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Archive for Terry Morgan

SEE/SAW at Civic Center Studios

(Photo by Aaron Champion)

(Photo by Aaron Champion)

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Theatre is an inherently magical experience. When done correctly, a stage, a set and some actors become a world. The audience offers up its suspension of disbelief, and art is created. The question is: Is a magic show inherently theatrical? In the talented hands of close-up card magic virtuoso Siegfried Tieber, the answer to that question is yes.
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Now running through October 8

PTERODACTYLS at the Commissary at The Culver Studios

Photo by Edo Tsoar

Photo by Edo Tsoar

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

A frequent complaint heard over the years is that the film and TV industry doesn’t do anything to help support the L.A. theatre community. From personal experience, I can testify that this is true, although the reasons why remain mysterious. That said, Pop Up Theater, Inc. seems to have cracked the code…
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Now running through September 24

EMILIE: LA MARQUISE DU CHÂTELET DEFENDS HER LIFE TONIGHT at Greenway Court Theatre

Photo by John Klopping

Photo by John Klopping

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

One of the positive uses of art is to shine a light on historical figures that might otherwise  have remained obscure — to give someone the credit he or she deserved but didn’t receive in life. A film such as Hidden Figures, which detailed the important contributions African-American women made to the space program, is a good example.Read more…

Now running through September 17

TILDA SWINTON ANSWERS AN AD ON CRAIGSLIST at the Celebration Theatre

Photo courtesy of Celebration Theatre

Photo courtesy of Celebration Theatre

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

In Byron Lane’s shtick-drenched comedy at the Celebration Theatre, a flamboyant figure claiming to be actress Tilda Swinton (Tom Lenk) shows up on the doorstep of a suicidal man named Walt (Lane) and inspires him to accept himself and get on with his life. Read more…

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

There’s a special subset of shows that parody or examine a particular celebrity, such as Mindy Kaling and Brenda Withers’ Matt & Ben (about the titular Good Will Hunting creators), or Jonathan Tolins’ examination of life in Streisand’s home mall in Buyer and Cellar. Read more…

Now running through August 31

 

AS YOU LIKE IT at Antaeus Theatre Company

(Photo by Daniel G. Lam Photography)

(Photo by Daniel G. Lam Photography)

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

One of the reasons for the continued popularity of Shakespeare’s work over the centuries is how unusually open it is to reinterpretation — directors or actors can use it as a lens with which to focus anew on some aspect of the world.
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Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

“All the world’s a stage…” William Shakespeare’s classic comedy As You Like It features some of his most famous monologues and a great deal of whimsy.
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Now running through September 10

HEISENBERG at the Mark Taper Forum

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Hoyt Hilsman  -  Huffington Post

In the finest tradition of the theatrical two-hander, British playwright Simon Stephens (adapter of the Tony-award winning Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night) has imagined a random encounter between a forty-something eccentric woman and a very ordinary seventy-five year old butcher. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

British playwright Simon Stephens’ Heisenberg tracks the ups and downs in the relationship of an American woman in her 40s and an Irishman in his 70s. First produced at the Manhattan Theatre Club in 2015 and later remounted on Broadway, the play shares its appellation with physicist and 1932 Nobel Prize winner Werner Heisenberg.

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Frances Baum Nicholson –The Stage Struck Review

The uncertainty principle of German scientist Werner Heisenberg states that the position and velocity of any object cannot both be measured exactly at the same time. In Simon Stephens’ much-celebrated play, “Heisenberg,” that theory is applied to people – two impressively dissimilar adults who meet awkwardly in a London train station…
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Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

I think it’s fair to say that we’ve all seen plenty of “manic pixie dreamgirl” romantic comedies, and even enough of the subset of May/December relationship dramas — but these are sturdy tropes that will always be with us. The latest theatrical iteration of this genre is Simon Stephens’ Heisenberg……   Read more…

Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

Playwright Simon Stephens puts two characters onstage, captures them in conversation, and leaves us knowing no more about themselves our ourselves than we knew at the start of this 80-minute work.

