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Archive for Terry Morgan – Page 2

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

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