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Directing Reviews
Puffs: 7 Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic & Magic
-Cabrillo Playhouse

     What starts as goofy fanfiction of the Harry Potter films ends on a wistful note that one might cherish as a poignant attribute of the human condition.

     Both the set and costumes for this show are great. With limited space, they made the environment enjoyable, attractive and an obvious reference to the source material.

     The actors are strong and confident, while the script is casually funny sufficiently so that even when a certain performer breaks character to laugh at their scene, it’s campy enough that nothing is ruined.

     Rated 8.5/10, Great Show and OCR Recommended

     -Alina Mae Wilson, Orange Curtain Review

Doubt: A Parable
-Newport Theatre Arts Center

     Directed by Eric Modyman, Newport Theatre Arts Center's new production of "Doubt" proves the durability and potency of the 2004 play's script. Modyman's outstanding cast leaves us no "doubt" that in writing his play, Shanley hit upon something profound. Modyman's skilled direction clearly sketches the onerous weight pressing down on its three main characters.

     "Doubt" is a play of concepts and ideas, yet one that stores our emotions - a theatrical rarity. Be sure to catch it while you can, because - without a "doubt" - you'll be debating its issues long after the final curtain call.

     -Eric Machese, Newport Beach Independent Review

Doubt Cast.jpeg
Tom Jones
-Whittier Center Theater

     Director Eric Modyman has pulled out all the stops to make this oddly minted melodrama as silly as possible. The main characters are played with conviction and even glee by a solid group of performers, and with a cleverly mobile set and costuming which evokes the correct time period, it has much humor to recommend it.

     Taken just as a faux melodrama, “Tom Jones” comes off pretty well. Just don’t go expecting, well, “Tom Jones.” There is no subtlety here, in that melodrama virtually doesn’t allow for anything subtle. Still, it’s fun, it’s silly, and it has the same happy ending. That can be quite satisfying all by itself.

     -Frances Baum Nicholson, Stage Struck Review

     The Eric Modyman directed version of “Tom Jones” is a prime example of  immediacy at its finest. The play is a melodrama involving audience interactions with cheers, boos and sighs on command with cue cards.

     Admittedly, this is the first time I’ve seen a play in this manner. My primary concern was a feeling of forced jokes and non-organic interactions between actors and the audience. After all, there’s a reason community theater in general has a lukewarm reputation.

     It’s with great pleasure that I can come to you and announce “Tom Jones” is a major success. In terms of theatrical experiences, it’s a blast from start to finish.

     -Diego Crespo, El Paisano Rio Hondo Review

As You Like It
-La Habra Depot

     Out of all the eras Mysterium could’ve picked, the 60s isn’t a bad choice.  The subject matter lends itself well to a free love, commune type of environment.  The nonsensicalness of the plot can be forgiven due to (nearly) all the characters being high. The impromptu rendition of “With A Little Help From My Friends” was nice.  The wrestling scene set to Creedance Clearwater’s “Bad Moon Rising” was one of the best moments.

     Director Eric Modyman succeeds in pulling out quality performances from his actors. He brought along his The Importance of Being Earnest castmates Chelsea Caracoza and Hailey Buck. All three give groovy performances. As You Like It is a lot of fun.  It has good characters, a good action moment or two, and some great lines.

     -Daniella Litvak, Orange County Review

The Importance of Being Earnest
-Cabrillo Playhouse

     This is “A” material. However, Eric Modyman’s director’s notes betray some anxiety about staging a comedy of manners originally written during a time period infamous for its fussiness. I have to admit to sharing a similar anxiety. Too many times, I’ve had to witness stagings and adaptations transform some of the greatest comedies ever written (Austen, Dickens, etc) into a dry, dull snooze fest.

     This was not the case at all, the Cabrillo Playhouse knocked this show out of the park. It delivers everything you want from an Oscar Wilde play –something fun, vivacious, and intensely quotable. The first act goes by so fast not because it’s relatively short but because I was immediately drawn in and already feeling a bellyache from laughing so hard. 

This was intelligent and exuberant entertainment at its best.

     -Daniella Litvak, Orange Curtain Review

The Comedy of Errors
-Mysterium Theater

     Director Eric Modyman has amassed a talented troupe with a clear understanding of the tale they are telling. While Mysterium's production of Comedy Of errors does not reinvent the theatrical wheel or add profound nuances to one of Shakespeare's lighter works it consistently entertains and provides an accessible narrative for all audience types. It's a gun slingin' good time.

     -Mark Rosier, OC Theatre Reviews

     I have a confession to make. I am a Shakespearean fuddy duddy! I confess to liking traditional Shakespeare, in fact I prefer it. So when I went to see The Comedy of Errors at Mysterium Theater I was prepared to dislike it. It was set in the wild west. I knew I was going to hate it. What a surprise then, when I really enjoyed it! I wasn't overly fond of some of the fight scenes but overall the show moved well, was funny, and made for an enjoyable afternoon's viewing! Well done Eric Modyman!

     -Rose London, OC Theatre Reviews

     This is not your high school English teacher's Shakespeare. It is also not the Ahmanson Theater or South Coast Repertory. It is a very casual, intimate, outdoor production with limited costumes and sets by some really talented, spirited young actors and a director who thinks The Comedy of Errors ought to be, uhhh ...COMEDY! Yes - they dare to think the audience is supposed to LAUGH at a Shakespeare performance. And they do their most to make it happen, so you are likely to feel entertained.

     This production is set in a town in the Old West, and that works well. I've seen others in strange settings that cost a lot more and made no sense at all. Cuts in the text were very effective, and brought brevity and good timing, which are vital for comedy. This was a fun afternoon.

     -Goldstar Review

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