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December 19, 1992 | T.H. McCULLOH, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
There was a time when Christmas cards weren't quite so mass produced. Nor was Christmas spirit quite so mass produced as it is today. Shakespeare Orange County glances back into a gentler past and helps us recall what Christmas used to be.
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ENTERTAINMENT
March 7, 2013 | By Mike Boehm
Ending a 34-year run that made him one of the longest-tenured artistic directors on the Southern California theater scene, Thomas F. Bradac has announced he'll retire as leader of Shakespeare Orange County after its coming two-play summer season at the 550-seat Festival Amphitheater in Garden Grove. The company's future is uncertain, with no immediate plan for replacing the 65-year-old Bradac. Its board chair, Roland Bye, said Wednesday that he'll end his own involvement because “I'm not interested in keeping Shakespeare Orange County going without Tom.” Bradac and Bye said that others on the board and in the acting company will reach their own decisions about whether to try to continue the county's only professional classical stage company.
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ENTERTAINMENT
July 24, 1993 | Jan Herman, Times Staff Writer
"Much Ado About Nothing," critically lauded when it opened here recently at Chapman University's Waltmar Theater, is proving a hit for Shakespeare Orange County. "The box office was brisk last week," SOC artistic director Thomas F. Bradac said Tuesday. "We're hoping it will continues, because we lengthened our season by a week for each show this year, which means we still have seats to sell."
ENTERTAINMENT
August 13, 2007 | David C. Nichols, Special to The Times
Two households, both alike in energy if not always dignity, drive the limber Shakespeare Orange County revival of "Romeo and Juliet" in Garden Grove. This bracing open-air reading of the immortal romantic tragedy sets the fire sparkling in its title lovers' eyes by marrying traditional technique to unexpected humor. After Craig Brown's prince delivers his sonorous prologue, the warring Capulet and Montague servants set the tone of clear articulation and rampant physicality.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 16, 1995 | T.H. McCULLOH, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
With the theatrical overabundance every Yule season of anachronistic Santas, cutesy elves and overly family-oriented entertainments, it's always a pleasure to relax to the unusual and very often enlightening Christmas program from Shakespeare Orange County. Don't let that statement give you the wrong idea. SOC's "A Midwinter's Night Dream," subtitled "A Shakespearean Christmas," is suitable for families with kids--as long as they're bright kids.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 6, 1994 | T. H. McCULLOH, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Orson Welles was the first director to use what is called today a "concept" with a Shakespearean play. He placed his late 1930s WPA production in Haiti and called it "The Voodoo Macbeth." It fit beautifully. Since then, many directors have pasted on concepts that neither amplify nor clarify the Shakespearean text, and the fit is often uncomfortable.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 7, 1992 | JAN HERMAN
Virtually a year to the day since he was ousted as artistic director of the Grove Shakespeare Festival (since renamed GroveShakespeare), Thomas F. Bradac sat back and beamed with pleasure in the air-conditioned comfort of Chapman University's Waltmar Theatre in Orange.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 13, 1997 | T.H. McCULLOH, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
In 1951, a significant theater event occurred in New York: the world premiere of "Don Juan in Hell." As one act of George Bernard Shaw's immense 1903 "Man and Superman," it had rarely been included in performances of the longer play. The First Drama Quartet performed "Don Juan" in formal evening dress, reading the script from behind four music stands. With that innovative staging, Charles Boyer, Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Agnes Moorehead and director-actor Charles Laughton made theater history.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 14, 2007 | David C. Nichols, Special to The Times
The battle of the sexes rocks the Festival Amphitheatre in Garden Grove, where "The Taming of the Shrew" opens Shakespeare Orange County's summer season. Smartly directed by Carl Reggiardo, the Bard's vintage comedy receives a frisky outdoor staging, its staunch cast led by the stellar David Denman and Katie Amanda Keane.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 13, 2007 | David C. Nichols, Special to The Times
Two households, both alike in energy if not always dignity, drive the limber Shakespeare Orange County revival of "Romeo and Juliet" in Garden Grove. This bracing open-air reading of the immortal romantic tragedy sets the fire sparkling in its title lovers' eyes by marrying traditional technique to unexpected humor. After Craig Brown's prince delivers his sonorous prologue, the warring Capulet and Montague servants set the tone of clear articulation and rampant physicality.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 14, 2007 | David C. Nichols, Special to The Times
The battle of the sexes rocks the Festival Amphitheatre in Garden Grove, where "The Taming of the Shrew" opens Shakespeare Orange County's summer season. Smartly directed by Carl Reggiardo, the Bard's vintage comedy receives a frisky outdoor staging, its staunch cast led by the stellar David Denman and Katie Amanda Keane.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 13, 2004 | Lynne Heffley, Times Staff Writer
The hair-raiser in Shakespeare Orange County's relatively sanitized, open-air "Macbeth" at the Festival Amphitheatre is whether two actors will inadvertently decapitate each other during the clash and lunge of some quite lethal-looking swordplay. Not that the dark tale of a brave warrior who butchers his way to damnation must drip in slasher movie gore. Trevor Norton's abstract, bold ramp set and William Georges' artful tartan shadows are sufficiently eerie to set the mood under the night sky.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 20, 2004 | Don Shirley, Times Staff Writer
Garden Grove is back in the groove as one of the Southland's centers for summertime theater. Two radically different productions opened over the weekend in adjacent venues at the Village Green in downtown Garden Grove: a merrily traditional "Much Ado About Nothing" in the Festival Amphitheatre and three short, bleak Beckett plays in the smaller Gem Theatre. "Much Ado" marks the return of producer Tom Bradac to the Festival Amphitheatre, which recently underwent a $200,000 renovation by the city.
