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Archive for Terry Morgan

PURE NATIVE at the Wells Fargo Theater at the Autry Museum of the American West

Craig Schwartz

Craig Schwartz

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Theatrically, Los Angeles is blessed in many ways, and one of them is the presence of Native Voices at the Autry, the only Equity theatre company devoted exclusively to developing and producing new works from Native American, Alaska Native and First Nations playwrights. Their shows are often specific and insightful in a way no other theatre company can be — yet at the same time the themes in their work have a universal resonance.
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Now running through March 24

THE JUDAS KISS at Boston Court Pasadena

Jenny Graham

Jenny Graham

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

The human desire for love is one of the main glues that holds the world together — along, of course, with greed, the lust for power and chocolate. Without love, there would be no rom-coms, no Valentine’s Day industry, and significantly less adorable tots bopping about.
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Frances Baum Nicholson –The Stage Struck Review

One of the tragic tales to come from the criminalization of homosexuality in Britain has always been the story of Oscar Wilde, the celebrated, flamboyant author and playwright whose great fame turned into great scandal, imprisonment, and self-imposed exile.
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Now running through March 24

ANNA KARENINA at the Actors Co-op

Larry Sandez

Larry Sandez

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Artistic ambition should always be encouraged. If artists never attempt greatness, if they never try working on a bigger canvas, we wouldn’t have works like Angels in America or The Iceman Cometh — plays that demonstrate how amazing theatre can be.
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Now running through March 17

AN INSPECTOR CALLS at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

Mark Douet

Mark Douet

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

When J. B. Priestley’s An Inspector Calls premiered in 1945, its vivid dissection of the British social class system in the guise of an Agatha Christie–style mystery was appreciated as a modern classic. Nonetheless, in the following decades its drawing-room play format fell out of favor amidst a tide of naturalism.
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Dany Margolies – The Daily News

With “An Inspector Calls,” director Stephen Daldry saddles up an old warhorse and turns it into a sleek, muscular triple-crown winner.
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Now running through February 10

HIR at the Odyssey Theatre

Enci Box

Enci Box

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

The word “hir” is a gender-neutral, third-person pronoun that replaces “him” or “her.” It’s an appropriate title for Taylor Mac’s play, which examines gender definitions in the context of an American family drama. Read more…

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

What happens when you return home after time away only to find the home you remember has been rendered virtually unrecognizable? In Hir, a play by Taylor Mac currently in its Los Angeles premiere at Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, the concept of a dysfunctional family is taken to another level.
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Now running through March 17

SMART LOVE at Pacific Resident Theatre

Jeff Lorch

Jeff Lorch

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

One of the hallowed maxims of writing teachers everywhere is: “Show, don’t tell.” Simply put, the actual experience of a thing is much more effective than simply hearing about it. There are, of course, exceptions to this rule (Swimming to Cambodia comes to mind), but it’s a solid one to follow overall. Brian Letscher, writer of Smart Love, now running at Pacific Resident Theatre, could have benefitted from this advice.
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Now running through February 24

MEASURE FOR MEASURE at The New American Theatre

Jeannine Wisnosky Stehlin)

Jeannine Wisnosky Stehlin

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Plays taken out of the context of their own times can be troublesome. For instance, modern theatres have struggled to deal with the racist portrayal of Shylock in The Merchant of Venice, to the extent that a recent production, Everything That Never Happened, revised the play’s events to relay them from Shylock’s daughter’s point of view. In this era of #MeToo, Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure is a tricky proposition — relevant, on the one hand, for its depiction of men in power abusing women, but alarming on the other hand in its resolution of these issues.
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Now running through December 16

FINKS at Rogue Machine

John Perrrin Flynn

John Perrrin Flynn

Terry Morgan  -  Talkin’ Broadway

The cost of integrity is never cheap, but it varies. Sometimes one can lose relationships with family or friends, lose a job or, in the direst circumstance, lose one’s life. In the early 1950s, the House Un-American Activities Committee wielded Cold War communist paranoia to attack people whose views they didn’t like, stripping them of their careers and reputations, or getting them to testify against their friends and colleagues.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

The dictionary defines “fink” when used as a noun as “an unpleasant or contemptible person” while when used as a verb it can mean “inform on to the authorities”. Both definitions fit the characters who fink their friends to HUAC, the House Un-American Activities Committee in Joe Gildord’s play Finks…….Read more…

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Plays that explore the abuse of power or the unjust scapegoating of the powerless nearly always reel me in, and Finks, written by Joe Gilford and set against the backdrop of the HUAC hearings in 1950-53, unequivocally fits that description. Leavened with humor, with a strong intuitive performer in the pivotal role, it’s a harsh reminder of what can happen when unscrupulous people acquire control of the workings of government and words become instrumental in destroying innocent lives.
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Now running through December 30

 

 

THE LITTLE FOXES at Antaeus Theatre Company

Geoffrey Wade Photography

Geoffrey Wade Photography

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Sometimes, family can bring out the worst in us—especially if your relatives would do anything to get to the top.
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Terry Morgan  -  Talkin’ Broadway

Sometimes a play simply works within its own era, and exists later simply as an accurate representation of that time. But other times a play is prescient, and seems as if it was written directly to comment on today. Although Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes is a period piece, its portrait of dreadful people doing awful things in the pursuit of money and power feels particularly pointed now…Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

Say your husband, whom you had never liked, suffered from an ill-defined but dangerous heart condition. And say he happened to mention — in not a very nice way — that he was about to take a step that would scuttle all your hopes and dreams and leave you penniless. And imagine that at that very moment, overexcited by triumph, he reached for his medicine bottle and found it empty.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Lillian Hellman was a playwright, screenwriter, memoirist whose most famous piece of writing may well be the letter she wrote in 1952 to the House Un-American Activities Committee stating “I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year’s fashions..”
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Now running through December 1o

VIETGONE at East West Players

Michael Lamont

Michael Lamont

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Translating personal experiences or family history into theatre can be a tricky proposition. On the one hand, simply recounting events as they happened doesn’t necessarily create fascinating drama. On the other hand, fictionalizing things too much may betray the truth of the story.
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Now running through November 18

CAL IN CAMO at VS Theatre

David Rodriguez

David Rodriguez

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

It could be said that Sam Shepard perfected the strain of poetic realism that runs in American playwriting, particularly in works such as True West and Buried Child. Symbols abound, from characters representing civilization and wilderness to bushels of corn growing from a dead field.
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Now running through November 9

 

OPPENHEIMER – Rogue Machine at the Electric Lodge

John Perrin Flynn

John Perrin Flynn

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Although Rogue Machine is a small theatre company, it’s always punching above its weight class and generally achieving whatever artistic challenges it sets for itself. This year the group had a particularly difficult task — it had to find a new home, a misfortune that sometimes sinks otherwise stable organizations.
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Now running through December 30