Monday, September 6, 2010

Let Freedom Ring at the Stella Adler Theatre starring Ted Lange & Garrett Morris

First off when I got invited to see a play with Ted Lange and Garrett Morris, I knew I had to go. "Let Freedom Ring" a play written, directed and starring Ted Lange is playing at the Stella Adler Theatre on Hollywood. There were many stand out performances, Shani Shockley as the barmaid, Garrett Morris as Grandpa. Lou Beatty Jr as West Ford (wonderful accent & stage presence) as well as J.D. Hall as the pompous Preacher with his follower the twisted character Freddy played by Christopher O'Neal Warren. I found Christine Kludjian who played Sarah Moore Grimke, more suited for a vampire movie due to the over dramatics as well as her overly loud dress. When she moved you could hear the dress crinkle against the floor it was almost as annoying as snails scrapping on a chalk board. I didn't know if it was a styling choice for the director to show her "superiority over the others or just a bad choice. It was very distracting. That issue as well as a few trimming of scenes would make the show tip top.
Lange knows his history and he is an educator but no need to beat us over the head with so many issues of the day at one time and ad nauseum.
The play has so many gems that with some editing, it will run smoother and tighter and it will allow more of the brilliant performers to shine through. I could watch Garrett Morris and Lou Beatty Jr. all day. Watching Garrett Morris as well as Ted Lange makes me realize how many great African American actors had so few outlets to show their range on main stream TV and films. Let Freedom Ring is a testament to the struggle that an enslaved people have survived through. Go see the play...

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