All stories by Cary Ginell on BroadwayStars

Friday, February 14, 2020

“Beautiful” – A Flawed But Effective Chronicle Of The Rise Of Carole King by Cary Ginell

The appeal of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, which arrived in Thousand Oaks on February 13 for a four-day run, can be summed up by the comments of an elderly couple leaving the Fred Kav…

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Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Kennedy Caughell Talks About Channeling Carole King In “Beautiful” by Cary Ginell

Beautiful, the musical that chronicles the life of singer/songwriter Carole King, comes to the Conejo Valley for the first time in American Theatre Guild’s national tour. Many performers h…

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Thursday, January 30, 2020

“Shirley Valentine” Teaches Us How To Live & Love Life by Cary Ginell

The sudden death of Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant on Sunday cast a pall over not just Southern California basketball fans, but people around the world who admired Bryant for his devoti…

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Monday, January 20, 2020

Time-Twisting Tale Of Love And Regret In Elite’s “Bloomsday” by Cary Ginell

Steven Dietz’s play, Bloomsday, which made its debut at the Elite Theatre Company in Oxnard January 17, is a Twilight Zone-like story that mixes past and present, using James Joyce’s nov…

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Saturday, January 18, 2020

“Finding Neverland” – A Charming, Delightful Anatomy Of A Fantasy In The Making by Cary Ginell

In Finding Neverland, reality is blurred by imagination as J. M. Barrie, the creator of the characters and the original play version of Peter Pan, struggles with writer’s block as he tries…

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Wednesday, December 25, 2019

The 7th Annual “Vee-Cee” Awards for Top Performances in Ventura County Theater 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. As I explain …

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Tuesday, December 24, 2019

“The Man Who Came To Dinner” Is Rip-Roaring Comedy For The Holidays by Cary Ginell

For sheer timeless comedy, there are few plays better than The Man Who Came To Dinner, Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman’s hilarious love letter to owlish American theater critic Alexander W…

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Tuesday, November 26, 2019

On Patrick Cassidy’s Departure From 5-Star by Cary Ginell

Toward the end of Meredith Willson’s The Music Man, traveling salesman Harold Hill tells Marian Paroo, “For the first time in my life, my foot got caught in the door.” A few weeks ago,…

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Friday, November 8, 2019

Musician Makes Acting Debut In “Bandstand” National Tour by Cary Ginell

Bandstand is a musical that most people are not familiar with, but should be. Its plot deals with a group of musicians who come back to the U.S. after serving in World War II and finding it …

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Wednesday, November 6, 2019

A Visit With “Huck” and “Jim” Of “Big River” by Cary Ginell

Good news for theater fans! Rubicon Theatre Company’s current production of Big River has been extended until November 17. Its success is due in part to Beverly and Kirby Ward’s evocati…

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Monday, November 4, 2019

Kirby & Beverly Ward On Their Remarkable Staging Of “Big River” by Cary Ginell

Bringing a show as expansive as Big River to the small stage of the Rubicon Theatre Company was a daunting prospect, but Kirby and Beverly Ward thrive on such problems and ended up producing…

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Thursday, October 31, 2019

“Big River” – Bringing A Classic To The Small Stage by Cary Ginell

There is one word that best describes the motivation of the two main characters in the 1985 musical Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The word is “freedom.” Both Huckleberry…

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Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Kirby & Beverly Ward Discuss Rubicon’s “Big River” by Cary Ginell

In this first of three features on the Rubicon Theatre Company’s production of Big River, co-producers/directors Beverly and Kirby Ward discuss their vision for bringing the Tony Award-win…

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Thursday, October 24, 2019

Trent Mills Talks About Comedy And Playing Marcellus In “The Music Man” by Cary Ginell

Every so often an actor emerges who is what I call a “five-tool-player,” a term borrowed from baseball, describing someone who can run, hit, field, throw, and hit for power. In the theat…

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Ye Gods! Meet Zaneeta and Tommy Of 5-Star’s “The Music Man” by Cary Ginell

In 5-Star Theatricals’ current production of Meredith Willson’s The Music Man, acrobatics worthy of an Olympics gymnastic meet are turned in nightly by Antonia Vivino, who plays starry-…

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Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Adam Pascal Talks About “The Music Man,” “Rent,” and 9/11 by Cary Ginell

