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Archive for Jim Leonard

ANATOMY OF GRAY at Open Fist Theatre Company

Jeremy Guskin, Beth Robbins and James Fowler. Photo by Frank Ishman.

Jeremy Guskin, Beth Robbins and James Fowler. Photo by Frank Ishman.

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

First produced with the title Gray’s Anatomy at New York’s Circle Rep Theatre in 1994, Jim Leonard’s family-oriented coming-of-age fable strives for the unvarnished poignancy of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town as it recounts the story of a fatherless teen in 1880s rural Indiana. Leonard’s revised version, published as Anatomy of Gray in 2006 and currently directed by Ben Martin at Open Fist Theatre Company, doesn’t hit that mark. It does, however, serve as a platform for well-crafted performances among a seasoned ensemble. Read more…

Through January 15

Bad Apples, Circle X Theatre Co

Photo by Jeff Galfer.


Bad Apples by Jim Leonard.


Terry Morgan –

Circle X Theatre Co. has been one of the best theatre companies in Los Angeles for fifteen years now. One thing the company has never lacked for is ambition, and this admirable quality is on display in their current world premiere, Bad Apples. It’s a musical concerning the Abu Ghraib prison scandal in 2003 and the people involved in it. Although a musical may not sound like the proper format to deal with this serious issue, playwright Jim Leonard and director John Langs use humor, irony and the directness of music to capture the emotional terrain and intellectual sweep of the history in a way that a straight drama might not encompass. It’s not a perfect show–it’s a bit long and has focus issues–but the vast majority of the play that does work is nervy, top-notch theatre.   Read more…


David C. Nichols – LA Times

Noteworthy intent permeates Bad Apples in its Circle X Theatre Company premiere. Jim Leonard, Rob Cairns and Beth Thornley’s surreal take on Baghdad’s infamous military prison is nothing if not original.  Read more…