Tag Archives: Orange County Performing Arts Center

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 →

Xanadu – OCPAC

Down To Earth (1947) was a spiritual sequel to the film Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941, which in itself was remade twice – the 1978 Heaven Can Wait and the 2001 Down To Earth). The plot was recycled in 1980 to create the movie musical Xanadu as a vehicle for Olivia Newton-John that has now been adapted into a hilariously self-referential musical. enjoyed Xanadu @OCPAC – it was..interesting. Yay for walk-on role! Lots of comedy and good one-liners! Very small cast and orchestra…(http://twitter.com/bullfrog117/status/6989842010) According to Laura, the movie had about half good songs (written for Olivia Newton-John and fit her range) and the other half not-so good (that didn’t fit her voice). The musical keeps the good songs and extends it with brand new songs that perfectly fit the story.

Spring Awakening – OCPAC

Spring Awakening – OCPAC It’s Rent but with German La Boheme influences! Talkback with (some of) the actors Ilse Moritz Hanschen Swing (Krista Pioppi) Wendla Talkbacks need question screeners – No self-undulating praise rambles – No gushing adoration for the cast – No “how to be an actor” questions My question: Did you have any inhibitions mounting this production?

Spamalot – OCPAC

I love that the Knights Who No Longer Say Ni made a David Letterman joke, (I’m not throwing stones, I’ve slept with all the knights on my staff; stupid human tricks) and John O’Hurley LOST IT! It was beautiful and hilarious and the single reason worth seeing the whole show (I saw it in Vegas 2 years ago). But then…did O’Hurley really lose it or convincingly act like he lost it? Apparently they did the same joke the night before, but then when our friends saw it a week later, it was a completely different joke! So it’s improvised every night. So is O’Hurley acting surprised because he’s prepared for hilarity or is he not preparing and losing it? A lot of my old review (viewable hereSpamalot (The Vegas Edition)) still applies…tragically. Eric Idle just isn’t as good at adapting his material as Mel Brooks is (although that remains to … Continue reading →

Legally Blonde – OCPAC

Basically they took the movie – which on it’s own is very smart and very clever – and made it all over the top instead of amplifying some moments and letting good moments from the movie stand. For example – the Greek Chorus of sorority girls? INSPIRED! But on the other hand… Emmett was around too much. Made her more blonde than she was in the movie. Fine he’s got a “Chip On His Shoulder” and a nice back story, but it makes her a weaker female role model. Callahan was too sinister too early. You never liked him at all, which makes his exit much more predictable. Adding the Irish bit took away from Vivian and Elle’s growing friendship, making her sudden transformation awkward. Sure the Irish bit is fun, but weird choice. Going to the restroom at the scene of the crime for the court finale was ridiculous. … Continue reading →

Fiddler On The Roof – OCPAC

Featuring Topol! Apparently there’s more than one Fiddler movie (one of which Topol was the star of). Sorry! The most interesting aspect of seeing this show again after so many years (not since before I was in the show my sophmore year at OCHSA – as Avhram and a bottle dancer!), and especially now that I’ve thoroughly absorbed Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice (the 2005 movie, the Marvel comic adaptation), is the parallels between the two stories. Obviously research was required, and the following was thusly learned: Fiddler on the Roof is based on Tevye and his Daughters (or Tevye the Milkman) and other tales by Sholem Aleichem, originally written in Yiddish and first published in 1894 [placing them about a century behind Ms. Austen’s tale]. Tevye the Dairyman ([ˈtɛvjə], Yiddish: טבֿיה דער מילכיקער Tevye der milkhiker) is the protagonist of several of Sholem Aleichem’s stories. The character became best … Continue reading →

A Chorus Line – OCPAC

Zach reminded me of Robin Williams and Alan Tudyk. It is also my opinion that he would look good with the thin beard. The humor of Val’s lines and physicality was somewhat hindered by her unnecessary Lina-Lamont-esque accent. This is yet another example of the unfortunate tendency to play the broad comedy instead of aiming for subtle humor (has intellectual comedy died?!?!?!?!?!?). Cassie performed extraordinarily well despite being ill and rather heroically managed to keep her coughing to a minimum. While forewarned that there was no real guitar and that necessary “licks” were synthesized, I found the absence less annoying than anticipated (beyond the opening number). The fact that the lack of a real guitar didn’t glare out of any other numbers (to me, a non-musicians) is a testament to the phenomenal orchestrations of Marvin Hamlisch. Not to say the show should always be done sans (or synthed) guitar – … Continue reading →