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  bonded at The Los Angeles Theatre Center


The Los Angeles Theatre Center
514 S. Spring St. Los Angeles

Playwrights’ Arena and Latino Theatre Company/LATC present the world premiere of bonded by Donald Jolly, and directed by Jon Lawrence Rivera. In this re-imagined slave narrative set in 1820, Sonny, Lily, and Jack, are the last remaining slaves on a crumbling, cash-strapped Virginia farm. When Asa, a “house boy” from New York, is brought in to help in the fields, repressed desires and memories of loss are unlocked, forcing Sonny and the other slaves to face their bridled passions and test the limits of the cruel world as they know it. (For mature audiences)

Presented by Playwrights' Arena and the Latino Theater Company

Thru - Apr 17, 2011

Price: $10-$30

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 866-811-4111

Running Time: 1hr, 50mins

  bonded Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Los Angeles Times - Somewhat Recommended

"...Jolly embraces the gritty milieu and authentic vernacular, N-word inclusive, and his storytelling, here poetic, there graphic, is certainly original. What still needs work is its structure, the compelling Act 1 giving way to an Act 2 so bluntly outcome-heavy that the intensity nearly dissipates. Either revising the descending action or cutting 10 minutes and the intermission seems advisable. Yet it's difficult to ignore "bonded's" essential integrity and intent."
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David C. Nichols

LA Weekly - Somewhat Recommended

"...Accustomed to fetching cocktails and completing other indoor chores, Asa melts down after being shackled and scrubbed, whipped by Jack (a 70-something, self-proclaimed "true African" who wants to keep the uppity Northerner in his place) and forced to keep impossibly long hours plowing fields. When Sonny and Asa begin to bond emotionally, sexual tensions arise and eventually explode. Sadly, Act 2 is a bundle of redundancies, a drawn-out series of melodramatic manipulations that don't do justice to the first act's promise. Bob Blackburn's sound design, Adam Blumenthal's lighting and John H. Binkley's set serve the story well."
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Amy Lyons

Backstage - Somewhat Recommended

"...Jolly has created a provocative speculation about the sex lives of slaves, but it doesn't entirely convince: In the absence of hard evidence about 19th-century attitudes toward homosexuality, his reconstruction sometimes suggests a modern romance novel. But it's beautifully directed by Jon Lawrence Rivera and persuasively acted by his actors. Moses' Lily is a spunky, sassy, assertive young woman despite her conformist ideas."
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Neal Weaver

Stage and Cinema - Somewhat Recommended

"...All of the acting is brave and noteworthy, most notably Mr. Clemons – his struggle emanates from the depths of his soul. Mr. Anthony, who has performed well in musicals and comedies, needs to internalize his drama more; his is an engaging but presentational performance. Miss Moses is thoroughly appealing and Mr. Crudup’s authenticity as an African-born slave wins our sympathy, even as his character is called upon to perform loathsome acts."
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Tony Frankel

   This show has been Jeff Recommended*

*The designation of "Jeff Recommended" is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the opening night judges of The Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee. The entire production is then eligible for nomination for awards at the end of the season.

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