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Archive for Chance Theater


James Michael McHale and Rudy Solis III. Photo by Camryn Long.

James Michael McHale and Rudy Solis III. Photo by Camryn Long.

Dana Martin – Stage Raw

The Chance Theatre is pulling nothing but power moves this season. Kristoffer Diaz’s 2009 Pulitzer Prize Finalist, The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, is masculinity on overdrive.

Macedonio Guerra, or The Mace (Rudy Solis III) knows his wrestling history. What’s more, he reveres the form as high art worthy of praise and recognition. He’s a pro wrestler himself, and he’s not just good at his job — he’s great. It’s a childhood dream realized but with a caveat: rather than fame and fortune, The Mace is a “jobber to the stars,” meaning he gets paid to lose matches to stars like Chad Deity (Londale Theus Jr.). Chad Deity is the ultimate anti-hero: he’s rich, flashy, and has an ego the size of Alaska, despite being a mediocre-at-best wrestler. Read more…

Through October 23


Sophia Barajas, Angie Chavez, Eric Dobson, Wyatt Hatfield, and Kristin O’Connell. Photo by Camryn Long

Sophia Barajas, Angie Chavez, Eric Dobson, Wyatt Hatfield, and Kristin O’Connell. Photo by Camryn Long

Dana Martin – Stage Raw

This is calling out to Idiot America: Chance Theater would like to offer a healthy, full-throated Fuck You to the American Establishment with their latest production, Green Day’s American Idiot (music by Green Day, lyrics by Billie Joe Armstrong, book by Armstrong and Michael Mayer) — an angsty pop-punk-protest rock opera about a generation of scapegoats who’ve been collectively traumatized, unfairly blamed for society’s shortcomings, and burdened with a dismal future. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Read more…

Extended through August 21

CLAUDIO QUEST at Chance Theatre

thumbnail_Claudio Quest

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

I have never been much of a video game player. Truthfully I haven’t played one since the very early versions of Pong and PacMan started replacing pin ball machines in bars to give customers something to do while drinking. So I was a bit leery about seeing the new musical Claudio Quest…..Read more…

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

Beating a video game is no simple feat, and neither is writing a musical — especially a new musical about video games. Unfortunately, while the characters in Claudio Quest, now playing at the  in Anaheim, are able to save the day, the show itself can’t beat the final boss battle: being an unequivocally good piece of theater. Read more…

Now running through February 26

LITTLE WOMEN at Chance Theatre

(Chance Theatre)

(Chance Theatre)

Jonas Schwartz – TheaterMania

With only a piano and a small cast, Chance Theater‘s production of Little Women is a pleasurable surprise — a warm and inviting musical, filled with spirited characters and melodic songs. It feels like being home for the holidays with family. Read more…

Now running through December 23

A BRIGHT NEW BOISE – Chance Theater at the Bette Aitken Theater Arts Center

Photo by Doug Catiller

Photo by Doug Catille

Margaret Gray – LA Times

Some of us try to jury-rig meaningful lives using the disheartening fragments at our disposal; others dream of wiping the slate clean and starting anew. Both approaches prove painfully unsatisfying to the lonely characters in Samuel D. Hunter’s play “A Bright New Boise,” the 2011 Obie Award winner being revived at Chance Theater. Read more…

Now running through October 25.

LYSISTRATA JONES at the Chance Theater

Photo by Thamer Bajjali

Photo by Thamer Bajjali

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

When Aristophanes penned Lysistrata in 411 BC, he could hardly have imagined that his play would have spawned the many innovative modifications that have taken place over the centuries. The concept is irresistible: A group of women band together and withhold sex from their menfolk until the men have taken action to end a war. In this case, a group of college cheerleaders make a pact to forgo “giving it up” until their losing Athens University basketball team wins a game. Read more…

Now running through March 9.
















David C. Nichols – LA Times

Old Hickory gets a charge of anarchistic electricity in “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” at the Chance Theater in Anaheim Hills. This sublimely raucous take on Alex Timbers and Michael Friedman’s savage emo rock evisceration of American politics via the seventh president of the United States is an in-your-face triumph.
Read more…

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

A number of successful musicals have interpreted history in the light of politics. Audiences have been entertained, as musicals from Ragtime to Annie to Wicked examine societal issues. In this case, populism takes center stage as Andrew Jackson’s life unfolds from youth to the presidency and the rise of the Democratic party. It’s an exhilarating ride.
Read more…

Now running through August 4.

West Side Story, Chance Theater

Doug Catiller / True Image Studio


West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents.

David C. Nichols – LA Times

It’s not just the exposure to countless editions of West Side Story that causes us to stagger dazed and elated from the Chance Theater. Less a revival than a whole-scale reinvention, this stunning chamber version of the landmark 1957 musical by Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents yields breathtaking, deeply moving results.  Read more…


Shirle Gottlieb – Stage Happenings

As I suggested in my review of Reborning, all lovers of  musical theater should plan ahead for The Chance Theater’s next  production, West Side Story.  Read more…