RIDE THE CYCLONE at Chance Theater

Photo by Doug Catiller, True Image Studio.

Patrick Chavis – Orange Curtain Review.

Ironically, this might be the happiest story about death I have ever seen. The Chance Theater has transformed its stage area to look like some haunted carnival that time has forgotten in the middle of the county. To further the illusion, the show tickets look like tickets you would use at a carnival. The seating pattern in The Chance also facilitated the feeling of going to the carnival. Add a strong cast of singers and a goofy but clever script with a unique twist on the genre, and, well, I think you’ve got a hit. Read more…

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

“Lip sync for your life!” RuPaul tells contestants every week on Drag Race. Ride the Cyclone, now making its California premiere at Chance Theater in Anaheim, makes a similar proclamation, impelling six dead teenagers to sing for a chance to leave the show’s carnival purgatory and survive the accident that killed them.

The story (book, music and lyrics by Brooke Maxwell and Jacob Richmond) introduces the audience to The Amazing Karnak (Robert Foran), our narrator and an animatronic fortune teller in the vein of Zoltar from Big. Karnak explains that a group of five high schoolers rode the Cyclone rollercoaster at a Canadian amusement park, and the coaster failed, causing their deaths. Karnak offers them the chance to return to life if they provide a compelling enough reason for it. Because this is a musical, the teens interpret this as a chance to plead their case via song, offering self-contained supplications to survive. Read more…