Turn Me Loose is playing at the Westside Theatre located at 407 West 43rd Street. It runs one hour thirty minutes with no intermission. The play closes on July 3, 2016.
Joe Morton won a Primetime Emmy for Scandal in 2014.
Susan Hilferty is the costume designer. She was nominated for a Tony for Spring Awakening and Lestat (2006) and Into the Woods (2002). She won a Tony Award and Drama Desk Award for Wicked (2003).
Chris Barreca is the scenic designer. He won A Tony Award, Drama Desk Award and an Outer Circle Critics Award for Rocky (2014).
The play is about the comedian and Civil Rights activist Dick Gregory. Mr. Gregory was born on October 12, 1932 in St. Louis, Missouri. He was a poor student that excelled in running. Dick earned a track scholarship to Southern Illinois University. His college studies were interrupted when he was drafted into the army in 1954. He served two years. Dick never went back to get his degree. After he left the Army he started his comedy routine. In 1961 he was working at the Roberts Show Bar in Chicago. Hugh Hefner was in the audience. Hugh asked him to pay at the Playboy Club. Dick was active in the civil rights movement.
The show opens with a stand up comic (John Carlin) doing a warm up before Dick comes on stage. When he finishes, Dick (Joe Morton) comes on with his routine. His comedy is a little raw at the edges but funny.
The play goes back and forth on things that happen in his life. It covers his career, civil rights involvement, health diet and other things. Very little is told about his family.
Joe Morton does a remarkable job going back and forth as young and old Dick. He never lost a beat, especially when you could hear the music from the theatre above.
John Carlin has several roles and is good.
This show makes you want to know more about the man and his life. You could read Wikipedia but ship it and see this impressive show.
Review by Rozanna Radakovich.
Photos by Annazor.
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