Melanie MacQueen

“Christmas Times, Joan Pine, Beverly Hills Outlook
Writer, Melanie MacQueen has put together five short stories. She uses Christmas to connect the stories together and then adds a special touch of magic. What follows is Melanie MacQueen’s quirky sense of the absurd and pushing the envelope sense of humor. Each play had unexpected plot twists that worked and I look forward to seeing more of her plays.

“On Borrowed Time” - Backstage West
Director Melanie MacQueen keeps the pot well stirred and allows her cast leeway to have fun with the concept of fighting Death to the death.

“On Borrowed Time” - Beverly Hills Courier
Director Melanie MacQueen investigates the play on its own terms, giving us a fully realized vision of death and dying that is neither morose or sentimental. A+ for exceptional… directing

“Noir Light” - Backstage West
Melanie MacQueen deserves kudos for her inventiveness in directing her players onstage and in the audience.

“Roses in December” Opens at Beverly Hills Theatre 40
At the Theatre with Audrey Linden (from November, 2011)

Theatre Forty presents the West Coast premiere of Victor L. Cahn’s “Roses in December.” This two character drama, well directed by Melanie Mac Queen, unfolds through the series of the characters’ letters. The plot thickens as Joel and Carolyn reveal themselves through their letters. A relationship develops, and they are connected in the present and in the past. A cat and mouse game ensues that leaves you guessing about what ultimately connects them.

Mac Queen’s direction tied the two characters together beautifully. Her pacing is impeccable. G. Rack’s set with two offices on stage at the same time lets the audience have a bird’s eye view of both characters as they are entwined in each other’s lives. We see Joel Gordon reflected in the mirror in Carolyn’s office. This subtle device worked to incorporate him into her world.

Excerpts from the LA Times review by Robert Koehler (1995) of "In the Name of God":

"writer, lyricist, director MacQueen takes her 10 person ensemble, and us,  through a comic history of world faiths that's rarely solemn...The show cleverly accordions a ton of prehistory, Western conquest and Middle Eastern past into some delightful send ups....This is goofball history cleverly put across...smoothly dissolves from skit to song and back to skit again...with some of the songs hard acts to follow in themselves.  The Gospel-ish "Tithe, Tithe, Tithe" as well as "Too Bad You're Going to Hell" are such strong theatre showpieces that they avoid being simple swipes at fundamentalists... "In the Name of God"  could be the right kind of smart, acerbic antidote to the recent avalanche of numbing musical revivals.  Nostalgia this ain't". 

Excerpts from two reviews of my children's musical,"Animal Talk":

Lynne Hefley, LA Times:

"...earnest mix of entertainment and education...puts a kid size spin on the importance and interdependence of all life...songs are tuneful and often expressive".

Christopher Michael from Good News LA:

"A talk show with substance and that's no bull.  If you're intrigued by what animals have to say if they had a talk show , you don't have to go any further...The show keeps a good pace...Each animal guest brings a lesson that we can learn from and it's done with humor..the insightful songs are integrated with enthusiasm and accompanied with upbeat music...You might just leave the show humming one of the tunes."

Joan Pine, Beverly Hills Outlook:

"I have always enjoyed the plays at Theatre 40, which is located at Beverly Hills High School, in Beverly Hills and CHRISTMAS TIMES is no exception. David Hunt Stafford, the producer, chooses the most interesting plays and the cast is some of the best in the city. Writer Melanie MacQueen has put together five short stories for her first production. She uses Christmas to connect the stories together and then adds a special touch of magic. What follows is Melanie Macqueen's quirky sense of the absurd and 'pushing the envelope sense of humor'. Each play had unexpected plot twists that worked, and I look forward to seeing more of her plays."

“On Borrowed Time” - Backstage West

Director Melanie MacQueen keeps the pot well stirred and allows her cast leeway to have fun with the concept of fighting Death to the death.”

“On Borrowed Time” - Beverly Hills Courier:

Director Melanie MacQueen investigates the play on its own terms, giving us a fully realized vision of death and dying that is neither morose or sentimental.  A+ for exceptional… directing”

“Noir Light” - Backstage West:

“Melanie MacQueen deserves kudos for her inventiveness in directing her players onstage and in the audience.”