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  Head of Passes at Mark Taper Forum

Head of Passes

Mark Taper Forum
135 North Grand Ave. Los Angeles

Tony winner Phylicia Rashad gives a powerful performance in MacArthur "Genius Grant" recipient Tarell Alvin McCraney's acclaimed drama Head of Passes. Set in the mysterious shifting marshlands at the mouth of the Mississippi River, this modern-day parable inspired by the Book of Job finds Shelah's family and friends planning a surprise birthday party for her, but a dark family secret threatens to ruin everything. McCraney, who recently won an Oscar for adapting his own play into the film Moonlight, has been called "without question, the hottest young playwright in America" (Chicago Tribune). Find out why as this stirring drama comes to Mark Taper Forum from Center Theatre Group.

Thru - Oct 22, 2017

Price: $95

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 213-628-2772

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  Head of Passes Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Los Angeles Times - Recommended

"...The production, which opened Sunday at the Mark Taper Forum under the direction of Tina Landau, is both towering and teetering. Rashad, reprising her performance that wowed audiences at New York's Public Theater, is a theatrical force to be reckoned with and the answered prayer of McCraney's drama, which, like the storm-lashed house in which the play is set, has some structural vulnerabilities."
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Charles McNulty

Edge - Highly Recommended

"...The play is solid with McCraney's stylistic choices of character and conflict. His dialogue rings true to these folk and the small bits of humor emanate from the character's behavior. But more than anything, it's the brilliance of the acting that keeps this drama hopping."
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Dale Reynolds

Stage and Cinema - Highly Recommended

"...I will remember Phylicia Rashad's performance in Head of Passes until the day I die. She is an emotional hurricane, often still, even funny-while in the eye of the storm-but then raging and howling with a pain rooted so deeply inside the love and bondage of family and faith, that you can't breathe. Sometimes, neither can she."
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Samuel Garza Bernstein

On Stage and Screen - Somewhat Recommended

"...If you set the theatrics aside and focus on only the meat of the story, this would probably be a 20 minute play, which is to be expected given that parables are defined by their simplicity. It is also not very grounded, instead dealing in an incredibly improbable series of events that adds to the larger-than-life atmosphere the blustering production creates. And nothing is more larger-than-life than the set, which is an impressive feat of stagecraft that deservedly earned its own round of applause at the end of act one and will make you rethink what is possible onstage. Issues aside, Head of Passes is very worth seeing for the master class in acting Rashad is giving."
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Erin Conley

Peoples World - Somewhat Recommended

"...I referred earlier to the hurricane as an "act of God," a manifestation of chaos in the world for which the unseen, unapproachable God is not even accountable. In this sense, I think Head of Passes is already dated. Almost no one now, just a year after the play debuted, or even then, questions the human-induced role of global warming in the catastrophic weather events we are seeing. The play ignores this factor. Indeed, as a central staging area for the gas and oil industry, the Gulf Coast states of Louisiana and Texas have made themselves particularly vulnerable. The bayous and wetlands that protect the mainland are measurably eroding year by year, seemingly with no organized political resistance."
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Eric A Gordon

Ticket Holders LA - Recommended

"...His newest play, Head of Passes, is not as dynamic or as universally accessible as his previous works, but as presented at the Taper featuring the Lucille Lortel Award-winning performance of Phylicia Rashad as its pivotal character and reprising the exceptional direction of Tina Landau, it is elevated to classic status. Maybe not Wilson-style classic status, but classic status all the same."
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Travis Michael Holder

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