TO Acorn – Laughs rain down in latest play

The Thousand Oaks Acorn came out to see Don’t Drink the Water, now through Feb. 4, and the reviews are in!

“Fortunately, CPT director John Eslick settled on the brilliant Kelly Green to play the part of harried American tourist Walter Hollander, who finds himself in a quagmire of trouble after he innocently takes photographs of an Iron Curtain missile site and takes refuge in an American embassy … The result is a comic tour de force as Green bumbles, blusters and bloviates while trying to come up with a way to escape the embassy while avoiding the encroaching police.”

“Character actor chameleon Raymond Mastrovito delivers one of his best performances ever as the lovable Father Drobney, a priest who has been hiding in the embassy for six years, trying out his magic act on anyone who will listen. Mastrovito, an amateur magician himself who delights in affecting foreign accents, steals every scene he is in, and even brought in some of his own magic props from home to use in the show.”

Tickets are now on sale, don’t miss it!

‘9 to 5’ cast turns the tables

The reviews are in for 9 to 5, and it’s a hit!

Strong performances abound in CPT’ s leading quartet of characters, led by Dana Kolb in the Tomlin character of Violet,” said Cary Ginell in the Acorn. “As she did this past summer in CPT’s “The Sound of Music,” Katie McTyre makes everyone around her better through her superlative performance as Doralee. Mary Grace Zehnpfennig is equally excellent as Judy (played in the film by Fonda), a mousy housewife new to the workplace who shows the greatest growth of any character in the story.”

“Director Erin Fagundes has assembled a huge cast and has skillfully mounted a technically demanding production filled with engaging characterizations, familiar situations (sadly, many that are still in play even today) and high-spirited action,” said the Ventura Breeze’s Shirley Lorraine. “The less than PC boss, Franklin Hart, Jr., is played to the comedic hilt by Scott Quintard. He embodies fully the character everyone loves to hate. He is often backed up by a capable cadre of yes-men dancers who are a delight to watch as they move set pieces into place.”

Read the stories in the Thousand Oaks Acorn and the Ventura Breeze, and get your tickets today!

TO Acorn – ‘Music Man Jr.’ a family affiar

The Thousand Oaks Acorn’s Cary Ginell got an advanced look at the Music Man Jr. and noticed an family connection right away.

“Darrin and Susan Ingram and their two children, Skyler and Kaelia, are all part of the production,” said Ginell. “For the Ingrams, ‘The Music Man’ has special personal memories since Darrin and Susan met while performing in the show at the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse in Auburn, New York.”

Read the whole story in the Thousand Oaks Acorn, and get your tickets today!

Curious Incident review – ‘Live theater doesn’t get much better than this’

Theatre critic Cary Ginell saw The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time last week and absolutely raved about it. Here are some highlights:

“‘Curious Incident’ is a tour de force of acting, directing and production values that takes us inside Christopher’s chaotic mind, assaulting the senses with visual and sonic elements ranging from heartwarming to nightmarish. Live theater doesn’t get much better than this.”

“Although ‘Curious Incident’ is performed often in community theater, this particular production is to be singled out for its terrific production values, brilliantly guided by director Tanner Redman.”

“Rarely have sound and lighting design played such a large part in a show’s success.”

“[Brendan] Lynch’s characterization is nothing short of remarkable.”

“Avery Sierra-Valdes does a beautiful job in the role [of Judy].”

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time runs through Sept. 24, get your tickets now!

Review – ‘Bee’ gets an A for superlative cast

Critics saw The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and can’t stop raving!

According to the Ventura Breeze, the cast members each “… gave distinct and delightful characterizations, tackling their individual shining moments with verve and enthusiasm.”

Cary Ginell at The Acorn says “Touching as well as madcap, “Spelling Bee” is a joy to watch and infinitely enhanced by William Finn’s charming, revelatory score. Conejo Players Theatre does the show justice with this exemplary production running through July 23.”

Extended for an extra weekend, Spelling Bee runs through July 23, get your tickets now!

Review – Musical brings back the innocence of Elvismania

Theatre critic Cary Ginell saw Bye Bye Birdie on opening night and had a few things to say!

“Conejo Players’ current production, which opened March 25, uses a rich cast of characters to tell the story of an Elvis-like teen idol whose forthcoming induction is prefaced by one last publicity stunt, one that upends the lives of the frantic teenagers of fictional Sweet Apple, Ohio.”

“Brendan Lynch’s Albert is a manic-depressive who is either congratulating himself on his P.R. brilliance or wringing his hands over his client, who is basically a cardboard cutout in gold lamé.”

“Albert’s mother, Mae, has the most laugh lines of any character, and Eve Kiefer hits each one of Mae’s lines out of the park.”

“Devery Holmes does her usual superb job as director while hubby, Jim Holmes, and Shelley Saxer do a marvelous job with the singers.”

Bye Bye Birdie runs through April 11, don’t miss it!

Review – Conejo Players heads down the rabbit hole in ‘Harvey’

Theatre critic Cary Ginell saw ‘Harvey’ on opening night and had a few things to say!

“How an actor portrays Elwood is central to any production’s success, and John Eslick provides a near-perfect performance as this polite and courteous fellow …”

“Judy Diderrich nearly runs away with the play …”

“Local veteran character actor Dale Alpert fits right into his portrayal of Dr. William Chumley …”

Harvey continues through Feb. 12, don’t miss it!

Review – ‘Almost, Maine’ a shimmering look at love and loss

The Acorn newspaper came to see Almost, Maine and the reviews are in!

“… individuals were enchanted by the talent of the play’s six young actors, all of whom perform multiple roles in John Cariani’s series of romantic comedy sketches.”

Almost, Maine runs through Oct. 3, get tickets now!

Read the whole review here: