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NEWS
June 27, 2002
Tom Titus There's a moment near the end of Marshall Karp's comedy "Squabbles," now in residence at the Huntington Beach Playhouse, when the 73-year-old widower lays out his philosophy of life as a senior citizen to his daughter, who's upset at his chosen lifestyle. Odds are it'll draw spontaneous applause, especially from the audience's more mature members. "Squabbles" is a formula comedy, but the formula works beautifully in the Huntington Beach production.
NEWS
November 20, 2003
Tom Titus When playgoers visit Huntington Beach High School for the Academy of the Performing Arts production of "Moon Over Buffalo" this weekend, they should be prepared to laugh. Loudly and often. Ken Ludwig's backstage comedy, after all, starred the queen of television comedy, Carol Burnett, in its original Broadway incarnation. Earl Byers, who's directing "Moon Over Buffalo" in its one-week-only stint, cautions audiences to look beyond the sight gags for some classic theatrical structure.
NEWS
February 13, 2003
Tom Titus "Fiddler on the Roof" struck up a winning melody at the Huntington Beach Playhouse's annual Bobbi Awards Sunday night, walking off with a dozen trophies including the Best Show of the Season honor from both the judges and the theater's patrons. The musical also captured honors for its director, Marla Gam Hudson; its leading actor and actress, Tim Nowicki and Grace Lynne, and its backstage contingent -- choreographer Michal Lopez, musical director Bill Wolf and stage manager Lynn Garcia.
NEWS
April 18, 2002
Allen MacDonald "The Sweetest Thing" is so terrible I feel like it would be bad karma to waste too much space reviewing it. I wanted to write an articulate, incisive sentence that would intelligently convey the depth of my distaste for this film: It's really lame. Lame. Lame. Lame. This film has stolen an hour and a half of my life. I want that time back. The plot revolves around a shallow, vapid young woman (Cameron Diaz), and her shallow, vapid friends (Christina Applegate, Selma Blair)
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tom Titus | June 5, 2012
The oldest local community theater company in Orange County, now sporting a new look in its lobby and restrooms, is getting ready to lift the curtain on its 52nd season. That would be the Westminster Community Theatre, which began producing in 1961 and occupied three different venues until its present location at 7272 Maple Ave. in Westminster was completed in 1974. (I've performed or directed at all of them.) Getting the 2012-13 season off and running will be a familiar entry, "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee," ticketed from July 13 to 28. This quirky musical comedy — postponed from last season due to the renovations — focuses on several "different" kids as they battle in a school spelldown.
NEWS
March 31, 2005
PEGGY J. ROGERS Movie sequels fall somewhere between being as good or better than the original, like "Godfather II," or being like a weekly episodic television show with the same characters dealing with the same situation, but with additional supporting actors and different locations, like "Lethal Weapon 2," "3" and "4." Both types of sequels have had their share of box office hits and misses. Churning out sequels, however, is obviously a gamble film producers are eager to make, including Sandra Bullock.
NEWS
December 18, 2003
PEGGY J. ROGERS Writer-director Nancy Meyer's newest romantic comedy, "Something's Gotta Give," delights in exaggerating the thorny differences that flare up between mid-life adults who discover they're as repelled by each other as much as they're attracted to each other. The story focuses on what the two leading characters are thinking and feeling in their situations. There are no pressing outside problems to overcome or enemies to defeat for their relationship to progress.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tom Titus | August 22, 2012
The Huntington Beach Playhouse will be opening its new production, a reprise of Neil Simon's comedy "Rumors," this weekend, but I won't be at my customary spot in Row K taking mental notes. I won't even be in town. It's late August and, for the 10th time, my lady and I will be vacationing in Montana. I've asked my good friend, theater publicist Chris Trela, to pinch-hit for me as the Independent's critic. Not that I couldn't catch a second-weekend performance after I return — I probably will.
NEWS
April 8, 2004
PEGGY ROGERS To get the audience laughing, comedies rely on putting extreme characters into extreme situations. The Coen brothers, the writers/directors of "The Ladykillers," fill their black comedy with unexpected extreme surprises of people in unusual circumstances. Professor Goldthwait Higginson Dorr, PhD (Tom Hanks) is a smooth-talking Southern gentleman, a professed musicologist, who is actually a thief by trade. His landlady, Marva Munson (Irma P. Hall)
NEWS
September 25, 2003
Tom Titus Having attained the ripe old age of 40, the Huntington Beach Playhouse will plunge into its fifth decade with a 2004 season that's a blend of old favorites and new releases. First, however, there's the final show of 2003 to mount -- Agatha Christie's murder mystery "Ten Little Indians," opening, appropriately, on Halloween. (The Costa Mesa Civic Playhouse apparently deemed it appropriate as well, since its own "Ten Little Indians" will hit the boards the same weekend.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Miller and Rhea Mahbubani | April 21, 2014
Fourteen years ago, a group of movie lovers banded together to organize the first Newport Beach Film Festival. For the opening-night attraction at Fashion Island, they chose "Sunset Blvd.," the 1950 Billy Wilder drama whose most famous moment features a faded Hollywood actress snapping, "I am big. It's the pictures that got small!" As co-founder Todd Quartararo fretted outside the Edwards Big Newport 6 theater before showtime, though, he was more concerned about the size of the crowd than the size of the pictures.
