Laguna Playhouse

606 Laguna Canyon Road
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Laguna Playhouse is a theater in Laguna Beach, right off of Route 133 and nestled in the canyons. They stage all sorts of productions, but nothing was better than a recent staging on the life of Hank Wlliams, Sr. This Randal Myler-and-Mark Harelik piece (Myler also directed) was much more than a musical revue or nostalgic stroll down the hillbilly highway. The duo did a fine job of not only tracing the trajectory of Williams' rise to fame and harrowing fall, but also capturing his aching humanity and singular genius. Anyone who walked out of the performance not realizing that Williams was every bit an American original as Louis Armstrong or Levi's wasn't paying attention. The singer always gets the headlines, and it was Van Zeiler's commanding turn as Hank Williams Sr. that drew the rave notices in this show. Great work, no doubt, but ringers in the lead role aren't uncommon in musicals.

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