Last week we spoke with Adam Pascal about his approach to playing Professor Harold Hill in Meredith Willson’s classic musical comedy The Music Man. 5-Star Theatrical’s production, whic…

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Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Broadway’s Adam Pascal Comes To River City by Cary Ginell

Ventura County theater fans were overjoyed when 5-Star Theatricals announced that veteran Broadway star Adam Pascal would be starring as raffish traveling salesman Harold Hill in the company…

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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

“Blue/Orange” Blurs Reality & Madness In Tense Trialogue Play by Cary Ginell

In British playwright Joe Penhall’s Blue/Orange, Christopher is a patient in a London psychiatric hospital who has been admitted under a “Section 2” for what has been diagnosed as a …

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Tuesday, July 2, 2019

“Vanities” Traces Personality Traits Through The Years by Cary Ginell

Plays that show characters changing through the years are some of the most challenging actors can experience. In the 1976 Off-Broadway play Vanities, author/playwright Jack Heifner focuses …

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Monday, May 20, 2019

High School Actor Is On His Way…. by Cary Ginell

Today we received a letter from Andrew Landecker, senior film student at Calabasas High School who played the role of Amos Hart in the school’s March production of Chicago. Here’s what…

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Sunday, May 19, 2019

“Avenue Q” Has Message To Go With Its Mirth by Cary Ginell

In a world that is consumed by political correctness, Avenue Q, which made its debut at the Conejo Players Theatre May 3 for a brief two-weekend run, shatters Broadway conventions with its r…

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Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Pacific Festival Ballet Stages World Premiere Of “Camelot” by Cary Ginell

Camelot, the original “Game of Thrones,” is familiar to theater and film fans through its highly successful stage productions but a new ballet, produced by Pacific Festival Ballet, makes…

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Friday, April 5, 2019

Young Thespian Shines In “Curious Incident” by Cary Ginell

Its theater is definitely of the no-frills variety, a black box constructed in the space of two public storage units in an industrial park in Ventura, but there is no denying the talent that…

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Thursday, March 14, 2019

“Matilda” – A 5-Star Homecoming For Lewis Wilkenfeld by Cary Ginell

Next week, former Cabrillo Music Theater artistic director Lewis Wilkenfeld returns to Thousand Oaks to direct Matilda, the story about a precocious English girl who uses books and literacy…

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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Pasadena Playhouse Uncrates New Imagining Of “Ragtime” by Cary Ginell

Ragtime, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty’s musicalized version of E. L. Doctorow’s novel about a quickly changing America at the turn of the 20th century, has received a new concept, wh…

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Tuesday, February 12, 2019

“Minnie’s Boys” Staged Reading Tracks Early Antics Of The Marx Brothers by Cary Ginell

Musical Theatre Guild’s latest staged reading, Minnie’s Boys, was performed at Glendale’s Alex Theatre on Sunday, February 10, and although it was great to finally get to see this rar…

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Monday, February 11, 2019

Rubicon’s “Heisenberg” Delivers With Life-Affirming, Intimate Drama by Cary Ginell

As Simon Stephens’ 2015 play Heisenberg opens, a 75-year-old Irish butcher named Alex Priest is sitting in a London Underground station, listening to music on his iPhone. Without warning…

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Friday, February 8, 2019

Agoura High Senior Griffen Hamilton To Direct “Mamma Mia!” by Cary Ginell

Next week, Agoura High School senior Griffen Hamilton will be directing the school’s production of Mamma Mia!, his first full-length musical. Griffen has been featured in Raymond Saar’…

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Thursday, February 7, 2019

Shannon Warne & Marc Baron Ginsburg Join Pasadena Playhouse Cast Of “Ragtime” by Cary Ginell

Two faces familiar to Ventura County audiences will be performing dream roles when they debut in Ragtime, which plays from February 10 to March 3 at the Pasadena Playhouse. Both Shannon Wa…

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Friday, February 1, 2019

Nick Santa Maria & Jordan Schneider Talk Revolution In “1776” by Cary Ginell

In McCoy Rigby Entertainment’s production of 1776, director Glenn Casale cast a mix of veteran stage performers with younger newcomers. The result blends beautifully in the musical comedy…

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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

“1776”: That Other Musical About Our Founding Fathers by Cary Ginell

With all the fuss and fame that Hamilton has caused in bringing America’s founding fathers to the stage, one easily forgets its predecessor, 1776, a delightful show that only gets bette…

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