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Archive for Terry Morgan

BURIED CHILD at A Noise Within

Craig Schwartz

Craig Schwartz

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Watching A Noise Within’s new production of Sam Shepard’s Buried Child, I was struck by how closely the first act resembles Pinter’s The Homecoming. A man who’s been away from his family for some time returns, accompanied by a woman whom he brings into a group of strange, violent men.
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Now running through November 16

 

THE MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP – A PENNY DREADFUL at Actors Co-op

Matthew Gilmore

Matthew Gilmore

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

In today’s parlous theatrical economy, more must be done with less, which explains the proliferation of one-person shows on some of our larger stages. This is understandable in a pecuniary sense, if regrettable in an aesthetic one — one misses the dramatic interplay between actors. A nice compromise is the “two-hander,” in which two performers make up the entire cast. Charles Ludlam’s The Mystery of Irma Vep — A Penny Dreadful is an excellent example of this theatrical form.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Charles Ludlam wrote nearly 30 plays during his career, mostly performing in them at his own Ridiculous Theatrical Company in New York’s Greenwich Village. A friend took me to see Conquest of the Universe or When Queens Collide during my first theatre trip to NYC in 1977.      Read more…

Now running through November 10

 

A PLAY IS A POEM at The Mark Taper Forum

Craig  Schwartz

Craig Schwartz

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Ethan Coen is one of the greatest screenwriters of the past 50 years, with some of his works — Miller’s CrossingFargo and The Big Lebowski — standing as masterworks of the form. He’s also an accomplished short story author and poet, as attested to by Gates of Eden and The Drunken Driver Has the Right of Way, respectively. So, it’s disappointing to report that his new show at the Taper, A Play Is a Poem, is at best a mildly amusing collection of four short plays, with an implacably bad, tough-to-endure one-act positioned right at the center.
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Now running through October 13

 

HANDJOB – Echo Theater Company at Atwater Village Theatre

Darrett Sanders

Darrett Sanders

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

When the lights rise on Handjob, a play by Erik Patterson currently in its world premiere at the Echo Theater Company in Los Angeles, we meet Keith (Steven Culp). Keith is a gay, white writer, and he has hired Eddie (Michael Rishawn), a younger black man, to provide a service that at first glance seems sexual in nature. But it turns out Keith has simply hired Eddie to clean his apartment—while shirtless.
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Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Erik Patterson’s new play, Handjob, aims to be provocative, and it succeeds in its goal. While the show features the explicit depiction of a sexual act (I bet you can guess which one), the playwright is going after bigger themes than sex alone.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

A gay writer hires a “shirtless cleaner” and thereby begins Eric Patterson’s World Premiere comedy Handjob at Echo Theater Company at the Atwater Village Theatre.
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Now running through October 21

WITCH at Geffen Playhouse

Jeff Lorch

Jeff Lorch

Terry Morgan  -  Talkin’ Broadway

When The Witch of Edmonton (written by William Rowley, Thomas Dekker and John Ford) premiered in 1621, its tale of a woman selling her soul to the devil to gain revenge on her neighbors was played as a tragic drama. Jen Silverman’s new version of the story, simply titled Witch, is very much a comedy, although tragedy is still present.
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Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

At the beginning of Witch, a funny and insightful play by Jen Silverman now in its west coast premiere at the Geffen Playhouse, the titular character (Maura Tierney) addresses the audience, posing a bit of a warning.
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Margaret Gray – LA Times

In “Witch,” Jen Silverman’s delightful recasting of the obscure 1621 tragicomedy “The Witch of Edmonton,” characters find themselves in Jacobean dress and Jacobean circumstances, but they speak like Americans today. Nary a “prithee” or “forsooth” to be heard.
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Jonas Schwartz – Theatermania

Witch, receiving its West Coast premiere at the Geffen Playhouse, explores sexual politics and humanity’s bloodlust for power. Loosely based on William Rowley, Thomas Dekker, and John Ford’s 1621 play The Witch of Edmonton, this one-act battle of the sexes proves that little in human nature has changed since the 1600s.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

From Dante’s Inferno and Milton’s Paradise Lost to Disney’s Fantasia and Broadway’s Damn Yankees, The Devil has been a popular character in books, music, film and stage works.
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Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Witch, Jen Silverman’s incisive illuminating play directed by Marti Lyons at Geffen Playhouse, draws inspiration from The Witch of Edmonton, a Jacobean melodrama conceived around the real-life tragedy of an elderly woman named Elizabeth Sawyer, burned as a witch in the British community of Edmonton in 1621.
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Now running through September 29

 

