Venue Details

137 Star Starred
Costa Mesa Playhouse
at Rea Elementary School 661 Hamilton Street Costa Mesa, CA 92627
Venue website Get directions
4 events
3 reviews
11 stars
The weather was rather cold.. I wore a sweater.
star this tip starred
5 events
2 reviews
4 stars
We ate at a wonderful Vietnamese restaurant called the Lantern Cafe. It's a 5 minute drive from the theater and the food was excellent.
star this tip starred
View all 221 tips

Reviews & Ratings

"The Book of Liz"
12 ratings
4.3 average rating
  • 6
  • 5
  • 0
  • 1
  • 0
41 events
11 reviews
10 stars
attended Feb 04 2011

Loved the play! It was absolutely original and delightful. I wasn't expecting too much from this little theater and its cast, but I was really surprised. The 90 minutes without intermission flew by.

star this review starred report as inappropriate
6 events
2 reviews
2 stars
attended Feb 04 2011

With such a wacky description of the play, one has to wonder what to expect. It really turned out to be an excellently written and executed play. Each character was very well developed. The writing was clever and thought provoking. Turned out...continued

star this review starred report as inappropriate
7 events
4 reviews
8 stars
attended Feb 18 2011

It was an unexpected pleasure. Did not know by the description what was to be but well worth it. It was a fun play with great characters and acting.
Seating is intimate. Enjoyed!

star this review starred report as inappropriate
View All 12 Reviews
More Information


Quotes & Highlights

Visit David Sedaris’s website.
Visit Amy Sedaris’s website.


When one of the wittiest satirists of our time and his comedienne sister write a play together, you know it can’t be anything short of hilarious. Sister Elizabeth Donderstock has spent her entire life in a cloistered religious community called the Squeamish, where she created and single-handedly makes their famous cheese balls, both traditional and smoky — but when a sanctimonious new arrival convinces the sect’s leader to let him take over the cheese ball operation, Liz, feeling frustrated and unappreciated, leaves the compound for the first time to try her luck in the “real” world. Culture shock ensues — in the extreme.

Director Mike Brown says, “I was looking for a comedy to fill an open slot in the season’s schedule, and I have read very few scripts that made me laugh out loud as much as this one. The dialogue is hilarious and, while the play’s wackiness is somewhat over-the-top, I found an endearing truthfulness to the characters and their dilemmas.  It should also be noted that, although the play pokes fun at the cloistered lifestyle and might be considered irreverent, it does not criticize religion at all.  It is about people, extremely eccentric people, the kind of people I like the most.”

As the play’s authors give no background for their fictional religious community, Brown has created his own history of the Squeamish as an aid to the actors and in defining the look of the play.  It deals with witch hunts, magic mushrooms and a visitation by an ethereal being in a strange ball of orange light, somewhat resembling a cheese ball.  Of course, none of that history is actually in the play except as visual reference, but will be detailed in the program for anyone interested in reading it.

Originally written to be performed by four actors playing 15 characters, Brown has expanded the cast to six and assembled actors he has worked with before.  "I needed people with specific skills, Brown says, “and fortunately I knew actors who had them.”

About the Ticket Supplier: Costa Mesa Playhouse

The Costa Mesa Playhouse is a 73-seat, not-for-profit, Community Theater that has been serving greater Orange County for over 40 years. The Playhouse is dedicated to presenting affordable, quality, live theater in a comfortable and intimate setting, and to offering the talented actors, singers, dancers, and stage craftspeople of Orange County a welcoming environment in which to practice their craft. With a season running from September through June and five productions per season, the Playhouse offers a diverse array of plays and musicals to our theatergoing public.