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Archive for Steven Leigh Morris

TIME TELLS by Steven Leigh Morris

Keith Mills, Anton Chekhov, and Seven Spots on the Sun

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Steven Leigh Morris  – LA Weekly

Keith Mills was an actor. He was other things, too. He ran, or was part of, a soft-water company in the San Gabriel Valley. He was a husband, father and grandfather. But mainly, he was an actor, from Toronto. He lived for decades in Claremont – that’s about 40 miles east of downtown L.A., at the edge of the county, and he worked a bit in Los Angeles, on stage and in TV. Until he didn’t. That never stopped him from being an actor. Read more…

BLACK VIRGINS ARE NOT FOR HIPSTERS at the Marsh, San Francisco

Photo by Alex Keenan

Photo by Alex Keenan

The Marsh, in San Francisco, is the Bay Area’s answer to Son of Semele’s Solo Creation Festival in L.A. The San Francisco venue, however, is a year-round breeding ground of solo performances.

Echo Brown’s Black Virgins Are Not for Hipsters was supposed to run through August, and has been extended through October, understandably so given the blend of Brown’s infectiously bubbly personality with her sometimes satirical, sometimes melodramatic insights into gender and racial politics.Read more…

Now running through Oct. 29.

PAUL BIRCHALL’S GOT IT COVERED – September 2, 2015

From Paul Verdier to Dakin Matthews to A. Jeffrey Schoenberg to Stephen Sachs

Paul Verdier   (contributed by Steven Leigh Morris)

Steven Leigh Morris – Stage Raw

Yet another passing of another era was marked September 6, when actor-director-playwright-producer Paul Verdier died of complications from Parkinson’s Disease while under hospice care in West Hollywood.  Read more…

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Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

In an attempt to grasp control back over the way they are perceived, Actor’s Equity Association has launched a promo campaign to improve its much-tarnished image.  I suppose this was meant to dovetail with the Labor Day holiday, the national celebration of the many truly good things that the unions have done for workers.  If you’re a Union and you can’t get good press on Labor Day, well, something is wrong  Read more…

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AUGUST OSAGE COUNTY at the Theatricum Botanicum

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Steven Leigh Morris  – Stage Raw

Perhaps it’s Quixotic, but I find Theatricum Botanicum to be a kind of beacon, a shining light on the hills of Topanga Canyon. The alfresco venue was co-founded by TV actor and Old Leftie Will Geer, whose fame was cemented – if fame is ever cemented – by his role as grandfather Zebulin Tylor Walton in the 1970s TV-series The Waltons. Read more…

WILL L.A. ACTORS SUE THEIR UNION?

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Steven Leigh Morris  – LA Weekly

We haven’t been treated fairly, and everybody knows it, says actress Maria Gobetti.

She’s objecting to the union’s elimination of L.A.’s 99-Seat Theater Plan, which, for the uninitiated, was in effect for a quarter century and permitted union actors to work in theaters of up to 99-seats in L.A. County for token stipends. Read more…

 

WAR AND PEACE. REBECCA METZ, ON ACTORS’ EQUITY ASSOCIATION AND ITS PLAN FOR L.A.

Rebecca-Metz

Steven Leigh Morris – @ This Stage magazine

Steven Leigh Morris: Things have gone very quiet in the past couple of months. You’d almost think that nothing is happening.

Rebecca Metz: There’s a lot of anger, in the older generation particularly. Personally, I can’t function holding that much anger. My goal is to get the union to see that we’re reasonable, and for us to see that they’re reasonable. Two weeks ago, [I was in a meeting] with Gail Gabler, Mary McColl [and others]. I have been having a text conversation with Mary McColl, we’ve had a good, civil conversation. She said, “Kate and I are going to be in town, I want you to choose six people and [we can] have a conversation.”  Read more…

One-Person Shows Are Too Stuck in Reality. Sometimes They Should Make Things Up

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Steven Leigh Morris  – LA Weekly

A solo show’s a little show where people talk about their life,

“Like battling the bottle. Or slicing themselves with a knife,

“They tell their tale with wigs or props, with easels to communicate,

“Like being gay or being bi or being trans or being straight!

