Looking back at 2010 OC Theater: Love, or a Lack Thereof

Will Blakely
Brad Fraser's True Love Lies

​Back in the days when water was clean, love was worth it and nothing but unlimited promise beckoned on the horizon, OC Weekly used to host an annual OC Weekly Theater Awards. Launched in 1997 in order to celebrate the best theatrical accomplishments of the previous year, the affair evolved from a modest group of people celebrating at a Laguna Beach restaurant into a huge party (free food! free booze!) that drew some 200 thespians (and thespian-lovers) to South Coast Repertory's Mainstage Theater in 2006.

But that was then--this is now. And the best we can do for the Year In Theater 2010 is a cyber-post that applauds those souls and productions that were able for even an instant to draw the blue from the most cynical of a theater critic's eyes (thanks to Ellis Paul for that line).

Note: This list is comprised of shows only witnessed by the eyes attached to these fingers. For another Best of 2010 list, check out LA/OC Arts Examiner Jordan R. Young's post here.


The Alter Boys3D Theatricals

Digging Up the Dirt, Breath of Fire Latina Theatre Ensemble

Fences, South Coast Repertory

King Lear, Shakespeare Orange County

The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?, Chance Theater

The Language Archive, South Coast Repertory

The Producers, The Maverick Theater

True Love LiesMonkey Wrench Collective

Shopping and FuckingMonkey Wrench Collective


Brian Avers, Becky Shaw, South Coast Repertory

Andrea Dennison-Laufer, Nine, Hunger Artists Theatre

Veda Franklin, The Manchurian CandidateMaverick Theater

Melanie Gable, The Fever, Monkey Wrench Collective

Mark Harelik, In a GardenSouth Coast Repertory

Laura Heisler, The Language ArchiveSouth Coast Repertory

Baron Kelly, Fences, South Coast Repertory

Ron Menzel, In the Next Room (Or the Vibrator Play),  South Coast Repertory

Nick McGee, basically any time he stepped on the Maverick's stage

Shaun-Michael McNamara, The ProducersThe Maverick Theater

John Prosky, The Night of the Tribades, California Repertory Company

Carl Reggiardo, King Lear, Shakespeare Orange County

Cynthia Ryanen, Sans MerciHunger Artists

Ryan Shively, King Lear, Shakespeare Orange County


Dave Barton, True Love LivesMonkey Wrench Collective

Thomas F. Bradac, King Lear, Shakespeare Orange County

Mark Brokaw, The Language ArchiveSouth Coast Repertory (and my humble apologies to Mr. Brokaw for not mentioning his name in my review . . .)

Thomas P. Cooke, The Night of the TribadesCalifornia Repertory Co.

Katie Chidester, Buried Child, Hunger Artists

Pam Mackinnon, Becky ShawSouth Coast Repertory

Brian Newell, The Producers, Maverick Theater

Ensemble Performance:

The Alter Boys3D Productions

Buried ChildHunger Artists

Debbie Does Dallas: The Musical, Maverick Theater

The Producers, Maverick Theater

Sans Merci, Hunger Artists

Shopping and Fucking, Monkey Wrench Collective

The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?,  Chance Theater

Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up

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