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Archive for Steven Leigh Morris – Page 2

L.A. JOURNEY at Casa 0101

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Steven Leigh Morris – LA Weekly

…..Money also dictates the behavior of the multitudinous characters in An L.A. Journey, the difference being that most of them don’t have much of it to invest or to lose. Read more…

Now running through June 7.

 

63 TRILLION at the Odyssey Theatre

66TrillionKrieger

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

John Bunzel’s new play is reminiscent of David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross, but more comedic in intent. The story takes place in the milieu of “wealth management” during a fictional financial catastrophe as the various characters attempt to screw each other over or profit from the chaos. Read more…

Steven Leigh Morris – LA Weekly

For a snapshot of our bifurcated city through the lens of our 99-seat theater, see John Bunzel’s money management farce 63 Trillion, presented by the New American Theatre at the Westside’s Odyssey Theatre, and then head east to Boyle Heights to watch Emmanuel Deleage and Lorenzo Alfredo’s earnest bio-drama An L.A. Journey: The Story of Lorenzo Alfredo, about an orphan child’s journey, without papers, from Guatemala to L.A. Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

Someday a play may come along to challenge the prevailing view that anyone who handles other people’s money for a living is a venal, soulless opportunist. John Bunzel’s “63 Trillion,in its world premiere guest-produced by New American Theatre at the Odyssey, is not that play. Read more…

 

Now running through June 7.

GUS’S FASHION & SHOES at Vs. Theatre Company

Photo by Azul DelGrasso

Photo by Azul DelGrasso

Steven Leigh Morris – LA Weekly

Ron Klier’s new play at Vs. Theatre Company, Gus’s Fashion & Shoes, is the second in a St. Louis–based trilogy about police/minority relations, Cops & Friends of Cops being the first in 2013. The third is yet to come. Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

The characters in Ron Klier’s new play “Gus’s Fashions & Shoes,” premiering at Vs. Theatre, are so colorful, argumentative and profane that they suggest the existence, and possibly the overuse, of some sort of David Mamet character generator app. Read more…

Pauline Adamek  – Stage Raw

Prior to the start of the show, the audience is blasted by gangster rap songs pumping through the speakers at an ear-splitting volume level — a fitting prelude to the edgy, darkly comedic drama that follows. Ron Klier’s Gus’s Fashions and Shoes is macho and talky, with all the action happening in the back room of a store and centering around five larger-than-life male characters. em>Read more…

Now running through May 30.

ENTROPY at Theatre of NOTE

Photo by Darrett Sanders

Photo by Darrett Sanders

Steven Leigh Morris – LA Weekly

Ground Control to Major Tom: David Bowie, Richard Nixon, the Cold War, the women’s liberation movement, early Steven Spielberg movies and a staff-impaired NASA space program from 1973 all combine into a Mel Brooks aesthetic in Bill Robens’ world-premiere farce Entropy, which just opened at Hollywood’s Theatre of NOTE. Read more…

Now running through May 30.

 

CORKTOWN 57 at the Odyssey Theatre

pHOTO BY eD kRIEGER

Photo by Ed Krieger

Steven Leigh Morris  – LA Weekly

Corktown 57 unfolds entirely in the Irish-quarter grocery-shop basement of Frank Keating (John Ruby), who’s having difficulties with his wife (Natalie Britton, in a nicely textured performance). Read more...

David C. Nichols – LA Times

Family dynamics and political ire mix it up in “Corktown ‘57” at the Odyssey Theatre. Playwright John Fazakerley’s account of a volatile clan in Philadelphia’s Irish quarter owes more than a little to Eugene O’Neill and Sean O’Casey, but it has plenty of emotional and ideological fodder of its own. Read more…

Now running through May 3.

Neil LaBute, on his play The Break of Noon

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Steven Leigh Morris – Stage Raw

The meister of messy and cruel romantic relationships, in works such as In the Company of Men, The Shape of Things, Fat Pig and Reasons to Be Pretty, playwright, screenwriter and film director Neil LaBute shines a spotlight on atrocious behavior.  Read more…

 

BANG BANG at Highways

Photo by Gina Long

Photo by Gina Long

Steven Leigh Morris  – LA Weekly

In Michael Kearns’ Bang Bang, there’s a psycho-sexual serial killer named Dr. JackL and MisterHide&Seek (David Pevsner in a bravely unrepentant performance) whose fetish is to stand nude with his head masked in leather, to make Internet contact with his hitherto unknown male victims before meeting them (ostensibly for a romantic interlude) in their abodes, where they’ve been instructed to await him while lying naked on their stomachs with their buttocks raised. Read more…

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

Playwright Michael Kearns’ latest opus is like a dark funhouse ride, in which kaleidoscopic fragments of themes shift and coalesce into entirely different ideas from scene to scene.  It’s a drama that frustrates even as its emotions connect with ferocious power. Read more…

Now running through April 25.

