All stories by Cary Ginell on BroadwayStars

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Reviewing The Situation: 5-Star’s “Oliver!” Underdelivers by Cary Ginell

As the earliest Broadway musical ever to feature children playing major roles, Oliver! usually bristles with youthful excitement. But despite being marketed as a family-oriented musical, Oli…

SOURCE: at 12:11PM
Sunday, September 24, 2023

Goldie Hawn Charms In Appearance At The Kavli by Cary Ginell

The Distinguished Speaker Series kicked off its 28th season with a rare appearance by actress, producer, author, and children’s health advocate Goldie Hawn. Over the years we have seen an …

SOURCE: at 06:49PM
Friday, August 4, 2023

Anatomy Of A Play: Darrin Ingram Premieres “Sage” In A Staged Reading At Conejo Players by Cary Ginell

Staged readings are an emotional time for a writer of a play or musical. It marks the first time a creation moves from the two dimensions of the written word to the three dimensions of a liv…

SOURCE: at 07:23PM
Monday, July 17, 2023

Revamped “Cinderella” Combines Politics With Fairy Tale Romance by Cary Ginell

In Douglas Carter Beane’s 2013 revamping of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic musical version of the “Cinderella” fairy tale, apparently, the magical transformation of a ragamuffin h…

SOURCE: at 08:32PM
Wednesday, March 29, 2023

5-Star’s “Ragtime” Still Relevant After A Quarter Century by Cary Ginell

An unprovoked assault on a Black motorist. An unwanted infant buried alive in a garden. Vengeful vigilantes burning down firehouses. A vapid starlet seeks tabloid publicity through the sensa…

SOURCE: at 11:32AM
Wednesday, March 8, 2023

In Which We Find Out What’s “Nu” With Yente From “Fiddler On The Roof” by Cary Ginell

The classic 1964 musical Fiddler On the Roof arrives in Thousand Oaks on Thursday, March 9 and prior to opening we had a chat with Mary Beth Webber, who plays the part of Yente in the show. …

SOURCE: at 11:43AM
Monday, February 27, 2023

Conejo Players Presents “The Nameless Star” – One-Time Only Staged Reading by Cary Ginell

On Sunday, March 5, the Conejo Players Theatre will be presenting a staged reading of The Nameless Star, a 1942 play written by Romanian playwright Mihail Sebastian about a chance encounter …

SOURCE: at 12:34PM
Monday, January 30, 2023

An E-Ticket Dark Ride Into The Soul Of Walt Disney by Cary Ginell

The title of Lucas Hnath’s 2013 play is unwieldy. In fact, if it weren’t in italics, we weren’t sure whether it was a play title or a press release description. A Public Reading of an …

SOURCE: at 01:34PM
Monday, December 12, 2022

Group Rep Revives Gray Flannel Comedy “Promises, Promises” by Cary Ginell

Long before Mamma Mia! and Jersey Boys put the pop into pop musicals, a tuneful score by songsmiths Burt Bacharach and Hal David was inserted into a stage adaptation of Billy Wilder and I.A.…

SOURCE: at 06:16PM
Saturday, October 15, 2022

5-Star’s “Addams Family” A Monstrous Success by Cary Ginell

Halloween is once again upon us and with that, you can expect another visit from the creepy, kooky, and ooky Addams clan, in the 2010 Broadway musical The Addams Family. 5-Star Theatricals u…

SOURCE: at 11:19PM
Sunday, July 3, 2022

Prodigal Daughter Returns Home: Jonalyn Saxer Stars in 5-Star’s “Newsies” by Cary Ginell

When we first saw Jonalyn Saxer, it was 2010. Jonalyn was an eighteen-year-old senior, playing Maria von Trapp in Oak Park High School’s performance of The Sound of Music. In my review in …

SOURCE: at 01:20PM
Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Ye Gods! Ojai Does “The Music Man” by Cary Ginell

Summer is here and what better way to spend the week of the Fourth with a production of The Music Man, Meredith Willson’s tribute to small-town America in the early twentieth century. An o…

SOURCE: at 10:31AM
Sunday, April 3, 2022

Agoura High Stages Opulent “Cinderella” by Cary Ginell

If you were a five-year-old girl going to see her first musical, Agoura High School’s recent semester-ending production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella would be the one to see. W…

SOURCE: at 05:22PM
Friday, March 25, 2022

“South Pacific” Shows Its Age, But Is Still An Enchanted Evening by Cary Ginell

America was a different place in 1949 when Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific made its debut. World War II was still fresh in the minds of audiences but Oscar Hammerstein II, who wrot…

SOURCE: at 08:11PM
Monday, March 21, 2022

Actor Gives A New Spin To The Enterprising Seabee Of “South Pacific” by Cary Ginell

American Theatre Guild’s current national tour of South Pacific brings Rodgers and Hammerstein’s most successful musical to Thousand Oaks, a show whose score boasts more hits than any ot…