NEWS
July 15, 2004 | Mike Boehm, Times Staff Writer
Professional Theaters * South Coast Repertory, Costa Mesa. (714) 708-5555; www.scr.org. The synopsis: Founded in 1964, the flagship of Orange County theater. Artistic directors David Emmes and Martin Benson decided in the early 1980s to make a national mark by commissioning and producing new plays; SCR won the 1988 Tony Award as best regional theater.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 2, 2003 | Don Shirley, Times Staff Writer
Orange County is inadvertently playing host to a little "Othello" festival this summer, with two productions of Shakespeare's tragedy. In both, the soldiers wear modern fatigues. Shakespeare Orange County's vibrant "Othello" opened in Orange on the same weekend that the Grove Theater Center's closed in Garden Grove. Comparisons are inevitable. And Thomas F. Bradac's staging for Shakespeare Orange County, in the Waltmar Theatre on the campus of Chapman University, gets the nod.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 2, 2001 | MARK CHALON SMITH, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
"As You Like It" may be a trifle when weighed against much in Shakespeare's library, but it's a trifle with one of his most engaging comic heroines. That would be Rosalind, the amorous character nobody ever seems to mind spending a couple of hours with in the theater. Shakespeare Orange County has an appealing one in Elizabeth Taheri, who steadies an uneven staging with a mix of glee and guile. Everything starts slowly in this tale of the smitten lady and her swooning target, Orlando.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 19, 1998 | ROBERT KOEHLER, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Shakespeare Orange County's annual "A Shakespearean Christmas," at Chapman University's Waltmar Theatre, is one of those cheery yuletide events where cast members serve you goodies and warm cider after the show. Company member and director Michael Nehring was serving cider Thursday, and everyone had the same question. Why is this show closing down after this run, which ends Sunday? Nehring seemed a tad puzzled himself, and the best he could say was, "It felt like the right time."
ENTERTAINMENT
August 16, 1993 | SYLVIE DRAKE, TIMES THEATER CRITIC EMERITUS
Shakespeare Orange County's foray into "Julius Caesar" is a messy one: as brawling, eloquent and conflicted as the Shakespearean play itself. * In this tale of a leader's fall at the hands of political enemies, Shakespeare delivered a precise and stirring analysis of the perils of power and the jealousies it inspires.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 24, 2001 | MIKE BOEHM, TIMES STAFF WRITER
In her two seasons with Shakespeare Orange County, Elizabeth Taheri has woven her way through some of the Bard's most memorable female roles. She also has gotten some serious knitting done. Last summer she debuted as Kate in "The Taming of the Shrew." It was an innovative, surprising and, as Times reviewer T.H. McCulloh put it, "delicious" turn. She followed Kate with a wide-eyed Miranda in "The Tempest."
ENTERTAINMENT
June 29, 2001 | MIKE BOEHM, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Nearly eight pages of Bartlett's "Familiar Quotations"--220 entries in all--are given to passages from "Hamlet." But the line that Thomas F. Bradac deems most important, at least for actors and directors trying to put Shakespeare across on stage, is too plain to have made it onto the list of all-time linguistic hits. "We'll hear a play tomorrow," Hamlet says in Act II, scene two.
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