DM Register Review: “Marjorie Prime” challenges audiences to think about aging, humanity

Marjorie Prime by Jordan Harrison

Don McLeese, Special for the Des Moines Register, January 16, 2017 Photo by Adam Bartelt, Special for the Des Moines Register.   In the near future, companionship for the elderly will be outsourced to humanoid automatons, who idealize the memories of those in their care. They know only what has…

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Review: ‘Mothers and Sons’ tackles big, tough issues

Don McLeese, Special to the Des Moines Register, June 13, 2016 Photo by Adam Bartelt, Special to the Des Moines Register “What is human nature?” asks the insatiably inquisitive six-year-old Bud (an irresistible Jacob Forney), the only one without secrets and demons in “Mothers and Sons.” The rest of Terrence McNally’s provocative…

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‘Every Five Minutes’ is powerfully disturbing

Don McLeese, Special to the Register 9:33 a.m. CDT May 16, 2016   Amid the shell-shocked silence as the crowd was shuffling out — after the “curtain call” (there was no curtain) signaled that “Every Five Minutes” had reached its abrupt end — a man murmured to his companion, “It was entertaining. Weirdly entertaining.” It was also a sensory assault that threatened to…

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In ‘Outside Mullingar,’ love comes to those who wait

Michael Morain, Des Moines Register-Theatre Review, February 15, 2016 On a drizzly night in “Outside Mullingar,” at the Des Moines Social Club, a shy farmer named Tony Reilly wanders outside with a metal detector to search for something he lost in his neighbor’s yard. He doesn’t find it — at…

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StageWest’s ‘Straight White Men’ pokes at liberal guilt

Des Moines Register Theatre Review Michael Morain, mmorain@dmreg.com2:30 p.m. CST December 14, 2015 When three brothers start screaming at each other about white privilege at the end of StageWest’s new play at the Des Moines Social Club, their dear old dad shakes his head in exasperation. “You keep saying this,”…

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Straight White Men By Young Jean Lee

Straight White Men by Young Jean Lee - Iowa Premiere December 11-20, 2015 The Story: When Ed and his three adult sons come together to celebrate Christmas, they enjoy cheerful trash-talking, pranks, and takeout Chinese. Then they confront a problem that even being a happy family can't solve: when identity is…

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