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Pauline Adamek – ArtsBeatLA

Annoying, pointless and utterly dated — Simon Stephens’ play Heisenberg perpetuates not only the myth of the ‘manic pixie dream girl’ but fails to question the normalcy and acceptability of May/December romances. Neither are desirable nor relevant outlooks for the 21st century stage.

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Now running through August 6

THE PRIDE at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.

 

Photo by Kevin Parry

Photo by Kevin Parry

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Alexi Kaye Campbell’s The Pride juxtaposes homosexuality in both the repressed world of 1958 London and the more liberated 2008. Whether people are trapped by society’s morality or by their own self-sabotaging instincts, love proves to be a true test of wills. Though the script can be didactic and overlong, the new production at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts features a top-notch cast who bring humanity to the characters.Read more…

Terry Morgan  -  Talkin’ Broadway

News of the Los Angeles premiere of Alexi Kaye Campbell’s The Pride generated hopeful expectations of high quality, since the play won an Olivier Award and critical acclaim for its 2008 London premiere.   Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Whether or not you’re struggling with the current political configuration, one thing is clear: Most homosexuals are more widely accepted today than in the 1950s. The secrecy and repression of previous centuries, the unhappy marriages for “show,” the lives lived less than truthfully are no longer a universal way of life — at least for now.
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Now running through July 9

LES BLANCS – Rogue Machine Theatre at the Met

Photo by John Perrin Flynn

Photo by John Perrin Flynn

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

It’s kind of amazing that a major play by Lorraine Hansberry is just having its Los Angeles premiere now. Perhaps the tide of criticism that caused the play to close after one month on Broadway in 1970 tainted its reputation in some way, or its need for a 24-member cast scared producers off. Thankfully, Rogue Machine decided to rectify this situation, and its current production is a smart, exciting theatrical event. Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Lorraine Hansberry was the first black woman to write a play that was produced on Broadway when her classic A Raisin in the Sun opened in 1959. At the age of 29, she won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award becoming the youngest playwright to do so.   Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Lorraine Hansberry’s Les Blancs is set in colonial Africa sometime in the mid–20th century, and while much has changed since then, the play’s moral dilemmas and the racism and hypocrisy that give rise to them remain with us. Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

The playwright Lorraine Hansberry died of cancer in 1965 when she was only 34, leaving behind incomplete drafts of “Les Blancs” (“The Whites”), a play she had begun writing in 1960, soon after “A Raisin in the Sun” made her famous.Read more…

les-blancs-2

Now running through July 3

THE DESIGNATED MOURNER at REDCAT

K. HO

K. HO

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Sometimes a play finds its moment long after its premiere and initial exposure to the world. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Wallace Shawn is a powerhouse storyteller, and the story he spins in The Designated Mourner is a riveting tale.    Read more…

Now running through May 21

PERICLES – The Porters of Hellsgate at the Whitmore-Lindley Theatre Center

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

As a theatre critic, I’ve reviewed a lot of Shakespeare’s plays, but this is the first time I’ve seen anyone, in this case George Wilkins, credited as a collaborator in the writing. Read more…

Now running through June 4

A DOLL’S HOUSE, PART 2  at South Coast Repertory

Photo by Debora Robinson

Photo by Debora Robinson

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

One of the most intriguing uses of art is a conversation between an acknowledged masterpiece from the past and a current artist commenting upon it or adding to it in some way. Of course, this doesn’t always work, but when it does, the results are often fascinating. Such is the case with Lucas Hnath’s A Doll’s House, Part 2, where the playwright examines the issues brought up in the Ibsen’s classic play with complexity and empathy. The world premiere production at South Coast Repertory is bracingly intelligent and superbly performed. Read more…

Now running through April 30

 

THE ENCOUNTER at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

Photo by Rob Latour

Photo by Rob Latour

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

The good thing about experimental theatre is the thrill of something new, the excitement of exploring radical new territory. The downside, of course, is that not every experiment is completely successful, or — even if something valuable is discovered — it may not provide a wholly satisfying piece of theatre. Such is the case with  production of The Encounter at the Wallis, which has fun with binaural sound technology, but within a show that has major problems. Read more…

Now running through April 16