Editor's note: This is the first of two columns reviewing the year 2010 in Huntington Beach theater. Next week's column will spotlight Golden West College.
The Huntington Beach Playhouse enjoyed a banner year in 2010, with most of its productions reflecting a high enough quality to top the list in most other year-end retrospectives.
There was a thunderous drama ("Cat on a Hot Tin Roof") and a pair of superbly staged musicals ("Gypsy," "Annie"). But the show that left the year's most indelible impression was a comedy based on actual events from more than 70 years ago.
"Moonlight & Magnolias," Ron Hutchinson's "gleefully entertaining and often sharply satirizing account that shakes some of the trappings off Tinseltown," as this column put it at the time, was the number-one production of 2010.
Further quoting this column's review, "Director Gigi Fusco Meese has taken these intriguing elements (of the rewriting of the 'Gone With the Wind' movie script) and fashioned a production that sizzles both with acerbic wit and good old-fashioned slapstick comedy."