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NEWS
By Michael Miller | February 10, 2014
Bob Perkell and Jeff Capri, the masterminds of Surf City Comedy Club, clowned around last week inside the venue with hard hats, a drill and a saw. The comedians may not have actually been part of the construction crew at work building the Fuzion entertainment complex, but, as Perkell explained, they sought to provide a fix of a different kind. "This town, this community needs laughter," he said. "Everybody needs laughter because life is very tough. It gives them an opportunity where they can come out and get out of their head for an hour and a half and laugh their butt off and wake up in the morning with sore abs. And people say, 'Hey, did you go to the gym?
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tom Titus | August 22, 2012
The Huntington Beach Playhouse will be opening its new production, a reprise of Neil Simon's comedy "Rumors," this weekend, but I won't be at my customary spot in Row K taking mental notes. I won't even be in town. It's late August and, for the 10th time, my lady and I will be vacationing in Montana. I've asked my good friend, theater publicist Chris Trela, to pinch-hit for me as the Independent's critic. Not that I couldn't catch a second-weekend performance after I return — I probably will.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Miller | August 1, 2012
You don't have to keep it clean at Daniel "Rico" Fisher's comedy shows at Old World Village. You can drop theF-bomb. You can go on a spiel about your misadventures in bed. You can chide occupations, the genders and just about everything else about the people seated in the audience. There's just one rule, though: Don't get too dark. Or you may get the light flashed at you. Fisher, who has produced and hosted the Rico's Revival Comedy Show series for a year and a half at the Old World German Restaurant, keeps his iPhone handy in case he needs to send a signal to the comic onstage.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Jenny Stockdale | June 6, 2012
David and Zev Brooks discovered some recent truth in a line from the 1989 big-screen baseball classic "Field of Dreams": "If you build it, he will come. " This past Tuesday, the American film distribution company Magnolia Home Entertainment released the brothers' award-winning 2009 independent film "The Yankles" on DVD andBlu-ray, bringing their first attempt at filmmaking into the home theaters of viewers across the country. On a late-night conference call last Thursday from their New York City hotel room, the filmmakers - David, a Westminster resident, who directed the film, and his older brother Zev, a Fountain Valley resident, who was its executive producer - reflected on the gamut of their film's success with fatigued delight.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tom Titus | June 5, 2012
The oldest local community theater company in Orange County, now sporting a new look in its lobby and restrooms, is getting ready to lift the curtain on its 52nd season. That would be the Westminster Community Theatre, which began producing in 1961 and occupied three different venues until its present location at 7272 Maple Ave. in Westminster was completed in 1974. (I've performed or directed at all of them.) Getting the 2012-13 season off and running will be a familiar entry, "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee," ticketed from July 13 to 28. This quirky musical comedy — postponed from last season due to the renovations — focuses on several "different" kids as they battle in a school spelldown.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tom Titus | January 18, 2012
For playwright Ken Ludwig, there truly is no business like show business. He's turned out a string of comedies, all connected to the performing arts, such as "Lend Me a Tenor," "Moon Over Buffalo" and "Twentieth Century. " With "Leading Ladies," now on stage at the Westminster Community Theater, Ludwig brings show biz to the provinces. The setting is York, Pa., where a pair of Shakespearean actors endeavor to claim a huge inheritance by posing as two long-lost cousins — the female variety.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tom Titus | October 27, 2010
Steve Martin's "Picasso at the Lapin Agile" is reminiscent of another comical Steve — Allen — and his "Meeting of Minds" some years past. Both are quite entertaining, but ultimately more intellectually stimulating than out-and-out funny. Martin's "Picasso," now on stage at the Huntington Beach Playhouse, is a study in "what-if," a chance meeting between two great minds at the outset of their careers — Pablo Picasso and Albert Einstein. They're surrounded by a coterie of quirky characters in this Parisian tavern who ultimately enhance the play's enjoyment.
NEWS
Tom Titus | October 7, 2010
Theatergoers in Huntington Beach may be forgiven if they're unsure which way to turn next weekend. All three local theater groups – the Huntington Beach Playhouse, Golden West College and the Academy for the Performing Arts at Huntington Beach High School – will be raising their curtains next Friday. The playhouse will be presenting "Picasso at the Lapin Agile," the first full-length play by comic actor Steve Martin. It features the characters of Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso.
NEWS
By Tom Titus | September 1, 2010
Comedy and tragedy, the traditional two sides of the theatrical mask, will be represented in the first two productions of the new season at Golden West College. The season will open Oct. 15 with Marc Camoletti's farcical comedy "Don't Dress for Dinner," originally a French farce but relocated for the Golden West production to upstate New York. The show will run through Oct. 24. The mood shifts to Shakespearean tragedy from Nov. 12 to 21 when "Othello" takes over the Mainstage Theater.
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