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Archive for Terry Morgan

HUMAN INTEREST STORY at the Fountain Theatre

Jenny Graham

Jenny Graham

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Poverty and homelessness and what to do about them are hardly new matters of concern. King Lear berates his newly-found conscience thus: “Poor naked wretches…how shall your houseless heads and unfed sides…defend you from seasons such as these? O, I have ta’en too little care of this!”
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Margaret Gray – LA Times

The plot and themes of Frank Capra’s film “Meet John Doe,” released in 1941, feel startlingly pertinent to America in 2020. A craven plutocrat buys a city’s newspaper, lays off its seasoned journalists and repurposes it as propaganda for his political campaign — and the public eats it up.
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Now running through April 5

THE FATHER at the Pasadena Playhouse

Jenny Graham

Jenny Graham

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Perspective is crucial to the understanding of both life and theater, and in the Pasadena Playhouse production of The Father, which opened this week, an intentionally disorienting point-of-view offers a dramatic and moving look at late-stage dementia. Written by Florian Zeller, the play premiered in 2014 and many consider it one of the most acclaimed of the recently concluded decade.
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Dana Martin– Stage Raw

Getting old is painfully difficult. Pasadena Playhouse’s newest production, The Father, is a fascinating yet frustratingly unclear story that examines a rapidly shifting dynamic between parent and child as the line between reality and delusion becomes increasingly blurred.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

As life expectancy continues to grow, so does the concern for the wellbeing of our aging population. It’s a subject that hits close to home for everyone—whether it is providing care for a parent or thinking about our own future as we reach retirement age and beyond.
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Terry Morgan  -  Talkin’ Broadway

The specter of dementia touches us all, whether within our immediate family or not. It’s a particularly awful condition in which someone you once knew well might not even recognize you anymore or be able to do things they previously were expert at.
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Now running through March 1

 

EARTHQUAKES IN LONDON at Rogue Machine Theatre

John Perrin Flynn

John Perrin Flynn

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

The phrase, “Nero fiddled while Rome burned” is used to describe doing something trivial when serious action is desperately required. It’s an apt epigram for humanity today — fully aware of the worsening disasters brought on by climate change but content to focus on acquiring more money and power, even as sea levels rise.
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Now running through March 1

 

DISPOSABLE NECESSITIES at Rogue Machine Theatre

John Perrin Flynn

John Perrin Flynn

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

The adage, “Youth is wasted on the young,” is generally attributed to George Bernard Shaw, a man who didn’t lack for adages. The idea that youth can also be wasted on the old is one of the undercurrents that powers ’s play, Disposable Necessities, a science fiction comedy/drama that posits a future in which extended life or immortality is technically possible, but only for the rich.
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Now running through February 3

 

ELIJAH at The Victory Theatre Center

Tim Sullens

Tim Sullens

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Placing a disparate group of characters in a location they can’t leave and forcing them to deal with each other has been a tried and true source of dramatic conflict since Sartre’s No Exit. The claustrophobia and stress of interacting with new people ratchets up the tension swiftly. So it is with Judith Leora’s new play, Elijah, which is receiving its West Coast premiere at The Victory Theatre.
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Now running through December 15

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