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Archive for Terry Morgan

FOREVER BOUND at Atwater Village Theatre

Kathy Flynn

Kathy Flynn

Terry Morgan – Stage Raw

Steve Apostolina’s Forever Bound is an uncommon play that begins in one genre and ends in another. It’s always difficult to market something that doesn’t fit neatly into one category, so writers are often encouraged not to create anything like that. However, the results of such experiments are usually intriguing artistically. Such is the case with Forever Bound….     Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Steve Apostolina’s dark and thoughtful dramedy, Forever Bound, starts out as two disparate narratives that come together in an intense, disquieting way. Commencing as a wry comedy about a nebbish whose life is on the downturn, it culminates as a riveting face-off between good and evil, and highlights just how hard it can be to sever the formidable bonds that bind us to our past.
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Now running through June 16

BELLEVILLE at the Pasadena Playhouse

 

(Photo by Philicia Endelman

(Photo by Philicia Endelman

Terry Morgan  -  Talkin’ Broadway

Labeling a work of art as being one particular thing can often be problematic, creating expectations that the piece doesn’t fulfill. Amy Herzog’s play Belleville is being promoted as a Hitchcockian thriller, which it is not. It’s only a thriller in the sense that Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is a thriller, in that it depicts the emotional combat between a married couple.
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Frances Baum Nicholson – The Daily Breeze

There is no doubt that Amy Herzog’s “Belleville,” now at the Pasadena Playhouse, has dramatic power, and some extraordinary characters which must be an actor’s dream to perform. In many ways, this is enough to recommend the show.
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Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Amy Herzog’s thriller Belleville benefits from solid direction by Jenna Worsham and stellar performances by its leads, Anna Camp and Thomas Sadoski.
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Now running through May 13

WHAT HAPPENED WHEN at Atwater Village Theatre

 

Darrett Sanders

Darrett Sanders

Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

The air between the words is so thick you could cut it with a knife in Daniel Talbott‘s shadowy play about three siblings attempting to survive their dysfunctional family. Each is broken in his or her own way and, as the hairball unravels, the audience must piece together their fragmented story over a period of six years.
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Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

There are generally two types of ghost stories: those with haunted characters, and those in which it is the audience that becomes haunted — that is, where the tale lingers after the show like an unquiet memory.
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Harker Jones – Arts In LA

Daniel Talbott’s What Happened When is a claustrophobic, intense, and harrowing familial drama in the guise of a horror story. Set in a bedroom with red-paint (or blood-) spattered walls, three siblings huddle on a bed in an old farmhouse.
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Now running through April 26

 

AKUMA-SHIN at the Broadwater Main Stage

Jessica Sherman Photography

Jessica Sherman Photography

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Alternate reality stories have long been popular, and there are a couple of main reasons for their appeal. First, it’s just fun to extrapolate how history might have proceeded if things had been different. Second, these stories provide an opportunity for authors to use a fictional reality to comment upon our own. That’s certainly the intent in Kenley Smith’s Akuma-shin
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Now running through April 28

AN UNDIVIDED HEART at Atwater Village Theater

Darrett Sanders

Darrett Sanders

Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

Directed by Chris Fields, Yusuf Toropov’s An Undivided Heart, co-produced by the Echo Theater Company and the Circle X Theatre Co., is an aspiring work that aims to be deep but doesn’t get there.

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Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Any play that starts with a kid standing next to a burning typewriter holding a knife in one hand and a dead cat in the other is off to a good start in the “well, I haven’t seen that before” department. Unfortunately, such unusual visual tableaux aren’t really representative of the bulk of Yusuf Toropov’s An Undivided Heart, a Circle X Theatre Co. and Echo Theater Company co-production.
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Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Someone stands in front of you with a cat in one hand and a knife in the other, threatening to kill it. What do you say to save the cat? In An Undivided Heart, a co-production of Echo Theater Company and Circle X Theatre Company that opened this past weekend at the Atwater Village Theatre, this is but one puzzle its complicated characters must attempt to solve.
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Margaret Gray – LA Times

After all these centuries as a literate species, and with only seven basic plots in circulation (according to the late critic Arthur Quiller-Couch), human beings have developed a sense of where stories are likely to go — expectations that prompt us to complain when we can see an ending coming (“predictable”) and when we can’t (“what?”).
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Now running through April 22

 

BINGO HALL – Native Voices at the Autry Museum

BingoHallCraigSchwartzPhotography

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

One of the nice things about being a theatregoer in Los Angeles is the diversity of theatre one is able to enjoy. On any given weekend, there are shows up at East West Players (which specializes in Asian American work), Ebony Repertory Theatre (which explores the African-American experience) or at the Latino Theater Company.
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Now running through March 25

