Theater Reviews by Morna

Morna Martell

KILL SHELTER. – Hollywood

In this new play, Colleen manages an animal shelter that accepts all animals but, when some prove unadoptable, they are subject to euthanasia. Overcrowding at the shelter puts Colleen’s compassionate duties at odds with her instincts. Meanwhile, her teenage daughter, who disapproves of her mom’s job, finds herself pregnant by a boyfriend who abandons her. The play’s theme underscores headline-relevant issues of choice, autonomy (both human and animal) and power dynamics. The only solutions to the situations in which its characters find themselves appear to be paths of compassion and empathy.

The cast includes Nadia Marina, Chloe Madriaga, Alex Hogy, C.J. Craig, Ashley Romans, Troy Leigh-Anne Johnson, Brandon Warfield, and Jack Clevenger. Written by Ashley Rose Wellman and directed by Shaina Rosenthal. Produced by Niall Sulcer. At Theatre of NOTE, 1517 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood.




A black and white cookie is a New York deli treat, a large cookie with half-chocolate and half-vanilla frosting. It’s also a metaphor for the friendship between the two main characters of this comedy. Harold Wilson is a 71-year-old Black veteran of the Vietnam conflict, a Republican, he voted for Nixon and Reagan. He’s had a newsstand for thirty years but faces imminent eviction. Albie Sands, a burnt-out 60s radical, is nominally Jewish (his favorite sandwich is ham and swiss!). He wants Harold to fight his landlord to save his business. Will Harold and Albie stand up to the person that Albie calls a “corporate parasite?” Or will they stand down and be swept aside?

Gary Morgenstein is the playwright, Tudi Roche directs. The cast includes Tommy Franklin, Morry Schorr, Aisha Kabia, Laura Trent and Dylan Bowers. Produced by Shelby Janes. At SkyPilot Theatre Company,.at Cole Theatre, 905 N. Cole Ave., Hollywood. ONLINE TICKETING:



Artistic director Ron Sossi founded the Odyssey Theatre in 1969 to demonstrate that experiment-oriented theater could have populist appeal and be fiscally solvent! Now he has written and directed “a lazy person’s guide to enlightenment” as an introduction to both Eastern and modern Western philosophies. “It’s part existentialist thriller, part ghost story,” he says. “The theater functions as a character in the play, as does Sepulveda Boulevard, which is just outside the exit door and covers an ancient footpath used by the Gabrieleno Tongva people.”

The stage is set for drama, when one member of a theater’s acting ensemble finds herself challenged to confront the common dreams we have about the nature of reality. Stars Denise Blasor, Diana Cignoni, Jack Geren, Jeff LeBeau, Cameron Meyer and Giovanna Neilan. Produced by Beth Hogan at Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd. West Los Angeles. Tickets: (310) 477-2055 ext. 2 or


EXIT WOUNDS – Long Beach

How do you find redemption when someone you love has committed a terrible crime? This world premiere by Wendy Graf, is a powerful and moving look at the human story behind the sensationalist headlines of a tragedy. Known for writing hard-hitting family dramas that ask difficult questions and feature layered and complex characters, Graf says, “We always hear about the families of the victims, but what happens to the families of the perpetrators? Can they ever live a normal life again? I wanted to explore how entire families can become defined by the actions of one member, and how the fallout from one person’s act can affect future generations.”

Directed by caryn desai, it stars Hayden Kharrazi, Michael Polak and Suanne Spoke. Produced by desai, this drama is presented by International City Theatre, at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center, 330 East Seaside Way, Long Beach. TKTS: (562) 436-4610 or


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