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Archive for Terry Morgan – Page 2

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Sometimes, a play may be outdated in its particulars, but what it says of human relationships is so truthful that the work remains moving and relevant.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

PANG! at 24th STreet Theatre

Photo by John Pemble

Photo by John Pemble

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

A couple of years ago, looking to do a piece on socioeconomic disparity, Dan Froot & Company conducted a series of interviews with families suffering from food insecurity. From these interviews — in Los Angeles, Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Miami — came three short pieces, designed as radio plays but meant to be produced as a theatre event with live performances, sound effects and music.
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Deborah Klugman – Tolucan Times

A beautifully designed radio play staged before a live audience, Pang! relays the stories of three American families who struggle each day with stresses brought on by poverty and want.
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BLED FOR THE HOUSEHOLD TRUTH at Rogue Machine Theatre

Photo ny John Perrin Flynn

Photo by John Perrin Flynn

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Rogue Machine, one of the theatre companies in town I most admire, has been promoting its new show, Ruth Fowler’s bled for the household truth, as something important and shocking, and warning that easily offended people may walk out at intermission. In my experience, having specific expectations for a play or any work of art ahead of time often proves detrimental, and sadly that is the case here.
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Margaret Gray – LA Times

A New York financier with a great apartment has advertised in the paper for a roommate — specifically a woman. Her rent and board will be free, but she has to be willing to walk around sometimes in her underwear, and she can’t entertain gentlemen friends there.
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Paul Birchall – Stage and Cinema

Ambiguity and nuance are qualities in a play to be greatly desired and lauded – and yet, if you do not go “ick” at least four times while watching playwright Ruth Folwer’s increasingly disturbing drama, I’m not sure what can be done with you.
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Now running through December 18

 

CAUGHT at Think Tank Gallery

(Photo by Vincent Madero)

(Photo by Vincent Madero)

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

The subject of deception and the malleability of truth couldn’t be more timely. When the highest levels of government and entire media organizations such as Fox News are openly lying to the populace every day with few consequences, the very value of facts or being truthful comes into question.
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Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

Unfolding like a set of Russian nesting dolls, Christopher Chen’s intensely clever play points to our penchant for accepting whatever we’re told, and the equivocacy of what we commonly refer to as “the truth.”  CAUGHTScene2-2_preview
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Now running through December 10

KAIDAN PROJECT: WALLS GROW THIN at East West Players

kaidan

Terry Morgan  -  Talkin’ Broadway

High-end haunted houses seem to be more popular than ever these days. One can see the appeal—a bit more personal of a scare than simply watching a horror movie, a safe Halloween adventure. East West Players and Rogue Artists Ensemble have taken this trope and put their own unique spin on it with Kaidan Project: Walls Grow Thin….
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Margaret Gray – LA Times

It’s part haunted house, part art installation, part performance-art piece: The Rogue Artist Ensemble and East West Players’ immersive “Kaidan Project: Walls Grow Thin” unfolds in an abandoned warehouse that has been reconfigured into settings for a series of nightmares spun out of Japanese folklore.
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Now running through November 5

MR. BURNS, A POST-ELECTRIC PLAY at the Sacred Fools Theater Company

(Photo by Jessica Sherman Photography)

(Photo by Jessica Sherman Photography)

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

After the recent Equity nonsense, wherein said organization did whatever it could to destroy our beloved 99-seat theatres, there was a general sense that L.A.’s theatrical scene was going to stagger backwards and falter.
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Now running through November 18

STUPID KID at the Road on Magnolia

Photo by Brian Cole

Photo by Brian Cole

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

To paraphrase a theater maxim of Edmund Kean’s, “Tragedy is easy; comedy is hard.” It’s an assertion that’s proved true time and again. Harder still, perhaps, is successfully combining these two genres into one play, as the disappointing Big Night at the Douglas proved a couple of weeks back.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Playwright Sharr White and actress Taylor Gilbert proved to be a winning pair in The Road Theatre Company’s 2015 production of The Other Place. They have joined together again for The Road’s current World Premiere of the playwright’s Stupid Kid. Gilbert’s Gigi in the current play is worlds apart from the dementia plagued Juliana of Cape Cod in the previous play. Read more…

Now running through November 11