Theatre West in Long Beach Photo Review: THE WIZARD OF OZ Drops Into Musical Theatre West in Long Beach
by Michael Quintos - July 14, 2023

Delightfully charming but also now slightly dated, MTW's expectedly family-friendly, colorfully saturated production is indeed a lovely, mostly entertaining stage recreation of the movie classic. But curiously, at times, the show feels subdued and tamed-down, and in dire need of an extra jolt of ene...

Review: Powerhouse Vocals Energize SIX - THE MUSICAL at Segerstrom Center Photo Review: Powerhouse Vocals Energize SIX - THE MUSICAL at Segerstrom Center
by Michael Quintos - June 21, 2023

A musical theater show disguised as a kick-ass pop-rock concert with some powerful vocals delivering catchy songs, SIX - THE MUSICAL is a surprisingly absorbing, historical musical comedy that manages to convey several fully-formed character-driven narratives that have depth, gravitas, and spunk. Ea...

Review: JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT Wows at La Mirada Theatre Photo Review: JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT Wows at La Mirada Theatre
by Michael Quintos - June 09, 2023

Joyful, dazzling, and an all-around delight, this fresh, smile-inducing new production---now on stage through June 25,2023---is a wonderful, pleasant surprise to say the least… and has easily become, hands down, this reviewer's absolute favorite iteration of this musical theatre staple ever....

Review: Emotionally Impactful World Premiere Play COLEMAN '72 Debuts at South Coast R Photo Review: Emotionally Impactful World Premiere Play COLEMAN '72 Debuts at South Coast Repertory
by Michael Quintos - May 10, 2023

In between wiping tears from my eyes, what I witnessed was, by far, one of the most emotionally-impactful dramas I have seen this year, filled with heart-wrenching scenes, nuanced acting choices, and plenty of funny, incredibly relatable moments that pierced through the tension. A unique yet familia...



Videos


Disney's Aladdin in Costa Mesa Disney's Aladdin
Segerstrom Hall (5/7 - 5/12)
MJ The Musical in Costa Mesa MJ The Musical
Segerstrom Hall (3/19 - 3/31)
Clue in Costa Mesa Clue
Segerstrom Hall (7/23 - 7/28)
Seth Rudetsky's Broadway Series with Lillias White in Costa Mesa Seth Rudetsky's Broadway Series with Lillias White
Samueli Theater (5/16 - 5/18)
Student Pianists in Recital in Costa Mesa Student Pianists in Recital
Bertea Hall Salmon Recital Hall (5/5 - 5/5)
Aladdin in Costa Mesa Aladdin
Segerstrom Center for the Arts (5/7 - 5/12)
A BROADWAY BIRTHDAY: Sondheim, Lloyd Webber, and Friends!
Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall (3/28 - 3/28)
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