SOURCE: at 02:42PM
Tuesday, March 15, 2022

“Kinky Boots” Kicks Up Its Heels At Moorpark College by Cary Ginell

In the 2013 Tony Awards, the big winner was “Kinky Boots,” a musical version of a 2005 film whose plot told of a failing shoe factory in Northampton, England that was rejuvenated when it…

SOURCE: at 06:04PM
Monday, February 28, 2022

Anna Kotula Reprises Performance As Emily Dickinson by Cary Ginell

The life and writings of Emily Dickinson, one of America’s most treasured poets, comes vividly to life in the Elite Theatre Company’s production of The Belle of Amherst by William Luce…

SOURCE: at 01:26PM
Monday, February 21, 2022

Matt Vaucher Talks About Being A “Jersey Boy” by Cary Ginell

On February 24, American Theatre Guild’s production of Jersey Boys makes a single appearance in Thousand Oaks at the Fred Kavli Theater. COVID forced the canceling of the show twice, first…

SOURCE: at 04:40PM
Friday, February 18, 2022

Broadway Parodist Gerard Alessandrini Talks About “Spamilton” & “Forbidden Broadway” by Cary Ginell

Gerard Alessandrini (Creator, Writer & Director) is a Special Tony Award winner for Excellence in the Theatre. He created, wrote, and directed all 25 editions of Forbidden Broadway in…

SOURCE: at 05:27PM
Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Shakespeare Dismembered: An Interview With The Stars Of “Something Rotten!” by Cary Ginell

It’s always nice when we see a show that has never been performed in Ventura County so we were looking forward to seeing 5-Star Theatricals’ Something Rotten!, the 2015 sendup of Shakesp…

SOURCE: at 03:36PM
Monday, February 7, 2022


With the worst of the pandemic hopefully in the rear view mirror, Young Artists Ensemble is back in action with another stellar introduction to children’s theatre. Joseph Robinette’s The…

SOURCE: at 01:50PM
Monday, December 6, 2021

SVCAC Is Back In Business With “Always…Patsy Cline” by Cary Ginell

When producers of country music decided to try and appeal to pop audiences sixty years ago, the main recipient of this shift to a more accessible sound was Patsy Cline, a rough-and-tumble, t…

SOURCE: at 12:10PM
Saturday, December 4, 2021

“The Band’s Visit” – An Exquisite Look At The Magic Of Music To Heal And To Inspire by Cary Ginell

It’s one of the most common themes found in Broadway musicals: a culturally stagnating town is rejuvenated when an outsider arrives on the scene, affecting everyone in the process. You’v…

SOURCE: at 01:57PM
Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Conejo Players’ “Baby” Delivers by Cary Ginell

After watching Conejo Players’ production of “Baby,” which plays through November 21 at the company’s newly reopened theatre in Thousand Oaks, a better title for the musical might ha…

SOURCE: at 11:25PM
Monday, November 1, 2021

Elite’s “Severance Play” Is Cutting Edge Dramedy by Cary Ginell

If you’ve ever worked in an office, you might be familiar with experiencing the panic of running late for an important meeting for which you are designated to play a key role. That is the …

SOURCE: at 01:23PM
Wednesday, October 20, 2021

5-Star Returns With “Mamma Mia!” by Cary Ginell

To show you how little importance the plot for the jukebox musical Mamma Mia! is, the printed program lists no scenes from the show, only an alphabetical checklist of the 22 songs inserted i…

SOURCE: at 02:36PM
Sunday, October 17, 2021

Eric Martsolf On Moving From Soap Operas To The Stage In “Mamma Mia!” by Cary Ginell

In 5-Star Theatricals’ current production o Mamma Mia! the role of Sam Carmichael is played by veteran soap opera star Eric Martsolf. Although he’s known to his fans mainly for the roles…

SOURCE: at 07:19PM
Sunday, October 3, 2021

Kim Huber Talks About Coming Out Of COVID Quarantine For 5-Star’s “Mamma Mia!” by Cary Ginell

On October 15, 5-Star Theatricals becomes the next theatre company to emerge from its COVID-induced hibernation with its production of the feel-good musical, Mamma Mia! Playing the central r…

SOURCE: at 02:15PM
Thursday, August 5, 2021

YAE’s “Les Miserables” A Stunner by Cary Ginell

Of all elements of society hit by the pandemic, the one that got hit the hardest was the performing arts. Many theatre companies were forced to close their doors while those that managed to …

SOURCE: at 09:48AM
Sunday, August 1, 2021

World Premiere At The Geer: Ventura County’s Own “Our Town” by Cary Ginell

Welcome back, regional theatre! For the past 16 months, we’ve been sporadically seeing a variety of virtual and drive-in plays, musicals, and revues, but it’s great to get back to live, …

SOURCE: at 03:26PM
Tuesday, December 29, 2020

The 8th Annual “Vee-Cee” Awards – COVID edition by Cary Ginell

It’s time once again for the annual “Vee-Cee” Awards, in which we honor some of the most memorable performances on Ventura County stages over the course of the past year. Because of th…

SOURCE: at 02:34PM

All that Chat