Category Archives: Theatre

The theatre. The theatre. What’s HAPPENED to the theatre?

Scott Adams goes Inside Out and a Geographical Oddity

Build a Habit-Robot in your Brain (from Scott Adams’ Blog) I find myself further and further fascinated with Scott’s musings, but this one was especially poignant given the number of “what’s going on inside their head” things that I’ve encountered this year (Disney Pixar’s Inside Out and Kristen Anderson-Lopez/Robert Lopez’ Up Here!).   Where the Palm Meets the Pine (from A Geographer’s Scrapbook) This was a fascinating article to read that was randomly posted in an internal work email and something I’ll have to remember to keep an eye out for next time I’m driving north!

Maggie’s Getting Married – Torrance Theatre Company

A very delightful and poignant romp! My favorite characters were Axel (the actor boyfriend of title character Maggie’s older sister) and Maggie’s father, Tom. Axel’s delivery was just very hilarious and I really enjoyed watching him deal with Maggie’s older sister Wanda and all the craziness that ensues during the play (I felt like I kind of identified with him too). I also kind of identified with Tom (Maggie’s father) merely from the perspective of him being a married man, but he had these really great moments where he just had these stares-into-space reactions that were hilarious. Heck, as long as I’m being honest, I identified with Maggie a little bit as I was worried about my parent’s empty nest syndrome when I got married. For the second time, we chose to sit in the small side section which, while not “ideal” for seeing the show as optimally designed (1316 … Continue reading →

Les Miserable – Segerstrom Center For The Arts (OCPAC), Costa Mesa, CA

An all around decent production. Nice to see it on the big stage again. Biggest problem? The pace. Now it’s Les Mis, so I know what you’re thinking, and you’re wrong! 😉 The pace wasn’t too slow, but too fast! When we got to intermission, we felt like we were both out of breathe and that we had just run a marathon! Fantine was not impressive. How did a white baby Eponine grow into a black adult Eponine? A reverse Michael Jackson??? And why did she have to try and turn her one song into a pop ballad? No turntable. Instead they had a giant projection screen for a cyclorama. Didn’t really notice it as an awesome effect until Valjean drags Marius from the barricades to the sewer….it was AMAZING!! Speaking of the barricades…meh.. My first major encounter with Les Miserable had the barricades being formed by massive rotating robots … Continue reading →

Million Dollar Quartet – Segerstrom Center For The Arts (OCPAC), Costa Mesa, CA

A delightful romp that, unlike the fanciful show Tin Pan Alley that theorized a meeting between the legendary Irving Berlin and Scott Joplin, details an actual event where four legends of rock and roll met under the same roof. On December 4th, 1956, Sam Phillips – creator of Sun Records, has coerced and cajoled Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, and Elvis Presley to “come home” and visit the place where they all got started (or in Lewis’ case where he was about to get started). So aside from having an evening of chart-topping rock-and-roll hits, you’re also treated to a bit of a history lesson regarding rock ‘n’ roll and how it came about. My knowledge of the events were sketchy at best and influenced mostly by Scot Bruce’s speech about Sun Records during his show and the Johnny Cash biopic Ring Of Fire. But it was absolutely … Continue reading →

White Christmas – OCPAC

Alright, that was cute. A very nice adaptation with some interesting and eyebrow-raisingchanges. Thank you Sarah for pointing out that the dancing/choreography is amazing – we agree. And yes, the tempo’s are all a bit too fast (even “Love, You Didn’t Do Right By Me”), but we’ve decided that that is because they added so much content they needed to race through all the songs in order to be done at a decent hour. 😉 Laura very much liked the formation changes – they were very dynamic and effective. I guess at the end of the day, they have to make a bunch of broad changes and the audience gets to pick and choose their favorites. Me, I liked the General and Martha and all of the new songs were VERY well done. The only original songs cut were Mandy/Minstrel Show and Choreography which makes perfect sense as they are … Continue reading →

A Streetcar Named Desire – Golden West College

Kim Brown was the primary reason we came (and Laurie Reynolds…and Veronica Mullins…and Mason Meskell…and Nika…and…well you get the picture), but the raw emotional power onstage was the reason we stayed. One particular moment is still shudderingly vivid in my head…it’s in Blanche’s Act II monologue about what really happened to Belle Reve and the line where Blanche calls to the soldiers creeped me the hell out! And the music was fantastic (Veronica told us later that she just brought in her collection of jazz and told the director, “Here.” LOL).

Blue Man Group – Segerstrom Center for the Arts (OCPAC), Costa Mesa, CA

AMAZING!!! I’ve been a Blue Man Group fan for years and am very excited that they can now take the amazing artistic/cultural experience that their show is and tour the country! Shake That Thang (at least 90% of the audience stood up which is pretty amazing for Segerstrom Center) Please give us back our balls Gipad multiple blue men to pull off the costume changes for the digi-enhancer bit, but absolutely brilliant! also a very culturally relevant way to do the information bit (the three giant signs where if you’re lucky or insane you can read all the content before the change it) Texting before light suits Toilet paper confetti They gave away all the artwork!!! Well not the human canvas cuz they need that one. but the shirts and hats song, they gave away the painting and the marshmallow tower! set list they definitely started with TV Song Drumbone … Continue reading →

October Theatre (The Importance Of Being Ernest, The Wedding Singer, The Woman In Black)

The Importance Of Being Ernest – Golden West College Tony Graham, Angele Lathrop, Merci Hase, Sara from Seven Brides, Gina from Breaking Up, … Really liked Algernon…he played the character really well and gave Rupert Everett a definite run for his money. The Wedding Singer – California State University Fullerton Katie Del Vecchio, Amanda Shay, Millie from Torrance’s “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” and the always amazing Cindy Shields. It was nice to see it on a big stage (loved the use of Thriller for “Casualty of Love” as well…) as the only other time I’ve seen it was when David Green produced it at OCPAC’s Founder’s Stage. This production was excellent and highly enjoyable. The music is awesome and fun to rock out to and even though this production was tracked, everyone did a really good job (I don’t remember any major slips or delays while waiting for the … Continue reading →

A Very Cultured Saturday (Tim Burton Exhibition At LACMA & Encore Entertainment’s Production Of The Drowsy Chaperone)

What fun! Went to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (AKA LACMA) for the first time with our friends Jeff and Wendy to check out the Tim Burton Exhibition (closes Oct 31) and various other exhibits there. Then Laura and I went to West High in Torrance to see a student production of The Drowsy Chaperone which was a lot of fun! Tim Burton Special Exhibition (Resnick Pavilion): to see so much Burton goodness in such concentrated form was amazing. The exhibit features remnants from his interment in Burbank (winning contest entries, doodlings on newspapers, poetry referencing classmates), props and costumes from his numerous film projects and replication maquettes from Nightmare and Corpse Bride, but what’s really amazing is to see how much of Burton’s genius is captured in his sketches. It is his preferred medium of communication, and his prose is stunning. The rooms of the exhibit are … Continue reading →