Friday, February 3, 2012

Recommended: 'Short Eyes' at the LATC

Below is part of statement from Julian Acosta, Artistic Director of the Urban Theatre Movement, used to present the extended run of, Short Eyes, written by Miguel Piñero and currently playing at the Los Angeles Theatre Center. (General $30; Students/Seniors $20; Groups 10+ $20; $10 Thursday).

Although it takes place in a House of Detention that is a living breathing character in the dramatic action, Short Eyes is not about prison. Although a character is accused of child molestation, Short Eyes is not about molestation. Although the characters are all either incarcerated or work for the institution, Short Eyes is not about guards and convicts. . .

Of the few plays I've seen in my life, this one was the most intense. I know for sure that many people in the audience felt the same. One audience member left during the play because the language was very descriptive; and I could hear someone in back of me crying. All this goes to the show all the raw reality and emotion that Piñero was able to capture in his play--and it also shows how real the actors made the characters seem. Stand-out performances include Chris D' Annunzio who played the main guard, Mr. Nett, Matthew Jaeger who played Clark, and David Santana who played Juan.

This was--and still is--a very controversial play, and it won the New York Critics Circle Award and Obie Award for "Best Play of the Year" back in 1974. But this play has not had a formal production on the West Coast in 10 years, so people should take advantage of this extended run that ends March 11, 2012. (It had its first sold-out run at the end of last year).

The questions that this play raises are about justice, fair trials, "guilty until proven innocent," and revenge. It is very well crafted by all the people involved and very much worth seeing. So, go!

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