ANDY WARHOL’S TOMATO at Pacific Resident Theatre

Teak Piegdon-Brainin

Teak Piegdon-Brainin

Terry Morgan – Stage Raw

Back in the ’60s, Andy Warhol was quoted as saying, “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes” — but his own fame clearly outpaced that prediction. He’s been the subject of films and books, and now playwright Vince Melocchi has crafted a play about the artist before he was celebrated, titled Andy Warhol’s Tomato. The world premiere production at Pacific Resident Theatre is a well-acted and entertaining addition to Warhol lore.
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Now running through September 22

BAD HAMLET – Coin & Ghost at New American Theatre

Kendall Johnson

Kendall Johnson

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

When I first read that a theater company was asking random members of the public what they knew about Hamlet, then incorporating the answers into their performance, it sounded like a risky ploy — but one that might turn out to be interesting or amusing.
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Now running through August 24

 

THE CAUCASIAN CHALK CIRCLE at the Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center

Jenny Graham

Jenny Graham

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Set up as a play-within-a-play, the action of Bertolt Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle, currently playing at Antaeus Theatre Company in Los Angeles, begins in the lobby.
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Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

One can see why Antaeus Theatre Company has decided to revive Bertolt Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle now. It’s a play in which the rich are revealed to be monsters of ego and avarice — where one wealthy woman even chooses an array of fancy clothing over saving her infant child.

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Now running through

 

 

GOOD BOYS at the Pasadena Playhouse

Jenny Graham

Jenny Graham

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

When, in 2008,  premiered Good Men and True, his tale of privileged young prep school students acting badly, it certainly wasn’t new or surprising — this sort of pernicious behavior has gone on for generations. But the obnoxious, beer-relishing example of Brett Kavanaugh brought entitled, smug white men back into the spotlight again, so Aguirre-Sacasa revised his play, under the new title of Good Boys.
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Jonas Schwartz – Broadway World

The great Frederick Douglass wrote, “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (RIVERDALE) must have been thinking of something similar when he wrote GOOD BOYS, the new piercing drama at The Pasadena Playhouse. Though Aguirre-Sacasa’s play debuted in 2008, it focuses on issues that have risen to the top of the country’s consciousness with the #metoo movement.
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Now running through July 21

 

MYSTERIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES at Geffen Playhouse

Jeff Lorch

Jeff Lorch

Terry Morgan  – Talkin’ Broadway

The old maxim states that truth is stranger than fiction, but sometimes truth isn’t quite that bold and merely approaches the outlandishness of prose. Such is the case of Richard Lancelyn Green, the subject of a New Yorker article, a Sherlock Holmes expert who was found dead in his apartment in 2004….
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Margaret Gray – LA Times

Sherlock Holmes is a fictional private detective dreamed up by the turn-of-the-century British doctor and writer Arthur Conan Doyle — or so history would have it. Certain scholars, collectors and fans prefer to believe that Holmes was an actual person. Holmes himself would probably agree with them….
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Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

The leading expert on Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous detective Sherlock Holmes becomes the key element in a real-life mystery when he is found dead alone in his apartment. It appears to be murder, but could it be suicide?
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Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In December 2004, The New Yorker magazine published an article by journalist David Grann titled: “Mysterious Circumstances: The Strange Death of a Sherlock Holmes Fanatic.”
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Now running through July 14

JULIUS WEEZER at the El Portal Theatre

Ed Krieger

Ed Krieger

Terry Morgan  -  Talkin’ Broadway

To quote an obscure Elizabethan playwright, “we lucky few” have been privileged to enjoy the work of the Troubadour Theater Company for 25 years now. Its trademark — combining a play (often Shakespeare) with the music of a famous artist, then adding its own blend of anarchy and witty topical references (Hello, Game of Thrones Starbucks cup!) — remains a reliable delight.
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Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

In JULIUS WEEZER, Troubadour Theater Company uses its signature wit to turn a Shakespeare classic into a blissfully-alive rocker version of its ancient self, and the result is divine madness. You don’t need to be a Bard lover to have a great time but, if you are, you’ll be impressed by the level of classical talent on stage and the company’s ability to “speak the speech” while tickling your funny bone.
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Now running through May 19

DANIEL’S HUSBAND at the Fountain Theatre

Ed Krieger

Ed Krieger

Terry Morgan  -  Talkin’ Broadway

It’s always a nice moment when a work of art surprises me in a positive way. It reminds me of one of the reasons I love theater in the first place: the primal pull of story. It’s the delight of seeing something new when one was expecting something else.
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Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Daniel’s Husband, written by Michael McKeever and directed by Simon Levy at the Fountain Theatre, starts out decked with light comedy and glib dialogue  but midway takes a sharp turn to become relevant and affecting.
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Now running through June 23