THEATER REVIEWS BY MORNA

Morna Martell

 

THE GHOSTS OF MARY LINCOLN – Woodland Hills

 

In case you are mourning the opportunity to attend live theater here is one intrepid theater artist doing it outdoors with social distancing. Playwright-performer Tom Dugan has set up a performance space in his own backyard to re-enact his one-man show from 2013. Out of necessity the audience will be strictly limited in size, physical distancing will be observed and hand sanitizers readily available. Also, outdoor fans will be in use and all audience members required to wear masks.

 

Under Shelby Sykes direction, Dugan depicts incidents and characters that appear after widow Mary Todd Lincoln has been freed from an asylum. Includes stories of White House seances, Presidential grave robbers, warnings from the undead, and that fateful night at Ford’s Theatre. Yes, it’s a tale of blood, madness and murder based on known historic facts and according to Showmag.com is “Bound to surprise and inform even the most avid Lincoln aficionados.”

 

Dugan’s previous plays include “Wiesenthal” – about famous Holocaust survivor, Nazi Hunter, and writer, Simon Wiesenthal, – which won him the LA Drama Critics Award for Solo Performance. He also has performed in “Frederick Douglass: In the Shadow of Slavery” and “Tell Him It’s Jackie.” This show runs April 2 -May 1st on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm in Dugan’s Backyard Playhouse. It’s a safe comfortable environment but bring a blanket with you as it can get pretty cool evenings in Woodland Hills. Reservations: dbptickets@gmail.com

 

APRIL 23rd BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION – Virtual

 

                  William Shakespeare (1564-1616), actor, playwright, will be honored with an abstract sound-based performance piece “Low Skies Divine” (inspired by “King Lear”) created by director Samantha Shay and composer Áslaug Magnúsdóttir and presented by Source Material Theatre. Online performances April 23 through May 9 with tickets available at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/low-skies-divine-tickets-146743326239.

 

UNDERNEATH THE FREEWAYS OF LOS ANGELES – Live

 

Here is a live-streamed interactive murder mystery inspired by historical events. In 1960 two bodies were discovered in the lake at Hollenbeck Park in East LA right below the Golden State Parkway overpass. Echo Theatre Company invites you to join a virtual whodunit based on this crime where you, the audience, speak with the officer in charge of the investigation, question the witnesses, and check out persons of interest. Each performance is live-streamed and therefore every performance will be different!

 

The Police Officer and a TV Reporter will introduce five suspects – a Boyle Heights artist; a Japanese American woman; a Freeway Protest organizer; a vagrant passing through, and the California Highways Administrator. After hearing the details and viewing the demeanor of each one, the audience will split into groups, that will rotate between five “holding cells.” In these breakout rooms everyone will have a chance to listen to and question each potential murderer.

 

Conceived and written by Matthew Paul Olmos with direction by Michael Alvarez, the show can be experienced on both coasts from April 2-26, Friday through Monday, at 7:30 pm PT and 10:30 pm ET. Link in at www.EchoTheaterCompany.com/underneath

 

APRIL 9th BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION – Virtual

 

Paul Robeson (1898-1976), actor, singer, athlete, civil rights activist and humanitarian is the inspiration for the Robey Theatre Company’s name and, on April 9 at 6 pm, they will honor him with a virtual birthday celebration. Artistic Director Ben Guillory will make opening remarks then present a series of performances inspired by Robeson’s life and work. He and co-founder Danny Glover will present the Paul Robeson Award to LA City Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas in recognition of his contributions to the artistic, cultural and civic life of LA. Link: http://therobeytheatrecompany.org/our-events

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