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  An Undivided Heart at Atwater Village Theatre

An Undivided Heart

Atwater Village Theatre
3269 Casitas Ave Atwater Village

Echo Theater Company and Circle X Theatre Co. join forces to present Yusuf Toropov’s new play that is part thriller and part spiritual mystery. How far will powerful men and institutions go to keep their secrets — and who pays the price when they do? Set in 1992 Massachusetts against the backdrop of the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal and a toxic drinking water scandal (the latter made famous by the book and film "A Civil Action”), An Undivided Heart is part thriller and part spiritual mystery. A series of otherworldly visions and an unlikely encounter with a Zen priest propel Father Mike Cleary into a collision course with his Archdiocese, while Lynne Callahan, a young widow, struggles to make sense of her life in a town whose water has been polluted with deadly chemicals. The two confront a universal problem: How do victims of suffering caused by others find a way to go on?

Thru - Apr 22, 2018



Price: $34

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 323-644-1929

www.ensemblestudiotheatrela.org



  An Undivided Heart Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Los Angeles Times - Recommended

"...But by focusing on the offbeat and knotty intelligence in the writing, and by taking the plot twists in stride, director Chris Fields and the cast do manage to smooth over this rough terrain, making the odd characters ultimately appealing and conjuring an air of suspense."
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Margaret Gray


LA Weekly - Recommended

"...Michael Sturgis (doubled by Kaleb King) delivers a bizarrely funny performance as a somewhat callow, Tammy Wynette–shrieking church functionary. But Dietze’s mesmerizing work as the embittered Lynne imbues the woman’s Job-like suffering with an anger and a ferocity that is finely balanced at the threshold of the blackest comedy. Ann’Jewel Lee’s weirdly haunting turn as Mike’s dream apparition is surreally David Lynch–ian. Jeff Alan-Lee gives a convincing, seat-writhing performance as the oily sociopath Father White (a role doubled by Jesse Bush). And Alison Martin provides finely felt and coolly unsentimental support as Lynne’s cancer-doomed mother."
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Bill Raden


Broadway World - Highly Recommended

"...The world premiere of playwright Yusuf Toropov's AN UNDIVIDED HEART receives a stunning mounting by The Echo Theater Company and Circle X Theatre Co. Director Chris Fields sure-handedly guides his talented cast through the involving story of a passionate young priest striving to do the right thing. In this case, publish an expose on the pedophilia prevalent in the Catholic church."
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Gil Kaan


Stage Scene LA - Highly Recommended

"...Pedophile Catholic priests and toxic waste-dumping chemical plants form the backdrop of Yusuf Toropov's An Undivided Heart, a Circle X. Theatre Co./Echo Theater Company World Premiere that despite occasional tonal inconsistency and lack of clarity proves a powerful indictment of church-and-corporation-sanctioned abuse."
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Steven Stanley


Stage Raw - Somewhat Recommended

"...Director Chris Fields gets strong work from the ensemble, but the dream sequences seem underpowered compared to the rest of the show. Playwright Toropov has a sure hand with drama — his confession sequence in the second act is riveting — and a gift for comedy revealed in a clever “fill in the blanks” scene about how to compose a sermon. His thematic concerns are interesting, but they are ultimately resolved in a standard dramatic fashion that feels a bit disappointing considering the intriguing setup."
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Terry Morgan


Peoples World - Somewhat Recommended

"...Now, I’m not a play doctor, but sometimes I get to play one in the pages of People’s World. The actors’ execution of Toropov’s engaging script is nearly flawless, and that alone is a strong draw to see this play. But the premise of the script itself promises more than it fulfills. Not that every piece of theatre needs to come wrapped in a pretty bow to be considered complete, but the audience for this piece is entitled to more. In a world premiere production for a play that may—and should—have legs, now is the time to work out the kinks."
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Eric Gordon


Capital And Main - Somewhat Recommended

"...The play, running at the Atwater Village Theatre, unfolds on several levels. First, it tells the story of a young Catholic priest who must decide whether or not to publicly expose the pedophiles among his fellow clerics. Second, the work deals with our human struggle to understand why bad things happen with seeming random cruelty (a conundrum whose answers are regularly dispensed by spiritual leaders of all faiths, not very satisfactorily). On yet a third level, the play seeks to express the paradoxical wonder and mystery of life, with an assist from the supernatural."
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Deborah Klugman


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