SIX CHARACTERS IN SEARCH OF A PLAY at the Celebration Theatre

Mat Hayes

Mat Hayes

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

There’s little that chills the blood of a theatre critic more than the three words “one-man show.” When these things are bad, they tend to be especially so, and unlike a usual play, there’s nothing else to distract one from the spectacle. On the other hand, when they’re good, they place the focus squarely on great writing and performance and can be very satisfying.
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Now running through March 25

A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE at Boston Court Performing Arts Center

Jeff Lorch

Jeff Lorch

Terry Morgan  -  Talkin’ Broadway

Often, when classic plays are “updated” or “reimagined,” the implication is that the work needed such treatment to remain relevant to a modern audience. In my experience, this rarely is the case, and such reinventions are generally more of a way for a director to stamp his or her stylistic ideas on the show.
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Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

Blanche may have always depended on the kindness of strangers, but there’s very little strange about director Michael Michetti’s masterful production of Tennessee Williams’ ferocious perennial.
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Frances Baum Nicholson –The Stage Struck Review

When I was in high school and college, casting of the shows produced there was founded primarily in giving the best performers a chance at the best roles. This often meant that traditionally white characters were played by persons of color (though, it should be noted, rarely the other way around for understandable sensitivity reasons –….
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Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Sometimes, a play may be outdated in its particulars, but what it says of human relationships is so truthful that the work remains moving and relevant.
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Now running through March 25

IRONBOUND at the Geffen Playhouse

Christ Whitaker

Chris Whitaker

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

At what point in life must you be willing to sacrifice happiness for survival? Ironbound, a play by Martyna Majok currently in its west coast premiere at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, tells the story of Darja (Marin Ireland), a Polish immigrant struggling to build a life for herself in New Jersey.
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Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

In my experience, when a production is of mixed or bad quality, the acting is rarely to blame. Occasionally an ill-judged performance will mar a fine piece of writing, but it is much more common to watch a talented ensemble struggle with an undercooked play. So it is with Martyna Majok’s Ironbound….
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Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

We should empathize with Darja. She’s an immigrant struggling to wrap her mouth around English, both its syntax and pronunciation. She works two jobs, when they’re available. She constantly worries about her son, who needs a stay in rehab that she can’t afford, even if she could find him these days. Indeed, she can’t find any good man who will stay around and treasure her.
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Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

In American theater, as in life, not all voices receive equal airtime — one reason why Martyna Majok’s pitch-black dramedy about a Polish-born factory worker-slash-cleaning lady is so poignant and arresting.
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Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Darja, the lonely, unfulfilled antihero of Ironbound, at the Geffen Playhouse, grants actor Marin Ireland a showcase for her vast talents. In lesser hands, Darja, a woman who seems to live only to survive, is a character that could turn off audiences, but Ireland finds Darja’s unsinkable core and hooks us along with it.
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Now running through March 4

SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE at South Coast Repertory

Paul David Story and Carmela Corbett in South Coast Repertory's 2018 production of SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE

Terry Morgan  -  Talkin’ Broadway

These days, films are regularly being converted into musicals, some which actually benefit from the change. It’s rarer to see a film made into a dramatic play, perhaps because of the belief that there’s less box office profit to be had.
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The 1998 period romantic comedy Shakespeare in Love was an upset winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture of the year, leaving Stephen Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan floundering on the beaches of Hollywood.

Now running through February 10

THE HOTHOUSE at Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center

Geoffrey Wade Photography

Geoffrey Wade Photography

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

It’s Christmas Day at a psychiatric hospital, and its director is having a stressful morning. Patient 6457 has unexpectedly died and patient 6459 has given birth, and neither event looks very good for the institution. As the day progresses, things only get more and more out of control as it becomes increasingly apparent that the staff is perhaps more volatile and dangerous than the patients. Read more…

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Often when an artist dusts off a work that he or she put aside a long time ago and presents it to the public, one can see why it was shelved in the first place. But sometimes you can’t. Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Harold Pinter wrote The Hothouse in 1958 but put it away until 1980 when he dusted it off and it was given its first production. The essences of the later and greater Pinter plays are here, they just are not as sharply refined.
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Now running through March 11

 

SMALL MOUTH SOUNDS at The Eli & Edythe Broad Stage

 

Ben Gibbs

Ben Gibbs

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

If film is primarily a visual medium, then theatre is mainly about the spoken word. The emphasis should fall upon “spoken.” Plays are meant to be performed, not read. So, when playwright Bess Wohl decided to make her play Small Mouth Sounds largely silent, she was adding a level of difficulty to her endeavor. Happily, the results are a success, and the current Ars Nova production presented by the Broad Stage is both amusing and compelling.
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Now running through January 28