Theater Reviews by Morna

Morna Martell

I managed to see two wonderful plays before the health lock-down and, hopefully, both shows will be appearing onstage after the scare is over. Here are my reviews of OUR MAN IN SANTIAGO and DOROTHY & OTTO:

OUR MAN IN SANTIAGO, at Theatre West, was a fictional account of a covert CIA operation in 1973 imagined by author Mark Wilding in an appropriate James Bond style. It was an amusing concept until the appearance of the President Richard Nixon (Steve Nevil) and his Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (Michael Van Duzer) when the comedy soared to a riotous peak. Just seeing these two actors as bickering Men of State had this critic not just sitting but rolling in the aisle and wanting more. When the show returns make a point to see it so you can laugh at how some past politicians made asses of themselves behind the wall of secrecy then in place. Info:


DOROTHY & OTTO was a guest appearance, at the West Hollywood Library, of a production that has garnered awards – and deservedly so. Two brilliant actors – Shelli Boone, fabulous as Dorothy Dandridge, going from ambitious starlet to troubled superstar; Eugene Alper, riveting as the autocratic Otto Preminger, in love with her but, being a foreigner, not comprehending the depth of racism in the USA. Plaudits to playwright-director Sharon L. Graine, who brought this complicated yet sincere love affair to life with just 2 performers. A Playhouse Theatre Players aka “SLG Productions” presentation. Info:

Upcoming and scheduled for mid-April openings but, as many shows are being postponed, check for exact dates.

SCINTILLA (North Hollywood)

This is a tender story that appears to be about the divisions in family but also deals with the question of our very survival on this planet. Marianne (Taylor Gilbert) is a reclusive artist living in the woods in California’s Wine Country. When her son Michael (Kris Frost), and his wife Nora (Jacqueline Misaye), are visiting her there is a raging wildfire but she stubbornly refuses to leave. Playwright Alessandro Camon started his career in Italy as a TV executive and film critic. Directed by Ann Hearn Tobolowsky. At the Road Theatre, in NoHo Senior Arts Colony, 10747, Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood. Tkts: (818) 761-8838 or


GERONIMO (Santa Monica)

This one-man drama, dramatically performed by Rudy Ramos, reveals the seldom told story of Geronimo’s life as a POW in the Fort Sill Indian reservation. Ramos has stated “I wanted to give him the voice he deserves, that has never been heard. This was a great leader yet for 23 years he was a POW in his own country.” Written by novelist Janelle Meraz and directed by Steve Railsback, it focuses on the resiliency, humor and genius of the great Apache leader. At Santa Monica Playhouse, 1211 4th Street, (nr Wilshire). Tkts: (310) 394-9779 ext. 1 or



In this surreal, dream-like movie-within-a-play, two orphan girls find color in their lives by living in a silent-film world of black, white and varying shades of gray. Author Kerry Muir won the Maxim Mazumdar Award in 2010 for the play and Debbie Devine directs the West Coast premiere that includes Spanish supertitles. At the 24th Street Theatre, 1117 West 24th St. (nr Hoover) Tkts: (213) 745-6516 or

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