CRY-BABY

Cal State Fullerton Theatre & Dance is putting on quite a show this month, a rarer-than-rare big-stage production of Cry-Baby, aka The other John Waters Musical, and what a delightfully nostalgic, deliciously twisted, not-quite-for-all-ages alternative to Hairspray it turns out to be, especially as performed by CSUF’s Musical Theater BFA program triple-threats.
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GEM OF THE OCEAN

Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson sheds informative, compelling light on early twentieth-century African-American life in Gem Of The Ocean, now being given an absolutely spectacular production at South Coast Repertory.
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TRIBES

A young man who cannot hear, parents and siblings who will not listen, and an outsider who disrupts the ties that bind populate Nina Raine’s powerful, discussion-provoking Tribes, now getting a memorable Orange County Premiere at Anaheim’s Chance Theater.
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ONCE

Take one of the best (and quite possibly the most original) Broadway smashes of the past decade, cast it with some of SoCal’s most gifted actor-singer-musicians, give it a fresh new staging that may actually improve on the Broadway original, and you’ve got Once, as thrilling a South Coast Repertory season opener as any musical theater lover could wish for.
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FUN HOME


Coming of age. Coming out. Coming to grips. Three extraordinary actresses breathe life into a young lesbian’s journey from childhood to mid-life in Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir-turned-Tony-winning musical Fun Home, its National Tour now making a brief but thrilling SoCal return to Costa Mesa’s Segerstrom Center For The Arts.
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HAIRSPRAY

Laguna Playhouse transports audiences back to the ‘60s with its infectiously tuneful, delightfully entertaining summer staging of the Best Musical Tony-winning Hairspray.
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PARADE

Director-choreographer Kari Hayter takes the Best Musical Tony winner Parade and reconceives it so stunningly, even those who’ve already seen the Jason Robert Brown-Alfred Uhry gut-puncher will feel they are experiencing it anew on the Chance Theater stage.
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AVENUE Q

A beefed-up cast of fourteen terrifically talented student performers and some inspired directorial tweaks make UC Irvine’s Avenue Q the best of the five productions I’ve seen since first discovering it on Broadway a baker’s-dozen years ago.
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