CORKTOWN 57 at the Odyssey Theatre

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

“The whole world’s in a state of chassis!” said Jack Boyle, the iconic Irish lotus-eating blackguard of Juno and the Paycock, Sean O’Casey’s great drama about the tragic flaws of an Irish family. Read more…

Steven Leigh Morris  – LA Weekly

Corktown 57 unfolds entirely in the Irish-quarter grocery-shop basement of Frank Keating (John Ruby), who’s having difficulties with his wife (Natalie Britton, in a nicely textured performance). Read more…

Bob Verini -   Arts In LA

Though this John Fazakerley’s Irishmen-transplanted-to-America play runs slightly less than two hours, it lines up enough characters and story elements to populate an entire 13-episode season’s worth of TV melodrama. Read more…

 

Now running through May 3.

UNCLE VANYA – Chalk Repertory Theatre at the Neutra Institute Museum

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Photo courtesy of Chalk Rep Theatre

Bob Verini  -   Stage Raw

On a stage — and as often as not, in everyday life, but certainly on a stage — when a character announces, “I’m dying of boredom,” there’s always something else, something deeper going on. With those four spoken words, a character can communicate almost anything: “I’m hot to do something exciting; what can you suggest?” or “You disgust me and I can’t wait until you’re out of my presence,” or even “I would love it if you’d undress me and pitch mad, passionate love. em>Read more…

Steven Leigh Morris  – LA Weekly

Chalk Rep’s Uncle Vanya (a new version by Libby Appel, based on Allison Horsley’s original translation, and directed by Larissa Kokernot) recalls Louis Malle’s 1994 film Vanya on 42nd Street, in that it’s almost like a rehearsal of the play, dutifully rendered. Read more…

Now playing through March 15.

SONS OF THE PROPHET at the Blank Theatre

SonsProphetAnneMcGrath

Paul Birchall – Stage and Cinema

In playwright Stephen Karam’s touching and funny drama, characters are frequently spotted quoting the great Lebanese poet-philosopher Khalil Gabran.  “All is well,” they say, often in the midst of the most odious adversity.  Of course, all is not well at all:  Indeed, all is rather, as the Yiddish expression goes, full of tsuris.  Or, as Samuel Becket might note, “I can’t go on, I can’t go on, I’ll go on!”  Read more…

Steven Leigh Morris  – LA Weekly

Shakespeare’s adage from Hamlet, “When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions,” seems to course through Stephen Karam’s Pulitzer Prize finalist play, Sons of the Prophet. Read more…

David C. Nichols – LA Times

The inevitable pain of human existence receives an exhilarating shake-up in “Sons of the Prophet,” the Blank Theatre’s latest L.A. premiere and a fairly triumphant one.

Stephen Karam’s acclaimed 2011 comedy-drama about two gay Lebanese American brothers in Pennsylvania dealing with spiritual, economic and medical challenges in the wake of their father’s death was a Pulitzer finalist, and it’s easy to see why. Read more…

Now running through March 15. 

 

DAME EDNA’S GLORIOUS GOOD-BYE at the Ahmanson Theatre

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http://artsinla.com/Theater_Reviews.html

Steven Leigh Morris  – LA Weekly

…With diamond studs in her horned-rimmed glasses, the purple-wigged, megalomaniac alter ego of 80-year-old Australian Barry Humphries spends much of the evening goading her Ahmanson Theatre audience. Read more…

Bob Verini -   Arts In LA

Dame Edna! The mere title and name connote rapier wit, lightly off-color insults, and self-obsession, in the ultimate unabashed satire of celebrities’ narcissism, not to mention their closet contempt for the paying customers. Read more…

Now running through March 15.

DISCONNECTION at the Beverly Hills Playhouse

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

The church referred to by playwright Allen Barton in his play is never identified, but the details of his story evoke the horror stories told by disillusioned former Scientologists: accounts of demands for total conformity, hefty financial contributions, total commitment, and a willingness to declare all-out war on any member who wants to leave the fold. Read more…

Steven Leigh Morris  – LA Weekly

Allen Barton’s absorbing new drama, Disconnection, spun from his experiences with Scientology, looks at the fallout from a regime change at a self-improvement church, when that church, under a new administration, devolves into an abusive cult. Read more…

Don Shirley – LA Observed

I saw one locally-oriented production over the last week that’s much more clearly focused than “Chavez Ravine” or “California Tempest” — even though its title is “Disconnection.” Allen Barton’s script is focused on Scientology, although it doesn’t mention the word. In fact, Scientology is the show’s indirect target.

 

Now running through March 1.