Read more…

HOLLYWOOD FRINGE FESTIVAL at various locations

Photo by Shing Yin Khor

Photo by Shing Yin Khor

Steven Leigh Morris  – LA Weekly

One of the Hollywood Fringe Festival’s many venues is an old van laden with graffiti and suitcases, with shrinelike decorations in the back. The vehicle, like the show that occurs within and around it, is called Hamlet-Mobile, a notion written and directed by Lauren Ludwig and presented by a company named the Moving Shadow. Read more…

Now running through June 28.

A NEW SCHEME TO HAVE SHOWS PAY $150 FOR A REVIEW WILL HURT L.A. THEATER

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Steven Leigh Morris  – LA Weekly

So you’re a theater having a hard time getting audiences. A new plan under way by the ever-tempestuous L.A.-based theater website Bitter Lemons allows you to pay the website directly for a published review, with the reviewer receiving the lion’s share of that payment — no guarantee of a good review, and you can’t select the reviewer, but it’s at least a guarantee of a review by “an experienced critic.” It’s something like when playwrights or screenwriters pay an expert to read their drafts, or a theater pays a dramaturg or script doctor — the major difference being that Bitter Lemons’ “initiative” is not just a private exchange, it’s a public one that involves readers and audiences. So what’s the problem? Read more…

THE HOMECOMING at Pacific Residents Theatre

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Photo by Ashley Boxler

Steven Leigh Morris  – LA Weekly

“Why don’t you shut up, you daft prat?” says Lenny (Jason Downs, resembling young Malcolm McDowell) to his father, Max (Jude Ciccolella), in Guillermo Cienfuegos’ top-flight revival of Harold Pinter’s 1965 comedy The Homecoming at Pacific Resident Theatre. Read more…

Now running through July 26.

THIS IS A MAN’S WORLD at the Los Angeles Theatre Center

Photo by Stephen Mihalek

Photo by Stephen Miihalek

Steven Leigh Morris  – LA Weekly

At 60 years old, the spry, lean, silver-haired Sal Lopez could well be Puck’s dad. And it could be argued that Lopez’s picaresque autobiographical one-man show, This Is a Man’s World at Los Angeles Theatre Center, is a memory play. That’s because it opens with Lopez screaming on a hospital bed wondering what he’s doing there. Read more…

Bob Verini –  Stage Raw

This Is a Man’s World, at the L.A. Theatre Center, begins with actor/writer Sal Lopez rearing up on a hospital bed to cry out in confused panic, “How did I get here? How did I get here?” Which, when you come to think of it, can hardly be bettered as a line kicking off an evening of personal reminiscence. Read more…

Now running through June 21.

 

ENRON at the Lex Theatre

Photo by Joanna Strapp

Photo by Joanna Strapp

 Bob Verini – Stage Raw

Most people’s command of international finance and investment, I think it’s fair to say, probably cuts not much deeper than the “Money makes the world go around” lyrics from Cabaret. Yet in telling the sorry true-life saga of the titular Houston energy giant and its catastrophic demise, Lucy Prebble’s Enron coolly takes for granted our ability to take in, not just the gist of what went down in October 2001, but its intricate details as well.  Read more…

Steven Leigh Morris  – LA Weekly

Near the conclusion of Lucy Prebble’s Enron, a docudrama animated with puppets and choreography about the fabled demise of the $111 billion Houston energy trading company (trumpeted by Forbes for six consecutive years as a model of corporate ingenuity), the firm’s now-convicted president, Jeffrey Skilling (Skip Pipo), defiantly rationalizes his actions. Read more…

Les Spindle –  Frontiers L.A.

Life is somewhat of a cabaret as well as a smoking cauldron of corporate greed and fiscal catastrophe in Lucy Prebble’s sardonic 2010 British play, now in its L.A. premiere.  Read more…

Jonas Schwartz -  Arts In LA

The political satire Enron spells out how one of the largest energy companies in the world toppled in 2001 due to accounting fraud. Employing musical comedy techniques and puppets, writer Lucy Prebble and director August Viverito mix a spoonful of sugar into repulsive subject matter. Read more…

 Now running through June 28.